Monday, 30 November 2015

Happy Anniversary!

mixed media on canvas view from the Shard

In February 2016, the Shard will have been open for 3 years.  I wonder how many people have enjoyed the iconic view of London with a glass of champagne?

My contemporary piece, "Room with a View" is a work-in-progress, mixed media celebration of this amazing building and I am aiming to finish the piece by February next year.

I recently read an statement from an Artist who explained that he  continues to add detail, then overpaint and then return to adding to a painting...until he is satisfied that he has, in effect,  "got it right".

When painting with watercolour, I generally can't alter a piece of art in this way.  However "Room with a View" has been created with different mediums.  So far I have used a mixture of chalk, acrylic and oil and with the flexibility of these mediums, this painting is giving me a fabulous   opportunity to explore by adding and changing detail as I progress.

I will share the finished painting, hopefully just before February 2016, and then maybe return to the Shard to celebrate ;-)

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A gesture....

watercolour painting diesel German shepherd France

Emotion makes me paint.  I have been incredibly saddened by recent events and felt moved to paint this image of “Diesel”, the German Shepherd recently killed by a bomb blast.  There was a subsequent show of solidarity from the Russian Interior Minsitry who sent a replacement puppy to France to replace Diesel.
The German Shepherd puppy is named Dobryna.  “He was named after a Russian knight, Dobrynya, a symbol of strength, kindness, valour and selfless help,” said Elena Alekseyeva, the spokeswoman for the Russian interior ministry.
My painting of Diesel will accompany me to forthcoming events and shows and thereafter I would love to gift the painting to the handler in France.  I have no idea where to send the painting so, with the powers of the internet,  maybe someone can help me?

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust


The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust held a Charity Raising Ball at the Dorchester Hotel a couple of days ago.

They are a leading UK Charity conducting conservation science to enhance the British countryside for public benefit.  They have an amazing website packed full of information, well worth a visit.  Please click here.

A few months ago I was asked if I would donate a prize for the charity auction and we agreed upon a commissioned painting.   I am so pleased to have been able to donate via the auction and the successful bidder will hopefully soon be in contact to discuss the painting.

In the meantime and, inspired by the great work of the charity, I have painted this Red Grouse taking flight.   The beautiful feathers seem to compliment our autumn colours here at the moment and, as ever, I have looked to bring movement and energy to the piece with some vibrant colours and energetic brush strokes.

I am continuing to add lots of paintings to my website, it should be changing almost daily, so please don't forget to visit.  Alternatively add your name to my mailing list for occasional updates.  Please click here



Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Brigands Estate Shoot, Bettws Hall

The Brigands Estate, in the Snowdonia National Park Wales,  is part of the Bettws Hall portfolio of of game shooting estates.  It is one of the highest and most sought after driven pheasant shooting estates in the UK.  Here are some of the comments online:

"Guns on pegs"
As you arrive at the Brigands, it soon becomes apparent that the pheasants are going to be high.  The hillsides are better described as mountains and frequently the birds are flushed from bracken, gorse or a cover crop on top of them.  The Brigands are certainly not for the faint-hearted.

"Bettws Hall website"
Testimonial:  “Brigands should be a permanent fixture on any shoot calendar. It offers everything from the awesome surroundings to the spectacular drives – it is the stuff of legends!” David Noon

I was delighted recently to have been invited to take along some art to display at Bettws Hall and it was decided that my collection of paintings would be exhibited together at Bryn Cleifion on the Brigands Estate.  How wonderful!

My drive from Somerset to Bettws Hall was rewarded with a lovely warm  reception from Fleur who quickly made me feel very welcome.   I really do hope that my paintings can be enjoyed by visitors to Bryn Cleifion whilst they attend one of the most amazing shoots in such a spectacular location.  This is so exciting,  hopefully soon I will be able to visit again to deliver more paintings and maybe join a shoot for inspiration.


Friday, 13 November 2015

End of an Era


"RAF Search and Rescue Sea King Helicopter"
Original watercolour 30cm x 15cm
Private Commission
Prints available


The era of the all familiar yellow RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter, built by Augusta Westland, has sadly come to an end.  Amongst the many brave pilots, Prince William served two and a half years as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey.  Now the mainland responsibility will fall to a civilian government agency and private contractors.


These cadmium-yellow paraffin parrots might be an analogue-affront in a digital age; a noisy, wappety, kerosene-smelling dipsomaniac machine that’s been deafening crews for more than half a century. But they’re also the thing you pray for when all hope seems lost. On nights when the rain spatters against the windows like gravel, the wind moans like cantankerous wolves and you snuggle under the blankets, the Sea King crews will be out there, rescuing people.

I have seen the search and rescue helicopters flying along our coastline and totally understand what Andrew says - what a relief it must be to see one when all hope seems lost!   In painting them, I enjoy trying to capture the motion - next on the list to paint are an Apache and then a Chinook, both hopefully in the not too distinct future.

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Saturday, 7 November 2015

War Horse



The New London Theatre, Covent Garden, oozes atmosphere.  The auditorium has a bleak and almost trench-like feel with an impression of smoke hanging in the air.  I wondered if the building was tired and in need of some redecoration but now I believe that the effect is deliberate.  And how clever it is on so many levels.

From the very opening scene, you are hooked with the appearance of the most truly amazing "horse" made by the Handspring Puppet Company.  Having now seen this for real, I can't recommend enough that you go and see the show, if you haven't already.  It is not long before you forget thinking of the horses as puppets and you are transformed to a world and era that engages you in a way that leaves you emotionally drained!  The standing ovations at the end for me were a fitting tribute to the amazing talent on stage.

I was inspired!   I have since produced my own tribute to War Horse in the form of a painting.  I have deliberately drawn and created the piece in a slightly ethereal manner and tried to emulate a slightly unkempt appearance - it is how I saw the horses.  As ever with many of my artworks, the eyes are generally the focal point as this is where I see the emotion.

"Lest we forget"  Remembrance Sunday 8th November 2015.