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My Art and Music – Creative Musings

The Accidental Tourist

Continuing in my occasional blog entries reviewing one score by the wonderful John Williams for every year of my life, we come to 1988, the year I turned 18, and the score to The Accidental Tourist. By this year, I’d been an ardent fan for about 4 years, having discovered that the same person who … Continue reading The Accidental Tourist

The Wicked Weave

Canvas has a bit of a dark side. It has what I call the wicked weave. I’m always learning as an artist. I never want to reach a point where I can say “I know it all.” If I ever reach that point, I may as well stop painting. I want to share with you … Continue reading The Wicked Weave

Anyone can learn Art

I’m sure many people would disagree with me on this statement. They might see themselves as not owning a single artistic bone in their body. But I truly believe that anyone can learn to draw, and to paint. However, just as some athletic sorts will always have a head-start on us lesser mortals, I do … Continue reading Anyone can learn Art

A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life: 1987 – Empire of the Sun

Oh no! What do I do? In 1987, the year I turned 17, John Williams released two fantastic soundtrack albums, and I truly don’t know which one I love more. That year was the year of “The Witches of Eastwick” and “The Empire of the Sun”. Both are phenomenal scores. I fell in love with … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life: 1987 – Empire of the Sun

Bridges

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

News! Read All About It!

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!

Small is Beautiful

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

Imprimatura

“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

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas took a different direction with Indiana Jones in the sequel to 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. For one, the film is actually a prequel, with the action taking place in 1935, mainly set in India (after a short prelude in China). This was apparently to avoid using the Nazis … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The Process of a Painting

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 … Continue reading The Process of a Painting

Clouds

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

A John Williams score for every year of my life – 1982 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

E.T: I remember clearly going to see it for the first time, at the age of twelve. I remember seeing the posters, some of which had a boy and a… thing lying on hospital beds surrounded by plastic sheets, and I wondered what on earth I was going to see. And then the lights went … Continue reading A John Williams score for every year of my life – 1982 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Poetry and Painting

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. -Leonardo da Vinci

The Broken World Waits

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 … Continue reading The Broken World Waits

Hidden in Plain Sight

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

Out of the Comfort Zone

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

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark

With this, the first in the series of Indiana Jones films, John Williams created yet another outstanding opus – that surrounding the wisecracking, whip-swinging, fedora-wearing hero and sometimes archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford may have played the titular hero (and it’s a wonder that despite his resemblances and affinities to a certain smuggler in a … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark

When is it Finished?

I suffer from George Lucas Syndrome. Now before you all grab your medical encyclopaedias to look that up, actually, it does exist, but not in the way I mean it. Apparently the urban meaning is “A situation in which sci-fi movies often sacrifice good-quality acting and a coherent story in order to milk in the special effects.” But that’s not the … Continue reading When is it Finished?

Writer’s Block

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

A3 Calendars

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

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back

It’s a while since I wrote one of these posts on the work of my favourite composer, John Williams. I’ve had Covid, but that’s not why. The truth is, since I left teaching to become wholly freelance with my own music and art, I haven’t had a great deal of time to write. And that’s … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back

My life as a Freelancer

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

The Urge to be Better

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

Life Changes

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

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula

Dracula, scored in 1979, is perhaps one of john Williams’ lesser known works. It is however a mighty work, built mainly around the lush and dangerous theme Williams provided for the central character. This theme features firstly in the Main Title and Storm Sequence : John Williams has said that he tries not to know … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula

What makes a good melody?

I’ve been teaching some year 5 classes about melody recently, helping them to realise that good melodies don’t just happen by accident. It’s not that composers slavishly follow rules to compose memorable tunes, because most of the time, a good melody does present itself as if my magic. But there are certain truths I suspect … Continue reading What makes a good melody?

A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope

Do I dare? What on earth can I say about this magnum opus which single handedly transformed film scoring, just as the film it accompanies reinvented the blockbuster. So much has already been written about the score John Williams wrote for George Lucas’ little space opera – I certainly couldn’t say anything new or improve … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope

The Gifts of the Pandemic

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

A John Williams Score for every year of my life 7 – 1976 the Missouri Breaks

I know very little about the film which gave birth to this choice of score by John Williams. I know that it is a Western film which starred Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, but that’s only because they appear on the album artwork. Having looked at Wikipedia’s entry on the film, I see that it … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life 7 – 1976 the Missouri Breaks

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About Me

I’m now a full-time fine artist and composer, having left teaching in Easter 2021. This blog is just a little outlet for my creative musings, both on art and music, and Creativity in general.

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