Monday, August 25, 2014

Exhibition news RSMA!

Early morning, penny nab £650
Oils 8" x 16"


The long stretch of summer £850
Oils 12" x 16"

I've just had the happy news that two of my paintings have been accepted into this year's Royal Society of Marine Artists exhibition. The exhibition will take place at the Mall galleries London from October 15th to 26th. This year the RSMA are celebrating 75 years of exhibiting so it should be a fantastic event if you can make it along. Have a look at their website for more details, and when the show is online with the Mall galleries I will let you know. I hope I will see you there!

Meanwhile if you visit London this summer you can see six of my paintings in the summer exhibition at the Russell gallery in Putney. The exhibition closes on September 12th.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A summer stroll

Detail



Detail



A summer stroll
Oils 12" x 16"


Previously on the island I hadn't turned my attention (painting wise) to the mellow stone walls that meander all across the island surrounding the gardens and of course making up the majority of the houses. Much of the stonework is very old, and consists of huge granite blocks. This year I see for the first time what I've been missing, this mellow pink and golden stone makes for a fantastic subject particularly in the sunshine.
What caught my eye on this little lane was the profusion of daisies which shone in the sunlight, and those rustic terracotta tiles on the little scruffy roof. It was one of those gorgeous blue sky and fluffy clouds days, and the horse and rider a lucky addition. This painting really describes quite aptly what it's like to stroll around this island that they call 'the flowering rock', a peaceful haven free of traffic.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More summer sketches



Guerzido beach


People on the beach




Milly on her iPhone 


Fancy another peek inside my sketchbook? I've been so relaxed here and enjoying splitting my time between painting, sketching, family time and doing not very much at all. I can't believe we only have a few more days on the island.
Could August be six weeks long in future? Is that too much to ask?
When I get back to England I have a few days painting in Cornwall to look forward to, so let's hope we can eek that sunshine out a little bit longer...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Around the island

Detail

Around the island
Oils. 12" x 16"

More boats, calm waters and a clear sky. I'm quite pleased with the variety of craft that I managed to get down in this painting, looking towards the mainland from the southern coast of the island. Bréhat is an archipelago consisting of two islands connected together by a small bridge, surrounded by many smaller islands. To sail around here you really need to know the whereabouts of all the islands and rocky outcrops. At low tide it starts to look like a lunar landscape around here, so I always check the tide times before deciding where and when to paint.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tous ce qui flotte

Tous ce qui flotte
Oils 8" x 16"

It was the annual Bréhat regatta and the poster proclaimed that the gathering was for all that can float - tous ce qui flotte. I am so delighted to have been there to paint and I wish every day in summer was a regatta day. The sails provide colour even when the sky is overcast.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting for the tide

Waiting for the tide
Oils 10" x 12"

A plein air painting from a few days ago. I was standing on a high rock looking towards the sailing club while these dinghies were being prepared to go to sea as the tide was coming in. There was a lot of activity and movement so what I've ended up with is an amalgamation of various sails, which weren't all in those places at the same time. I had to keep an eye on the tide too, as my rock would have become surrounded by water at some point. Luckily I was gone by then, having a cold drink at the cafe overlooking the beach.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer sketchbook

French cows in a field
                                                  







I thought I'd show you today some of the sketches I've been doing in the last week. I've bought some of the new Winsor & Newton watercolour markers and am really enjoying learning what you can do with them. They seem like an ideal sketching medium for me. Time will tell how long they will last and that will be the deciding factor as to whether they become a regular medium for me (value for money).
In the sketch of the cows and the flowers in our French garden (the flowers were in our garden, the cows were not) I used the markers on dry paper and then added water with a brush. This creates lovely soft colours and you can pick the paint up on the brush and use it elsewhere, as you can see with the pale stem of lavender. The harbour sketch is mostly watercolours with some pen, watercolour marker pens and gouache. For the fish drawings I used a permanent black pen first, then little spots of colour here and there with the watercolour markers and then plenty of water on the brush. I really enjoyed that and will be definitely using that method again.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mogador boys bathing

                                            
                                                                   Mogador boys bathing
                                                                          Oils on canvas
                                                                              36" x 38"

Here it is finished, after all the pipe smoking/coffee drinking/head scratching. It's a strange thing working on a big painting in the studio. I go through phases when I think it's nearly come to it's natural end and then there turns out to be many more head scratching moments to come. Then when the time comes that I proclaim it is finished (usually because there's a framing deadline) instead of a celebratory choir of angels singing it can all feel a bit... well, deflated. Parting is not such sweet sorrow after a plein air painting, as the experience there has been more like a fast jog with the odd sprint thrown in rather than a slow amble around a maze with interesting diversions en route.
I'm hopeful I did the subject justice after all, and without the loss of freshness from the original plein air study.



                                                          



                                             
              One of the several checks I did in black and white to see how the values were working


                                           

                                            It looks pretty big in my studio! I hope it sells soon!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cover girl!

The Artist
September issue


I was excited to learn that my painting 'Sails up' is going to star on the front cover of The Artist magazine. It will be on the front of the September issue which will be out in UK shops very soon.
Also inside the issue will be an article I've written about staying motivated in this art world of ours!
You can buy a copy of the magazine and have it delivered from just about anywhere in the world from the Painters Online website, where you can also read lots of interesting features and enter competitions so that's always worth a look :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Big baby part one



Big canvas with plein air study


Do you remember when I went to Morocco in March and I had the best, most exciting, afternoon painting when I saw the boys diving into the harbour?
Well one of my ambitions this year was to paint some much larger paintings, and when I got back from Morocco I was so full of fresh inspiration that I immediately started on stretching a huge canvas - I mean, it seemed pretty huge at 36" x 38"!

I started in April then but I've only just finished the enormous beast a couple of weeks ago. During that time I've been to Cornwall, taught in Staithes, been to France, had the Patchings festival, heck I've even moved studio! So that all might partly explain why it's taken me so long actually...

Anyway I did take some photos as I went along but I suppose these are just key points or highlights. If this was a video it would be feature length and you'd see lots of shots of me scratching my chin, tugging at my forelock and smoking my pipe while trying to work out what I was going to do next.

No I don't smoke really, but lots of coffee was consumed during the making of this painting ... lots!!

Anyway, here are some work in progress shots and I'll dig out some more to show you next time...











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