Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Changing Track Gwili Railway


As we took the children on the Gwili Railway yesterday I thought I would post a painting of one of the locos changing track. I still have the painting framed somewhere. It is a 6 x 6 ins painting one of a big series I did. Most are sold but one or two are left somewhere about and tend not to see the air these days.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Looking across the Valley


The above painting was a commission of the Towy Valley looking from Ael y Bryn towards Llangunnor with Tan Yr Rhallt Farm on the bend under the trees. You can just make out the old engine sheds that are now Jewsons.The branch line used to run alongside the valley up to Abergwili  and then on eventually to Aberystwyth. A small section of it is preserved for running steam trains.

Looks like a nice day, maybe take the grandchildren on the Gwili Railway?




Monday, 14 August 2017

Painting of a Bank of the River Towy


I finished the above painting today. It shows a Bank of the River Towy near Halfway in strong sunlight.

I haven't got any commissions on the go at the moment so a little respite. I am pondering what to paint next. I have a couple of ideas but will see how I feel when the time comes. We have a shed full of grandchildren from tomorrow all week so I am not anticipating much brushwork but you never know!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pair of Brixham Trawlers


We just spent the weekend in Pembrokeshire and had a great time relaxing. Last night Alex was out watching the meteor shower while I was studying the back of my eyelids.

I am working on a painting of The Towy near Halfway at the present. Hope to finish it tomorrow.

The painting above is of a pair of Brixham Trawlers and I did it for our son.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Downs Clifton



The above painting is now hanging in an extensive residence in the middle east along with several of my other works. When I was walking the Downs near Clifton  I was taken by these trees and unusually had no pencil or paper with me so it was done from memory.

 A few weeks ago Alex mislaid the key for the garden shed.  Despite searching through all her pockets, looking behind cupboards, apologies and deperation she failed to find it. She swore she hung it up on the right hook. Anyway it wasn't a disaster as we had a spare. Anyway the spare went missing yesterday much to amazement. She checked everywhere again. Later I put on my old coat and found in the pocket 2 keys for the shed!!!



Thursday, 10 August 2017

Painting of A Bend in the River Towy


The above painting "A Bend on the River Towy" sold this week. It is quite loose in style and works well with the subject. A commission was picked up yesterday and I have to drop a painting off today. We have a couple of grandchildren arriving today. Life is never dull.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Painting of St Margaret's Island


We often go to Tenby... in the winter. Its a lovely spot and off season is quiet. We have visited in the summer avoiding all the traffic. We sailed in, dropped anchor and dried out on the beach.

Today we have the pleasure of posting our tax returns, no we haven't got around to doing them on line.
There is also a commission to frame. Ah yes the painting above is sold and is Tenby looking at St. Margaret's Island (which is actually attached to Caldey Island).

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Painting of reflections on Cefn Sidan Beach.


The above painting is of Cefn Sidan Beach with Worms Head, and the Gower in the distance. It is a view I have painted a lot in many differing conditions. I am always fascinated by reflections. The strange thing is they don't always obey the same rules that generally apply to them, which makes painting them a challenge and pleasure.  The above painting was about 3ft x 2ft  if I recall and is sold.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

A fair wind



It is so far a lovely morning and on a day like this I remember our last yacht, painted above.
With a good wind she would take off and sail like a racing dinghy. Anyway we have a thousand memories that are less demanding and a lot cheaper to keep.

Unfortunately with this dry spell it is a day for sorting out the garden!

Friday, 4 August 2017

An old dog


I am taking two dogs out a the moment as we are looking after Jac's mom for a few days. She is pictured above. At 14 years she is going very well and is often mistaken for a puppy due to her size.
Personally I think the grey muzzle gives it away.

Yesterday I met up with Chris Williams ( a cabinet maker and expert in furniture restoration) and had a good chat about a mutual friend John Brown.

I did my degree course with John. He was like me a mature student nearly twice the age of the tutors. We were both quite "questioning, sceptical, cynical maybe ?" I guess life does that to you. So when shown a tank of oil and told it was something special and cutting edge we both agreed it was... a tank of oil!

Anyway we both enjoyed the course, which I guess I should point out was a degree course in fine art. John was ( he passed away a couple of years ago ) a real character who had an interesting personal life and an abundance of skills particularly when it came to joinery, boat building furniture and chair making. I had a pleasant hour or so reminiscing and it brought back some good memories.

Today I must do the tax returns!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Painting of Whitesands Bay



This is a painting of Whitesands Bay in Pembrokeshire.  It was a commission if I remember rightly for a couple's wedding anniversary. He had proposed to her on the beach during the War.

Yesterday we took grandchild number 7 ( I think ) to the cinema. The film was Disreputable Me or some such. He obviously loved it but it completely passed me by. Still a pleasant evening and he had a good time.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Painting of Talley Abbey



I added a few details to my latest commission today. Alex has finished the accounts and I will be doing the tax returns tomorrow..ta da always glad when they are finished.

Anyway the painting above is of Talley Abbey, which is a former monastery of the “White Canons” near Llandeilo. The Order was founded in 1120. It like many other monasteries was closed as a result of the dissolution by Henry V111. The painting is sold.

I once knew a Colonel in the Military and he told me this story. As a newly promoted captain he had been given the responsibility for arranging a parade through a North Wales Town with all the Dignitaries receiving the Salute on a podium. The regiment had to march from an assembly point about a mile away up the main road to the podium arriving at exactly 11 o’clock. He knew the distance and the speed his men could march and worked out what time they should begin the march from the assembly point. He briefed his officers and on the day was stood with the dignitaries and his senior officers on the podium. He could hear the band playing as they got closer and the time edged towards 11o’clock and was quite pleased with himself. He then heard a train whistle. The Regiment failed to appear at the bottom of the road and the clock ticked past eleven and he was the subject of some fairly hostile looks from his commanding officer. He had failed to walk the route of the march. If he had he would have noticed that there was a level crossing and this was the reason his men failed to appear as the gates were shut for the 11o’clock train. He learnt the lesson that failing to plan properly was planning to fail.

The same can be said of a painting. Even if it is a quick outline plan in your head. I always take time out to visualise the finished work and or what colours to use, what order are you going to do it? etc..

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Painting of Carmarthen


I got soaked in a down pour this morning taking Jac out. It is a bit different to this time last year doing a painting of Carmarthen and the Towy. Still mustn't grumble!

Yesterday I started painting a new commission and Alex started doing the accounts for the tax returns. We have to pick up our camper van today as well. It was in for a spot of welding (sorry about the pun) and someone took their life in their hands telling Alex it was getting on in age. (Well it is 15 years old).


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Oystercatchers on the shoreline



The above painting of oystercatchers sold last week. I love watching the cheeky chappies. The shoreline is a favourite subject of mine.

That being said I have painted/ drawn/sketched so many times that it is  inevitable I will do many subjects on a number of occasions. Cezanne painted Mont Sainte-Victoire on at least 70 occasions if I recall correctly. I think I would draw the line at that (sorry couldn't help the pun).

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Old Fergie


I like old machinery and have done a few tractors. The Fergie above is like the one drove at school ploughing the fields. The school had a small farm with sheep, horses, pigs and hens and about a dozens acres under the plough. Health and Safety was a bit more lax then (none existent actually).
The painting is sold.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Painting of Llansteffan


I had started the above painting of Llansteffan about a month ago but wasn't quite happy with it so left it unframed and did other paintings. I have finished it this week.




Thursday, 27 July 2017

Bathurst Park, Cirencester.


Okay well I took a bit of time and sorted out the camera. I have now taken a decent image (much closer to the original) of Bathurst Park and I also added Alex, Jac and I walking towards Town (i.e. into the picture). This is a painting to keep.
Alex is sorting out an order for cards and I have had a good walk into town just as the heavens opened!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bathurst Park, Cirencester


I spent the morning re-working the above painting. I had originally done it in situ on a lovely day last year in Bathurst Park, Cirencester. I didn't quite get the chance to finish it so I got around to it today.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Burgess Jewellers Carmarthen


The above painting was a commission. Peter and Bethan Burgess were closing down the family business in Carmarthen and retiring. It is an old building in Lammas Street Carmarthen and was quite a nice subject. I thought an evening view would only enhance it. The worst part was the sign writing particularly on a small scale and varying angles but it worked out.

Today I dropped a couple of prints in to Origin in Carmarthen and then decided to look in Oriel Myrddin at the exhibition. Well to be honest I don't normally find anything there that interests me but there have been one or two surpises in the past. I am not passing judgement on any works displayed there but they generally hold little personal interest for me. Art is about personal taste.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Painting of Murphy


I have done the painting of Murphy our son's dog who died recently. I don't do animals as a rule but I make an exception for family. He was 14yrs so a good age.
He was mostly black Labrador and consequently I needed to use a bit of artistic licence to bring out his features otherwise it would be just a black silhouette! The photograph could be better but the battery on the camera died after taking it so I couldn't be bothered to redo it. If you look closely at a black lab the colours in the coat include purples browns and blues this is reflected in the painting.

I decided to do it 6ins x 6 ins on reflection it would have been easier to do it a bit bigger.


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ceri Auckland Davies


Last night we went with friends to a birthday celebration. I had a pleasant evening chatting with friends one of those in our group was Ceri Auckland Davies a Welsh Artist originally from Llanelli. One of his paintings is shown above. He is the only professional artist I know who uses egg tempera as a medium and the effects are absolutely stunning. The medium is perfect for capturing light. I greatly admire anyone who can master what I feel is a particularly difficult medium.

Here are a couple of links to his work which are well following.

http://www.bathartgallery.co.uk/artist-ceri-auckland-davies.asp

http://www.redraggallery.co.uk/print-ceri-auckland-davies.asp


Friday, 21 July 2017

Oops.


The above painting is of the Gower with Worms Head. The image of the painting isn't particularly great. Anyway the painting is sold.

Last night we had an invasion. A herd of grandchildren arrived to eat us out of house and home (only joking more like a swarm of locusts!!). Still I like to see kids eat properly.

The youngest little chap apparently performed an unwelcome but vaguely amusing feat. He needed to go to the bathroom and  Alex took him. Unfortunately he didn't pull his trousers fully down and instead of aiming into the toilet bowl he stood there directing a jet up towards the ceiling!

I think Alex saw the funny side after she had cleaned up and sterilised everything.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sketch of Alex


The above is a pencil sketch of Alex she is off today with her mom. I have that favourite pastime, visiting the dentist.

When I was at school I broke my front tooth playing rugby. I went to the dentist and he ground down what was left of it, put his hand in a box of false teeth and stuck one on. I suppose I would have been grateful if it was either the right colour or size. It wasn't. Over the years dentists have asked me if I would like one fitted that actually matched the other front tooth but I suppose I have kind of got used to it. So I have never bothered.  It is also a constant source of amusement for Alex, the children and even the grandchildren now.

Alex said the other day when my urn is collected at the crematorium it will be just that tooth rattling around along with some ashes!! ha ha.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Amroth


Well I guess we may go off to the beach today. Not sure where yet. The painting above is one I did of Amroth, a nice little beach in Pembrokeshire. It never sold and is now part of land fill if I recall correctly.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

From Russia with Love


Our son's dog died at the weekend. He was a good age but it is always very upsetting when a family companion dies.

I have been asked to do a painting of him so I must scout around for a decent couple of photos to do something from.

Last week we were in Russia. I have had a few problems at passport control in the last two years which I have mentioned on here. Anyway Alex was a bit concerned but as it happened I had no problems getting in to Russia.

No, the problems came when I came to get out. I was in one of three queues and Alex was in another.

All the queses were going quite smoothly and around 30 seconds was the average time for someone to be scrutinised.

Then it came to me. The guard looked at me and then my passport. He looked at his computer screen and typed something in. This continued for several minutes.

After 5 minutes scrutiny I was starting to get a bit worried. All the people behind me had left and gone through other controls.

Passport control was now empty apart from me. I could see through the barriers a very anxious Alex pacing up and down.

Finally the guard looked me in the face and I waited for,

"You thought you were leaving us Mr Bond?"

But he just handed me my passport without a hint of a smile and I quickly left.

I have been to Russia twice. a very interesting place but I think I can cross it off my bucket list now!

Link

Monday, 17 July 2017

What I brought to the table


This is a portrait of my Great Grandfather who was Scottish. It was a pleasing days work. At the time I was concentrating on portraits and had a specialist website and although I got some work it is a very niche market and I moved on. I paint most things now but only portraits of the family.

The other day Alex and I were in a restaurant. We were sat at at table for two amongst a couple of similar tables. The restaurant was full. It was a buffet service.

After I finished my first course I got up and helped myself to a desert (fruit salad). I walked back to the table eyeing up my desert and sat down. I was about to start when I heard someone laughing.

I looked across to the next table and saw Alex sat there laughing. I looked up and saw a woman sat opposite me. I  had inadvertently taken her husbands place while he was at the buffet too.

I muttered a few words in embarrassment and moved back to join Alex. I'd like to say the woman took it all in good humour, but she didn't. She just sat there po-faced!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Saundersfoot beach


We often go to Saundersfoot and take Jac for a walk on the beach. Occasionally I take my pochade box and do a painting. We bought a yacht in the harbour here and sailed it back to Llansteffan. It was a lovely looking boat with plenty of mahogany and brass. The truth is though that she sailed like a pig. Yes I know pigs can't sail,exactly. Anyway we kept her for a few years but finally bought something that sailed like a dinghy in all weathers and was real surefooted.

Monday, 10 July 2017

River Towy


The painting above is of the River Towy near Carmarthen.

There are good facilities at the Leisure centre in Carmarthen and all the grandchildren have learnt to swim.

When I used to go swimming as a young boy a gang of us would go by ourselves. Now you have to be accompanied by an adult. I used to go to Saltley Swimming Baths. As I recall it was built on the site of the old police station in the 1920s and was basically a small rectangular pool with cubicles all around the outside. It could also be boarded over for dances. The tiles were dark gloss green and it had a high arched ceiling. It was always pretty busy and I guess for many of the kids in the area it was the only time their bodies saw water. The new council houses had indoor baths and toilets but for the many these were new luxuries. As for me I was bathed in a tin bath in front of the fire and our toilet was outside.

Oh yes the good old days!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Watercolour of Chirk Castle


I did this little watercolour standing in front of Chirk Castle on one of those rare sunny days. I did this in a sketch book held without support which makes it a bit of a challenge to get the building lines reasonable straight. Anyway there it is.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Watercolour of Barnard Castle


I often take a sketch pad with me when we are on our travels. I rarely do anything with the sketches but just enjoy the moment.

Here is a watercolour I did at Barnard Castle from the River Bridge. Despite there being ample room on the footbridge over the river for me to stand and anyone to drive a tank across there were some people who insisted on walking in front of me! A bit of a pain when I am juggling pad paints and brushes..

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Old Blacksmiths Brechfa


The painting above is the old blacksmiths in Brechfa and was a commission I did a few years back. I have done a few paintings and commissions of the Brechfa area over the years.

Well its the Lions today and I will be hoping more than expecting but you never know!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Painting of Brecon Cathedral


I note today that 2 South African sides may be joining the Pro 12 Rugby League (of which of course the Scarlets are Champions). I have posted a painting of the interior of Brecon Cathedral.  Although the links are tenuous, my great uncle died in Boer War and we have exhibited in Brecon Cathedral on a quite few occasions where there are plaques and other items of the South Wales Borderers who fought in South Africa. I have also exhibited to help raise money for the regimental museum which caters for all the participants in that war and has strong links with the Zulu Nation.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Painting of the Boathouse


The above painting of Boathouse Laugharne sold this week. It was a fairly large painting that had been hanging on my wall and not exhibited.

 If paintings are in my studio for a while unframed there is always a temptation to add or change things as you see the painting with different eyes on another day. This is why it is always difficult to know when a painting is finished. It is a common worry with artists.

There is always of course the risk that the painting could be ruined. This is more the case in my experience with portraits. The portrait may be made up of a thousand brush marks but the last one may be crucial and changing it may take away the likeness or spontaneity.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Painting of Solva


I was going to post a painting I have in my studio of Solva but I seem to have not photographed it.
So I have posted the one above which is sold instead.

We have picked most our gooseberries although they aren't quite ripe. Last year we left them and they were completey stripped. The culprits Blackbirds! There are still a few left and from the kitchen window I can see the odd blackbird under the bushes tucking into them.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Day on the Beach


With the change in the weather I thought I would post the painting above of a "Day at the Beach".
If I recall correctly it was never framed and went in a clear out. I am not sure why now but anyway!

We have a busy time this week with various commitments so I am not sure what I will get done painting wise. Last time I saw Alex she was under a pile of ironing.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Whats in a name


The painting above is the one I was working on last week of Llansteffan Beach in Summer.

I don't know if you have seen these things advertised that answer everything and do everything for you.

"What is the weather today Alexa?"
"Put this on my shopping list Alexa?"

Well I think they might want to change the name.

I tried, "Put this on my shopping list Alex," and Mrs Cox told to get off my backside and do it myself.

Link





Sunday, 25 June 2017

Motorway


The other day I was in the car with Alex and every traffic light we came to was on green for me. I turned to her and said,

"I feel like Jeremy Corbyn."

She replied,"Err  I think you mean James Corden."

Oh well, anyway

 What have my wife and Jeremy Corbyn got in common?

They both like to spend money they haven't got!


The painting above is of the M4 on a bad day done a couple of years ago.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Carmarthenshire Farmhouse


Over this heat wave Alex and I had a lovely day with our eldest's family and after lunch we went for a walk. I caught this view of the house and decided it would make a nice composition. Anyway I did the painting from a sketch, shown below.


Friday, 23 June 2017

Painting Llansteffan


I started a painting today having finally decided it was comfortable enough to get in to the studio. I am doing a painting of Llansteffan as they tend to be quite popular. I like this view and do it quite often. The one above was done on site. I haven't finished the studio painting as yet which is 3 times the size.

This morning Mal Pope on Radio Wales told the story of our eldest's wedding. Briefly it went like this.

The wedding was in Tenby and we arrived at our Hotel an hour before the service and went to our room to get changed.

 I quickly changed but Mrs Cox was getting quite flustered. She hadn't got her shoes for the wedding and for some apparent reason I was getting the blame.

To be honest I thought she looked fine in her new dress, new hairdo, fascinator and trainers!


Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Lucky Escape



The watercolour of a tug was one I did a good while back and never got framed.  

I have never been great at sport although I have always enjoyed participating and watching. There are exceptions. I can't watch golf, tennis, swimming, darts or athletics but love watching rugby and a bit of village cricket. My hand eye co-ordination is probably a bit slow although I did a bit of boxing and karate for a good few years. I have to say there is a good incentive to be quick particularly if like me you don't like being hit.

Anyway the other day we had a lovely afternoon at our sons house and after a good al fresco lunch I sat watching one of the grandchildren kicking his football around.

 Although he is only somewhere around 3? he was very impressive. Anyhow he misjudged a kick and it ran off down drive which is on a steep hill.  I got up and ran/jogged off after it. Fortunately it got stuck in the ditch halfway down.

I perhaps unwisely decided to give it a big kick up the drive and surprisingly it went like a rocket just as the little Gareth Bale came around the corner of the drive running towards me. In a flash I had visions of him being struck in the face, knocked over, crying, repercussions, me in the dog house. 

I watched in stunned silence as the ball flew and curved down towards his face. He ducked down, flicked it on with his head and ran after it! I breathed a sigh of relief and made a note to self not to play football with toddlers.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Watercolour of Llansteffan


The above is a watercolour I did of Llansteffan about 5 or 6 years ago of Llansteffan in the summertime.

I have been intending to do some painting this week but I walked into the studio and it was like an oven and outside is too hot for me. So I am keeping out of the sun and trying to keep cool.




Sunday, 18 June 2017

Summers Day Llansaint


The above watercolour is of the Church in Llansaint.Our daughter used to live there and so I did a few paintings around there most of which sold. There is or was a council information board with one of my paintings on it. I am not sure if it still there.

I really must get around to doing some more work as my stock is pretty low now. I normally have about 60 paintings framed but it is less than half of that now. There are even spaces on my living room wall.

Anyway a lovely day today and will see some of the family for lunch.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Bygone Days


Now if we still had our boat we would be down on the Haven passing the shipping and out to the Islands. Those were great days. I loved watching the shipping and seeing the tugs doing their work, like Anglegarth above. The painting is sold.

Anyway those days are gone although I still have a few paintings to remind me.

So I guess its out with the lawnmower!


Friday, 16 June 2017

Personalities


I was asked the other day who I would most like to meet if I could. Over the years I have dealt with and met a good number of personalities, royalty, politicians and media people.

I have also met a lot of interesting people. Sorry that's a bit unfair. I have a lot of time for Prince Charles ( I am not sure he feels the same about me!) also I couldn't hold a candle to a number of the others too. Of all of them I really liked David Blunkett.

Anyway who would I most like to meet. There are any number of artists who are now deceased Carravagio ( a real bad boy but a great painter),  Augustus John and Ford Maddox Brown to name but three. But I would kind of like to meet John Prescott. Why? Well he is a real character and I am sure he would be very entertaining and could give a very good inside account of British politics.

The painting above is of Carreg Cennen Castle and is sold. 

A solid enough performance from Wales today to beat Tonga.Can't believe Jamie Roberts was penalised for an apparent high tackle. Pity Sam Davies had a bad day kicking as I think it would have been a better game in the end. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A break from it all


We have been away for 10 days in the Cotswolds. It was nice to not watch the TV and avoid all the election stuff. Although we did vote I am fairly luke warm about it all. During my lifetime there have been 15 or so parties in government. During all that time I cannot directly attribute our circumstances to any change in party or government. I have met many politicians they all seem very personable (even the ones you wouldn't touch with a barge pole). Have any of them made any difference at all ?
Probably not. (With of course the negative exception of those that  took us to war in particular Mr Blair and later Mr Cameron who decided to bomb Libya).

Look at the USA when President Obama came to power much was expected of him. That word "change" was the watchword. In reality I fear nothing has changed for the majority of poor in the USA.

I was particularly perturbed at all the negativity anger and hatred that was on social media during the run up to this election. Passion is one thing but personal abuse is another. It was all very disappointing.

There isn't a party that reflects my opinions and beliefs. For what its worth I have quite socialist views on education and social issues with strong opinions on law and defence.

Anyway we were glad to get away from it all to read, walk oh and I did listen to the rugby on the radio!

While we were away a painting of Llansteffan sold but I thought I'd post a painting of the Cotswolds instead.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Mwnt


The other day we went to Gwbert with our youngest daughter and her children. We had a pleasant walk and the children played on the beach in a littel cove where we were visited by a seal. It reminded me we hadn't been to Mwnt for a while. Mwnt with its little church is only around the corner passed Cardigan Island and would have been a pleasant walk. Unfortunately you have to divert a bit way from the coast as access is problematic.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Painting of still life


I have done a few still life paintings. One advantage is that the subjects don't move! The other is you can do it indoors.

I resisted the temptation to do this with a traditional dark background and made a more modern painting. No we didn't eat the crab it was smelling a bit by the time I finished. THe bottel we dug up in our garden in Brecon.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Burry Port Inner Harbour


We went along to Burry Port the other day to watch one of our grandsons play football. The place has changed a great deal over the last 10 years. It now has a marina with overlooking apartments and plenty of leisure area. I painted the above picture about 7 or 8 years ago? This is the inner harbour and is pretty much the same.

Burry Port is where Amelia Earhart landed after her transatlantic crossing.