Monday, August 10, 2015

Painting Tintern Abbey

Yesterday the day felt different and I took myself off to the Wye Valley.  I've probably not been there for 10 years or more and a sudden yearning to do so has been popping insistently into my head for a couple of weeks, since I saw the program, "A great Welsh adventure" with Gryff Rees Jones, recently shown on TV.
It is very hard to find a clear view of the Abbey from this north side (despite it's size). This was painted from the fenced in footpath above the  field.across the river.  I eventually found  a gap  in the foliage growing up the wire fence.  Several people stopped to talk, and it was a very pleasant 2 hours spent there

As finished  on site .........

With  a bit more finishing once I got home .......

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Recent Concert in Malmesbury

As well as painting, music makes the world go round,
The Bath Bach Choir preformed their summer concert in Malmesbury Abbey. We did a set of Tchaikovsky Vespers and the Requiem by Gabriel faure, which  we'd sung the previous week, jointly with members of Darius Millaud Choir from Aix-en-Provence who had paid us a return visit after our trip to sing with them Aix in 2013.



This is a rendering of  a short  encore piece. Otche Nash (The Lords Prayer) by Nikolai Kedrov which  we sang in Russian and were required to memorize by heart, (a very difficult task!).

Friday, July 24, 2015

Video of a selection of my paintings

Just made a 6min test video of  my plein air works - a selection of around 130 paintings and sketches in oil. Set to  some JS Bach piano, I often listen to music when painting (if I remember my walkman);  - it helps shut out distractions and JS Bach particularly helps my mind and paint to flow



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CORNWALL REVISITED

Two weeks later I had to  return to Cornwall so grabbed the opportunity to  paint when I could.


Did two studies of the  harbour at Portscatho near Falmouth.  It was a wonderful breezy day with  sharp clear light,. The sea in  so many blues and full of energy in the sunlight.

Another speedy oil-sketch above, attempt to  catch something of the scene


... and  a view form my friends veranda, the estuary of the River Fowey, looking across towards a china clay loading factory where huge ships arive to  take  the clay. There  is one docked there,  the prow can just be seen on the RH side past the trees, green and dull red above  the waterline, it  needs slightly enhancing to make it more noticeable. The tide was out but also my supply of white paint so I could't render the foreground as well as I'd have liked.

Monday, June 08, 2015

All Cannings, Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire

This  was  a small commission for someone who had lived in All Cannings. Looking towards the Village in the  Vale of  Pewsey, Wiltshire . This is  a spectacular and beautiful part of the county, wheat farming land, where crop circles often appear,  and the hills stretch for some miles. I should paint more of that area.    20" x 10"Oil on gesso board




"Boat under blue Tarpaulin"

A recent trip to Cornwall, helping a friend with  glass-work installation but I managed to grab time off to paint as well.
I popped back  into their  house,( yards away, on the waters edge) for a quick chat and coffee, but when I came out 15mins later the tide had gone out,  passed the boat, so missed painting the lovely water reflectins here.    Lesson of the day: The tide waits for no one!
10" x 12"  Oil on board.

The next morning I had a lift on a small motor dinghy, to  the town of Fowey (pronounced 'Foy') across the river. It was a dull, cold drizzly start - very people were about,  feeling conspicuous, very overburdened with  easels and paint gear I eventually found somewhere quiet to  paint, on the quay for a boat tour to  Mevagissey, The town perched precariously above a cliff of complex layers of rock strata, with  ancient rusting hanging ladders, but beautiful moving water,  I settled to paint, probably for a good hour till the tide went out ...........  at the time feeling the cold, hungry, lack of sunlight, etc the painting seemed  drab and a total disaster -  but now it somehow looks OK.
A few yards behind me was a shelter and seats overlooking the view of the river meeting the sea,, a memorial gift from American Forces who'd been there in  WWII. Apparently the  harbour was full of landing barges, preparing for the great invasion, the  'D' Day Landing. "You could  cross the wide river by climbing over the closely packed barges" so the notice read. Then one morning they were suddenly all gone -'D' Day had arrived".

12" x 10" oil on board

Another view of the the  blue tarpaulin boat from my friends Veranda, Tide was out again, but a spray of white Blackthorn blossom and lots of early Spring growth catching sunlight on the wooded slopes behind. 
Oil on canvas 16" x 20"


Touches of the cooler seasons - Autumn and Winter

(Needing  to catch up here). This is an Autumn painting from last November. I nearly got blown away in the process.    6" x 8" oil on gesso board.

And I nearly got frostbite doing this one below, early in the New Year when we had  freezing tempreatures for  a couple of weeks. The trees still need more branches and some  stalks of  foliage would help - will do that when my fingers warm up, hopefully  by midsummer:).
20" x 10" Oil on gesso board

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trees at Shearwater Lake

the Lake Shearwater near Longleat Estate. I lost the light and had to quit,  so some bright fresh leaves needing to be added hanging in the middle from the RH tree. I particularly liked the tangled root stretching toward me. I ought to  get round to adding those leaves still ....


Sketch book below, planning the composition, and making notes  for  a drawing lesson I was giving the following day.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Chalk Stack at Broadstairs

This column of chalk has great character; at Botany Bay, one of the most  Eastern edge of Britain, recently visited but long way from where I live.  I'd love to do  a painted series of it to track light changes through the day. 'Chalk Stack' instead of 'Haystack'  (re: Monet :). Perhaps a projecct for the future ( if enlarged you can probalby see some sea-sand grains on the paint surface)


Below, a very speedy  10-15 minute sketch done after the first


Monday, December 16, 2013

A new window, just made for  Barnados Fund Charity HQ in Wiltshire.


 The new Chapel (this is a simulation, it isn't installed yet)


My Client asked me to try to use an idea like John Pipers Baptistry Window in Coventry Cathedral as a starting point. "A burst of light".  A challenge if ever there was one as that is 81ft high and comprises 195 panels.  (see below). I think the architect was pretty brave designing a wall like that in the first place.