Acrylic Painting of a Spring Garden

Art inspired by my Spring Garden

Having a Breather – acrylic on paper 16 by 12 inches , unframed £50 plus shipping

I am always inspired by the beauty of plants and flowers in my garden . This acrylic painting in the naive style is an idealized view of my allotment , just as dusk is falling . I’m having a cuppa after a hard day’s work ,watching the last rays of the sun over the pond .

The Crabapple Tree – watercolour on paper 10 inch square – a page in my Lockdown art journal

However , during Lockdown this year , I , like a lot of other people, was confined to my house and our small back garden received a lot more attention than usual ! I painted this watercolour sketch (Crabapple) outside , sitting on my tiny patio in March this year. I enjoyed just being outside in my Spring garden on a fine afternoon .The tree was just beginning to show its bright green , frilly leaves .This tree provides us with enough apples to make three or four jars of Apple Jelly each year- delicious with pork chops . The sketch was completed in forty minutes urban sketching style !

Spring Flowers

Spring flowers – watercolour on paper – a page in my art journal

I observed the Spring flowers quite closely – these were in the window box outside my living room window,. The colours of the flowers in this watercolor sketch really glowed – especially the contrast between the complimentary colours purple and yellow . Again , this was a very quick sketch , done as I stood in front of the window , looking down at the windowbox through the glass !

Abstract Composition

A swirling abstract composition in yellow purple and green , heavily textured in watercolor , acrylic , collaged paper and oil pastel
Abstract Flowers Mixed Media on Paper – a page in my art journal

Straight after painting ‘Spring Flowers ‘ I felt inspired to do a mixed media abstract composition of the colours and shapes of the flowers and leaves. I layered on collage , pencil and oil pastel to create that textured effect .

My Spring garden - looking down over the small lawn to the crabapple tree . The delicate , pink blossom is just beginning to show .
The Vegetable Plot – pencil drawing

And , finally, when I was working yesterday at the allotment garden , I found five minutes in a coffee break to do a quick pencil drawing of the brassica plants in front of me as I sat in the shade .Two different kinds of cabbage and a Brussel sprout plant ( the broccoli plants are not ready to go in yet )

My gardens give me endless inspiration !

Affordable Art

All of my original artwork is for sale – just go to the Contact page and send me a message . If you like what you see , on this post or in the Gallery or Portfolio section , if you want to treat yourself or buy a gift for a loved one , ask for more details – all my paintings are reasonably priced.

A Triptych of Acrylic Paintings

The Progress of Mankind

All will now be revealed ! You may remember , a few posts ago , I showed you two large , abstract canvases which formed part of a series of three . Here, as promised , is the final painting .

A turquoise blue kite , soaring free into a glorious,  golden sky .This is the third canvas in the triptych.
Free Spirit

These three large canvases were entered as a proposal for a commission at a local stately home, to be displayed in the private chapel , inside the big house. Unfortunately, I was not successful on this occasion , but I was really inspired by the idea and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of entering.

Part One of the Triptych

I was reflecting on the state of our modern world , right at the beginning of the lockdown . So I thought about the idyllic world mankind lived in , before industrialisation and I painted this intuitive abstract to show an unspoiled planet , visualized as a sort of tropical paradise. For more details and close-ups of this painting , see


The next chapter in the story also came easily to me – I must have been feeling quite pessimistic and I portrayed a burnt-out , desolate world with a huge , red sun ( hints of global warming ? )

Hell on Earth

I suppose I must have been thinking about the excessive consumption and the way modern civilisation exhausts the Earth’s resources. This painting was shown in a virtual exhibition on Instagram – see .

For the final part of the triptych , I thought about how the paintings were to be displayed in a church , where people could sit in quiet contemplation , perhaps hoping for a peaceful resolution of their troubles . So I tried to portray this as a spirit soaring free , away from all difficulties . I suppose I also used the motif of the kite to symbolise that feeling of wanting to escape from the ‘ virus ‘ problem , a feeling that a lot of us have experienced lately . But it was mainly painted instinctively and must have come from my subconscious.

A turquoise blue kite soaring free into the  glorious golden sky
Free Spirit

I hope that you enjoyed looking at my Isolation Art. There are actually two more large canvases that do take the story forward , when I think about it . But that can be saved for another day .

Mixed Media Abstract and Exhibition Review

David Hockney in Salt’s Mill

Abstract in pink,  purple , ochre with black  and  white .Organic shapes with a face and some vague bird like shapes
Bird Composition by Margaret Hall

This is my latest mixed media experiment an abstract composition using collage, acrylic , watercolour and oil pastel . There’s even some marker and pencil in there – although the pencil might be a mistake as it is too shiny, Do you happen to know how how to apply a few sharp , precise marks over mixed media layers without using pencil ? I’d love to know . Anyway, I don’t really know what I’ve painted here – it was quite instinctive but I think it has something to do with wanting to escape from the anxiety and threat of this virus !

The toned paper in this case is a rather nice brown paper. I have admired other sketching friends’ drawings on brown paper sketchpads so I bought one . However, I don’t really like the effect of acrylic paint on this paper . Perhaps it was the colours I chose , but they don’t seem to have the sparkle that I like when I use white paper.

Drawings on Toned Paper

Pencil drawings on  brown  paper.  Patterns observed on objects in Salt's Mill museum
Patterns seen at the Museum

Now for the interesting part – I bought this sketchpad at the David Hockney gallery at Saltaire when I took part in an Urban Sketchers crawl back in February. You may remember , we spent the morning in a small brewery/pub and I sketched the brewing equipment in mixed media ( pen , pencil and watercolour ) . See my blog post

Watercolour and pen sketch of vats at a small brewery
The Brewery – Urban Sketching

It was great fun – perhaps one day soon urbansketchers will be able to meet up again .

David Hockney exhibition at Saltaire World Heritage Site, Shipley , near Bradford , UK

A view from the gallery window across to the allotments and the model village

This is actually a complex of woollen mill buildings established by Titus Salt along with the model village he built for his workers in the 1850’s . The village included neat, tidy terraced cottages , a church and a Sunday school , allotments , a school , a park and much more alongside the river Aire . It’s quite fascinating, so go and have a look if you get the chance .

The downstairs floor of Salt’s Mill shows an exhibition of earlier Hockney artwork and houses the art shop where I bought the toned paper sketchpad . Upstairs there’s a museum room about the history of the factory . But the star of the show is the David Hockney Gallery displaying some recent work from the Spring exhibition of locations in East Yorkshire , where the artist used to live . Enough said , just have a look at the fabulous pictures !

By David Hockney
By David Hockney
By David Hockney
By David Hockney

The first time we visited the gallery thirty years ago we were lucky enough to see some of the sections of a larger drawing that David was , at that very moment , sending by fax across from California ! The very large drawing, re-assembled from pieces of copy paper is displayed on the wall . I love the way he always enjoys using the latest technology to create his work .

These ‘paintings ‘ are all actually prints of iPad drawings and I think they are absolutely stunning ! I hope that you have enjoyed my little exhibition review .

By David Hockney

Paradise – Acrylic Abstract Painting

An Intuitive Abstract Composition in Pink and Green

A colourful acrylic abstract, mainly pinks and greens , suggesting  a jungle or a paradise garden.

This is the first painting in a set of three that I mentioned a couple of posts ago .I think I must have imagined a tropical scene or a scene in a jungle before I started painting . The colours I was drawn to – luscious pinks and vibrant greens – definitely fitted into this theme . I tried really hard not to paint anything too figurative and realistic but when I stood back from my easel, I saw suggestions of a bird , an insect , perhaps an animal, flowers and leaves . So I realized this acrylic abstract was going to be semi-abstracted not purely abstract . But that’s ok – I often find that my paintings decide what they want to be , without a lot of input from me . I even turned this one upside down several times to paint it and the motifs still appeared !

Paradise – Birds , Flowers and an Insect ? – details from my acrylic abstract

a close up of shapes like birds and flowers .
A Bird ?
A shape in stripes of yellow and black suggesting an insect in the paradise garden .
An Insect ?

I believe that the term ‘ paradise ‘ has its origins in a word which meant ‘garden’ , a place with lush growth and plenty of water , a place where you could rest and gaze upon a beautiful scene . When I painted this , I was thinking about the story I was telling in a series of three canvases for a commission proposal : this is the first one ‘Paradise ‘ and the second one ‘ Hell on Earth ‘ was shown in a previous post in May and it carries the story forward .. All will become clearer soon when I reveal the third part !