Monday, 30 May 2016


Today Alex and I will be cataloguing and labelling the paintings for the exhibition. The painting above of Molly usually sits in my hall. The story of Molly as told to me is quite a sad one with a happy ending which I won't repeat here. I am undecided whether to put it in the exhibition. One thing I hate doing is "lettering" in paintings and this painting had a lot of it and very small too. I generally try to avoid it if I can, but can do it under protest!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Newport Cottages

The above painting of Newport Cottages and Mynydd Carningli has been sitting on our wall for the most part of a year. Now it will be going to the Exhibition in Picton Castle Gallery for the whole of June. I haven't got an exact number of my original paintings going but I guess somewhere around 60.

The painting is one of my darker works and quite representative of the day we were there.

The link is by a great grunge band Pearl Jam

Friday, 27 May 2016

Carmarthen Police Station

So much is changing in Carmarthen these days. I heard that the Guildhall is being closed for use as a court and Carmarthen Police Station is up for sale. The watercolour above is of Carmarthen Police station. I did it a number of years ago and to be honest I can't remember what happened to it.

I mentioned in Wednesday's post I was expecting a shed to be delivered in the morning. Well to be fair it was delivered, but not to our address! So someone came home home to find a shed on their drive. It was finally delivered to us but the delivery men declined to put it anywhere other than on the lawn or drive next to the road. (In fairness it wasn't their fault and they were running late). Our son had taken the morning off to help us with it but had of course gone by the time it was delivered.

Mrs Cox was "flying at about a thousand feet" by this time and I had to keep her away from the delivery men. I could understand why they didn't want to carry it around the back for us it was bloody heavy and a lesser woman than Alex would have struggled. To cut a long story short we have now got the shed up and painted but lost a day of painting and framing. I should add that the shed itself is extremely well made!

Link Frank 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bits and bobs

This is the painting I am donating to the Mayors Charity Appeal. I did it before we went away and fortunately it has dried in time.

It looks like my new shed is arriving today so am going to be busy! I hope to get to Dinefwr this week to do a painting of the Castle from the Deer Park, so fingers crossed  for a good mornings weather. We had a birthday celebration for our youngest daughter last night so feeling the effects this morning. Alex did the cooking and made a lovely lamb dinner.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Painting of Cirencester and the River Churn

When we were in Cirencester last week I did the above painting. It shows the church tower across the River Churn. It was a lovely morning and I ended up with an audience including two mallards and a greylag goose.

To be honest the ducks didn't take a lot of notice and seemed a bit bored. I have had worse audiences. I gave a demonstration a few years ago and I wasn't sure if one of the audience was just asleep or dead. Anyway I don't give talks or demonstrations now but am always happy for people to watch me paint.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bathurst Estate Cirencester

We have been a way for a short break to the Cotswolds. The weather was pretty fair so no complaints. I managed to sneak my pochade box on board and got to go and paint for a couple of days. The above is one of the paintings I did showing the entrance to the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester. The photo isn't great but maybe I am being too fussy.

We had a good time and made it back in time for one of the granddaughter's birthday. Alex now has all the work to do with some major framing jobs while I have to tackle the garden.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


The painting above is of Dinefwr Castle in the mist and is sold. I post it today as it is a wet misty morning although the prospect of sun breaking through seems remote at the present. One of the commissions was collected yesterday and I spent the afternoon in Origin gallery. I finished a painting in the morning so things have been ticking along as they say.

As it happens Misty was the name of our first little yacht which Mrs Cox bought me as a surprise. It was a surprise too. It took us all over the Bristol Channel and we had great fun in her even though I could n't stand up in her and you had to put your head out of the front hatch to sit and "use the heads"! That could be interesting when it was a bit blowy!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Trains and School Days

Occasionally I do something different for a change. I like painting mechanical things engines, steam trains, traction engines plains ships etc and have a reasonable understanding of them so am quite happy to dip into that well at times.

The above painting was sold a couple of years ago and is a reminder of my long ago youth when I used to walk to miles to school passed the Saltley sheds and sidings with steam trains hauling goods. The Black Five was only occasionally used for this at the end of the steam era as I recall.

Anway these scenes would lighten the walk to school. They say school days are the best of your life. I don't know which school that author went to but I can't say they were my best days. I had a good education up to 16yrs when I left but I didn't enjoy much of it. It was a relief to leave to be honest but I did get against my will a good basic education for which I am grateful.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Old Market

The old outdoor Market in Carmarthen on a sunny day. I did this a few years ago at least they kept the clock tower.

I am slowly getting ready for the next exhibition. Alex has a few to frame but its all pretty relaxed.

I must cut the lawns, well grass, err meadow today..

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Carmarthen and the River Towy from the West

Today I went down to the Towy in Carmarthen just passed Pot House Wharf. I found a good position for my pochade box and set up to do a painting of Carmarthen from the West.

It was a hot day and I had no problems with the weather and completed the painting before leaving.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


The above watercolour is of Dolwyddelan Farm by the castle in North Wales which was a commission. The castle tower stands overlooking the valley and the farm is underneath to the side.

I have a couple of jobs to do and then am hoping to get out for at least one painting this week.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Running the gauntlet

Whenever you visit our son and his family you have to pass through the neighbouring farm. There are always two dogs on the road ready to run at the car and make you feel like you are running the gauntlet.

Yesterday I had that phone call,

"Dad what are you doing tomorrow?"

Now this should always be more accurately asked as,"Dad what were you doing tomorrow?"

"Why?!!" I asked thinking of a quiet days painting and playing the piano gently passing into a distant memory.

"Well I was passing the sheepdog and he bit the back tyre and punctured it!"

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes can you come and collect the kids for school and pick me up with the wheel...."

It seems spare tyres are not the thing anymore apparently some stuff you spray in the tyre are a good substitute. That's progress unless you get a flat of course!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Too Close

There are days when I miss having a boat but not many. We had some great times and some exciting one's. But the cost, maintenance of it all was a lot to take for the relatively short time you got to use it.

One night that occasionally still haunts is is when we left the towy to go over the Carmarthen Bar and on to Caldey Island. We were late leaving due to engine problems and to be honest should have abandoned the trip. By the time we got over the Bar it was dark. We had bought one of these new (at the time) hand held GPS and were confident of finding our way as the buoys in Carmarthen Bay aren't or weren't at the time lit.

Unfortunately we lost connection and also failed to account for a very strong current heading South East around Caldey directly onto Spaniel Shoal. We heard a rushing of water and from the bow we caught sight of the large steel buoy flying towards us as we raced onto the shoal.  We avoided the buoy by feet and good luck. Had we hit it the boat would have been sunk without a doubt. We immediately gybed and returned on the reciprocal course thanking luck for evading disaster. We now knew where we were and setting a course for an anchorage was now easily done.  When we finally dropped anchor in Paul Jones Bay we had a stiff gin and tonic and blessed Neptune!

We had some hairy moments sailing but that was the most dangerous and to be honest unnecessary.

The painting is an old one that is sold.

Sunday, 1 May 2016


Well its been pretty miserable even by our own low standards. Maybe May will be better?  Anyway the rugby was good yesterday. I have a bit to do in the garden when the weather improves. I have one commission and another possibility. I also have a couple of paintings I need to do for my next exhibition at Picton Castle but today a quiet day I think..