Friday 31 August 2012

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Dutch Style

Pitcher, Grapes and God
Oil on canvas
2ft x 3ft

This still life is in the style of a dutch 17th century still life in subject matter and I've used strong chiaroscuro. However, it is much more painterly than the pictures from this era and I've also included a small hindu statue.

Still Lifes

It started as a study of a bramble branch for a picture featuring undergrowth, but I then decided to add a few other objects to make a still life. I discovered that still life is a great opportunity to explore the abstract qualities of representational painting; to play with composition, colour, lighting and mark making. I also liked the way strange narratives and possible meanings evolved from these arrangements.

Venus and Wasp

African Mask and Hand

Owl and Vice

Sunday 1 July 2012

Temple by a Rock Pool

This painting was partly inspired by an ancient Buddhist temple in a jungle in Cambodia and partly by the waterfalls and pools running through a coastal gorge in Devon. This may seem an unlikely pairing but both places share a similar genius; they are dark, mysterious and sacred.

 Oil on canvas 18"x24"

Thursday 19 April 2012


Cars dumped and decaying in the mountains of northern Spain.

Abandoned Car I
Oil on canvas 12"x16" 2012

Abandoned Car II
Oil on canvas 12"x16" 2012

Abandoned Car III
Oil on canvas 12"x16" 2012

Monday 16 April 2012

Elysian Fields I

This is the finished painting referred to below.

 Bramble Landscape with Shield Bug

Oil on canvas
3ft x 2ft

Wednesday 4 April 2012

More bramble research

Although the painting I'm working on, which features brambles, is nearly finished I still felt I needed to do further observations. This is partly to help me with finishing touches on the current painting, but I'm also looking to the next painting which will use similar subject matter.

This watercolour looks at how light is reflected by and transmitted through leaves. Some light is completely reflected giving very bright highlights, some light is partially absorbed reflecting only green and yellow light, and where the sun light is directly behind the leaf some light (usually a more yellow version of the reflected light) will pass straight through.

light on bramble leaves (watercolour)
These drawings look more at the shape and structure of a bramble bush.

Bramble bush (charcoal)

Bramble bush (pencil)

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Self Portrait

Watercolour, A4.

Chalk Bored

Stan (my son) got bored of playing at drawing and moved onto Playmobil. I picked up his chalkboard not really expecting to achieve great things, but I like the colour and vibrancy of this picture.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Undergrowth and Sky

With this sketch I'm trying to work out a tonal composition for an English version of my painting 'Plain at Dawn' (which was based on the Serengeti). I want the composition to take you from close up detail of undergrowth to a distant horizon, then back to the foreground via a big sky. I then tried out some colours and a few different options with a pastel sketch.

The scene will be a big open space covered with the kind of coarse vegetation found around woodlands and meadows; brambles, rose hips, and a fluffy headed weed with tough stalks. The cloud formation, the plants and animals were all observed around Oxford.

bramble leaves
bramble leaves

The bramble leaves are sort of quilted so I wanted to accentuate this and make them quite sumptuous in the final painting. This provides contrast with their prickly stems and the angular and crunchy shield bug perched on the nearest leaf.

shield bug
shield bug

There is an under current theme of spiky angularity through the painting.

rose hips

This weed has a soft fluffy head that glows when lit from behind and the curled up leaves are fragile and crispy.

Colonies of these plants often grow along side brambles.


Four autumnal trees like this one feature in the back ground.

I hope to finish the painting in the next month or so and will post an image of it then.