Monday, 31 October 2016

new commission

This is the opening paragraph, bars, verse, brush strokes of my latest commission. All done fluidly and quickly with a brush using turps and burnt sienna. No graphite pencil to contaminate the oils to follow.

The second act is adding paint with a medium bringing in the differing hues.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Portrait of Alex

Yesterday I picked up a piece of waste primed board the size of a post card and decided to use it on a quick little portrait of Alex.
I could have made it easier on myself by using a bigger board. Getting any facial recognition in a face the size of a twopenny piece is not easy . The main thing was to make the portrait recognisable. The photograph isn't great colour wise as I just stuck my little pocket camera out and took it. Normally I use a tripod etc with my Fuji. Actually my Fuji could be a work of art in itself as it has more paint on it than some paintings.

Anyway if you don't know Alex I can assure you it is a true likeness. If you do know her, well take my word for it. It is her. !!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Painting of Talybont on Usk

This is a painting of the lifting bridge at Talybont on Usk I did a few years back and is sold.
I have an affinity to the canals and explored most of them as a child when we had an old ships lifeboat which my father fitted with an old Austin 8 engine.

I have a new commission to start this weekend.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Watching the tide roll away.

The painting above is one of the commissions I worked on last week. As I have mentioned before I generally don't do figures or portraits any more but this was a special request.

We have grandchildren lodging at present so my painting is pretty much curtailed. It's not that I don't like children, after all I used to go to school with them.
I do find myself mentally drained at times.  Too many questions I don't know the answers to I suppose!


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Carmarthen in winter

I had gone 200 yards this morning when the heavens opened. Oh well Jac wasn't bothered. I actually like all the seasons and feel sorry for people with the same weather all year around. The painting above is Carmarthen in the winter and has been hanging over our fireplace for a couple of years.

Grandchildren today.
One of them asked Alex yesterday, "How old are you Nanny? Did Jesus really walk on water?"
Alex, "Erm I'm not quite that old!"

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Laugharne morning mist

This is my second nocturne of the week, a painting of "Laugharne morning mist". It is not easy taking a photograph of a dark painting that is still wet but that's the best I can do. I have seen this sight on many occasions in the past as the tide comes in prior to us leaving in our little yacht on the ebb.

This is also on a block canvas which does make life a bit simpler in many ways. (postage, no framing...). I have no real preference either way in regard to whether a painting is better framed or on a deep canvas what matters to me is the picture in it.

Now we have grandchildren ahh...half term...

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Painting of Sunset over the Gower

The sunset at Tenby last night reminded me of this painting I did a while back. It was a commission showing the sunset over the Gower from Machynys.

I got a bit of turps in my eye the other day and I don't recommend it. Pretty much better now. Still always serves as a good reminder to be careful with oils and solvents.


Friday, 21 October 2016

Painting of Llansteffan by moonlight

I have said in recent posts I wished to do a few more nocturnal and late scenes. This is the first painting, Llansteffan by moonlight. I also decided to use up some colours I don't ordinarily include. I have drawfuls of oil paints which are rarely used such as viridian, cadmium red, and vermillion. So I thought I would use up a good quantity of viridian and cadmium red in this ( any two complimentary colours can be the basis for different shades of grey!).

I did it on a good quality deep edge box canvas for a change.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Painting of Oxwich Castle

Here is one of the commissions I have been working on this week. It shows Oxwich Castle on the Gower.

I was painting away merrily the other day when Mrs Cox a.k.a.  Alex came from the office into the studio holding out the palm of her saying,
"Whats this?"

I looked at the blue blotted hand and replied,"I would say it was French Ultramarine."

I got the look that could launch a thousand ships in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately she then looked down at the carpet (Yes I like some comfort in my studio).
 Whats that ? She interrogated.
"Alizarin Crimson?" I ventured.

"That had better not be trodden through the house."
Fortunately the carpet next to the studio is dark red akin to Alizarin Crimson so any paint didn't show..

Ah the hazards of being an artist (or husband).

Our youngest daughter came up with some good news, 25% off 6 bottles of wine in Tesco!!
And we are out going for an Italian..

Link Billy Joel

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Following on from yesterdays post here are a few nocturns.  I am starting a new commission today.
We had the AGM of the co-operative last night. Alex has been decorating and Jac is chilled out.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


It was still dark when Jac and I went out this morning. Jac and I don't have variations of BST we just have an in built  GMT clock and consequently go out the same time dark or light. The above is a photograph although it could equally make a good painting.

The moon was out and the reservoir was dark but quiet and peaceful. I have been meaning to do some more atmospheric and tonal works but as yet haven't got around to it as I have had other work to do.
I have finished one commission which was a portrait and not something I normally undertake these days. Anyway I did  agree to this one and it is done. I am quite pleased with it and hope the customer is.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Nolton Stables Ponies

The above painting is of onies on Druidstone beach and is sold. It is pretty quiet in the gallery at the moment. I am ticking over however with internet sales and commissions (currently I have two on the go).
I am supposed to be redecorating in the house too but this is taking a bit of a backward step. With the onset of winter I can now at least finally call a halt to cutting the grass!"!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Slippery Sam

The above pic is for Wynne John  who has a wealth of experience as a motorcyclist. My days are long gone in that respect. 

A while back I posted about how Alex and I had been to the TT in 1976 and watched Percy Tait riding the Triumph Trident production racer "Son of Slippery Sam" so called because of it penchant to leave oil over the back wheel with interesting results. Anyway Percy crashed a couple of miles down the road after this position at Badden Bridge.

The story didn't end there as I was contacted by John the owner of Son of Slippery Sam who has something of a collection and interest in Triumph motorcycles to purchase the picture.I include the link to his blog if you are interested in motorcycles and Triumphs in particular. We had 2 Triumphs over the years a Daytona and a 750 Tiger along with a mixture of British and Japanese models including trials bikes.  Often think it would be nice ..but no I'd only fall off and break an arm or leg.

Link Beachboys

Thursday, 13 October 2016


We went to the Gower yesterday. I have a commission to do there so we made the most of the weather and had lunch and a walk on the beach. Jac enjoyed and did a bit of beach combing turning up a frizby and ball. The hardest part is getting him to part with either.  In the above sketch Alex is trying to get the ball from him.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sunrise over Clee Hill

We recently spent a few days in Ludlow and the skyline was dominated by the view of Clee Hill.
The sun came up behind the hill and gave out some wonderful early morning views. I promised myself I would undertake a painting of it as a reminder, with the mist just starting to clear. So there it is above.
I hold more than a bit of affection for Clee Hill having travelled over it on numerous occasions on our motorbike to visit my parents in Knighton when I was working in Birmingham. My mother also used to teach in the school on Clee Hill for a while.

One day last week during our stay in the camper van I decided to cook Tagliatelle with tomato, black olives, mozzarella and spinach. All went fine despite the lack of space, the sauce was done the tagliatelle was cooked and the wine was open.
I went to drain the tagliatelle and accidently dumped it all in the washing up bowl which was full of suds and crockery. I noted Alex wasn't looking and scooped most of it out and rinsed it before adding it to the sauce.
Did it taste okay? I think so but I had a good mouthful of wine before I got stuck into it.
Did Alex notice ? No.
Did I tell her ?   No.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Short Sunderland

Here is a painting of a Short Sunderland Flying Boat in the Milford haven. It is an old painting and sold. I have done a couple of variations of this plane. I think there is something quite fascinating about them and also appreciate the history of them in the Haven. My father was also in the RAF and was on flying boats in the far east. So occasonally I will delve into something different.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Rhossili Bay

The above painting of Rhossili Bay sold this week. A great spot but a bit of a pain in the summer with traffic!

Not much else to report. Jac is still having accupuncture. He has had this since it cured his ACL injury. I am not really into New Age stuff, my wife will testify however one day Jac couldn't put his leg down and the next day he could. Within 3 sessions he fully was cured. We had previously been told he would need a full operation and 6 months rest.
So a monthly visit by our friendly animal accupuncturist is something I have no qualms with (even if Jac is a bit reluctant probably becuse he doesn't like sitting still for long!). She is actually a qualified veterinarian as well.

Lovely morning today. The red kite greeted me as I left the house with Jac and the sky was just changing colour forom its blues and pink. Unseasonably mild so must make the most of it.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Cefn Sidan

The above painting of Cefn Sidan is one I did as a demonstration for the work experience student we had over the weekend. It is only 7ins x 4ins but will probably look quite neat framed up.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Nantgarredig Bridge over the Towy

Here is the painting I did in June of Nantgarredig Bridge over the Towy . I did show it on my easel (link) but haven't got around to photographing it properly until today. I am more interested in painting than photography and it shows at times!

Off to Saundersfoot today with family. I am taking my small pochade box on the off chance I get the opportunity to use it.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Out of the Studio

Here are a couple more of my paintings from 2016. I note that my page views on the blog have passed 150,000 which although in the scheme of things not huge are substantial for a niche blog. More importantly over the years it has secured a constant supply of work and sales. 

Being an able artist is not enough in itself to secure success. A business plan, a marketting strategy and choice of subject are all vital along with a good helping of luck. I have been fortunate with lady luck and a very OCD wife and business partner who ensures perfection.