Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A Great Night out

Alex and I had a great night in Cardiff courtesy of Nicky Piper. We had a very pleasant evening and enjoyed the company of Nicky along with Brynmor Williams, Rob Jones, Phil Steel and Rhys Williams.

All great guys and a mine of information on Welsh Rugby.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Oystercatchers series (1)

Some artists I talk to have trouble deciding what to paint. When you are painting every day this can be a problem. My answer to this basically is to paint what sells. If I have any doubts about what to paint I will ask Alex and she will say something like, "We haven't got anything left of Tenby," or South Pembrokeshire or something like that.

This week she has suggested I paint a series of Oystercatchers as I have been asked to paint several this year and they have all gone.

We went down to Cefn Sidan last night with Jac to watch the sun go down and the cheery little chaps were flocking along the shoreline in groups of a hundred or so and then smaller groups.

Anyway here is the first of the series.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Boatyard in Corfu

I often look at other artists work and think, "who will buy that?" Its not that the painting isn't well done but what market are they appealing to. It is generally not sufficient to produce a good painting it has to mean something to the buyer.

Take the painting above (not litterally). I rarely do a full painting that is other than for the West Wales or Welsh Market because that's where I work and sell. I go around the country and Europe seeing wonderful subjects but I know for the most part they are only likely to sell in that area or to someone who has a connection to it. I always take my sketch book and pass the time sketching but I hardly ever turn them into a full painting.

 I did the painting of boats in a boatyard on Corfu because it appealled to me. It is not likely to sell but I am happy to keep it myself.

I have actually done a few paintings of Venice that all sold but I guess a good number of people have fond memories of Venice.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Tenby Summer

Yes I managed to finish it took a couple of days with odds and ends to do but here it is. Tenby in the Summer. Normally I wouldn't be too fussed about  using the correct colours for the houses but as it happens they suit the composition fine so it was just as easy to use the correct hues. I have changed the tonal values of a couple of them however.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Haulwen - Gwili Railway

Alex and I took my sister for a day out on the Gwili Railway. We went on Haulwen an 060 Hunslet tank engine pictured above.

We had a tour of the signal box and Alex and my sister went on the footplate of Haulwen. We had cream tea in the dining car and altogether a nice day out.

Okay I didn't get my painting of Tenby finished but tomorrow should do it.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tenby stage one

On the easel today we have the first stage of a painting of Tenby. I had it in mind to do one then I was prompted to get on with it as I sold the other painting of Tenby Harbour two days ago.

I drew out the buildings freehand and then used a cool grey palette to set the background. i haven't decided on whether I am putting a boat or boats in the foreground yet but probably not if I make the beach interesting enough.

I have now cleaned my brushes as I intend to watch an afternoons rugby.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Tenby Harbour

The above painting of Tenby sold yesterday about the only positive thing about yesterday come to think of it. Still you have to laugh. Our new freezer is ticking way merrily and I have promised myself I will refrain from de-icing it with a scraper or sticking anything into the compressor pipe!

Alex is in Cardiff so Jac and I have been looking after two of the grandchildren this afternoon. Alex printed out some of the new Christmas cards last night and has given them the seal of approval.

A couple of weeks ago we were talking to a gentleman from Maesteg. We were chatting about our families. My grandmother's family came from Pembrokeshire as did his. How his family came to move to Maesteg was however quite different. Apparently his grandfather was given money by his father to emigrate as there was little work around. His errant son (our friend's grandfather) decided to have a drink and subsequently drank his way East until he ran out of money in Maesteg!

My one grandfather did take a ship to South America and sought his fortune in the gold mines. He had been working in a jewellers shop and left the country under a different name for some reason. I still have the passport. He didn't make his fortune but he did avoid the First World War.

Anyway so far I have a free day tomorrow so I will start a new painting.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Christmas Robin

Some days don't go as well as others. This morning I had to walk to town and deliver some cards and do some food shopping. When I got back i decided to defrost the freezer. I scrapped most of the ice out of it and there was a bit left in the corner. I jabbed a knife into the ice and it went through the ice into the plastic wall and I heard the sound of gas releasing!  Turn it off and open the windows. One dead freezer.

Yesterday I did a painting of a robin that Alex had asked me to do for Christmas cards. I decided to photograph it. I picked it off the easel and promptly dropped it face down on the carpet! I then spent an hour repainting it.

We then went to Currys to get a new freezer and of course they do a good selection starting at £109 but had nothing in stock under £169. Off to Llanelli and got one. What a day.

Link Ray Davies

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Alex Cuthbert

I am in the gallery at Origin today well at least for the morning. I thought the above painting mught be appropriate. I noticed on Max Boyce on Thursday this try was shown so hopefully Alex Cuthbert can do something similar again!

Friday, 18 September 2015


Here is one that didn't make it. To be honest it isn't really a marketable subject so I am not that surprised but I liked it. Anyway it has been around a while and I have decided to make use of the frame and consign it to history.

My memory isn't what it was. I decided to make a tomato panna cotta and yesterday walked to town to buy the ingredients. I looked up the recipe. I didn't write down what I wanted as it is fairly simple!

I knew I was out of gelatine and needed tomatoes. I also normally work in imperial measurements but I remembered I needed 8kg of toms. I weighed them and thought this is quite a lot but they are being reduced so whatever. Of course when I got home I found I needed 8g of gelatine and only 2kg of toms. Anyway it was good exercise carrying the tomatoes and guess what soup I am making today?

Link a very old one

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Walking the dog on Llansteffan Beach

I finished this painting today. It is in a similar vein to the previous one. It shows a couple walking their dog on Llansteffan Beach with Ferryside in the background.

I am anticipating a bit of time in front of the television for a couple of weeks as the Rugby World Cup is with us. Hopefully Wales will  make it out of their group. I haven't got tickets for any of the games but will make do with a glass of wine and butties in front of the box!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Well I hear on the radio we may have an unexpected snow fall? Not sure how it can be unexpected if it is forecast but never mind.

I have been cutting and preparing boards this morning. Its a boring job but one that can't be rushed or you will pay for it later. The last thing you want to find is a blob or blemish on the board that shows through a perfect sky. One of the advantages of using primed board is you can avoid faults in canvas which are all to often evident only when you are painting. I generally paint quite thinly in layers so I can't cover it up by spooning on the paint.

Talking about the unexpected some of those times you remember are when fantastic things just happen. Like seeing a couple of pods of Killer Whales in the North Atlantic or in the Mediterranean when Alex shouted to me, "Look fish." I looked over the side to see a pod of dolphins playing in the waves. "Fish," I ask you.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A Walk on the beach (North Beach Tenby)

Here is the latest painting I have been working on. It is of North Beach Tenby with Caldey and St Margaret's Island in the background. St Margarets Island adjoins Caldey Island by a line of rocks and it is not possible to navigate between the two.

Anyway I find it a good backdrop particularly with the sun reflecting off the sea against the rocks.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Face of time

A recent pen and ink sketch of Alex as she was musing over Scrabble. We have had a couple of weeks off for a break and also to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary -  40 years.

Now I have a couple of paintings to start.

For my birthday several months back Alex bought me a watch. Now the criteria for a perfect watch are simple it needs to work and be easily read. Anyway I chose a plain simple watch in a jewellers window and then the assistant gave me a new one in the box. Fine! So when I came to use it I was a little surprised that after a time I was beginning to struggle in reading the face. I didn't say anything to Alex but ended up having to put on my glasses to read the time.

The other day she said to me as I was struggling to read the time,

"Why have you left the transparent cover on your watch?" and promptly removed it air bubbles and all. Ah all of a sudden it was clear.

"Oh, Erm, err, I thought it would protect the glass for a while?" I muttered.