Tuesday, 15 November 2011


I've spent a couple of days in the studio. This gas mask has been hanging around in my old air-raid shelter studio for a couple of years, but I haven't painted it for 18 months. I like the study, but think the composition is a bit weak!

Lyme Regis harbour with the tide out. Tried some simple bold strokes.

Holkham Beach in Norfolk

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Today I intended to visit the Degas show at the Royal Academy. I entered, only to discover a very crowded and dark exhibition. OK, I chose the wrong day! Fortunately I'm a member of the RA so can pop back. I took the opportunity to check out the tertiary show, 'Driven to Draw, 20th Century Drawings and Sketchbooks from the Royal Academy's Collection' What a FAB show. Modest but revelatory! I've had two concurrent thoughts for some time, which may be about to flourish. Firstly, where does drawing and painting cross over. I've always believed that painting is 'drawing with colour', so where is the dividing line. Secondly, I think my drawing is much stronger than my painting. My recent life class, in which I just get stuck in with a paintbrush and doodle around until a 'form' evolves, has made me think about how my work could evolve. On Thursday evening I sold 3 paintings at the CHASE Modern Art Exhibition and came across the work of Tom Homewood (www.tomhomewood.com). An exponent of the concept 'painting is drawing' if there ever was one! Today I also took a look at the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The work of Bill Dean (www.billdeanroi.com/gallery/gallery.html) caught my eye, in particular his picture 'what's cooking'. Again, so loose, it could be called a drawing. Bumped into and had a chat with David Pilgrim (www.davidpilgrimart.co.uk/blog) and Tim King (www.timkingsart.com) on the way out of the show. Shown below, top picture, one hour pose, with two fifteen minute poses below. Finally the Cauliflower and Broccoli I stuffed into cannelloni and baked with cheese on the top for my family on Wednesday evening!

Monday, 7 November 2011


In my last blog I mentioned my frustration at getting bogged down with too much detail when painting plants/leaves. In this picture I limited myself to one hour and tried to paint really instinctively, avoiding any detail. It worked reasonably well. The time limit ensured abstraction. The underside of the leaves, which I've never noticed before are an extraordinary red colour.

In the next picture, I restricted myself to two hours with the caveat that I must represent the flowers convincingly, and not just as colour 'splodges'. Again, I achieved some success. Note the warm patch at the back of the plate, part reflection, part shadow, caused, I think, by the red underside of the leaves reflecting the red backdrop onto the plate's rim!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


There are many slick daily painters (those that paint and market on ebay a picture every day) in the USA, eg qiang-huang.blogspot.com. Many of them paint foliage brilliantly, using three techniques, bravura brushwork, edges (hard or soft) and crafted light/dark contrasts.

I intended to have a go at these techniques, but wavered from my original intention, simplicity. The results were interesting, but not what I intended, it all got a bit fussy. I'll try again! 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I've signed up for a life drawing class, just a few hours each week for the next 6 weeks. These are the results from my first session. The model was excellent, she sat very still. The space wasn't a studio, it had fluorescent lighting which made for a really flat light... never mind. The top pose was for 15 minutes and the lower one for one hour.