Thursday, 8 December 2011

Due to popular demand, we're back!

Another chance to buy a unique Xmas gift! So excited that we're back. To be honest it wasn't planned, but the Market House asked us if we would like to do a few more days, after the success of the first one, we had to say yes!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Finally got my heron

For well over a year I've been pursuing this heron in Richmond Park. As soon as my camera came out he'd be off, however when I didn't have my camera on me he'd know and hang around just to tease me!
Finally he gave me a break a few months back! 

This is an A3 pastel painting based on these photos. I first painted a gouache base with some highlights, then worked over this in pastel. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sorting out all my work for my next KAOS Exhibition. We're in the Kingston Market Place again. This time we've decided to make all work £100 and under, with the thought that people's minds are on Xmas now. We can offer truely unique gifts by local artists and crafts people, you certainly won't get anything similar on the high street!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A little break from the swan

I'm taking a break from my swan. Things that had to be done got in the way, and I've temporarily lost momentum, so I thought a new project to get things going again, then I will return to the swan with a fresh eye.
This is obviously a heron, I finally got my shot in Richmond Park, I've been trying to take a decent photo of a heron for months. I'm doing this roughly A3 mostly in gouache, which I will work into with pastel for his wispy parts in his plummage.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ripples and reflections, swan wip

Progress is slow on this, I've had a few other things to get done. I'm still refining the green. I need to get on with the foreground so I can finish the background. I always struggle to get on in the Winter, the shorter daylight hours reduce the time I can work especially using pastels which I find require good daylight.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Swan w.i.p.

I've roughly blocked in the green areas of the water. I don't want green over-kill so I'm working over the far background with a lavender colour to mute the green, and push it into the background. I'm going to work into the foreground tomorrow, then I can gauge how much I need to tone down the background colours.

I went to the Degas and the Ballet Picturing Movement Exhibition at the Royal Academy today. Fantastic absolutely fascinated by the use of photography, how by using 24 cameras, surrounding a figure all taking simultaneous photos, they could then be used to create sculptures or photosculpture. There were also examples of serial imagery that showed the broken down movements of the dancers. On top of this was the icing on the cake, Degas paintings, his pastels in real-life have so much more luminosity and vibrancy of colour.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Kingston wildlife

I've decided it's time I celebrated my local wildlife. First up is this swan on the river Thames. It's an A3 pastel painting on pastelmat, obviously still a w.i.p;
I've started with a gouache wash, which I'm now working into with pastel.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Kingston wildlife

My next few paintings are to depict some local Kingston wildlife. We are so fortunate to have Richmond Park and the river nearby, I've recently drawn a stag, now I have a number of other subjects. Firstly this swan on the Thames, I've also finally succeeded in my quest to take a photo of a heron. I've a great shot of a squirrel, and green parquets which also reside in our park,  another resident in the park are Mandarin ducks these are to be an another subject soon.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

I've tweaked a bit, and taken a better photo, now I'm stopping. Hope the lady who asked for the painting likes it!
I've some small projects in mind next, various paintings of native wildlife. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Nearly getting there

I'm starting to feel this is nearly there. I'm conscious that it can't become over-worked. This photo better shows the true colours. I've worked red into the beach, and obviously finished the boy in the foreground. I've also worked various lighter tones into the beach and sea, and tweaked down the blueness of the sky.
I'm going to ponder this over the weekend, then see what the mother of the boys thinks!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Trying to capture the movement

I had a right job getting a photo with true colours, always problematic when taking pastel paintings. The sky is a bit too blue, and orange a bit more orange, and the sand a little dull, otherwise perfect! I've work some texture and tone into the beach, the started on the boys. The strong sunlight is casting hard shadows, so I'm finding it hard to keep the boys poses looking natural, not too graphic. I'm using eye-catching light illuminated colours so that you eye goes to them first then the sea in the distance. They've got a long run to the sea and the two in front are sprinting off to get to it, their elder brother looking on, pondering whether to follow!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

The title has nothing to do with photos, just thought I'd wish you spooky Halloween!

I've just received a commission, three brothers running free on a beach in Southern France. Today I started with some loose gouache washes, then once dry started to experiment with pastel over the washes. The painting is all to do with Mediterranean vibrant colours, movement and space.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Mini giraffe 2 finished

It's half term so haven't been up to much art really, however managed to finish off my other mini canvas. I've just received a commission, so that will be my next project. I've drawn the subjects, three boys a few times before, but this time the portraiture is more about their movement, rather than to achieve a facial likeness. The three boys are sprinting across a beach towards the sea, it should be fun and challenging.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Art Celebration 2011

Art Celebration 2011 is now on! Had our Private View last night, Jason Bowyer President of the New England Arts Club opened the exhibition.
Exhibition continues Friday 21 and Saturday 22, 10.00 - 5.00pm; Sunday 1.00 - 5.00pm.
Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1DH

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My next mini giraffe is in progress

My second mini canvas is starting to take shape. I spent a couple of hours on it today. I think the two will look good together. I'm enjoying working on these canvases, you can work on them wet easily by hooking a finger around the edge of the canvas to avoid the wet paint. 

Monday, 17 October 2011

First mini canvas finished

I finally got a couple of hours to finish this one off over the weekend. I strangely enjoyed the painting the patchy pattern. Now I need to make a start on the other giraffe.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Mini canvas wip

I've made a start on the top giraffe, mainly trying to make sense of his skull shape, and to start to tackle the folds in his patches. The bottom giraffe has now a skin of paint to give me an idea of total values and the balance of the composition. Today I need to crack on with the patchy pattern, I don't know if I'll have time to make a start on the other giraffe.

Monday, 10 October 2011

My mini canvas project

These are mini canvases 8 x 8in, both oil. There are intended of an exhibition at the end of November with my KAOS art group. The exhibition is the Very Affordable Christmas Art Fair, as the title suggests the exhibition is an aim to make art affordable to all, artwork is to be priced £100 and under.
I'm working these two alongside one another, the top painting has a thin skin of lean paint on it, to give me an idea of the overall balance. You will notice a grid on both, I'm painting them from photos, taken by myself, so due to the complex pattern on the giraffe's fur, and the unusual dimensions of the animals, I thought it would be best to use a grid, to help with proportions and to stop me getting lost in the patchy markings on the giraffe.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Giraffe w.i.p

I didn't think I'd start anything more this week, however had a few hours, so decided to make a start on a mini canvas. It's only 8 x 8 in. I've two of them, both are going to feature giraffe. They are intended for my Xmas exibition with KAOS, end of November. The artists are getting together producing lots of these mini canvas, so we can have a canvas wall of very affordable original artwork. There will such a diversity of work, I think it will be great.
I have used a definite grid work for this under-drawing as the patches on the giraffe's fur have been stretched and folded with the pose of the giraffe, making them very hard to follow.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Ponte Vecchio 2

Finished off my small drawing of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, just in time to start getting myself straight for this weekend's exhibition. I feel I want to go back to Florence again, it's such a magical place, so pretty.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Another painting of Ponte Vecchio

A small study, still in progress, I'm busy this week with an exhibition so didn't want to start anything too big. This is an A4 gouache and pastel pencil, I started the painting with simple flat blocks of gouache, which I'm now working into them with pastel pencil.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ham Art Group Autumn Exhibition 2011

I'm starting to get myself organised for my next exhibition. I enjoy this exhibition as I can get involved in the actual setting up, I love putting out all the work submitted by the group and arranging them into an exhibition, we never know what's going to be submitted and how it will work together, but some how it always does!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tropical waterlilies I and II, now finished

Here are my finished tropical waterlilies. Finished just in time to dry for my exhibition next month. Both painting are an attempt to capture the illumination of the lilies petals in the fantastic light of the glass house in Kew Gardens, and the reflections in the lily pond. 

My next project below is another A4 paper based project, I'll probably use gouache and pastel pencil. It's a section of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I've already painted this bridge in oils, that painting was about the sunshine on the walls and the reflections in the windows. This composition has great shadows, cast from the shutters. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stag in Richmond Park

Here's my stag, a quick A4 painting whilst my oil painting dries, I'm quite pleased with it. I'm wondering if it would work well as an oil painting. I may work a little more into the bracken, but for now, I'm returning to my waterlily. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Richmond Park deer wip

Whilst I'm waiting for my waterlily to dry, I have started a small A4 painting in gouche and pastel pencil. I'm so lucky to have Richmond Park just 10 minutes walk from my house, the diversity of the wildlife that lives there is a never-ending source of material for paintings. This one is coming together fairly quick, so I hope to have it almost done by tomorrow, by which time hopefully I can get back to my waterlily.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Not a very inspired title, I've been working further into this painting today, I think I prefer the reflection to the actual flower at the moment, I need to get more contasts into it's petals.
I finally got myself into town this weekend to see the BP Portraits Exhibition, some fantastic work very inspiring.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Tropical waterlilies at Kew

I think the top one is almost there, I will leave it on the shelf to tweak. I'm now waiting for the bottom to dry so I can start to work in some more refined details. I spent some time playing with colours and tones yesterday. I want to capture light in the colours, the waterlily house is such a beautifully lit place. I'm trying to achieve the lights without using pure white, so to let the luminousity of the colours give the impression of the light.

Monday, 12 September 2011

All things watery

My day today has been very much centred around water. The depiction of it in my work, and in my day. I had a mini flood in my house due to a dodgy pipe. A plumber was trying to fix a small leak in the bathroom, which then turned into deluge that came through my kitchen ceiling, pouring through my extractor hood. Just hope the electrics have survived the soaking. 
This painting is proving to be another challenge, however I think I've finally got a feel for where I want to take it.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Reflections in Helkidiki

I've got to wait for my two mini canvases to dry before I can work further into them. The Summer has passed and it means that the drying time of the oil paints take longer, so I've started to sketch my next painting out. It's based on some photos taken in a fishing village in Helkidiki, Greece. This one is a bigger sized canvas,14 x 18in. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The boys are back in school

Back to the old routine. Spent a little time today experimenting with my colours for this flower, the petals have a reflective quality, that give them such subtlety and a delicate appearence. The centre of the flower is submerged into the water, and the petals are covered in water droplets, which the most amazing reflections. Now all I have to do is paint them!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Waterliles wip

My studio is lovely, clutter free without all my paintings which are in Southfields, London for 2 weeks. I made a start on these two canvases today, 10 x 10in. Lots of gorgeous details to play with such as water droplets, ripples and reflections.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

KAOS at Southfields London

KAOS have arrived at Southfields! We had our Private view last night, the gallery was packed out, people spilling out onto the pavement.

We had two VIPs, the mayors from Kingston and Wandsworth, who praised the success of KAOS .

The gallery was packed so getting a decent shot of the actual gallery proved to be hard. I had a great night, but I had to unfortunately cut it short as my son had a fever and needed his Mum!
I'm now really excited about the exhibition, here's to another success!
The exhibition runs until 17th September. The Gallery, 223 Wimbledon Park Road, Southfields, London SW18 5RH.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Another small project

Today I delivered my paintings for the Southfields Exhibition, and it made me realise how much I was missing painting. The boys are still on holiday, so nothing too adventurous just a small 10 x 10in canvas. I put the skin on this oil today and felt better straight away! I haven't been totally off duty the past few weeks, I've been out and about with my camera, taken some great shots. I'm experimenting, using my photos to print some cards. I'm also venturing into the Xmas market, so have produced a calendar and hope to create some festive cards as well, but nothing tacky though!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

My next exhibition.

Blimey this one is coming round quick! Technically I'm taking the Summer off as the boys are on holiday. I have however got to get myself ready for this exhibition. We've got the Kingston and Southfields Mayor attending, so hopeful for lots of local press coverage. This is another venture with my local artist group KAOS. Our last exhibtion was great, it was our first one and a fantastic success. After this exhibition, I've got to start thinking Xmas which may sound strange in August. I've some projects I want to have finished in time to catch the Xmas opportunities!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Been tweaking!

I've been pondering this for a bit, and slowly building up the tonal values on the petals. I've also made the centre of the flower more golden, trying to capture a glow like quality. I can continue to tweak for a few more days, but then I must decide if I want to put it in my next exhibition which is the end of the month. If I do it has to dry, and I need to attach hanging cords etc.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Kew Waterlily House

Another painting to ponder! I worked the various tones and hues into the white petals today. I've stopped for now, it's going up on the shelf to be peered at until my next exhibition, then I'll decide if it's going be one of my selected paintings.

Monday, 25 July 2011

School's out!

It's that time of year again! My boys are out of school now until 7th September, so that means I'm not working much! I've this painting to finish so need to grab a few hours here and there. I'm hoping it will be ready for an exhibition in the September. I really need to finish it in the next week, so it can dry. I tend to use the holidays to get out and about armed with my camera and exercise my boys at the same time!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Waterlily II

Whilst waiting for my other waterlily to dry, I've made a start on the next canvas. This is a small 10 x 10in oil painting. Its going to be very detailed and up close. The flower is semi submerged in the pond, the reflections and water drops are fantastic. I was fortunate to be in the Kew Waterlily House whilst it was being attended to be a gardener who was kitted out for aquatic pursuits. Gardening in a wetsuit?  Now that would give my neighbours something to talk about! The gardener had been busy tidying up the dead leaves, the result was that the waterlilies had been splashed, and this one pulled slightly below the water.