Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Cedars. (not part of the 100 paintings project)
This is one of the larger paintings that I have been working on over the past few weeks. You can see sketches and smaller studies for this a few posts back.
I love these places by the sea, there seems to be something timeless about them. Sitting there beneath the great trees in their hot scented shade I could be in any age, the sea would have sounded the same, the sand felt similar, perhaps I would have found many more uses for the sticky resin, fire lighters, glue, who knows. Good place though, just to sit and be. Timeless and elemental.

81cm x 65 cm. 32in x 25.5in.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pastel Windows.


Pastel Windows. (buildings 4)

These coloured windows belong to a hotel in Quiberon. Bright and cheerful with the sun obliging and making some lilac shadows, they stare out to sea putting a happy gloss on the day. If I ruled the world it would be brightly painted, it makes me smile to see such fun.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 009
This painting is for sale, matted and costing:85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sea Trees on the Dunes.

available at Gear Farm Organic Cafe

Sea Trees on the Dunes. (seascape2)

Dry sand beneath my feet. Cotton grass shuddering in the sea breeze. The smell of hot pine resin on the air. A long way off I can hear the waves and children are shouting. It is like a lullaby. This place makes me think of my childhood, long hot summers in Cornwall, forgetting completely about school, rain or grey skies. Where I was became a desert island and I became Robinson Crusoe. As I push my feet into the hot sand I know that it is never really lost, that island in my mind, the endless summer of childhood. It is sweet to be able to step back into it for a little while.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 008
This painting is for sale:95 pounds (UK) 186 dollars (USA) and 125 euros (Europe).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beach Flags, Quiberon.

Beach Flags, Quiberon. (Seascape 1)

The holiday season has begun. The beach at Quiberon was full of people and some kind of festival going on. As soon as I saw this I was reminded of Monets’ paintings, “ Garden at Sainte Adresse” and “The Beach at Trouville”

I think that much admired work must influence us all, it is not necessary to make a copy of that work but perhaps to allow a sense of it to come in. So this is the beach at Quiberon. The wind is quite strong making the flags quite noisy. I am a little sunburnt and the sand is very bright and my skin feels tight as I squint into the sun to watch the scene before me. I wonder if this is how Monet felt as he battled with the wind to make his paintings, it is possible to see sand in the paint, did it annoy him, and was his face tight from the sun as he tried to define the colours. Did he knock off for a glass of wine when it was finished and how on earth did he manage to get the canvas home without smudging the wet paint?

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 007
This painting is for sale:85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

(Monet's lovely paintings...I am not offering them for sale!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday Morning Cafe

Café Royal.

Café Royal. (Cafes & Bars 1)

The day was bright, not sunny at all but full of a diffused light and rain. Pelting down on the streets, summer rain, causing people to scurry along with raincoats over their summer clothes. It has been such a wet summer that all of the shops have a dishevelled look with SALE posters plastered over their windows as they try to shift the hot weather clothing. There is a rushed and frenetic feeling in the air, which makes a café pause all the more welcoming. I sit in the calm environs of the Café Royal in Lorient. There is a small, perfect coffee on the table with a tiny square of intense chocolate giving the moment a delicious self-indulgence. Be still, be quiet, and sip the coffee and watch, as the world rushes by like a busy aquarium.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 006
This painting is for sale:
85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Sanctuary. (Buildings 3)

It is hot outside, midday, everyone is at lunch and so the streets are still and shimmering in the sun. I step inside a church. The latch on the heavy wooden door clangs into the dark, cool space inside. The air is considerably cooler and laced with the smell of old books. As I walk quietly across large worn flagstones sand falls from my shoes. In the deafening silence I imagine each grain tumbling to the floor, being lit by the shafts of sunlight that filter through the coloured glass and bouncing with a tiny far away sound of summer on the beach. I sit in one of the pews and begin to sketch, finding sanctuary from the heat.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 005
This painting is for sale, matted and costing:
85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.
(watercolour sketch , tiny moleskine sketchbook, 3.5in x 5in )
Don't forget that you can click on the pictures to see a bigger image.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Inside Looking Forward

Inside Looking Forward (Buildings 2)

Dolmen, megaliths, alignments and standing stones are scattered across this landscape. This is the “Dolmen de Curcuno” at Plouharnel. Crouching inside is a strange feeling. Having a huge lump of granite balanced above your head, for me, is a bit scary but there is also a strong sense of security. Surrounded by ancient stone, held in the arms of these silent guardians, a muffled peace descends, a dark velvet of the past. Outside rain clouds scud across the sky and brief bursts of sunlight highlight the buildings and I am inside, looking forward, my mind projecting images of the imagined past onto the ever loving stones. What are these places? I don’t know but they seem to be places of safety and rest, contemplation and peace.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Watercolour. Painting 004
This painting is for sale, matted and costing:
85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chinese Supermarket Lorient

Chinese Supermarket Lorient (Work 1)

Every few months we have a trip to the Chinese supermarket in Lorient to stock up on essential cooking ingredients. This emporium seems to be open all hours, it is certainly open on Sundays and is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a quick dip into another culture following perhaps a very old tradition, as the city’s name comes from L’Orient which is French for “The Orient.”
Inside this temple to all things exotic the light floods in from the roof windows, illuminating a feast of colours and smells. Delicate rice bowls sit alongside teas for all needs. Silk dresses and jackets for impossibly thin frames nestle up to sacks of jasmine rice while perfect pork dumplings enjoy the fridge space, juxtaposed with chickens feet and fine tea-smoked fish. Maroon Buddha’s preside over crates of cloth shoes. Sesame oil is available in huge drums and red lanterns are suspended from the roof scaffold, swaying slightly every time a spice-seeker enters this sensory explosion of a shop.

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil. Painting 003
This painting is for sale:
85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Manderlay Moment.

Manderlay Moment.
(Buildings 1)

Yesterday the sun shone, unusual for this summer. We took a trip down to the bay of Quiberon and, while wandering the little back alleys of a small town on the coast, I saw this house.
There are some houses that, for me, induce Manderlay moments; this was one of them. I am not sure what the ingredients of a Manderlay moment are. It could be that it is a place that resembles somewhere from far back, so far back that it now seems like a dream. Or perhaps it is the sort of house I would like to live in, or that I am able to see myself living there, in a kind of parallel universe, kids spilling out of the windows and me enjoying the company of friends and a glass of wine on the shady lawn, there is never work or the need for work in those places.
I decided to employ another form of magic to capture it. When I draw or paint things it is a way of possessing them, a bit like being the mistress of my own universe. Which is why I have never understood the common impression that to be an artist it is necessary to be miserable. I feel very fortunate to be an artist. If I want to keep a moment in time safe, I paint it. That is why this house is somewhat hidden, confused among the leafy trees and the jubilant shadows, it is just a daydream of a place. “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderlay again”

25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Oil on canvas board. Painting 002
This painting is for sale:
85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

Hot Day

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Megaliths. (Landscapes 1)

The Alignments near Carnac, nearly 3,000 stones in wavering prehistoric lines. These days it is only possible to watch the stones from a distance unless you want to gambol round with a large group of fellow tourists on a guided tour, because, you see, they are protected, or the grass is, or the flowers. I prefer to watch from a distance, to find a quiet place and watch them watching me. I imagine that these stones have witnessed many things, I like to believe that stones suck up emotions and events like very slow tape recorders and I fancy, as I draw, that the energy hovers around them, like a mist of tears, a veil of years, just out of the reach of our hurried eyes.
25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.
Watercolour . (Painting 001)
This painting is for sale, matted and costing:85 pounds (UK) 170 dollars (USA) and 126 euros (Europe). This includes the postage.

St Adrien

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This Year I will Mostly Be Painting....

Ooh, that's a bit dark, but it is me, here and now, I just drew this to say hello and to tell you the result of the voting poll for the five subjects for the coming year:
They are:
Landscapes. People at work. Cafes and Bars. Buildings. Seascapes
There will be 20 in each category and maybe some sketches and notes thrown in too, in watercolour and in oils and that's about it.
I will be posting the first painting on Thursday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Look

Wow, it is a new look. I finally plucked up the courage to change it, I was worried that I would loose lots but it worked. So for my new project, launching on my birthday, which is Thursday 12th July (just in case you needed reminding, everyone who is busy forgetting their lovely Mums birthday, hint hint) I have a new look blog. The voting has been great, very interesting and thank you very much to everyone who took the time to email me and not only vote but also say such nice things. Thank you.
So for the coming year I will be doing 100 paintings but I also want to include the sketches, doodling and general inspirations that go towards the paintings, like a diary/sketchbook thing. Which at the end of it all, if it is any good, I will make into a book. I will also (I hope) be doing some larger work, some portraits and other things which I will post up on the other blog, Muddy Red Shoes.
Tomorrow I shall announce exactly what it is that you have voted for as the five subject categories...


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chateau in Shadow

Chateau in Shadow
25.5cm x 20.5cm. 10in x 8in.

A hazy burst of brief sunshine back-lights this Chateau which sits, slightly dilapidated, on the edge of our village. Large majestic beach or oak trees often frame these beautiful old houses. Once, when they were new, I suppose they stood out stark and solid, fenced by skinny saplings. Now after many years they seem to belong in the landscape, settling into the arms of the trees, shadow and dappled sunlight playing on crumbling walls, comfortable in their skin, faded beauty still stunning.

Evening Sky

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kitchen Cupbord

Room in Israel

Cherry Orchard

Cherry Orchard
27cm x 22cm. 10.5 in x 8.5in.
Oil on stretched canvas

I held out for as long as I could but early this morning the urge got the better of me. I had to paint!
This is a little cherry orchard deep in the Dordogne countryside. I had gone for a sketching walk with Boy, the young son of one of my dearest friends. We had spent about an hour drawing a magnificent view and then moved on. Boy was all painted out so, while I absorbed this little lane, he ran about in the cherry orchard “scrumping” cherries, which he shared with me. It had rained recently. The earth was warm and the smell of wet clay mingled with the scents of clary sage and thyme that were exploding into the air as Boy’s busy feet scrambled over the stony herb encrusted ground. I wonder if one day, when I am nearing eighty and Boy is in his late thirties, whether the taste of cherries and the smell of wild thyme will invoke this moment.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me their votes for the 5-subjects-100 -painting project to start on July 12th, it is very interesting and useful. I shall publish the results on July 10th, so if you haven’t voted yet please do.
I am also working on some plans for structured painting courses for next year, I will let you know when they are ready and posted up on the holiday site.
If you want to see some examples of the illustration work that has occupied me for so long it is over on Muddy Red Shoes.