Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Here are the two finished paintings from my time at Osmington bay earlier this month, described here and here.

It is interesting for me to compare the differences and similarites of the two. I sat at exactly the same spot for both of them. The canvases are slightly different sizes.

They'll be up on my website shortly, with prices.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Stour Power

Today I returned to one of my very favourite spots, on the banks of the river Stour near Bryanston.

I was hoping to have caught the last of the autumn leaves before they fell. In this I was disappointed. Not one leaf remained on my row of trees.

However, having painted here most recently in the freezing depths of winter in January, today I was grateful for the relative warmth of autumn.

This is not only a factor which impacts on my comfort and choice of clothing, but also something which fundamentally affects the light and mood of the landscape – and consequently the painting.

In my previous post yesterday I spoke about complexity and how this can affect the 'blocking in' and placing of shapes in relation to each other at the start of the painting process.

Today's painting shows a more typical start, where I have blocked in across the whole of the canvas.

That is not to say however, that today's painting was any less complex than my Osmington rocks – far from it. It doesn't matter how many times I paint this view, the structure and shapes of the branches as they recede in a row demands a great deal of scrutiny and work to make sense of.

Balancing this exacting information with the natural poetry and appeal of this beautiful landscape is both the inspiration and the aim for me.


This week I've started a new painting on the rocky foreshore at Osmington.

Rocks are complex, so depicting them with so many forms jutting in the foreground and describing the space leading into the background – takes a certain energy and commitment that you have to be prepared to see through.

I feel the intense drawing experience of working with so many life models during Breast Cancer LIFE has helped me to take on the challenge of painting scenes such as this with a new perspective.

The photograph which shows the start to the painting is actually quite unusual in that on this occasion I've adopted an approach rather different from my usual one.

Normally I will give equal attention in the early stages to all areas of the canvas, relating the placing of shapes to one another in a very balanced way.

With this painting I was keen to spend longer fixing in place the marks in the foreground, which dominates most of the canvas. As this took a long time to work out it made sense to invest energy getting this exactly right before relating it to the more distant view of the bay.