Exhibition Round Up

Good morning everyone. I thought I would bring you all up to date with my arty activities. So, I delivered this acrylic painting ‘Sundown’ and the highland cow one- ‘Sitting Pretty’ – to Holmfirth Civic Hall yesterday. And they will both be on show in the Holmfirth Artweek, a huge charity fund raising event starting on Sunday.

Actually, I’m also taking part in a group event for the Artweek, but more of that later. Finally, yesterday I delivered my two paintings to Skelmanthorpe Gallery which were accepted into the Summer Open Art event.

This acrylic painting is based on several photos of Glencoe, Scotland and you may recognise the scenery. Because it was featured in a Bond film a few years ago! And this one you have seen already. They will both be on show from this Saturday – wish me luck in the competition!

Two Bird Portraits in Acrylic

Good morning everyone. I’ve chosen this smaller square format, 10 inch square canvas board, for my bird portrait. I think it’s a black headed gull and I realised I love this little board size for birds. Actually, I’ve been looking at my artbuddy’s gorgeous bird photos for ages. And only just got round to painting them. So, thank you so much, Chris Bilton for giving me permission!

New Painting, Welsh Mountain

Good morning everyone. I thought I would show you my latest acrylic painting, Welsh Mountain. As you may know, I love painting landscapes, and in particular hill country. Actually, it’s a sort of mindfulness exercise for me, I subconsciously imagine that I am there in person. And I suppose that’s how I want people to feel when they look at my picture. So, I hope you feel calm and cheered up like me when you look at this typical scene of hills in Wales, UK. I even included some sheep quietly munching grass and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

Urban Life Exhibition Starting Soon

Good morning everyone. This is one of my three entries for the Urban Life exhibition at Skelmanthorpe Library Gallery. And I was just getting them ready to deliver this morning. Actually, I choose two paintings from my stash, which happened to be bang on trend. But this one here I created especially for the show. I’ve called it Home Sweet Home. And it literally is on my own street, a row of late Victorian terrace houses. In fact, this in one of the very distinctive passage ways between the main street and the small back gardens behind the houses. And we are precisely 7 minutes walk from the town centre. So, it’s really a picture of real Urban Life as I know it!

Midwinter Symbols

Merry Christmas everyone! Or, Happy Holidays. I thought I would show you my latest gouache painting, done at our art society social this year. Just for a change, I looked up some symbols for a Midwinter celebration. And combined two of them for this picture – a stag and some candles. All the Best, and I hope to post more next year.

Abstraction in Acrylic Landscape Painting

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.

My Second New Style Portrait

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!)

A New Style of Portrait

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!

A New Painting on Canvas

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!

Three Paintings at Library Gallery

Good morning everyone. We had the preview of a new exhibition at Skelmanthorpe Library Gallery on Saturday morning. And it was great to meet some of the artists and admire our work together! This one is an acrylic painting of an echinacea flower.

One of my three paintings is ‘Walking alongside Langsett Reservoir’, this brings back lovely memories of family walks in all weathers!

And, finally, my gouache painting of ‘A Castle in Portugal’ . The exhibition is on till September, so there’s plenty of time to see it!

New Exhibition at Choppards Mission

Good morning everyone. Well, we are right in the middle of our exhibition/artfair at Choppards Mission. The beautiful stone building we are in is now a church. And it’s our venue for a fringe event for Holmfirth Artweek. So, we are open until Saturday, there’s still time to go and have a look.

If I say so myself, our display of work is very pleasing! And, if you look at the poster closely, you will see my gouache painting of an old barn.

Sorry about the reflections on this one, the sun was streaming through the window! Anyway, I am really pleased with the display space I have got. Perhaps you can see the white plastic ‘bargain box ‘ ? I sold two drawings from this box, this is one here.

In fact, I had very pleasant chat with the lady who bought this. And she and her husband knew this beautiful spot in the Yorkshire Dales very well! It’s a plein air watercolour sketch of the hills near Kilnsey Crag.

And this Canalside View is an old favourite of mine, but I was glad to see it go to a new home.

I also sold a few cards and two more paintings and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself being a part of our event at Choppards Mission.

Gentleman Jack at Shibden Hall

Good morning everyone. We went away for a short break last week, but not very far away from home. Actually, we have been very busy lately and we really needed a holiday. So, it seemed easier to stay in Yorkshire and go and look at a few places fairly close by. Perhaps you know the feeling, places you never got quite round to seeing, but always wanted to visit. Anyway, we packed three such places into our break and they didn’t disappoint! So we stayed in Bingley and spent a day at Shibden Hall. It was the home of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack of the TV series.

In fact, this is the hall/dining room where Anne Lister used to conduct all her business in this beautiful house. The TV programme was filmed for the most part in the house, with the story beginning in 1832. As you can see, Shibden Hall retains a lot of its original features.

After a good look around this small, stately home, we wandered around the grounds.

Of course, I couldn’t resist painting and I finished this in about 40 minutes.

To be honest, we had a lovely three days rest and also saw Cartwright Art Gallery, Bradford. And the famous 5 rise locks at Bingley. But, that’s another story! Meanwhile, when I got home, I created another sort of scene at our Art Society meeting using collage and gouache paint. There’s never a dull moment here!

Plein Air Sketching in Greasebrough

Good morning everyone. Last Saturday I went out with my art buddies for a day of plein air sketching in Greasebrough. And we walked from the village down a narrow walled path. Actually I guess that it had been created many years ago as a direct path to the church. Then we walked through a beautiful flower meadow and arrived at the end of the dam.

As you can see, the water level is quite low, we haven’t had any rain for a few weeks. But the view was still beautiful.

At this point, I tried to zoom in a bit with my eyes. Otherwise, the vista was very wide – I often end up trying to draw the whole world on a small sketchbook page! When I got back home, I zoomed in with my camera and you can see here what I was aiming at.

So here is the quick watercolour sketch (40 mins) that I produced.

By the way, the sun was very strong in a cloudless sky and the glare made it difficult to judge colours. But we all pressed on and it was a delight to be in such a lovely place together painting. After painting this, I rewarded myself with a cup or two of strong coffee from my flask. Also, a little sweet pastry! What a gorgeous day to be out plein air sketching in Greasebrough.

Curiosities Exhibition in the Market

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.

Gouache Painting of a Barn

Good morning everyone. I’m really pleased with this gouache painting of a barn – it was half finished for a couple of weeks. And, I was a bit nervous to add details to the first version, not wanting to spoil it! Actually, I don’t like to keep paintings hanging on because it’s easy to lose the thread. In particular, with this one, I liked the loose way I had sketched out the field. And I didn’t want to loose the fresh, rhythmic movement of the grasses and so on. So, added minimal detail to those areas. However, I deliberately put the barn into sharp focus as it’s the main idea in the picture. And I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to it. Hopefully I have succeeded in this to some extent. By the way, gouache paint seems to be the perfect medium for detail.

Anyway, when I think about it, I have done another painting of a barn recently. And I do think it’s a nice subject which allows me to concentrate on a small area of landscape. Normally, left to my own devices, I try to paint a wide panoramic view. So this makes a very pleasant change.

Two Different Kinds of Abstract

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?

Acrylic Painting and Ink Drawing

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.

Look at my Flower Paintings

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.

New Show for Arts Week

Four Flowers

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.

The Poster

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.

Spinning Jenny

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.

The Progress of Mankind

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!