Monday, 29 June 2009


latest stage with first layer of the larger tower
second stage when I added the town rooftops and houses

first stage when I began with the trees and foliage

I had decided way back in the end of winter to paint the two water towers I pass on my way into North Walsham for this Felixstowe exhibition of Towers in East Anglia, so took some photos from all angles.

At long last came the time to produce the acrylic painting but felt the wintry trees with no foliage was not really what I wanted to work well with the other two entries full of the coloured landscape. So last week I went back to the towers, around and down the lane to the field beyond to find to my delight that a glorious field of ripening wheat was before me. With apologies to the farmer, I waded my way through to get far enough images to incorporate the smallness of the town buildings against the two white towers in the sky. My final decision was to use my 24" x 12" box canvas landscape format in contrast to the drainage mill, so that I could get all the buildings in and incorporate a number of the photos with a bit of cheating on angles and foliage shape, size and colour. I feel it works together well.

In the hope of getting the second smaller tower created from scratch and finishing off all their detail in time, I will be delivering all three on Thursday to my dear friend in Norwich to deliver for me.

I'll post the finished work later in the week.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


marsh drainage skeleton mill at How Hill - acrylic on box canvas 12" x 24"

Bet no one can decide what these initials stand for. We (Sandra and I) had a suprise on finding an entry on the internet about an exhibition of TOWERS IN EAST ANGLIA . The answer is THE BRITISH WATER TOWER APPRECIATION SOCIETY!! It was only then that I began to find them all over the county (Norfolk) mostly white concrete standing up proud in the flat countryside, so decided to submit ideas for taking part in this show at the Landguard Fort.

My three choices of towers in Norfolk are a church tower ruin, a drainage mill on the broads and (when I get round to it) a pair of water towers on the outskirts of North Walsham, a town some 7 miles from my home.

Here are some the stages of the finished marsh drainage skeleton mill at How Hill.

Part of the excellent literature about the show states ...'celebrates and explores the majesty of towers .... and the impact they have on the surrounding space.' As you all know by now, I came up via natural history so all three paintings have foliage, plants etc within the landscape the individual towers 'tower' above.

Friday, 19 June 2009


I've been so busy during May and since I got back from holiday that I have not added anything new to my garden flower sketchbook, so decided you might like to see some photos of the various flowers currently in bloom in my garden.

Hope you enjoy seeing these lovely blooms in an English garden, mixed with trees and shrubs. I'll leave you to name them all!!
Hope to be back blogging properly with new art soon, but am now in the throws of planning two works for a show in Felixstowe based on tall architecture in the flat landscape of East Anglia.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Back in the Spring I sold a painting that caused a stir at an exhibition because of its comic content. It was about two ceramic sheep sitting on a coffee table by a window looking out at a field of sheep enjoying life in the sunshine and I called it CAN I GO OUT TO PLAY? The idea actually goes back some years to a Fenland show entitled 'bums' when I only showed the backview of sheep. Another couple liked it so much they commissioned me to do something similar. So I agreed to keep the storyline but change some of the detail.

finished work - as usual click to enlarge to see detail

Back home in my study I could not believe I did not have a stored image of the original piece but fortunately remembered it enough to make changes, for example

-I kept the curtain colour as requested but added a pattern

-I changed the original equal sided curtains and moved the smaller table more to the left

-originally there had been a pot of geraniums behind the sheep on a larger table but this time round I decided on a pot of ferns in front of the longer and wider curtains on the right

-originally the ceramic sheep had been laying down and this time round made the little lamb much smaller than its mother

- finally I changed the terracotta floor tiles to soft greys and added shadows

All in all it is a completely different piece of artwork with the same comic theme and question for its title .

here is my working drawing
It took some time planning the composition, using different references for the sheep, ferns and pattern in the curtains. Everything else was made up.

first washes of the view through the window

first layer of the ceramic sheep and finished pot and ferns
My clients are back from holiday tomorrow, when I will arrange delivery or collection. Hope they enjoy it with double 3 inch cream mount inside a plain wood frame measuring 22 inches square. Can't believe I've managed to complete this 15 x 15 inch square watercolour since I got back from Italy last Sunday ... but I did have all my references ready and had given it lots of thought before I went away.

Friday, 12 June 2009


Me in the snow after the cablecar ride to the top

After a coach trip via Riva (a town with much history possibly inhabited since prehistoric times, ruled by the Lombards, Franks, Saxons and in the 13th century a part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Venetians and onwards), we travelled on through the Soave wine valley and followed the river Alvisio through the Latemar Rango.

On the way we stopped at a village (if my notes are correct named Moena) reknowned for its wood carving. Here is one I came acrosss roaming the side streets.

Then on through the Pordoi Pass and up to the cable car to the top of the snowy Dolomites.
One of the many views coming down in the cablecar with Sasso Lungo in the background

On coming down the cablecar we noticed some gentian growing near the bottom and nipped round to photo before reboarding the coach.

Gentian growing in the Dolomites ........... Wild flowers on our journey everywhere

We then drove on through the Sella Pass to the three peaks of Sasso Lungo (3181) and a long stop to look at the views before a two and a half hour drive back to Limone.

I have many more photos of spectacular scenery but did not want to bore you all, but would like to add one of the Castle at Malcesine I told you we went to by boat to listen to a classical concert. Silhouetted because it was a late evening trip. The rocks in the background are across the lake behind Limone.
I hope all the photos can be enlarged by the usual click.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Well worth enlarging for detail.
Our first view of Limone - what a Lake Garda guide book called....' perhaps the most charming place in Lake Garda' ... where we stayed on the hillside overlooking the town. This shot above was taken from a little mini bus that took us from the airport at Veronna around the top of the lake down to Limone.

This is a view from the roof terrace above our room.

We could not have asked for more - delightful hotel (Royal Village) in extensive grounds with wonderful facilities and food. Live music in the bar in the evenings, drink on tap all day and amazing views overlooking the lake from our balcony. A well earned rest and not a sketchbook in sight!!

Had a day in Venice - lovely and sunny and not too crowded.
first view of Venice.....................and reflections

View down the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge. You can see the waterbus on the left (square flat top) we took all the way down to St Mark's Square.
The inevitable gondolers at £20 per half hour ride per person!!!!!!
Another day up in the Dolomites - again sunny day with some cloud and amazing views after taking the cable car to the top. Visited some lovely villages on our way . I'll post some images tomorrow.

Another lovely trip was across the lake by ferryboat to Malcesine one evening for a piano and clarinet concert in the castle and another longer visit on our anniversary roaming the quaint streets.
Laughing as we wait for our lunch in a little piazza in Malcesine on the day of our anniversary.

Back to the grind now with two commissions to complete by the end of the month before starting two works for the Towers in East Anglia Show to be held in Felixstowe in July.
Hope you missed me!!?? More to come tomorrow - if you can face it!!