Sunday 7 April 2024

Coffee Shop Laptop


Coffee Shop Laptop
(Acrylic on canvas board, 8x8 in)

One of the great advantages of a mobile phone is that, if you always carry it with you, you always have a digital camera available. No need to lug around a heavy camera on the off-chance that you might need it. As a consequence, when I stopped for coffee and a sticky bun recently, I was able to photograph a couple of people sitting in a branch of Caffè Nero in Newcastle, and to do so in a surreptitious manner. This is one of them.

It's a simple picture but the composition is one of the classics - a triangle or pyramid - and I like the colour palette I've used. So I find I’m inordinately satisfied with it.


 

Saturday 23 March 2024

Sketch Crawl : Baltic Front Room


Baltic Front Room
(markers in A5 sketchbook)

My first Sketch Crawl (AKA SketchMeet) with the Urban Sketchers Tyne Wear and Tees in something like three years. It took me a while to find the main body of Sketchers because I wasn't aware of the Front Room. When I was last at the Baltic, that space was a restaurant. I think they made the change when they decided to provide a Warm Space for those unable to afford heat for their own homes. Anyway, a good day out, great to catch up with some old friends and put faces to some of the names encountered on the Facebook Group.

As usual, I found the architecture of the Tyne Quays too much for me and after wandering round the Baltic aimlessly, eventually just sat down and drew what was in front of me. Works every time although it's often necessary to ask people not to sit down across the table from you because they'll block the view.

Friday 22 March 2024

Heritage/Glasshouse


Heritage/Glasshouse
(Acrylic on canvas board, 10x12 in)
I think it was the contrast between the old (the monument in front of St Mary's Heritage Centre)and the new (The Glasshouse International Centre for Music) that attracted me to this composition. It took a while to get the painting to this stage, but I’m happy with it now (although the photograph is a little inaccurate in the colour of the grass in the foreground).

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Bridges of Venice


Bridges of Venice
(Acrylic on canvas board, 12x12 in)

I put this composition together a few years ago, constructing it from several photographs taken slightly different viewpoints. As a consequence, I was left with one or two gaps in the image and in addition there were some figures in the foreground obstructing the view of the buildings. At the time I didn't feel able to make the necessary changes that would make the picture work, so I put it to one side.

Recently, the Programme suggestion at Gateshead Art Society was "Bridges" and the time seemed right to give this image a go. Sometimes I forget that a complex composition takes just as much work at this scale as the same subject at three times the size. The picture took a good deal longer than I thought it might and I found that some of the ideas I had to get over the missing parts and elimination of the foreground figures had to be changed several times.

In the end, I think the effort was worth it and I'm pleased with the end product. I hope you do too.


 

Monday 26 February 2024

Laying Cable


 Laying Cable
(acrylic on canvas board, 8 x 8 in)

If you're a painter, are you ever surprised by how your paintings turn out? I know my many interests feed into my work and with this I probably detect the influence of children’s book Illustration. A good deal of this must be to do with the switch to acrylic paint which lends itself to bright clear passages of colour.

Saturday 3 February 2024

WIP - Heritage / Glasshouse

 


WIP - Heritage / Glasshouse
(Acrylic on canvas board, 10x12 in)

A new one started yesterday. I expect the sky will become less apocalyptic as it progresses. The mausoleum is in the grounds of the Gateshead Heritage Centre (AKA St Mary's Church) and sits boldly in front of the modernist Sage Music Centre , recently renamed The Glasshouse. If there are moiré patterns on the image, I apologise - it's an effect of the canvas but will be gone in the finished painting.

Friday 2 February 2024

Kwik Fit


Kwik Fit
(acrylic on canvas board, 12 x 10 in)

So many little changes before I was satisfied, but now I think I am. I wonder if you can tell I’ve become interested in David Inshaw and Tristram Hillier? I love the clarity of their work and acrylic definitely lends itself to that approach.

Friday 12 January 2024

WIP - Kwik Fit

 


WIP
(Acrylic on canvas board, 10x12 in)

Another venture into local urban scenes. I spotted the potential of this garage on a trip to the podiatrist - it's just across the road from his premises. Early days, but I think it'll work.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Top Tape

 


Top Tape

(acrylic on canvas board, 8 x 10 in.)


My first painting of 2024, a modest subject: a derelict shop I came across last year in Cambridge.