Tuesday, April 26, 2011


One of the joys that we as artists experience is getting a chance to exhibit with others and for me, the most exciting one is at Birds in Art held annually at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin, USA. Over the weekend various events are arranged and taking the bus up to Hazelhurst is always special. There at the country house, one is free to relax, swim, walk the grounds or take a boat ride on the lake. Loons are common here (excuse the pun) along with other birds and occasionally one is lucky with the sight of an eagle. The bird in this watercolor is heading across the lake under a somewhat moody sky. I tried to be a little looser in my washes with this work and it seemed to work especially in the water which I'm quite pleased with. Eagle Near Hazelhurst is 5.5" X 10".

Sunday, April 17, 2011


This is another painting in the Grit and Glory exhibition starting this weekend at McBride Gallery. I initially became interested by the light and shadows cast inside this shed by the gap at the top of the door. Also the way that strong abstract shapes were created amongst the tools stacked on the right. The weathered boards inside were quite deep in tone at the top but faded considerably near the floor. I noted an ancient push-mower inside along with a few scythes and other oddments - all fascinating to me with their patinaed finishes suggesting old age and much hard work. The exterior had a well-faded and damaged look that spoke of many hot storm-drenched summers and equally freezing winters - I had a lot of fun painting this one! The Tool Shed is 22" X 15", watercolor on Arches paper.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I did this painting for the up-coming Grit & Glory exhibition that starts this Sunday at McBride Gallery in Annapolis, MD. In this scene I was at first taken by the strong sunlight and how it made interesting shadows on the floor of the barn. The two forward support posts were in part sun - part shade and I saw a recurring theme in the angled forms running from left to right. Later I became interested in the old tarps hanging between two of the support posts on the right so these were carefully painted in taking care not to make them too prominent. The back wall of the barn has all sorts of things including stacked wood and an old ladder etc but I left out some of the junk that was lying about. I tried to get a weather-beaten feel to the scene using drybrush and slowly building up tones with many washes of color. I love scenes like this as they often remind me of my childhood experiences living on a farm in the South of England.
Grit and Glory runs from April 17th to May 8th, so if you are in the area I hope you'll stop by and take a look. The Tractor Barn is 11" X 22".

Thursday, April 7, 2011


A few weeks ago, I was mentioning to Pat in the comments section of this blog about how the painting of the hunting Barn Owl came about. There had been a study completed which was quite a bit different from the finished painting so have decided to post it here. Initially completed in my sketchbook, it was supposed to be the basis for a larger watercolor painting but things didn't go the way that I had hoped. The scene is nearby in the nature reserve where I often go and paint so I know it well and should have been a simple case of creating the painting using this study as I so often do. I'm not quite sure why the final work was so different but it seemed to take on a life of its own. As an artist, I often struggle with this so I am in some ways used to it. I think the lesson here is that creating art is never a formula and one takes from it what one can. I try to do things in a new way as I see them even though I am can be influenced by others. Really all it comes down to is that I want to create my own message and tell things in a way that is important to me - probably why I spend so much time painting plein air. Lakeside study is 7" X 4".