Tuesday, 31 January 2012

SNOWDONIA from PORTHMADOG - oil on canvas - 20"x16" - £180

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I'm posting this at this stage - possibly unfinished. This is not the final idea in my head, but i am loving it along the way, and may stop at this point. I want to add very sensitively the glow of the setting summer sun coming from the left. Already I know this will be a difficult act. So, for now it will sit like this in its finished/unfinished state.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

PORTHGAIN Pembrokeshire Wales - 20"x16" oil on canvas £180

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In the 1800's Porthgain (Gain in Welsh means 'fine' ... so maybe 'fine port or harbour) was known for a number of industries, mainly slate and brick. The harbour, breakwater and piers from 1851 had a horse drawn tramway from the slate quarry at near by Abereiddy. Later, a narrow gauge railway but that was closed along with the road. The now picturesque harbour was once home to the hard-working quarry men. A few cottages can still be seen.
If you are near by make sure to take a trip to the 'blue lagoon'. Why not sample the yummy 'fish & chips' from various venue round about ... you won't be disappointed!

Many artists have techniques for checking composition and tonal qualities.
Here are a few that I employ, both in the daytime and at night:

      Jump out of a doorway - look as if it the first time you have seen the picture.
      Look at the painting over your shoulder through a mirror.
      First thing in the morning get a 'quick response impression'
      Turn the work upside down, on its side.
      The famous 'squint' technique is good.
      Look from various distances ... far & near.
      Photograph in black and white ... or make digital changes to see the effects.
Remember: if it works in black & white ... it probably works!

Friday, 20 January 2012

MAWDDACH ESTUARY (Fairbourne/Barmouth) - oil on canvas - 50x20cm - £80

Posted by PicasaThis beautiful estuary in North Wales straddles estuary between the two holiday towns of Fairbourne & Barmouth. This has been over many years a very popular holiday destination for people from Birmingham and Manchester. Its little streets were not really meant to take such volumes of traffic ... so ... go out of season and enjoy the splendour of this place, the wildness of its weather and the backdrop of the Snowdownia range.
We have arrived by car or train then walked along a fine pathway after having toileted & coffee-ed. Then crossed the railway bridge, a wonderful childhood memory for many, arriving at the town of Barmouth. After a short stay we were able to take a very small ferry across the estuary, back to our car. Nice, very, very, very windy day!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

WE HAVE HAD 'WEATHER' this week - our first taste of winter!

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Inspired by Tredraith West Wales - acrylic on canvas - frame - 41x51cm - £180

Posted by PicasaTredraith is a lovely little village not far from the port of Wg in West Wales from which many people join the ferry to Ireland ... it is also known at Fishguard.
Tredraith has a wonderful silhouette from the beach as the sun is going down. I may do another painting at some time of the actual setup. I added the outcrops of rock as a way of moving the eye toward the imagined sunset. This area does flood as the sea comes in but I have never been there at the time ... I have only seen sand.
It is hard to believe that is really a 'blue' picture yet it looks so colour full. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Painting Light in Oils

This is my new Christmas / birthday present. I will be squeezing all the goodness out of this over the next few weeks. A very refreshing book, simple & advanced with some interesting ideas on priming the painting surface. I will be studying the photos with a magnifying glass for a few weeks and then no doubt going again over other books in my collection to make comparisons. I am already making connections with other artists like Trevor Chamberlain, Alwyn Crawshaw & Kevin McPherson(? ... I think that's correct). I am particularly enjoying the looseness of the brushwork and the closeness of the colour. What a feast I will be enjoying.
What are your favourite books? ... let me know.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

FIRST of 2012 - ABERAERON - acrylic on canvas 70x50cm - £200 (+P&P)

Posted by Picasa My first painting for 2012 has been as struggle, but great fun and challenge. It started out as a bright orange colour scheme but every change I made turned into a complete repaint. I changed the colour emphasis and all the colour values came into place (value = the colour value compared to a black & white scale, the darkness & lightness compared). I wanted the feeling of brightness and darkness together. This is quite common in coastal places, where storm and sun are often friends together ... full sunshine and dark, dark clouds as a backdrop.
I may well return to this a do a number of different experiments. The composition is useful with its lead in together with the foreground, middle ground and distance, nicely separated.

We would love to be living here before too long .... please! 

Monday, 2 January 2012


Posted by Picasa It's good to be back touching the brushes again. How quickly we forget how to hold them. How soon the medium becomes a stranger. BUT WE ARE BACK ... the wagons are rolling once again. Just the years self assessment tax return to do and we can breath again.


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