Tuesday, June 30, 2015


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

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

... and below a view from my friend's veranda on the estuary of the River Fowey, looking across towards a china clay loading factory where huge ships arrive to take the clay. There  is a ship docked there,  the green prow can just be seen on the RH side past the trees, and dull red above the waterline. 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.
Whilst painting this boat, 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 but I just caught a bit to the RH of the boat.   

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

Monday, December 09, 2013

results of a plein air teaching day at Great Chalfield. I was able to start a painting as others painted.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Hooray! Just heard this painting won the "Purchase Prize" in the  Oexmann Painting Competition /Exhibition which is a biennial event, held at Devizes Museum.   The exhibition will be hung in the Museum Gallery and  runs from 28th October....
(it is encouraging to get one's work officially noticed from time to time._
Corn Stooks

This painting below that was done first, over two consecutive days. In fact I laboured a bit over this, all those random stacks, getting them roughly in the right position, (missing out some as well) - painting in the dense Copper Beech was a bonus, I love those trees but it's not easy to find  a good position to paint them as being rather ornamental they are usually on private land. I had to put the Pylon in, these march everywhere across the landscape in Wiltshire.
The farm owner lady came by to say hello, and complimented me, saying she thought it looked 'Beautiful'. I didn't want to tell her of my doubts on that.  Then feeling slightly buoyed up by her positive words, as I was about to pack up but  I though I ought do a fast one of a stack, so got stuck in painting the one above very freely and fluidly, and it was soon done.
I wish It was always that quick and easy. 

Corn stooks, copper beech under pylons

Below - Another painting with characteristic pylon - entered in the same exhibition 2 years ago. It was painted at the end of February, there was a morning frost, but as the weak sun penetrated the thinning cloud, the light was beautifully delicate, and  it felt like a hint of Spring, after a long unusually cold winter..