Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Path of self enlightenment

No actually this isn't Alex and I but it is kind of relevant to this post. The painting above actually went to Holland.

Today I went to Aberglasney to collect a couple of paintings. Now the other day I "posted" (or should it be "blogged" I am not sure of these techno terms, I still haven't worked out "LOL" yet.

Apparently it isn't lots of love) -anyway I posted about alternative therapies.

Well having thought about it I should admit that I am actually on a path of self enlightenment at the moment.

I am going to the gym regularly and have lightened myself by over two stone in the last 3 months. Tonight is the private view and we are doing the last bits. Last year the private view was a bit of a disaster as the weather was appalling, black ice and fog. We turned up because we had no choice but only 3 other people turned up. Fortunately the rest of the exhibition was excellent and we did well.

So must walk the dog now then start loading the car.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My first Exhibition

We had a busy day today running around trying to avoid the torrential rain. Not ideal weather to transport 80 paintings to set up the exhibition. They are all set up and looking quite nice. The Private View is on tomorrow night.

I did have a couple of people check with me that it is on but the answer is yes 5.30pm- 8.30pm. The library itself is closed but the right hand front door will be open for the Exhibition.

If you havent bought a ticket don't worry you can get one on the door.

As I haven't been painting today I thought a picture of the Private View at my first Exhibition would be nice!

Monday, 28 November 2011


No Painting today as Alex and I were in Origin Gallery in Carmarthen. It rained pretty heavy this afternoon. So I have shown above a sketch of Corfu harbour with Thunder Clouds rolling in over the mountains from our ladt visit a couple of months ago.

Tomorrow we set up the exhibition ready for the Private View on Wednesday night.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


The painting above is one I did of my Great Aunt Louisa. She appears as a tough old bird in the painting. Apparently although she had a stern countenance she was very pleasant. She was married to Uncle Alfred. He was an herbalist and they had a large double fronted shop on Bridge Street, in Worcester. My mother used to go and stay there in the 1920’s. He was apparently quite renown in the world of herbalism. He used to go to Switzerland and give talks and advise on herbal medicine.

Now I’m not really one for alternative therapies. I am however happy to be convinced and if it works for someone else that’s great. Chiropractors I am fine with, a very high level of training all based on science and very effective. Hypnotherapy no problem there. When it comes to other types of alternative medicines I remain to be convinced.
Give me the NHS anytime. Alex is the opposite and swears by anything alternative. We just agree to differ; well actually we agree that I keep my views to myself. It makes for a simple life.

Anyway Alex is very busy trying to catch up. She was up to 12.30am this morning and is getting there. When the Exhibition is on she can sit and knit all day and have a well deserved relax.

We had a bit of an issue with our camper yesterday. The battery had finally given up the ghost. I got a new one and changed it. Now the bad news although the engine turned over it wouldn't start.

No problem we are in Green Flag (other motoring associations are available). We have home start and have never used them before. We called they came. They looked we waited. They tinkered we got depressed. A few theories were expressed to Alex who was stood out in the rain with the repairman ( well I had to feed the dog). Alex didn't take to any of the theories and in fairness she is pretty good on diesels. Finally they said it would have to be towed in to a garage for them to look at it, pressurise the tank check the lift pump etc etc.... We said we would think about it and sort something out in the week. Overnight we thought about it and today we fixed it. It was a simple. There is an inertia switch fitted on the van and it will stop the fuel supply in the event of an accident. Putting the battery in the engine compartment had been enough to set it off.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Combination of things

As I haven’t done any painting today and I was talking about motorcycle combinations I thought it might be worth posting this charming picture. It shows my Uncle Don seated on the bike with my grandmother and my father in the sidecar. I am not certain but I think it is a Norton 1926 four speed 588 OHV outfit. My Uncle Don was very keen on motorcycles and eventually opened up his own garage. I believe the outfit showed here belonged to my grandfather who probably took the picture. He was a bit of a lad. He had worked in a jewellers before he left for South America in 1912 on the SS Mauritania travelling on a passport under a different name! Anyway enough said.

I remember when you had to put a parking light on your combo or car at night. If you didn’t a policeman would call and tell you to get it done! Also when it was cold you put an oil lamp under the sump to keep the oil viscous. I’m not sure if it was the good old days but they were certainly different.

This weekend I am preparing for the exhibition and am wrapping paintings to go in crates and finalising some details. I will have time to watch the rugby but I doubt Alex will.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Laugharne Castle

I was asked the other day if I had a painting of Laugharne Castle. I actually hadn’t and considering I have painted it several times I was quite surprised. Anyway it answered the question what am I going to paint today. So there it is!

I posted yesterday about our trip to the TT. I have previously mentioned our interactions with motorcycle combinations. Well we first bought a Watsonian sidecar when we first got a dog. We had to change the gearing on the Triumph Tiger we had at the time. That was relatively straightforward. Then we had to attach the sidecar with the correct amount of toe in etc. That was the start of my love hate relationship with combinations. Well actually with my hate- hate relationship.
My brother had previously had a BSA combination, which seemed ok but I only rode in the sidecar. Now I could ride/drive this thing but it never felt right. It was set up perfectly but the idea of braking to turn right and accelerating to turn right was an anathema to me.
Alex drove it into the canal. The back wheel fell apart in Germany. It always felt like you were fighting it. In the end we gave up. I tried other combos they were all just horrible. My brother bought a Cossack Ural combo. The sidecar was on the right side and if you were in it and he pulled out to overtake you were just thrust in to the path of oncoming traffic. My brother loved them and couldn’t understand my dislike.Some years later he had a BMW combination, which he drove through a closed gate going around a bend in France. It wrote off the combo and didn’t do him any good. He never had a sidecar since!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Percy Tate riding "Son of Slippery Sam"

In 1976 Alex and I went to the Isle of Man TT. We went on our Triumph Daytona 500 motorcycle and camped. We had a really good time. One of the highlights was seeing Percy Tate riding "Son of Slippery Sam" the racing version of Triumph’s Trident.

The sketch above is of Percy and Slippery Sam about a mile before they parted company in a serious accident,which unfortunately ended his career.

When we left the Isle of Man we queued up to have our bike hoisted by derrick onto the deck of a ship straight out of the Onedin Line. When we were next but one to have our bike hoisted up the stevedores attached a lovely BMW onto the hoist and promptly lost it into Ramsey harbour. This did nothing for our nerves and certainly the owner was less than pleased!

Having got on the boat we were immediately given brown paper bags. This was a bit odd as the water was calm and there was no wind. However when we got out of the shelter of the harbour the boat went up the crest of a wave and didn’t stop going down until everyone had stopped screaming. It was a real good gale. I didn’t see Alex for the rest of the voyage as she went to lie down. I think pretty well everyone on board was seasick (fortunately I was fine). But the smells and scenes were less than edifying.

Today Alex went Christmas shopping with her mom in Cardiff and I stayed at home blowing my nose and feeling sorry for myself!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Carew Castle and Mill

As you can see I have now finished the painting of Carew Castle and Mill. Its slightly more impressionistic than I have done lately. I knocked the canvas off the easel when lowering it but fortunately it landed with painted side up.

Alex has been off to the gym this morning while I was finishing the painting. I still feel a bit under the weather so I didn’t fancy spreading my germs about in a confined place or killing myself at the same time. It is actually something that I find quite interesting as an artist ~ observing people. With an hour or so of mind numbing boredom on a treadmill you have to occupy you r mind. Many people are very considerate and clean a machine after use with hand wipes that are provided. Others sweat and drip all over handles and screens and wander off blindly to the next piece of equipment.
The other day I saw someone exercising with what could be described as a big beach ball. They put it down and it rolled into the middle of the floor, walked away and left it where anyone could fall over it. For half an hour everyone walked around it. When I finished I picked it up and put it away, 5 seconds work! I believe in the main its just that people don’t think. We picked up 2 of the grandchildren from school yesterday afternoon. Someone had left a fast food carton and drinks container on the floor 2 feet from a bin outside the school. It had obviously been there some time yet it took me 2 seconds to pick it up. My point is that I am sure most people just don’t notice these things. Anyway I have to go and collect some materials now.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


I have a bit of a cold today or man flu whichever anyway painting takes your mind off it. I did the under painting for a scene of Carew Castle and Mill shown above. The painting was done using alkyd oils and liquin medium. This has the benefit of drying very fast.
I occasionally use alkyds but have to say I much prefer the texture of normal oils and linseed based mediums. Alkyds are more like toffee in texture while linseed based oils are like cream and for me are far more satisfactory when you blend and mix them.
I will paint over the under painting with normal oil. It is fine to mix them in this manner.

I mentioned yesterday that I had met quite a few celebrities. For the most part out of character they are just normal people with no more to say than you or I. There are the exceptions though. David Bellamy is no different in real life than he is on screen. A very enthusiastic, interesting and lovely man. I have had dinner with him on several occasions. His love of nature is infectious and he is really natural talking to children.

I asked the great Fred Truman (fast bowler for those too young to remember) for his autograph when I was quite young. He refused and told me to buy his book and he would sign that. Like a 9 year old could afford that. I would like to think his ability made up for his meanness but it didn’t, not for me an impressionable boy.

One person I would love to meet is Rolf Harris. We shared a railway carriage with him once but I didn’t want to disturb him so the chance went begging.

Monday, 21 November 2011

An interesting day !

It is only 2.30 and already it is one of those days, which although fortunately extremely rare, make me want to take all my paintings and equipment outside and have a huge bonfire. It is not my painting that is the problem it is the other side of the business. Still having got that off my chest I would like to say I feel better. But I don’t. Still life goes on and we have to make do. I actually knew a painter who did burn all his works but I think he was unhappy with his work itself. I actually feel in reality quite protective about mine.

When Turner died a huge amount of his work was destroyed (by his friend Ruskin I believe possibly due to its pornographic content). Also when Edward Seago died he asked that 2/3 of his works be burned.

I finished a painting this morning and have been on the phone the rest of the time.

Alex has been in one of her moods that put her slightly to the right of Genghis Khan so not a great day to ask favours of her.

On a lighter note I was listening this morning to the radio and the presenters were talking about coming into contact with celebrities. I have met a quite a few of them in my time but this concerns one of our daughters. A couple of years ago she was in a nightclub with friends. When she was at the bar she saw someone she recognised. She knew the face, but couldn’t quite place him and assumed he worked in the Council with her. She then struck up a conversation with him about work and because he was obviously not on the same wavelength assumed he was a bit slow. So she then started speaking very slowly and making hand gestures to accompany her conversation. Meantime all her friends were now in fits. Finally she said, “Well what do you do?” He said, “I play rugby for Wales I’m Dwayne Peel.”

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Motorcycling Memories

It is next to impossible to sketch Alex as she is a complete fidget. The only time you can have half a chance is when she is having a doze. So here is one above.

Alex is always on the go and quite lively. I have mentioned before that among other things she has a full motorcycle licence. Now neither of us has ridden a motorcycle for years. I occasionally think it would be nice to get another Triumph but then my head comes in to play. The roads are nowhere near as open as they used to be and the least I could expect in a fall now would be a broken leg. No we had a lot of fun riding all over Britain and Europe but it is best left as a happy memory.

Alex had her own trials bike and a BSA road bike. One day she came home minus the BSA and sporting a nasty bump on the elbow. (She still has this reminder on her left elbow of days gone by). She had gone to Caersws form Welshpool and decide to part company with the bike on a nasty series of bends on the back road. Fortunately nothing was coming the other way and her injuries were minimal. I collected the bike and despite some protests it was sold. Some time later the trials bike was sold too. My Triumph Tiger went when our first child was born and other than borrowing my brothers BMW for a ride that was the end of our motorcycling days.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Carmarthen Bar

Here is the painting I was working on this morning a view of Lansteffan from Ferryside. The sand extends from the end of the Castle out into Carmarthen bay for about 3 miles and is called the Carmarthen Bar. The sands are notoriously tricky to navigate and have taken a good many ships captive over the centuries. The remains of wrecks such as the “Paul” or the “Craigwinnie” are often visible at very low tides.

Of course even these days the sand and tide can catch you out. As I recall a Police car got stuck in sand here with an incoming tide. What could be worse or more embarrassing? Well actually sending another vehicle to get it out and that getting stuck! Both getting a thorough internal and external car wash.

“If it can happen it will happen”, is a good maxim to go by.

I enjoyed the rugby last night with Llanelli Scarlets winning away at Northampton. I was very impressed with one of our forwards Matt Gilbert in his first Heineken Cup Game. I was unaware he was deaf a huge handicap in professional sport. But hell he was good. A real inspiration.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Working Dog

The ink sketch above is one I did of our old dog who died at the good old age of 15. He died about 7 years ago. He was a very placid dog great with children and would walk to heal anywhere. Our current dog Jac is a cocker spaniel who is extremely patient with children and good natured but somewhat wild. He will come when called but likes to go off and “work” the woods and bushes. He is by nature a working dog although we don’t actually use him as a gun dog. He needs lots of exercise so he keeps me fit.

Due to a variety of occurrences in my life this week I haven’t done a huge amount of painting. I am up to date with commissions and my exhibition so I can’t complain.
My next task is to rework a painting of Llansteffan. It hasn’t been shown for a while and I have been looking at it critically. Not that it is by any means a bad painting but I feel I could enhance it buy slightly changing the composition. Nearly all artists have reworked paintings over the years. If you look at some of the traditional classical painters you will find that there paintings may have several dates showing when they were started and later reworked.
It is not a thing to be done lightly as you need to blend into the work and not on top of it. Matching colour and tone is something that comes with experience.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Oily one morning ~

The picture above is of an oil tanker “Chance” at Petro Plus as it was in the Milford Haven.

Today is a bit “traed moch” (pigs feet). All sorts going on mostly unexpected and not the day I had planned. The delivery lorry for the builders had a problem with its hoist. The hydraulics burst and they promptly deposited the sand on my neighbours drive! The hydraulic oil is on my mother’s drive. I forgot the main ingredient when shopping for our meal tonight! Other gallery and personal related issues.

I am teaching this afternoon so I need to catch up with my list of jobs. No painting on the horizon today then.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Red Sky at Night ~

The painting above is unmistakeably a silhouette of Llansteffan Castle at sunset. It is one I finished today. Surprisingly for a simple subject it takes a bit of time to complete. I have now removed all my easels and equipment from the lounge gallery. It is quite sad really as I had been painting there a long time but as with everything you move on.

I was in Oriel Gallery yesterday and a lady was complaining about the price of prints, not mine in particular but in general. In actual fact it costs more in materials percentage wise for a print than an original in my respect. Image capture i.e. having a painting professionally photographed and colour matched can cost anything up to £100 per painting (although I am fortunate not to pay at that scale). Then there is the cost of having the prints produced themselves plus the mount board, bags and labels. After paying gallery commission and tax we are lucky to make £8 on a £45 print. It is possible to produce prints more cheaply but you get what you pay for in terms of quality. I have even seen artists sell photocopies as prints.

Cost is the reason we are so particular about what paintings we have prints produced from. It is not the quality of the painting but how many prints we are likely to sell and will we get our money back.

We heard last night that two ladies will be travelling a total of 240 miles to the Private View of the Exhibition on 30th November. We look forward to meeting you Mary.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Watercolour of Abergwili

The scene above is a favourite view of Abergwili. I have painted similar versions of this in watercolour and oil in all seasons. This one was done for a radio program on Radio Pembrokeshire.
Today was spent in the Origin Gallery with Moira, Zoe and Martin sorting shop fitting equipment and various other items. So a hectic day and no painting but nevertheless very satisfying. It is intended to open the upstairs gallery on 1st March St. David’s Day so plenty to do but also willing hands.

Monday, 14 November 2011


I finished off the painting of sunrise at Laugharne Boathouse today. I am quite happy with it now. Alex and I have seen the sunrise here on numerous occasions. We would sail up the estuary and anchor our boat on the sandbank opposite the boathouse. When the tide is out you dry out and can walk on the sands, handy for the dog! On one occasion we were anchored there and a helicopter came in and filmed us for a program about the coast. The dog wasn’t that impressed.

We are now finalising all our exhibition work, leaflets posters, cards, prints etc.
All the frames are made and Alex is fitting the paintings.
I will probably find time for a swim tonight, nothing energetic.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Stradey Park

I went to Parc Y Scarlets to watch the rugby yesterday. So I thought it appropriate to show a watercolour I did of the old town gate at Stradey Park (Llanelli Scarlets Old and historic Rugby Ground). I think I still have the watercolour somewhere. Stradey Park has now been knocked down which is a shame but things move on.

I used to take our son there when he was small. The most memorable time was when we played the All Blacks and God emptied the skies upon us.

Anyway yesterday was very enjoyable. Scarlets won which helps and the company and fare were excellent. I must however relay one incident. While the match was on an announcement came over the public address system.

“Would the owner of an Audi registered number “abc 123” (or whatever it was) who has left their car in the car park please return to it. You have left the windows open and the engine running!”

I can be forgetful but I haven’t got to that stage …..yet.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Nominated driver

I chose the sketch above I found because today I am the nominated driver. I am off with my son and his colleagues to watch Llanelli Scarlets play Castres in the Heineken Cup.
I don’t like driving but in the circumstances (i.e. Would you like to go to the game? We have a ticket for you if you would like to drive.) I am delighted. It includes pre match hospitality (in my case a meal) so a good weather forecast and a nice day out hopefully.

I haven’t actually played rugby for about 35-40years but still think it is a great game. I actually remember the last time I played I was tackled by Nigel Horton (former England player) and he pretty well cut me in half. Well that’s what it felt like. I have just about recovered now! I did boxing for a while but wasn’t too keen on being hit. Later both Alex and I took up Karate which we did for about 10years. So we have been active over the years.

Anyway as you can see I draw or sketch pretty much everything. I believe it is an Isuzu but could be wrong. It just happened to be there when I had five minutes spare and a pencil. I have to go now as I have to walk the dog before I head off. I did have time to undercoat ten frames this morning so I don't feel guilty about sloping off.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Bertie ~ The End of the Saga?

I finished the painting of “Sunrise over Laugharne Boathouse” above this week. I said yesterday that Alex had made over a dozen frames. She corrected me. She made twenty-three!
Well 23 is more than a dozen.

Now I thought it was the end of the Bertie story. The mystery was where had our wayward signboard gone? Who brought it back? Well the Good Samaritan is unmasked. The kindly gentleman from Magpies had taken Bertie into his care overnight and returned him the following morning. Thank You.

Magpies is a gift shop in King Street selling very nice toys and gifts. Link:

Today I have being doing some research. Don’t ask me. I have also decided to stop painting in the Lounge Gallery on a Wednesday for several reasons, time being one factor. As I have been painting there every week for the last 7-8 years it was a big decision.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

St Marys Kidwelly

The picture above shows the church of St Mary's, Kidwelly, which is considered to be the largest parish church in Wales. It was originally built as a Prioy in about 1114, the original church was burnt down in 1223. I understand the tower and spire date from around 1320. The river is the River Gwendraeth.

Yesterday I posted about glass artist Moira White. As it happens Alex and I recently went to the Italian Island of Murano off Venice to see the famous Murano Glass. It was an interesting time and I enjoyed watching the skill of the craftsmen as they blew shaped and moulded the glass. I have to be honest though and say I found the work iself very garish and we came away empty handed.

Today I seem to have spent half the day sitting at the computer, not my favourite occupation. The back up was not working and then I had to sort out my email. The back up is now working but the email system still has a minor glitch. Alex has made over a dozen frames.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Last night we went to the AGM of the co-operative, Origin Dyfed. Somehow I ended up getting the job as Chairman. I suppose it’s a compliment but truthfully I would rather spend more time painting. Anyway there it is. I will do my best although it will be a hard task taking over from Moira who has steered us through some rough waters.

Moira is a very talented glass artist (not a glass maker). Technically there is a difference. I made glass (from sand etc.) when I was about 13yrs old and made a carbon arc furnace. It was very dangerous thinking about it with bare electrodes on wooden swivels, bare contacts, molten glass, and bare resistors made from fire elements etc..

Anway I digress Moira has a studio and this is the web link:

Today after considering my new responsibilities I walked the dog, checked on my mother, went to the gallery did a painting, got home walked the dog, did the painting of “Santa” or in Welsh “Sion Corn”, went with Alex to Aberglasney to take some paintings in, went with Alex to Origin while she did the banking and finally (?) spent a wonderful 45 minutes in Tesco’s. Got to go now to see mom and take her the shopping.

Incidentally the Santa painting is for Christmas Cards. I suppose thats obvious isn't it? Must be an age thing.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Cymru am Byth

I was having a bit of a stock take this morning and came across this painting of Angle, a very tranquil scene.

I have mentioned before about having difficulties in receiving payment from a couple of galleries. Well one, the one that previously took us five months to get payment, has finally yes finally sent a cheque. I should have learnt then. The bad news was they decided to date it 2010! Anyway I will be getting my work from there shortly, we don’t need the hastle.

I don’t get particularly upset or stressed by these things. I do get irritated, as I expect people to treat each other at least fairly. At the end of the day however none of it is life threatening.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine who was in Kabul last week and when you consider all that is happening in Afghanistan and the world in general it is hard to feel anything other than gratitude for a healthy family and a civilised place to live. (Cymru am Byth ~ Wales forever).

Monday, 7 November 2011

The return of the prodigal son ~ Bertie

I have now finished the painting of Towy Valley in the morning mist. I did in the end add the second horse/cobb on the left and also a second tree, the smaller one just on the right of the main one. I think it is pretty well balanced now although it is an unusual and difficult composition. I did however want to get all the elements in so I am quietly pleased with it.

Now Bertie the signboard (for readers of yesterday’s blog) has returned. He was lying in wait outside the doors of Origin this morning, no sign of being worse for ware for his adventure. At this moment in time I have no idea who returned him. Possibly Glyn who has an office opposite? Still a significant lesson has been learnt. Put him away at closing time unless I want to be driven from my bed at some ungodly hour of the morning to retrieve him.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


So yesterday I volunteered to help Alex in Origin. I had not stewarded in there before so she ran through the jobs with me. I had to unlock and put out the signboard outside in the shop enclosure. Then we had to prepare for the mass of customers. She showed me how to work the card machine. As soon as we opened customers came in. It was nice chatting to them also quite a few people we knew came in.
It was nice to see you again Geraint.
It was a very good day selling prints cards, jewellery and all manner of craftwork.It was late afternoon before I got a chance to pop home to walk the dog and visit my mom. When I got back to the gallery we had a few more visitors and then we locked up.
In the evening we went to our son and daughter in law’s for a pleasant meal and watch the fireworks and also the rugby before going home.
All had gone well and later as we lay in bed Alex woke me and whispered in my ear those tender words,
“Mark did you remember to bring the signboard in at the shop?”
Oh blast!
It was 2am in the morning and I pulled my trousers over my pyjamas and pulled trainers onto my feet and off we went to join the drunken stragglers in King Street, Carmarthen. I had visions of Bertie the signboard being put through the gallery window or someone else’s window. I perhaps don’t have enough faith in human nature. Yes after all that time it was --- gone! But at least not through our window.
(oh and yes you can start a sentence with “but”).
So Bertie had either joined someone’s bonfire, had been taken in by a kindly shopkeeper, had been used as a ramp by skateboarders, or had decided to travel the world (maybe he will send us postcards or emails?).
Anyway I didn’t get back to sleep very easily and maybe Alex will be reluctant for my help again, but I hope not.
The painting above I finished the day before.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Exhibition ~ Carmarthen and District Hospice Appeal

The painting above is one that I have done for the next Exhibition. It is an oil painting of the River Towy just West of Carmarthen looking back towards the Town and County Hall. The painting is quite large being over 4 ft x 2 ft.

The Exhibition will raise money for the Carmarthen and District Hospice Appeal. It has become a habit for us that on the last exhibition of the year we raise money for charity, the last 2 years being for Macmillan.

The Exhibition begins with a Private View on the evening of 30th November in Carmarthen Library Gallery, open between 5.30pm and 8.30pm. Entrance is £5 all of which goes to the Carmarthen and District Hospice Appeal. Light refreshments are included also 10% will be taken off the price of all original paintings on the evening of the private view. Tickets may be bought by contacting myself or you may pay on the door.

25% of all sales for the whole exhibition will also be given to the Appeal.

So come along, put it in your diary, it would be nice to see you. Have a pleasant evening and raise a few pounds for a very good cause.

Many new paintings will be on view along with prints and cards.

The Exhibition will run from 1st December -10th December admission free.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Twt Twt

Now I am not exactly sure I have the name of this beautiful little village in Croatia quite right but it sounded something like that and it amused me. It was a very quiet waterside village and warranted 10 minutes to sketch it.

Today I have been doing another oil painting and although I meant to finish off the painting of Towy Valley I haven’t got around to it yet. Alex has been mounting prints.

I received a parcel of materials the other day and my supplier sent me some brushes to try out. They are still in a drawer and will probably remain there.

I have literally dozens of brushes that for the most part have different stages in their life. I tend to buy a couple of dozen small size watercolour brushes at a time and use them for detail in my oils. As the brushes become ragged (which is very quickly) they become used for scrubbing, scratching, dabbing or whatever other action is needed. Finally they end up in the bin. My hogs hair brushes of which I have a large variety I pull out pretty much depending on their age likewise depending whether I want to use them to fill or drag paint about. So I have brushes of all sizes in all states. I have some very expensive sable watercolour brushes some good, some useless (i.e. they won’t hold sufficient water). So you don't always get what you pay for.

Tonight we have a reception for a number of artists and crafts folk from the EU.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Second Gear

The picture above is of Whitesands Bay in Pembrokeshire and we sent a print of it off to Canada today. Coincidentally the original was a commission for Gerald Davies CBE (legend and one of the all time rugby greats), and I heard that there is a program on the radio about him later today.

Yesterday I forgot to mention what could have been a very ugly incident in Swansea.
Alex likes driving which is fine, as I don’t. So we were navigating our way through heavy traffic when we got to a set of traffic lights. When the lights changed to green for us to go Alex pulled off inadvertently however in second gear. Now our car bless her was not to keen on this and protested, popped out of gear, stalled and came to a standstill.

No harm done except that unfortunately Alex looked in the mirror and could see wild even impolite gesticulations from the man in the car behind particularly when the lights changed to red against us. As I have previously said Alex is quite capable of starting a fight in a chapel and I had to do my best to placate her and get her to ignore the man behind. It could have been an ugly incident! I was relieved when the lights changed and we proceeded smoothly away Alex still seething and muttering under her breath.

In Alex’s defence she is a very good driver and our old car would happily pull away in fourth if you asked it nicely.

Life has its exciting moments!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Andrew Vessey

Busy today! Walked the dog. Then off to paint in the gallery. Alex picked me up and we went to Oriel Ceri Richards in Swansea. Sorted out some prints and then painted some frames, went to the gym, saw my mother, walked the dog ….and much more.

The picture above is from my sketchbook it is a linear drawing (lines no shadow) of Dubrovnik harbour. I was reminded of it when I went into the gallery in Swansea.

There was an exhibition by Andrew Vessey retired vicar of Swansea. A very good artist too.
I personally wasn’t too taken by his more abstract paintings (not really my area) but I had to admire his drawing and pen and ink work, beautiful.

There is no substitute for technique and experience, it shows! Here is a link to an article :

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Mist on the Towy

The other morning I went for a walk along the river towards Merlin’s Hill. It was early and there were hints of mist on the river and across the fields. There were horses in the fields that paid some interest in me. I am a little nervous of them having had been kicked by a horse which was a fairly unpleasant experience. Anyway I had a good walk and determined to do a painting of it.

Well now I have started it. It may look a bit rough now but it will be fine. I will probably add at least one more horse and maybe a kite.
We have been asked to exhibit more paintings next month so I will have to get busy.