Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Edgewick Farm.

I'm itching to get out and sketch but it's cold enough to freeze the ink in a pen!!! Oh and just in case, like me, you are sick of snow, snow and more snow...... Here is a snow scene!!!
Watercolour on Langton 140lb NOT.


No pencils here, just straight in with a pen. You leave your holiday cottage at 5am and drive down to the harbour. It slumbers peacefully, the fishermen and tourists are still dreaming of the day to come. The only sound is the haunting cry of seagulls. Later, they will tolerate the noisy hundreds but for now, the harbour belongs to them. As you walk back to the car with everything put away, you see your footprints in the sand. Your presence here for that half hour has, in a tiny and subtle way, changed the landscape. It will never be quite the same again and, because you are so privileged as to be able to create something out of nothing, neither will you.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

When it all goes wrong.

Wife does some internet trawling and gets family a cheap holiday in Cornwall. Husband packs a small digital camera and drives south - in October. A lovely time is had by all, despite a bit of rain and husband, fool that he is, comes back with about 70 grey, dull, toneless snaps of fishing villages etc. The result is this horror which I'm glad to post as a kind of confession of my folly. I learned from it though, I suppose that's something!!

Willen Church.

There is nothing like getting out and working from life. A few years ago I went through a short phase of trying to draw churches. This was intended as a quick sketch of only a few minutes, as so often happens with me though, I got totally immersed in what I was doing. I was still in the same spot after an hour and my pencil eraser was half the size.

Friday, 15 March 2013

In the woods. Edgewick farm.

Watercolour on Langton 140lb NOT. Edgwick farm is a popular place for us to walk the dog and generally have a good ramble. It's also one of the many places where we've tried to tire out the kids.
Without success. This is from a photo taken on a gloomy afternoon and I made a concious effort to impose my own ideas concerning light values. I also used artistic licence to make the path lead the eye into the focal point in the top right. It takes confidence to make changes to an image, something I'm not overly endowed with, but I'm generally pleased with this one and it gave me a boost.

Loch Lomond, Scotland.

Watercolour on Langton 140lb NOT. This started out as a doodle in order to explore the "dry brush" technique. Before I knew it, I was carried along by the process and ended up with this unplanned finished painting!  It's based on a photo in a reference book. I've never been to Scotland but would love to go with a sketchbook in hand. And also tour the distilliaries!!

Nags Head.

This is a view of "The Nag's Head" Pub in Great Linford one winter's evening. I'm not terribly happy with it. It's all too typical of me slavishly copying a photo instead of drawing inspiration from it. The figures are too dark, the camera struggling with the light/dark contrast of the scene. This was done a while ago now and, although I've made progress, I still find myself getting too drawn in to a photo image quite frequently. Watercolour on Langton 140lb. NOT.

Newport, Wales

In my experience, going on holiday and painting just don't mix. One can become very engrossed in a subject which can make others feel (understandably) excluded and ignored. So, a small cartridge pad, a few ink drawing pens and about 15 minutes while they search for ice cream and just dive in!!
I really enjoy doing ink sketches from life with no preliminary pencil drawing. When I first started it scared me, no way of rectifying...... What if I mess it up? Well, it's a bit of paper, that's all!!

St Ives 1

This is a view of St Ives, a family favourite holiday destination. It's not typical of the sort of work I do but my wife absolutely loves this style and wants to fill our house with it! Watercolour with accents in black ink, it is heavily influenced by local professional artists and is often sold in postcard form in the tourist shops. The main influence and inspiration though was Helen herself. There is nothing like making something for someone you love.


Hello and a very warm welcome to my new art blog. Thankyou for taking the time to visit.
Firstly, thankyou to my wife for setting this up and dragging a 50 year old techno dinosaur into our modern world.
I am an amatuer artist and have had no formal training, I've just gained experience (slowly), and absorbed various influences along the way.
My chosen mediums are pencil, ink and watercolour, mainly it has to be said, due to work space and a water-tight budget. I hope you will pardon the pun.
I have put a mixture of old and more recent work on here and intend to add to it on a fairly regular basis. This is of course influenced by having a busy family life and a demanding job.
My ambition is simply to improve, improve, improve and, above all, to enjoy what I do.
I will also be submitting various thoughts and musings on what I do occasionally, both art and life related. It's going to be very informal and, if it reflects my character, rather haphazard at times!!!  
I'm more than aware of my limitations and my wife tells me that I am my harshest judge. She has witnessed firsthand my bouts of frustration and self criticism!
I would really welcome any comments or feedback from you if you can take the time to do so and I hope my ramblings and scribbles provide a little distraction in this, the most busy of worlds.
This year, I've decided to knuckle down and work hard on my art. I've realised that I cant be complaining that this or that never goes right if I haven't put the effort in.
I want this journey to finally gather speed and intent. I sincerely hope you will drop in now and again to see what I'm doing.
And if like me, you find that sometimes there is so little time, there is no money, inspiration has left you, I dare to hope that it helps to know that yep, I'm right where you are!!