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..

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Princes Bridge & St Mary Radcliffe spire, Bristol Dock

 The paintnigs below were made specifically and entered for the Bristol Art Prize 2013
The light was often so interesting, but changeable I therefore decided to do two frame together and show them as a Diptych. 

  I quickly blocked in the basics sitting at the harbour  ......
.... and nearly got blown into the water, and all the equipment too  during the second sitting the following day,

These received a "Highly Commended" tag, but sadly that doesn't come with a useful ££Prize.
However congratulations to the winners, there were some worthy paintings.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bristol Dock,

Bristol Dock, with Princes Bridge in the distance, my designated place in the Bristol Art Prize 2013 competition. This is quite large for a plein air painting - 34" x 18" (86cmx46cm). I spent three good sessions there
There a re still bits to improve though it has just been uploaded, submitted to the competition . Competitions are a weird process. Still, worth a try....

Sunday, September 08, 2013


This  180deg scenic view is comprised of five photographs stitched together - taken from the escarpment of Salisbury plain, from Redhorn Hill above Urchfont. It was  a slow moving scene,  so I tried to paint it but at the same timeI realized my puny 14" x 10" painting  board would not capture the grandure. I'd only just managed to get a little of the scene downbefore being  driven to shelter by  a stormy downpour. .
The result is I've bought more 3mm ply and have cut much longer format boards for future works i.e 30" x 10", Hoping I can capture something worthwhile on them   .......

Visit the larger version here on Flickr

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Straw bales over Little Cheverall

Catching the late summer sun ....

 an evening or two later.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Clouds above Everleigh military base

Returning from Hungerford last Monday bank holiday, there were great cumulus clouds slowly billowing above. Recognizing a place where I'd painted before at Everleigh, I stopped and did these two.

Probably too much grass and not enough cloud

Friday, August 23, 2013

Plein Air Painting days at Great Chalfield

I am planning a series of plein air paintng days with and aim to help people  who would like to try painting directly in the landscape.
It is a very challenging way of working, out in the elements,  but the results can be so rewarding bringing fresh surprises and paintings with a sense of fresh vigour, studies of landscape which one could hardly dream up in the studio. The resulting work also is great material for developing larger paintings in the studio.
At the moment the plan is to organize the days to record the changing seasons in the outlying farm estate surrounding the National trust property at Great Chalfield

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wheat Stacks (Stooks)

 Quick study of sheaves, stacked in groups of eight.
10" x 12" (oil on Panel)



Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Evening skies at Cheverell

As with last post, both of these were painted very speedily on the same evening.

(Oil on gesso ply  6" x 8" approx)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Evening Sky over Great Cheverell and Littleton panell

Both of these were painted very speedily on the same evening.

After the first drama I turned 90deg to my right to do the second as light faded

(Oil on gesso ply  6" x 8" approx)

Friday, July 19, 2013


Spent  a good couple of hours with Tom Hughes painting the Gorge from near Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The second work from that vantage point. The light had been good but  went a bit flat in the late afternoon.

Newgale Sands, Pembrokshire

A sunny blustery day.
Ink drawing and Watercolour.  Partially painted with a Chinese calligraphy brush 
16" x 8" (Sold)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm running a day  'plein air painting' course "Painting Ancient oaks"  at Great Chalfield Manor on 22nd July, to paint mainly trees. (places are still available  - Hope the weather is  as good as today!)  
Details can also be found on my painting website

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Two studies of the Thames : Waterloo Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge

Done last 2011, the Shard not yet finished. Both times it was extremely windy, wind gusting up the river and very hard work. These feel like they need  a lot more practise.    (Top 14" x 10"  -    Lower 12" x 10" Oil on panel)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Evening sky with Mayflower and Rapeseed'

 'Evening with Mayflower and Rapeseed' field atop Lavington Hill, edging Salisbury Plain. There could be a lot more white may blossom on that bush but the light went suddenly, perhaps I'll still add some more.        Oil on card (10.5" x 8")

Friday, February 01, 2013

JANUARY SNOW Cows, and willow trees

The painting below had a tricky beginning. I'd forgotten my double-dipper so had to paint with pure white spirit and no oil medium - the cold and fine snow seemed to affect the texture of the paint so it felt quite dry despite liberally using the wet spirits. 
 Cows at the watertank in snow, and Willow Trees

The following day, going back to do a little more to the above, the cows proved a problem. They came right up to the  two-strand electric fence, gazing curiously at me and bellowing frequently. A bull with a ring in his nose and steaming nostrils joined them and when he bellowed he had a destinct tenor tembre to his, whereas the cows and full blown bass voices. Odd that!

Looking towards Little Cheverell

All this was unerving and I couldn't really concentrate standing two feet from the fence, with 20 ton of cattle steaming so close to my elbow, so I did the painting above, moving off about 20 ft (observing the  1ft per 1ton, safety rule:) and standing with my back to them  - still unerving and checking  behind me every now and then!! This time mislaid my rigger, an essential  brush, for lines and detail, so the painting hasn't reached  a successful conclusion.

Then I was facinated, watching a small flock of starlings flying back and forth, like they weren't sure where best to settle. It looked a primal landscape, more like from a Bruegel painting, hardly like England.