Monday, August 31, 2009

Exmoor



Exmoor

Watercolour

Large Moleskine Sketchbook

We went on an impromptu camping trip to Exmoor. I haven't been there since I was a little kid, my great aunt used to live in a magical cottage miles from anywhere in the middle of this beautiful place. I was completely stunned by the space, the big big sky, the huge views. It all took my breath away. Standing on what feels like the skin of Mother Earth, watching as the sun draws with cloud shadow over the distant landscape. You might have to click on this picture to see that. It was wonderful.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Moon Rise



Moon Rise

Watercolour. 40cm x 40cm or 16 inches x 16 inches

The river at night, shapes and colours are gradually softened, lights appear on the other shore, the moon rises as night falls.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ebb Tide

Ebb Tide
Oil
on gesso board
40cm x 50 cm or 16 inches x 20 inches.
Looking down onto the sand as the sea quietly draws in her breath. Sipping and sighing over bright glistening pebbles. The water is clean and clear, sprinkled with diamond drops of sunlight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rain, Frenchman's Creek.

Rain, Frenchman's Creek
Watercolour. 30cm x 25cm or 12inches x 10inches

It is early evening after a very still misty day, it is summer so it has been warm. The trees on the far bank seem to be steaming. The air cools slightly and it begins to rain, big drops of rain making beautiful ripples in the slow river water. The tide gently fills the creek and fish swim lazily in the shallow water, occasionally making a bigger ripple as they jump for a passing insect. It is very quiet.
This is at the top of the creek, close by the little cottage in the woods where Daphne du Maurier penned the hugely romantic book "Frenchman's Creek"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Peddling











Last December my dear friend Justin had a very unexpected bout of open heart surgery. Thankfully it was successful and as a celebration and a thank you and most importantly to raise money, he is planning to cycle across France from Beziers to Roscoff, about 900 miles.
You can help by making a donation from as little as £2.00 via Just Giving here. It is easy and you can use pay pal. It is a very good cause, please help him reach his target and make the peddling a bit easier.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bridge, Acer and Willow

Bridge, Acer and Willow

Arms of susurrant moss,
Invite, coax, cajole
You and I, across the bridge.

A3 Moleskine
Watercolour

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buddha, Koi, Ripple


Buddha, Koi, Ripple.

Among the ferns a Budda

Watching. Silent stone.

Koi swim through circles and are gone.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Japanese Garden, Bamboo


Japanese Garden, Bamboo.
A3 Moleskine Sketchbook, 29.7cm x 42cm or 16.5 inches x 12.5 inches.
Watercolour
I went on a tiny holiday camping up on Exmoor. On the way up we stopped at the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery. A hidden jem in a tiny village just outside Newquay. If you are ever in that area it is well worth a visit, it is stunning. So peaceful and beautiful that I decided to devote my new largest Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook to Cornish gardens.
In the Japanese Garden the contrasting textures and the wealth of greens were glorious. Neatly clipped cushions of Box roll silently beneath cascades of Bamboo tears. The crimson hews of Acers colour the light and a gentle breeze plays deep sonorous notes on a giant wind chime.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Experiments

(Experiments with Oil Paints)
Summer Fields After Rain
40 cm x 40 cm or 16 inches x 16 inches
Oil Paint on Paper.

I have had a very hectic month with a lot of illustration work, a trip to London, a cow to paint and some clothes to make. I also walked 165 km (that's 102 miles) not in one walk I hasten to add, sorted out my futility room (turning it into "hobby central"), started to build a new web site and made some clothes. You can see my (faux) cat-skin jacket over on Hand and I.
Anyway I got to screaming point ( which happens when I haven't painted for a while) yesterday, so I flung down my illustrations, had already got rid of the cow, put my faux fur jacket away and got out my paints and decided that it was time to experiment.
I am trying to use oil paint like watercolour. I think it may take a bit of time to get to know what the paints will do but already I see possibilities. I gessoed a large sheet of watercolour paper then used washes of very dilute oil, gradually building up detail and strength of colour. Hmmm... we shall see what happens with this technique, I think it is suited to the misty, dull, rain soaked summer that we seem to be stuck in.
Detail number one

Detail number two