Saturday, 12 July 2014

St James's Park Sunshine

Lovely memories of a sunny day in St James's Park, London earlier this summer.  I thought that this sweet cottage and garden near to the river was just a great little spot and I used my photos above combined together to create the little scene below.  Not too sure about the final result here though - the colours are quite a lot more muted than I would like - as you can see the photos are much more vibrant, particularly the greens.  I'm not too sure about the composition either. Still the painting does give a feeling, to me anyway, of the lovely relaxed atmosphere from a stroll in the sunshine so not a complete failure I guess!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Heather @ Land's End

Following on from a previous piece of work using a trip to Lands End as inspiration I wanted to try to incorporate the wonderful view to Longships with some of the amazing colours of the heather that you find on the headland.

Friday, 6 June 2014


A view of an avenue of trees (possibly lime trees??) with the dawn light filtering through.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Storm Clearing Over Dartmoor

Putting your painting into a suitable frame can really set it off, and of course makes it easier to hang! If my finished painting is on a box canvas I sometimes just paint the sides and hang it as it is but although that saves money I don't think it gives such a good final look as a really nice frame.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Mothecombe Beach

I love to paint seascapes and am lucky enough to live in Devon and have miles of lovely coastline on my doorstep.  One of my favourite beaches is Mothecombe (aka Meadowsfoot) beach and I popped down there this morning with the children.

Mothecombe is a little off the beaten track and rarely seems to get crowded.  It's privately owned by the Flete Estate and only open on weekends and Wednesdays and its a five minute walk from the carpark to the beach so perhaps these things put some people off.  When you get to the beach, though, it has that perfect soft powdery sand and sparkling clear water.  I've taken a couple of photos today and hopefully will use them in paintings in the near future.

Mothecombe Beach

Schoolhouse Tea Room at Mothecombe

Lovely view from the Tea Room Garden at Mothecombe

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Flower Garden

I painted this flower garden at the request of my daughter as a piece for her newly re-decorated bedroom.  I wanted something bright and colourful with plenty of interesting things to look at and I had in mind the wonderful paintings of Yvonne Coomber who creates magical 'flowerscapes' although the finished painting is not particularly similar to Yvonne's work.  It's painted on board and uses really thick applications of acrylic paint - it's unfortunate that you can't really see the texture too well on a 2D screen!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Life Drawing

I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a life drawing session today which is not something that I've done before.  I found it to be a really useful exercise to work on drawings of the figure from a live model. The emphasis of the class was on creating quick sketches - some of which I was reasonably happy with and some not so much!

 I was mainly working in charcoal and some of my drawings can be seen below. A variety of poses with some quick changes meant that there was only time for the briefest of studies but in some ways I think that adds a nice feeling of spontaneity.

One thing that was suggested to me and that I tried at the class was to cover a sheet with charcoal and create the drawing using an eraser - I think that this method created an interesting result with quite a different feel to the more conventional sketches above.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Art Show

Had a really enjoyable evening on Friday with the Eddystone Art Group at our inaugural art show. The venue was the Eddystone Inn at Heybrook Bay which made for a very social atmosphere.  Lovely displays by everyone there and it was very busy with a fun time had by all!

It was quite a nerve wracking experience for me to show my work publicly for the first time but I got a lot of positive feedback as well as a bit of constructive criticism and a few things to think about for future projects.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My First Ever Art Show

The Eddystone Art Group of which I am a member are holding a social evening and exhibition of our work at the Eddystone Inn, Heybrook Bay near Plymouth on the 25th April 2014 (6pm til 10pm). It's going to be a fairly low key social evening where we can display our work and hopefully get a bit of feedback from a variety of people.  I'm really looking forward to it and also feel a bit apprehensive but we'll see how it goes on the night and I'll be sure to report back here on how it goes.

In the meantime if anyone is in the Plymouth area and would like to attend a fun social evening with a bit of art and arty chat (and a bar!) then it would be lovely to see you - there are a range of styles and some great talent and ideas within the Eddystone Art Group so it should be an enjoyable evening for all.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Wave @ Teahupo'o, Tahiti

Surf Wave at Teahupo'o Tahiti Acrylic Painting
This is an acrylic painting on a stretched box canvas of a wave at Teahupo'o in Tahiti.  Unfortunately for me I haven't been there to see the waves myself and painted this from a search on Google images!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

February Weather from Plymouth Hoe

I've been wanting to do a painting of the view from Plymouth Hoe and I imagined that it would include the traditional view of Smeatons Tower - the distinctive red and white lighthouse that tends to dominate the scene whenever Plymouth Hoe is photographed or painted. However, I liked the light in a photo that I took this February (that's right we did get a few glimpses of sunshine - combined with rain of course). It seemed ripe for the techniques that I'd learned in the exercise from Vibrant Acrylics and this is the result.  The painting took a while to complete as it had a bit of a tendency to look quite post-apocalyptic at times but I think I'm happy with the final result.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Japanese Maple

Continuing my tree theme I've finished this painting of a beautiful Japanese Maple.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Camping @ Treloan

We've been lucky enough to spend a couple of days camping at Treloan over the Easter holiday.  This quiet, secluded site is brilliantly located for walks along the South West Coast Path.  I, and more importantly the children, managed the walk along the South West Coast Path from Treloan, through Portscatho and to Porthcurnick beach.  An ample reward for this effort was the wonderful food from the Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick beach.  Loads of interesting things to see and wonderful views on our wanderings and a couple of things are possible starting points for new paintings.  Firstly, an interesting collection of boats outside the post office at Portscatho harbour:

Secondly a couple of beautiful sunrises witnessed from the campsite:

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We've been out and about quite a bit over the last week or so as the children are on their Easter break from school.  One of the first places that we visited was the Lost Gardens of Heligan which have provided me with plenty of inspiration for possible future paintings.  The gardens are themselves home to some massive pieces of art, namely the Giants Head and the Mud Maid, below.

 Particularly inviting, for me, in terms of subjects for painting were the lush jungle gardens with their wooden walkways, ponds linked by fast flowing steams and interesting vegetation and bark patterns.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the gardens - we were only there for a couple of hours but I imagine that you could spend the whole day exploring the grounds.  I plan to visit again in late summer or early autumn when hopefully the formal flower and vegetable gardens will be in full swing.