Friday, 21 June 2013

Horses in the Shade on Back Lane

I've just realised the irony of this painting - the very venue of my exhibition next weekend towering into the skyline!

 Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

I painted this one yesterday en plein air over a 3 hour period in my village, finishing it off in the studio today with the addition of the three horses, a little more detail on the church spire, a more interesting sky and generally tidying up all over.  That little bit of blue just below the gate is a band of one of my favourite wild flowers - Germander Speedwell, a tiny bright blue little gem which grows in my own wildflower meadow in my garden:

This is how far I got in the allotted time before the light changed too much to continue without changing everything - always a knotty problem in bright sunlight - you can easily end up chasing the sun and what you first started painting is no longer the same, so that is the time to stop.

Another problem in such warm, breezy weather, and it was warm yesterday - red neck when I got home - is that Alkyds (fast-drying oils that I use most of the time) dry rather too quickly on the palette and even on the painting itself. It does enable you to layer lighter colours over the top of darker underpaint, like in the trees, but I don't squeeze too much paint out at any one time to avoid the paint curing on the palette, which does slow down the speed of painting a bit.

The answer is to use standard oils for the latter stages of superimposition.  Alkyds and standard oils are intermixable, so any combination is okay, as long as you don't put Alkyds over the top of slower-drying oils, but that would only work if the oil paint underneath was dry anyway.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Village Exhibition

Just an advance notice to tell you all that I shall have an exhibition of paintings at the end of the month in:

South Luffenham Church, Rutland LE15 8NX

Preview Evening
Friday 28th June 7 - 9pm

Wine and Canapés

tickets £5 each

 the exhibition will also be open on
Saturday 29th June
  & Sunday 30th June
1 - 6pm

including Open Gardens in the village
entrance £5 each 

payable at the church both days
home-made Cream Teas available
in the Village Hall all weekend
Now come on, what could possibly match up to this sort of value?....£5 to see Chelsea Show class flower arrangements, stuff your chops with canapés and wine, listen to live harp music, and see my paintings AND meet me!  And that's just the Friday night...
for the same price on both Saturday and Sunday, you get to see all the superbly manicured Open Gardens in the village, see my paintings AND still see me!  Offers like this don't come round every day you know! 

I hasten to add that the entrance fees do not go to me, but to the upkeep of the village church!  Hope to see some of you over the three days! 

Tickets will be available on the door for the Preview Evening on the Friday, but it would help if you could let me know if you intend coming, so that we know how many hundreds to cater for, thank you! 
tel: 01780 720427

Monday, 10 June 2013

Back from Patchings!

Patchings Festival was a blast as usual, meeting up with some painting friends, some Facebook friends and especially being blessed with good weather for a change.  

Oh, and I was also lucky enough to win an award in The Artist Patchings Exhibition, which can be viewed online at
You can vote for your favourite painting by clicking on the green 'gallery' button in each of the four categories and then clicking on your favourite and then the blue 'click here' button to vote.  The painting in each category with the most votes by the close of play on 1st September will receive the 'Peoples Choice Award' 

Here is a photo showing my two paintings hanging in the exhibition alongside my mate Haidee-Jo Summers, who also won an award!

Anyway, here are the paintings I did at the festival in chronological order.
The Elderflower Stump, Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

 The Village Field, Oil on Board, 10 x 12 inches

 Summer Welland, Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches

Winter Dawn, Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

  Spring Growth, Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

And here are a couple of photos of my stand - this was after close of the festival - it wasn't always this quiet!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Patchings Festival of Art

I shall be exhibiting and demonstrating in the big main painting marquee on all four days of the festival, and the weather promises to be great this year, so I look forward to seeing some of you there!  Please make yourself known if you're a follower of my Blog or Facebook page, if you can get anywhere near me of course, what with security and adoring fans - I'm incredibly approachable despite my worldwide celebrity status, ahem.....

There are also 70 odd (very odd) other artists to see as well as me, including David Curtis painting a portrait of Sally Bulgin, editor of the Artist Magazine, on Friday, and painting landscapes in his own tent all day Saturday, Ken Howard talking about his new book on Saturday, and various others.  Full details at