Saturday, 31 October 2015


I rarely use bought boards as a surface for painting. There are too many variations in their qualities.
The painting above was done on a bought canvas board. I had noticed over the weeks that the oil paint had sunk into the primer in places. I therefore had to set about the painting again today and re-work it.

Now the photograph is pretty dire but after a couple of attempts at getting the right light with reflections off the canvas surface I gave up and didn't even bother with photo shop to get an accurate portrayal of the values and hues. I have never really got on well with cameras. Anyway please take my word for it it looks fine in real life and I no longer have to walk passed it thinking I must do something about that.

Last night Alex and I went to the Scarlets and were treated to hospitality before and after the game by friends. Another good result and a pleasant evening out.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Horse and rider - Manorbier

I have been working on the above painting this week. It is a horse and rider on the sands at Manorbier. Manorbier has some nice surf which adds to the interest. It is not a large painting 12 x 9 ins unframed. I don't often do horses but they are a constant on the beach and it seemed it would make a nice composition.

Last night a lovely couple came to pick up their commission. They seemed very pleased with it with was gratifying as I had taken a good deal of care over it and I thought it had turned out well.

Today I am painting, the garage/workshop floor! A bit of a pain but necessary to do every so often to keep the dust down.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

David Cowdry

We had two of the grandchildren yesterday. We decided to be creative and take them to see David Cowdry's Exhibition at Aberglasney.

The eldest who is 10yrs. was very interested, the younger more interested in her chocolate pudding for lunch. Anyway it is as always a great exhibition and good to see David. The exhibition is on until next Thursday 5th November.

As we came out of Aberglasney we came through the shop and Alex started looking at things picking them up and putting them down. The children and I looked at each other and went out to the car.

As we left her in the shop the eldest turned to me and said,

"Granddad is it a good idea to leave Nanny in the shop?"

"No probably not." I said, (a sentiment re-enforced when she came out with numerous boxes and bags 10 minutes later).

Later Alex spent a couple of hours with them making Halloween Pumpkins. So a creative day child sitting.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Bridge over the Towy

This is a watercolour of the Bascule Bridge (lifting) over the Towy at Carmarthen. It is still in use and carries the main line trains West although it no longer lifts as the mechanism having been removed.

I have done several full paintings of the Bridge including the remnants of the mechanism.

Our fortnightly delivery of framing materials arrived today and we find our main moulding is out of stock and they have delivered none which is more than inconvenient. This is not the first time and they didn't even have the courtesy to notify us, again. So Alex is spitting feathers and we will have some unframed works hanging around until the suppliers get their act together.

As I write two grandchildren have arrived along with a downpour of rain. Anyway we are taking them to see David Cowdry's Exhibition today.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Lewis Hamilton and I

This is a corner of our workshop. Today has been put aside to carry out a clean up. It is normally pretty tidy but things need moving to remove an accumulation of dust and throw out items deemed to be no longer useful.

Not a great job but one that has to be done. I have made one trip to the disposal site and took the opportunity to discard two paintings that had been hanging around for 18 months.

I note Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1 Championship yesterday. Congratulations to him he has style and must have nerves of steel.

We seem to have quite a  lot in common:

We are both learning to play the piano

We both have a unique style in headgear

Neither of us drive for Ferrari

Neither of us is now dating Nicole Scherzinger (but in any case I very happily am married).

Actually come to think of it I am a bit older than you and I don't have £150 million either so maybe we don't have that much in common in the end but well done anyway.  Lewis, "You are Class".

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Brecon Beacons

An old watercolour that is sold is shown above. It is of the Brecon Beacons. I think I may return to watercolours seriously sometime but am currently enjoying oils too much. I do use watercolours at the moment but just for sketching.

Watercolours to my way of thinking are controlled accidents particularly when using wet in wet technique.

Getting Older

Here are my thoughts for what they are worth on getting older;

Getting older means:

"Being pleasantly surprised by, finally finding the TV remote in the fridge, 

Being pleasantly surprised by finding a bottle of wine in the back of the cupboard,

Being pleasantly surprised by waking up in the morning, 

Going with the family to watch the rugby,

Looking forward to the next 24 hours as much as the whole of the previous days in your life.

Smiling at the naivete of youth, politicians and people in general,

Smiling at the rebelliousness of youth.

Having a bus pass but walking anyway.

Holding the door for someone even if they ignore you.

Not worrying about things you can't alter,

Remembering beer when it was served warm and a choice of mild or bitter.

Remembering  when music was still music,

Remembering with a smile those no longer here,

Enjoying a sunset or a good book,

Not needing to talk to fill in the silence,

Being strong inside,

Knowing life is about experience not collecting goods,

Knowing contentment is happiness,

Knowing you did your best,

Knowing at the end all men and women are equal,

Knowing the secret of life and cherishing it,

Coasting to the invisible finish line having loved the race and those around you,"


Friday, 23 October 2015

Towy Estuary

Alex and I have used to have a yacht for several years and spent many a good  night on the moorings of the Towy at Llansteffan.

It is surprising what we witnessed during those times. The moonlight on the water as shown in the painting above (which is sold), wading birds coming in as the tide receded and on two occasions boats drifting passed us with the incoming tide. We had to then set about recovering them in case there was someone hurt or injured on board. Fortunately it transpired they both had just come adrift from their moorings and floated away to be brought up the estuary with the tide.

Today Alex is framing flat out so I am keeping out of the way.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A day on the beach

This is one of three paintings that sold this week.

I didn't mention we went to the horse racing at the week end. I am not a regular attendee. In fact it was only the second time in my long life. On the previous occasion I went with a group of men to Newbury where we hired a box  and that was a good day out.

Anyway I placed bets on the first three races and was delighted to note I could place each horse ...last. I used my money more effectively in the bar after that.

Alex meanwhile had a result in every race including a first and second. So I lost £12 and she won £14. It was a nice day and I couldn't help thinking about the paintings by Degas of Horse Racing. In fact several of the impressionist (including Manet and Cassat) did some nice paintings of race horses full of life and light . A local artist who does exceptional paintings of Race Horses and Jockeys is Lisa Miller. Link

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


I have man flu! Nothing desperate but normally I am quite lucky and haven't had a cold for a couple of years. Anyway  yesterday we went to the post office post a painting abroad. Its a bit of a pain as there is generally a long queue and it is twenty questions when you get to the counter. The staff are all pretty good but it is time consuming.

Today a squirrel was checking his larder in our back lawn. He buries cob nuts  in the lawn for winter. I had let it grow over the last three weeks to help him out. It does the grass no harm and saves me a job. I don't know how he finds them after but he is good.

The view above is of ponies on the beach at Druidstone. Over the years I have done a number of paintings of this area. The one above sold a few years ago. On a sad note Alan Carrier a fine craftsman and Chairman of the Origin Arts and Crafts Co-operative passed away suddenly this week. He was a lovely man and he will be missed by all that knew him.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Gulls Tenby

I finished this painting today another of Tenby Harbour with gulls in the foreground.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

My Garden Shed a work of art ?

Okay so why am I showing  a picture of my garden shed? Well number one reason its falling down and I have been considering whether to buy a new one or design and build my own. Secondly is it a piece of art?

In respect of building it myself I would quite like to but can  I justify a weeks work when all it will do is hold my old lawnmower? I guess I haven't answered the question because I was thinking this last October and miracle upon miracles its still standing.

Now  everything is art,even a photo of a garden shed. To explain further I include a link to an article on Peter Finnemore  who represented Wales at the Venice Biennale. Vive la Diffference as they say.
If my shed is a work of art then maybe the Arts Council for Wales would like to make a bid for it. I would be happy to consider a reasonable offer.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Blue Sky

I had a customer ring up the other day and specified that a picture should have "Blue Sky" now there is nothing unusual in that in fact the majority of my work has blue sky. I think people probably find a painting more optimistic if it has a sunny scene. I mean who wants to look at something dour? Would you want the Scream by Munch on your wall?

Anyway I do do moody skies and winter scenes occasionally for a change. I did the one above this week it is a very loosely painted composition using an old number 10 brush and a beaten up 0 water colour brush for the couple.

Yesterday morning Alex went out with her Mom I dropped them off in town and Alex said she would ring for a lift back when they had finished shopping. I went home looked in the larder to see what to cook them for lunch. In the end I decided to make some more carrot and coriander soup. I had a little remaining from the day before but not enough for three. I merrily chopped more carrots coriander and added stock to the previous days remains. After it had simmered for twenty minutes I decided to use the blender. I usually use a stick blender but decided to blitz it in two goes in the standard blender. Can you see where this is going? I did the first half and left it in a jug. I poured the remaining soup in the blender and turned it on!

Yes for some unknown reason the top came off and hot carrot soup deposited itself everywhere. Over me over the kitchen over the floor over some  of Alex books and diaries, the ipad etc.. Jac crept out of the kitchen and I stood there counting to ten. It took me half an hour to clean everything up including myself. I then had to make more soup.

Of course the irony was at half past two I still hadn't heard from Alex or her Mom so I phoned. When Alex answered I heard the rattle of cups and cutlery.

"What time are you coming home for lunch?" I said.
"Oh we decided to have lunch in town, sorry I should have told you." Alex replied.

Count to ten!!!

Went to watch the Scarlets beat Leinster so that was a good end to the day.


Friday, 16 October 2015


This is one of the paintings I have finished this week. It is of the Holy Cross Church at Mwnt. The photograph could have been better as the colours don't show up that well but heh ho?

Alex is better again today and is busy making cards. Fingers crossed for the rugby.!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Refineries Milford

Yesterday I took Alex to Milford Haven to see a chiropractor. Jac and I had a wander around the Marina and Milford to avoid listening to the screams coming from the treatment room.

There was a distinct lack of shipping in the Haven. A far cry from when we used to sail out of there. Two of the refineries have now closed. Pictured above is a painting of the old Texaco/ Chevron Refinery which I did from our mooring in Angle. I used to enjoy watching the work boats, tugs and pilot boats coming and going. My family worked in the shipyards on the river in the 1800's and early 1900's they have gone too. I suppose it is good for the local environment that they have shut but the effect on the local economy must be awful.

Today I have a couple of competing ideas for a painting. I have finished two this week.

Oh yes Alex is much better today after her visit to the "chiro" (just as well as she is a terrible patient).

Link Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Nail

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dot dot!

Ah Mrs Cox is not this well today unfortunately. She has sustained a shoulder injury which may keep her out for the rest of the season. She has done something by way of pushing or pulling that has resulted in fits of agony and mild irritation when I laugh. In short she is crocked and even putting on an ear ring is out of her comfort zone right now.

On a more cheerful note Jac had his acupuncture session yesterday and is top notch.

Anyway not sure what the day may bring hopefully some painting but probably a bit of ferrying one agonised patient around.

Link Peter Sellers

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Another Day in the Towy Valley

Another beautiful morning in the Towy Valley (although the painting is actually of the Brechfa Forest).

I popped into the gallery early to change a couple of paintings now I have a piano lesson! Then get on with some painting before picking up the grandchildren from school.

Monday, 12 October 2015


This morning I was out before 7am walking with Jac in Pembrey Country Park. It was a great morning for a walk with the sunrise on the horizon and mist between the autumnal trees. It reminded me of a poem we learned at school by Emily Bronte,

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Morning Mist

This painting of a Misty Morning at Three Cliffs Bay in one of the paintings that sold this week. It is a great spot to watch the sunrise. We have camped on the Cliffs above the Bay and the possibilities of a painting are pretty endless.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Rhossili Bay Gower

I have finished the above painting of Rhossili Bay today. I did a much larger version of this view about a year ago and was quite taken by it so here is this smaller version. The light  over the Worms Head particularly caught my attention. Rhossili is a popular place for surfers although I have never tried it. I like being on the water but not necessarily in it!

I am in the gallery today so hopefully see a few visitors.

Link an old instrumental

Friday, 9 October 2015


The above painting is of Amroth and went a good few years ago.  A nice spot on the Pembrokeshire Coast. Alex and I changed our paintings in the gallery yesterday and then I cut and primed a dozen boards. Today we have visitors and I am on kitchen duties! I may get a chance to start my new work?

Anyway walking Jac this morning I wondered a very strange thought, if they made a film of our lives who would play us? Now I know no-one would make a film but it is interesting to see which actor or actress (or are they all actors now?) you would choose.

I guess for myself I would go for Bill Nighy. Who can play the quiet, retiring, dry gentleman. Of course that's probably not how other people see me.

For Alex I 'd probably pick Rachel McAdams the girl next door.

For my brother it would be Oliver Reed if he were still around, wild, womanising, artist, writer, traveller 3 ex wives (my brother that is). As for the rest of the family it would be safer to let them pick their own.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

On the beach

We are changing the paintings in the Origin Gallery today so I have posted the painting above as it is one of the new ones going in.

Yesterday didn't turn out like planned. I walked the dog had breakfast, walked to town to do the shopping, and then had to return to the gallery, met a friend on the way back. I got back for the piano tuner to turn up, had a friend call in unexpectedly, walked the dog, made lunch, had our son drop in and leave the littlest grandson. So by then it was time for tea. A nice day but no sign of a tube of paint being opened.

Today we are in the gallery for a while changing paintings unless anything else crops up!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Llansteffan -Forever Autumn

I walked Jac around the reservoirs this morning. The leaves are tumbling and those autumnal colours are inspiring. You will note that the above painting has the hint of autumn in the trees and the previous painting was full of warm colours.

I have yet to decide what I am starting today. I have several competing images to consider. I don't like waste as I may have previously mentioned so often pick up a piece of left over board and visualise a painting coming out of it. Alex finds this a bit exasperating as she likes to stick to a series of sizes as this makes cutting and framing easier to control. I was looking at a piece yesterday and I have a feeling the next painting may be an unusual size too, but don't tell her.

Anyway I finished Llansteffan in the autumn above. Link Moody Blues

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Dear Diary

Dear diary what a day its been. It was cold today so I walked down to the shops. I didn't buy anything though. I forgot my wallet. I painted a tractor today...with apologies to the Moody Blues!

Yes I painted the above in between finishing my painting of Llansteffan. I did forget my wallet so not only did I have the excercise I omitted lunch.

I did the painting on a 6"x 6"board so not much room for detail and quickly executed. No preliminary drawing. A brush full of turps wet paint and way we go adding paint, medium and detail as we build up the picture.

I haven't driven a Fergie for 48 - 49 years but I still remember it fondly.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Send me no wine

I was asked the other day what I did with all my sketches and pen and ink work. Simple after a year or so I throw them out. I do them either for my own amusement and practice or for the basis of a painting. The one above was the basis of a several of paintings but even that has gone now.

I am not a hoarder. If I have read a book I wont keep it. Alex is of course the opposite. I am often being accused of throwing something away. Strangely the things she misses tend to re-appear the things she doesn't are the things I have thrown out, but don't tell her.

I am currently working on a painting of Llansteffan in the Autumn. I worked out that 3% of my finished and framed paintings were of Llansteffan from some view or other. We had a pleasant weekend drinking wine, watching rugby and walking the dog (not all at once!).

Link Moody Blues

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Oystercatchers 2

The second in the series. Not much I can add to that!