This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Brushwork of Scott Burdick

Born 1967 in Chicago, Illinois Scott Burdick credits Bill Parks at the American Academy of Art for his knowledge and enthusiasm and by the looks of it, a lot of things that I would love to know about colour! He then went on to study at the Palette and Chisel Art Club where he met his wife Susan Lyon, another very good artist; they share a website (a very large and compehensive one!) where there is a large painting archive of both of their work as well as details of books, videos etc.
Of particular interest to me are the paintings where he shows the brushwork by photographs that progressively approach nearer and nearer to the picture surface to a point where they become lovely abstract pieces in their own right. I love the rich, creamy colour and the way that it has been applied to the canvas. Personally I have'nt been able so far to deal with thick paint application and always end up applying it in a way that is more natural for me, thin and a bit smeary! I guess that this may be an interesting point, one should by all means try different approaches but in the end one hopefully arrives at something that is natural to oneself but informed by the different roads taken along the way!
African Colours

For a closer look at Scott Burdick and Susan Lyons work visit their website:

Venice in Peril - 2012 Exhibition

I have two paintings in the upcoming annual Venice in Peril exhibition at W.H. Patterson, 19 Albemarle Street, London, 18 January to 17 February 2012. They are "Bridge of Sighs" and "Fondamenta de la Preson".  Both the gallery and the artist donate 10% of their sales to the fund that fights for the restoration and indeed the survival of the most beautiful city in the world, La Serenissima.
Fondamenta de la Preson
Bridge of Sighs

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Royal Society of British Artists - Pre selection

I have had three paintings accepted for the pre-selection phase for their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London 29 February to 10 March 2012. Here's hoping that even one gets finally accepted of the following paintings!: "Street Corner Blues", "Morning Mist, High and Over" and "At The End Of The Day".
Street Corner Blues
Morning Mist, High and Over
At The End Of The Day

Artists & Illustrators magazine

Current Issue
One of my snow paintings "San Marco Snow" has been selected for inclusion in the Portfolio Plus feature on winter snow paintings in the upcoming January 2012 issue.
San Marco Snow

Monday, 19 December 2011

Here Comes The Night - finished

I put the finishing touches down yesterday and I am now looking for a suitable subject for the next painting required for exhibition at the Medici Gallery in June 2012. As this is a series of intensely coloured land/city scenes I have decided to set a lot of them at dusk when I get the mix of natural and artificial light that I require for the effect that I am looking for. I might even set the next one in Venice even though the city has been painted ad ifinitum as my painting's subject will be colour, mood and texture not Venice per se and I will probably not include any landmark buildings for that reason.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Here Comes The Night - Third day

I have put on the first glaze of the sky now, it will eventually be a pretty intense orange/pink to contrast against the green/blues in the bathing hut and the scumble that will go over the foreground shadow areas, everywhere else will be warm oranges/yellows. Please note that nowhere is finished yet!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Here Comes The Night - early days

After the debacle of "The Big Sky" it feels good to be getting on with a painting that seems to be going well (so far!). This is a painting size that I used to feel was quite large (18" x 36") but after trying to deal with the metre-square area of "The Big Sky" it seems quite small and unintimidating. It came out of a request from the Medici Gallery for some intensely coloured land/cityscapes for the June exhibition. I suddenly recalled a location very near to where I live that looks great at dusk when the artificial street lighting comes on. I went down to the seafront in the daytime to quickly sketch what I had in mind (seen in the sketchbook above the painting in the first photo) but had to return at dusk as I needed to see what the colours were in the shadow areas of the foreground beach hut and brickwork. It turns out that the beach hut, pale green in the daytime, needs quite a tricky combination of glazing/scumbling a palish grey/green/blue over a muted purple/green underpainting. The sky will be rosy pink/orange so green/blue in the shadows will be a logical complementary; a mix of Prussian Blue and Red/Orange (with a tint of white) is providing a pleasing colour for the shadow colours everywhere else.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pratiques des Arts

Current Issue
I had some good news yesterday when I received an email from a French art magazine called "Pratiques des Arts" asking me to send them some jpeg's of paintings for inclusion in a feature on snow scenes in the February 2012 issue. I was due to have my work featured in the November 2011 issue after being interviewed and photographed earlier this year but it was postponed for a later issue and was disappointed to hear this thinking that my chance for exposure of my work in France had passed by. It is a very good French language magazine that has elements of our "The Artist" magazine with many artists demonstrating their working methods with step-by-step sequences and also the kind of articles that our "Artists and Illustrators" magazine features.

The Big Sky - ninth day

Oh dear....I have decided to knock this one on the head and move on.  Paintings seem to have a mind of their own, sometimes they almost seem to paint themselves and other times it is like walking through treacle. At least I have learnt things from this, as indeed one seems to learn something from every painting. I think the size proved to be one factor; because it was a large (to me) painting I felt pressured to make it work somehow to justify the scale and time spent on it and was'nt able to relax and enjoy it. I have also realised that you still need big shapes just as in small paintings to give it a dynamic composition. I somehow got bogged down in too many small shapes and consequently the sky looks too bitty. I also really don't like the composition as to the relationship of the landscape to the sky either so all in all, leave it be.  Maybe one day I can come back and rescue it......

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Big Sky - Seventh and eighth days

By the seventh day I had pretty much finished the sky and decided to quickly paint in the Sussex landscape that I had chosen to use.
I always had in mind that the sky would be warm (no blues) and not too dark and then the landscape would be painted in dark, rich colours mainly reds and greens with a small figure picked out against the sky. But once I had roughed it in I really did'nt like it! Compositionally it was boring and due to a lot of the landscape being in the distance, I was'nt able to introduce the rich and textured colours that I intended. Over this morning's breakfast coffee which I find is the best time to evaluate the day's work ahead I started to consider giving the picture up as an heroic failure and use the lessons I had learnt on the next one. Fortunately I began to nail down what was'nt working and began to see how I could rescue the painting. The big sweep of the sky needed to be interrupted with a series of verticals on the horizon and began to see how something like cypress trees could be introduced. A Tuscan landscape seemed a nice way forward (although nowhere specific as the picture is about a state of mind not a particular landscape) and with the inroduction of a farmhouse with nice potential for rich reds and textures against the greens, I decided to block in the new landscape. I will move the small figure more to the left so it is nearer to a third of the width (Golden Section) and will break up the far left of the hill with an umbrella pine (not put in yet). There will be an open door in the farmhouse with a warm light inside, an implication that the figure has gone out to stand on the hill contemplating whatever us, the viewer thinks. I just hope I am able to get the foreground working the way that I always intended and keep the colours rich but not too dark.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Big Sky - The fifth day

I now have most of the cloud shapes sorted out but worried about the three-dimensionality of it. The nearest level of clouds need to have more volume painted into them for the sky to start working. Tomorrow I make the choice between applying the thin red ochre wash and then carrying on with sorting out the clouds as I will have a better idea how the "glow" is working or
holding back on the wash until I am happy with what I have so far. I have at least realised that to give a sky air and volume, you have to think of it in layers one in front of the other and then try and differentiate one layer from another by using colour and tone in what is known as Aerial Perspective, which is quite apt really!

[re]VIEW - A new book about my work

I have recently produced a new book about my work, designed and written by myself.  It covers my work as an illustrator, through the transition years to my current work as an artist.
It consists of eighty pages with twelve chapters that include an overview of my early work as an illustrator, my fascination with South East Asia, the period of experimentation with gold and metallic surfaces and a breakdown of my current work such as landscapes and cityscapes. It has an hundred and eleven full colour illustrations, softbound A4 size.