Friday, 6 December 2013

Altered books

This was a new concept to me. Someone circulates a book to other artists, and each individual "adds" to the book by working on one or more pages. It is then passed on to the next artist, ad infinitum.

This book was a vegetarian cookbook belonging to a professional artist, who is also one of my tutors - no pressure then. I spent weeks trying to find inspiration from the content of the book. The best I could come up with was that most of the recipes would be good with a nice steak. Then I stumbled on  page 149, "Vegetable Cobbler", and I had a vision of a little old man sitting on the floor making sandals from butternut squash skins. Here he is.

Not an exercise I will rush to repeat. At least Jane seemed pleased with result.

Friday, 22 November 2013

In the style of Gustav Klimt

A number of people have asked if I am still painting. Apologies that I have not posted here for a while, personal pressures have meant that there has been little time to have fun, but here is another doodle.

The brief was to paint a portrait in the style of Gustav Klimt. This measures approx 8" by 14" and is painted in acrylics and other mixed media. While the portrait is not a great success ( can you guess the celebrity?) I am pleased with the overall effect.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Black Pearl Rising

This is a piece of nonsense, but a lot of fun all the same.

The task was to cover a piece of watercolour paper with random wet in wet colours. It was then covered in cling film and the cling film was scrunched up. After leaving it to dry a random coloured pattern was revealed. After studying it for some time, I could just make out a boat emerging from the sea. This initial "pattern" was developed using St Petersburg White Nights watercolour, Turners acrylic gouache and pastel to reveal the Black Pearl in all her glory.

A piece of hand-made paper from India was used, measuring approximately 15" by 11". The deckled edges all the way around it are just great.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Autumn leaves and berries

This is my latest pastel painting. It measures around 10" by 13" and was painted with Conte pastel pencils on Winsor Blue pastel paper.

A big thank you to Jane Denman for her help on this one (or it may never have been finished!)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

AAT Exhibition at the Tin Church

The Art Around Town Group are holding their annual exhibition at St Peter's Church, High Salvington.

Work from eight different artists is on display, featuring a sculptor, a textile artist and my own Barn Owl will be making an apearance. Do pop in and have a look - the church is fascinating.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Pastel portraits on blue

It was good to relax on Thursday morning and just do some painting. The first image is the finished version of a portrait painted with Conte pastels on Blue Winsor pastel paper. Interestingly, the second image is the same painting, half-finished. Taken by a better photographer than me, and the colours have been boosted a little, it was at this stage that I thought about stopping. To me the unfinished painting has much more energy.

The final image is a clip of a painting done during the life-drawing session on Monday. It just serves to illustrate how effective the blue background is when painting portraits.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Life Drawing 09 September 2013

Another useful 2 hour session last evening. Suzanne was the model, and this is about the only sketch suitable to upload to a public blog.

Completed in around 15 minutes, it was painted with Conte pastel pencils on Sennelier Pastel Card. While it is a small sketch, measuring around 6" by 9", completed very quickly, I am quite pleased with the outcome.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Australian Landscape

This was fun. The idea is that certain colours can evoke the "feeling" of a location. The warm earth colours are used as representative of Oz. Having never been there, others will have to judge if it worked.

The piece measures approx 10" by 8" and was painted with St Petersburg White Nights watercolour paints on Daler Rowney 300g/m2 paper.

Yesterday also marked my return to Seaside Primary School in Lancing. Ten of my animal paintings are now hanging in the corridor opposite the library until the end of November. It was good to return there as part of the Art Around Town project - you receive such honest feedback from the children!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Silent Auction in aid of St Barnabas Hostice

A silent auction is being held today at Lancing Tabernacle Christian Centre 105 North Road, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 9BB. A number of artists have donated paintings to be sold to the highest bidder. In most cases there is no reserve, so go along between 10.00 and 16.00 and grab yourself a bargain All proceeds go to St Barnabas Hospice.

This acrylic painting, entitled "Fur and Eyes" is my contribution.

Update - apparently the event raised over £400 for St Barnabas - well done Mary.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Littlehampton Open

After the disappointment of the Worthing Open, it was great to hear today that 3 of my paintings were accepted into the Littlehampton Open.

In addition to "The Gleaners" above, a pastel called "Four Pears" and an acrylic called "Autumn" were accepted too.

The Exhibition opens on 14 September and runs until 01 November at the Littlehampton Museum.

Lancing Art Club Exhibition

Another year and another exhibition has just ended. Sadly visitor numbers and number of sales were down overall, but many visitors commented on the standard of the exhibits and the Big Picture was well received

The good news is that the Parish Council want to hang the complete work in the Council Changes on a permanent basis. A great record of our Diamond Jubilee Exhibition.

The first image was the only painting I sold. Card sales rather better.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Life Drawing Session 12 August 2013

Recently I have avoided posting nude images in this blog. Hopefully these will not offend as they are done "in the best possible taste".

All were completed during a 2 hour session and were drawn with my new Conte pastel crayons. 

A very pleasing session.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Gleaners - Final Version

At last it's finished, and not a moment too soon. Entries for the Littlehampton Open are due in this week.

It is probably over-worked, but all of the compositional issues from the previous version have been addressed, and I am much happier with it.

This final version measures approx 16" by 12" and painted with Conte pastels on Winsor paper.

Let's hope the judges like it.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Three Boats

A lovely relaxing morning spent on Thursday at the last Skyblue Drop-In session before the summer break.

The tranquillity seems to have come through to this pastel painting. It was completed with Conte pastel on Winsor pastel paper, and measures approximately 11" by 8".

Just after this I went into work and life became a lot less relaxed.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Diamond Juby(lee)

Lancing Art Club is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. One of the categories for entry into the exhibition this year is on the theme of Diamond Jubilee.

Since I am also 60 this year, and with a surname like mine, it seemed that a self portrait might fit the bill. Rather foolishly the format of a Jack of Diamonds playing card was chosen. Foolish, because it requires not one but two self portraits.

Anyway here is the finished product, measuring approximately 9" by 12", and painted with Atelier Interactive acrylics on Bockingford paper.

It remains to be seen, if anyone understands the relevance.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

All Saints Church, Buncton

A great couple of days painting this week. Monday a 2 hour life drawing session with the beautiful Nicole, and Tuesday 2 hours in the sunshine at Buncton Chapel sketching with some friends from Lancing Art Club.

I will not publish any of the sketches from Monday, as I know nudes can offend, but this is the pastel sketch completed at Buncton. Parts of the church date from 11th Century and it was just an outstanding day.

The sketch measures approx 9" by 6" and was completed with Conte pastels on Sennelier Pastel Card.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Gleaners

The entry date for the Littlehampton Open is fast approaching. The theme this year is "Harvest" , and this is a study for a painting I hope to enter.

The reference is a black and white photograph from the turn of the last century. These poor souls were the wives and children of the farm workers, who were allowed to gather the corn left behind after the field had been harvested. It was a useful addition to the household diet.

Just look at how they are dressed, and the child's buggy, looks a lot like modern buggies.

The study is done in pastel, and I think I will use the same medium for the final painting.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Plein Air painting 2013

Normally by this time of the year, there would have been many trips out into our beautiful countryside to paint. However, personal circumstances, and the weird weather have restricted me to three sessions so far.

I decided to use Conte pastels on 6" by 9" Sennelier pastel card, because it's easliy portable and the small size means that a sketch can be completed quickly. The disadvantage is that you cannot capture too much detail, or perhaps that's an advantage.

Anyway from the top down:

An interior at St James the Less Church, North Lancing
St Nicholas and the Tollbridge from the west bank of the River Adur
Rope Tackle and the Railway Bridge over the River Adur
The Chapel at Lancing College from the River Adur.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Dome by Night sold

There must be something in the air. This pastel was painted almost exactly a year ago for the Worthing Open Houses. This morning it was handed over to its new owner. Apparently she was married in the building, so it will bring back some happy memories.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Worthing Churches Homeless Projects

Last year Worthing Churches Homeless Projects called for artists to paint portraits of up to 500 people they had worked with over the last year. The twist was that you would not see or meet the Client, nor would you be provided with any pictorial reference. Rather you were given a short piece of text, written by the previously homeless person.As an "early adopter" Client 4's details were sent to me. Here is the profile:

 I am 30 year old white, British male. I was going between friends houses sleeping on sofas when I first came into contact with Worthing Churches Homeless Projects. I am attending an anger management course which is supported by my recovery from alcohol and cannabis misuse, things I used previously to keep me calm. I am constantly working towards a healthy lifestyle and play football regularly to keep myself fit. Since working with the project I am able to live independently, work part time and do voluntary work. I have also completed a bike maintenance course so I can service and repair bikes – this gives me a trade to rely upon so that if I cannot find work in future I always have that skill. I am saving up for a house deposit to rent privately at the moment and am really excited about this.

A really fun project to  be involved with. The artists have donated their work, with any sale proceeds going to the Charity. All the work is on display at Offington Park Methodist Church, BN14 7TN for the next 3 weekends as part of the Worthing Open Houses. Do go along and have a look at a quite remarkable project.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Wright's Cafe, Warwick Street, Worthing

This cafe has recently changed ownership, and has now joined the Art Around Town scheme.

The owner, Jane, selected 6 of my paintings to hang there for the next 2 months. Sussex Sunset was one of them.

If you have a chance, do pop along, have a coffee and enjoy the pictures. Free coffee refills from 08 to 10.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Brown elephant

A big thank you goes to Jane Denman, who helped rescue this one.

It was started around a year ago, but lay around untouched because I could not resolve the background. A couple of hours in the drop-in class at Skyblue art classes and it is now complete.

Nelly measures 16" by 12" and is painted in W&N oils on canvas board.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Source of the Levada da Ribiera Grande

This pastel painting was started at this spot on a rather long walk on holiday in Madeira. It was finished on my return home.

It measures approx 9" by 6", and was painted with Conte pastel on Senelier Carte Pastel card.

Sitting in the sunshine with the sound of flowing water, it was a beautiful place to paint. Another walker came up and asked if he could buy it, but it was not finished to a sufficient standard. However, if you are reading this - it is ready now!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Adur Art Trail 2013

For the next two weeks a group of us are exhibiting paintings in a beautiful church in North Lancing, called St James the Less. It is part of the Adur Art Trail.

Today was my turn to act steward, and while we had few visitors, one of those who did turn up bought this painting. It has been around for a while and was painted following my holiday in Oman, staying with friends.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Another painting destined for an exhibition this summer.

Measuring approx. 10" by 12" it was inspired by some flowers we saw on holiday in Madeira. The background was created using watercolour paints and cling film. The orchids were painted with Turner acrylic gouache.

Another frame needed!


The "exhibition season" is approaching fast. This study in Conte pastel will hopefully feature in one of them.

Measuring 9" by 12", the aim was to capture figures in motion.

Now it just needs framing.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Under the sea

As part of the Worthing Open Houses event at the end of June and beginning of July, Sky Blue Art Group will be exhibiting at 4 Heene Terrace, Worthing. Part of the display will be 30 small (A5) canvases on  the theme of Under the Sea.

These are my efforts. When all the finished paintings are displayed together it should be really striking.

Monday, 18 March 2013


Yet again I have been guilty of neglecting this blog. Despite my part-time job with A**a, painting carries on with Lancing Art Club and Sky Blue. This was painted as a sketch for a project with Sky Blue and the Worthing Open Houses this year. It turned out so well, I will just keep it as a stand alone painting.

Art Around Town, means that between 7 and 12 of my paintings are more or less on permanent display. Blue Stripes sold at the Angmering Medical Centre this time round.

Art on the Pier 2013 launches on 23 March 2013. Silver Birches has been selected to be displayed on Worthing pier for the next 12 months.

The Lancing Art Club are marking their 60th anniversary with Lancing  -the Big Picture. It will be a collage of 30 small canvases depicting land marks in and around Lancing. Each canvas will be painted by a different member of the club.

With all the projects and exhibitions coming up this year, there is an urgent need to complete some more paintings.