14th November 2018
With it being 100 years since the end of the first world war, and a Sunday too, there was a huge turn out for Romsey's remembrance parade. I wanted to capture something of it, so I was out at 9am taking photos as the two parades arrived at the Abbey, and again when they left for the short march to the memorial park. I'm not good at estimating crowd sizes, but I would guess there were many thousands of people there. Anyhow, from all the photos I took I've selected a scene to paint, which will hopefully capture the essence of the day. Its going to be quite a challenge though with many elements to balance, so I don't reckon on having anything to show until late December.
13th October 2018
Since I've started painting night scenes I've been on the lookout for more material. In my local area (Romsey) I've taken to taking short walks in the evening (now they are dark), and have been inspired. One view that particularly caught my eye is the tall poplar trees on the roundabout as you approach the town (from Southampton). By day they look magestic, but when the foodlights of the football pitch catch them at night they look like something out of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'. I would share a photo, but my camera just could not handle the low light levels that our eyes easily see. So if I do create a picture from that inspiration it will have to be from memory.
1st October 2018
Another season of art events draws to a close with the Autumn exhibition of the Romsey Art Group. For me its been a busy year creating more pictures than any previous year thanks to a bit of enforced recuperation. My latest - an evening scene in Salisbury will have taken around 25 hours on completion, albeit split over a month with art events and a short trip to Anglesey in between. Yep I've been out gathering yet more material for future pictures - expect a view of Snowdonia from Newborough beach sometime around Christmas.
28th July 2018
Hampshire Open Studios is now only three weeks away. You may think the works starts here, but for me it started months ago, deep cleaning the carpets, fixing a new lighting system in the garage, improving the garden, sprucing up this website, and of course making lots of new things to show. The big task this week is publicity. If I've done the job well you should have no problem finding a copy of the brochure around Romsey. If not don't despair, as I'll be handing them out at the Romsey farmer's market on Sunday 5th from 10am (its in the Waitrose carpark).
30th June 2018
The Hampshire Open Studios brochures have arrived. I collected my batch by wheelbarrow across town yesterday, and will have a few to give out during tomorrow's Art Trail. You'll find me the same place as last year - at the railings by the bus station in Romsey, with some new paintings that haven't been seen before.
31st May 2018
Back from a trip to St Ives - my first multi day outing since falling seriously ill. I went on a free but awkward train ticket and spent several days photographing different aspects of the area. Back home I've started work on an evening picture of St Ives with an almost dark sky, and lights reflected in the harbour water. It should be ready to be unveiled at this year's Hampshire Open Studios. In the meantime I've completed a fast and loose picture of a path through a tunnel of shrubbery at Morfa Nefyn, and then noticed it reminded me of my near death experience where I retreated backwards briefly through a dark tunnel with the room a distant light at the end. Could this explain why I am doing many nightime and darker paintings recently?
13th May 2018
This year I'm looking for small shops, cafes and similar places that might want to sell my cards of their area. The plan is to help build an audience for my work beyond Romsey and the immediate area. Naturally the first agreement I've got is in Romsey, with the tourist information stocking four of my Romsey cards. I'm hoping to get more agreements further afield in coming months.
17th April 2018
Just a couple of days to go until our Four Shades Of Purple Exhibition opens to the public. All but two of the works I'll have on show are brand new and haven't been seen before. That includes the set of snow scenes of Romsey (apart from the market square which won't be dry in time), and most of the pictures I've been beavering away at over the winter.
12th February 2018
My recent turn of events has prompted me to paint more, albeit as much due to a lack of energy to get out and about more instead. So far this year I've produced a set of four highland cattle miniatures, a moody scene of Sanquhar castle which I'm very pleased with, a re-paint of 'dawn, Loch Torridon' (originally painted in 1997), a populated beach scene from Hayling Island, and many more. Right now I'm reworking an old picture of the Vale Of Eden from Nine Standards Rigg, where I watched a gauntlet of showers and rainbows marching past before descending to Kirkby Stephen for the evening. Painting a rainbow is possibly the most difficult thing to get right, as its a balance of colour, light and translucency all within a curved narrow band. If all goes well I'll talk you through the process later.
19th January 2018
After a difficult few months recovering my strength, I can now confirm our first event of 2018 - the annual 'Four Shades of Purple' exhibition at King John's House in Romsey - taking place 19th - 25th April. Although I haven't been able to get out and explore new places since my illness, I have been very busy producing new works from old explorations, so there will be plenty of as yet unseen pictures on show.
28th November 2017
I had planned to be showing my art again at one of the pre-Christmas events around Romsey, but unfortunately life got in the way. Back in late October I was taken seriously ill - to the extent that I needed emergency treatment and nearly a week in hospital. I won't be fully recovered until at least the Spring, and so regrettably I will not be doing anymore shows until then. I will however keep producing new art, so there will be plenty to see when I do show again.
11th September 2017
For me, the Romsey Show marks the end of summer, and this year it has marked the end of an intense couple of months organising three events. The show turned out to be a bit of a mudfest this year. Our art tent was on the grass zone around the mire, but reaching it to setup was horrendous, with most of the artists having to ferry their wares on foot from outside the grounds. Despite setting out at 7:15am, the first of us were at the tent by 8:30 (30 minutes after opening to the public), and we weren't setup completely until nearly 10am. Luckily the visitors were also held up, and things didn't kick off until lunchtime, and afternoon trading made up for lost time. Tractors came to tow us out afterwards. Can I be persuaded to organise it again next year? - well it can't be any tougher than this year.
30th August 2017
Our most successful Open Studios so far has just finished, the pictures and display panels have come down and house, garden and garage have returned to normal. We had over 200 visitors this year, and plenty of sales. Already we are hatching plans for an even bigger and better event next year. But first my attention must switch to the Romsey Show - just over a week away, and lots to prepare.
9th August 2017
Preparation is under way for the big art event of the year - Hampshire Open Studios. You'll find us at venue 90 in the brochure this year. As well as setting up a bigger and better display at my own place (including new display stands and gazebos), I have been charged with organising the King John's House open exhibition that runs concurrently - so lots to do, but little other than computer work than can be done for now, due to the appalling weather.
6th July 2017
Its now most definitely exhibition season. With the triennial Romsey festival taking place this year, I'm stretched between multiple events for a couple of weeks. Last Sunday I had my work on display on the railings by the bus station as part of a Romsey wide event. I'll be displaying again on the railings of War Memorial park (a very Mary Poppins' type of park) as part of Beggars Fair, and today I have the first of three days where I'll be demonstrating at the Romsey Art Group HQ at Lee - just a few miles out of town. If you get a chance, please do pop along.
31st May 2017
A recent trip to Tiree has brought new inspiration. This island is known for its beautiful beaches, sunshine and wind - making it the ideal place for kite surfing. My trip was a little less energetic though. Over four days I explored almost the entire coast documenting the beaches for future paintings. The first of those - a large panorma of Traigh Shorobaidh - will be completed in the next few weeks.
16th April 2017
The first exhibition of the year has just finished, and it has been my most successful yet under the Four Shades Of Purple banner, with many sales and lots of interest in some of my newer pictures. Now for a quick break before the Romsey Art Group exhibition at Lee. In addition to submitting the usual three pieces of work, I'll be doing a stint as artist residence - so I need to prepare a part finished picture to demonstrate without succombing to the temptation to complete it first!
15th March 2017
Just back from my first big trip of the year exploring parts of Britain generally off the beaten track. This time it was the coast of Dumfries and Galloway, described by the local tourist office as the secret coast. Facing South over the Solway Firth the sea goes out several miles across the sands in places, leading to views where the sky reflects on wet sand almost perfectly when conditions are right. There are also rocky inlets, cliffs, wooded shores and just about anything youl'd expect on the shore - except excessive development. So now to get on with the paintings...
17th January 2017
Inspired by a trip to the Canaries last month, and as a departure from my paintings, I've started building a wooden cactus. Comprising a number of sections which I've shaped, sanded and painted green, they are now drying before I add the 'spines' and assemble the whole thing. Its all a bit experimental and could go horribly wrong, but thats what makes it interesting. If I succeed it should make its first appearance at the Hampshire Open Studios in August - so plenty of time to figure it out.
30th December 2016
As another year ends, I've just completed one of my most complicated paintings to date - a view of Mermaid Street in Rye. The street is lined with historic weather boarded buildings climbing a cobbled hill. The complexity comes from all the angles and vanishing points. Add in some figures too and you have a lot of effort. Expect to see it in my 2017 exhibitions - now addded to my events page.
30th August 2016
Another succesful Open studios has come to an end. Over the 10 days we had over 100 original works on display, and plenty of homemade cake for visitors that wanted to stay a while and savour the setting. The task of packing away is still to be completed, but my focus must now turn to the Romsey Show in just a week and a half. I'll once again be in the art tent with the Romsey Art Group, in what is the last big event of the season for me.
16th August 2016
With just a few days to go now until the start of Hampshire Open Studios I'm all busy cleaning and setting up for the public. No pictures hung yet, but thats the last and most pleasing part of it. Seen for the first time here will be my Church Ope Cove picture (see my masterclass page to see it in production), the demijohns executed in pastel, and a couple of wooden carvings made from offcuts of locally found logs which would otherwise been fuel for my stove this winter. There will also be lots more of my pictures created over the last few years, and tea and homemade cakes (which I'll be baking fresh each day) to keep your energy up as you go round the studios of Romsey and Hampshire.
10th July 2016
Despite forecasts of wind and rain just a couple of days before, Beggars fair (and for my part - art in the park) turned out mainly bright with a bit of a nuisance breeze. The crowds turned out, and I gave out 35 Hampshire Open Studios brochures whilst engaging the public in the art I had on show. And yes I sold a fair few cards too. Next stop is 'The Dancing Man' on Tuesday where I'll be hanging a few of my works as part of an exhibition over the summer.
29th April 2016
Another exhibition is over, and its so sad to see everything coming down, and the historic house of King John's restored to a sleepy museum piece. Work doesn't stop there though, as another exhibition opens in just a day, and I have a giant jigsaw of a summer house to assemble without any instructions. Its to form a new display space in my open studio event in August - to which you are all welcome.
7th April 2016
I gave a demo of my oil painting technique to Fair Oak art group last night, creating a Norfolk scene in around 90 minutes. Of course this is well short of the time I normally devote to a picture so I will no doubt be finishing it off in the studio. Depite the short time I did get to show them many wet on wet techinques including creating clouds with vandyke brown and two shades of blue picked up from the sky; and building up texture one hue at a time. Other techniques including using a dry brush to fuzz up distant trees and creating a simple surface water effect using a dry brush to partially blend surface ripples.
6th March 2016
Just back from a trip to Norfolk to catch images of a few of the many drainage mills. Having long since been displaced by electric pumps, most are in various stages of disrepair, making them interesting subjects to paint. A few have been restored, and one I passed is due to be turned into a tearoom. I managed to sneak inside its falling down engine shed and feel the history emanating from the rusty cogs. So don't be surprised to find many windmill paintings at this Springs Four Shades Of Purple exhibition.