My exhibitions are now ended. In the summer I have had a little more time for painting. The Canalside Studios trip to Harvington Hall has yielded a new piece:
I am still looking at it from time to time, to spot any errors that must be fixed before varnishing it. Do you see any?
I have another painting that’s almost completed – a blustery New Year’s Day at the beach at Beer. I want to correct one of the people in it before publishing. Then there’s the current piece, of my granddaughter around seven years ago feeding ducks at the Jinney Ring Centre.
I’ve added a couple of pieces to the French landscapes set – from our favourite place, where the Vesère river joins the Dordogne: Limeuil from the Dordogne bridge and Limeuil back streets.
The latter is made of houses in two streets that intersect – you will never see this scene as shown, but you can find both sets of houses! Limeuil is a great place to enjoy an ice cream whilst sitting by the river.
I have also put together two new Scottish landscapes: Elie and Elie Ness lighthouse, Fife in a new grouping within the UK landscapes set. These were the result of commissions from a friend who grew up in Elie. This coastline heading west from Crail is very scenic with pretty fishing villages like Crail itself, Anstruther and Pittenweem – a painter’s paradise.
I have been remiss in updating this site, so have added some recent works: UK: Adriana, Witley court, Above Man o’War Beach, Dorset and Salwarpe Mill France: Serenity (Dordogne at Limeuil) Not landscapes: portaits of Tabitha age 3 and Brook age 4 months.
The portraits are something new – as you will see, most of my work is landscapes, but I am becoming increasingly interested in portaiture.
Witley Court and fountain at Great Witley, Worcestershire is a ruined Italianate mansion. Dating from the seventeenth century on the site of a former manor house, it was enormously expanded in the early nineteenth century by the architect John Nash and had many royals and famous visitors. It was almost destroyed by fire in 1937. I had a photo of Adriana sitting the other side of the fountain in pale clothes. She told me she preferred her red hoodie and blue jeans, but I left out the hood. She’s not keen on the bare feet either – but they were in the original photo!
I have added these two items, that I have recently completed.
Unfortunately, Buzz is no longer with us. However you can visit the wonderful countryside that inspired this picture. My main reference showed Ilkley (a lovely town) appearing just over the edge of the moor with the crags you can see to the left. Across the Wharfe valley are the delights of the Yorkshire Dales. Wonderful!
If you visit this dramatic site, you’ll find railings to stop you falling off the edge! The cliff has evidence of use as a shelter for Neanderthal man (50000 BC), Cro-Magnon man (25000 BC) and it’s use continued until the Renaissance. In 1588 the trogolodyte town (home to 1,000 people) and fortress that had grown up was destroyed in the Wars of Religion.
The ceramic mural, “the buildings of Droitwich Spa”, has now been restored to its former glory (in fact it looks brand new). The original creator, Philippa Threlfall, added new backing and replaced missing parts. She was helped with the re-installation by her son, Daniel, who was three when it was created.
You can see the work at the Droitwich Spa St Andrews Shopping Centre (near the St Andrew’s Street exit).
I have just uploaded “The bridges at Limeuil”. The Dordogne and the Vesere meet here and it is a very popular spot – especially for bathers.
I have positioned the viewer c.15ft above the middle of the river to give the best view of the bridges.
I used a satellite image to determine the sight lines from the position I had chosen for the viewer. This determined what would be at the edges of the picture in the distance. I then had to try to show that the bridge to the right meets the one on the left at an angle. As I could not take a picture from my chosen viewpoint, all reference photos have the wrong perspective, so I had to adjust as I painted accordingly – which was fun.
However, I’m not sure that the result is convincing.
The magnificent 42-year-old mural consisting of hundreds of ceramic pieces depicting the iconic buildings of Droitwich Spa, certainly one of the treasures of the town, resides in St. Andrews Shopping Centre.
The mural had suffered damage over time, primarily by the effects of the weather. Droitwich Arts Network secured permission to restore it and obtained funding for that purpose. The mural was removed on 7th November and sent for restoration at the ‘Black Dog of Wells’ factory. That leaves a large gap in the wall, which DAN is filling with temporary panels to explain the restoration and exhibit work by the people of Droitwich Spa, including contributions from local schools.
I have just completed a piece to be included in the space:
I returned from France at the end of October and have only just had time to take this picture to near completion.
I always leave a “completed” picture for a week or so before varnishing it. In the past I have finalised the picture only to discover some things I would prefer to alter – and it is too late!
I may have another look at the chinchilla, or add another llama or person. Perhaps my crab is too prominent. This reflection is needed once one gets away from the detail and looks again at the whole with a critical eye. At times when you are in the middle of painting, it becomes quite difficult to make changes to the parts just done, yet later you think “how did I miss that?”. What ever it is, I will now leave the canvas to allow for my reflection time.