Thursday, 31 August 2017

Painting of Rhossili

When I do commissions I often don't post them straight away as they are often birthday, wedding or anniversary gifts. Of course as time passes I tend to forget I haven't posted them. Here is a commission I did for a couple getting married at Rhossili. Although the figures are small they were dressed as shown as was given  photos of the outfits to be worn on the day.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Painting of Cadair Idris

The above painting was brought to mind when I was speaking to old friends last week who had just climbed Cadair Idris. It is not the usual view from the estuary but very dramatic nevertheless. It sold pretty well straight away.

I note John Houser is having an exhibition of his plein air works at Picton Castle from 31st August 2017. Well worth a look if you get the chance. He has a lovely loose style that is evocative of the Pre and Post War British Impressionists. A style I very much like.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Llansteffan in moonlight from the sea

This is one of my favourite paintings. It shows Llansteffan in moonlight from the sea. It was painted from a recollection of coming over Carmarthen Bar into the estuary one evening. 

The profile of the castle and headland is very different from the seaward side. I have seen it from this position on many occasions but haven't sketched it surprisingly, well I suppose I was sailing at the time.

Ferryside is in the distance on the right. To the left of the Castle is Scotts Bay.  The painting is sold

Monday, 28 August 2017

Oil Painting of Carew Castle

The painting of Carew Castle above is sold.
I am quite safety conscious but not so much as Alex. Anyway we do have smoke detectors about the place and carbon monoxide alarm. In all we have about 5 battery alarms. A while back I heard the ping of a smoke detector indicating its end of battery life.

 It isn’t always easy to identify which one is going off particularly as they go off intermittently and are at ceiling height. I was up and downstairs trying to identify which one it was and eventually tracked it down to one in our hall.

I found a new battery and removed the detector only to find it had a non-replaceable battery. I put it in the garage and then thought, “I will still be able to hear that annoying ping,” so I got the pincers, snipped the wires and threw it in the bin.

As I walked back into the hall I heard that “Ping” again. Yes, I had binned the wrong one!


This is an old painting of mine showing fishermen cleaning their catch. It was actually at Newquay.

I post this picture as I went into a bespoke fishmonger on the Welsh Borders the other day. The price of their fish was a bit steep but considering where we were that was okay. The choice to be honest was pretty minimal and I thought they were a bit up themselves. The mackerel looked a bit passed it and when I asked for them to turn over the fillets of sea bass for me to look at, they just looked at me. So I had to ask again and then I bought two. They were actually first class despite being farmed.

I compare them to my local Tescos where the choice of fish is excellent, the staff are engaging and quickly gut or fillet the fish for you in seconds.

Today I wanted salmon fillets and asked for any four. He chose four and then I said , "Not that four!"
He looked at me and then burst out laughing. Yes Alex says I have an odd sense of humour.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

“I have to remind myself to breathe -- almost to remind my heart to beat!” ― Emily Brontë

The painting above is of Alex and lightly references a painting by Manet. I wasn't sure what to post this morning but conversation over breakfast sealed it.

I don't believe in re-incarnation but occasionally I think Alex may have lived with the Bronte sisters.
She has a habit of breaking into a speaking part from one of their novels. This morning for example:

"I was in correspondence with our youngest daughter and she advocated..."

"Hang on," I said, "Before you bring Mr. Darcy into this, you mean you have been emailing Rhian and she suggested ...?"

She really is hilarious and it all comes out so naturally. God knows where it comes from.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


I think most people respect the Queen, well okay maybe not Jeremy Corbyn but heh, ho. I just feel a bit sorry for Prince Charles. I am not an avid Royal supporter but I have had something to do with them over the years. My experience suggests that Charles does a good job and is very genuine. He raises a lot of money for charity and is a big exponent of the Organic movement. He is very personable and unassuming. The same may not be said for some of the the Royals.

I haven't read any of the tittle tattle about Princess Dianna and frankly it doesn't interest me. I just think Charles has had a rough deal with the press for years. The painting above is a fraud. It was a present for Sue at the Waverley Stores. The Queen has never been there, but maybe she should have.

On to more serious thing. Last night I watched "Selma", essential viewing. A film/documentary about the marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King in the struggle for voting rights in the 1960's. Its frightening that this happened so recently. Anyway watching it was a sobering experience and a reminder of the bigotry that was and is still about.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Welsh Guardsman 7170

I did this little painting of a loco on the Gwili Railway a few years ago. It is the Welsh Guardsman.
It was built at the end of the war and was meant to be shipped to France. It was apparently retrieved at the dockside and was used for goods duties moving coal trucks. Anyway "Gwarchodwr Cymreig" or "Welsh Guardsman" is now part of the Gwili railway.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Watercolour of Snowdon

This is an old watercolour painting of mine from when we used to regularly go to North Wales. It shows Snowdon from Porthmadog. They are (or were) cattle pretty much always on the flood plain here and makes for a nice point of interest in the composition.

We have had a busy week with children (not complaining, no-one listens anyway) so I am now anxiously looking at the weather for a few hours out painting in the next few days. I have a subject and spot in mind.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Drawing Trees

Yesterday we had two grandchildren and it was the usual,
"What would you like to do?"
"Do you want to go to the museum?"
"Would you like to go to the beach?"
"I don't like sand!"
"Would you like to go to Pembrey Country Park?"
"Is there sand there?"
"Er Yes"
"I don't like sand!"

So we took them to Aberglasney no arguments. Now to be honest they are really good and well behaved but it is tiring. While Alex took them for an ice cream I got out my sketch book.

I exhibited at Aberglasney for about 9 years running. In the end we found it getting a bit onerous but I digress. I used to go outside and draw or paint. Drawing can be really challenging and a good basis for painting skills. I could happily draw for a couple of hours getting in a lot of detail with just a graphite pencil. I found an image of the one of trees as an example. I sat on the bench outside the front door of the mansion and happily drew this which also opened a good number of conversations.

My general method of drawing and painting is to rough everything out composition wise and then fill in detail until I feel like stopping.

Now today I am in Origin gallery in King Street, Carmarthen. I don't usually steward there but I am stepping in for someone who is under the weather.

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).