Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A Day on the beach

Here is a painting I finished yesterday. I guess I was inspired by the weather.  Anyway the subject is self explanatory.

The snap above shows how I started the painting. I loosely outlined the figures with a brush in red and stuck in a line for the horizon. Red because it is the primary tone for the flesh and is the complimentary colour of green which I chose for the sea. I did the outline of Worms Head in grey. The rest just followed.

Monday, 29 June 2015


This painting is an iconic view of Rhossili Bay. A great spot for  surfing, ( apparently, I don't surf). We have sailed passed Worms Head on a number of occasions. The Vikings apparently named it "Wurm" as it looked like a sea serpent.

Alex has been busy mounting prints and I have been on the computer as we had a bit of an issue with printing. It wasn't the prints themselves they are done by DOT Foundry a fine art printers. Basically all our labels had been written on publisher in a 32 bit format and we now have a 64 bit operating system that won't print them correctly. Sounds like I know what I am talking about? (Don't put money on it).
Well anyway I resolved the issue by converting them to pdf. files. I also updated my Welsh page on my website, a bit more of a task. Who knew what bluebells were in Welsh? I settled for, "Bwtsiasen y gog".

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Dryslwyn Castle painting completed

Here is the completed painting of  Dryslwyn Castle. I have used  very limited palette of colours and concentrated mainly on tonal contrast. Incidentally did you know that the human eye can differentiate more shades of green than any other colour?
Although the outcrop is fairly central the castle walls are at one end and that with the addition of a foreground tree balance the composition. Nothing difficult in the composition but it is still essential to have the completed painting in your mind especially when working without any preliminary drawing.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Dryslwyn Castle

I had put aside a painting of Dryslwyn Castle for the exhibition but as it sold this week I thought I had better do another. It is a view I have not painted before. It is from the North West and shows the whole outcrop of rock that the castle stands upon.

You can see I just got straight down to painting it with no preliminary drawing with pencil or brush. It may not look much at the moment but it will be fine, trust me I am an artist?! 

The other day my son in law said to me words to the effect that our granddaughter was the alpha out of their children. I repeated the conversation with Alex and slowly it dawned on me all the females in the family are the alphas. Or maybe we just like them to think that! Or maybe and more likely I just like to think that we like them to think that.

Friday, 26 June 2015


These cheerful little birds are a joy to watch at the waters edge. Often when we anchored we would dry out in an estuary to hear little groups of Oystercatchers calling and flying along the shoreline to their next resting feeding place. This painting is newly finished and going in the exhibition.

Yesterday we went to one of our grandson's schools to watch him doing ballet. This was something of a defining moment for me. When we were in St. Petersburg Alex went to watch the Russian Ballet, Swan Lake. I found an armchair a pint, of beer and read a book. Yes maybe I am a Philistine (or even a stuckist) but its not really my thing. However having watched the children I confess it was very clever and demanding. I was glad we went and that had nothing to do with the fact that we went to "River Cottage"in Bristol for a meal afterwards. It was a very late night but a good day.

I am working on a new painting today.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Three Cliffs in the mist - Gower

The above painting for the exhibition shows the early morning mist in Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower.

We had a visit by a couple of charming ladies yesterday who took away two paintings. Other than that not much to say.

As an aside our son Martin has now moved to Citreon Bassett in Carmarthen so if you are after a fair deal with a know where he is.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Merlins Hill - Greetings

My favourite view from the top of Penlanffos looking down the Towy Valley with Merlins Hill on the left. I used to walk this every morning with Jac but since he did in his cruciate ligament I am reluctant to let him over do things so he has a good walk on the flat now.

Yesterday a delivery man came to the door, a very cheerful pleasant young man. Now I can't remember exactly what he said when I opened the door but it was something like,

"Sup" ???!!!!!

Now I am from the generation that was taught that even the word "Hello, " was reserved for use on the telephone (if you had one).

 So a departing, "Have a good one," left me equally bemused.

I am at ease with a shake of the hand and a hearty, "good morning". Other physical contact is really not my, "thing". I guess I could be considered reserved but that is how we were brought up.

So at the end of the day  I was grateful I didn't have the embarrassment of the delivery guy doing a bump fist type thing with wiggling fingers accompanied by exploding noises!

Link Beatles

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Llyn Lech Owain

I have painted two versions of Llyn Lech Owain which is a nature reserve near Crosshands. The first a commission the second for the exhibition above. I was so taken when I did the first I went on to do another version.

Alex has been busy making cards by hand which is pretty time consuming. All the pictures are individually printed on 120gsm quality paper and then attached to a printed cream card blank, bagged priced etc. She has made about 250 so far and is aiming for about 400 which is our average sale on an exhibition.

The big news, well for me is that my spectacles have returned...They managed to get back into a jacket pocket that both Alex and I had checked,  obviously badly. It reminds me of Norman.

Norman was a garden gnome in Welshpool in the 1970's. He disappeared and although reported to the police it was not recorded as a crime (a definite no, no these days apparently). Anyway after a couple of months a postcard arrived at the owners house from Brazil. It was from Norman stating he had gone off to see the world . Over the following months various other postcards arrived from differing countries all ostensibly from Norman.  Finally about a year later he turned up back in his garden, obviously having had enough of travelling. The joker who must have been well travelled was never identified.

I apologise for the link, but it was either that or "The angry gnome".

Monday, 22 June 2015

Paxton's Tower

This is a painting of Paxton's Tower which I have done as a commission this week. The tower is a nineteenth century folly which commands a dominant position overlooking the Towy Valley.

I had a great father's day weekend and saw all the children, was treated to meals and presents.

Today I am back painting.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Mumbles Lighthouse

The above painting shows Bracelet Bay and Mumbles Lighthouse. Not much more I can say about it really.?

Yesterday I went to Brecon to meet our eldest daughter and family. It was nice to go back to Brecon as we used to live there. I used to have work in one of the galleries there and we had an annual solo exhibition in the Cathedral. Brecon has changed obviously and it is inevitable that you look and see things differently when you go back to a place but I though it looked, a "little tired". Empty shops and a need for fresh paint on many of those remaining? Anyway I had a nice time and they treated me to a meal, giving me a break from the cooking. They also gave me a shoulder bag for carrying sketch book etc. Something my son in law delighted in referring to as a manbag!

Today I am finishing a commission.

Saturday, 20 June 2015


This is a large painting of Laugharne. I did it last year and took it to Aberglasney. Since then it has mainly been on my living room wall. I like the view as it incorporates most of the main subjects in Laugharne.

I learnt something this morning. Alex said to me,

"You know when you want to charge your mobile phone?"


"Well you do have to plug it in to the charger but you also have to turn the socket on as well or it won't  work."

I know, but sometimes this technology can be overwhelming!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Sunrise on the Gower

This is the painting I have reworked . I wasn't quite happy with it so took the opportunity to rework it before it was framed. It is Sunrise on the Gower, it is actually Port Eynon.

I have a good bit of painting to do today. Alex is off socialising after a busy week so I will have a peaceful day with Jac and a paint brush for company.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


Ferryside from Llansteffan is a view I have been commissioned to paint twice. The above painting is one for the exhibition or failing that my own wall. The hill above Ferryside is where an old biplane landed one day . We were sailing down the river on our way out to go over the Carmarthen Bar when a biplane came up the estuary clearly in difficulties with the engine spluttering. It took a downward turn and made a safe but "heavy landing" in the field. It was later removed by lorry I believe.

Yesterday I had a call from my bank telling me my bank card had been used in a fraudulent transaction. I confirmed I had not made any payment using it so now the card is cancelled. Its no great drama or any surprise as there are numerous ways of obtaining card details. It is a fact of life now that you need to use a card for day to day transactions and its a risk you take.

We have actually given back our own card reader as like many things the companies involved kept adding to the bill, upselling is the term. Every year they would come up with new ways to take more off you. Well it was very convenient having our own machine but we manage fine without it now and are better off as well.

I am about to start a new commission so something to keep me busy over the next couple of days.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Llansteffan and Britains Finest

This painting of Llansteffan is now framed and packed. One of my favourite views unsurprisingly.

Yesterday I had a grandchildren experience while Alex went off with her Mom. Things went reasonably smoothly all things considered, well I didn't lose any of them so on that level it was successful.

Both Alex and I are strong supporters of the Police for obvious reasons. I believe we have the finest Police "Service"  in the World. Over the years I have met many officers from other countries and was amazed at the differing mind sets. From rude but okay to down right apathy to admitting to wholesale corruption. So yes I think in the UK we do have The Finest but on occasions of course things do go wrong, it is inevitable. (I know we were  poorly served when we were victims of crime ourselves on one occasion). Regardless, the Police do a great job in difficult circumstances. Now I get to the point.

Yesterday Alex being a fine upstanding member of the community was on her way to take her Mom for a hospital appointment. She came across an incident and like any good citizen rang it in. Now she had to negotiate the push button 1 if you want "English" etc. on two occasions and a few other buttons to get through to the call handing centre. Then she was interviewed and according to her asked her whole life history (she does exaggerate).

When she was asked for her birthday she finally said, " I was hoping to report an incident not be interviewed to go out on a date!"

Apparently the humour was not appreciated, but who knows.

Of course the irony is I was responsible for setting up the call handling centre in the first place but don't tell Alex or anyone else for that matter.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Dryslwyn Castle

The above painting is of Dryslwyn Castle which commands a central position in the Towy Valley. The image is a little bright but anyway you get the idea.

Yesterday was spent mainly updating my website. I rely on the internet for work but strangely I get more work from my blog which probably explains why I am a bit lazy in updating my website. I am getting nearer to a million google views of my work so all in all things are okay.

In order to update my website I have to fire up my old computer which holds the web editor software. My new computer is good but of course it won't run the 1948 web editor software I bought off ebay for 2 shillings and 6 pence. I reckon I can make it last until I no longer need a website and/or return to cosmic dust so I am not buying new software. It does take a while to add files and get them uploaded and then put in the right size of the paintings framed, and unframed etc. I had even made the cardinal sin of leaving a painting on the website which had been sold and still had the price on it "mea culpa"!
After several hours I  finished and found that some of the files had been uploaded using the wrong image size and looked  a bit small but heh whatever they are expandable.

My glasses are still on walkabout. Jac has a visit by his acupuncturist today I haven't told him yet so he is quite oblivious and watching the birds on the bird table.

Monday, 15 June 2015

River Gwili

The above painting is for the exhibition. The scene is of the River Gwili just on the outskirts of Carmarthen. The Gwili Railway runs along the side of the river to the left. It is a quiet little spot where the sun pokes through the overhanging trees accompanying the sound of running water over rocks.

I have met all kinds of people in my life from murderers, thieves, personalities, councillors, up to the aristocracy and Royalty. At times I actually preferred the company of some "rogues" and "ner do wells" to that of some of the "Crachach". I think most police officers will understand what I am trying to say.

  To be honest I have met so many people with who I had to make conversation or interview that I can now appear a little unsociable. I like to talk to people I am interested in and/or talk about things that interest me otherwise if I have nothing to say I say nothing. Alex and I can be quite relaxed in our own company and don't feel the need to fill silence with meaningless words. Mind you she makes up for it when she gets on the phone!

Anyway I am getting to the point now Alex caught a thief in our garden yesterday. Well actually she didn't catch them as they ran off. She gave me a shout just in time for me to see a grey squirrel carrying off the last ripe strawberry. They had been disappearing faster than nature could ripen them and the birds had the blame so I put netting over them to no avail. Now we know that Sammy Squirrel was the culprit was all along !

PS My piano glasses are still on the run.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


This is the painting collected yesterday by a lovely lady. It shows Llandeilo from Ffairfach in the Spring and I had done it earlier in the year as a commission.

My eye sight isn't bad, touch wood, which I guess is quite useful for an artist. My grandfather went blind and my father had glaucoma so I am pretty particular about having my eyes checked regularly.

I do wear glasses for closer work. Wearing glasses does have advantages. It makes me look more intelligent, always a bonus. Mainly it keeps me fit and is constantly testing my mental recall. I have several pairs of glasses all with a specific purpose. I didn't order them like that it happened by natural progression. My later glasses have a closer focal length therefore for painting I have an old pair that are not as strong, similarly I have an older pair for murdering the piano. My latest pair are for reading etc. you get the picture, I hope.

Anyway glasses, or more correctly spectacles have a life and character of their own. My painting glasses are kept in the studio and although generally difficult to see out of at times due to layers of paint they tend not to wander too far. The others are quite adventurous and wander all over the place. I am constantly going up and down stairs trying to find a specific pair. My reading glasses went walk about some time ago and I hadn't seen them since we came back from Norway. Yesterday they turned up in a jacket pocket I am sure I had searched a dozen times. However my piano glasses which I was wearing in the morning have vanished into thin air. I have checked all the likely places, on the piano, on my head in the fridge but no they must have gone for the week. As I say some inanimate objects have a life of their own!!!

Link  this is an old one

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Florentino's

No this is not a painting for the exhibition it is a sketch of Constantine's Arch in Italy. I include it as it has kind of been an Italian themed week for us. We were invited to exhibit in Florence. We went to an Italian Restaurant that opened in Carmarthen last night. It is called Florentino's and the owners from Florence. Anyway we had a lovely time the food was outstanding and very reasonably priced.
We love Italian food and this was authentic Italian made by an experienced Italian Chef who I believe spent the last 8 years in a top establishment in Manhattan. We drank good Italian wine with our meal, rather too much actually and had a good walk home in the rain as taxis were pretty well fully booked.

A lady is coming to collect her commission today other than that it may be a lazy day recuperating but who knows?

This week we were in Waterstones where Alex is doing her best to buy the entire children's section for the grandchildren. To be honest I don't mind reading is great for them. Personally I walked to the local library as a boy and worked my way through the books borrowing them but whatever.

Anyway I digress she was looking for a particular book I think a David Walliams one? At that moment a young man came passed and she grabbed him and asked about the book.
He sheepishly replied, "I am sorry I don't work here." I think she still thought that was a pretty poor excuse.

Link Has to be Billy Joel

Friday, 12 June 2015


This is one of the paintings I finished recently and is now packed up. Dinefwr Castle in the mist.
I had an interesting day yesterday. Did a bit in the garden had my piano lesson!! Walked Jac and reworked the final painting. Oh and did the food shopping nice to see  you Geraint.

In the evening popped over to see some of the grandchildren.   The dog was following the hens around in the yard and one of the children was eating a corn on the cob. I quite like them myself but I actually prefer mine cooked?!! It always a bit like a visit to see Huckleberry Finn and friends.

It was when we were coming back I realised I had forgotten to go to a co-operative meeting. Well getting old is a good excuse for a slip of the mind I suppose. Now what have I forgotten to do today?

Update: I found out I did forget the meeting but it was Tuesday not Thursday Oh well!

Thursday, 11 June 2015


The above painting of a crow on the beach is one I did last year and will be in the exhibition in Aberglasney.

Alex has now completed framing all the original works except one which is down to me. I want to make a few last minute changes (today's challenge) so it will have to be framed at the last minute.

I have been invited to exhibit at an International Art Exhibition in Florence sponsored by Tuscany. It would involve a fair bit of additional work and time.
Whilst it is flattering to be asked to be honest it is not for me and I have now declined the invitation. I don't like going further than Offa's Dyke these days. I hope the opportunity is given to some other artist who and makes good use of it.

Link Matt Monroe Did you know he never had a UK number one hit?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bad Manners

Okay well this is one I won't be exhibiting. It's okay and the photo doesn't do it justice but I am not completely happy with it. It needs work if it is to end up in a frame, it probably won't.

One of my pet hates is rudeness. Yesterday I held a door open for a woman coming through the door the other way. She walked through and completely blanked me. There were a couple of ladies coming a little way behind her so I thought I may as well hold it for a few seconds more and I let them through. Now I don't expect heartfelt gratitude but an acknowledgement I exist would be nice. The first lady ignored me and the second looked straight at with a look that I thought maybe I would be turned to stone.

Still I suppose I was just unlucky as its unusual to get three rude old farts together.

Link Bad Manners

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Newport and Mynydd Carningli

The above painting of cottages and Mynydd Carningli is a darker painting than I usually do. The subject invited the treatment. It was late Autumn and only glimpses of light brightened the landscape.

I was chatting to a lady yesterday who was doing a degree course in fine art. I won't go in to details but she was experiencing the same issues I found when I did a degree a good while ago although not at the same college. I am interested to see that the idea of contemporary and cutting edge art is still the same as it was then and to be honest the same pretty much as the 1970's. Video's of people doing nothing and found objects...sorry don't start me off. Each to their own.

I haven't painted a seascape or shipping for a few years and am minded to do a painting of HMS Portland. There again I have a few other ideas so maybe it will have to wait? I am off to the gym now and we have the grandchildren this afternoon.

Monday, 8 June 2015


Mwnt _ the church of the Holy Cross, this is a lovely spot and one I have painted half a dozen times with varying views including the beach and even the whole cove. The one above is going in to the exhibition.

We are in Origin Gallery Carmarthen, today so hopefully we will have a few customers to pass the time along.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Out of the mouths of Babes

Alex framed this painting for the exhibition this week. Walking on a sunny day at Cefn Sidan.

Yesterday Alex went on a crochet course in the morning and I stand corrected a Peg Looming course in the afternoon. NOT a peg making course! She obviously had her creative head on yesterday. I had two of the grandchildren in the afternoon. They were fine  reading and I showed the granddaughter how to make lemon pesto. So no major dramas.

Alex does nothing by halves. When she came home she had a peg loom, the wool off a thousand sheep and sacks of other things! She proudly showed her "swatches"( I think that is the correct term) of crochet. To be fair they were very nicely done. Then my granddaughter God Bless her asked the question I dare not ask.

"Nanny they are very nice but what do you do with them?"

Yes this girl will go far.

Saturday, 6 June 2015


Another painting for the exhibition. One of my favourite views, possibly because we used to often sail around to Laugharne and drop anchor off the Boathouse staying overnight. Then leaving with the early morning tide.

I have mentioned before that it seems I may be descended from Romany Gypsies in North Africa. I think Alex is trying to get in on the act now as she starting a peg making course! I guess she wants to go door to door selling pegs and heather?

 I have a couple of the grandchildren this afternoon so not much painting today.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Carmarthen on the Towy

The above painting is one of my larger ones and shows the river Towy at Carmarthen on a winters day. It had a sister version done in summer which was sold and now hangs in Glangwili Hospital.

I am going to finish off the bluebell painting today. Perhaps finish off is not the right choice of words? Complete maybe better, hopefully.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Blaenau Ffestinog railway - David Lloyd George

This is going into the exhibition. It is not new, it is a painting of the David Lloyd George on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway. Although I have exhibited for a few years running I cannot bring myself to scrap it. I suppose the subject appeals to me more than the painting. Trains are a bit of a niche market that I only occasionally hop into. I don't target them to the appropriate buyers it is just a chance sale.

Anyway a lovely day in prospect I am off to make the most of it.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Winter scene

Here is another painting for the exhibition. It is now dry but awaiting framing in Alex's production line.

I put a buzzard in the picture for a change because the red kite tends to have a bit of monopoly these days. I sat watching a buzzard yesterday having a hard time from a crow. The technical term I think is  being mobbed. It is a day of domestic chores today decorating and such.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Bluebell woods

I mentioned the other week that I went to Dinefwr to get material for a bluebell painting in the woods. I ended up doing a painting of the castle initially but I have finally gotten around to the painting  of bluebells. The painting is not quite finished I need to let it dry a tad more but you get the general picture. It was painted without any drawing just built up with layers of paint.

 I saw a painting posted by David Cowdrey yesterday which was of the same subject pretty well and was exceptional.

Was the blackbird there ? Well no he wasn't. Well he was singing but not visible and to be honest that tree wasn't there either. Well it was but not in that position. I moved it to accommodate the blackbird.

I have to be organised to do things. I like my studio if not completely tidy then organised with everything in its place. The same in the kitchen when I am cooking. I can't play the piano with dirty hands, well I can't play the piano with clean hands but I give it a go anyway. Its the same with painting itself. I have to organise my mind to ensure I have a clear idea of what the finished work will look like and how to get there.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Burry Port Lighthouse

Alex and I were away yesterday so I omitted to do  a blog. At 6am this morning Jac and I had a good walk through Pembrey Country Park. It was a bright sunny start to the day with the accompaniment of blackbirds singing and an occasional bray from a donkey!

The painting above is of Burry Port Lighthouse and is one now ready for the exhibition.