Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Carreg Cennen

I painted Carreg Cennen Castle yesterday. This impressive Castle used to belong to the Lords of Dinefwr. I believe that it was sold by mistake. The Castle was included in the sale of a farm by accident, or so the story goes. So having withstood all sorts of attacks throughout the ages it succumbed to a solicitors pen. Thats life.
Anyway today was a bit hit and miss for me (reminds me of juke box jury with David Jacobs, really showing my age now). I walked the dog, finished a Lee Childs Jack Reacher story, took Alex to Origin Dyfed, went to the Waverley to paint and found the gallery was booked. I had forgotten!
So I visited my mom. Then went home and did an oil painting, walked the dog, went shopping for a new bed for the dog, picked up Alex from Origin Dyfed, then went to Tescos. ...
Tomorrow we are off to the Small Picture show and a couple of days r and r.
So no blogs now for a couple of days.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The visit

The painting above is one I did of Tenby from South Beach yesterday.
We had a visitation today, one of our grandaughters arrived. She is actually very sweet but as with all young children ~busy. So while Alex was busy with our grandaughter I disappeared and did an oil painting. Needless to say I believe I had the better bargain.
I am definitely in an oil painting phase. I go through periods of painting either mainly in watercolours or mainly in oil paints. Although I nearly always use watercolours outside my finished paintings at the moment are mostly in oils.
Tomorrow I am painting in the gallery in Town for the first time in a month. I have been away and also the gallery has been closed for redecoration. So it will be a nice change to paint there. What I like is that I get to chat to the odd interested party. The light is nowhere near as good as at home but its fine for a few hours.
Having babysat all day and made a superb full dinner Alex is now busy framing a commission!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Two old characters and a stationary engine.

I sold the painting of the stationary engine today along with a painting of St Davids Head. I am quite taken with paintings of local "characters" myself. I have several others in my head but they have yet to see themselves on canvas. I also learnt that a large painting that was framed under glass had successfully negotiated the postal system to the buyer in one piece which was both surprising and good news.
I painted a view of Tenby from South Beach today. I was quite pleased with the result. I then had other matters including trying to sort out my mothers care and shopping etc...
Alex has called me now for a well deserved cup of tea and cake! A luxury!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Marie Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Day off today 2 of the grandchildren went home mid-morning, then visit my mom, then we went off to Tenby to watch our son in the Tenby Marathon. He did very well. I was worn out just watching the event. So not much done artwise. We did walk the dog on South Beach which was inspirational. The beach was wet and the reflections of the cliffs and hotels were magnificent. All being well tomorrow it will be an oil painting of Tenby.
My drawing above is of Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun an excellent French portrait artist whose work I very much admire. She had quite a life. She was great friends with Marie Antoinette and only escaped the French Revolution and guillotine by fleeing France. She fled to Italy and then settled in England for a short period and was a succesful artist at a time when there were very few female artists and virtually no succesful ones. She was obviously very charismatic but above all very talented producing delicately executed work which I find very pleasing.
Anyway tomorrow Tenby

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Life as we know it comes to a halt this weekend. Mayhem breaks out . Two of the grandchildren arrive. So today was a day of tracking bears in Pembrey Country Park and drawing and making animals.
Life can be pretty varied, hence the painting above which I did a while back. It is a dyptich referencing the juxtaposition of Eastern and Western Society. I dont normally paint anything that is too mentally taxing, but I really liked the individual images anyway.
Talking of taxing I best go and rescue Alex from the grandchildren.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Strange Day

A strange day today cleared out a lot of paintings. I do this periodically otherwise there would be nowhere left to stand. These were mainly watercolours that had never progressed to being framed. The painting above is one that survived the cull. Its different from my normal style but I quite like it.
I did a watercolour today which was ok. Ill have another look at it tomorrow to decide its fate. We are getting the paintings ready for the Brecon Small Picture Show now so Alex has been busy. She has also framed several commissions I finished this week.
I have had a go at making the dinner tonight something at which I dont excell (or enjoy).
So hopefully we will make it through the night without food poisoning.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Yin and Yan

The painting above is an Oil of Carreg Cennen Castle. I sold the painting last year to a gentleman I had never met before from Ammanford. The painting was in an exhibition and he didnt have his cheque book so I told him to take it and forward the money later. He took the painting and very promptly sent me a cheque.

Things like that go a long way to reinforce my positive view of people in general. I find that 99% of people are very genuine. Occasionally people do try it on. I once had a gentleman from the Netherlands wanting to buy a painting and arrange the shipping himself. It was an expensive scam which we fortunately didn't fall for.

Anyway today was a bit hit and miss I did a watercolour painting of Castell Carreg Cennen. I wet the paper and stretched it taping it to a board. I then dried it accidentally left a small section with water trapped under the paper. After painting the sky the trapped water soaked through and left 2 large cauliflower spoils which effectively ruined the painting.

In life you win some you lose some.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Apricot Chutney

Last night we took the dog for a walk on the beach at Llansteffan (yes the part they are allowed on). On the opposite side of the estuary is Ferryside and on the hill above is Llansaint. The watercolour painting above is of Llansaint. I didn't paint it today but I did take it into:
"Origin Dyfed" in Blue St. Carmarthen. The gallery there has been re-arranged and decorated and looks really good. I think unless you knew it was there a lot of people would have previously walked past without knowing. No chance (alright little chance), of that now, good signs and lovely work.
I did do a painting today a commission in oils which came out very well. So I'm taking Alex out for a meal tonight to celebrate, and to make up for the anniversary present I gave her. A jar of apricot chutney, yes I am afraid its true but I will have to tell you the whole story another day.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

High and Dry

The painting above is one I did last week and have sold. It is an oil painting of Ferryside Beach with Llansteffan in the background. The river Taf to the left goes up to Laugharne.
It reminds me of one of those days quite a few years ago. Alex and I sailed around to Laugharne up the river Taf. It was at trip we had done many times. This was before electronic GPS and Nav plotters etc. All we had was an echo sounder which was faulty.To navigate up the river safely you had to keep to the left hand channel markers (twigs stuck in the mud). It was one of the highest tides of the year and we were late.
Going up the river getting dark Alex said "the echo sounder is reading low"
I ignored it as it was always giving false readings.
Alex said "there is grass either side of the boat."
We stopped well aground. When the tide went out we were left stranded in a field 100yds from the river in full view of Laugharne. It was a very depressing night we emptied our water tanks put out 2 anchors. In the morning we somehow managed to winch ourselves off and back into the river.
We have many friends in Laugharne and we were grateful to avoid the humilitation of the town waking up to find our boat parked high and dry in a field.
Anway today we had our granchildren but I cut and primed half a dozen boards ready for painting. A clear day tomorrow.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Llansteffan and Customs

The above painting is of Llansteffan it was a commission that we packed up and sent today. No matter how well you pack a painting there is always the chance it will be damaged in transit.
I mean this really was well packed. It will take longer to open it than I took to paint it -and that was long enough.
Alex framed the picture this morning and now has to put together paintings for the Small Picture Show. We took my mom to Fracture Clinic this morning so painting was out for today.
I also went to HM Customs and Revenue to pick up a tax form as I had been sent the wrong one typically I arrived at 4.35pm, and it shut at 4.30pm.
Grandchildren tomorrow and then I have a commission to start.
Alex is cooking dinner now so I think I'll join her in a pre dinner glass of something.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

High Cliffs and Low water

We spent 2 weeks in North Devon the Coastal scenes were spectacular. High cliffs with razor sharp edges. The down side to all this was that our many daily walks consisted of 2 steps down and 5 steps up. Also like many places these days the area was not dog friendly. The beach in Mortoe was a 2 mile walk but although there was never anybody on it dogs were banned. The next beach was Woolacombe 3 miles of lovely sand but the dog friendly bit was the far end so it was a good 9 mile round trip.
We also went to Coombe Martin No dogs were allowed on the beach at all and frankly there was nothing else there.
Despite the canine prejudice we had a good time and I got a lot of sketches done. I am not sure how many will make there way into a full blown painting but at least one or two.
I started my income tax returns today and alex is framing ready for the Small Picture Show in Brecon. So back to the accounts for now.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Warm and cool greys

The Painting above is one that sold today. It is a watercolour of Mwnt Church. I personally like muted colours, warm and cool greys. That is not to say that I dont use other palettes of colour as the need or painting requires.

The painting itself reflects a lot about our environment.

The landscape and light in this country is for the most part grey but not dull grey or worse light black. The Church in most places was the centre of communities as they were established and was the first stone built building. I enjoy looking around a church or cathedral and feeling the history reading the names on the tombstones of people that have gone before. I am not a greatly spiritual person but I would be hard pressed to admit that they dont have a very calming presence. Consequently I am more than happy to paint a chapel or church.

Anyway we had a busy day with selling framing and delivering the watercolour and arranging other paintings. Now for a quiet evening in with the granschildren, note the irony, actually they are very sweet.

Friday, 17 September 2010

What a welcome

After 2 weeks away relaxing sketching and walking we arrived home ready for work. I switched on the computer and nothing. No sign of life, all our accounts and paintings were stored on it and although we do have a back up it was missing a lot!
Then to make things worse my mother slipped and broke her arm the day after her 90th birthday. So its been a few days of confusion with quite a few enquiries for commissions as well.
The painting above is a watercolour of Burry Port and the Gower. I have been doing more watercolours over the last few weeks.
Today I have done an oil of the beach at Ferryside, visited my mother and cut the lawns so it was an early start. The computer is now back in harness and normality may be a distant but closer light on the horizon.