Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Icy Landscape by the Welland

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches

Here's another Wintry one I might enter for the Patchings Open Art Competition.  I liked the blaze of warm light in an otherwise monochrome, icey landscape.  It was really an exercise in greys and blues and the water was great fun to paint. I put a lot of texture into the heavily frosted foreground grasses, to accentuate the feeling of depth.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Big Freeze at Lyndon

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches

I'm entering this one into the Patchings Open Art Competition which closes on Thursday.  Going to do one more tomorrow too to just get in under the razor wire!

I enjoyed painting this - it was a gorgeous setting, with the frosted tracery of branches set against the bright blue sky, with that lovely touch of warmth of the sunlit brick cottage across the junction. Frosted branches are quite a challenge to depict successfully - I used my trusty 1" household paintbrush dragged across the surface with a few judicious swipes of the three camel-haired brush here and there.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Not Art, but PLEASE watch!

I'm posting a link to a video and make no apology for posting it (click the 'Source' link below, or on the photo)It's easy to blank out things like this and not watch it because it's too disturbing, living in our own nice, parochial lives, but this is going on all day, every day, right now as you read this.  Please watch it, all of it, then if you care, and I'm sure you all do, act, by taking five minutes to sign the three petitions - it really is the least we can do, isn't it?

Please share this and spread it to thousands - go to my Facebook page and click 'Share' to your own Facebook page if you have one,  thank you.



Friday, 22 March 2013

A Corner of the Windrush

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

Well, Spring's here, buried under all the snow, so here's a reminder of what's just around the corner....surely!  Nice change to use a few greens in the mixes, although my preference is to paint trees in their winter garb.

That's a little bench that was actually behind the tree on the far bank, but I moved it a few yards to the right for the sake of the composition to provide a focal point.

Janey Edkins has published two new posts on her Blog, with more tasters on her brilliant new book, which has been re-titled 'Love, Honour and Ovulate'.  Go take a look and make her day by leaving a comment at the bottom!  Link:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Blue White

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

As a contrast to my last post, 'Sunset by the Welland', in this painting, the snow is the lightest passage of the landscape, and with a beautiful Cobalt Blue sky from a bright winter sun shining from the left, the bits of the snow in shadow are reflecting that similar blue. 

This painting came together very quickly, with a lot of big household brushwork used for the feathery tracery of the Willows and the detritus of dead vegetation snagged up on the low-slung, green bows of the sunlit Willow on the right.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunset by the Welland

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches  SOLD

This scene is again near Duddington, where my favourite stretch of river, the Welland, winds its way through Rutland. It involved a long trudge through quite thick snow to find this naturally good composition, with some farm barns and their snow-covered roofs set below the setting sun.

To depict snow in the evening, really close attention must be paid to the tones of the respective parts of the painting.  We all know snow is white, and in daylight hours, often nearly as bright as the sky and sometimes even brighter.  But when the sun is going down, the landscape is no longer receiving the light from above, so the snow takes on a much darker hue. If you squint (a great trick for every artist to employ when painting) you can see how much darker the barn roofs and snow are compared to the brightest part of the painting - the sun itself.

The sky reflections in the water are also a slightly darker tone than the sky, aside from the few lines of sparkle put on with the edge of a palette knife. This can be observed by turning your screen upside down, or standing on your head of course, but don't try this at home...elf an safety an all that.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

October Mist

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

This is another demo painting I did last year, just finished off today in the studio.  Autumn is the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness as John Keats said in his ode to Autumn.  

This was early morning, just before the sun broke through with the promise of a fine day, as can be seen by the hint of a blue sky on the right and the barely sunlit ochres of the distant tree.  Tones are the key to make this a successful painting, making sure the relative values become paler into the distance by adding a little more white and blue to the mixes.  The subtle variety of colours from rich greens to yellows, oranges, pinks and browns, make painting the water a joy, and always the fastest bit of the painting, which again makes it all the more enjoyable!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


No you silly devils, I'm not announcing my retirement from the art world!  I've been painting walls and cupboards and skirtings and doors and ceiling in my kitchen....and I HATE IT!  You go and buy poncy, ridiculously expensive Farrow & Ball paint, expecting it to cover better than some other generic paint like Dulux that's less than half the price, and you still have to go over the damned wall twice!  In my eyes, all painters and decorators should be knighted immediately, because it's so bally BORING! 

I can't wait to get back to the easel and do some interesting painting.  Any artist who earns a living from daubing paint on a board should count themselves darned lucky, and I do!  What a wonderful profession we enjoy, standing before nature's beauty, creating works of art, hopefully, that some lovely people will pay their hard-earned money to own.  Not bad is it?

Writers have a pretty good life too, so go and visit Janey Edkins's Blog and have a look at a snippet of her uproariously funny and poignant first book, soon to be published, along with her highly entertaining prevarication prior to writing, which is very reminiscent of artists when they're in their studio. Please leave her a comment at the bottom if you've time, at thank you!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Autumn Almanac

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches  SOLD

As I sit in the studio, late at night, with the snow driving past the window almost horizontally in Spring, with temperatures down to -4C, here's an Autumnal scene I've painted for a client, just as a reminder of things to come, hopefully with a Spring and Summer before it!

This is near the village of Lyndon, a few miles from here, where the Oaks and Limes provide this glorious burst of russety colours each year as the sun shines through them, throwing those lovely shadows across the road.  You have to be a bit careful with the colours and not make them too hot, otherwise it's not convincing.  Autumn is, after all, a time of rest and change, when the trees and plants can no longer photosynthesise as the days get shorter.  looking almost directly into the sunlight, the trees in the distance still take on a bluish tone, despite all the warm colours of the leaves, and this provides a nice foil for the yellows and oranges.

I've called it Autumn Almanac after that great song written by that quintessentially English songwriter Ray Davies, frontman of the Kinks.......go on, you know you want to....

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar  
When the dawn begins to crack, it's all part of my autumn almanac  
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-colored yellow  
So I sweep them in my sack, yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac
Friday evenings, people get together  
Hiding from the weather, tea and toasted  
Buttered currant buns, can't compensate 
For lack of sun because the summer's all gone
La la la la, oh my poor rheumatic back  
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac  
La la la la, oh my autumn almanac  
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac
I like my football on a Saturday 
Roast beef on Sundays, all right 
I go to Blackpool for my holidays  
Sit in the open sunlight
This is my street and I'm never gonna to leave it 
And I'm always gonna to stay here if I live to be ninety-nine 
'Cause all the people I meet, seem to come from my street 
And I can't get away because it's calling me, come on home 
Hear it calling me, come on home
La la la la, oh my autumn almanac  
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac  
La la la la, oh my autumn almanac  
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
Bop bop bop bop bop, whoa 
Bop bop bop bop bop, whoa

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Not Me!

My dearest, Janey Edkins, has recently started her own Blog at   Janey is not an artist, but a brilliantly funny writer and her first book, "Walking on Marshmallows", (remember it), is going to be launched onto an unsuspecting public soon.  She has just published the first chapter as a taster on her third ever Blog Post, together with a description of her typical preliminary prevarication prior to tapping away on the keyboard!

Please take a look by clicking on the link above, and if you can spare the time, you would make a wonderful woman grateful beyond comprehension if you would leave a comment on her Post.  And if you know anyone who you think might enjoy it, please pass on the link - it might go viral - thank you very much!

Exhibition News

Many of my paintings you have seen in recent posts will be on display at the Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Park in London, at the Marine House at Beer stand, from Thursday 7th - Sunday 10th March

Seven paintings can also be seen at the Iona House Gallery in Woodstock

If you find yourselves in London or near Oxford, go take a look!