Watercolour on paper
Friday, 30 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Friday, 23 December 2011
|Rossendale Winter 2010|
Up on Cowpe
24 inches x 48"
Oil on Board
"A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE"
Up on Cowpe this time, last year were I got the inspiration to paint the winter ridge painting Rossendale Winter; it was like Siberia with shards of ice underfoot and bitterly cold on the frozen, flooded bog , skating under swirling snow clouds; we walked towards an horizon marked by the sulphur yellow of Manchester; this year if we did the same walk we would be knee deep in bog, and Manchester would be hidden by a wall of fog; sadly there is no snow forecast for the west Pennines this Christmas instead we have a sleety rain; Christmas will be a damp affair under leaden skies so time will be spent by the the Christmas tree before we walk to the Inn for Christmas dinner , quaff wine and ale, eat mince pies and make merry.....
Thursday, 22 December 2011
|Wellfield track autumn|
50 cm x 40 cm
acrylic on canvas
Its great to get a commission especially when its from direct ancestor and near the ancestral home of Sir Francis Drake. I love this field and track its so English. The great man may well have walked this track. O to be in England now that autumn has come. What was that don't give up the day job!
Sunday, 18 December 2011
|Norberts view |
Ashaig, Isle of Skye, Western Isles, UK.
watercolour on paper
In memory of Norbert, one of the good guys; Norbert loved Ashaig and the Isle of Skye, he also enjoyed a good chat and drink at the Flag Inn Bolton, Lancashire. Norbert waren Sie ein zutreffender Herr. Wir heben unsere Biergläser zu Ihnen an; salut
Thursday, 8 December 2011
|Striding Edge 1 summertime low cloud|
watercolour and ink
What a great place on which to sit contemplate and paint
|Rivington Sketch Book December 2011|
A new project on the go:-
I'm actually going to do something with all the drawings and watercolours from my frequent walks around this area and Tockholes. What that is I am not sure but it will be about the process of drawing and watercolours so it will be based on paper.
Monday, 5 December 2011
Beach Isle of Skye
60 cm x60 cm
Acrylic on canvas
|Beach Isle of Skye|
60 cm x 60 cm
Acrylic on canvas
Breaking weather' is the title of my second series of Western Isles paintings, this series finds me on the beaches of a number of islands but mostly around Lewis Uist and Skye; the breaking weather caused by a new frontal weather system moving in over the Atlantic brings an Andalusia sparkle to the white sands and clear seas.
|Pendle Twiston Moorland farm and oaks|
Oil on linen paper
24cm x18 cm
|Pendle misted sunshine and barn|
Oil on linen paper
Monday, 21 November 2011
|Click here for the northern impressions catalogue|
Catalogue of my recent "Impressions work showing the journey made from Andalusia to the North of England. Some of the smaller pieces are currently on show at the barefoot gallery Boston Leeds. Please click on the caption to take you to northern impressions posted on the issuu online magazine rack.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
|Rossthwaite Borrowdale track Autumn|
Acrylic on canvas
Work in progress
Rossthwaite, in the heart of Borrowdale; this is a wonderful track deep cut through ancient woods with high walls and moss covered boulders and trees; the warm autumn sun is still able to get through a full canopy of leaves spreading a sparkle of autumnal reds on the track floor. Its the third composition of this work and I think this is an improving one but still a work in progress.
Striding Edge summertime
|Looking down on Striding Edge|
|Looking along and up Striding edge to Helvellyn|
preliminary pencil and watercolour on paper
Preparation for a series of paintings on Cumbria's ridges.
Striding edge is one of the iconic mountain routes in England and a great training ground for Scottish Welsh and basic Alpine ridge routes, albeit a popular day out for my old sheepdog Ben who simply loved scampering around its airy rocks before the walk and descent down Dow Crag to the camp site and pub at Brothers water.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Rossthwaite Cumbrian Autumn
Acrylic on canvas
|Blackbeck and Buttermere|
|Blackbeck Tarn and Buttermere|
Friday, 28 October 2011
I first walked/climbed this route back in 1971 just to get away from the lone bag piper droning over his massacre. This ridge is one of the classic Scottish ridges with a long wonderful high, airy scramble etc and a dangerous gully descent straight down into Glencoe near to the Clagaich pub if your mad enough. Its a long day out but a good one even better still in mid winter. This year the ridge was the same with a few changes the start is now a stone stairway, theres a queue and the bag piper is Chinese who has a Phd in Forestry, sadly the pubs no longer a wood shack serving draught guiness and whisky its now a classy hotel "Were did you go lassie go?"
I think that Liathac Ridge was steeper and a more challenging mountain experience summer or winter but my opinion in climbing terms is very humble. Here's a link to a great website whicg gives a route description http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/aonacheagach.shtml
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
|Skiddaw and Thirlmere through a hail shower viewed from Hellvellyn|
Mixed media on Arches Paper
I climbed up here to the summit of Helvellyn wearing my Paramore gear which I thought would be okay for a breezy early Autumn day but I was cold. I stopped a few times to do a drawing and I also stopped to read a section of Wordsworth's poem based on this very hill. Needless to say, I became colder still despite a hot coffee from my flask. How tough was Wordsworth and his lady companion? Very tough I think to wander at will up fell and down dale (include an ascent of Snowdon for Wordsworth leaving at the dead of night) in the clothing and boots that were available in his time and to stop ponder and pen a quick sonnet. 'He was a proper northern lad. ' The walk up from Thirlmere takes about five hours there and back and is uphill for most of the way, you pass a couple of great places to paint around Dollywagon Pike but its the expansive view down the valley either north or south that captures the attention most. Heres a good guide by the go lakes website. Wordsworth. Ive attached the poem beow with thanks to bartley.com great books online.
I love to read these poems in situ, the expanse of the landscape, the wind on the cheek and the moving clouds bring me closer to those who loved this land and who considered the land a crucial mode for understanding human nature and human plight. True whichever land is yours by birth or by right.
To ——, on Her First Ascent to the Summit of Helvellyn
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
|Inmate of a mountain dwelling,|
|Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed|
|From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;|
|Awed, delighted, and amazed!|
|Potent was the spell that bound thee,||5|
|Not unwilling to obey;|
|For blue Ether’s arms, flung round thee,|
|Stilled the pantings of dismay.|
|Lo the dwindled woods and meadows!|
|What a vast abyss is there!||10|
|Lo the clouds, the solemn shadows,|
|And the glistenings,—heavenly fair!|
|And a record of commotion|
|Which a thousand ridges yield;|
|Ridge and gulf and distant ocean||15|
|Gleaming like a silver shield!|
|Now take flight; possess, inherit|
|Alps or Andes,—they are thine!|
|With the morning’s roseate spirit,|
|Sweep their length of snowy line;||20|
|Or survey their bright dominions|
|In the gorgeous colors drest|
|Flung from off the purple pinions|
|Evening spreads throughout the west!|
|Thine are all the coral fountains||25|
|Warbling in each sparry vault|
|Of the untrodden lunar mountains;|
|Listen to their songs!—or halt,|
|To Niphates’ top invited,|
|Whither spiteful Satan steered;||30|
|Or descend where the ark alighted,|
|When the green earth reappeared;—|
|For the power of hills is on thee,|
|As was witnessed through thine eye|
|Then, when old Helvellyn won thee||35|
|To confess their majesty!|
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
I think I'm becoming a bit of a Haystacks and Buttermere fan I think its a great wild area and alongside its neighbouring Dales and Fells in Ennerdale and Wasdale seems the nearest to the wilderness areas of North West Scotland. It was also fellow Blackburnian Wainwrights ideal location. I love the way the wild tops, wind blast ridges and streaming becks make their way down to the quieter places. A great place for the wanderer and rambler in one day so much choice and biodiversity.
Friday, 30 September 2011
The bed and breakfast in Borrowdale, Leath House just after the Borrowdale Hotel was not only wonderfully decorated and furnished but was also full of original artwork from Cumbria and from the Scilly Isles a 70x70 cm, very fresh painting of surf sun and gorse; The North West and the South West two of my favourite places to paint, and the B&B breakfast room an inspirational way to start the day alongside my veggie breakfast and coffee. A sketchy drive over Honister Pass and into the chaos of Buttermere parking patrolled by a family of Black cats. A dryer day on Sunday and a walk up Fleetwith Pike and onto Haystacks and the complex craggy summit full of colour and people. I was glad to perch my bottom on a nice flat rock spread my painting gear out and do some work. Acrylics are a great medium to use outdoors as they dry so quickly and can be used alongside inks, pastels charcoal and whatever to paint sunshine, fantastic views, couple that with some French bread and Brie, and viva everything Haystacks is great. Sketch book notes 25/02/11
A quiet pool in the verdant River Dudden below Seathwaite (After the gorge and packhorse bridge) on a very rainy day, wrong quiet for me maybe, no tourists to disturb the lonely meanderings of my brush and my thoughts but hey for the fish its hell down there in this flooded place were the strong currents of the day may well chase away the hardest fly or grub. Lets hear it for the fish, splishingly well done guys you will survive you will survive..(my sketch book notes are getting loopy...) http://www.english-lakes.com/duddon_valley.htm
Thursday, 29 September 2011
A wet August followed by a mixed warm September brings out the best of the beautiful north west and in particular the English Lake District. Unchanged field and agricultural systems and ergo sum flora and fauna; squat solid northern homesteads anchored down in the lee of a rock outcrop and the stoutest Beech, Ash and Oak towering above them nearly as high as the fells showering colour like Vincent's stars. These are rare places that have millions of visitors and a high real estate value and that's why like the moors of the South West Peninsular and the forest of Deane national parks they need protecting,
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Work in progress
Acrylic on Canvas
Nearly complete a new Western Isles painting this one of two crofts in the outer Hebrides. Both crofts riding the winds above the grey Atlantic; with another rain shower bearing down from a leaden sky.
Its taken me a little while ( 18 months) to readjust to the northern light from the brightness of Andalusia and the sparkling light of France and South West England; in terms of mood, also of texture, tone and colour. Looking back across the A4 now battered, studio sketch book that I kept for 2010-2011 (3 pages left then a party) the questions that I asked myself are; How do you marry deep earth tones and greys with the sparkle of bright grasses or a lightening of the sky, how do I bring in colour to a shadow without it appearing plastic, gaudy or dreamt up...there was also the constant question of style verses what I would call poem ..and how much do you allow style to dictate the content/mood of what we paint? Do we discard something that's a beautiful poem because it wont fit a certain style. Trying to learn from past masters is always useful; Picasso abandoned landscape painting, Monet indulged in his colour studies, Mondrian abstracted into space, The fathers of modern western European painting, Cezanne just painted the way Cezanne painted, unaffected by others; Pissaro worked with a number of styles before finally giving them up finding them to restrictive and painting in the way he felt best suited his subject and poetry. Turner and Constable it could be said painted for the gallery and its to their sketches and outdoor studies that you turn to in awe aided by Ruskin's dictates. Neither does to abandon style mean get sloppy, do not abandon the constant pressure of producing pieces which show good composition, geometry, draughtsmanship and that you can mix colour or place them side by side
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Light that is only just light, more a kind of mid dark, it has been that sort of Summer or that kind of August at least; Here are a couple of medium sized watercolours on French Arches 200lb paper, painted mostly from memory in terms of the sky and atmosphere, in terms of the topography helped by my sketches from a recent walk. Working on this Lakes project has made me more in awe of Turner and his peers who ventured out in all kinds of weather with watercolour paper and paint and in awe of my own young adventures with my brothers.
Holidays spent in Buttermere as a young youth with my brothers Nick and Andy. Causey Pike was conquered in a heat wave but now a few days later we were at Haystacks, this was the first fell that we assailed, my brothers and I, on our own in bad weather, now some some 43 years ago. Our yellow plastic cycle capes bought from Blackburn's Millets store flapped and cracked blowing in the strong wind, most times covering our heads and obscuring our vision, wearing our shorts and sturdy shoes we wandered for what seemed a lifetime amongst the pelting rain, low cloud, tarns and rocky outcrops of Hay stacks, we had never seen rain blown upwards before.. Concerned for our safety and lost, we peered over one precipitous fierce crag edge, and than another and then another, whatever the direction we took and looked we faced an abyss until a shaft of clear bright lit up the Gables unmistakable shape, across Ennerdale, this gave us an idea of the terrain around us and we were quickly able to take a bearing and with that found our way to Innominate Tarn and hence home. Home, a squelching, field, the flooded tent, the sodden sleeping bags that mum had made us, the wet fire wood, no hot meal tonight, the damp matches and a Buttermere thunder storm throughout the night. We were geographers, explorers, travelling in Nicks 10 year old Austin A30 which we pushed up every pass as we camped our way across the Western fells Tierra Del Gatesgarth.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
Details of two new works, that I snapped on my lummix this morning for this blog; they are a sneak preview of the South Hebrides series that I am now working on. I have been wanting to paint these for ages. They focus on the wonderful island scapes and seascapes down Uist then east south east to Oban on the mainland. The works measure 60cm x 60cm acrylic and/or oil on canvas i(ncreasingly both), with a complimentary series of smaller watercolours and drawings in a variety of mediums and sizes. I generally paint the larger canvas works whilst listening to Robert Burns poem the wrestlin winds sung by Dick Gaughan so I've added a link below for you to enjoy. Burns poetry says it all about the glory and death of fellow creatures in the wilderness and Dick adds a genuine touch of people at work in those hard lands. More works and music to come. Until then beannachd, farewell.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
|A track through a beech copse|
acrylics on canvas 50x70