Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My Art on Walls

It's always good to see how my paintings look when they've been hung on the walls of those nice people who thought enough of them to buy them. Here are two of those walls.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 26th April 1947

"Sunny day.

Cup Final. Charlton v. Burnley.

Baby - 12 lbs 5 oz."

From Wikipedia: The 1947 FA Cup Final was contested by Charlton Athletic and Burnley at Wembley, England on 26 April 1947. Charlton, losing finalists the previous year, won by a single goal, scored in extra time by Chris Duffy. History repeated itself this year as the ball again burst during the game. Later, the reason for these problems in 1946 and 1947 was put down to the poor quality of leather available after the Second World War.

Image result for Charlton v. Burnley 1947
This week's motto:

"Well begun is half done."

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 25th April 1947

"Light rain in morning.

Looked at garden at night.

Turnip showing."

Monday, 24 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 24th April 1947

"Very windy but fine.

Took Doris to Gateshead Odeon to see Bob Hope in My Favourite Brunette."

My Favourite Brunette is a 1947 romantic comedy and film noir parody starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

My Favorite Brunette.jpg

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sketch Crawl : Jesmond Old Cemetery, Newcastle

Jesmond Old Cemetery
(0.8 marker in A4 sketchbook)

Despite heavy rain the previous day, the ground of Jesmond Old Cemetery was not at all muddy as I'd feared it might be. There were some unexpected absences, but Michael, Richard and Allan turned up at 1 o'clock at the South Lodge to be welcomed by Sally, one of the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery who is also a friend of mine. 

Pat had come along to keep Sally company, as well as Mike's friend Nicola, and after welcome coffee and biscuits we all went off for a short walk around the Cemetery, with Sally pointing out graves of interest. And there are very many of those - most of the famous and wealthy families of Newcastle, such as Grainger, Fenwick, Bainbridge, and John Dobson, who designed the whole Cemetery, have family plots there.

At the end of the tour, Sally and Pat went off to pick up litter (not much of that, luckily) and the three artists wandered off in search of subject matter. Or should I say, wandered off to single out particular views because I reckon we were spoilt for choice of subject matter. I could spend a week there and not run out of things to draw (provided those things were gravestones, memorials ,and trees, of course).

The drawing above took me until 3 o'clock to complete and by then it was naturally time to return to the South Lodge for more coffee and biscuits. 

Deciding to spend another hour drawing again, we said goodbye to Sally and Pat who had to leave (Nicola had left earlier) and found more things to draw. I knew I couldn't do what I wanted in marker because it takes me much longer to draw that way, so I opted for a 2B mechanical pencil in my A4 sketchbook and made this drawing. I'd intended to ink it in later, but have now decided I'll leave it as it is.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 23rd April 1947

"Very windy.

Heavy rain afternoon and night."

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 21st April 1947

"Very windy - turned to rain.

Fair at night - garden."

And it's very windy today, 70 years later, though I'm not expecting rain.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Painting the Caps

Six Italian Caps WIP
(Acrylic on canvas, 8x8 in)

This is how the Italian Caps painting ended up yesterday. I'm quite pleased with the way it's going and am looking forward to seeing the logos and trimmings bringing the whole thing to life.

Bird Table

Bird Table 
(Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

I completed this little painting a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to post it here. I know it's a bit sentimental, but sentimentality is nice now and again, and I like it. If you like it, it's available - just email me.

Here's the sketch it was based on:

My Dad's Diary : Sun 20th April 1947

"Fine day. Garden in morning.

Put in turnip, beet, onion, radish seeds.

Out with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 19th April 1947

"Light rain, but fine in p.m.


Baby 11 lbs 9 ozs."

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Evening, Hanover Street

Evening, Hanover Street
(Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

This painting has now gone to its new home in Hitchin, Hertfordshire

My Dad's Diary : Fri 18th April 1947

"Sunny but cold.

Garden at night. Clearing up."

Monday, 17 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 17th April 1947

"Sunny day.

Went to garden. Put in turnip seed and strawberries."

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Six Italian Caps

Six Italian Caps 
(Markers in A5 sketchbook)

Although I haven't finished the small paintings I began last week, I've been thinking about ideas for some new ones. This is a drawing I did today of some baseball caps I photographed in Bari last year. 

I think it has potential, but, as always, I'd be interested to hear your opinions. This is a colour try-out in Photoshop:

My Dad's Diary : Wed 16th April 1947

"Fine sunny day.

Took Doris to Gateshead Odeon."

Saturday, 15 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 15th April 1947

"Sunny day.

Put potatoes in (1/2 st. lates) also lettuce & turnip seed."

Friday, 14 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 14th April 1947



Sunny day.

Dug garden up - put in cabbage."

That would be their 7th wedding anniversary. Traditionally, the gifts are copper and wool. Not cabbage.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 13th April 1947

"Gardening all morning. 

Split chrysanthemums.

To Mother's in afternoon."

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 12th April 1947

"Sunny morning.

Dug top of garden in afternoon."

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 11th April 1947

"Grand day / sunshine.

Took Doris to Gateshead Odeon to see 'Calcutta'."

Calcutta is a 1947 American film noir crime drama, directed by John Farrow, and starring Alan Ladd and William Bendix.

Image result

Monday, 10 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 10th April 1947

"Light rain in morning.

Cleared up.

Garden at night."

Sunday, 9 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 9th April 1947

"Sunny day.

Committee meeting.

Garden at night. Paid year's fees. Put in two rows potatoes."

I recently discovered this plan of the allotment at the very front of the Diary.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 8th April 1947

"Started using bike for work. 


Snow in afternoon."

Friday, 7 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 7th April 1947

[Easter Monday]

"Gale blowing. Has done a lot of damage."

Thursday, 6 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 6th April 1947

[Easter Sunday]

"This is a bad Easter, not fit to go anywhere."

Poor weather continues.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sketchbook Circle : My Second Additions

These pages show additions I made to two pages from Partner A, Gwen, in my own sketchbook. The next are original pages by me, before I sent the book back to Gwen.

I was a bit pushed for time towards the end of the month, so the four of these were made from cut up and reassembled Mail Art envelopes that I've posted here before. I'm still happy with them, despite that.

My Dad's Diary : Friday 4th April 1947

 [Good Friday]

"Went for walk with Doris in afternoon, called at Mother's."

Monday, 3 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 3rd April 1947

"Had an easy day. Got work up to date."

Sunday, 2 April 2017

My Dad' Diary : Wed 2nd April 1947

"Slept in this morning.

Johnson now at Stationery.  Handed in his resignation as Chairman."

The brief appearance of Chairman Johnson.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 1st April 1947

"Coal arrived.

Went to S/E re Hospital fees.

Went a run on bike at night , then called at Mother's.

Doris a little better."

I haven't figured out what "S/E" means but this entry brought home to me something I'd never considered before - I was born before the introduction of the National Health Service which didn't start until 5 July 1948. So that extra time Mam spent in hospital must have been quite an additional worry for Dad who really wasn't earning a great deal.

Friday, 31 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 31st March 1947

"Day off today but pretty miserable as Doris still bad.

Baby doing fine."

Thursday, 30 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 30th March 1947

"Doris still bad.

Stayed in all day. Had few drinks with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Maritime Trust in Colour

As is now quite often my practice, I've been trying out colour combinations on my Sketch Crawl drawings, using Photoshop. I find this much easier and less worrying than hand colouring sketches and I do get to a result I like quite quickly.

I feel certain there's a painting in this coloured version of the Maritime Trust boat shed.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 29th March 1947

"Doris still bad.

Having bad time with her.

Newcastle beaten by Charlton 4-0

Cambridge beat Oxford"

Mam was never an easy patient.

The second sports result refers, of course, to the Boat Race. Oxford were regarded as favourite, but lost. The Times rowing correspondent suggested the "Boat Race was as disappointing as the weather in which it was rowed".

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 28th March 1947

"Doris bad with Nettle Rash.

Johnson supposed to start at Stationery next week."

Monday, 27 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 27th March 1947

"Had day off. Went to the town with Doris and baby.

Baby's weight - 10 lbs."

"The town", of course, is Newcastle.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Working on Rakes Lane

Rakes Lane WIP 
(acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 cm)

I've been wondering where to take the small plein air canvases I started at Lesley Seeger's workshop in Huttons Ambo. It became clear to me quite quickly after the workshop that I don't really like the thin layering method of painting that works so well for Lesley. The end result looks lovely online but doesn't satisfy me when I see it in actuality. I need some body in my painting.

As a result, I've been working over this, one of the three Huttons Ambo canvases. First of all, I tried drawing out some of the definite shapes I could see in the original, using the one photograph I took at the time and relying considerably on my memory. Then I applied quite solid, opaque colour to the drawn areas, arriving at what I think is the beginning of a painting that might work for me. More in due course.

Sketch Crawl : North East Maritime Trust, South Shields

Pulley (0.8 marker in A4 sketch book)

It was a lovely sunny day yesterday, perfect for the Sketch Crawlers to hide away in a boat shed and do some drawing. We met up in The Word, the new library in South Shields, and had coffee before heading down to the River Tyne. From the ferry landing it's an easy walk along the river to the North East Maritime Trust boat sheds where Richard had arranged we could do some sketching.

The sheds are at first rather intimidating, I found, with so much stuff cluttering the place - every bit of it a still life subject in its own right - and so much going on as the volunteers go about their restoration work, so I tried to find something to draw on the quay outside the sheds.

I quickly found what I've always known, that drawing boats from a position other than straight on to the side is very difficult: so many curves! My first attempt at a coble being refitted was such a disaster that I welcomed the fact I'd decided to use pencil rather than ink, and rubbed it out.

In the quieter shed next door I found a balcony where I was faced with this pulley (above) and so set about dealing with all those chain links as the river lapped gently on the slipway below.

In the Shed 
(2B mechanical pencil in A4 sketchbook)

I'd more or less given up doing anything more, but wandering inside the main shed again, I saw Bob across the way doing a sketch. I liked the way he was framed by the extractor fan and decided to make a quick pencil drawing of just that, but as the drawing went on, more and more of the clutter began to find its way onto the page.

I spent last night adding some of the details, such as the diamond pattern on the windows and a few shadows.

These two drawings represent two different approaches for me. The first is an example of my usual decision on these Sketch Crawls - to make a finished drawing that stands on its own. The second is a new development for me - a definite attempt to get down an idea for a possible painting by rearranging elements of the subject as I go along. 

My Dad's Diary : Wed 26th March 1947

"Fine morning.

Committee meeting at 1 pm."

Saturday, 25 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 25th March 1947

"Usual sort of day. Bicycle nearly completed - went for run to garden."

The garden was Dad's allotment.

Friday, 24 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 24th March 1947

"One day's leave due - taken.

Fine morning. Did washing.

Went to Gateshead Odeon at night."

Thursday, 23 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 23rd March 1947

"Had a walk along to see Pagan.
Doris and I took Harry out for first time."

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 21st March 1947

"Letter from Alan. Nora ill in hospital.

Snow practically all gone."

Nora was Dad's sister-in-law (my Aunt) in Australia.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Adding to the Mix

Yesterday's progress on these three paintings. I'm beginning to realise the forgiving nature of acrylics and understand why so many artists who use them often end up describing their work as "mixed media".

I continue to find it difficult to thin the paint to a consistency thin enough to make fine lines. Maybe that's just lack of practice, but I also seem to be having trouble getting an even distribution of colour, so that there are areas that simply appear slightly translucent and so need over-painting.

On a recent trip to Hobbycraft I bought a couple of white Posca Marker Pens with the idea of using them in my Sketchbook Circle work, but it occurred to me yesterday that, as they contain water-based pigment ink, they'd be suitable for use with acrylic paints. And so they turned out to be - ideal for some of the fiddly white markings on the Attic Vessels, as well as on some of the details on the Food Station painting.

This led on to my using black markers on the Food Station to sketch in the figures and then finding that, like the heavy outlining in Attic Vessels, I want to keep some of the black lines. I always thought that changing to working in acrylics might be beneficial in terms of making different work and so it's proving to be. Early days yet, but I can see how collage might be incorporated soon. All very normal for many artists, I know, but quite exciting for me at this stage.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 19th March 1947

"2 cwt coke from C.W.S."

Saturday, 18 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 18th March 1947

"Raining (with sleet) all day.

Took Doris to Essoldo at night to see 'Janie Gets Married' and 'The Letter'.

Snow disappearing fast."

The Essoldo, along with all the other old cinemas in Gateshead, is long gone.

Janie Gets Married (1946)

Married life isn't as blissful as either Dick or Janie had hoped. Dick is hired to write filler for his father-in-law's newspaper, but is never allowed to prove his real worth. Janie has to do housekeeping while dealing with a "well-meaning" mother and mother-in-law. When Dick invites an army buddy to stay with them, and that buddy turns out to be a girl, the situation takes a turn for the worse.

The Letter (1940) starred the wonderful Bette Davis and was directed by William Wyler:

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Friday, 17 March 2017

A Little More Acrylic

Three little canvases I'm working on today in the studio. All in acrylic, all 20 x 20 cm, all in various stages of completion. The first is an attempt to translate a drawing I made at the Hancock Museum into a painting, the second is the Bird Table painting I started yesterday and which I've worked on a little more, and the third is a rather hesitant start to a painting based on a sketch I did in Durham Market Place.

A rather disparate set of images, but useful in finding my way into acrylic painting, something I'm determined to do.

My Dad's Diary : Mon 17th March 1947

"Fine morning - sun shining.

Fine all day."

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Little Acrylic

Bird Table (WIP)
Acrylic on 20 x 20 cm canvas.

Although the new studio is still in chaos, I made an attempt to get some painting done yesterday. I have a few of these very small canvases so I prepared them with a variety of base colours (burnt sienna in this case) and made a start on this bird table painting.

My Regular Reader may recall it's based on a sketchbook drawing I did at Ingleby Lodge in 2015 and which I recently played about with in Photoshop. I'm still struggling to get to grips with acrylics. Instead of using medium I worked with the colour straight from the tube, but found the consistency of the different makes (and possibly ages of the tubes) not terribly compatible. Despite that, I'm relatively happy with the way things are going and am optimistic enough to want to start one or two more.

My Dad's Diary : Sun 16th March 1947

"Raining this morning - continued all day. End of snow?"

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 15th March 1947

"Fine morning - everything frozen hard.

Clocks go 1 hr B.S.T. tonight."

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 14th March 1947

"Sun shone today - slight thaw.

Went to Dr. Murphy for Doris.

Freezing hard at night."

Monday, 13 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 13th March 1947

"Six inches of snow this morning. Traffic stopped.

Over 24 hours snow fall. 

Communications paralyzed."

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Lesley Seeger Workshop

Last week I travelled down to Huttons Ambo with my Sketch Crawl mates, Richard and Mike, for a one day Exploring Abstraction workshop with Lesley Seeger. We had a great time, the weather was excellent, the food and company were great and Lesley was a warmly enthusiastic and encouraging tutor.

Her methods are unusual, or they are in terms of how I'd normally work, even allowing for the fact that I don't normally work in acrylic. At her suggestion, I took three small (20x20 cm) canvases, two tubes of acrylic, a few brushes, a pot of acrylic medium and a little pot of water out into the local fields and from the vantage point of the hill in the photograph above, I made a a tonal drawing in blue acrylic - the canvas above - which I later worked on back at the Village Hall.

Moving on to Rake's Lane, a beautiful nearby hollow way, I made this second image with two colours and again worked on it back at the Hall.

From just up the Lane, looking back at the village, I made this third canvas. At first it was quite like the second one but somehow I managed to slop a dollop of painting medium onto the canvas and the whole affair took on a completely different character - hence the very pronounced linear quality. Again, more work was done on it back at the Village Hall.

Apart from being a really enjoyable experience, I learned quite a bit about the nature of acrylics and how they might behave. These three canvases are far from finished, of course, and whether I continue in exactly this way is uncertain, but I have a better idea of where I might be going if I pursue this medium.

Sketchbook Circle - February Pages for Partner B

These are the pages I added or worked on for Partner B in February, using a combination of markers, collage, acrylic ink and simple printmaking.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 12th March 1947

"Annual General Union Meeting.

Doris arrived home - went to arrange about nurse.

Snowing again."

Saturday, 11 March 2017

No Regrets.

I mentioned a short while ago that there'd been a small flurry of new subscribers to this blog. I didn't know the reason why that should have happened, but I do know why some of them are now unsubscribing - "Content no longer relevant."

I make no apologies for continuing to post My Dad's Diary, which is presumably the content that has given people the hump. This blog, while concentrating on my painting and drawing, has always featured a small amount of  biographical material and will continue to do so. My Dad's Diary provides a look into the first year of my life and I want to keep it somewhere safe. I post the blog entries on Facebook but am aware that they'll quickly disappear into the past; at least on my blog they're potentially there forever.

It's somewhat ironic that, were it not for the Diary pieces, there'd be little or no posts from me here and no one would have been alerted to the possibility that the content had changed in any way.

Getting artwork done has not been easy in the last year or two, for all sorts of reasons. but I haven't given up and there will be more posts about painting and drawing in the very near future. Just haad yer horses, as my Mum would say. 

And remember, Boogie Street is a two-way street. Just as I hope at least some of you want to read what I have to say, I'm always interested in reading what you have to say in return. That's what the Comments box is there for, folks. You can even leave an anonymous comment, although sticking a name of some sort at the end of your comment would be polite.

It's good to talk. Smiley face.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 11th March 1947

"Thaw continues but frost during night. 

Put leave pass in for 24th."

Friday, 10 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 10th March 1947

"Thaw started. Rain during night. 

Sick of being on my own again.

Went to Westgate at night - '13 Rue Madeleine' "

13 Rue Madeleine was a film starring James Cagney. My Mam always said Jimmy Cagney reminded her of her father.

"When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy."

Thursday, 9 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 9th March 1947

"Cleaned front path for Mother and had dinner there.. Went to hospital.
Had tea at Mother's and went out with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 8th March 1947

"Went to Milburn's 21st Party. Had good time."

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 7th March 1947

"Cold morning - mild during day.

Got trolley back repaired.

Doris kept in hospital - bachelor life again!!"

Monday, 6 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 6th March 1947

"More snow this morning.

Mild all day but freezing at night."

Sunday, 5 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 5th March 194

"Very mild - thawing."


Saturday, 4 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 4th March 1947

"Coldest morning yet. Snow still lying and freezing hard.

Trolley taken for repairs."

I'm assuming the trolley is a work trolley.

Friday, 3 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 3rd March 1947

"Still freezing hard. Fine day.

Baby OK but Doris had to go to see doctor."

Thursday, 2 March 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 2nd March 1947

"Baby christened today. 

Lovely day but cold. Snow still lying . Freezing at night."

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My Dad's Diary :Sat 1st March 1947

"Fine morning but cold.

Freezing at night."

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 28th February 1947

"More snow.

Snow has lain all month."

Monday, 27 February 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 27th February 1947

"More Snow.

Received back money (pay).

Gave Doris Xmas box - overdue."

Times were hard.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 26th February 1947

"Milder today but snow still lying in big drifts.

Wrote to Spicer."

I don't know who Spicer was.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

My Dad's Diary ; Tues 25th February 1947

"Snow still lying, freezing hard at night.

Snowing at night."

Friday, 24 February 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 24th February 1947

"Fine day again but cold out of sun."

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Sketchbook Circle 2017 - Partner B

As Storm Doris batters the house, I'm about to go outside to post a sketchbook back to Partner B (Norma). I may be some time.

Meanwhile, here's a peek into what's bin did. More when she receives it.

My Dad's Diary : Sun 23rd February 1947

"Fine day but heavy frost at night."

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Man fells Tree

Last Saturday should have been another Sketch Crawl for me. The Sketch Crawlers were meeting in Nudo Noodle House in Chinatown before going on to the Discovery Museum again. Although I'd drawn in the Discovery Museum before, I was sure there'd be something new for me to look at, but as it turned out, I couldn't go.

In an attempt to finally get my old house on the market ( I moved out over two years ago), I'd arranged for someone to look at my overgrown golden cypress and quote for its removal.

The quote was good, but the best time for him to take it down was Saturday. So no Sketch Crawl for me, although the photographs are calling to me to find a painting in them.