On show this weekend

Dutch Rose, mix media, acrylic base.

Getting ready for an exhibition this weekend in East Shefford. I have three pieces in this showcase of local artists being held at St Thomas’s Church, Saturday 15 July, 10-6pm. There is also an Open Garden and concert in the evening – proceeds to the church fund.

Beneath our feet

Portland Bill 3
Portland Bill 3, acrylic inks, coloured pencils, watercolour

A commissioned painting for someone who also has a love of rocks and pebbles. It was inspired by a visit to Portland Bill some time ago and this is one of a series on the same theme. The first was purely a study, a drawing exercise using graphite and coloured pencil. This version is more detailed yet also more spontaneous in its treatment, using both wet and dry media (plus a little bit of chemistry) to get where I wanted it to be.


On show in July

Looking into Dorset, acrylic

Opening this week, as part of Hungerford Arts Festival, 22 Local Artists is a multi-discipline exhibition being held in Chilton Foliat. It is open Saturday/Sunday, from 10-4.30pm, from 1-16 July. My work on show includes this new piece, inspired by the wandering landscape of Wiltshire/Dorset borders.

Yellow Iris

Yelbow Iris, acrylic inks, 51x64cm framed size; £POA

On show at Insight 2017, the flagship exhibition of Open Studios. Last weekend of opening at New Greenham Arts, Newbury, 11-5pm daily.

The lie of the land

Lancashire Patchwork I, acrylic ink and pastels, 2017 (SOLD)

Such a good feeling – when something in a scene makes you want to paint, and then someone else gets it enough to want to buy it.

This was the first iteration of a view in Lancashire that I have since painted in acrylics –  Lancashire Patchwork II. That version is currently on show at Sandham Memorial Chapel with Open Studios. This one has gone to a new home.


A fragrant rose


This painting started with a loose sketch using Derwent’s watercolour art bars. Their solid sticks can be used wet or dry so I usually start with a dry line drawing and spray the paper to activate the pigment before I start painting. I then work on the damp page, working the art bars into the paper to add weight to the lines and tones.

Today my water spritzer widget wouldn’t work so in my panic and haste – before the moment was lost! – I grabbed a bottle of fabreze which gave a lovely fine, fragrant mist and did the job admirably.

The finished painting is now framed and under glass, ready for sale (Here), so any lingering fragrance is encapsulated within.


Sketchbook rose


Just finished another Open Studios Cover2Cover sketchbook – this time the theme was colour, especially opposites. This little sketch however was worked up in my own sketchbook, using a dropper with black acrylic ink and finished with acrylic paint using a 2″ flat brush, which gives lovely swoops and curves as you paint. Naturally it reflects some of the work I had been doing on colour this week though – I love the contrast of pink to green.

So now I have swapped sketchbooks with another artist working on the Cover2Cover project. Next theme: Conceal and Reveal. Interesting.

A room with a view


This should have been a something inspired by Morandi, the given theme of the roving sketchbook in the Cover2Cover initiative (Open Studios2017) currently in my possession. But I have just had a weekend in Lancashire and my visual thoughts are with bare trees and wintry landscapes, not the toned back paintings of pottery. I then thought I could reference Ben Nicholson with a landscape seen through a row of pots, but the view from my window (now just a digital photograph) felt more compelling.

It’s just a sketch – using acrylics and pastels on tinted paper –  but there’s the beginnings of a bigger piece lurking in there. Once Signor Morandi has moved on.



The edge of my world

Acrylics on canvas board

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect

This painting originated as a ‘blind’ drawing of pots and brushes set out ready for me to start work. It is also by nature a one line drawing. It was produced at a one-day workshop held by Annie Monk (at The White Horse Book Shop, Marlborough) on using acrylics to produce the abstract image. This simple line construction was our starting point – some people then turned their drawing through 90 degrees to put another set of working lines over the first. My natural inclination was to maintain a connection to reality which is why my piece still offers the viewer a strong visual reference.


On show this week

old rose

Dropped off three paintings this morning at the Town Hall in Newbury – exhibiting with Newbury Art Group all this week, closing next Sunday. This afternoon visited Sandham Memorial at Burghclere to look at exhibition space for a show next spring as part of Open Studios (Newbury and North Hampshire).



Frugality and dissatisfaction with an old work – I washed off an unsuccessful painting under running water with a stiff nylon washing-up brush in hand. This left the ink lines I had added to the original (in a desperate attempt to rescue a bad job!) so I painted over the whole image with red acrylic while the paper was still wet. When that was dry I painted the image again – actually using up leftovers in my palette rather than wash them away (more frugality).

The scene is a street cafe in Chania, Crete. The under-painting in red not only seals the water colour paper for more acrylics, I think it also adds a vibrancy to the simple shapes of the composition.