Thursday, 31 December 2015


When the children were young we used to go to Borth quite often it was the nearest seaside to us as we lived in Mid Wales. I remember sunny days like this one above but also being rained out of our tent and having to pack the car and go home in the middle of the night. All part of the family adventure and of course memorable.

I am now planning and replanning my painting for 2016. Was that just lightning that flashed across the sky light. Yes. Okay January may be problematic but where there is a will there is a way.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Storm Stan?

A pretty wet and windy walk in the dark this morning with no chink in the sky indicating the sunrise. I kept a weather eye on the trees which were swaying madly.

The above painting is a bit more serene and one we have seen many times in the past when anchored off Laugharne.

Not really ideal weather for a spot of plein air painting and my studio is choc a with furnishings and paintings as the builders are still here.

Maybe a day for reading a good book?

PS It seems its Storm Frank!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Isle of Inishmore

We have and some pretty strong winds lately and a lot of rain. I feel very sorry for all those affected adversley. I wouldn't want to be crossing the Irish Sea at the moment. The above painting is of the Isle of Inishmore the ferry that runs out of Pembroke dock.
I did the painting a few years back. It shows the Isle of Inishmore going up the channel in to Pembroke Dock near Carr Rocks.  The painting sat around the studio collecting dust and eventually it got caught up in a clear out.

Well Christmas is nearly over and normality such as it is is due to return.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas - I think I may have got away with it!

Well here it is Happy Christmas to all. I think I nearly got away with it. Alex left me to order new blinds for the house. The old vertical blinds in the kitchen were pretty dirty as Jac sleeps by the looking out the window.

I measured the slats and counted them having taken down the old ones. I the confirmed an order online. Great all went well and the slats arrived today. I went to replace them on the rail but found I was 5 short. When I had counted them I had counted the number of blinds hanging  on the rail where I had left it propped up in the corner but had missed the fact that 5 had slipped off the rail on the floor. Consequently I was five short!

I put up the new ones and chose the five best old ones to accompany them.

Alex came in and said, " Ah the new blinds have come. What happened there?" Pointing to an old blind.
"Ah, I think Jac splashed it when we came back from a walk." I responded crossing my fingers.
"Well it will always get a bit dirty." she said.

I think I may have got away with it!! Do you?


More rain - Newport  and Mynydd Carningli Sold earlier this year.

Christmas Eve 2015

Its Christmas Eve and I am working in the Origin Gallery in Carmarthen. I am happy working today. People buying last minute gifts are normally pretty festive. More rain out with the dogs first thing and a beautiful starry sky for a few minutes as the clouds parted.

I think I have gotten away withthe blinds debacle (yesterdays post). Alex hasn't twigged!

Happy Christmas to all my family, Clive and Pat, Jen John and Ben, Andrew and Olwena, Geraint, Martin and Mary, Paul George and all my ex colleagues and friends, and of course all our customers past and future.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Vintage Fordson Tractor

Truth be told I am not sure why I have posted this painting of a vintage Fordson Tractor. I just stopped when I got to it. It was a commission a few years ago. It was a bit complicated as I had to put together the tractor the premises and the driver with a hen in one painting. I didn't have a photograph of it all to work from. Additionally the driver couldn't know as it was a surprise.
Anyway it went okay, as long as you do these things confidently you have a pretty good chance of it pulling together and not looking like some sort of bad jigsaw.

Its nearly Christmas. It used to be that a car was your second biggest purchase in your life. Considering we bought an 1100 for £15 and we rescued a Morris Minor Pick up from a field being used as a hen house that may say something. Christmas may now be the second biggest purchase! Time was when "A pair of Hopalong Boots and a Pistol That shoots," was all Barney and Ben wanted. Now its tablets, games and many other things that leave me bemused and wondering how I was happy with a homemade catapult, penknife and bag of marbles.

Oh well lets hope there is a program on TV for me I can sit in front of it with a pint. Maybe, Bob Hope and Bing on the Road to somewhere, or the Marx Borthers, Eric and Ernie, or Only Fools and Horses. Vintage Stuff.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Red kite over the River Towy

The above painting is quite large and pretty well spans one kitchen wall. It had to be taken down for redecoration but is now rightfully back as a backdrop to our breakfast. It was painted on two easels which I made as a pair for leass than £20 for them both. I have a bought studio easel but is mainly relegated to holding drying work. In total I have six easels which may seem excessive but each has its own function and is less than the number of vaccum cleaners Alex has accumulated!

Today we are blessed by the visit of two grandchildren so I must go now and complete a full risk assessment. Tick list, ear defenders, kevlar jacket...

Obscure Link excerpt from a teenage opera!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Clearer Skies

This painting shows the new footbridge across the Towy in clearer skies than today. It was commissioned for a gift to the Twin Town of Lesneven a couple of years ago.

I have no idea what I am going to be doing this week but painting anything other than walls or ceilings seems to be out of the question.

Link Moody Blues

Saturday, 19 December 2015

River Bridge Carmarthen

The above painting of the river bridge at Carmarthen was one of the paintings that went this week.

I have been painting the last two days, ceilings and walls!! Oh well thats life.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Carmarthen in Winter

Well I guess this is pretty much a reflection of Carmarthen presently. Yesterday we went to Bridgend to deliver a commission and the motorway was a sea of spray. I have someone coming tonight for a painting so it is a busy time of year unsurprisingly. We can now get back into our kitchen (the builders are in) its nice to be able to cook again.

How does plaster dust manage to get in everywhere?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

I'm Going to build an Arc

Ok thats it I am officially going to build an Arc. I don't mind rain but I think right now I have had enough! I have to decide what I am going to save of course and that is the fun bit really.

Well there would be no need for mobile phones. Yes a result!

NO computer games again another result. Whats wrong with a catapult, marbles and a pen knife for the grandchildren. Yes it will have to have a large soundproof play room!

It will have to have a library with plenty of books including my favourite book,

"Land Beyond the Ridge: Reminiscences of Sixty Odd Years of the Finest Hobby Man Can Have, Motor Cycling."

A good food store and kitchen with a good supply of wine!!

Will I need paints? Will there be a market for paintings after the flood? Well at least some paper adn pencils then!

Animals well of course two of everything.

People, well now comes the tricky bit. Of course the family and friends. After that well maybe its easier to say who would have to learn to swim. No Politicians, goes without saying. No bigots, or preachers of hate (getting a bit serious now).  So maybe I'll leave it to you to think about who would be welcome after the flood.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Winter in the Preseli's.

 I have spent most of this week so far  wrapping pictures and trudging to the post office and back.
I'm not complaining and to be fair the post office has been busy but not too bad. The painting above is of Trefgarne in the Preseli's and has sold.  No sign of a white Christmas though is there? 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Painting of Chew Valley Lake

I did the above painting when we visited Chew Valley a couple of years ago. It sold this week. Its a beautiful spot but a bit frustrating for our cocker spaniel. With all the wildfowl and wild life he wasn't allowed off his lead.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Fishing Boats Burry Port

The above painting sold a few years ago but it is still worth showing. It captures the early morning atmosphere of fishing boats in Burry Port harbour.

We have a had a busy time of it with school plays hospital visiting and all the associated things with a big family. Last week we were asked if we would exhibit for a month next year and although we had made the decision not to exhibit at all we have the work to fill the particular venue, and we agreed.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Cattle and rain

It would be nice to get a break from the rain. Not that I am complaining but there are many who are in a terrible plight because of it. The above is a painting of cattle after the rain. The painting has gone.

We had a good night in Clevedon at the weekend with our family celebrating our son in law's birthday.

I have been in the gallery and not seen a paintbrush for a few days. Off to collect grandchildren now.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

One in a Million - Miss Claudia

Okay well its no great celebration but it is a good number. No not my age. I have now exceeded One Million views of my images on Google. My blog numbers are a tenth of that but okay. I have posted one of my favourite paintings from my collection. Miss Claudia at the Texaco Jetty Milford Haven.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Carmarthen from near Green Castle Corner

It doesn't look like this today. I did this painting from a gateway near Green Castle Corner looking towards Carmarthen a few years ago on a pleasant day. It never got framed or sold and eventually I binned it. Cooks bank is on the right of the picture. You can't identify where the river begins or ends at the moment it is all flood plane.

Friday, 4 December 2015

A dog is a joyful thing..

A dog is really a joyful thing designed to make you smile and exercise. Jac is a great companion. I walk a lot. If I didn't have a dog would I be up and tramping across fields at first light? If I was doing that without a dog most people would question my sanity but with a dog its different. There are no excuses, no lie-ins, no just five more minutes, no its time to go, and he knows it. In rain, sleet, in light or darkness no matter off we go.

I get my thinking time done on the first walk of the day. What are my plans? What order am I doing them? What painting am I doing and  how will I paint it? Time passes quickly and I rarely note the steep climb up through the woods and fields (unless I slip in the mud!). The walk back down I open my eyes and take in the views and sounds of the Valley waking up. Then home, dry jac off and then its time for breakfast.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Mary Berry and a Perceptive Young Man

Yes a hero or should I say heroine of mine Mary Berry. (Never sure what is politically correct but then again that never really worried me).

I was waiting in the queue at Lidl's yesterday when I started chatting to a young Asian man in front of me. He had a pile of cleaning things on the conveyor belt.

I said,"You're going to be busy." Indicating his cleaning materials.
"Yes, Plenty to do."
After a moment he looked at my pile of ingredients and said,"You're going to be busy."
"Yes." I replied.
"You cook in the house?" He queried.
"Yes I do." Was, my response.
"Your wife she is a lucky woman!"
Yes thats exactly what I keep telling her!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Moreton in Marsh

I  mentioned the other day about my internet profile as a result of marketing my website and my blog. As an example yesterday I was contacted by Moreton in Marsh Council who wished to use an image of mine on their facebook page. The picture above is one of the Redesdale Hall Moreton in Marsh I did a couple of years ago when there. Of course I had no objection and have had similar requests over the years.

I was also contacted by a gentleman who wished permission to use a web image of one of my paintings for a number of cards for a small fee.

Getting yourself a presence is in my opinion essential to marketing your work. By blogging daily and updating/maintaining my website (although not as much as I should ) I have somehow managed this without resorting to offers of SEO.....etc.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Seems it is a bit wet in the valley today with the river breaking its banks. Thsi was the view at 7.30am. Jac and I stopped on the way down to watch a lone buzzard riding the thermals off the hill.

I took my portable Jullian Classic easel apart yesterday and made a new lower support for it to raise the canvas or board another 5 inches.  I took off the original and removed half of it before returning it for structural support.
This still gives a comfortable working height and room for a board at least 14 inches high which is ample.
The other issues with it are a work in progress. Much can be done weight wise by minimising the contents of the box and replacing glass by plastic etc.