Tuesday, 29 December 2009


I have been planning works for proposed shows next year and the first is probably the annual event at GRIMSTON CHURCH NORFOLK. When I first started submitting work here in 2003 it was based on semi-abstract spiritual figure works which I felt was appropriate for a church event, which proved very popular. As the years have gone by I have exhibited other work but found questions were being asked as to why my subject matter had changed. The main reason was lack of time to prepare specific work for Grimston, so finding a few days before and after Christmas I have begun a new series for the 2010 show.

I think I must be linking my church figures and magic garden series, as this first one has people in a spiritual based environment with added plants and flowers. Here is the finished work, created from Liquitex acrylic liquid inks and Finity soft body acrylics on YUPO. Some paint is dragged to create a smooth surface, others added with a brush .

It was great fun developing, and the following image shows how it first moved on from squirted colours dragged down over a 18" x 18" YUPO sheet reds/blues/greens mixing to create quite a dark atmosphere. It reminded me of my THREE WISE MEN in a cave environment I did in 2003 though in warmer colours ........

.... so here I took over the design rather than let it happen and developed areas of colour by adding plants and blooms either side of the pond in the left and right hand side at the front, using my 'printing' technique Here is a close up of the largest figure head and shoulders, very much in the chiaroscuro style of light and dark that is used throughout the painting.
Finally, here is a view of the waterfall leading into the magic pond of the title.

It was great fun getting back to this technique of creating a painting from poured/squirted acrylic paints by just developing what one 'saw' after dragging the colours together. I'm looking forward to number two now.

Saturday, 19 December 2009


While it has been snowing outside, I've been tucked up in my little warm studio having fun using pen, watercolour pencil, liquid acrylic inks, gold spray and finally a little collage work to finish.

It went a bit darker than I really wanted underneath the cross on the left, so
stuck on a cut out bauble from Christmas wrapping paper. 'Cheat, cheat' I hear you say. So inspired me, I added the other two... plus the gold thread they are hanging from.

This is the result, created to wish all my blogger friends
the best of time at Christmas and every good wish for the New Year

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Close up of Max eye area on finished mixed media artwork to give you an idea of how the varied layers I describe below worked out.
A dear friend who lives in Cromer lost one of her beloved dogs this year and as I knew I had taken photos of them over the past few years, I rummaged through my Iomega stand alone hard drive archives to find a suitable photo to inspire me for a Christmas present painting.

These are the colours I chose for all the pigments showing through Max's fur from pinky/purple skin, to raw sienna and soft grey/blue shadows , the blues/purples in the nose and greens and yellow background.

You will see I have entitled the piece MIXED MEDIA MAX and that is revealing how it emerged

from the initial graphite sketch,

dry watercolour pencils,

then wetting tips of the pencils and adding areas of slightly wet pigment.

This is the final mounted piece I have put into a natural creamy wood square frame.

Seems I did not take photos at some of the more specific stages, particularly as I decided to add Liquitex liquid acrylic white fur marks and when dry go in and redefine the colours. Finally I scrubbed (yes really - brave of me don't you think?) all over with dry white watercolour pencil and in places pink or yellow watercolour pencil and darkened the collar. See sample close up at the top for better detail.
I am sure Anne will recognise her own garden chairs with yellow cushions and climbing plants. Only hopes she thinks it looks like Max and is pleased with the surprise.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


You may remember I recently posted about a visit to Luxembourg to see our family and noted that when we were there Karen and I went into the City to the Saturday flower market - plus the usual clothes and vegetable stalls. I promised my daughter in law that I would send her a watercolour of our visit having taken my lovely Lumix camera with me that morning. Here are the results.

My first composition did not please me, as the cathedral with the lovely long spires was half hidden by the trees from the photo I first used. I also was not happy with the number of people I had sketched in ... so this first attempt was abandoned.

This next image shows where I re-drew the composition bringing the cathedral building and spires more to the right and a little larger. I was happier, as it meant the two paths between the trays of flowers lead not only to the back of that open delivery lorry but on and up to the spires.
Here is a close up showing the detail of the trays of flowers in progress and the improvement by leaving out the figures near the centre I had in the first composition. This final image is of the completed watercolour put behind a small double mount, so that it was protected but not too big to post. I must have used at least 4 photos to arrive at the final composition and throughout there was decision making as to how much to leave out!!! - the usual bane of every artists - and the artistic licence of moving things about .

Only hope Karen does not decide to have a look at my blog before Christmas presents are opened!!