Thursday, 27 September 2012

Two Towers

Two Towers, Korcula (0.8 marker in A5 sketchbook)

The last drawing I did in Croatia this year. I did it leaning up against the end of a wall while people went past me, in and out of a pastry shop, a dog snuffled round my feet, and fags were stubbed out in the litter bin next to me.

It's this kind of lovely detail that comes back to me whenever I look back over my sketchbook drawings.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Korcula, from Neno's Rooms, 16 Sept 2012 
(0.8 marker in A5 sketchbook)

We spent our second week in Korčula, a beautiful little island off the Pelješac peninsula.. After the somewhat frenetic atmosphere of Dubrovnik,  Korčula  provided a haven of calm.

Regular readers of this blog may remember that on a previous visit to Croatia we've stayed in  Korčula  before; in fact, we stayed at the same Neno's Rooms, though this time Neno gave us a bigger apartment with a better view of the Old Town. It's interesting to compare the view I drew this time with the one from the previous trip:

Korcula Town (Pilot disposable fountain pen, 2 pages of A5 sketchbook)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Croatia for the Third Time

Ploce, Dubrovnik (0.8 marker in A5 sketchbook)

Pat and I have just returned from our third trip to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. The weather was mostly great (there were three terrific thunderstorms), which makes it even more dispiriting to be sitting looking out of the window at the grey windy wet weather of Gateshead.

We spent our first week in a lovely little apartment overlooking the Ploce Gate of Dubrovnik. From the patio outside the apartment we could sit and watch the boats go in and out of the Old Harbour and see the people scurrying over the bridge into the Old Town. I did this drawing on our last day there.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Stolen Copyright

I recently learned that by putting an image into Google Image Search, you can look for appearances on the web of that image. Within minutes I'd found this Chinese company using one of my paintings as a mobile phone cover, entirely without permission, of course.

Here's the original:

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Very First Sketchbook (#15)

In Yedikule - 14.9.89
(Fine point marker and grey Magic marker in A5 sketchbook)    

The same day in Yedikule Castle, I sat in the shade of a tree and drew this old clay pot. Two workmen came by and l stood watching me for a while, nodded approvingly and went about their business again.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Very First Sketchbook (#14)

Yedikule - "Castle of Seven Towers", 14.9.89
(Fine point marker and grey Magic marker in A5 sketchbook)   

The Yedikule Fortress is part of the old walls of Constantinople. Originally built as a gate, during the years of the Ottoman Empire it served as a treasury, archive and prison.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Comments Book

The Free Trade Inn (Oil on canvas, 16 x 16 ins)

Northumberland Fells (Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 ins)

Today my paintings came back from my solo show at the Arts Centre in Newcastle - minus these two, which happily have sold..

Yesterday I collected the Comments Book from the gallery and, if you can forgive me a little self-indulgence, I thought I might share some of the comments here.

Your hedges and walls make me want to go out and look for myself. Your vision of Newcastle is optimistic if not romantic. Good luck with this exhibition. - Paul

Really like the 'city scapes' and the differing view points. - Liz Atkins

What a wonderful exhibition. So much detail and colour, with even some "blue skies". Keep up the good work. Wishing you all the best, - Ann Elliott

Thank you Harry! I liked 'The Free Trade Inn' when I saw it on your blog, while researching Newcastle for an English class I teach. How wonderful now I finally visit, to find a whole exhibition of your strong shapes and colours and Norh East visions. I've just slept 2 nights in Sandhill and agree the roofs are full of pictures. Keep the art coming! - Sally (Holman) Johnson, London E17

Really liked the rich use of paint - my favourite, 'Wooden Spiral', reminiscent of Carel Weight's surreal atmosphere. - Joy Barsby

Love the oaks and hedgerows; the textures and colours are inspiring. - JGriffiths

Love the way you capture the feel of Newcastle. No.16, 'View from the Keep' somehow suggests the proximity of the sea. So glad I saw your works. - P Johnston, Berwick upon Tweed.

These are wonderful. Redolent of Edward Hopper without being remotely derivative and they are most certainly *not* illustrative. - Chandra Sankarayya

I'd like to thank all those who took the time to leave such generous comments in the Comments Book (and they were all positive) and those others who complimented me in person.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Very First Sketchbook (#13)

Haghia Sophia, 13.9.89
(Fine point marker in A5 sketchbook) 

Another year, another country. I loved Istanbul. I loved the people and the city. I loved all it's smoggy chaos.

Haghia Sophia is a big building, so I thought it best to attempt only part of it. I think that was s wise decision in retrospect and the vignetted sketch holds up quite well.