Saturday, 30 April 2016

Towy Valley from Dinefwr Deer Park

This is the finished painting of Towy Valley from Dinefwr Deer Park. Well I say finished I may add a few details or changes over the next couple of days. I don't normally paint deer but they are not too bad to do and as they had been about when I was painting I thought I should put them in. The lumps in the grass are actually old ant hills.

Friday, 29 April 2016


Just got back form Aberglasney with Alex and youngest grandchild. There is a new exhibition on with contemporary art which is very different and should be a talking point for the members.

I spent the morning removing grass and bits off my painting I started in Dinefwr yesterday. I have now got it back to where it was before it had an accident in the wind. I will probably add a couple of deer to it in the next day or so.

Alex and I went to Florentino's last night and had a good meal saw a couple of old colleagues Dylan and Terry Stokes. Tomorrow I have to change some paintings in Origin.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Towy Valley from Dinefwr Deer Park

This morning I went up to the deer park in Dinefwr to get a good view of the Towy Valley. It was cold and promising rain by lunch time. I got set up quickly and set about getting the painting done.

I had got the board covered when the wind came up from nowhere and took the board and pochade box. I caught the board but it was smudged and smeared adding yellow and green to the sky. I set about remedying the situation when another strong gust lifted the board again. I saw rain clouds coming down the valley and packed up quickly.

I now have a painting to finish.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Kite over the Bluestones in the Preseli's

I finished the above painting today of the Bluestones in the Preselis with a Kite overflying. Alex has beenbusy painting... the fence a horrible job so I am eternally grateful for that.

Not much other news really.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Bluebell Woods

So here is the finished painting of Bluebell woods following on from yesterdays blog when I described how I started and built up the layers. Working light to dark can be done in oil paints as shown above but it takes a good deal of care in mixing the right mixture of turpentine and linseed oil in each layer. I wanted to do it this way to get the effect of the light in the painting. This method can be very quick particularly if you leave out any drafting of the scene.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Building an oil painting

Now this may look like a childs scribble or the work of an alleged "contemporary genius" straight out of the Saatchi Gallery but it is actually the start of my latest painting. Don't be concerned I have still have my marbles well most of them!

The above is the under painting. The colours in the photo are actually slightly blue but never mind. The underpainting only takes about 10 minutes but is pretty vital to the finished work. The general rule is you start dark and work to the lighter colours when building an oil painting. In this painting I have gone against this to achieve the finished effect I desire.

Anyway I thought it would give you an idea of how the final work is built with layers of paint. The first being as important as the last.  I like the term built as it conveys an idea of how the process is undertaken when using this method. All the work is done without any drawing other than a mental image of how it is going to be when complete.

I will post the finished painting tomorrow.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


The above painting sold last week, one of a short series. Today I am starting a new painting.
alex is getting on with some framing and my latest commission was picked up last night.

 The lettuce plants I put in to replace those stolen by the pigeons have been attacked by slugs overnight! Ah well it was ever thus!! Lets go pick up a paint brush.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Walking the dog on Llansteffan beach

The above painting was sold this last week. It shows low tide on Llansteffan with Ferryside in the distance.

I went to the co-operative meeting last night and having had a chat with Alex have found a way to stay on in Orgin which is good news. We are grandchild sitting today.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


The above painting of Laugharne was one of the paintings that sold last week. I enjoy painting Laugharne it brings back good memories of the times we sailed up the estuary and stayed at anchor overnight.

I have to get on painting as my stock is getting a bit lower than I would like.

Monday, 18 April 2016

An Interesting journey

We have just returned from a very nice trip down the Rhine Valley and into Switzerland. The Alps were truly beautiful. Yesterday we travelled home arriving late last night so thanks to Shan for looking after Jac.

The trip home was well different. We got the plane from Zurich without a hitch and landed at Schiphol Amsterdam where we had to change flights. We always feel like the out of towner's when we go there it is so big and busy. Anyway we went to passport control and had to use the new self service machines. I put my passport in but caused a problem as it was apparently meant to be open!
When it went in properly I was lead away by the police being told "My name had caused a hit!"
Anyway after a short time they determined I was not apparently the criminal mastermind (or any kind of mastermind) they were looking for, which was something of a relief.

We later boarded the plane to Cardiff. I was a little put out when the stewardess announced we were on the plane going towards Cardiff. I was hoping we were going all the way! Later we were taxing down the runway when we pulled over and were told there were technical problems. We did however take off a bit late and landed well and good at Cardiff.

After collecting our luggage we went to go through customs. We were then stopped and had to bring our baggage in for a routine check! We had no alcohol or cigarettes and all was eventually fine. The officers were very efficient and polite.

We collected our car and drove home. The roads we virtually empty so it was a quite drive. We eventually passed a parked police car by Port Talbot and he pulled out behind us for a while but eventually went off. An interesting and memorable trip and journey home.

Alex has a commission to frame and I suppose I should cut the grass.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Kidwelly Castle

So here is the painting pretty much finished. You can see I have built up layers and added colour to the under painting of the castle and added the rest. Kidwelly Castle on a sunny day.

Alex is not safe to send out shopping she went out to get a couple of things for tea and came back two hours later. She then told me about a man in Tesco telling her about the Wood Conservation Trust or something similar.  I listened to the conversation being re-enacted word for word waiting for the punch line or admission.

"So." I said, "You are going to tell me we have signed up to give £20 a month to a tree hugging charity?"

"Well no actually it wasn't quite that much." Alex coyly replied.

Oh well I suppose it is a good cause!

I heard this morning Merle Haggard has gone to pastures new. I like all sorts of music including this gritty old country man. He had quite an interesting life. He made quite a few good quotes including;

"By the time your close to the answers its nearly all over."

"There's the guy I'd love to be and the guy I am. I'm somewhere in between, in deep water swimming to the other shore."

Link Mere Haggard

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Commission stage 1 - Grisaille

This is the first stage of my current commission. Before setting out I carefully think through what I am going to achieve and how to get there. Each painting will differ in its approach.

 Here I am using a mix of techniques for doing this. As you can see I have started with a general rough outline and then gone in using a grisaille underpainting technique for the detail of the castle only. This is essentially painting in greys (actually made up of crimson alizarin (or alizarin crimson whichever you prefer), ultramarine and cadmium yellow with titanium white) to get the tones correct. I will then paint in with the colour palette on top. It may sound a bit convoluted but it works (well for me anyway and other more talented artists of the past).

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Another nice day and ideal for a trip out but I am tied up in the studio with a commission this week. I am not complaining I love painting but the fresh air is a bonus when I can get out.

The painting above is a bridge over the Gorlech and was a commission I did two years ago.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Baptist Church Carmarthen

This is a watercolour I did quite a while back of the Baptist Church in Lammas Street, Carmarthen. It is quite a classical building and definitely one of a kind in this town.

I am in the gallery this morning so hope to be busy but am taking a book just in case.

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Pictured above is our daughter's dog Paddy who is a good age but very poorly now so we are feeling a bit sad for him.

Alex and I put a couple of paintings in the window of the gallery this morning and then I took Jac on his walk. Yesterday I went to watch the Scarlets play Cardiff Blues. Now I don't wish to be critical but the Scarlets played like they had been at an all night party and not slept. I think I had more energy than them. Oh well!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Towy Valley Merlin's Hill

This view is of Merlin's Hill Towy Valley from Penlanffos and is one of three paintings that went this week.

I have just about thawed out from yesterday although a walk into town in the rain, to do the food shopping just now, hasn't helped.

I have to put some work in the window of Origin in Carmarthen tomorrow. This will be the last time I have  a display in the window as I am leaving there in a couple of months. As you get older you seem to have more to do and less time to do it!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Carmarthen in the bitter grey morning

This morning I went down to PC World and found a place to put up my box easel. I painted a view of Carmarthen Bridge in the grey bitter morning. It was the coldest I have been while painting this year with a freezing Northerly wind.  A couple of people stopped to see what I was doing including Christine who was wise enough to talk from her car!

Apart from black and white to lighten or darken my colours I only used two colours yellow and cadmium red.