Monday, January 31, 2011


Oil on canvas
40 x 50 cm or 15.7 x 19.7 inches
As part of this project I decided that I would make one larger studio painting using the smaller plein air paintings as reference.  This is the one for January.  I wanted to show the misty greys that are so prevalent in January and the way the wind plays with the water.  I think it is the surface of the water that has burrowed its way into my thoughts, the currents and the temperature change the appearance of the surface and the colours that are there.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cold Sunshine

Oil on board
20 x 15 cm or 8 x 6 inches
A stunning Sunday, bright sun but very cold, the water is a lovely colour and I have got covered in paint doing this, had to put my gloves on half way through.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shadow in the Sea

Moleskine Sketchbook
12 x 40 cm or 5 x 16 inches
Fiddling about in my sketchbook, trying to get the shadow in the sea from the top of very high cliffs down at Lands End.  Those stones look like little pebbles but they were huge boulders, there are a couple of sea birds in the picture, for scale but they are tiny, you would need to click on the image to see them!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Oil on board.   SOLD
16 x 10 cm or 6 x 4 inches
I think one of the things that I like most about painting from life is the exaggeration of colour and tone.  I think you do it naturally.  A photograph looks at everything with equal interest and I suppose that a good photographer will change the depth of field or focus to emphasise the things that they are interested in.  That is what happens with painting.  The night sky seemed to be lit from below with an orange glow, low clouds holding in all the light from Falmouth perhaps.  Anyway getting this home and in the light of day I have obviously made a point of it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About to Rain

Gouache on paper
13 x 20 cm or 5 x 8 inches
Turbulent sky, rain coming, tide out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Gouache on paper
13 x 20 cm or 5 x 8 inches
The tide has just turned, it is raining, cold and getting dark.  Not very nice but fresh and solitary so almost lovely.  This is pencil and gouache.  Quite a change for me and I like it, there are the sloppy washy qualities of watercolour and the covering ability of oils and a fine chalky finish which is interesting to work with.  Anyway part of this project, apart from getting out there and just doing it is to explore different mediums, which is what I have done.  Painting in the rain is still a challenge though!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Oil on board
10 x 18 cm or 4 x 7 inches
Early morning with a soft mauve light, wood pegions calling remind me of France.
Little one, with a limited pallet, Payne's Grey, French Ultramarine, Winsor Lemon and Cadmium Red, plus Titanium White.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last Bit Of Golden Sun

Oil on board

20cm x 16 cm
About 4.30 ish this afternoon, sat far too long, got far too cold, as the sun dipped away all the colours changed but the far cliff stayed golden for ages. It is difficult this painting on the spot thing, I am struggling for my art! It doesn't always work, I had to do a bit of tonking here before it came together, and then only just.

In Out, In Out, Shake it all About!

Applying to societies and groups is a road fraught with difficulty.  I just found out that I didn't get into the St Ives Society of Artists, I had been encouraged to try by several artists that I know, I wanted to join because I think that I would be a good and very energetic member of any society, also I think it is good to get together with people who are doing the same thing as you are...anyway they didn't want me.  Bum!  Getting over the feelings of rejection are getting easier (well a bit) and upon reflection I think my work perhaps isn't quite the thing for them, so on to the next thing. 
Above are the framed and ready to go watercolours for my submission to the The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour and that is a society that I really, really want to join!  So fingers crossed for this one, please wish me luck.  Plus the framing has cost an arm and a leg and I don't exactly have a lot of money to throw around right now, I really hope at least one gets in!  I do think they look good though, the framing is lovely, worth every penny, we just wont eat for a while!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sennen to Mill Bay

plein air sketch
oil on board 20 x 25 cm
plein air sketch

oil on board 20 x 25 cm
Out most of the day, no pontoon painting today but a good walk from Sennen to Mill Bay and back, brilliant weather, blue shiny sea and fantastic cliffs. Cold but fantastic, took my brand new prochade box for its first airing and did these two sketches.
Here is the kit all set out ready for a session.

Three and a half hours of painting and walking later, when I got back to my friends place in Sennen, he made me fried egg and bacon sandwiches, on white sliced bread, doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Oil on board
25 cm x 20 cm or 10 inches x 8 inches
Fantastic morning, freezing cold but stunning. 
It was very difficult to do as the reflections were glassy and clear with places where soft mist rose up off the water.  It took all my artistic strength to get this as far as I have.  Working "alla prima" ( in other words in one hit) is difficult, doing it "en plein air" (out side) is tough too.  You are cold, wet, hot whatever the day is throwing at you, the subject is changing rapidly.  This might have been better with several careful layers, rubbing in the mist, carefully laying down the reflections but...being there is so intoxicating and the paintings fill up with little marks and codes that I am smitten and willingly sacrifice the messy paintings for the learning opportunity...and so it goes on!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Very Low Tide

Oil on board
20 cm x 12 cm or 8 inches x 4.5 inches
Midday, tide very low, sun, one old man collecting something in a yellow bucket.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Ice Moon

Oil on board  SOLD
50 cm x 20 cm or 20 inches x 8 inches

3.30am this morning. It was icy cold and inky dark with soft slivers of greenish light behind the horizon. The ice moon sat big and very clear, outshining the stars like she was queen of the sky. No one awake save me and a couple of distant owls. I scribbled and noted and stood and remembered then scurried home ready to paint what I saw and this is it. You might have to click on the image to actually see anything but, I can assure you, there is stuff there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Full moon and Slack Tide

Oil on board
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches
The moon is up, almost full, big and so much like a buoy in the water that it out shone all the buoys and I missed them out!  Beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky.  The purple and mauve colours in the water were stunning.  Unfortunately by the time I got home and took a picture of this painting it was dark I had to illuminate it by lamp light and so the photo doesn't show the colour of the sky very well, I might have to take a better image tomorrow.
Big Dave came with me and took these pictures.
of me deep in painting mode and then far far away...

I am the little blob on the left hand pontoon, this is where all the paintings are done from.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Oil on board   SOLD
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches
Wasn't sure that I would get a painting in today but I got there just in time to watch the night fall out of the sky.  It descended like a blanket and as it got darker the lights from the house got brighter and demanded to be included in the painting,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

15 January, done as a tonic!

The Rain it Raineth

Oil on board
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches
This was painted inside my bag as it was raining so much, I wasn't in the bag, the painting was, in an attempt to keep it dry.  If you click on this you can see some raindrops and the little indents where the picture clamps held it.   I got drenched and the water began to change colour as the mud from the fields was washed down to join the river. 
Luckily it is Sunday so when I had finished sitting out in the pouring rain I was able to get dry in my van, which Big Dave had kindly brought down, and go and have a couple of Sunday lunchtime pints in the sailing club, which, handily, is at the other end of this pontoon!
Mind you, if I am not careful I shall gain myself a reputation for being a little "off normal" if I do this too often in full view of the club house!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blowing a South Westerly

Oil on board
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches.
Lunch time, 1.35 pm to be precise is when I finished.  The tide has just turned I think, high towards low and the wind is quite gusty.  I am getting interested in all sorts of things through doing this.  Star maps, moon charts, tide times, maps, wind speeds and directions, all the things that go on around us all the time. 
Anyway here is another offering, one that nearly got blown into the river but I grabbed it at the last moment!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waxing Gibbous

Oil on board
12 cm x 20 cm or 5 inches x 8 inches
I love those words, waxing gibbous, and there she is up in a blue sky.  It is a very therapeutic thing to do, sit on the end of a deserted pontoon, out on the river, just the sound of the birds in the woods that dress the banks and the occasional cry of sea birds, a peaceful, still half hour or so, not quite sure how long I was there but it was good!  Even better, it wasn't raining.

Two Boats

Oil on board
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches
Damp mist descending, a blanket of soft quiet over the river.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Washing up

Very Wet Rain

Oil on board
12 cm x 20 cm or 4 inches x 8 inches
The tide was just on the turn and the rain was that special Cornish extra wet rain that sweeps across in great soft wallops.  Soaking stuff.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dusk and Mist

Oil on board
20 cm x 25 cm or 8 inches x 10 inches
4.30 pm, it is getting dark, almost too dark to see, grim grey day with lots of rain.  The distant fields are disappeared by mist, it's not cold though and once out in the actual weather its not bad at all. 

The Sea

Catching The Sun

Oil on board
17 cm x 20 cm or 7 inches x 8 inches
I started this one yesterday, in that glorious burst of sunshine.  The boats moored up along the river were all bright and beautiful against dark fields. 
I am enjoying the renewed burst of painting that this project has created, it seems to be stoking the furnace.  Anyway I hatched a plan, a mini series, the same view through the day, every two hours for 24 hours.  It would involve a lot of coffee and a bit of a "camp" with fire, tent etc, I think and perhaps waiting for slightly better weather but it could be good!  I shall be on the lookout for a suitable site.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blousy Sky

Oli on board
20cm x 22 cm or 8 inches x 8.5 inches.
Sun skittering across the water, spotlighting buoys and boats.  A brave bit of blue sky beyond big blousy clouds and water looking cold and clean. 
This was at midday.  I have such a bunch of other work to do that I had started very early at the drawing board but by 11.30 I thought that I would explode so I almost ran outside, down through the woods to spend a very restorative hour in this beautiful place.  Aaah!  I can carry on now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sea House

34 cm x 52 cm or 13.5 inches x 20.5 inches
A beautifully battered, weather worn old gate, old concrete made with beach pebbles as the old stuff often seems to be, and a joyful choice of colour on the door.  This little place is often boarded up as it sits on top of the cliff facing the sea right down at Lizard Point.  As soon as I saw it I wanted to try and "get" all the textures and surfaces.

Falling Tide, Much Rain.

Oil on board
16 cm x 15 cm or 6 inches almost square.
Rain and rain and rain, quite a lot of wind, cold and more rain, it was strangely nice though, should have painted in my parker hood round the edges!
A bit like this...
(a little computer added parker here,)
also, I must add that while I did stand out in the hideous rain and wind I didn't complete the painting there, I did a quick very soggy sketch and took a few snaps, a tiny video and rushed back to my warm studio to do this.  Working from bad photos and little films is great but you do have to get out there in the first place.  You have got to get that cold grey wet into your soul!


A quick sketch, always worth drawing, it exercises the tonal and value judgments, it all adds into a final painting and, like everything else, needs to be practiced, often!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Low Tide, Light Rain

Oil on board
15 cm x 20 cm or 6 inches x 9 inches
I had a busy morning so didn't get down to the pontoon until 1.23 pm exactly!  Two minutes, exactly, before I arrived at my painting site there was a rainbow!  Typical!  Upon reflection, I think it would have been very difficult to paint a rainbow without it looking daft so maybe I was lucky that it had gone.  Anyway it was low tide and very peaceful. 

Friday, January 07, 2011

Winter Woods

Oil on board
16 cm x 16 cm or 6 inches x 6 inches
Rain, rain, rain last night, rain this morning, then a little gap in the rain.  I am enjoying the winter woods, the mossy patina of dark trees, lacy branches smudging the grey skies, soft blankets of wet deep fallen leaves. I think this little project of mine is going to do me good, teaching me to look deeper and think more.  However,  finding better waterproofs is the top plan right now, I need to avoid painters soggy bottom syndrome!!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Rain 8.30am

Oil on board
24 cm x 16 cm or 9.5 inches x 6 inches
I know, the enthusiasm of a new project!  I rushed out early this morning, it was raining and I wanted to get that half light and the rain.  I was pegging through the woods down to the jetty like a mad woman, muttering "keep raining, keep raining" and it did!  I like the muted colours and the textures that rain gives the water. 
I am not sure how long this will last, the mad enthusiasm I mean, at least a year I hope, who knows but at least the dog is enjoying it!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

After Rain 5 January

Moleskine Sketchbook
It has been raining and then it cleared up a bit, no one about, 3.30pm, everything looking very sharp and clean.  Quiet, quiet water, running deep.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

January Morning

Oil on board  SOLD
26cm x 16 cm or 10 inches x 6 inches
First painting of the year.  A short walk through the woods, it is a grey and damp January morning, down to the river and out onto the empty pontoon at the sailing club.  It is a fixed point you see and I am planning to use it as the location for a series of paintings throughout the year.  I plan to paint the changing seasons, the boats on the river, the different personalities of the water.  I think it might make an interesting body of work.

Monday, January 03, 2011

More Little Collections

 This collection of small limited edition prints is "Boats". They are pages from sketchbooks and two finished paintings as a collection of ten prints in a little folio.
So, that is "Boats"...
 The next collection is "Nudes".  Ten prints in a small folio.  They are all printed on very nice Bokingford inkjet watercolour paper.

All of the collections are going to be signed limited to an edition of 250.  I love small paintings, prints, sketches.  I think they look very fine indeed when framed and displayed and of course, you don't have to live in a mansion to have a collection.