Monday, 12 March 2018


Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog

It was a week of scraped down paint from a canvas undergoing change.
Not wishing to waste the expensive oils I decided to use them for underpainting.

These small 8 x 8 inch canvases were ideal for the job.
I spread the blue paint over the surface and added darker green to give some variety.

Another pile of paint was purple red.  Using a knife I spread this on top.
With just a few marks I had made the beginnings of some seascapes.

Another canvas, 16 x 16 inches was also used for my recycling.

Some of the blue green paint was mixed with cold wax medium.
I spread some over the dry surface and scraped it back a little.

The image has a mysterious feeling.

Making places...

My small canvases were left to dry and then I began teasing out an
 abstracted land/seascape.  Using a brush, knife and a little cold wax I kept the 
marks loose and free.   Some scraping back revealed the underpainting in places. 

I finished three...the fourth was a disaster!
However, I rubbed it down and will rework it later.

I am preparing these small pieces for an Art Market at the end of June.

This piece had some Venetian Red added for impact.

Blues and purples emerged as I scraped.

Some light Cobalt blue was swept across this surface.

Making acquaintances...

One of my favourite relaxations is finding other artists around the world.
I search the web for painters.  This week I found Nicholas Wilton.

He lives and paints in California and has a Sunday blog.
His work is abstract mostly on a large scale using oils and cold wax.

If you are interested, his web address is

That's all for now...Until next Monday
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Capturing the moment.

Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog.

I am not concerned with painting the moment literally 
but my work is still inspired by what I see around me.

'Capturing the moment' however, is an important part of my painting life.
It could be something about what the moment meant for me; like a
glimpse of my feelings or a flash of inspiration as I make marks.

 Most of my paintings evolve spontaneously as I work and capturing
 the elusive moment can often be a struggle as I wrestle with paint on canvas.

When struggle happens I usually keep working through it to reach a
conclusion but occasionally I have to admit defeat and begin again.

When everything goes wrong...

Below is a photograph of a recent painting in my studio.
I wasn't happy with it so I decided to 'finish' the work.

In other words I felt I hadn't quite captured the moment. 

Big mistake.  It was one of those times when everything went wrong.
Instead of adding colour, my mixing on the palette became mud.

As you can see below...

This photograph shows a thick layer of red-brown mud covering the canvas.
The only part untouched is top left.

  It was time to stop as this painting was not going forward.
 I left the canvas on the easel overnight.

A new day and new ideas...

Today I brushed solvent onto the canvas to soften the oil paint.
 I scraped most of the mud away with a knife and finished off with rags.
The canvas was soon dry enough to add some colour.

Working with knife and brush I began to bring the painting
 back to life taking care not to repeat the muddy version.
  I wanted to leave parts of the first painting to show through as a 
reminder of my journey.  It would be a story of struggle and escape.

I have posted the two images below to see the differences.
Apart from the colours I think the new one has more strength.

The canvas can also be viewed two ways which adds variety.
It looks quite different in a landscape format.

Either way...I think I have captured my moment.

 'To capture a moment' 

Oils on box canvas  24 x 36 inches

    More senses...

I try to give a sense of space and place when I paint.
It is easy to give an impression of space on a large canvas
but it can also work with a small one like this 'seascape' on my easel.

This small board measures 10 x 12 inches.

There is a high horizon and it could depict a shore at low tide.
The paint is thickly applied and sculpted with a knife.
My aim was to create a sense of place and space.

The 'impression of seeing'...

To view my progress I step backwards to see how the painting looks from a distance.  
Working close up is never seen quite the same as when standing back.
Visually, my work changes for me as I move away from the easel.

We cannot view close up and far away at the same time.
It can be like looking at two pieces of work.

Another way of 'seeing' is to take a photograph of the work.
I can often see which parts to change if it looks unbalanced.

Or using a mirror to view the painting over my shoulder
which gives me a different impression of seeing.

As it is nearly midnight I will close before Tuesday arrives.

Until next Monday...

Thank you for visiting

Monday, 26 February 2018

Journey of a painting

Hello and welcome to my Monday Blog

Unfolding Story    Oils on box canvas 16 x 16 inches

When I open my studio door I know I shall go on a journey.
I am not alone as the painting will accompany me.

Painting is an exciting occupation but has its ups and downs.
Sometimes more downs than ups but the destination eventually dawns.
This happened last week as I re-worked a canvas for the second time.

I will show you some photographs...

First old painting covered and some new textured parts added.

I continued to work with layers of greys leaving some parts uncovered.
This is a close up of the lower centre.

After this dried the painting was left on an easel
 as I like to rest a piece to allow time for inspiration.

Eventually I began teasing out a random composition and
it was time to introduce some brighter colours.

Now my painting has taken on a new look.
I stopped working just in time to avoid an overworked appearance.
Time to leave it alone.  Finished.  

Reworking continued...

'A change is as good as a rest'...

Gone, but not forgotten. Another re-work.

This board has had two makeovers.
It began life as a coastal subject of the Lincolnshire creeks.

This image has now been overpainted as I really wanted to 
get a loose, abstracted feeling of coastal atmosphere.
Rather than a literal representation.

Reminiscence  Oils and cold wax on board  28 x 18 inches

As you can see, the work is totally different.
This time I used a little cold wax medium mixed with the oils.

Laying the paint on and then scraping back revealed parts of the dried
oils underneath.  I like the effects.  They give depth to the work.

There are patches of colour and marks sculpted with my knife.
Parts were rubbed with a rag to blur some places and sharpen others.
There is a feeling of coast and shore with suggestions of distance on the horizon.

Now, a second piece on the easel...

The same size as 'Reminiscence'...
I would like it to be a similar scene.

I re-worked an old painting using leftover paint on my palette and cold wax medium. 

 At first the paint was randomly scraped on with a knife and
This photo shows the first stage...

At first I thought about leaving it as an abstract.
Then I decided to work it further. It is still unfinished...

(The frame is on just as a trial.
It may well change at the end).

Here is a photo of the two together.
This gives me time to think about their future.

Good friends...

These photographs show work by two artist friends...

Lyn Lovitt, Potter  

Two of her little sculptural pieces are in our home.
I bought these from a recent exhibition.

Mike Lovitt, Sculptor

This little carved 'two image' sculpture is of Buddleia.
This was also from a show last year.

If you are interested in seeing more of their sculptural work and paintings they are both
members of Lincolnshire Artists' Society and will be exhibiting during 2018.

Lincolnshire Artists' Society has a show
 in Sam Scorer Gallery, Drury Lane, Lincoln
from Tuesday 19 June to Sunday 1 July 2018.

Until next week...

Thank you for visiting

Monday, 19 February 2018

Mood and Mystery

Good morning and welcome to my Monday Blog

Before Spring arrives I am enjoying painting the grey mood
 of winter and exploring the darker side of framing.

With a limited palette I made cool greys, adding a little warmth in places.
 The painting below was kept loose and unfussy to give a sense of place.

I painted the gold frames black and then rubbed over the raised
pattern to reveal a little gold.  This gives them a luxurious feeling
 which seems to fit with modern and 'traditional' interiors.

Bleak Times   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  

Wet fields and winter colours with loose and expressive brush strokes.

A similar frame holds a special favourite...

Today the sun shone on my painting about sunlight on a winter shore.
I love the drama of this almost monochrome painting in the black frame.

Lifting Mood   Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches  


The painting below on the right is sitting happily in
 an off-white mount and simple black wood frame.

Muffled   Oils on canvas board  7 x 5 inches

There is just a hint of colour in this snowscape.
Loosely painted with a few textured brush strokes.

Drama at the coast...

Last Call   Oils on gessoed watercolour paper 5 x 7 inches

 This dramatic little study on paper is framed without glass
protected by two coats of re-touching varnish.
The off-white mount holds the picture in a simple flat black frame.

Moorland mood...

Along the way   Oils on canvas board  6 x 8 inches

Soft, moody colours of dried grasses and heather.
In a speckled dull gold frame.

Small studies can also have mystery and atmosphere.
A gold coloured frame adds warmth to this cool landscape.

Until next week...
Thank you for visiting.


Monday, 12 February 2018

Cold winds and bleak days

Good morning and welcome to my Monday Blog

The weather is cold and bleak this week but painting goes on.
I think I must be in a Gothic mood, as all things dark and mysterious are
of interest to me.  My palette has been sombre and sultry too.

Jewels of Winter  Oils on canvas board  10 x 12 inches

A moody piece of work about the wild night sky.
Dark clouds scud across the sky with moonlight breaking through.

My black interlude also extended to frames...

I have been experimenting with oils and cold wax medium
over gilt frames.  I mixed the dark with Ivory Black and a touch
of Venetian Red for warmth.  Cold wax medium mixed into the
oils helps to reduce the gloss giving a velvety surface.

'Early'   Oils on canvas board 10 x 12 inches in a hand-painted frame

This painting is about sunrise over meadows and trees.
Abstracted and reduced to marks and colour for atmosphere rather than reality.

'February Fields'   Oils on canvas board 12 x 8 inches in a hand-painted frame.

This piece is about the wet fields around my home.
Puddles and water in the tractor ruts are like mirrors for the sky.

I have a few more in this 'dark mood' which I will post
 when I have a photograph of them.

Last but not least...

I say goodbye to my framer Graham who has made my frames for several years. 
  He has made me some speckled gold frames for some little oil studies.

Thank you Graham and good wishes for your work in Archaeology.

Until next week...

Goodbye and thank you for visiting