Wednesday, 27 January 2010


On returning to the Stour with my makeshift easel to continue with my river painting today I was spotted by a fisherman some distance away. He initially thought that I was a fellow angler, but realised over time that I was actually a painter - and that in fact I was his sister-in-law.

Dave, like me, spent some of his childhood years in nearby Bryanston village. He knows and loves the Stour and, again like me, visits regularly to sit on its banks.

He fishes. I paint.

We both experience the connection with nature that sitting still in the landscape for a long time brings with it.

A high-quality photograph of the painting can be seen on the front page of my main website: and also in the Available for Sale section.

Labour Of Love

This week I am at one of my favourite spots on the banks of the river Stour.

I have been sitting out for long periods of time in the bitter cold.

A passing dog-walker remarked "That's a real labour of love".

She was right.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

To Her Heart …

I explained in the previous post how I recently set myself up in a beautiful graveyard, observing rooks coming and going from their rookery - and painting a study of them.

Here is the completed studio painting, the photograph above showing the whole painting - and the one below a detail.

The whole experience was quite a powerful one. Despite the expectation that spending time in a graveyard, with the morbid cawing of rooks for company, might be somehow depressing - I found the whole interlude both comforting and reassuring.

We all have to face death at some time, our own, or that of a loved one. The time I spent in the graveyard gave me an opportunity to consider this, while working on a painting.

I titled the work To her heart, bidding it have no fear, an adaptation of the title of a poem by W B Yeats, to reflect the thoughts I had while completing it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


I recently started the painting from life (shown in the bottom photograph), by a rookery near where I live. I was sitting near a beautifully evocative graveyard - and I found the whole ambience powerful and inspiring.

This led to the studio painting, which is shown in the first two photographs above - with the currently unfinished in situ painting propped up nearby for reference.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A Second Study

The day after going out and painting the previous study, I produced the one above.

This time it was a much greyer day, so I concentrated on the movement within the landscape - particularly of passing birds.

Getting colour notes in this way is always useful as a reference for studio work when working on exceptionally large canvases away from the subject matter.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Winter Study

Snow is (supposedly) so rare here by the Dorset coast, and the winter colours so beautiful, that I was inspired to paint this colour study from life yesterday.

What particularly interested me with this scene was the warm light on the cold snow, and the life going on in the landscape.