Good morning everyone. Abstraction in acrylic landscape painting – I’ve finally achieved it! Actually, I was so pleased when I came away from a workshop on Saturday with this semi-abstract landscape. To be honest, this is the furthest I’ve ever gone down the abstraction road when painting a countryside scene. In fact, our tutor encouraged us to experiment with mark making, including using a palette knife. And I think that was what helped me to stop paying too much attention to detail and accuracy.
The theme was clouds, weather and atmosphere. And, there certainly looks to be plenty of weather in those clouds! Anyway, another new method for me was to paint on a thin layer of gesso first before painting. So that way there was an opportunity to add some texture as well as a lovely surface to paint on. Of course, now I’m very keen to practise this. However, I’m busy for the next few days getting stuff ready for Artwalk Wakefield – this year I’m taking part myself! So, I’ll have to be patient, and wait a little while before I experiment with more abstraction in acrylic landscape painting.
Good morning everyone. This is my second new style portrait and I promised to show you how it turned out. So, here it is! And I decided to title it ‘What’s Next?’. Actually, I don’t have much inspiration when it comes to inventing titles! Anyway, I’m pleased to say that I feel that I am making progress with learning how to paint better portraits. So much so that I felt confident enough to show the unfinished painting to my artbuddies. And test out ideas about changing the background colour of the portrait. So I decided to go ahead with this purpley blue colour.
As these are really practice paintings, I’m content to leave it as it is now. And remember the lessons I’ve learnt to try out on the next one. Hint – it’s a fairly famous person ( in England anyway!)
Good morning everyone. This is a new style of portrait for me! Actually, I don’t think I have ever produced such a decent attempt and all because I’m following a course on online. You see, I never went to art school or had any formal training in the basics. So, I’m lapping it up! Anyway, this is my first try at putting the principles I’ve learned into action. And there’s another one on the easel half finished, so wish me luck!
By the way, I’m busy at the moment setting up a little shop. So, watch this space!
Good morning everyone. Here’s one of my latest works on canvas, in acrylic actually. I thought it was time that I set myself a few challenges. So, this new painting is one, a sunset, a subject I have always avoided! In the end, I really enjoyed myself laying down these delicious colours of orangy gold and blue. I hope you like it. And, I promise to show you some more of my self imposed challenges soon!
Good morning everyone. I thought I would update you about our Curiosities exhibition – we’ve moved it to our space in Rotherham market. Maybe you remember I’m a member of a brilliant group of artists called Rotherham Roar. And we had our opening event on Saturday, a chance to talk to fellow artists and shoppers!
This is me and my art buddy, he really liked my painting of a human body cell. (You can just see that one on the left. In fact, that was the one that was chosen for the article in n the Arts supplement of the Rotherham Advertiser. I was so surprised and pleased! You can see it in the top image.
This is my ‘Ocean Girl’ and she was a late addition to the show. If you look closely, you can see all the sea creatures that like to to be with her. And her hair and clothing is made of sea weed.
Finally, here we have a dragon, a hawk moth and Medusa, with snakes for hair. To be honest, it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of this quirky exhibition with my buddies from Rotherham Roar.
Good morning everyone. This is what’s on my easel at the moment and I must stress, it’s not finished! But, I spent a very pleasant hour getting it to this stage and it started me thinking about the different kinds of abstract I like to paint. For example, this type I would call instinctive or intuitive because I had no plan . However, I do think that some deep feelings do surface as I am painting in this way. Of course, no one may notice apart from myself. Hopefully, it will also be a fairly pleasing arrangement of shapes and colours, whether it has a deeper meaning or not .
This is a close up of different ways of applying paint, such as palette knife, dripping and scratching out. I think it just adds interest ( I love doing it too!)
And in this one, I used thin wash, stippling and spattering.
Now this was done in a totally different way – in this class we were shown how to study a real 3d ceramic object. Then take inspiration from its shape, texture and so on and I actually did find this a fascinating way to work. So, there we have at least two different kinds of abstract, but I am sure there must be more. If you paint abstracts, which method do you like to use in your creative practice?
Good morning everyone. As I said in my last post,see here, I’m feeling very inspired by flowers at the moment. And then there’s my new thing, ink drawing! Anyway, this beautiful bunch of carnations bloomed for so long that I just had to paint it. Actually, I really enjoyed painting larger in acrylic for a change. Because I’ve been so busy lately, my creative work has been smaller and quicker. However, this is big and more finished off and very bright!
It wasn’t without problems though. And the main one was mixing a strong pink colour for the flowers. When I finally managed to do this, I couldn’t capture the colour in the photo. Incidentally, has anyone else had these problems with pink?
Now, don’t laugh – this is my first dip pen drawing of a little creature! So, quite a learning curve, and lots of experimenting with pressure, added water and trying to create texture. To be honest, I even tried applying the background with a brush. My art buddy gave me this little pen and I’m looking forward to more attempts at ink drawing. By the way, thanks to another art friend for the image.
Good morning everyone. My apologies for not being around very much, but I have been very busy with arty stuff. There’s a lot more going on now and I don’t want to miss an opportunity! Anyway, Penistone Arts Weeks is over now and I’m pleased to report that I made a few sales with my flower paintings. For example, these two here, the Sea Thistle and the Sunflower went to new homes almost straight away. Then I sold my poppies painting ( in the image below). Despite the fact that it was on display in quite a shady spot, as you can tell in this photo!
However, it was a great experience to be in a lovely, busy cafe in the middle of town. Happily. being involved in this art festival with other creatives has lead to other exciting events. For example, our group have been invited to show work in a gorgeous florists and gift shop in town! So, I chose another of my flower paintings to go on display.
Actually, I think that this will look good in the beautiful surroundings of Hacketts, which is right next to St. John the Baptist’s church, in the old town centre. Of course, I will report back on that soon. Meanwhile, I haven’t stopped painting! And, I couldn’t resist following along a free online tutorial on watercolour painting. And this dreamy portrait of a rose was the result! Since then I have painted a vase of carnations, but I’ll save that for another post! You could have a look at more flower paintings in this post here.
Hi everyone. I know it’s been a longish time since I posted. But I’ve got two good excuses – I’ve been very busy with arty stuff. And there are still problems with my website. Anyway, this image shows some of my paintings in the new show that we have installed at the lovely Generations Cafe Bar. And it’s for the arts week. Happily, I was invited to take part in the Arts Week in Penistone, a little town near where I live. And we have created a High Street Gallery, so you can see our art in shops, windows and cafes etc.
As you can see, there’s lots going on. And I was so pleased to be allocated a busy, welcoming cafe right in the middle of the art walk for my new show.
Actually, this one is all about the wool industry here in Yorkshire, UK. And I was so pleased to have the opportunity to show this painting again for the arts week.
Finally, you might remember this one from recently, when I had it displayed in the fab Urban Commune Gallery in Wakefield. That’s all for now and I’ll show you even more soon!
Good morning everyone. Things are still a bit dodgy here, so I’ll hurry up and write this post while I can! Actually, I don’t think that I showed you this acrylic painting before. In fact, I almost forgot that I had painted it. And I found it while going through my stash. Because I was looking for work to put in our January sale at The Urban Commune.
This one was a study in watercolour for a series on flowers, seen close up. Perhaps you remember four small canvases in acrylic – sunflower, oriental poppy, cone flower and pansy in this post here ?
While I was looking for unframed stuff for the January sale, I pulled out my pink pig! And I do remember the fun I had painting this, with the help of Simon, our tutor. Happy Days!
Good morning everyone. This is the ‘Happy Christmas’ acrylic painting I chose for my card this year. Actually, I didn’t think it printed out so well, but friends and family seemed to like it! Perhaps as artists we are sometimes too critical of our own work. Obviously a little bit of objectivity about our own work is helpful. But I do know a few amateur artists who have no confidence at all and that can be toxic. Anyway, I enjoyed painting the cool colours of the ice and snow, contrasted with the warm brown and gold of the cottage.
I don’t think I’ve posted this before, something from a few years ago. In fact, at that time I had a great tutor. And I learnt such a lot in the years I went to Simon’s class. As you can tell by this painting, which I would have struggled to do on my own then.
Finally, this is an on the spot watercolour sketch of the snow of last year’s winter. And, I couldn’t call it ‘plein air’ because we were sitting in the car! Happy Christmas everyone and keep on painting!
Good morning everyone. As promised, here are my charcoal portraits from the drawing class last weekend. Actually, I was longing to finish them and finally found some time yesterday. But I spent a couple of days looking at them before that. And it seems to be an important part of the creating, I think. Perhaps you may enjoy hearing about the process of this one, a technique I’ve not tried before. Firstly we had to cover the paper with a thick layer of charcoal. Then we proceeded to carve out the outlines of a face, using an eraser, all the while staring into a little mirror. Maybe that’s why the facial expression is so serious! Well, it was the end of the class then, so I did the rest at home, including more subtle ‘removals’ and the addition of details in fine charcoal. Plus just a touch of white pastel.
Here is the finished version of the drawing I showed you in this post here. And this was a new technique for me too. Because the first preparatory sketch was quickly done and then partially erased! After that, we were encouraged to use a scribbly style of strokes with the sticks of charcoal. In addition, we were working in half light to accentuate the shadows on the face. Then I tidied it up and smoothed it down a bit at home. And, I am quite pleased with these charcoal portraits.
Finally, for those of you who want to see the finished collaborative abstract I took part in, here it is! As you may notice, it underwent a few changes before being hung on the wall in the projects room at The Urban Commune. So we can all admire it.
Good morning everyone. This is my new show. And I was delighted to see my five part series ‘ The Progress of Mankind’ displayed at Urban Commune gallery in Wakefield. In fact, I had dreamed of seeing it like this all through the pandemic when I painted it. Of course, I didn’t see it as a story when I painted the first piece ‘Paradise’.
As I painted this intuitive abstract, I realised it was an attempt to portray an idyllic world, completely unspoiled by man. If you look closely, you can spot hints of a bird, an insect, foliage and flowers.
Maybe this piece needs no explanation, it’s a scene of pollution and destruction on an overheated planet. Perhaps you can feel the heat from the monstrous red sun and smell the toxic smoke.
Flying Away in my New Show
Actually, I created this acrylic painting ‘Free Spirit’ out of my subconscious. Because I finished it completely and then afterwards understood its significance. If I can explain, I painted my dream of floating away from all the worry and trouble, just like a kite in the sky.
Now this one is the only one of the series that was partly planned. Really a bit later on when we were aware of vaccines being developed. So I thought of a painting trying to show the feeling of seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. And I decided to use the figure of a young man to represent the human race, naked and vulnerable.
Finally, the last part of my story of my new show – Connections and it’s all about family and friends. Because, this is what I learned during the pandemic, the importance of connections with people. In effect, I painted this without a plan. And, I see here an abstract portrait of me and my nearest and dearest. So, that’s how this work came about and what it means to me. If you like, you could see more of my Story Pictures here.
Good morning everyone. I wanted to ask you a question – do you choose to paint in realistic or abstract style? Or, if you aren’t an artist yourself, which style do you prefer to look at and admire? Actually, this is what we were discussing last week at a ROAR artists meeting. Well, to be honest, it was a topic I introduced when it was my turn to show my artwork.
Perhaps it isn’t so obvious in these images. But this started off as an intuitive abstract and morphed into a seaside themed painting. However, in no way could it be called realistic.
Now this one was intended from the outset to be realistic, it’s an Australian landscape. If you read my blog you have probably seen me write about the course I’m following by tutor Rod Moore. And this is the result of one of his tutorials using his own photo. In fact, in addition to learning loads of useful stuff, I found my painting style was really tightening up. Of course, this wasn’t due to the excellent teaching at all. Just an outcome of concentrating very hard on accuracy of detail. Anyway, for me, this is an extremely realistic style .
So, realistic or abstract – which do you find yourself drawn to? Or, which do you spend most time painting? If you want see more of my abstract paintings, have a look at my gallery here – I’ve just updated it.
Good morning everyone. This is my latest addition to our Northern Fringe Gallery Industry exhibition which opened this week. As you may recall, we are at the Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield, UK. (See this post here ). To be honest, it was a low key opening at our own gallery. Because we are displaying the pictures as they are finished, on a sort of rolling programme. When we have received a decent amount of entries, we will look for a suitable gallery to exhibit.
The Winding Wheel – now in the Industry exhibition
This is my interpretation of an image of the machinery that powered the winding wheel at a local colliery, now closed. To be honest, I don’t know much about this. Except that the men went down the shaft to work in a lift operated by this machinery. And, I remember my dad telling me that they called the lift the cage! However, I felt inspired by the image itself. I perceived it as a powerful abstract image. And I painted the various bits of it as shapes, not really knowing what they were!
Finally, I will show you the last of my four paintings for our Industry exhibition – Spinning Jenny. Actually, I painted this for an art competition in an industrial town in the North of England a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the gallery didn’t accept it, but it’s perfect for our theme. Just to explain, I have interpreted an invention called Spinning Jenny in a rather fanciful way. And the real Spinning Jenny was a frame operated by one person to run four wool spinning wheels at once. In effect, the beginning of the mechanisation of the spinning industry. But, I reimagined the machine as a strong, capable working woman, still spinning over the North Pennines where it was invented.
As you might have noticed if you read my blog, I do love painting a story picture! Please look me up again to see what else I might come up with on this interesting theme.
Good morning everyone. This is your last chance to see my solo show in the cafe gallery at Darfield Museum! So I thought I would choose three of my personal favourites to spotlight. Firstly, A Castle in Portugal – and the way this one turned out really pleased me . As you might have noticed, it’s in gouache paint. And I love the texture and chalky quality to the paint. However, it does have its challenges and I’m working on it! To be honest, you have to develop a lightness of touch with the layers. Otherwise, if the top layer is a little bit too wet and you are heavy handed with the brush, the colours will merge.
Now this one I really enjoyed painted and I started it during our holiday in the Yorkshire Dales in July. If you don’t know the area, it’s a series of rivers running through pretty valleys. And this barn is in the vale of the River Swale and it’s a very typical scene. In fact, you can see these small barns almost in every field. Apparently, the tradition was to try and grow two crops of hay each season. And store it conveniently in the barn in the field, so that the farmer and the animals had easy access to the winter feed.
Last Chance to See Top Withens
Anyway, I am very fond of this one too. And, I’m very pleased to say that someone bought it! To be honest, I’m thrilled that someone really loved it enough to take it home. Particularly because it almost sold at another gallery, but mistakes were made. Unfortunately, that potential customer went home disappointed. However, now it will be hung somewhere where it will be appreciated, and that’s all I want. But, I will miss this large framed picture, it does remind so much of the brooding moors up near Haworth. If you want to know the story, read this post here. So, tomorrow really is your last chance to see this show!
Good morning everyone. We had a very enjoyable morning at my Meet the Artist event on Saturday at my solo show. And it was great to show family and friends my exhibition at Darfield Museum. Actually, we all imagined travelling the world while looking at the paintings. In fact, it was fascinating to hear people’s thoughts on exactly where the scenes were set. Because there were no labels on the wall next to the paintings, my visitors didn’t know the titles or locations of the scenes. For example, I described the image above as ‘Sandstone Bluff, Australia’. But a friend of mine said it reminded him of a ruined Crusader castle, somewhere in Europe!
Travelling the World, the Story Behind the Picture
Similarly, another friend was convinced that this was a painting of a town in Italy! Well, it definitely was France, see this post here for the story. However, I must admit that I did miss out the distinctive French 2cv cars on the road. So that the scene was a more simplified composition. Anyway, we both came to the conclusion that the town must have been near the French – Italian border. Perhaps you will have noticed that the tower in the distance is reminiscent of Italian architecture.
Finally, just one more example of a painting that set people off virtually travelling and reminiscing. In reality, this is the scene of a very distinctive rock formation at Brimham Rocks in the Yorkshire Dales. Yet, my friends assured me that it was: a local crag on a moor, another rocky area in the Dales or a beauty spot in Devon in the south of England! And this gave me food for thought, is it better to display a label with title and explanation or not? What do you think?
Good morning everyone. This is the acrylic painting that I put on the poster I made to promote my latest exhibition. Well the show opened yesterday and, I must admit that I was very pleased with the way it looked.
Actually, the museum cafe gallery is a lovely, intimate space and we sat quite a while, looking at my paintings. In addition, the cakes are all homemade and delicious, so the time passed quite pleasantly!
Then I took some photos, but the lighting on the paintings reflected and defeated my camera. So, apologies for that!
Perhaps you might have seen this gouache painting before in this post here. However, I don’t think you know this acrylic I did a few years ago. In case you can’t tell (!) it’s my allotment.
After we had looked at my latest exhibition, we went into the courtyard garden to admire the scarecrows. If I could explain, it was the village Scarecrow Festival. Just a bit of fun for the children at the end of summer. Finally, we walked over the road to the church, All Saints. And it’s very picturesque, sited in a peaceful church yard. Actually there is a public footpath at the edge of the graveyard which takes you past the site of the medieval fish ponds. To be honest, the site is not restored but there is a line of willow trees that trace the line of the banks. What a pleasant afternoon out! I will probably post a bit more about my latest exhibition after the Meet the Artist event next week. Incidentally, if you are in the area, you are very welcome to join us, details on the poster.
Good morning everyone. Today for this very quick post I’m showing you these paintings that you may not have seen before. When I packed them up for delivery to Darfield Museum for my solo show, I realised that they might be new to you.
As you perhaps can guess, this is a scene in the afternoon heat in a small town, somewhere in the south of France. Actually, I spent a year in a town much like this back in the seventies. And I well remember walking through the streets early afternoon, going back to work after lunch break. As the heat was intense, everyone walked carefully in every patch of shade, no matter how small. Obviously, coming from a cool North of England, this was a new experience for me. Alas, with climate change, I’m getting more used to higher summer temperatures now.
In complete contrast, I painted this scene of the Yorkshire coast in memory of lots of strolls along this beach. And, we have walked so many of them in summer mist, or a sea fret as we call it. Which seems to be a band of mist clinging to the coastal strip, when a few miles inland, the sun shines down strongly! Here you can also see the iconic Grand Hotel in the background.
Anyway, both of these paintings will be in the show at Darfield Museum in September. And there are lots more on display in my Gallery.