Sunday, 31 May 2009


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Today is Whitsunday, a most wonderful day in the life of the Church.
As I switched on the radio I heard the singing of Haydn's - 'The Heavens are telling the glory of God - the wonders of His works display the firmament'.
This gentle scene is above the houses, on the horizon from my studio window. I say studio, it is actually a space 3'x3' on a good day.
If I am in the house I look at these hills every time I go past the window, and each time it is different -- I LOVE IT!!!!!

Friday, 29 May 2009


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Today's post is for no other reason than 'they are just stunning plants'. London Pride as they are often known just sit there in the border year after year -- very unassuming. Then, just at the end of spring they explode into a 'big froth'. I love the simple flowers, especially when they mass. ENJOY! Make sure you double click on to the photo to get a better look.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

ROBIN HOODS BAY - 6"x8" oil on board

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Probably one of the most 'painted' bays of Yorkshire, along with Staithes. The approach to the beach is extremely steep but well worth the walk down. The walk back up is another matter.

Friday, 22 May 2009

WELSH LIFE - 6"x8" oil on board

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The first painting is of the beach at a North Wales town called Criccieth. It has a wonderful silhouette showing off the wonderful old castle ruins above the beach and town.
The other two pieces are from the 'Museum of Welsh Life' outside Cardiff. This is a must to visit if you are anywhere close by. It is a magnificent collection of Welsh buildings from Bronze Age right up to 1950/60 prefabs.


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As a child I listened (as did everyone else in Britain) to a BBC programmes called 'Have a go Joe'. Joe became the name of the 'man in the street - everyman'. He was encouraged to attempt whatever was offered.
When people say to me ' I wish I could paint like you - I've got no talent at all - I'm rubbish at art' .... I say 'HAVE A GO'. When I am successful, the people run out to the shops and buy boxes of colours, many peripherals, products that I have never heard of. Very soon they either keep buying more or stop altogether. Buying more doesn't mean they paint more. Almost every artist I know will tell you the secret of their success in in painting, painting, painting and then painting some more. This is why I love the 'painting a day artists' many of them are POCHADE artists, producing very quick, vibrant oil sketches, more often than not on site through rain or shine.
The photo above is one that I hope will encourage you to HAVE A GO. It is the palette that I have come down to after many years ... and I LOVE IT!
I use Winsor & Newton - Artisan Water soluble Oils, sometimes with a quick drying medium added.
My three colours plus white are: 1. Titanium White 2. Cadium Yellow Pale 3. Alizarin Crimson 4. Ultramarine Blue.
I have also Viridian Green standing by and Burnt Umber. But buys those another day!
Ask yourself - Is the colour I'm trying to paint basically RED / YELLOW /BLUE. If it is RED is it YELLOWISH or BLUEISH? if it is YELLOWISH add a speck of yelllow. Is it bright or dark? You might have to add some more yellow or a bit of white. If it is darker add a little of the third part of the trinity BLUE.
So start with the BASE colour - move it toward one of the other colours, then adjust it with the final colour.
Other artists have a starter palette that is slightly different - this is where fights break out.
Trevor Chamberlain (an English artist - Englaish weather - four very different seasons + rain) uses Titanium white, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian, Cobalt Blue, Ultamarine and Burnt Umber. They seems so different but are really variations on the three colour base.
Joyce Washor uses three wonderful palettes (colour selections) called 'the comlimentary palette'. They are RED / GREEN, BLUE / ORANGE, YELLOW / PURPLE. All this is explained in her book.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

WELL THIS IS WALES - 6"x8" oil on board

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It was this walk last year that caught me by surprise. The weather forecast said definitely 'fine', the clouds said 'fine', the cows and sheep said 'fine' .... and then the heavens opened.
It was this memory that made me change this painting at the last moment.
I have just looked out of the window .... the heavens have opened ... WELL THIS IS WALES!

LOOKING TO THE DROVERS - 6"x8" oil on board

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This is a view from the Severn Way (a 350 mile walkway) above Y Drenewydd (Newtown). It looks toward the distant Kerry Ridgeway, the ancient drover's road. Sheep like these would have been handed over to the drovers to take all the way to Smithfield Market in London .... and all without paperwork!

Friday, 15 May 2009

DOLGELLAU - 6"x8" oil on board

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Dolgellau is typical of many Welsh towns & villages. There is a moodiness about them, a sombre feel of chapel, church and tavern. These are serious places, grey places. But that is not to say there is no joy - for there is, in great abundance. Towns may be grey but they are full of colour and sounds of singing.
Dolgellau sits below the towering chair of Cadair Idris like a watchman.


Sorry guys but something has changed on my blog and 'followers' has evaporated. I have added a new way of seeing who has been visiting.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

MOMA MIA - 6"x8" oil on board

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This pochade was created from an idea seen through a misty pane of perspex in the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) Machynlleth, Wales. It is so typical of Wales in many respects, wonderful greys, subdued colours and the effects of smoke from bonfires. The MOMA is a great place to visit if you are ever on the way to the coast of Mid to North Wales. The Tabernacle (The Tab) is an old chapel used now for concerts, films and a very lively art scene. Adjoining the building is a superb gallery showing an ever changing collection of up to the minute works by contemporary artists.

SADIE'S PLACE - 6"x8" oil on board

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This beautiful little cottage is so typical of 'border houses' (places close to England). The big surprise for me was to find that they are PAINTED and not timbered as I had thought.
Following on from the recent painting of the Llanfair Road ... the road leads eventually to the magnificent Gregynog Hall. The outside fascia is one splendid spread of black & white timber work. Closer inspection shows that it is again black & white paintwork, but this time on concrete. This was at a time when concrete was being rediscovered from as far back as the great 'concrete users', the Romans. See! - it always pays to check.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


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What a lovely sight to wake up to. But doesn't it seem slightly cheeky, just a little bit saucy for that time of day? I am very tempted to add some cartoon eyes - but so far I have resisted. Half an hour after this was taken she had thrown off her hat and let her red locks spread wide.

Monday, 11 May 2009

LEAVING DRENEWYDD - Llanfair Road - 6"x8" oil on board

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The countryside is just one minute from home. Sadly this road can be fairly scary and not so easy to walk on and be clearly seen by on coming cars.


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Such a lot to see.


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Having walked into town and found the Library was unable to function because of a computer fault I went home, grabbed a camera and went for a five minute walk with my eyes open and of course my herring aid switched on (where did all those birds come from?).

Sunday, 10 May 2009


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Following on the fish (herring-aid) theme here is a long canvas of four mackerel, shiny fresh and now living on a wall somewhere in Newcastle. When the painting was delivered the chef said 'We have cleared a nice place in the corner of the shed, out the back!'

Saturday, 9 May 2009


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My one ear has decided it has done enough hard work and wants a rest. After many EARS of perfect herring I now have a wonderful device plugged into one ear. It is similar to this but with refinements. At this moment it is absolutely brilliant. But, because I am not used to it I can hear the coins in my pocket, the pile on the carpet and the buzz of flies wings over 200 miles away - I feel as if I might suddenly be called to help rescue people from an earthquake on the other side of the world at any moment. This is what we call SENSITIVE!!!!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Worth a Thought

Six degrees of Separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. It was popularised by a play written by John Guare

Monday, 4 May 2009

OLD VICARAGE - DOLFOR ~ POWYS - 6x8" oil/canvas

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For a fairly dull Bank Holiday I'm doing quite well. I have not been able to go out, so I have used fairly poor quality photograph again to find an idea. Because I am familiar with this particular rural countryside I do not feel uncomfortable or awkward. Having a 'feel' for the place makes things very much easier.

ABOVE LLANGRANOG - 6"x8" oil on board

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Sometimes it is very hard to let go of a painting. This was one such piece. Under this are many layers of paintings, some blue, blue skies, other layers show deep storms. The memories of such a place bring to mind the great variety of weather. So here we are with the final layer of clouds, still very typical of this stretch of the mid-Wales coast. I hope you can feel the day.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


Yesterday we had a day out in Shrewsbury. We went to Shrewsbury along the main route, via Welshpool etc along with lots of holiday traffic going the other way! But on the way back, after a very successful day, we decided to return using a back route skirting the Welsh/English border with Wales on our right and the magnificent hills of Shropshire on our left. Every turn was an adventure, especially at this wonderful time of year. May is an especially beautiful time. Countless buzzards kept us company along with wild garlic, bluebells and hedgerows, just about to burst into life. The fields of 'rape' stretched across our panorama on the way there and many greens showed thier splendour along the border on our return.


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