Monday, December 19, 2011

Home Farm, Track to the Lake

..... another painting from Home Farm . Life is geting very busy at the moment, I'm behind with posts here - not to mention my Christmas cards (I just did!).

Friday, December 09, 2011

HOME FARM, Roughmoor, Bromham

I've been working on  a new project for a while, a commission to paint a farm,  a beautiful place, set just below the hills at Bromham.There are many possible, views, subjects to paint choices are sometimes too many. The obvious subject is the hills.

But I have been fixated on the lake there and a 'Hawthorn Tree' which makes a grand subject.

It is  a rough, old, spiky, tree; strong, stocky with unruly branches,  full of colour and changing quickly with the season; ...

..... but it contrasts against the water behind which sometimes is very still, sometimes rippled , and the colours gradate from a deep indigo near the bank to a heavenly cerulean blue further out. I've done several studies - initially it was windy and rather wild which these studies reflect, a freedom after the summer sessions of tight restraint, painting buildings in Bath.

The beginnings of a larger painting, a lot more leaves needed still ....
The easel is an exposed area so choosing a day when there's little wind is important, as far as one can predict the UK weather :-(*/

Thursday, December 08, 2011

CHARLOTTE MOORE - Exhibition in Bath

An exciting exhibition by Charlotte Moore, at The Gallery (Formerly Icon Gallery) in St James's Street Bath.
 Charlotte Moore's exhibition at the Gallery on St James's Street continues until Christmas Eve.
Charlotte studied at Chelsea and Falmouth Colleges of Art and has exhibited in London, the Midlands and the West Country as well as in Canberra and Brisbane. Her work features in collections worldwide.
 The gallery has until now been showing mainly mesh paintings/sculptures, which have aroused great interest and much discussion. As of this weekend (10th Dec) the exhibition will change with the addition of two and three dimensional paintings. All works on display have classical art historical references (part of their appeal is finding the allusions), while still retaining Charlotte’s unique style which is charming, colourful and lighthearted.



Saturday, December 03, 2011

Bath View from the putting Green, below Sion Hill

Later November view from the putting Green, below Sion Hill. Done in two quick sessions. Each time, soon after I sat down it began to rain, and a windy squall hit on the second sitting although both days had been 'Beautifully Sunny'  till I started work there. (I think I can control the weather now. I just paint .... and it rains).
This was finished as the light faded so I put a bit of yellow glow in some windows as the lights were beginning to come on.
It's a small commission for a friend who needs it for a present. The view had caught my eye in the summer when the light in the mornings reflected in bright patches off some of the distant roofs  - very lovely and most 'Evocative of Bath'. But I only managed to get there in the afternoons and although there was a short splash of sunlight at the first sitting which cast interesting shadows and spot-lit the chimney tops etc., generally it was a pretty dull light. However I quite like this result with an Evening feel.
Oil on board *"8" x 5"

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Evening skies with jet trails over the village of Market Lavington

These eight paintings were done "en plein air", sitting in the tailgate of my car, at the end of May into June 2011 (posted some then). Some were done on consecutive days within about two weeks, when we had  a beautiful period of calm warm weather with still evening skies. Practically there were always jet trails hanging motionless, or being drawn across the sky as I watched. Sizes are 8" x 5" in the main thought the first three were of slightly different height sizes, using offcuts, till I realised suddenly that I should standardise sizes and create a series.
Now I'm trying to decide how to display them, in groups of three, or four or singley. I quite like the set of three or four as it gives rise to the idea of 'time passing', and possibly 'film', that almost old fashion medium (with sprocket holes), much superceded by video format.

 One has to work very fast  to get the paint down as the sky is changing swiftly all the time. So these probably took half an hour on average . It is really difficult to be sure as I always forget to check the time. Sometimes I'd get there and wait a bit  to summon the energy; sitting, contemplating  till it  felt 'right' to start (better late then never), sometimes weary(or lazy) and mesmerised by  the splendour and drama of it all. Then urge myself into action working, against the clock to beat the fading light, till I can't see the colours I'm mixing - it can feel rather futile trying to attempt this.(once or twice I didn't even get going)

  Often I'll  listen to music a walkman, Bach piano sonatas/partitas are good, they seem to stop out other thoughts and interruptions, helping  the mind (and paint) to flow -  the melody lines interweaving, stir feelings and energy, somehow relating to interweaving evolving cloud patterns.

Bach Partita no2

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

View towards Blackfriars Bridge

One of two paintings of this view, this being the first one, 27th June. I had found a platform directly under Waterloo Bridge where pigeons nest and skateboarders sometimes practice tight maneouvers. It was pretty quiet so I set up easel and did this in one sitting (or should I say 'standing'!). The annoying wind was coming up the Thames from the east  in gusts  of about 30-40 mph so was is a matter of stamina to stand and paint, for a couple of hours, with one hand steadying the easel. I tend to zoom in with my composition sometimes but Think it  would be preferable to have had a wider viewpoint in this case.  I'd like to do a bit more consolidating,  a couple of details, perhaps.

Friday, October 14, 2011

St Mary le Strand, London WC2

Just had to do a touch more - a hint of detail on the white buildings left of church. tail lights and wheels on the vehicles (the nearest was a sports car), the steeple is more defined with sky showing through bits of architecture. I hope Valerie will accept the changes in good grace:-) (See her comment below in the last post below) ... and I hope I've not ruined it.
Oh(!) and congratulations Val on getting your set of 6 paintings in the Bath Prize Exhibition, and one on their promotional brocure. Great achievement and I'm very pleased for you.
Note: Valerie received a 'Highly Commended' certificate on one of her paintings.

J. S. Bach - Kantate BWV 36 - Schwingt freudig euch empor - 7 - Aria (J. S. Bach-Stiftung)
Beautifully sung by Nurai Rial

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

ST MARY Le STRAND, from the East (London)

Earlier version
This is a weeny painting (8" x 5" on panel) of  St Mary Le Strand which I did on a day in the capital a month ago, trying out a new mini Pochade box and I was determined to grab a bit of painting time that day. It was  a beautiful morning to start, with a food fair and loads of people enjoying along the South Bank. But 2hrs later, as is often the case in the UK, it clouded over as I prepared to paint, and a fine drizzle set in after a while so I had to stop (not having an umbrella to hand),  and I was running short of time but would like to have done a bit more. Now I quite like this loose unfinished look,  in contrast to the much larger 'Bath Guildhall' I just painted. I think that crane rig is hovering above the back of Somerset House, and the whiter patch left of the church is sunlight on the facades of the tall buildings along the Strand (where many of the buses are going). I have always been intending to do some finishing so maybe I should add a few more touches of paint to define this area.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


View of The Guildhall, Bath, painted from the roof of the Abbey.
Been pretty busy and I couldn't get over to Bath last week, but wanted to paint the Guildhall. On Sunday I drew the outlines with watercolour on  a gesso-board, at street level. 100's of people walking by, and buses, kept blocking the view. Drizzly rain finally beat me to a stop before I could get into painting properly.
Then I  joined a  tour of the Abbey roof and tower; the sun came out, so asked if I could paint from the roof. As a special circumstance the tour guide generously agreed and I returned on Monday morning, climbed the 212 winding steps and spent several hours up there over two days trying to process so much information and capture something of the complex scene.

The painting still needs a little finishing. By chance I had Vivaldi music on my walkman player, and in the glorious sun was somehow reminded of  Canetto's painting of Venice.  However right now I feel I've had my fill of painting buildings  and  something simple like a tree or cloud  and landscape would be a great alternative.

A view towards The Circus on the steps of no.16, the top of Gay St., a ring of buildings built by John Wood and Son ( 1754-1768. (Thanks to the kindly residents who allowed me to stand on their door steps, they had to negotiate their way around the easel). The Circus is said to symbolise the Sun, whereas the Royal Crescent represents the moon,   Here you can see a great Aerial photo of both and  a virtual site for exploring  architectural Panoramas of Bath
The middleground looked a bit empty so I added the two main figures afterwards. Tricky, trying to make them look natural without getting fussy on the detail.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Salisbury Plain, Everleigh, Nr Upavon

A recent small 10" x 8" commission. It was a beautiful day  but got very windy/gusty after a while, and I nearly got blown away finishing this.