Sunday 26 December 2021

A Little Something for Xmas


A Little Something for Xmas 2021
(Acrylic on hardboard, 135x135 mm)

Painted as a surprise present for my lovely wife, Pat.

Saturday 25 December 2021

Merry Xmas 2021!


Beaconsfield Crescent with Snow
(acrylic on board)

Best wishes for a Happy Xmas to all my Reader and a hope that the New Year will show significant improvements over this one.

The painting is the one I chose for my Xmas card and shows the view from our bay window.

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Joiner Photographs


In the course of an online workshop, I found myself doing a bit of joinery today. David Hockney has a lot to answer for.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Frank Briffa

 RIP Frank Briffa

It came as a shock today to learn that my old friend, fellow artist and founder member of the Figure8 art group, died on Tuesday evening. My thoughts are with Anne and their family.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Gallagher & Turner Open Exhibition 2021

 Ouseburn Viaducts
(acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Late for the Match
(acrylic on board, 25x25 cm)

Two of my paintings have been selected for exhibition at Gallagher & Turner Gallery, in Newcastle. The exhibition runs from 26 November to 22 January.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Wansbeck Shed

 Wansbeck Shed
(Acrylic and collage on board, 30x30 cm)

The latest in my series of textured doors and walls took a slightly different direction by using less of a close up of the subject. And the good thing about that is the new ideas it throws up. I do like it when that happens.

Monday 1 November 2021

Gateshead Art Society Annual Exhibition


Six of my paintings (including this one) in this selling exhibition and all for sale. Great Xmas gift ideas!

Wednesday 13 October 2021


 "No. 4"
(acrylic and collage on board, 30x30 cm)

Finished today, another addition to the Textured Door Series. Idea derived entirely from some recycled packaging.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Trulli Houses, Alberobello

 Trulli Houses, Alberobello.
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Another painting capturing holiday memories past, in anticipation of those to come. These dry stone buildings in Southern Italy were fascinating.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Italian Archway


Italian Archway
(acrylic on mountboard, 7x5 in)
(Now SOLD)

I actually did two paintings for the Secret Card Sale at The Old Lock Up Gallery. This is the other which doesn’t appear to have sold, but as the Sale is officially over, I guess I’m OK to post it now. Should you fancy adding it to your art collection , I dare say the gallery would be happy to take your £15 even now. All money goes to the gallery. I’d just be happy to see the picture go to a good home.

Saturday 11 September 2021

Cretan Archway


Cretan Archway
(Acrylic on mountboard, 5x7 in.)

Here’s a little painting I did recently for the Secret Card Sale at The Old Lockup Gallery but couldn’t post before. Now it’s sold, I guess it’s OK to post - a snip at £15.

Wednesday 8 September 2021


(0.5 marker in small square sketchbook)

It feels like I've done very little drawing this year, so on a family visit, I made a little time to do a little drawing.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Village in the Valley


Village in the Valley
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Another in my series of Majorca landscapes, a little gentler in colour terms.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Majorcan Landscape


Majorcan Landscape
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm).

Third in what is becoming a series of paintings of Majorca.

Sunday 15 August 2021

The Tree in the Fork


The Tree in the Fork
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)
Back from my short break catching up with family in real life rather than on a screen, I finished this hot summery painting.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Corner Garden, Majorca

 Corner Garden
(acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Finished yesterday, I think this painting represents for me a search through memories of holidays past at a time when another trip abroad seems far off.

The view is based on a photograph I took in Alcudia on the island of Majorca in September 2008. The weather was a bit mixed and Alcudia is not at all colourful, but as always, I enjoyed my time abroad, so as the painting developed, my memory and imagination heightened the colour.

Thursday 29 July 2021

New Town Washing

New Town Washing
(Acrylic on canvas board, 25x30 cm)

It might look like I’ve not been working of late, but in fact I was painting two small pictures for a charity event. Because that event will be a blind sale, I can’t show the pictures here yet. However, to keep up momentum, I took another look at this painting I started quite some time ago and now it’s finished. Hanging out washing in Edinburgh’s New Town is a tricky business.

Friday 9 July 2021

Still Life with Pots and Spoon

 Still Life with Pots and Spoon
(Collage and acrylic on watercolour paper, 12x12 in)

Some playing around with card shapes left over from my recent “Door” painting turned them into this still life.

Saturday 3 July 2021

Untitled (Door)


Untitled (Door)
(Recycled materials and acrylic on board, 30x30 cm)

About a week ago I covered a panel with torn drinks packaging, advertising flyers and cardboard (see below) and set out to see what I might make of it. This is today’s result - another addition to my Textured Doors and Walls Series.

Monday 21 June 2021

Ouseburn Viaducts

 Ouseburn Viaducts
(Acrylic on canvas panel, 30x30 cm)

I slumped a little last week after my paintings of Staithes were rejected from a national exhibition I'd had real hopes of. I then had to scrub out several days work on a painting that I realised simply wasn’t going to work.

What do you do when that happens? You start painting again, of course, and if you’re lucky, a giraffe turns up.

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Butterfly Vase

 Butterfly Vase
(Acrylic and collage on watercolour paper, 12x12 in)

Following another online prompt from Este MacLeod, I made the butterfly and then had to find something to do with it! It became quite a struggle.

I made the butterfly by simply folding paper over some paint and ink. After I'd cut it out, I stuck it to a sheet of watercolour paper and made everything else up. The red-brown vase is another piece of watercolour paper I used to clean my palette. The green leaves I found online.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Snails on a Cloth


Snails on a Cloth
(Acrylic on paper, 20 x 18.5 cm)

Something to distract me from pictures of Staithes, this resulted from an online prompt from Este MacLeod. Maybe there should have been some ladders too?

Thursday 27 May 2021

Staithes IV


Staithes IV
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

I'd planned on doing only three in this series, but on a whim, decided to try at least one more. Then, having started it, I found myself at the stage of thinking "Why did I decide to do that?" but I could see a way through and this is the result.

I’m interested to find that each of my views of Staithes brings out a slightly different approach, while there’s an overall look that unifies them.

Saturday 22 May 2021

Staithes III


Staithes III
(Acrylic on canvas, 16x12 in)

Finished the third of my Staithes paintings today.

Monday 17 May 2021

Untitled (Blue Strap)


Untitled (“Blue Strap”)
(Mixed media on board, 12x12 in)

The latest in my series of textured paintings of doors and walls. In making this, I learned a lesson in using different blues, ultramarine, cobalt and phthalo blue (green shade).

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Staithes II


Staithes II
(Acrylic on linen, 30x30 cm)

Completed in parallel with the previous painting, Staithes I, so again almost a month in the making. Again I’m pleased with the outcome, especially as it doesn’t look like the painting I thought it would be. Always a bonus.

Staithes I

 Staithes I
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Almost a month in the making. That’s something I’ve not been accustomed to in recent times, and I’m not sure why it happened. Nevertheless, I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Mondaymonday : Saltwell Towers Garden


Saltwell Towers Garden
(markers in 21 x 26 cm sketchbook)

Because of the Lockdown, it's over a year since I was last out sketching with the Mondaymondaysketchers, so it was nice to return to Saltwell Park on Monday and meet up with them again. 

They'd settled down at a picnic table on the lawn opposite the Towers which didn't suit what I wanted to do, so after catching up, I wandered off to the little secluded garden by the side of the Towers. Taking a chance on seeing something interesting, I sat on a bench, opened my Saltwell Park Sketchbook, and looked around.

And this view caught my attention. It presented difficulties, in that I needed to find different marks for the various foliage - not something I'm well versed in - but I'm happy enough with what I achieved.

Saturday 17 April 2021

Another Short Walk in the Ouseburn Valley

A beautiful day on the Tyne today, with wispy white clouds high above in the bright blue sky. At last a day out with the Urban Sketchers Tyne and Wear after months of Lockdown! Last year, as my Regular Reader may remember, I attempted to meet up with the other Urban Sketchers to get some drawing done in the Ouseburn Valley. As luck would have it, I didn't manage to meet any of them and got no drawing done.

This time was better. On arrival at The Cycle Hub, I found Richard on the cafe terrace, drawing Mark who was sitting in front of him apparently drawing the Blue Circle Cement factory across the river. 

After a bit of catching up, I figured I should make an effort to first of all find some of the others and maybe try to overcome what I recognised as the growing inertia that would probably stop me from even opening my sketch book. So, next stop: Allan, who'd already done a very nice drawing of some railings and was just started on another. After catching up with him, I felt guilty about stopping him from getting on with his new drawing, so I moved on up the burn, making a detour up some steps into a little area of commercial units. I was really taken with the colours and ridged metal walls of the units and I can see me making paintings of these fairly soon.

Coming out of the commercial unit area, I found I was on a grassy bank above the path that runs by the burn, and sitting on the grass, his back up against a convenient tree, was Andy, working away at a sketch of a boat on the water, with some of the run down buildings on the opposite bank. Cue : Catching Up.

And so, onwards upstream to my favourite musing bench, opposite the Ouseburn Farm with the wonderful Byker Viaducts in the background, where I sat for a short while listening to the ducks and the running water.

Were I in a properly-established sketching regime, I'd probably have just opened my sketchbook and started on this interesting subject, but it's a complicated thing and I wasn't ready for it. Up again then and I headed up to the area below some of the concrete supports of the Metro Viaduct. 

I knew there was a couple of stone slabs there that might provide a seat while I drew something simple like those concrete supports and when I rounded the corner, I spotted someone already sitting there who I thought at first might be one the sketchers I've not yet met. I smiled at him. He didn't smile back. It took me a moment or two to realise that the paper in his hand wasn't a sketchbook but possibly a bunch of betting slips and the bottle of Hobgoblin by his side, coupled with his continued stare, suggested that he might prefer to be left alone.

I turned away as if distracted by my phone beeping, then crossed the path to busy myself with a photo of some sheep grazing under the concrete supports I'd intended to draw. Kevin, who had indeed just made my phone beep, suddenly appeared round the bend in the path and it was time to wander back downstream.

What was left of the day? Only the chance to lean over the railings and photograph a swan sleeping on its not very elaborate nest on the muddy banks of the Ouseburn, and a brief goodbye to those still sketching at The Cycle Hub.

 Kevin and I tried to get a pint on the Quayside, but the pubs were either heaving with thirsty Geordies or set up for table bookings, so no luck there. 

Nonetheless, I great way to spend a few hours away from home and hey! rediscover the art of talking to people after this traumatic year.


Friday 16 April 2021

Staithes Beginnings

Staithes I
(acrylic on canvas, 16x12 in)

Staithes II
(acrylic on linen, 30x30 cm)

Staithes III
(acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

When I worked with oils, I always had several pictures on the go to allow for drying. Acrylics obviated that, but I decided at the beginning of the week I’d make an effort to work again on several pictures together. And here they are, with none of them finished.

And having said, "none of them finished" on various social media sites, I received, as I knew I would, several pleas to leave them as they are because they are finished in others' eyes.

I take these comments very seriously and thought long and hard about how to proceed (or not proceed).

I started these current pictures slightly differently from my more recent pictures, using a technique akin to an old technique I used to use when I had access to an office photocopier that gave me very contrasty black and white copies. The result has surprised me and I too like the way they are at the moment, but I can't help feeling that if the current state had been what I intended, they'd have been better because there are elements that look clumsy to the always careful me. 

So, I'll probably press on with what I originally intended and see where that gets me.

However, when I started this week of multiple images, I also intended to use the same imagery with different approaches (collage, mediums, etc). As I now have photographs of these paintings as they are at the moment, I think I'll use the photographs and see how I might develop from those. I hope all of this makes some sense. Do let me know if not.


Saturday 10 April 2021

Still Life in a Cupboard

 Still Life in a Cupboard

(Acrylic and collage on board, 8x8 in)

A competition set for members by the North of England Art Club, helped me get out of a week of Empty Brain Syndrome. They asked for paintings on the theme of The Things in My Cupboard and I spent a happy hour or so assembling various objects inside an imaginary Photoshop cupboard.

When it came to start painting, I found myself doubting that the rough assemblage would work as a painting, but as is often the case, things can be made to work once you get going. In the end I rather enjoyed working on it, especially once I'd found a suitable collage piece for the orange jug to replace the pattern on the original.

It’s available for sale at £85, by the way, including P&P in the UK. Contact me through my website (see Sidebar) if you're interested.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Wok and Chair


Wok and Chair
(acrylic on board, 10 x 10 in)

Last week's challenge for Gateshead Art Society members was “Chairs or Chimneys”. My previous post showed how I tackled "Chimneys".

This week, old wok 'n chair’s got me (If I didn’t say it, one of you would, assuming you're familiar with the Hoagy Carmichael classic).

Friday 19 March 2021

Staithes Chimneys

Staithes Chimneys
(acrylic on mountboard, 10x10 in)

The current challenge from Gateshead Art Society is to make a painting on the subject of Chairs or Chimneys. I decided I'd have a go at translating this sketchbook drawing from 2012.

As I worked, I was reminded how much I hate green, especially when set against red/orange, but I wrestled it to a satisfactory conclusion, I think.

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Chinese Bottle

 Chinese Bottle
(Acrylic on board, 8x8 in)

Last week’s failed Whitby Harbour boat finally resolved into a still life. You've heard of a boat in a bottle, right? Here's a bottle out of a boat.

Friday 5 March 2021

On the Rocks


This week’s plan to paint a boat in Whitby harbour foundered on the rocks. After gessoing with grey gesso and some scraping down, a new still life is crawling from the wreckage.

Friday 26 February 2021

Daisies in an Alfajar


Daisies in an Alfajar
(Acrylic on mountboard, 20x20 cm)

A follow on from last week’s still life painting, this uses a lovely little jar I bought in Malaga a couple of years ago. "Alfajar" is the brand name. If you're ever in Malaga, do look up the shop - it's well worth a visit.

Thursday 25 February 2021



(Acrylic on mountboard, 7x5 in)

This is a little painting I did recently for a friend’s birthday but had to keep secret until today. More than anything, I found the lettering the most challenging, but even the light within the bottle was difficult with acrylic paint. As well as this, photographing layers of acrylic paint is difficult, in that some layers are much more transparent through a digital lens than they seem to the eye.

Saturday 20 February 2021

Anemones in a Bayeux Jar


Anemones in a Bayeux Jar
(Acrylic on mountboard, 20x20 cm)

I find using acrylic on such small format boards and canvases, lends itself to these still life paintings. although I don't find it easy to find interesting vases or the bunches of flowers to go in them. This little jar is based on one I bought on a trip to Normandy many years ago, although the shape has been quite radically simplified.

This little still life took all week because of umpteen tonal adjustments: change one bit, another needs work. So it goes. I’m happy with the result, but if I want to continue the theme I'll have to hunt for a new vase or jar.

Friday 5 February 2021

Paintings Sold


Blue Door
(Mixed media on board, 30x30 cm)

In Saltwell Park
(acrylic on board, 20x20 cm)

Two paintings sold and on their way to their new home in Gloucester.