Fun with crayons

I’ve really been enjoying using the neocolor II watersoluble crayons – previously they were part of my ‘touching up’ battery of stuff to deploy at the end of a painting when (OK, it happens) things haven’t gone according to plan.But I have some new work for Somerset ArtWeeks ( an alarmingly short time hence) where I chose them from the beginning for their vibrant, lively look, and they seem to work well with more ‘man-made’ shapes.

The sailing boats were at a local regatta at Durleigh, while the other two were based on architecture at the stunning Wells Cathedral. The large picture I fancifully call ‘Forest of Stone’ because the tall column and slimmer pillars reminded me of a spreading tree.

British Wildlife

I suppose that sort of covers my greetings cards subjects these days – I have done the odd Polar Bear and some Highland cattle (not really usually wild, are they). And sheep and ponies – do they count? I have tried to add a new specimen annually as a Christmas card. So this year, having dallied a while with otters I finally settled on badgers and I will have the cards at my Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios 2019 exhibition (number 22).badgers - 18 14 001 resized

Last Christmas I branched out into coasters, although getting the subjects to form a nice square was challenging!

2019 (1)creative christmas 2

And here’s an otter anyway! Cute – but not Christmassy?P1070228 otter square

Somerset Open Studios 2016

It’s not Somerset Arts Weeks now, it’s Somerset Open Studios. If you click on that title at the top of the website you’ll get a selection of the new work I’m showing, under the headings ‘Winter and Spring’ and ‘Summer’, for reasons which I hope will be obvious!

I’m very happy  to say that I’ve been so lackadaisical about keeping the website up to date that I’ve already sold Four pictures!

Somerset Art Weeks 2016

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and don’t ask me where the rest of it has gone. I had a great time with my canine visitor Carson, and it proved very creative, what with having to get up and out early, with camera, sketch pad and dog treats. But translating the experiences into actual pictures took time. Although I managed to continue to chronicle Carson’s adventures on facebook, not much of it made it onto WordPress.

I have a bit of an idea to get it all into a book, but with drawings rather than photos and I haven’t really had time to develop a drawn doggy character – except this one:  002

Still my local summer views certainly carry on well thematically from the earlier ones. The tracks and fields were in full summer glory and are on a new page in the gallery.

I’m putting some of my favorites here though:p1040066-croppedp1040086-croppedp1040092-croppedp1040106-cropped


I had a different challenge of getting more cards organised, including a new Christmas image, and this is the result:p1040112-cropped

Crickey – that’s the rest of the year anticipated!





The home straight

Well -that’s what it feel like, opening up the gallery for the Wednesday to Sunday finish to Somerset Arts Weeks 2015. Got a bit og a sense of deja vu, or rather deja ecrit as I’ve written this post once then lost it. I was trying to be clever, boasting that one of the things I’d occupied myself with in quiet times, and stuck with a laptop for company, was to open an Etsy shop. Then I tried to put in a link, thus: Well, maybe that’s worked but I’m not risking it yet!

Other things I’ve done include updating my exhibition email list – tedious, there must be an easier way to do that – and buy shoes: that went well!

So back to SAW 2015: card sales have gone well. This is the 2015 Christmas card:Christmas 2015 version 2 cropped

This is a herdwick sheep, native of the Lake District. I love their teddy-bear faces, as if they’ve been embroidered!

I also busied myself with producing a drawing for the November issue of the Parish Magazine, mindful of the upcoming interest in the Staring activitis in these parts:

Room at the top: starlings on a pylon at Othery

Room at the top: starlings on a pylon at Othery

Within these five walls

…as I sit in my gallery for the Somerset Arts Weeks 2015 exhibition. The shape of the room and the different areas of paintings gives me at least five areas of work. As they’re in different media and styles they sometimes need to be kept well apart from each other.

Then there is the work of my colleague and friend Sheila Jones though on the whole her silk paintings harmonize pretty well  with my work.

So here I am surrounded by my ‘stuff’:

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

The ‘Field and Moor’ series has more then usually vibrant colours that sit happily with Sheila’s butterfly wing designs:

colourscape: scarves and pictures

colourscape: scarves and pictures

Even bolder, and definitely corralled on another wall are two collages and mixed media flower pictures: Holly hocks and Poppies, plus a painting of Sweet peas:

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Sandwiched between  the two bright painting walls comes a restrained black and white collection, drawings made in Troutbeck, near Ambleside, in the Lake District:

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

Just a couple of walls to go: new work from ‘just around the corner’: barns at Spring Farm, and Swans and Pollarded Willows down on the Somerset levels:

Ferguson Tractor - 'Hidden Trasure' in the barn, assorted barns

Ferguson Tractor – ‘Hidden Trasure’ in the barn, assorted barns

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

And that’s it: walled in. Quite enjoyably, actually!




Can it really be that time of year again?

As in, Somerset Art Weeks 2015, with less than a week to go! Emerging from Estivation – that means I’ve spent most of the summer slumbering, from an artistic perspective anyway – I survey the work I’ve managed to achieve. I discover that I seem to have started the year reasonably productively, with paintings of subjects observed ‘on the doorstep’ or ‘just around the corner’, several completed ‘en plein air’ in fact.

Later, following weeks where mainly I visited hospitals, we managed a couple of weeks in gorgeous Troutbeck, in the Lake district, and I got a fair bit of drawing done. There is a convenient seat just outside the cottage where we stay, and I accidentally produced a panorama – or even Triptych! – without setting out to. I just sort of looked in different directions and drew.

Whether or not I can get them in the correct sequence here remains to be seen:

By the post-box, Troutbeck 1 resized By the post-box Troutbeck 2 resized By the post-box Troutbeck 3 resized

Hmm….In the right order, but vertical rather than horizontal!

They’re being framed along with some others. And if no-one from Somerset wants to acquire them, they will grace the wall of our daughter’s holiday cottage in Troutbeck, where they will at least have the advantage of representing extremely local scenes!

Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – some pictures on the blog!

I’ve been creating a new page which I’ve called ‘Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection’ as distinct from the Gallery page of previous paintings and drawings.

So far I’ve identified four themes I say ‘indentfied’ as if I’m making this fascinating study of someone else’s work, but the thing is, I get inspired by a subject, which usually leads me on to another one (often before I’ve got very far with the original one). Then, bingo, you look over the assembled stuff and you see how they group themselves together.

So far I have: field and meadow; house in the woods, animals and buildings. The titles are getting less poetic! Anyway they are to be found listed under the words Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection on the black header bar.

Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – don’t panic!

Yes, it’s that headless chicken stage when you wonder what on earth you’ve been doing (or not doing) all year to have produced too little, too late – and is what you have done really worth hanging anyway?

Somerset Art Weeks start in under a month!!

I get my paintings out, chuck out the terrible ones, admire the best ones, then start looking at the big middling group. Then I find sketches I meant to work on, ideas I meant to develop, think of several new possibilities everyday. And all the while the long-suffering framer wants to know when Im going to STOP!

A walk on the Quantocks a few weeks ago generated a couple of pictures that were nowhere on my list of projects: we came across a group of Exmoor ponies when I actually had sketchbook and camera. ‘Summer ponies’ was the result:DSCF6089 cropped and resized


And then I used a different range of colours to produce ‘Winter ponies’ in a swiftly done picture which sort of painted itself:

DSCF6033 cropped and resized


It’s great when that happens – and it’s also given me this year’s Christmas card.

Exmoor ponies are famous for their ‘mealy muzzle’, a paler area, and the same around the eyes.

More later on my SAW collection…