I love bridges. I think they're extremely beautiful. Especially if they are a good traditional arched structure. There is something very perfect about an arched bridge spanning a river, or a valley. And I'm not alone. Some of the famous bridges of the world have been the mainstay of photographers and artists for years. Like … Continue reading Bridges
The year I turned 16, a film was released which I didn't see at the time, and I'm not sure I have ever watched in its entirety. The year I was sixteen (sweet sixteen and never been kissed, but that's another story) my mother died, and I probably had other things on my mind. In … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1986 – Spacecamp
I hope those of you who read my blog on all things artistic and musical find it insightful and interesting (at least on the odd occasion!) I never thought I'd enjoy writing a blog as much as I do. It's not always clear when I start an entry what it will be about - I … Continue reading News! Read All About It!
They say that size doesn't matter. But I have to disagree, to a certain extent. When an artist creates a new piece of artwork, one of the first things they will need to think about is how large the piece is going to be. This of course is decided partly by what the work is … Continue reading Small is Beautiful
"What on earth is that?" I hear you ask. Well, it's something I've only ever tried once, but I'm going to start using again. It's all about laying a base coat on a canvas, often over the original drawing marks. Many artists use brown, others use orange. I suppose it's about using a colour which … Continue reading Imprimatura
I'm always learning as an artist. One thing I'm learning at the moment which I thought I'd share with you is about where to start laying your colours down on a canvas. You see, when I first started painting on canvas with acrylics a few years ago, I treated them very much like watercolours, where … Continue reading Hints and Tips on Painting Trees
I want to share with you some of the things that happen in the creation of new artwork. Stage 1 Firstly, I have to decide what exactly I am going to commit to paper or canvas. And that is not as easy as it sounds. I take huge numbers of photographs, and so the first thing … Continue reading The Process of a Painting
Most of us, I am sure, have at some point or another looked up at the clouds and imagined the animals we can see in their shapes. This has got a name. It's called pareidolia. Can you see the two cats fighting below? Or is that just me? I don't know about you, but I … Continue reading Clouds
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. -Leonardo da Vinci
Sharing this from a blog I follow. Isn't it wonderful? Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.All things break. And all things can be mended.Not with time, as they say, but with intention.So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you. ~ L.R. Knost
When I was a young artist, I greatly admired the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They were a group of young idealistic Victorians who painted art to educate and improve their peers. They looked back to a time in Art History when, it seemed to them, art had been about improving the morality of its … Continue reading Hidden in Plain Sight
I've been doing some online training this week with a rather wonderful French lady called Gavriella. It's all been about how to attract customers as an artist. It's most definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! You see, as an artist, I have one major weakness. I'm British, and we British don't like to … Continue reading Out of the Comfort Zone
I thought I'd share 5 fun facts about me today: 1. I never have a cup of coffee near when I'm painting. Artists will understand! Ask me if you want to know why. 2. I have these ridiculous glasses (basically magnifying glasses attached to a head clamp) which I wear when doing really detailed work. … Continue reading Fun Facts About Me as an Artist
I'm sure all creatives, people who try to make a living from their creations, suffer this at some point. And it's not, by the way, confined to writers. I've been fighting with a new song all day, and it still isn't playing ball. My ideas sound hackneyed, flat. And that's just to me. I wouldn't … Continue reading Writer’s Block
Well, it's that time of year again - I start thinking about Christmas and the New Year. It may seem ridiculously early, but for those of us who are in the business of designing cards and calendars, our work began some time ago. So I have my beautiful A3 sized wall-hanging Calendars for sale on … Continue reading A3 Calendars
Apparently most of the UK population have put on an average of half a stone on over lockdown. That's certainly true of me, and I'm working doubly hard to try to lose it again. But like the old meme says - "I keep losing weight, but it keeps finding me again". But if I'm honest, … Continue reading The Art of Putting Weight On
I took a risk at Easter. I left teaching, in order to give my time to painting and to music composition. So far, it's been the best decision I could have made, because I've had more work than I know what to do with. In fact, I've been so busy doing paid work for other … Continue reading My life as a Freelancer
I can't wait to read it, and the cover does all the right things - it whets the appetite, gives me questions which need answers.
There was a painting I did last year which I thought was pretty good. I thought it worked, and I like the amount of detail I'd been able to use. The source photo hadn't been that great, but I thought the end product was worth the effort. I look at that painting now, and all … Continue reading The Urge to be Better
Well, since I last blogged, there have been some changes. Well, one in particular. I took the step in Easter of this year of leaving teaching. So I am now (and have been for the past one and a half months) a full-time creative freelancer. So what is it like? Well, I've been fortunate. Since … Continue reading Life Changes
This is not a film review. This is purely my response as an artist to the artistry at work in the design of the film, which in my view is absolutely second-to-none. Much of the film's design is down to the excellent and unique work of Brian Froud. His imaginative and organic designs are an … Continue reading The Dark Crystal – a Triumph of Design
I was asked this morning what I consider to be the gifts to myself of the pandemic and resultant lockdowns this year. A strange question, to be sure. But not a ridiculous one. Many of us have found something important this year - maybe something we'd forgotten, or lost, has been rediscovered - like a … Continue reading The Gifts of the Pandemic
My son asked me the other day (because even at 15 he seems to mistakenly think that I am a fount of all wisdom - until I ask him to do something of course!) when humans started to write. I answered that even the cavepeople drew on the walls - imbuing their drawings with meaning. … Continue reading Where did it all start? And where is it going?
I find people's faces endlessly fascinating. A face doesn't have to be beautiful to be memorable. Sometimes it is the imperfections in a face which give it it's character. But what is really fascinating is the way that a face tells the story of it's journey through life. A child's face is often almost like … Continue reading The Stories in a Face
Every commission is special. Of course it is - if someone asks you (and pays you) to paint a particular scene, or pet, or person, its because the subject matter is important. That's why I love to paint commissions. It's terrifying at the same time, because you just never know if what you produce will … Continue reading A Special Commission
I've been working for a number of years on a series of dramatic monologues (most of which I have performed myself) from the point of view of people who came into contact with a certain historical person. Some loved him, some hated him, and i have tried to capture that dichotomy in the different readings. … Continue reading The Faces of those Who Knew him
Recently I've been trying to improve my presence on the web. That's important if I'm going to make my work more accessible and well-known. One blog I read recently suggested that every artist (and musician, I'm sure) needs a sign of their brand, a logo if you like. So I sat down and designed one … Continue reading Branding
There are a few pieces of artwork over the years which have almost defeated me. Like an unruly toddler who embarrasses you when you take them to the supermarket. I could quite cheerfully have left these to sit forgotten in some dark corner. They're the paintings which I got halfway through and thought "Why, oh … Continue reading Why did I ever start this???
I always thought I'd be rich and famous by the time I was 30. I thought I'd be "discovered". And here I am, entering my second half century, and still not there. Yes, I make some money out of my paintings, out of my music. But not enough to pay the mortgage. Not enough to … Continue reading Leaving my Mark
I painted a sea-scene a few years ago from a photograph given to me by a friend. I loved the painting when I'd finished it - it's always been one of my favourites. It has just the right amount of land, of sea, and sky. It has movement in the waves, and those wonderful pillars … Continue reading Life Imitating Art
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was deeply enamoured with the group of Victorian artists who styled themselves as the Pre-Raphaelites. They were very much of the belief that contemporary Victorian art was morally and technically deficient, and stated that a return to the purity of artists before the high … Continue reading My Pre-Raphaelite Phase
The painting on the left is how the painting on the right started life. It was painted from a source photo which was taken on a drab dull day, but I loved the scene. So i painted it, but I never felt that it worked. It was just too... well, drab and dull. But then … Continue reading Breathing Life into a painting