Friday, 25 December 2020

Xmas Wreath 2020


Xmas Wreath 2020
(mixed media on mountboard, 27x19 cm)

Merry Xmas and Very Best Wishes to all my Reader!

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Evening in Lisbon


Evening in Lisbon
(acrylic on mountboard, 10x10 in)

Have you ever regretted starting a painting? I knew quite soon after beginning this one that it was a mistake but I was reacting to a prompt from Gateshead Art Society and didn’t feel I could give up. I think, in fact, that it’s turned out well if a little romantic (clue: we spent our honeymoon in Lisbon), so I shouldn’t moan. But something about the painting of it (the paint layer’s too thin for a start) meant that corrections were needed just about every day for over a week. However, enough hair shirt. Onward!

Friday, 4 December 2020

Whitby Harbour


Whitby Harbour
(Pilot disposable fountain pen in Pink Pig sketchbook)

On a cold and wet day, hat better way of passing the time than a little bit of drawing from a photograph taken in Whitby .

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Discerning Eye

 I have three paintings in this important national exhibition.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Malaga Patrol


Malaga Patrol

(acrylic on board, 30x30 cm)

I made a freely painted start to this new subject. I was uncertain about how it would develop, but that was an attractive prospect. The painting of it kept presenting me with umpteen niggles that demanded correction, such that I got really fed up with it, but I like it now it’s finished. My intention was to make this the first of short series, but the proposed second in the series looked so disappointing that I quickly covered it up with something more promising.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Tulips for Pat

Tulips for Pat

(acrylic and collage on board, 5x7 in)

Painted for my wife’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Pat, pet!

Monday, 14 September 2020

A Short Walk in the Ouseburn Valley

This post should have been entitled something like "Sketch Crawl: in the Ouseburn Valley" but things worked out differently. There was a time when Sketch Crawls began at a civilised time and lasted until it was time to go home for tea. Under more recent Tyne and Wear Urban Sketcher management they've become daylong events so I find that, if I don't arrive for the ten o'clock start, there's a danger that I won't link up with the other sketchers. 

And so it was on Saturday. I'm not an early riser; never have been, never will be, but the current Lockdown situation has made it more difficult than ever to get up and out early. There's also the fear induced by getting onto a bus without knowing if it'll be full of people without masks breathing the Deadly Virus over me.

As it turned out, there were only six other people on the bus, all wore masks and were sitting in appropriately distanced seats, so I felt reasonably happy when I got off at the Baltic and urged my knees, now very stiff from months of sitting in the house, to cooperate in the relatively short walk across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and along the Newcastle Quayside to the Cycle Hub where it was all about to Kick Off. Or where it was due to Kick Off at ten o'clock, but now it was eleven o'clock.

I looked in the Hub cafe, I looked down into the marina, I looked up and down the quay, but no sketchers visible. Maybe they'd moved up the Ouseburn? There's always something to draw in the way of derelict buildings, boats and ducks, so I headed upstream.

As passed under a road bridge, I noticed what, for me, is a new addition to the local decorations.

I've seen Candyman, so there was no chance of my saying the word ESSALAMUS three times and I passed safely through and soon came to the first of the day's boats.

I liked them and there were jolly workmen doing workman-like things to them, but my knees were aching, there was nowhere to sit down, the path was narrow and people kept passing by doing their best to socially-distance but inevitably failing, so I decided not to attempt a drawing and pressed on.

By the time I'd reached the area of the Cluny and Seven Stories I was developing a fairly clear idea that sketching would not happen. I sat on a bench in the sunshine opposite the pigs in the city farm, out of the annoying wind, and watched the ducks on the river as I contemplated my place in the world. Yes, it was that kind of day.

Having reached an accommodation with the day, I thought I'd walk on a little further up the valley to see what I might see. Round the corner I discovered a curious structure that turned out to be the Culvert Bandstand. I wondered how many unforgettable performances had taken place there without my ever knowing of its existence. None in recent times by the look of it.

The Bandstand may be a bit lacklustre but its situation is striking, set as it is in the valley below the soaring arches of Byker Bridge, the Victorian Ouseburn Viaduct and the more recent Byker Viaduct

As I left the Bandstand I was struck by a piece of graffiti that stood out amongst the inevitable gaggle of tags and crude colourings. Short and to point, without being specific, it seems to sum up what a lot of us are probably thinking every day of this year.

I figured it was time to go back, maybe find the others at the Cycle Hub and perhaps have a coffee. But no luck. Shortly before the Hub I passed Bethan, who said "Hi, they're all Down There", nodding back at the marina. If that were the case, her Down There was not the Down There I looked about. 

Feeling tired after my unaccustomed walk, I headed back to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, pausing only to admire, not for the first time and I'm sure, not for the last, the wonderful view up the River Tyne to Newcastle and Gateshead, nestled in the Tyne Gorge and linked by a series of splendid bridges..

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Nine Doors and Walls


Nine Doors and Walls

Using an app, I've put together the nine paintings in the Textures Series, all mixed media on board, 12x12 in (or 30x30 cm).

I'm so pleased with the look of this arrangement that I'll be uploading the image to my Greetings Card collection.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Iron Box


Iron Box
(Mixed media on board, 12x12 in)

A painting laid aside some months ago when it went dead on me. Revived a day or two ago by adding layers of paint and paper collage, I'm much happier with it. I'll add it to my website and to my greetings card collection.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Secure Fastenings


Secure Fastenings
(mixed media on board, 12x12 in)

I felt I knew where I was going at the beginning of the year but somehow got lost along the way. In attempt to get back in the groove I began a new textured piece, laying down a base of torn paper and paint.

From there I began to layer with more paint and added texture with acrylic gel and some pieces of card, before going on to the final resolved work shown at the top of the post, including patterned paper and more textured paint.

Monday, 24 August 2020



One of the effects of working with collage, is that my studio is starting to resemble my desk. My mind is in a similar condition, so I need to spend time this week tidying up all three.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Big Green Tote Bag

Big Green Tote Bag
(Acrylic on board, 8x8 in.)

I went off the boil last week, so finishing off this little painting started last year will hopefully get me going again. Oh to be abroad again!

Available under the Artists Support Pledge scheme for £80, including postage in the UK. Leave a comment or message me if interested.


Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Bouquet for Kathleen

Bouquet for Kathleen
(mixed media on board, 8x6 in)

A little birthday present I made for a friend as a surprise. Now she has it, I can show it. I’d like to be able to thank the photographer who took the photo on which it’s based (I know she’s on Instagram) but I’ve lost her name.


Monday, 20 July 2020

Mondaymonday : Turret near the Maze


Turret near the Maze
(Markers in 21x26 cm sketchbook)

Another fine day with Mondaymondaysketchers in Saltwell Park. That's a very busy corner and people came by quite often, not always respecting social distancing. My drawing was inspected by a woman and her grandson and not found wanting. Her grandson, of course, is a very good artist.

Monday, 13 July 2020

"Frying Pan"


"Frying Pan"
(markers in 21x26 cm sketchbook)

After such a long time in Covid-19 Lockdown, it was good to answer the call from Colin and get together with the Mondaymonday Sketchers in Saltwell Park today. I settled on some of the mock fortifications of Saltwell Towers and drew one of the turrets that I still think of as "Frying Pans" - what I called them when I was a boy.

Sunday, 12 July 2020


Summer Stripes
(acrylic on hardboard, 30x30 cm)

I started this last year at one Club and finished it this week for a challenge from a different Club. Unframed, it’s available for £200 incl. P&P in the UK. Contact me to buy or ask for more information.

Thursday, 9 July 2020


The Ethnologist
(acrylic on canvas board, 8x8 in)

As an online self-challenge I've produced a new addition to my Major Players imaginary portrait series.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

 Cottage in the Park
(acrylic on card, 10x10 in)

Another Saltwell Park painting, with the gatekeeper’s lodge taking on a fairytale feel.

Friday, 3 July 2020


(acrylic on card, 10x10 in)

I discovered this rocky outcrop on a painting holiday in Bishopdale nearly ten years ago and the collection of rock and tree root shapes has hung around at the back of my mind ever since. Bringing them to life in a painting has been fascinating, as they continued to evolve with the paint.


Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Ruined Chateau


Ruined Chateau
(Mixed media on canvas, 24x12 in)

Week 12 of the Shipley Art Challenge suggested “For this challenge, paint a place you go to, but add detail to imagine how it could look....You could create an imaginary place if you want to.”

This is a place I went to in my imagination. Trying out an idea, I made multiple inkjet prints of something I painted recently (see earlier post), cut them up and reassembled them with another print of a garden in Seville.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Fallen Giant

Fallen Giant (Saltwell Park)
(acrylic on board, 10x19 in)

Completed yesterday, another addition to what’s becoming a Saltwell Park series. This is the big log I drew on Monday, but shows the face that has been chainsawed off.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Big Log

Big Log
(markers in 21 x 26 cm sketchbook)

For the first time in over three months I went for a walk to Saltwell Park today to meet up with the revived Mondaymondaysketchers. It was great to see someone face to face, other than Pat or the woman in Nisa. I was pleasantly surprised to find that although the Park was quite busy with families enjoying the sunshine, they all exercised social distancing, waiting at the beginning of narrow parts of the path while someone passed. Not a mask in sight, but outside in a park, I guess that's not a problem.

Towards the end of the sketching session, a rainy shower hung about a bit more than I liked and rather than sit with the others to eat my non-existent sandwiches, I suggested we cross to the bandstand area where there was shelter and Colin, at least, started to follow. Under the shelter I found I was on my own and when I went back to the Towers, everyone was gone. I suppose when it rains and you've done your drawing for the day, you might as well eat your sandwiches in the car and go home.

This is the fallen giant I drew in my Saltwell Park Sketchbook today. Not the side I'd planned to draw, but someone had taken a chainsaw to that side.

Saltwell Park, Evening

Saltwell Park, Evening
(acrylic on mountboard, 10x10 in.)

The Shipley Art Gallery said: "For this challenge we would like to see artwork of a place that you visit that has changed over time or since you last visited."

In my mind and from my memory, I went to Saltwell Park again and painted this evening scene. Today, I actually went to the park again for the first time in over three months and it didn't look like this.

This painting was based on another of my Second Year Special Project Saltwell Park Sketchbook drawings:

Monday, 15 June 2020

Architectural Doodle

Playing around for an hour tonight with pencil, Indian ink, black and white acrylic and no specific thoughts as to subject matter, except that I didn’t want to end up with a landscape. A4 watercolour paper.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Horchata for Two

Horchata for Two
(Mixed media on board, 9x9 in)

Last year I was enjoying the sun in Valencia. Now I’m stuck indoors watching the rain and painting my memories.

Offered for sale under the Artists Support Pledge scheme, this unframed painting is priced at £90, (incl. P&P in the UK). To buy, or ask for more details, please contact me.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Demonic Doorbell

Demonic Doorbell
(acrylic on box canvas, 8x8 in)

An unusual addition to the textured door series and offered here under the Artist Support Pledge scheme. It's priced at £95 plus P&P. You can buy or get more information by contacting me.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Coffee with Susie and a Wooden Duck

Coffee with Susie and a Wooden Duck
(mixed media on mountboard, 9x9 in)

This week's contribution to the Shipley Art Gallery Art Challenge. The coffee set is by Susie Cooper and the wooden duck is from Argentina.


Monday, 1 June 2020

Antique Knocker

Antique Knocker

(mixed media on 8x8 in. box canvas)

This is a return to my textured door series. If you’d like to buy this painting, it’s available as part of the Artist Support Pledge and can be yours for £95 plus postage. Contact me for more information or to buy.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Attic Urns

Attic Urns
(Acrylic on board, 8x6 in)

Passing swiftly over any jokes about how much an Attic earns, this is another painting offered for sale under the Artist Support Pledge. It’s framed (see image below) and priced at £100, including Postage in the UK. If you’d like to buy it or need more information, please contact me..

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Chilli Peppers

Chilli Peppers 
(acrylic on hardboard, 25x25 cm)

I completed this painting yesterday and am offering it for sale today under the Artist Support Pledge. It’s unframed and discount priced at £155 incl. P&P in the UK. If you’re interested in buying or would like more details please contact me or leave a comment.

Monday, 25 May 2020

In Saltwell Park

In Saltwell Park
(acrylic on mountboard, 25x25 cm)

Shipley Art Gallery’s next Art Challenge, asked us “to paint somewhere close to where you live that you like to visit to relax or exercise.” Fifteen minutes walk away, Saltwell Park is a favourite place and in these Lockdown times is taking on an element of magic in my mind.

In my second year at Newcastle University (1999), I chose as my Special Project, Saltwell Park and partially filled a sketch book with drawings of the Park. None of the paintings I started for that Project came to fruition, so it seemed a good opportunity to take one of those drawings now and finally make something of it. I'd always wanted to make it slightly mysterious and that's the atmosphere I get from this painting.

Friday, 22 May 2020

The Winged Vase

The Winged Vase
(mixed media on board, 9x9 in)

Finished yesterday, this is my contribution to the week's Shipley Art Gallery Challenge. It was painted over an abandoned painting that revealed the pots when turned upside down.

Now offered for sale under the Artist Support Pledge scheme, this unframed painting is priced at £90, (incl. P&P in the UK). To buy, or ask for more details, contact me.

Friday, 15 May 2020


(acrylic on canvas board, 8x8 in)

An addition to my Major Players series. I'm quite pleased with the way this series is developing, even if rather slowly. I think it's likely to grow over time.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Self Portrait with Straw Hat

Self Portrait with Straw Hat
(acrylic on mountboard, 8x8 in)

Week 4 of the Shipley Art Gallery challenge, and we were asked to "create a self-portrait of you in your favourite room wearing your favourite hat or headwear. Make the hat the focus of the work."

When it comes to hats and me, favourites don't come into it, but at least this one hides me a bit.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Coins in a Wooden Box

Coins in a Wooden Box
(mixed media in A5 sketchbook)

After a short layoff, it's Mondaymondaysketchers time again, and the subject was "This turned up". I found a little wooden box my late Uncle Ken made, god knows how many years ago. It was full of coppers, including a 5c piece.
Although I'm usually quite happy to leave my sketches as simple black and white line drawings, I thought this one needed a little colour. Close at hand was a refill bottle of Rotring blue ink, a small bottle of orange dye and a glass jar of rather dried up sticky wood stain. They did the job well enough, I think.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Three Men in a Bar

Three Men in a Bar
(acrylic on canvas board, 8x8 in)

Week 3 of the Shipley Art Gallery's Lockdown Challenge gave us this 19th C painting  and challenged us to "paint your friends, family or neighbour."

Painting, oil on canvas, entitled 'Grandfather's Tale', by the artist E.J. Davis

Grandfather's Tale 
by E J Davis

My painting is based on a photograph of me and a couple of friends at my stag night in 2014. The painting doesn't set out to be three portraits, although some might think they recognise two of the people in it.