Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Vincent Van Gogh

Alex and I have been away for a bit of a break. We went to Normandy and had a lovely few days. We visited Auvers while we were there. For those of you that don't know this is where Vincent spent his last months.

I am not a fanatic about Vincent Van Gogh but his work was certainly innovative and his story interests me, tragic though it is. He was never really happy and had tremendous bouts of depression and had a hopeless love life. He was supported by his brother Theo throughout his short life.

The Auberge (inn) above is where Vincent had  a little room in the attic which we were fortunate to see.

He went out one day and attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. He eventually died in his bed in the room two days later with his brother Theo holding his hand.

Six months after Vincent died his brother also passed away and they are buried together in the graveyard at Auvers.

Friday, 27 March 2015


Some paintings just stick and in the end you just get rid of them. Fortunately 90% of mine go so I am pretty lucky. If they don't go there is a reason either the price, the subject or the way it was painted or even the frame. It is not necessarily however a bad painting.

The painting above for example of Molly sat in the doorway of Tom's Records in Hay on Wye. Poor Molly is no longer with us.

 I have hung the painting for several years running at our annual exhibition and many people have commented on it. Although many people have recognised her no-one has felt compelled to buy her. Its just one of those things. I enjoyed doing the painting and felt it was one I had to do. As an aside the sign was the hardest part and I generally try to avoid them as they are a pain.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Purple and blue symetry

No this isn't an entrant for the Turner Prize,(its too good) but a picture drawn by one of our grandchildren. I am greatly encouraged that all the children like to draw. Being creative is something that must be encouraged in a child. I was fortunate and was shown how to paint at an early age.

My granddaughter called this scribble art. I told her it was Jackson Pollock although I appreciate it is too structured and more importantly it is not dribbled onto the surface but I draw the line at letting little hands pour open tins of paint in the house even if it is creative!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Coach house and Forest Arms Brechfa.

I came across this little watercolour the other day that had never been mounted or framed. It shows the old coach house in Brechfa and the Forest Arms Public House.  The coach house has now been converted to a dwelling.

I thought I would post this now before it got lost again or wandered off to the gallery at Nant y Caws (local tip).

This last week has been none stop and in particular for Alex. Yesterday she had to take her mother for an appointment at hospital. They had to wait a good while which wasn't a problem, you expect that but you do expect to be treated with courtesy or a least a modicum of manners. Unfortunately the doctor they saw had forgotten his bedside manners. According to Alex he spoke down to her and her mother throughout and it culminated with Alex did telling him point blank that he was rude. 

Big games today. Wales v Italy...

Friday, 20 March 2015

Chapel - Ceredigion

The painting above is one of the commissions I have done this year. I was taken out to see a chapel by a friend and customer. This was a place he had gone to with his family when he was growing up. It is one of those many chapels that is now in danger of closing due to the lack of a congregation but a place that obviously holds many fond memories.

On the day we visited it was overcast and looked nothing like the painting but I wanted an optimistic nostalgic feel. Of course the benefit of painting is that you can make a scene how you want it as opposed to photography ( although I know clever things can be done digitally now).

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Life through a lens!

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of Llyn Lech Owain (above). I didn't mention when I did this that Alex and I had a lovely walk around the lake and then went to the visitor centre. This is the building on the left. The upper floor has an observation window all the way around. I was pleased to note there was a telescope mounted on one side of the room. I went over to it and looked through the lens and tried to swivel it on its heavy stand. It didn't move and I could n't see anything through it.  I looked for a coin slot but saw nothing. 
I said to Alex,"I can't see anything through the telescope."
She rolled her eyes and replied,"That's because it's the security camera!"

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A day at the beach Cefn Sidan

A lovely couple of days ideal for a walk on the beach. I finished the above painting of Cefn Sidan yesterday.

To be honest I haven't got much else to say about the painting or anything else for that matter. Those that know me will be aware I don't believe in talking for the sake of it. If I have something to say I will, if not I keep my own counsel.

Have a nice day!


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Bluestones - Preseli Mountains

Here is the finished painting of The Blues Stones in the Preseli Mountains. Not my more normal blue skies but I do like to do an atmospheric work occasionally. I tend to find I get a lot of compliments from this type of work but, they take longer to sell. They go eventually but not as quick as a sunny day scene.

The framing department is running behind at the moment poor Alex is up to her eyes in various commitments but is hoping to get a couple done this week.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Five Oyster catchers

The above painting is of five Oyster catchers and was sold last week. It is very hectic all around at the present. We had a nice weekend. We had a couple of days away and then met some of the family for mother's day dinner.

I haven't managed to do more to my painting of the Bluestones but hope to get a couple of hours today in between childcare duties and the dentist.

 When I was a boy I chipped my tooth playing rugby. It was only a small knick on my front tooth and was hardly noticeable. Anyway my mother took me to the dentist who took great delight in grinding the tooth down and "fitting" a crown on it. Well even I see the funny side when I look in the mirror. It clearly must have been the first tooth out of the box and bears no relationship to the other front tooth. My current dentist who we have been to for 20 years did ask if I wanted it done properly but to be honest I can't be bothered and I might miss being able to stick my tongue between the gap!!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Blue Stones Preseli's -Under painting

Okay well its got a long way to go but at least the under painting is done. The blues stones in the Preseli's. Lot on this week and at the weekend "Mother's day" and lots of rugby so I guess its Monday to finally finish the painting.

link a beautiful song includes the right lyrics

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Change of Palette.

Here is another old watercolour. It is of Llansaint Church. If I remember correctly I did it in a demonstration in Llansaint. I confess I like the palette I used it is an unusual one to the colours I normally use.

I am currently working on an oil painting of The Bluestones in the Preseli's. I think it will take a couple of days so I won't be posting much this week.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Pembrokeshire Coast

One of my watercolours is shown above (which is sold). I rarely do a full watercolour painting these days although I use watercolours for sketching outside a lot. Maybe I should do a few more. We had a hectic weekend and had all the family over on Sunday. Alex was heroic in the kitchen.

I am getting myself ready for another clear out. I have a good accumulation of work that needs sorting. Anyway today I am in Origin in Carmarthen well at least in the morning.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Something or nothing

This is a painting from a few years ago showing cattle near Libanus in the Brecon Beacons. I do tend to meander between semi loose impressionism and quite tight realism depending on how I see it at the time. This is a very loose fast painting with a ground put on before going in to building the picture.

I don't believe in coincidences in general. I also have no great belief in the hereafter. For what its worth here is something or nothing. My mother died a couple of months ago after a very long illness. She was a creative person had a good knowledge of art and in general had no time for cubism post modernism ..etc.

I was at home in the kitchen with Alex that day when all of a sudden a breadboard that had comfortably lent against the wall for years fell and broke a ceramic pot I had made in cubist style. Five minutes later we had a call from the Care Home to say my mother had been lying down in bed five minutes earlier when suddenly she had opened her eyes sat up then passed away to the sound of "Amore".

 A few weeks later the family all met up in a pub in Mid Wales to have lunch prior to scattering my mother's ashes near her home. As the family sat down to lunch the radio was on and what song came on? "Amore." Something or nothing who is to say.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Llyn Lech Owain in Spring

I was commissioned to paint this lake before. As I may have mentioned on the day I went there a heron was popping his head up from the reeds. On the original commission I "ummed and ahhed" whether to include the  heron in the end I didn't. The painting looked fine. However I liked the view so much I thought I would do another version this time with the heron. To be honest I am still not sure which I like the best. It's a lovely spot and one I will return to.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Whitesands Bay finished painting

And the completed painting of Whitesands bay is .......above. Spent a couple of hours cutting boards. It is always a pain wearing a mask and goggles. Then it takes just as long to clean up after.

I do worry about our education system. We went to the vets last week and were given 11 tablets for Jac and told to give him two a day for 7 days!!

Musical link just because I love this record and it fits.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

A new painting

I have started a new painting of Whitesands Bay incorporating the beach as well as the islands in the distance. My usual loose start on this occasion leaving the primer white without a ground.

We are still seriously looking at our commitments and I think the next thing to go is the vegetable patch or at least some of it. We don't have a large garden but digging and weeding the patch is quite a business throughout the summer so maybe some more fruit bushes and lawn (sorry grass it over).

Jac is going to see an animal acupuncturist for his leg. I am a serious sceptic about all things as you who know me are probably well aware. However she comes highly recommended and I am less convinced by the new ground breaking operation that we were offered. So we will see how it goes.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Completed painting of Towy Valley and Paxtons Tower

Here is the completed painting of Towy Valley from Paxtons Tower. I may well have this done as a print.

Today I have another painting on the go so some progress being made now.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Painting of Towy Valley

I have started a new painting of the Towy Valley this week. The view is from Dryslwyn Castle looking towards Llanarthne and Paxtons Tower. You can see how I have drawn it out with a brush in turps and below how I am now adding oil with medium working downwards. Any details go in at the end. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

High Tide Llansteffan

I finished this painting at the weekend. The tide is exceptionally high but we have seen it like this. IN fact we sailed out of the estuary on one of the highest tides of the last decade. On another occasion we stood and watched a good friend of ours sail in over Carmarthen Bar on a huge tide as he returned to Carmarthen. He is no longer with us but was a great inspiration and enjoyed life to the full despite some serious medical issues. 

Anyway the painting itself is quite straight forward showing those elements of space and tranquillity. That is about as much as I will interpret a painting. I leave it to others to delve into the usual psychobabble of justifying a painting. It is what it is.

My eldest daughter is learning to play the piano as is her 5 year old son. The other day she had a visit from her mother and father in law. After lunch our daughter and grandson were in one room and the grandparents in another. My daughter started playing the piano when she heard her mother in law say,
"Come on Philip our grandson is trying to play the piano lets go watch."

With that our our mildly embarrassed daughter quickly transferred her son onto the piano stool for the entrance of both grandparents.

Sunday, 1 March 2015


The above painting of Broadhaven sold yesterday. A lovely beach on the great coastal path. 

Yesterday was spent cuttng and priming boards and then watching rugby. In the evening we went to a Charity Dinner raising money for a cancer charity and WRU Trustee charity for injured rugby players.
 John Davies ex Llanelli Prop was the Master of Ceremonies and we had an enjoyable night. We took our second eldest granddaughter who was amazingly well behaved. She won the heads and tails competition and then gave most of the money back to the charity! Pretty damn good for an 8 year old.