Monday, 24 December 2012

To all of you who have taken the trouble to read my ramblings about this wonderful vocation that, luckily, provides me with a living, may I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!

I hope you keep tuning in and watch my progress from being a predominantly studio painter to becoming much more of a plein air painter.  It's all so comfortable sitting at home with no wind or sun or flies or people, but painting out in the raw with the challenge that presents, is where I shall be headed, so watch this space......

It's been a successful year for sales in this economic climate, winning one award donated by Derwent for a Pastel in the Leicestershire Pastel Society for 'Sequinned Snowscape', below,
but compared to my colleague Haidee Jo Summers
who has great trouble moving around without tripping over all her awards, it's been a bit lean.  Whenever we've seen each other, I've had to look up to her, albeit in a downwardly fashion, Haidee only being 2 feet 3 inches tall.  I think it's easier to paint down there for her, with so much oxygen abounding, compared to the rarified atmosphere up here, in the lower reaches of 6ft that I have to endure.  It's a wonder that David Pilgrim can paint at all, being even taller than me at 8ft 4 inches.  He really needs an oxygen mask.  Together we would look like the famous class sketch in The Frost Report from 1966, with Ronnie Corbett (Haidee), Ronnie Barker (me) and John Cleese (David).  It will be interesting to see the three different perspectives, literally, when we paint out together soon - Haidee's from a worm's angle, mine from a human's and David's from a helicopter's..........

In the meantime, here are one or two more commissioned works I've done recently:

 Dabblers, Pastel on Pastelmat, 16.5 x 19 inches

 Adult Mallard drakes are always good to paint with their gorgeous heads of black, green and purple, and tiny ducklings with their outboard motors whizzing about erratically are always fun subjects.  This painting was more about depicting the water; creating the illusion of a transparent, yet glassy, reflective surface.

Hector, Pastel on Pastel Card, 9 x 7.5 

This portrait was painted as a surprise for a client, reluctantly from their own photograph, having never seen Hector.  It would have been difficult to have taken any photos myself without the recipient knowing, and Hector tended to go out visiting his flock (of sparrows) in the morning, with no indication of when he would return from his rounds.

Pastel is a sympathetic medium for painting fluffy fur and I also made as much use as I could of counterchange, ie., light passages set against darker background and dark passages against lighter background.  This always makes the painting more visually interesting, hopefully, than just painting the portrait on to a monochrome background.

There are a couple more commissioned paintings I've done, but I'd better wait until after tomorrow before I post them, otherwise the recipients' surprise may be never know who's tuning in....walls have ears


  1. Happy Christmas Peter
    Look forward to more of your paintings (and musings) in 2013

    Congratulations on the Derwent Award - that snowscape is stunning .... but my Vote goes to Hector (I'm definitely a Cat Lady)

    1. Dear Catwoman, thank you, and the same to you and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

  2. Une très jolie publication... Vos oeuvres sont sublimes...


  3. You're such a cheeky monkey Mr Barker! Perhaps at Patchings festival this year they could put our stalls side by side... that would be fun, and I could paint a portrait of your kneecaps! ;-)

    1. I can hear a voice, but can't see anyone....I'll reply anyway. Yes, that would be a good idea, then I can do a portrait of the top of your head!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Christina, you're very kind!


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