Thursday, 29 March 2007

Bravery above and beyond

Herself, the love of my life and Muse, displays her valour.
Photographed during a warm up break in the freezing studio, with only a cuppa and her new coat to ward off hypothermia !

More scenery

A commission that has just left me for it's new home.

Not naked ladies, but I'm still rather fond of it.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

birthday girl

My daughter is fourteen today.

I remember when I could lay the entire length of her body along my forearm and stare into eyes the colour of a morning sky.

I looked into her eyes a few minutes ago over breakfast and got that strange sensation you get just before you fall asleep, when the bed tips and you get that vertigo feeling.
The same eyes, in the face of a beautiful young woman.

Happy Birthday Jennifer Eleanor.

Friday, 23 March 2007

For whom the Bell tolls

The Wiveton Bell that is.

The new owners Sandy and Bernie are trying a new venture, art will be the focus of the completely renovated and redecorated interior, most of which will be for sale.

Having spent the last six weeks working themselves into a frenzy, they are nearing completion.

I dropped off a couple of pieces of work yesterday, and it looks fantastic.

(Sorry if you live too far away to drop in for a G&T and be inspired/spend all your hard earned gold. Come for a holiday, maybe move here, 'cmon you know you want to)

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Getting a reality check

I painted this portrait a few weeks ago. The subject is a good friend of mine, Paul Robinson.

Like me Paul is, in no particular order, a painter, father, and husband. Son, brother, self-employed person etc.

I was in town today and dropped in to have a chat with him. As usual we blathered on about art, holidays, (lack of), our families, painting, gallery space, acrylics -v-oils, feeling winter worn and jaded. Also covered were new technology, broadband, house prices, this blog, and no-doubt several other topics which have since slipped my mind...........and that's my point.

We covered all that stuff in an hour or more's chat and banter. I left him, as usual, not caring that we had failed to reach any real conclusions or solutions, but strangely happy that we could just pick up where we left off the next time I drop in.

Thanks Paul.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

From Start to Finish

I thought you dear readers might like to see how a piece develops stage by stage, so ;

Basic scruffy blocking out of the canvas.

Defining the composition more accurately.

Adding some detail and background tone to establish the lights and darks.

Starting to come together now, mostly a question of getting the tones right.

A bit of tidying up (the hair at the back of the head and the shoe) and it's a done deal.

Spring has not sprung

The wildest day I can remember for a very long time. Winds gusting up to 80 knots apparently.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

R.E. a waste of hats

I spoke too soon, blowing a gale here today, with some sleet. Hat's back on then !

See what I mean

These are recent studies, I want to try and hold on to the immediacy of these sketches but end up with a more finished look on canvas.

At the moment when I start on a new canvas, I seem to tighten up and get all precious about things. This means the end result is sometimes a bit static and lacking in movement.

Do more, get better seems to be the answer. (As ever).

New piece

I finished a new big canvas this week, don't have a title for it yet.........any suggestions ?
The real problem with work on this scale ( 4.5 feet square) is keeping the thing spontaneous. I'm struggling to keep the painting fresh and not overworked.

This one is not bad, I think it's growing on me.

Thursday, 15 March 2007


North Sea Storm I, oil on canvas, 16"x16"

Cromer Pier at twilight, oil on canvas, 16"x 16".

See, been busy !

This weeks scribbles

These two were done a few days apart, funny how some days it's all speed, and on others its more substance.

A waste of hats

I didn't need the space heater on at all in the studio yesterday.
I'm working in a fairly large fairly empty flint barn, around forty yards from the edge of England, in March.
On taking a break from the easel, I went for a look over the cliff and saw the coaster in the photo above. The effect of the all enveloping blue, made It look as though she was sailing through the sky.
All lyrical enough, to be sure, but I have a box full of really stylish winter hats, woolly ones, ones with flaps, ones with peaks AND flaps...........have I really got to put them away until October ?

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

poorly boy

At home today trapped with a poorly 11 year old.

I wish that Playstation had existed when I was 11 and ill. The boy seems to be well enough to destroy entire planets with the flick of a well educated thumb, although he does cough convincingly when I ask if he needs anything.

On the rare occasions that I was sufficiently close to death to warrant a day off school, the 12inch portable T.V. was transported into my room so I could watch Nancy Kominsky in monochrome. Come to think of it, I think she had a big influence on me.

Anyway, gotta go, UKTV History, tea, toast and D.Day for lunch.

Monday, 12 March 2007

carbon footprint ?........try another fairy story

The reasons for joining the armed forces are many and varied. However, I would be willing to bet no-one ever thought to themselves;

I think I'll join the infantry, so i can go and fight a re-run of an 18th century colonial war, against an enemy who has never been defeated on his own turf.
This enemy, in the late 1970's and 1980's, despite hardly any food or supplies, and in spite of air strikes and artillery against his home villages, defeated a significant proportion of the second largest standing army ever to have existed.
The terrain this fixture will take place in is some of the most inhospitable in the world, in places a moonscape that will make most of the technological advances of the last 200 years a costly unreliable irrelevance.
Our logistics will be so poor that my immediate superiors may have to decide if I will be re-supplied with ammunition OR water OR food, today.
If I suffer a serious wound in combat, I would enjoy the irony of being helicoptered out of battle, in mind numbing fear and agony, with little or no pain relief, overflying verdant fields of opium poppies on my way.
Upon my late night concealed return to blighty, I would relish the prospect of spending time on a mixed ward in a civilian hospital, laying for several hours in the shit from my overflowing colostomy bag.
It will be hard to concentrate my thoughts on how far the MRSA infection I have contracted in the hospital will spread, but like the good squaddie I am, I'll do my best.

As was said in my day, with the inflection of irony that only the trained man/woman can truly intone;

"Nothing but the best for our lads".

Friday, 9 March 2007

healthy eating

The gulls were going mad for worms behind the tractor, and it crossed my mind that if I were a gull I might eventually get fed up with worms.

Maybe there are gulls that don't rate worms. You know, like the those earnest slightly unsettling friends of your children, who when presented with a plate of shiny fresh from the wrapper greasy chips say, "No thanks, I don't like chips".............Do you think there might be fledgling sea birds on a field somewhere, screeching, "No thanks, I don't like worms" ?

Thursday, 8 March 2007

If there was a decent pub in the village......

...............................I wouldn't have to wince everytime the fifteen year old friend, of my fourteen year old daughter squeals in pain and outrage.
She squeals because the mother of my fourteen year old daughter (my wife.......hope you're keeping up) has the poor girl in a half nelson and is plucking her eyebrows. "Actually Dad" says my daughter, "She has a mo-brow".
I am surprised my daughter even noticed I was in the room, she only just managed to raise her head from the magazine full of hairstyles she is contemplating.
I feel more pain coming my way.


Incredible light today.
Being at the coast it comes off the water straight back at you, like being interrogated by nature.
"Where were you last week when it was blowing a gale and lashing with rain ?" asks the sea.
Cowering indoors with the central heating on is the answer, but as I am afraid of her wrath
an easy lie trips off my tongue.
Minutes later when I am taking photographs, she rushes forward unseen and soaks both my feet and legs.
No good trying to fool her.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007


This weeks scribbles....

Self Portrait ll

I painted this yesterday afternoon, I like the scruffyness.

Cliff Edge

Heard something on the radio earlier, a poor woman who lives on the Yorkshire coast (U.K.) who's property is falling into the sea. She and her husband are losing everything including their business.
The rest of the piece was about how the coastal areas of Britain are among the most deprived in the country. A combination of seasonal employment (therefore seasonal UN-employment), poor standards of living, rural deprivation, poor education and lack of aspiration have put seaside towns into a bit of a mess.
As I live on the Norfolk coast, and paint in a studio 40 yards from the edge of the land, I'm feeling a bit dark this morning.

Painted a self portrait yesterday.....not sure if I like it.
I'll get it up on here and see if anyone else does.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Figured out how to get images on here !

Pretty pleased with myself in a sort of woo woo look at me I'm blogging sort of way.....


Well, I hope to learn this blogging lark as i go along. I'll be updating general stuff and images of my work as often as possible...............just gotta figure out how............