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Monday, 12 December 2016

The best of 2016 (one nude painting !)


It's not been a good year for posts, so there's an easy resolution.

This is partly down to a stressful year at work and lack of time to put some paintings together.

less paintings less blogs.

However the paintings I have done have been bigger than usual so more work has gone into them.

I have had a good year though , I finally got the coveted Best Painting in show at Cawood Arts Festival and branched out by exhibiting at The Boston Spa Arts Festival.

That show led me to being introduced to a new artist , Hilary Cooper who was very helpful and complimentary about my work.

I then visited the Bare Foot Gallery in the town and introduced myself to the proprietor Linda Schulz who also was complimentary, gave some very good advice and wants to see more of my work.

3 weeks after the show I sold my biggest painting, "Lady Grey".

I had two sales at The Cawood Show one being a returning buyer who purchased the sister painting to "Mothers Lil helper".

I also sold what I call a "Piece of Art" rather than a painting with my John Lennon painting

So all in all a good year.

This was the best of it.

If you would like to purchase any or just ask a question  just email me. 

 Pink Rose Available
Bob Marley  Available
 Elvis Available
 Sold (Commission)
 Daisy Available
 Prince Available
 Pensive Available
 My Cawood Award
 not quite finished
 Not quite finished


Tuesday, 1 November 2016


I took the reference photo for this painting in Italy.  The woman was sat opposite the Cathedral at Montepulciano looking up at it. 
The title seemed obvious. 

Oil on panel 24x30" , waiting to be framed. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Just a cherry , just a strange world.

Isn't the world a weird and wonderful place. Sometimes the cosmos or the Matrix just weirds out and surprises you. 

I sold a small painting at the Carlton Art exhbition on Sunday but no one took the buyers details which was a but disappointing as she failed to take the tiny easel that came with the painting to display it. 

I'd also forgotten to take a photo of it before letting it find a new home.  I had only just finished the painting on the Friday before the show and it was still a bit wet which worried me a little. 

I made some enqs but no one knew who bought it so I thought the trail was dead. 

However on coming home this evening, very much later than usual because I was busy at work , I waved a dog walker across the road in front of me who gave me a perculiar smile and then suddenly appeared in front of me as I got out of my car on my drive.

"Are you the artist." She asked 

Yes I replied and there followed a little coversation where she identified herself as the buyer of "Just a Cherry" but there was a problem she said nervously. 

Her grandson had touched the surface and it had smudged. 

No problem said I . I'll take it back and repair it, dry it out throughly and hand it back with the easel in a few days time.  

Had I been off work on time I wouldn't have seen this lady out walking her dog. 

Strange world. Strange Matrix ! Or whatever it is.  

Said painting complete with soon to be removed smudge.  

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Etsy headscarf lady.

The lady that sells headscarves in Etsy under the trading name , "EcoShag" has allowed me to use her fabulous photos to paint from.

I've done a few, here's another one. 

Work in progress for now. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Boston Spa Art Festival update

Well the Boston Spa Arts festival was quite an experience.

I've been asked so many times how many paintings did I sell as a measure of success and the short answer is none.

There's probably a few reasons for that and none have put me off doing it again. I've learnt so much from it.

There were plenty of experienced hands offering me advice for next time. My thanks to Drew Ward, all the Ladies Wot paint , Jan Bulley, Paul Heaney , Sylvia Jackson Angela Parry and Vivienne Rawnsley and Fred Davie.

I then found myself offering advice and support to two lovely young students who are just starting out on their art journey, Lauren Greene and Aimee Smith who then brought their parents to my stand at the end of the day. Thanks

My work is mainly Portraits and Figurative and I know and knew before the show that unless I'm going to stagger across a Bob Marley or Jimi Hendrix fan etc then I've not got much chance of selling that work.

I certainly evoked a few memories for a few Hendrix era visitors.

On the second day I put up a more appealing painting of a none descript female that drew lots of great comments but still didn't sell.

My prices were somewhat higher than most other peoples work and I was totally unknown over that way, perhaps i'm making excuses perhaps not.

After the show I called in at The Bare Foot Gallery in Boston Spa,  not to be confused with The Bare Wall gallery in Thirganby Nr York. 

I'd briefly met the proprietor on the Thursday before the show when I called in but unusually for me said nothing about being a painter other than a quick "I paint a bit" 

So when I called after the show on Saturday I was feeling quite empowered and in a mad moment took my latest painting in (Pensive) and asked for an honest critique no matter how brutal. 

Let's be honest I could spill an ink pot on a table and you'd love it Mother ! Ha 

Anyway Linda Schulz ( the proprietor , come on keep up ! ) studied it, studied it some more , minutes turned into hours, time stood still....

She then crouched down to get a closer look. I think I nearly passed out with the anticipation.

It got too much and I interrupted her thought process. I said, "Go on don't be shy , i have a tough skin and need to know the truth" 
She stood up and said, "Well you certainly have talent ...." 

There was a , "but" coming I sensed it. 

"But " I asked. 

"Well, who's the model ?" She asked. 

I told her I'd got her from an online modelling website set up for artists. 

So we had a discussion about models and she declared that the painting of her face and hair was fantastic but she didn't like the model. I just heard the word, "Fantastic" 

She said again I had talent and I should go away, get some models , "do I know any beautiful women" she asked.

Mmmmm ! 

So she gave me her card and asked me to come back with paintings of beautiful women with a bit of content in the painting. 

I'm going in the right direction I feel. 

Waiting for the fall ! 

 The painting I showed her. "Pensive" for sale £345 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Boston Spa Arts festival 2016 (Update)

If you follow my blog you've seen these before no doubt but these are what I aim to have at the festival this weekend.
All will be in frames however which really finishes them off.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Boston Spa Arts Festival 2016

I'm spreading my wings a little and am entering the Boston Spa Arts festival 14th-15th Oct 2016. 

I will only be there on the 14th as I cant get off work on the 15th. Hopefully my wife or
 "Ladies Wot Paint"  who are also exhibiting will look after my  stand.

Hope to see you there 

14th and 15th October 2016
Find us at LS23 6AA

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cawood Arts Festival , third time lucky

So this is my third entry into The Cawood Arts festival and I finally got the award I've been trying for.

The best (painting) in show. It was actually a joint award as for the first time ever the judges could not decide on an outright winner and so a beautiful quilt made by Carol Jensen was also awarded joint best in show.

However I was very very pleased to be awarded the Dot Hunt Memorial Trophy for the best painting.
Here's the award 

 Here's The painting 

And the certificates.

Monday, 15 August 2016

The red rose which isn't !

This is nearing completion and I'm happy with it for a few reasons. None more so than the fact that I've been able to get the process right first time. 
As a friend said, I'm beginning to get my own recognisable style.

That comes with repeating the process the same way each time.

So I did say it's nearing completion. It's just lacking the title aspect. The photo reference from "LiveModelBooks" which I based the painting shows the female holding a bunch of Roses behind her back. 

She also has an earring. 

Both the roses and the earring may or may not make the cut ! 😱

Oil painting on canvas , measures 24"X 16" 
Price from The Bare Wall gallery ,Thorganby 

Ok so , no red roses, there were but now there isn't. 

This is done. 

Just needs a frame 

She got that earring though 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Life Drawing at Old Slen Art

I attended at The Old Slen Art group on Wednesday night to finally partake of a life drawing class.

I've never been to one before and it was an eye opening experience.

The class was run by Stuart and the model was his friend Paul.

It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time and every art teacher will tell you that , you have to draw from life at some point.

Well the first twenty minutes flew by as we did two minute poses one after the other. 
I felt like crawling under the huge red curtain laid on the floor behind me , I was hardly getting anything on the paper that resembled a human when the timer pinged and we were off on the next pose.

I was cringing at what I was producing but I knew having read about the recess that the was just to get us warmed up and I clung o to the hope that I'd improve as the evening progressed.
Stuart wandered by every so often paused behind me and remained silent , increasing my sense of despair.

I soldiered on , ever hopeful.

Then we moved onto a twenty minute pose with charcoal (we were oreviously using graphite pencil) 
On a larger scale , approx A4 size. 

I was happier with what I was now doing and Stuart this time paused , took a hold of the charcoal and just passed on a little of his experience and a kind word. I was feeling a little more relaxed and felt like I was holding my own a now, with some if not all of the group. 

So then we had a tea break a look round every one else's work , a little chat and back to it for a forty minute pose.

I took out another A4 piece of paper to start afresh and Stuart asked if I wanted a larger piece. 
"You're only here once , go for it" 

It seemed that I was holding back. 

"Dive in, be bold" said Stuart.

This huge desolate blank space stood before me. I dove in with five or six massive broad strokes. 
Stuart actually said , "Wow , you've gone for it, nice one " 

Paul had the patience of a saint as the 40 minute pose became 45, 46,47,48 minutes.

Eventually with a tweak here and there I stood back and thought "yeah, that's ok for a virgin " ! 

The two efforts side by side.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Frank Skinner

Mr Skinner loves his art , as can be seen from the Sky Arts programmes he presents and the sitting he did for John Myatt when he asked to be painted in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.

So I've done a quick sketch. 

He was in the crowd this week at Wimbledon , so I captured a still of him. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Bare wall art gallery news

The proprietor of the Bare Wall Art gallery at Thorganby Nr York (Andrew Stead) has asked me to be the "Artist in Residence" to replace the wonderful Steven Lingham who has moved permanently to the USA.

Both these guys have been great for me over the last 2-3 yrs encouraging me and giving me support and tips. Thank you Steve and good luck over the pond, stay safe and hopefully see you again soon.

I'm really looking forward to working with Andrew and rewarding him for all his support.
.In truth I can't take up the post permanently until I retire in five years time so it's a title only position at the minute that I will work around my very demanding job. I do hope to get down there though soon, set up my easel and get a body of work together worthy of a solo exhibition.

I'll thank my other great painting mate too , Ron who encouraged me and guided me early on in both my jobs ! Ha 😀

  On my easel at the minute. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ali Re-post

This is a re-post of a drawing I did about a year ago I guess maybe more.

The Letter or Chores List

I am always on the lookout for reference photos and I have several old Photography books from the 40's 60's and 70's and some I borrow.

From one such photo I painted this girl looking adoringly up at her mother.

I had cut the mother from my painting and called her "Mothers Lil helper"

However I have been planning to paint the mother for some time on her own painting and have now done so.

I was going to call it "Chores List" but as I literally laid down the last brushstroke on the "chores list" it occurred to me it could be more to it than a chores list.

The girl could now be listening intently as Mother reads a letter from Father serving at the front.
Just a thought, what do you think ?

The photo ...

My second painting of the Mother ..

I haven't inclined her head as much but you get the drift.

Unfortunately I've forgotten who took this photo and the book on this occasion wasn't mine. 

Update..The photo was taken by M.Gray.