Saturday, 1 December 2012

Boats, Glasson Basin
Oil on board 27cmx36cm
Another sunny day! That's two dry saturdays on the trot. Painted on location this morning.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Moored Boats
Oil on card, 6"x8"
We were expecting yet more rain, so I managed to get out fairly early yesterday morning and walked down to the basin. Boats are quite difficult to draw especially working quickly on the spot. I usually like to paint in the sunshine but this subject presented an interesting exercise in warm and cool greys.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The canal, first bridge
Oil on card,  6"x8"
The same view as the previous painting but a week or so later. Another plein air study. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Canal, Glasson
Oil on card, 6"x8"
Plein air study.
I decided to go for a walk yesterday morning with my paints. A couple of hundred yards down the canal from the main basin you come to the first bridge. I was attracted to the curve in the canal bank picked up by the shapes of the bridge. The sunlight slanted through creating interesting shadows and enhancing the colour of the autumn trees overhanging the path and the scattered leaves on the ground.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Shore, evening.
Oil on card, 6"x8"
A very quick sketch done after work one evening last week. I was using my lightweight pochade which will hold card sizes up to 6x8.
In reply to comment:
Tom, I have two Pochades. A 'Blackfoot' by Alla Prima Pochade. This is a wonderful piece of kit, and will carry boards up to 10x12 inches.
The second one, which I used for this painting is a cheap Pochade which can be bought at SAA or Ken Bromley art supplies. I've seen them advertised in other places as well. I've adapted mine by making a board holder which can hold 6x8 inch boards in the portrait format. The box itself only holds boards in landscape format so is limited. The holder I made can also hold smaller boards though I rarely paint smaller than 6x8. The main advantage of this one is its smaller size and lighter weight for carrying in a backpack. I'll take some photos of it and do a post. 
Sunderland Point
Oil on Board, 18"x24"

This is another version of a painting I did a while ago. I'm playing around with looser brushwork and a combination of glazes and scumbles.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

High Tide, Conder Green
Oil on canvas, 14"x18"
The Shore at Arnside
Oil on card, 6"x8"
A recent plein air study.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sunset, 
Oil on Board, 12"x16"
Sourced from earlier studies and photo references.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

River Lune Sunset
Oil on Board, 12"x24"

A recent painting. It's nice to be able to work a bit larger panels outside. This one was started outside and finished indoors later.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Blustery Day, Sunderland Point
Oil on Board, 12"x16"
Done on location yesterday with a little bit of adjustment today.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

 Glasson Basin,  Sunshine
Oil on Board,  9"x12"
Painted on location.
A bit of a contrast with the earlier painting below from the same viewpoint.



Kendal parish Church, Rear Facade
Oil on Board. 12"x15"
Started on location then continued later. It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I finally decided to get myself a French easel so I can now paint much bigger boards outdoors. I've got to get used to covering a larger surface in the same amount of time.

This church has the distinction of being the widest parish church in England and dates from the thirteenth century, though it was built on the site of a much earlier church dating back to the eighth century.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Glasson Basin, Overcast
Oil on card,  6"x8"
On location last week. 
The weather has been awful this past fortnight or so. This view is looking across the water to the start of the Glasson spur, which links to the Lancaster canal at Galgate. It's a short walk to this location from home and I decided to have a try in between rain showers. It held off long enough to finish this on site. It was painted on a card I'd used previously and wiped off. You can still see some of that earlier painting which created a nice underpainting. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

 Stone Footbridge near Underbarrow
Oil on card, 8"x10"
I did this one on location after work one evening a few weeks ago and never got round to uploading it. I was looking around for a good location and found this place by chance. It's along a footpath somewhere near Underbarrow and Brigsteer. The path crosses this stream via the very old footbridge which originally would not have had the handrail.
Thurnham Hall
Oil on card, 6"x8"
Done this afternoon on location.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Ashton Memorial, Williamson Park
Oil on card, 6"x8"
SOLD
 I've been looking at the work of the English painter Peter Brown. He's an exceptional painter. He paints a lot of urban scenes and really enjoys the interactions he gets with people while he's painting. He says that the commonest remark people make to him is, "if I stand here long enough will you put me in it". I was there for a couple of hours yesterday and lots of people passed remarks or said hello. Then a young woman stopped for a chat and said..."if I stand here long enough will you put me in it".

Thursday, 31 May 2012

In the Rusland Valley
Oil on card, 8"x6"
After a long day at work yesterday I drove home along the A590 and decided to take a detour down the Rusland valley. I was tired and not really in the mood for painting but decided to have a go anyway.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Spring Garden
Oil on gessoed card,  8"x10"
On location this afternoon.
My neighbours garden has a lot of mature trees and shrubs and in bright sunlight gives dramatic light and shadows. The azalea was an incredible purple/mauve colour and even though the flowers were past their best it still made a striking contrast with the various warm and cool greens.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Spring on Whitbarrow, Cumbria
Oil on board,  9"x12"

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Near Claughton.
Pencil and watercolour on paper, 8"x6"
Based on the pencil drawing from a few days ago.



Monday, 7 May 2012

Sunlit Lane
Pencil and watercolour on paper. 8"x6"
I haven't done any watercolours for some time so this makes a nice change. I'm enjoying combining pencil sketches with colour. I find it a very quick method and very easily managed outdoors. I bought a thing called a Zipp Clamp paper stretcher which was about twenty quid. It works very well and is really light. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012


Tree studies
Pages from sketchbook, pencil on paper

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Flooded Wood
Oil on card, 6"x8"
A very quick sketch this afternoon. This is a really nice spot near Abbeystead. It's going to look fantastic when all those Bluebells are out.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Drawings, tonal studies.
Pencil on paper.
This is a page from a sketchbook and is what I was doing this afternoon. These are mostly tonal studies after some of Cotman's watercolours. He's long been a favourite of mine.
Saltcoats Pond
Oil on Gessoed card, 8"x6"
This is another little plein air painting done a couple of weeks ago during my short break from work. 
There was a small area of uncultivated ground on the way into the village and it was decided to create a wildlife pond. It provides a nice composition close to home.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Blea Tarn, Cumbria
Acrylic on board, 30"x24"
This is one I did a few years ago before I started working mainly plein air and when I was only painting occasionally.
I drove up to Blea Tarn early one October morning specifically to get this shot on my old Mamiya twin lens reflex camera. The first time I tried the light was hopeless so I went back the following weekend and the conditions were perfect. There is often a very narrow window of opportunity to get a shot like this. Once the sun warms the air, a breeze develops, the water will ripple and the perfect reflection is lost. The photo became the basis for the painting.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Drawing, after Lucien Freud.
Pencil on paper, about 10"x8"
I did this years ago and its been hanging in a cheap mount in my late father's shed. I was visiting my very elderly mum last week and decided to retrieve it.
Apologies for the photo; I shall redo it when I have time.
 Lune Shore, Glasson beyond.
Oil on board, 10"x8"  
Done on location. It's a pleaseant walk to this location from home along the disused Glasson to Lancaster railway line. In the afternoon and evening you look more or less toward the sun which makes for interesting light effects. 
Thurnham Church
Oil on board, 8"x10"
Done on location yesterday. I tightened up the drawing and some of the value relationships this morning. I was very keen to separate the areas in the light from the areas in shadow. If you can maintain that, everything tends to read correctly.

If you were to stand in front of the large tree in the previous painting with your back to the tree, and look to the left this is what you see. I'm usually there at 9 o'clock every Sunday morning.
I think I may add a glaze to the shadowed areas.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Lane in Thurnham, Spring.
Oil on card,  10"x8"
Done entirely on location last weekend. Looks like we're in for a spell of warm sunny weather. I'm off work for a week as well.
Incidently, the viewpoint here is directly in front of the church depicted in the previous post.
The canal at Thurnham,
Spring.
Oil on card,  10"x8"
Done on location yesterday afternoon. I added the lamb from a photo I took at the time.
I think I may simplify some of the elements, especially in the background. Part way through this I thought it could be an Easter painting but I'm not sure I like the symbolism.

I've had another go at it and painted out the lamb and reduced the contrast of the background woods; too many value changes. I'm going to simplify the foreground hawthorn too. I've reduced the violet in the middle elements.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Oak Tree,
Page from sketchbook, pencil on paper.
A busy day day today and just time for one quick sketch.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Blue Boats, Ebb Tide
Oil on gessoed card,  8'x10"
Done on location this afternoon.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Trees at Abbeystead
Page from Sketchbook, pencil on paper.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Rising Tide, Bazil Point
Oil on Gessoed card.  8"x10"
This is the painting I started when the picture was taken below. I often have to resist the temptation to carry on working on paintings when I get home and to 'improve' things. I could undoubtedly improve the drawing in parts but this inevitably leads to tightening things up and losing some of the spontenaety of the original statement. However the scene did look a lot more interesting with the water covering the area of saltmarsh immediately next to the path. Unfortunately it was like this for only a matter of minutes and I had no time to record the altered position of the boat and reflections. So I took a quick snap of the scene and used that as reference. This may be a source for a larger painting, or I may decide to have another go at it and bring this one to a higher finnish. I'd be very interested in other views on the issue of continuing plein air paintings away from the scene.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

It was a ten meter tide today and I was warned off leaving my car at the usual place on Sunderland Point so I decided to try Bazil Point instead. I was unsure how far the water would come and I had to stop when the path was flooded and climb onto the rocks. The path was under about a couple of foot of water and I had to wait for it to drop before I could carry on.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Sunderland Point evening, February.
Oil on Board,  10"x12"
Done mainly on the spot, I continued it later at home.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Crook Farm
Oil on Board,  9"x12"
Done on location. The afternoon was really cold and I went down to the shore again. As I arrived the water was dropping from the high tide line. The sky was grey and the light was flat and everything desaturated of colour. This time I took my stool so the perspective's a little lower. After about an hour and a half I was thoroughly chilled and ready to get home for a hot brew. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Old Farm, Lune Estuary 
Oil on board,  10"x12"
It's been very misty for the past week or so especially down on the estuary. I worked on this one a bit after the plein air start, mainly to add a bit of definition and contrast to the foreground elements.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

At last, we had a really still sunny day yesterday and late afternoon I was able to walk down to the shore as the tide was falling. Both paintings were done on the spot with no later adjustment. The views are across the river toward Sunderland Point. When the tide is high it looks as though the houses on the opposite shore are floating. The sunset was magical in the quiet stillness.

Falling Tide
Oil on board,  6"x8"
Sunset, Sunderland Point
Oil on board,  6"x8"

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Shoreline
Oil on board, 6"x8"
Done on location. It's a short walk from home across the marsh to the river accompanied by the sounds of Redshank and Curlew.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Near Sedburgh
Oil on board, 6"x8"
I havn't uploaded recently. This is a small plein air sketch done after work a few months ago. This is another great location which I'll try to get back to soon.