Thursday, 31 March 2016

Burry Port

I note today criticism from the outgoing chair of the Welsh Arts Council,

The Welsh Government sometimes operates in a "knuckle-headed, philistine fashion" towards the creative industries, the outgoing Arts Council of Wales (ACW) chairman has claimed.

Well I won't bore you with my views of the Arts Council but they are not greatly supportive.

Anyway more importantly I hope the Welsh Government and David Cameron can do something to safeguard the jobs of the steelworkers. I am however afraid the former lacks the finance and the second lacks the interest.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Broadhaven South and Church Rock

Today I went to Broadhaven South to do a painting on the beach. The weather was great. There weren't that many people on the beach but they all pretty well stopped to look and chat. One of the nice things about paitning outside is meeting different people and getting their views.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A darkened room

I am going to lie down in a darkened room. Its Easter and today four of our sweet granddchildren are with us. They have just gone out with Alex. Ah, Peace.

Tomorrow is looking good for a day out painting!!!!!

Friday, 25 March 2016

A day at the seaside

It seems like this might be the day for a trip to the seaside. I suppose we have to watch the holiday traffic though!

No its not me or Alex for that matter. (Actually the above couple were on the beach at Cricieth one Spring morning and I had to do a sketch which later turned into a little painting).

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Stradey Park

Okay so it seems unlikely I will be getting out in the next couple of days with the onset of some pretty wet weather. We have a lodger int he form of our sons dog currently so a bit more walking probably.

The painting above is of Stradey Park, one I did a good time ago and sold. Brings back a flood of memories including watching the All Blacks there. Anyway its going to be wet for the rugby this weekend so a forwards game.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


I mentioned I was painting the above scene in Broadway in the Cotswolds recently. I have been contacted by a very nice lady who chatted to me at the time and has now purchased the painting so off it went in the post last week having been framed.

It is one of the benefits of painting outside you get to meet a lot of interesting people.

Now I have finished my commission of Laugharne I hope to get out this week before the rains come.
Grandchildren this afternoon though!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Portrait of Laugharne

I have now finished my latest commission a Portait of Laugharne. It has gone well and I am pleased with the result.

I am hoping to get out this week with the easel but I have a few home chores to finish first.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Magic garden

This last couple of weeks Alex and I have taken up fencing! Doing an hour os so here and there.  Fortunately it is only a temporary hobby. Our old fence blew down in the gales. It had been up over 10 years so it had done alright. Anyway we have pretty well finished the 50ft of fence. In fairness Alex has done the lions share and will be pleased not to see another galvanised nail for a while.

Next it will be time to mow lawns and things like that. That is not our garden above but I do go for the wild eco look.

Saturday, 19 March 2016


Ah a nostalgic picture looking back at youth. Days spent fishing with a net or a cane and line. Not catching much but having a great time doing it. Every summer's day was hot with blue skies and time was endless.

My brother sent me a book for my birthday, "Mr Crabtree goes fishing." A book I remember well from my boyhood. It was nice to reflect on those days for a few hours. As for actually fishing I haven't done much in years and I rarely caught anything even on a mackerel boat!

I am in the Origin Gallery today one of my few days left there as we leave there in June and my work will only be available direct from us/website.

Now come on Wales and Allez Les Bleus.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Laugharne in Portrait

I am still working on this commission this week. The background trees are in along with the boathouse and reflections. I am waiting for bits to dry but am aiming to have it finished by the weekend.

Monday, 14 March 2016


This is a watercolour I did of Snowdon from Porth Madoc. The painting sold.

We have decided we are going to leave the gallery in Carmarthen. It is a pity in a way as we have been there 17 years +. I would urge any artist or craftsman/lady to consider joining Origin if they wish so market their work in Carmarthen. It has been very good for us.

We just feel we need to reduce our commitments and we are getting sufficient work via the internet.
So we will remove our stock at the end of June but we are contactable via the website or email and have a good amount of work to view. Alex is also stopping doing cards. To be honest they are handmade and we make very little from them, although it is good publicity.

I have had a good day's painting on my current commission. Meanwhile Alex has gone to the dentist!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

If Only

I have spoken about my current commission well here it is so far. It is 28 " x 21". A good deal of underpainting and the sky complete. A large tree is yet to be added behind the castle. Anyway its coming along.

A disappointing day yesterday. The best 20 minutes of the Six Nations and a very lethargic display in the first half by Wales. If Only, oh well.

Alex is doing the Llanelli half marathon today with our youngest daughter and our eldest daughter is doing the Bath half marathon. Me? Well I ate a "Marathon bar" once. Running has never been my strong point even at my fittest. I was just not designed for it.

Friday, 11 March 2016


It was one of those mornings when the sun was low and the light was glinting on the trees as we went for our early morning walk today. The painting above was done later in the year but you get the idea. It is on the footpath around the reservoir and is sold.

We have had a family of starlings visiting the bird table of late. They are one of my favourite birds they are fantastic site when congregating in flight a "murmuration" I think is the correct term. I however remember them in Birmingham town centre as a boy they came in to the town to roost at night and the noise was terrific. Now they have got rid of them all which is a great pity.

Anyway we came home the other day and a starling had got stuck in the bird feeder. It had got the top off and got really stuck with wings feet and head stuck in the grill. We managed to cut it out and it flew off apparently none the worse for its incarceration.

Today I am working on a commission..

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Ludovico Einaudi

The above is a watercolour I did of Llansaint a number of years ago. Our daughter and her family lived in the village at the time. Last night we went to visit them over the border.

We went for a meal and then to Colson Hall in Bristol to see Ludovico Einaudi a wonderful pianist. Yes it was a great night. I had never been to Colson Hall before but it was only a few hundred yards from The Bristol Institute where I have exhibited work many years ago. The concert was electrifying and the bottles of Albarino we had drunk before only enhanced it.

Now we are back home and I have a commission to start so tomorrow I will be preparing and priming a large board.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Storey Arms

The above painting was done a few years ago and is sold. It shows a red kite over Storey Arms. When we lived in Brecon we often went up the Beacons. I was also the liaison officer with the Mountain Rescue. I kept reasonably fit and still do a good bit of walking.

Today I have been potching with the tripod for the pochade box. I came to the conclusion the small 1/4" screw on top of the tripod was insufficient to hold the box. I have replaced it with a 3/4" screw which is better but not perfect. I am going to think on it before doing anything else.

Funny how you react to words isn't it? Right now Alex is into anything that starts with GOAT or SPELT so we are having goat milk, goat cheese (I like goat cheese so no problem), goat butter, goat breakfast, goat soap, goat fish you name it. Likewise Spelt pasta, spelt anything but not anything beginning with Glut, no gluten's no gluttony.. Anyway as long as it is food I am content.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


Yesterday morning I went to Laugharne as I had to get a couple of references for a commission. I took my easel and decided to do a painting as I was down there. I set up in sunshine and despite a strong cold wind I got on well. A bee decided to visit my paints but apart from that no issues.

 I started out with a rough outline painted in grey on a ground of raw sienna and worked from there. The photo of the finished painting is a bit out but the light wasn't great when I took it.

Last night we went to Florentino's in Carmarthen and had a very nice meal. We saw a good number of people we know including a few that had a painting of mine. It was nice to see Alison and Judith who hadn't changed in the thirteen years since I last saw them. We had a good chat with Catrin and then bumped into Liz and Wendell walking home. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My New Pochade Box.

I have been working on my new pochade box (easel that fits on a tripod) this week. Nearly done apart from some finishing details. It is meant to fit on top of a camera tripod with that little 1/4 inch screw. I have fitted it thus but remain to be convinced it will be sufficiently stable in practice. So I might yet get out the hacksaw and box of bolts.

I will be glad to finish it and just get out painting. I am hoping today may find a couple of hours in the sunshine with brush in hand.

Last night we went to see a Dire Straights tribute band,very good, my ears are still buzzing.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Senior Citizens

The above painting is an old one and is in my own collection. It shows a group of senior citizens in Red Street, Carmarthen. It was one that was exhibited in the National Assembly in Cardiff.

It is a studio painting and took a while to do although it would be a lot quicker these days.

I changed a couple of paintings in the gallery this morning first thing and have a couple coming to see me about a commission later.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Broadway Hotel

This is a sketch I did whilst Jac and I were waiting for Alex to go to the wool shop in Broadway. To be honest she wasn't that long (normally I could have done a full sized painting in the time she takes).

I haven't been in the Hotel but it certainly looked inviting although I am not sure Jac would have been welcome. 

I am still working on my new pochade box which is coming along okay but slowly.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Painting of Childswickham Church

This is a painting I did of the Church at Childswickham. I used my pochade box as I had to carry it about 1.5 miles to get there. It was a cold and windy day. I had an idea of the view I wanted but when I got to the field I found it was too windy to set up for that view. The pochade box would have been blown over. I retreated to a spot near a stream running around the field sheltered by a large hedge.
I then spent a little time doing a pencil sketch in my book and then got on with the painting.

The sun had been out for the whole morning and was out until about 5 minutes into the painting.Then clouds... Still I had down the main tonal values and carried on. Then, I don't believe it someone lit a bonfire the other side of the hedge!! It was like bits of snow falling on me. After ten minutes or so the wind changed and I could breath again.

A couple came along with an angry retriever who showed me his teeth and stickleback haircut. Fair play they were totally unbothered and let it get on abusing me.

Anyway I was happy enough with the painting.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Childswickham Church

Every day whilst we were stopping in Broadway Jac and I would be out for a walk by 7am across the fields to Childswickham about 2.5 miles. It is a lovely picturesque Cotswold village dating back to Roman times with a Norman Church.

On the way we passed a retirement complex set in nice surroundings. One morning we met a friendly lady and got chatting,
She said. "Have you just moved into the retirement home?" Gosh how we laughed. To be honest not a ridiculous question but I have still got all my own teeth and most of my faculties!

I generally did a sketch on these walks and the above is a view of Childswickham Church in ink. I like using ink although it is not very forgiving of mistakes.