Monday, June 1, 2020

New Website for Art work

I am delighted that we now have a brand new website for my paintings and drawings. Please visit me there for more details and information about purchasing my work.

I shall, for the time being, not make any more blog entries here as there is a blog at my new site

I am really grateful to Lucy Maddison who designed and constructed the new site for me. You can contact her at or email

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Studio 17 Group. 2nd Exhibition 23 November 2019

Studio 17 had a great exhibition in December 2018, and this year we are showing a little earlier on November 23rd. We are hoping to see many old friends and many new visitors. Again, around a dozen artists will exhibit, all new work, and all or almost all for sale. The majority of pictures are in oils, but acrylic and mixed media figure this year as well.

Our venue will be St Michaels Centre in Elmwood Road, Chiswick W4 3DZ. The show will be for one day only, and all friends are cordially invited to the Private View from 6pm onwards, but failing that we hope to see you during the day from 10 am.

These are some paintings I will show. If you are unable to come to the showing and are interested in any of these, please contact me directly by email
Storm in Glen Muick, Cairngorms
Acrylic paint on canvas
500 x 400 mm Framed
Chevin Woods above Otley, Yorkshire
Oil on canvas
650 x 900 mm Framed
Insomnia Defeated
Acrylic and oil on canvas
400 x 400 mm Framed
£280 SOLD
Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk
Oil on canvas
500 x 400 mm Framed
Mt Arena, Fuerteventura
Oil on canvas
400 x 400 mm Framed
£280 SOLD
Fuerteventura towards Lanzarote
Oil on canvas
460 x 610 mm Framed
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Oil on canvas
650 x 900 mm Framed
Baelo Claudia (IV)
Oil on canvas
500 x 400 mm Framed

Monday, May 27, 2019

Catch the phosphenes

Even when our eyes are closed, and even when it is dark, we see, or appear to see, spots and shapes of light. These are mostly white, although they can seem to be coloured. In my case they are often a dull purple or silvery-orange. But really the colours defy a proper description. The shapes themselves are unstable, they vary and fade, morph into others and float around. Talking to friends, it’s reassuring to know we all see these lights – they are known as phosphenes. These also make up after-images, but if you keep your eyes closed for a few minutes, the after-images disappear and these amorphous phosphenes appear.

Here are five small sketches, based on some of my phosphenes. To make a picture, I sit with my eyes firmly closed and with a pencil or a pen draw lines and shapes on paper that correspond as nearly as I can make them to the floating images I see with my eyes shut. I use my fingers on the page to roughly keep the image in bounds. The square ones here are 11 x 11 cm, the other is A4 size.

A drawing takes perhaps only 10 to 15 minutes, and although a short time, I find it surprisingly energy-consuming in its heavy concentration. Afterwards, I use the line drawing as a basis for what you see here. Not much more is to be done, but I fill in some spaces with dark pencil, sometimes a bit of shading. Or I add a wash of watercolour.

Phosphene I
11 x 11 cm
Phosphene II
11 x 11 cm

Phosphene III
Ink + watercolour
Phosphene IV
11 x 11 cm
Phosphene V
11 x 11cm 

These drawings are not meant to be anything other than a catching of floating lights in the eyes.

You might say these are nothing but scribbles and squiggles, even the type of doodles you might make during an enforced session in a conference chamber. Having had my share of experience of the latter, I can tell you these, at least for me, are very different.

Why not try it yourself?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Aldeburgh and the parcel pen

Aldeburgh lies on the great shingle beach of the coast of Suffolk. This is a great and mysterious place to walk and enjoy the North sea and the open skies. The weather can change rapidly and in this picture I have tried to capture the wildness of a March day when rain was threatening continuously, when the winds blew cold and bent plants growing among the shingle and blew us along towards Thorpeness.

Towards Aldeburgh
Watercolour and ink
285mm x 195mm
Mounted and framed £55

This is a view back towards Aldeburgh which I drew and painted shortly afterwards, mostly from memory. This is a watercolour with indian ink applied liberally with a lovely old parcel pen. It was used originally to write on parcels (obviously) with that pervasively odorous black ink rarely found nowadays. The pen is a blunt weapon which I felt perfect for the heavy skies and windy beach.

Audascript Parcels Pen
E Wolff & Sons Patent

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Waterloo Bridge, Doubtful Sound, Fuerteventura and Woolacombe: New Paintings

Waterloo Bridge

One of London's river bridges that links the South Bank to The Aldwych as seen from one of the balconies of the Royal Festival Hall. It was a cold grey day when I was there making some hasty sketches and taking photographs. This is one take on the river and the bridge. I worked close by for several years, so this place has a personal memory for me. I read somewhere that this particular incarnation of the Waterloo Bridge was built and completed during WW2, and that the labour force was largely women, and as a consequence it is affectionately know as the Women's Bridge.

Waterloo Bridge from the Festival Hall
Oil on canvas
60 x 45 cm
Doubtful Sound

There is a wonderful fjord in the South Island of New Zealand where Captain Cooke is reputed to have observed from the sea that he would probably never be able to get out if he entered it, so he sailed on by. We visited (from the land side) on a damp moody day, which turned into bright sunshine while we were there. The sides are awesomely steep, scared by so called tree slides and decorated by precipitous streamS and waterfalls after the morning rain. A wonderful subject to paint, and although this is not the view Cooke would have had, I have tried to capture is serenity and depth.

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Oli on canvas
65 x 90 cm
And here are two small watercolour sketches of the alps in the South Island. The terrain is boundlessly exciting and I can't imagine ever tiring of drawing and painting it.

Terminal moraine on the Fanz Josef glacier
Watercolour on paper

The Southern Alps
Just down the road from the end of Franz Josef
Watercolour on paper


From a high peak, a sheltered mirador gave a fine view across the island to distant Lanzarote. Once covered in trees, now gone, this is a barren island where farmers have to work hard to make a living. The whole landscape has a dusting of sand and looks like the wilderness in the middle east. In fact the sand in Canaries has been blown there from the Sahara: this is Africa, but away from the continent.

Fuerteventura: from the mirador
Oil on canvas
45 x 60 cm
Woolacombe, North Devon

One of my favourite coast lines, Woolacombe itself has a beach almost 2 miles long, and to its north there is a series of small coves, and this is one of them. Visiting last week, the sea was wild and the wind howled from the great storm that had made landfall in the south west. During a moment of rare sunshine and no rain, we watched the water boil and loose its strength on the rocks, but there were massive amounts of spume flying around, created from seaweed mashed and destroyed by the heaving seas. No surfing for anybody during the week.

Wild sea at Woolacombe, Devon
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 cm

Thursday, January 3, 2019


This year, 2019, our country will leave the EU. Probably. However one voted, whatever one thinks, the situation we find ourselves in at this late hour with no definable deal is a trifle worrying. At the time of the referendum, 23rd June 2016, I painted a series of pictures, using our back room as a metaphor for the country. It is time (I think) to share them.

Room ONE 1973: We were OUT, but the government decided we should be IN
Acrylic paint on paper
Imagining the room as we first joined Europe in January 1973

Room TWO 1975: IN and we're going to stay IN
Acrylic paint, newsprint, wood chips and sand on paper
Here we were in 1975 with the first referendum when the nation decided to stay.
already there are fires burning, while outside we read about ourselves in the press

Room THREE 2016: IN but let's get OUT
Acrylic paint, sand, wood chips, studio dirt on paper
The country votes to leave 23rd June 2016
This jump makes a big splash, but who knows where the water will settle, or if anything will ever be dry again?

Monday, December 17, 2018

A few more watercolours

These are some mounted, unframed watercolour paintings I like and would be happy to see in new homes. If any interest you, send me an email please:

North Devon Beach
253 x 193 mm Mounted

Alum Cliffs & Beach, Isle of Wight
Pencil and watercolour
213 x 155 mm Mounted

Thames at Strand on the Green
225 x 280 mm Mounted

Doubtful Sound
Aotearoa, South Island
255 x 210 mm Mounted

A fragment of Minsmere, Suffolk
270 x185 mm Mounted

Loch Muick, Balmoral, Scotland
215 x 180 mm Mounted

Glen Muick, Balmoral, Scotland
340 x 240 mm Mounted

North from Snowdon, North Wales
290 x 215 mm Mounted

Looking west after the storm
Loch Na Keal, Isle of Mull
325 x 240 mm Mounted

Benagil, Algarve
Aquarelle and pencil
315 x 200 mm Mounted
Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk
320 x 260 mm Mounted