Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Evening Sky, Mouth of the Helford.

Evening Sky, Mouth of the Helford
40 cm x 50 cm or 16 inches x 20 inches.

Just off the mouth of the Helford River a big cloudscape hides the sun but allows the magnificent display of sparkling light to play accross the water. The cooling air brings the perfume of honeysuckle and hot earth from the land out to the sea.
I am reading "Frenchman's Creek " by Daphne du Maurier, hugely romantic and set in this area, thoroughly enjoying the descriptions of places that I know so well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Evening Coastline, Falmouth Bay

Evening Coastline, Falmouth Bay
40cm x 40cm or 16 inches x 16 inches

Just before sunset the coastline loses its definition, suggestions of trees and flashes of fields as colours begin to leave the landscape.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last Light, Pendennis Point

Last Light, Pendennis Point.
50 cm x 40 cm or 20 inches x 16 inches
Out in the Falmouth Bay as the sun was setting, St Anthony Lighthouse silhouetted against a yellow shot sky, Pendennis Castle rendered down to a smudge of russet guarding the entrance to Falmouth harbour. The sea becoming inky silk by the minute.

Sheep and Wide Open Spaces

Hay Wanes and Seaweed Gathering

Four of my Favorites

These are all tiny and stunning, I love them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Leaf and Light (and Cheering Up)

Leaf and Light
Oil on gessoed board.
20cm x 60cm or 8 inches x 24 inches
Carrying on with the leaves and light thing. In all honesty in this hot summer weather I seem to be drawn to deep pools of leafy shade.
Right now I am in need of some comfort painting. These woodland paintings are like mashed potato or buttered toast, comfort food, but not as fattening. I retreat to the woods when I am feeling vulnerable and fed up.
Why am I fed up? Because I paid hard earned cash, painted my earnest little soul out, made two honest paintings, got them beautifully framed, met the courier van and let my babies go up to the big city to be held up and judged as not good enough to get into the Exhibition for the Threadneedle Prize. I have on a few occasions tried to get into one of these juried exhibitions, every time I think I have got it right, I have conveniently forgotten the crushing sense of abject failure that descends for a day or so. Bit like childbirth, it hurts but one often forgets that bit and goes back for more. Anyway I have now decided that I wont be doing it again. Obviously my style doesn't fit into some slot or other and I really do not like the slap in the face. I have made my living from my art for at least 30 years now so maybe I should take heart from that fact and carry on working away. Doing my own thing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Leaf Study With Green

Leaf Study With Green
40 cm x 27 cm or 15.7 inches x 10.6 inches
Just hanging about with some leaves, trying to get the green light thing going, splashing about in the cool green woods.
I love greens, once an idiot tried to tell me that veridian was a hideous and almost illegal colour! Ha! What did he know! Since that unfortunate conversation I use it at every opportunity. I don't think that it is possible to have a hideous colour, especially not a green one! Splash them about, wallow in those cool greens.

Late Afternoon, Hot Day

Late Afternoon, Hot Day
Large Moleskine Sketchbook

Beautiful summer, may it last through till late September, spending the afternoons like a child again, paddling, swimming and doodling in your sketchbook, perfect!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Hand and I.
Yet another blog!! It is a new one, it is a replacement for the original Muddy Red Shoes. It is dedicated to everything else that I do that is creative but isn't drawing or painting, have a look if you please. It will be just things that I make, no gossip, no birthdays or embarrassing ramblings about my children or midnight ranting. It is called Hand and I, which is a name that I used to work under and may use again. Anyway, enough said, go have a look...

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Down to the Woods

Down to the Woods
Oil on gessoed board.
15cm x 30cm or 6 inches x 12 inches.
Walk through the woods at Midsummer. Stop and look up. There you will see a dazzling light display, sunlight shimmering through young leaves. It is like the stained glass of this magnificent natural cathedral. A homage to beauty.
I really wanted to see if I could do this, to capture that sense of frail green, almost transparent leaf lenses and the dizzying dots of light coming through them. I tried and will try some more, it was a very intense but restful exercise, all those greens cooling the mind!
Happy Midsummer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Harlech Castle, A Figure and Two Rivers

I am struck by how empty the landscape seems, not many roads, no houses, just occasionally a horse. In just over a hundred years so much is so very different. Although I knew that was the case it is only looking at these small sketches that it sinks in. I really think that sketchbooks have that power, to take you by the hand and transport you right there, sitting next to the artist as he or she makes their marks and records that filament of time.
This is the message, keep on keeping those sketchbooks, one day a hundred and thirty years later your great great granddaughter will be sitting quietly beside you, seeing what you see and feeling a connection across the years.

Summer Field

Summer Field
Oil on wooden block
20cm x 15cm or 8 inches x 6 inches

Follow the footpath that takes you to Frenchman's Creek. Walk through the dark woods, out into the bright meadows of Kestle Farm, past the jostling crowds of summer flowers. The tall daises vie for your attention with golden buttercups. Little shouts of bluest cornflower, like specks of fallen sky and hundreds of different grasses knocking summers pollen dust onto bare feet. This is a field like I remember fields were years ago, a rich tapestry of texture, detail fading into brushstrokes, swathes of delicate summer colours.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sketches by my Great Great Grandfather

Track to Penarvon Cove

Track to Penarvon Cove  SOLD
Oil on gessoed board
15cm x 30cm or 6inches x 12 inches

The Helford river is nibbled with tiny hidden coves, creeks and beaches. Tracks and paths lead to some of them, others are only approachable by boat. There is a sense of discovering treasure when a path through the woods opens out onto the river or to the open sea. This time of year the trees offer cool and shady tunnels of velvet green through to the sun beaten beaches where the drying seaweed offers up the scents of childhood summers.