Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Abandoned Croft

The Abandoned Croft 9"x10" Acrylic on Board

 Another painting of Sandaig/Camusfearna in the North West of Scotland. I worked on this in the studio, painting from a series of drawings and photographs. When away from the subject I find it better to work from several versions of source material rather than just one. More than halfway through the painting I realized that the design I had planned did not work and I had to make some alterations. No matter how carefully I plan a picture it almost always changes as I work on it.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Fishing 10"x14" Watercolour
This painting is based on Padstow Harbour in Cornwall and connects with a childhood memory of fishing with my grandfather.
Steven Wright the Comedian said, “There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”
I've never caught a fish. My grandfather was a keen fisherman and sometimes took my brother and I with him. He said that it was easy and that anyone could catch a fish, successfully demonstrating this using only a length of cotton, a bent pin and a piece of bread. He was wrong.
Despite the lack of early success I persevered, occasionally sitting on a riverbank with rod and line - plenty of time to think but no fish. In fact I sometimes omitted the bait in order to guarantee thinking time. I needn't have bothered, the fish had other things to fry. Latterly my daughter discovered an interest and a gift for fishing and I would dutifully sit beside her quietly amazed at the vast shoals that would by-pass my hook in their haste to swim directly on to hers.
However I don't regret any of those hours spent beside rivers and seas - fishing without success has given me lots of useful thinking time and as Steven Wright also said, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Secret Pond

Secret Pond 10"x14" Watercolour

I discovered this place on an outing to look at and draw something else I had in mind for a painting. It is on farmland in a bowl scooped out of a field on the side of a hill surrounded by trees. From a distance it looked like a copse and even close up it only revealed itself as a pool at the very last moment, hence the title 'Secret Pond'.