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!

Monday, 31 December 2012

Royal Motel

Well, here is the last painting of 2012, "Royal Motel". I took a photograph of it in San Francisco some years ago and decided to try a more colourful way of painting it influenced by the work of William Wray, Stephen Magsig and other artists that I admire. I think that this approach may suit my ongoing series of paintings set in my home town, Brighton UK. Oil on board 12" x 12".

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Merry Christmas everybody! I finished this painting on Christmas Eve so I though that I would post it today. It is of a superball vending machine on Brighton seafront and actually took three days to paint as the balls took some time to get right. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Battersea Sunrise

Here is the first two-day painting after my recent hiatus from work. It is a distant view of Battersea Power Station from the opposite embankment on the Thames in Pimlico. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Monday, 17 December 2012

High Over Madurai

High Over Madurai
At last I have finally started painting after a two month gap due to ill health. This was just something to get me back into the swing of things again and is very unlikely to sell due to the subject matter having such limited appeal but at least I am back painting again! This is a view from the rooftop restaurant of the Madurai Residency Hotel of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India. It had a large reddish neon sign that lit all the buildings nearest to the hotel with a nearby mosque lit by strong green lights so I based the painting around red and green. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Normal Service To Be Renewed

Grovelling apologies to anybody that follows my blog as they would have noticed that I have not posted anything for a couple of months. I had to curtail my trip to India in October and rush back to the UK and went straight from Gatwick to the Brighton A & E with a difficult bladder condition. There has then followed five weeks of pain and discomfort before having a minor operation last Friday that hopefully will sort things out. I hope to start a small London painting tomorrow which of course I will post when it is finished.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Who's Who In Art

Well I now have an entry in the 35th Edition of "Who's Who In Art". Not sure if this will make any difference to anything (sales for instance) but hey, why not be in it?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Moleskine in Kerala - off to India for two weeks

Fort Cochin
Yes, I am off today for two weeks in South India, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to be precise. I am packing a large Moleskine watercolour sketchbook along with a very small selection of gouache paints and brushes, the ones I won earlier in the year from being "Artist of the Month" in Artists and Illustrators magazine. The colours I am taking are primary Red, Blue,Yellow, Green, Black, White, Turquoise and Magenta; from these I should be able to mix pretty much any colour I need. I have prepared each double-page with a thin wash of neutral acrylic each one slightly red, blue green etc which the gouache should sit on nicely. Preliminary drawing will be by pencil or black felt tip. This should enable me to get a painting done pretty quickly as I would imagine it will hot, humid and crowded with people everywhere. I am looking for wild, strong colour and let's face it, India must be the place for that! All I hope is that I manage to do what I want to do as I would like to do some studio paintings from these sketches when I return. So ciao for now!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Life Drawing - 9 October

A couple of drawings from Bill's Tuesday evening session at the Sussex County Arts Club of male model, Ollie. Pastel pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 8 October

Our model, Chiara, brought along some long strings of colourful beads and shells as a prop but as ever, a lot to try and paint in 50 minutes. I seem to be developing a way of painting the backgrounds in a swirly kind of abstract way which I am interested to see where it leads to....12" x 12" oil on board.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

International Artist magazine October/November Issue

My painting "Cuckmere Meanders To Seaford Head" which was a finalist in the "Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes" Challenge competition is now published full page in the current issue (number 87) of International Artist magazine, available from branches of WH Smith in the UK. The painting itself is now with Llewellyn Alexander gallery near Waterloo, London. 18" x 36" oil on board.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Spring in St. James's Park

Trying to get away from being too "photographic" in my landscape painting, old habits die hard! Have kept it looser and softer in this new two-day painting as well as putting more colour into the shadow areas. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Piccadilly Reflections

A new two-day London painting, "Piccadilly Reflections", another wet evening in Piccadilly Circus when Rich Newman and myself were walking to Pizza Express on Wardour Street after a long day of looking at exhibitions, oh and after a couple of drinks in The Chequers Tavern in Duke Street, St. James', a favourite watering hole. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The City From Falcon Point

The latest two-day painting is a view of The City of London from a point on the banks of the Thames near the Tate Modern called Falcon Point with the Millennium and Southwark Bridges crossing the river. I have set the painting at low tide as a nocturne A` la Whistler, a big influence on my London paintings basing the colours on a red-orange/green-blue complementary axis. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Monday, 24 September 2012

I make it to the final of Artist Of The Year!

Easy Street

I was delighted to find out today (thanks to Rich Newman) that my painting "Easy Street" has made it to the final selection for the Landscape category in the Artists & Illustrators magazine's Artist Of The Year competition. Seeing as all the other artists will be doing the same, I am requesting any of you that may feel sufficiently moved, to vote for me in this competition, the link is below:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A painting makes it to the final cut for the NEAC

"Full Moon High And Over" has been accepted for the second round of the selection process for the New English Arts Club 2012 exhibition at The Mall Galleries. After submitting a jpeg of the image by email for the first Pre Selection stage I have to take the painting to the Mall Galleries on 5th or 6th October for the final selection. I very much hope that it gets in as I will be in India on the dates for picking up the rejected paintings and not sure how to retrieve it!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 17 September

The model, Frankie, is making an old man very happy......The second 50 minute painting of the afternoon session has Frankie interacting with one of the two resident skeletons at the Sussex County Arts Club. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Duck O' War

Sort of a first for me, a sort of still life. Following on from "Looking For Business" I have become interested in the bright saturated colours of children's rides on Brighton seafront and also in this case, as I bought it from a seafront shop, this rather silly rubber duck. I set it in my bathroom as I thought that it would be interesting to contrast the bright yellow of the duck against the white surfaces of a bath. I wanted to keep the focus on the duck by painting everything else in a more sketchy, blurry way and also thought that it would be nice to have some foamy water in the bath as a subtle colour variation. 12" x 12" oil on board, two-day painting.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Looking For Business

I am back to Brighton seafront for my latest two-day painting "Looking For Business". I feel like painting something very colourful and like the somewhat melancholy and surreal quality that unused children's rides have in a deserted seafront environment. I am also trying to get away from my tendency to paint everything with the same degree of detail and on this one you will notice that things get sketchier and darker the further you go away from the focus of the painting, the Thomas The Tank Engine ride. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 10 September

First pose
Chose a green background again as it seems to be a good base for the warmer flesh colours to sit on. May have worked out a system for painting the flesh tones - shadow areas blocked in first and then warmer areas of colour for the parts in the light with a few juicy highlights at the end.... and then leave alone and don't faff with it! A long way still to go obviously but I am starting an Artistic Anatomy course at the Sussex Arts Club tonight so hopefully the anatomy will improve along with the painting, eventually. 
Two 50-minute poses, oil on board, 12" x 12".

Second Pose

Monday, 10 September 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 3 September

The better of the two paintings from this session albeit a week late as I was away. The red bit that looks like an heart is actually a red Venetian mask.....

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Gherkin From Liverpool Street

Here is another two-day painting, this one spotted on a rainy night in January returning from a play in the Brick Lane area of London. This one proved a lot to get in over the strict time schedule. Oil on board 12" x 12".

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 27 August

Thought I would do a portrait as the model, Felix, was close enough although could have done with ten more minutes! The other painting was awful as he was too far away.....Might try another portrait next week. 12" x 12'" oil on board.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Piccadilly Fog

Whilst preparing a board by painting a green/grey over a pink wash I noticed the potential for getting across a realistic fog effect, particularly if it was bright lights in fog. This gave me the idea for another Piccadilly painting as a companion to the earlier one, "Piccadilly 6 p.m.". I remember "pea soupers" as they used to be called like this when I first moved to London in 1974. In those days many households and indeed power stations still burnt coal and coke which combined with the river weather conditions to produce these "pea soupers" and were very common in London and indeed the rest of the cities in the country up to the late '70's. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Embankment Sphinx

This is the companion picture to "Queen Of The Thames" although this was painted first but needed a layer of Liquin before photographing to bring out the shadows. One of two Victorian-era sphinxes that guard Cleopatra's Needle, the 2000 year old obelisk on the side of the Thames near Embankment tube station. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Queen Of The Thames

This is one of two small paintings of one of the sphinxes by Cleopatra's Needle on the side of the Thames near Embankment tube station. The other one, actually painted first, needs a coat of Liquin to bring out the shadows before it is finished and I can post it on the blog and website. Oil on board 12" x 12".

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Battersea Moon

Another two-day painting, this one a rather Whistlerian view of Battersea Power Station. 12" x 12" oil on board.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ed's Diner, Soho

The second of my small London paintings, this one is of Ed's Diner on Old Compton Street after some rain. Rain suits city and urban street scenes as it gives you a chance to have some fun with quite abstract shapes and colours. After the next painting that will probably be of Battersea Power Station, I want to carry on with these rainy street scenes but take more risks with how I paint them as they are still too rigid in the way they are painted.....12" x 12" oil on board.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Piccadilly Circus 6pm

The first of what could be a number of small London paintings. I put a time limit of two days and absolutely no more on each of these small paintings and then see how much I can get done in that time. I think that this has come about due to the 50 minute paintings that I have been doing at the Sussex County Arts Club Monday afternoon sessions which along with the plein air oil paintings have got me painting a lot quicker and somewhat looser due to the time constraint. I await with interest how much this will affect how I paint larger paintings when I go back to them! This one is called "Piccadilly Circus 6pm", oil on board 12" x 12".

Friday, 10 August 2012

En plein air painting - Broadstone

Rich Newman, Paul Allen and myself went to the Ashdown Forest yesterday for some plein air painting. We found a really good spot called Broadstone with great views that looked nice and quiet and we got going pretty quickly. After a couple of hours during which we realised that it wasn't quite as quiet as we first thought, a brightly clad family plonked themselves down in front of Paul and proceeded to have a picnic much to Paul's consternation. Now bearing in mind the amount of space they had to choose from it was incredible how they chose that spot having clearly noticed us previous to choosing where they were going to picnic......Anyway, oil on board 18 1/2" x 18 1/2".

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 6 August

After a bit of a gap I managed to get along to Kate Shields' Monday afternoon life drawing session at the Sussex County Arts Club again. Chiara was the model and together with Kate they made up more of a set for Chiara to interact with, the first 50 minute pose was with a mirror and paint brushes, including a jar of water and paints and the second pose had a Buddha-like pose with fruit. I think I'm getting better but still a long, long way to go....

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cissbury Yellow

I am leaving the seafront alone for a while and instead proceeding with a series of small landscapes. I want to concentrate on mood above all else and am looking for a rich and contrasty feel to them with a lot of emphasis on the sky. This is a view from Cissbury Hill in West Sussex wherein I have switched the field of flax that I had in an earlier painting to a field of yellow oilseed rape. Oil on board 14" x 8".

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Seafront Morning/Evening

Seafront Evening
Seafront Morning
A new pair of small paintings (8" x 14") of the same location at different times of the day, "Seafront Evening" and "Seafront Morning". Oil on board.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Another feature in "Pratique Des Arts" magazine

On returning from a few days away I found a large manilla envelope addressed to "Monsieur Mark Harrison" in the hallway inside which was a copy of the August/September issue of "Pratiques Des Arts. I had no idea why it had arrived until I got to the centre pages where I came across a step-by-step demonstration by me of an oil painting of Venice that was unused from the previous feature on my work. Unfortunately this magazine is not available to buy in the UK so I am reproducing it here although if there are any viewers of this blog living in Europe that may be interested in buying the magazine, it is issue no.105.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Plein air painting - Arundel July 26

Myself, Rich Newman, Bill Donohoe and Paul Allen went to a spot just outside Arundel (after a good hour of location hunting) in West Sussex to paint en plein air. Three of us were using oil and Bill was line and watercolour. I gave my board an imprimatura of a mix of acrylic white and Van Dyke Red in the studio before I left and painted the initial stages with a rag to block in the main shapes, the first coat being Burnt Sienna thinned with Liquin. This dried quickly in the heat and breeze so I was able to use a rag again to add the initial colours before working on top with a brush using thicker brush strokes to complete the picture. The bottom of the painting is a bit unresolved as the tide came in and obscured most of the foreground!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Here is the latest small painting, "Shelter" 12" x 12" oil on board. Looks like I am continuing with the seaside theme for a while longer.

Another painting as a finalist in International Artist Magazine

"Cuckmere Meanders From Seaford Head" has been accepted as a finalist in the "Seascape, Rivers and Lakes" Challenge competition in International Artist Magazine and will be published full-page in the October/November 2012 issue. 18" x 36" oil on board.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Evening Promenade

Another "affordable" painting of the seafront called "Evening Promenade". All these small paintings have their own section in my newly-organised website called oddly enough, "Small Paintings". 12" x 12" oil on panel.

Monday, 16 July 2012

A First - One of my paintings goes on sale on eBay

A first to my knowledge anyway, somebody puts up one of my paintings for sale on eBay at £1495.00. It is actually the second oil painting I ever did and is called "River Diner" dating from 2005. It has just occurred to me that shouldn't I be due a portion of the sale price as Artists Resale Rights would surely apply to this sale (if they sell it!)?  I can't imagine the seller, if I could find them, would be very amenable to giving me a proportion of their sale price money though....

Seafront Moon

I wasn't happy with the previous painting, it looked a bit boring which has led me to conclude that small paintings need to have more impact to make up for the lack of size. For me that means more colour and  contrast so I decided to paint something with more of these qualities, "Seafront Moon", another result of my nocturnal rambles along the Brighton and Hove seafront.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Lagoon Afternoon

The next one in my two-day paintings series, this one set near Hove lagoon on the seafront. The blue in the sky is much stronger in the painting but doesn't come across in the photo. The size of the paintings in this series so far is 12" square.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Time Out Of Season

This is the second of my small "affordable" paintings, "Time Out Of Season", again of Hove seafront and again a variation of the red/green complementary axis. I thought I would give a scene of a dilapidated seafront scene in off-season a more optimistic feel by painting it in sunshine. Of course there is another subtext to this, the sun finally comes out when everybody has left and it has all been closed down with the hope that maybe next year will be better!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Waiting For The Sun

I need to make some sales, that is the bottom line. It looks like I didn't sell any paintings at the Medici Gallery which leaves me with £1000.00 in framing to cover, let alone make any sort of profit. I have sold a few small pictures this year which gives me reason to think that people are only spending a limited amount on paintings at the moment and maybe they would buy something if it didn't push their budget too much. I think too that subject matter can be important particularly to an artist that is not really established yet so I need to make my work more accessible...and affordable. Recently I have been very taken with the work of William Wray and find it very interesting how he makes potentially very mundane urban scenes attractive and desirable by use of colour and atmosphere through a very painterly impressionistic style. I am fortunate in that I live on the coast of South East England where I have access to a very particular urban environment that many people relate to, even those that do not live here. So I am embarking on a series of small works, each one taking two days to paint and no more (unless I am glazing colours) of my local environment initially whereby working small enables me to put a lower price on the work without compromising myself in terms of the hours spent/what I can charge ratio. This is the first of them called "Waiting For The Sun" which seems very appropriate at the moment in terms of our dire Summer weather!