Thursday, 30 August 2018

Broken Willow at Harringworth

Oil on board, 9 x 12 inches
I did this one at yet another demo at Bawtry a couple of years ago, polishing it off yesterday in the studio again. Very unseasonal, but nice for a change instead of the verdant greens of the countryside at the moment. It was a change, too, to paint sunlit yellowy-green branches, with shadows cast all over them by their near neighbours. With the wonderful Summer we've had, you forget the silvery, frosted meadows, but it won't be too long now...soon be Christmas 😱

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Dashing Moorhen

Oil on board 12 x17 inches

This was yet another demo painting I did sometime this year. A Moorhen dashed across the water just as the pleasureboat appeared around the bend, so I included it in the painting and used it for the title.


Oil on board, 12 x 17 inches
I painted this on the Mall Galleries stand at Patchings Festival this year when I was guest artist, just titivated in the studio to exhibition standard. 
This bit of water, a backwater of the Nene near Waternewton, has given me a lot of subject matter over the years, and the stretch of river changes remarkably each year as new Willows sprout up and in no time become significant trees.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Harvest Fields, Towards Seaton

Oil on board, 9 x 12 inches
I painted this one en plein air last week in an hour-and-a-half in very blustery conditions, barely able to place the paint on the board. I finished it off yesterday in the studio. 
The hook was that lovely dome-shaped tree against the bright sky, silhouetted against the bright sky at the end of the tractor tracks, directing the eye straight to it!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Cattle by the Canal

Oil on Board, 10 x 17 inches

This was yet another demonstration painting done a while back, now finished off. That stately Oak tree on the opposite bank was a gorgeous shape, and with its attendant brown reflection, it made a for a classic composition. Luckily, the cattle in the mid-distance, grazing on the buttercup meadow were perfectly placed and were facing to the right, helping the eye not fly out of the painting on the left. The big trees in shadow on the hill in the distance also made a nice foil to the sunlit fields below.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Oxford Canal, by Paddock Farm

Oil on Board 10 x 14 inches

I originally painted this as a demonstration piece last year and now finished off in the studio. That lovely, rusty, sunlit roof of the barn was the hook for this one as I was standing on a bridge over the canal, hence the elevated viewpoint.The canal of course takes the eye on a little journey, down into the shadowy area of water with the moored narrowboat just before the next bridge, and on to the distant hills. My old warhorse car is also in the picture, parked up on the road near the bridge.

Canals have always been a fascination for me - as a boy, I spent a lot of my days with my friend Michael Clifton, fishing for Gudgeon and Roach by the Oxford Canal at Bodicote, watching the now almost extinct Water Voles as they paddled furiously along the water margins, in and out of the Arrowheads, Reeds and Yellow Water Lilies. The water was always an ochre colour, constantly stirred up by the plethora of water craft lazily chugging up the canal, and the water in this picture was no exception, which adds a new dynamic to the painting, especially on a sunny day like this one, when the shadows across the water are all the more distinct - lovely for an artist!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Evening Sky, Mousehole

Oil on board 6 x 8 inches

Probably my last painting for the RSMA exhibition on the small paintings wall. The hook for this one was, of course, the fabulous orange in the sky, lit-up by the setting sun on the opposite side of the harbour. I originally painted the sea with a brush, but felt it lacked some oomph (technical term), so decided to go over it with a palette knife to give it some texture and vibrancy, so hopefully that's worked.

Mousehole Moorings

Oil on board, 14 x 21 inches 
Another painting of beautiful Mousehole, that lovely little fishing village in deepest Cornwall. This was another very complicated backdrop to paint, with all those little cottages and chimney pots, done as loosely as I can do. The only restful area is the water itself, and that was complicated enough, requiring great concentration to get all the colours in the right place and rippled together to simulate gently moving water. I'll go and have a lie down now...

Receding Tide, Mousehole

Oil on board, 14 x 20 inches

I've been working on this one in fits and starts for the RSMA exhibition. It's not a huge painting, but with 24 boats in it and 36 cars, it was a complicated piece, but pleased to have finished it, at last. Probably the favourite passage to work on was the foreground wet mud, with the reflections of the boats still showing.

I t's no longer going into the RSMA exhibition, because a couple of my favourite collectors have bought it - always the best reason why a painting doesn't make it into a show!