Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Let the paintings speak...

‘Full Effect’

This picture speaks to me in a cheerful voice.  
I cannot feel unhappy when I see it.

Is it the colour?
Or the design?

Or is it a conversation?

A conversation in different voices...
Some are soft whispers,
Others are loud and shrill.

These voices happen when parts 
of a picture are of different ‘values’.  
Dark against light.

The difference makes us take notice.

Changing the image to ‘noir’ 
shows how the conversation varies.  

There are black parts, mid grey, and white.
These are actually colours but this image
shows how different ‘values’ make the painting ‘pop’.
The light against dark has the loudest voice. 

Too much loud talking will be tiring
so a few soft passages are restful.   
The mid grey tones are quieter.  

A few loud areas can bring a dull painting to life.
Also differences in texture and hard edges.

Here is a picture in my studio which 
has been re-worked several times.

It now has a dark, brooding feeling.
Although I like it I wanted to push it further.

I wanted it to shout a little.

The next stage...

A few changes...
and some lighter marks.

But it feels messy.
I rested it overnight to dry a little.  

Small detail of the picture...

Here is the complete painting with 
both loud and quiet conversations.

These are translated into a combination of...

Value changes,
Light against dark,

Sharp and blurred,
Soft and hard.
Smooth and textured.  

I shall leave it to speak for itself.

‘No words’

Oils and cold wax medium 
on 36 x 48 inch canvas.

Until next time...
Thank you for visiting.

Click here for my website

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Which way is the right way?

Telling a story...

I painted this picture today as Storm Dennis
was lashing rain and wind outside my studio.

It took a long time to reach a conclusion.
Several times I scraped it back and rubbed out overworked parts.
I wanted a loose abstracted feeling.
A sense of place.

Detail of the painting.

This small area became the focus in 
a suggestion of a desolate shore.
The background was left simply grey.

When I shared this image today on Instagram I
received a message suggesting I turn it around.

Turning the canvas is what I usually do as I paint
but today I had left it on an easel to dry.
I hadn’t seen the picture upside down.

I re-posted the painting like this...
and it was a surprise to see a different ‘narrative’.
The energy of the piece had changed.  

This prompted a viewer on Facebook to comment...

“Stunningly storm filled and adventurous.  

I love this. 

It makes me want to be in a harbourside pub,

 with salty windows lashed by ocean spray.

 Whisky, fire and company warming my cheeks, and a lock in.

 Sea shanties and crab pots”

There is no right or wrong way to view this piece.  

Each person brings a different perspective.

Thank you for taking an interest in my art.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Stormy days.

Whether the weather be fine, 
or whether the weather be not...

Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not, 
Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, 
We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, 
Whether we like it or not.

‘Splash of Morning’

Oils and cold wax medium on Arches oil paper.

Last week I was happily pulling brambles
in my unruly wild garden.

The sun was shining and the arrival of 
spring flowers gave a sense of optimism.

The hedgerow with a log pile for toads 
and snowdrops beyond.  

My paintings also seemed to brighten.

Layers of oils and cold wax medium.

Six small studies on a 16 x 12 inch
sheet of Arches oil paper.

Then it all changed...
Winter has returned.

I have retreated to my studio.

My paintings have also changed.
The colours are stronger,
darker and warmer.

Oils and cold wax medium on Arches oil paper 
A little abstract study 

Part of a larger painting on Arches paper.

I like the warm orange red 
against the cooler blue green.

Here is the whole picture...
it has two smaller images at one side. 

As I write the rain is lashing the windows.
Gales are bending the tall trees.

Whether I like it or not...

That’s all for now...
thank you for visiting.

Click on the picture 
for my website 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Getting stuck

Thursday went off the rails.

Getting stuck in a painting 
happens regularly in my studio.  

There are days when pictures almost 
paint themselves, and days when I 
feel there is no end in sight. 

Thursday was one of those days.   
It was not going well.   
Three canvases were dispatched 
to the potting shed.  

(Potting shed = waiting for bonfire).

Now it’s time to move on.

Friday was better...

On Friday I looked round the studio for 
something to work with and saw 
this red picture which was 
started a few months ago.  

The under painting was a warm brown/red
with random scratching drawn into the paint.

A green painting was nearby on the table and 
some paint was left over on the palette.
Using this green I smudged it over most of the red.

I wanted something bright to lift the image.  
Transparent gold ochre was mixed with flesh pink tint.
I rollered it quickly at an angle across the canvas.

Immediately, the warm yellow 
gave me the right feeling.
The remains of red add a weathered effect. 

Time to stop before disaster strikes.  
I shall leave it to dry now.

‘Rags to Riches’

Oils and cold wax medium on 
24 x 24 inch canvas.

So there it is...
a lesson learned.

Thank you Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Here is the little green painting
which helped to save the day.

‘Tread Softly’

Oils and cold wax medium on 
20 x 16 inch canvas 

Until next time,
thank you for visiting.

and painting story...
Click on the picture