Sunday, March 23, 2008


Most of my recent postings have been watercolor paintings so I thought that this time I would show something different. This painting will be part of my solo show at Caulfield Gallery ( The show runs from April 3rd to April 29th with the reception being on the 5th. The gallery is in the historic town of Washington VA, next to The Little Inn in Washington (directions are on the website). While not a very large gallery, it is none the less quite lovely inside and is very professionally designed and run. This will be my second solo show there and I hope you will take the very enjoyable drive through the rolling hills of Virginia to join us at the reception.
Winter Solstice was conceived some time ago while out walking in the reserve nearby. I did a smaller study of the painting then but didn't paint the larger version as I usually do, at least not until now. This is one of my favorite types of winter scenes with bare trees, tawny grasses and an evening sky. I am continually inspired by the strength and color of the evening light contrasting with the darker land mass and have done a number of different variations on this theme. This oil is 14" X 18".

Monday, March 10, 2008


I saw this wonderful scene while in Cairo last year. Days were spent strolling through the hot dusty streets exploring where I could, all perfectly safe. I chanced upon this unusual Mosque one morning and was enthralled. I spent a few hours alone within the central square looking at many different points of view, sketching and photographing. Back in the studio, I first did a smaller study in oil then tackled the larger watercolor. I found this painting difficult to finish and worked on it over the period of a few months (in fact I still feel the need to do something more to it!). Anyway, I was quite pleased with the finished painting and was thrilled to have it accepted into the 32nd Annual Exhibition of Transparent Watercolor hosted by the TWSA. Luckily, this painting was one of only 85 selected for the exhibition from over 900 entries! As the society's title suggests, only transparent watercolor is accepted with not even the slightest inkling of gouache allowed. This suits me fine as this is my preferred method of watercolor painting anyway. The show runs from May 16 to July 28 and is in the Bloomington Art Center, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431. Web sites are: and (Transparent Watercolor Society of America).
Other news is that Barn Window (see Nov 27 post) has been accepted into the Baltimore Watercolor Society's 2008 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition. Slightly better odds here as my painting was one of 100 selected for the exhibition from 428 entries. Still, I feel honored and the show runs from April 27 to May 27 in The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20852. I will be at Strathmore on the 27th and hope to see you there. Since early December, I have had a good run of watercolors but now feel the need to get back to some oils so expect to see some of those next. The size of 'Through the Arches' is 22" X 15".

Monday, March 3, 2008


And finally, the completed painting. You will notice some more work done to the walls as well as a little more texture. The shadows have been brought to completion and of course, the bottle has been finished. I had a choice of a few different colors here as mostly these kind of bottles are shades of pale ochre but this one had a reddish-purple tint that I thought would add a little more color to the scene. Generally, apart from the bottle I only used three colors for the whole painting so I think in this case it seemed a good idea to go with a colour that differed from those. I was pleased with the outcome and have certainly not reached the end of this series. I do have yet another painting planned (only in my head at the moment) that will hopefully bring together the best of two different worlds. The completed watercolor shown here is 22" X 15".

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Almost there now!. I have spent some time working on the walls, adding more texture and creating a little more interest without taking away from the window itself. The light and shadow on the sill is becoming more defined as I sort out this area but realise there is still a little more to do. Most of the time, I have been carefully looking over the painting for areas which need more work and cleaning up some of the highlights. The window panes have been completed with some diffuse greens, yellows and browns worked wet-into-wet to suggest foliage bathed in light. I'm pleased with how this area came out as I managed to add these details without losing the effect of bright sunshine outside the window. Although this photo is a bit blurred, if you click on it, you will get a better idea of what I mean. I'm also happy with the shadows of the bars and how the reflected light is bouncing around the scene. Now what to do about that bottle? After much thought, I decide to give it a go and if it doesn't look right, I should be able to scrub it out and patch up the area. Next, the finished painting.......