Thursday, 21 September 2017

My studio

I have a small studio which means I must keep it in order. in any case I am by nature a tidy person and I like to have everything available and in the right place when I am painting, whether in the studio or outside.

I have three studio easels, one Jullian easel for painting outdoors and two pochade boxes which are a light outdoor paint box and easel. Plus a sketching easel and display easels. Sounds a lot, come to think of it is. They all fulfill different functions. An outdoor easel needs to be light and portable a studio easel can be solid and heavy.

Anyway I am missing out the most important part a studio needs good light and I am lucky to have good daylight throughout most of the day.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Watercolour of Brecon Deanery

I was flicking through some images and I saw this one. It reminded me of the time Alex and Iwere royally entertained by the then Dean of Brecon Geoffrey Marshall and his lovely wife Hazel who put on a huge spread. As a thank you I did this little watercolour sketch for them of the Deanery.

They are a delightful couple and were excellent hosts. Also present I recall was Father Richard Williams of Hay on Wye a real character who takes services with his dog (some sort of Large poodle) present. It was a very informative and entertaining afternoon and we didn't refer to religion once!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Boat scene in the Med

When undertaking a painting that it intended for sale I always consider who might buy it. It is generally not sufficient to produce a good painting it has to mean something to the buyer.

Take the painting above . I rarely do a full painting that is other than for the West Wales or Welsh Market because that's where I work and sell. I go around the country and Europe seeing wonderful subjects but I know for the most part they are only likely to sell in that area or to someone who has a connection to it. I always take my sketch book and pass the time sketching but I hardly ever turn them into a full painting.

I did the painting of boats in a boatyard on Corfu because it appealled to me. It is not likely to sell but I am happy to keep it myself. I did it in a fluid style that I thought suited the subject.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Bats at Dinefwr

Last night we went to Dinefwr (hence the painting above which is sold). We, of all things went for a bat walk! It was great. We had a talk on bats, not too deep and then a very pleasant walk in the duskdown to the mill pond to watch the bats emerging. We were provided with bat detectors that listen in and were provided with a spectacle of bats feeding off the midges and insects from the pond.

Yes a pleasant evening walk and the rain kept away untl the very end.

My website is now back on line but needs a bit of tweeking which I can do at my leasure.

Friday, 8 September 2017


I have decided that after 15 years my old website had to go. I had set it up using  old (even at that time ) Namo web editor software. I have had to keep an old computer just to update it as the software is not compatible with anything after windows xp. Sounds like I know what I am talking about, don't be fooled.
Anyway I have had increasing problems uploading and updating so it has been trashed. I am starting on a new one but am having trouble transferring my domain name (its a mystery).

It will all work out in the end, and if not well whatever. The blog is unaffected.

So today I may be playing (torturing) the piano, finishing the garden for winter or sorting out my studio which is in more of a mess than I would like. I will not be sat in front of a computer!

Oh the painting above is an old one of sunset over Brechfa and is sold.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Country cottage

The above painting was a commission of a cottage, family home situated on a quiet country road. Doing a painting like this really requires a bit of detail for the customer as they know their own home intimately and putting a window in slightly the wrong place etc would likely be irritating or worse to the recipient.

Anyway I have always been happy to spend a bit of time getting things right on this type of subject whereas I am more concerned with the overall effect in an impressionistic landscape painted en plein air.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Rain and Jam

Its been a bit wet lately not that affects Jac he pretty much always goes for a swim and for me it just means putting on more weatherproof gear. My sister visited the other day and the sketch above shows her walking Jac in the rain.

The nickname for a police patrol car used to be a jam sandwich because of the red reflective stripe around it. 
Jam sandwich has another meaning for me. I have previously mentioned that when I was in the police in the early1970’s I was quite short of funds. Well occasionally I was sent to work in the lock-up in Steelhouse Lane.

The lock-up was the police cellblock for prisoners waiting to go to court. They could be held over a weekend or merely overnight. When I worked outside the City Centre I was occasionally sent to the lock-up to sit with a high-risk prisoner (someone arrested for rape or murder). I was also sent to work there on overtime when they were short of officers.

One of my duties would be to make the prisoners meals and feed them. This is absolutely true, for breakfast they had a choice of a strawberry jam sandwich and a mug of tea or nothing.
For dinner they had the choice of a strawberry jam sandwich and tea or nothing.
For tea they had the choice of a strawberry jam sandwich and a mug of tea or nothing.
I still recall the piles of white sliced bread, tubs of spread and the catering size tins of strawberry jam.(This was of course before human rights legislation arrived with an a la carte menu).

I have to add that I too always joined them and was very grateful for a strawberry jam sandwich for breakfast dinner and tea mind you that also meant it avoided me claiming expenses for a meal!