Latest work

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After a gap of several years and a need that I can't explain, I decided to delve into oils and acrylics this time (actually, I had used acrylics before and abandoned them).

With some drawing practice and lots of research on the internet (the great new resource for returning artists) I was good to go. Several projects had been lined up for a while, but lack of time, work, house-keeping and parenting had prevented it. Actually, if you wait for the right moment and doubt yourself, it will never happen. Just dive in....

For anybody interested in the technical details, I've included sizes, surfaces and mediums used. Also, I never use more than 3 or 4 brushes (sometimes just 2) and my palette is very limited: often 3 or 4 colours, plus white and a little black. Otherwise I mix to get the colours I want from those few. I now make a coloured ground and I square up and sketch the elements first (sometimes a preliminary pencil sketch too) if the composition and proportions are important. Everything is planned before and sometimes researched, which avoids worrying about painting (see page on fear). It also means that I can actually paint fairly quickly - rather than "make it up as I go along and hope it turns out fine." There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and sometimes I do it to give myself a "freeing up" session for fun. Acrylics and watercolours are usually done in one session if it isn't too big a canvas, fast drying oils in 2 or 3 days and traditional oils in a week or more at least.

Paintings from 2015

32cm x 22cm (12.5" x 9") Oil on canvas.
A favourite Christmas card from some time back was on my to do list. This was my first small canvas using the Artisan oils. It proved very challenging to get the details I wanted from the original on such a small canvas, but in the end, the compromises weren't too great. A crazy sky I know, but why not? The final detail was the man with the dog and for once I was a little nervous, as if that was to fail, the whole painting would fail too! The dog worked well.

Winter Walk

Crossing the Marblehead to Halifax race 2009.

12" x 9" Acrylic on board. 
Pure paint applied with a palette knife only. No mediums used.
From a photo taken on board a friend's boat as we accidentally crossed the path of the race. I wanted to capture the brilliance of a bright and breezy July day and the thrill of the race bearing down on us.

This painting single-handedly restored my faith in acrylics. The colours on my palette weren't exactly right, but the result was more or less what I wanted. This painting perhaps best represents the style I've developed recently when left to my own devices and not copying another's work. My aim is to repeat more of this style of painting.

This painting was given to a friend who was the skipper of the boat we were on at the time.

Marblehead- Halifax race. Print available 

Summer Dawn. 

18" x 15". Oil on canvas paper.
A study that helped a lot with a few new techniques. A previous acrylic version had some good points, but this one turned out better. The aim was to capture the unique light of dawn - rather than sunset - work on some colours and add a few cloud types. On reflection, I should've done this on a smaller canvas; the dreamy dawn doesn't need the level of detail that could've been included.

With thanks to Liam Rainsford for permission to copy one of his great landscape paintings

Summer dawn

Lake Konstanz in spring. 

12" x 9" Oil on board.
A reminder of a perfect day by the lake looking towards the snow-capped Alps with clouds piling up in the distance. 
This painting was nearly abandoned as it just wasn't coming together. Actually it was one of the most technically demanding paintings I've done: tricky compositional elements and forms.
Griffin Alkyds were used for the first time and proved to be delightful.
The colour balance is slightly out on this photo due to the light in the room at the time:

Lake Konstanz in Spring

Man at the Helm after Theo Van Rysselberghe

12" x 9" Oil on board
My interpretation of a masterly neo-impressionist painting. Another challenging painting that took longer than expected. This one really resonates with me and I was determined to give it my best.
Alkyd oils proved to be great to work with once more.

Man at the Helm

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