29 November 2011

Chateau Rochechouart

Its been a cold misty Autumn the past few days and I was felling as miserable as the weather. But after a coffee at the Sports bar and a brisk walk around town amongst some happy smiley faces I felt completey different. The weather even looked appealing at least from a painting point of view, all the late Autumn colours were subdued and everywhere was dusted by a soft cool blue/gray light, turned out to be a good day after all...

Chateau Rochechouart. Oil. £99 
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28 November 2011

Lily Pond and Willow

Another image from the 'Lily Pond' near St Mathieu, I liked the way the Willow leaves were cascading down and onto the water which reflected the bright blue sky. Almost becoming abstract in its treatment and for me thats not a bad thing. I'm interested in producing a series of semi-abstract paintings of this pond, in fact I've bought the canvases just need the time now. But first things first; in to town now to buy some bread  and practice some French!

À Bientôt

Lily Pond and Willow. Oil. £99
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24 November 2011


I realise I havn't got much to say on this blog at the moment, a nasty virus is to blame! normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Bill. Oil. £99
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23 November 2011

Last Light

Last Light. Oil. £99
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Click image to see larger

22 November 2011

Evening in Les Soumagnes

Evening in Les Soumagnes. Oil. £99
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21 November 2011

Burning Night Sky

Burning Night Sky. Oil. £99
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Two previous evening sky paintings from 2009:
The End of the Day.    Incandescent Sky.

18 November 2011

Lily Pond 3

I like painting this pond, or I like painting at the pond, because its not really the pond its what's on it or reflected from it I guess that interests me. Someone commented that they would like to see it in the depths of Winter, jokingly I'm sure, but I would too, and I'll definately be there when its iced over and frost is on the trees.

Lily Pond 3. Oil. SOLD
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Just for fun here are no's one and two


17 November 2011


Four gentlemen outside Dominique's bar in St Junien the other day, merrily enjoying
a pre lunchtime drink

Santé. Oil. £99
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16 November 2011

Christina's Field

This field is 100 meters from my house and where Jemima loves to be let off the lead to have a run, the path we take follows the line of trees from left to right and these tall rust coloured Birch stand majestically above us as we go.  Along the pathway is an old Lavoir which Jemima usually drinks from after her run.

Chistina's Field. Oil. £99 
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15 November 2011

Apples and Old Green Jar

This green Kilner Jar I discovered in a local Vide Grenier in Vayres, at last I managed to get around to painting it. I love it's rich green colour and even though the clip mechanism is grungy and rusty I love that too, it must have been hiding in the corner of someones garage until it was reborn as a still life and published in a painting!

Apples and Old Green Jar. Oil. SOLD
Click here to see ARCHIVE 
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14 November 2011

One Way Street

One Way Street. Oil. £99

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This is my nearest town, Rochechouart, a place with little streets and ruelles. I made this late in the afternoon after a day out painting, I was keen to capture the last of the light as it descended through the town, this street was still enjoying the warm afterglow. To the left is the Artisan Baker where I buy my bread in the mornings. Usually the baker can be seen atop the steps in the doorway beside the shop surveying the town as it wakes, he's been hard at work all night making the towns bread and pastries. Each time I see him I want to ask if he'd mind having his portrait painted...watch this space!

11 November 2011

Lily Pond No. 2

Lily Pond No. 2 Oil. £99
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I cant resist painting this Lily pond, and why should I. At the moment it's surrounded by golden trees and of course the colour is in the pond too, well on a sunny day!. While I was painting I became aware of footsteps crunching on the ground behind me, on looking around I saw an angry looking man approach, he started remonstrating with me about I don't know what, I supposed because I was trespassing on his land, I quickly explained that I was a painter and would he mind me painting his beautiful pond. As he got nearer he could see exactly what I was doing and seemed to relax a little, he pointed to the easel and mentioned fish, he thought when he saw me from a distance I was poaching his fish and that the top of the easel looked like a fishing rod!  He smiled and shook my hand, patted me on the back and left, maybe one day I'll ask if I can fish in the pond too!

10 November 2011

Golden Leaves

Golden Leaves. Oil. £99
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I painted this just at the foot of the Chateau at Rochechouart, the river meanders along the valley floor and disappears into the hills. My car in the corner of the photo

9 November 2011

Lilly Pond

Carrying on the Monet theme but in subject only, this pond I found near the village I go to for French lessons.  BTW is it Lilly or Lily?

Lilly Pond. Oil. £99
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8 November 2011

Oak Leaves in a Glass

Stage one

The first stage was to rough in the basic shape of the glass 
with diluted oil paint, just anything off the palette.
Stage two

Mark in approximately where the leaves will go and at this stage 
I am aware of the composition of the whole, why did I offset the 
glass so much? maybe because the leaves are sitting in 
the left part of the glass and pointing to the right.

Stage three
Block in the background with a mix of Ultramarine 
and Burnt Sienna

Stage 4, I Begin to work on the colour and form of the leaves, 
and wondering why I had started this!

Stage 5, shapes beginning to come together, tightening up
the outline of the glass...

Oak Leaves in a Glass. Oil. £99
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7 November 2011

The Track to the Woods

I can tell you it took me a very long time to paint this - endlessly scraping back the paint and re-applying until in the end I was ready to throw it across the room and forget the whole thing! I'd put too much paint on and had completely lost what I was trying to do. There was one last thing to try and it worked! I Tonked it! I laid a sheet of newspaper over the whole thing smoothed it over and pulled it away, did this about 4 times and - presto a completely different painting, I worked into it a little, adjusting highlights and colour accents for about half an hour until I had it. I'm really happy with the result and finally achieved what i set out to do... A Monet-esque contre-jour* landscape. I'm really pleased with it.

The Track to the Woods. Oil. £99
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Detail of above
* with thanks to Making a Mark

4 November 2011

Autumn Sunlight Near Verinas

Autumn Sunlight Near Verinas. Oil. SOLD
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I'm really having fun getting out and painting the Autumn colour at the moment, I'm consious that we might get a few days of high wind and it'll all be gone. This is about 1 kilometer from my village and where I often go with the dog, you can see how the tree on the left is south facing and shelters the ones behind which are still green. Again I enjoyed using very thick impasto brushmarks with this, I usually work through the construction and basic elements of the painting and look forward to the moment when I can let loose with the paint knowing that I've won.

3 November 2011

Falling Leaves

I loved this place, I'm off there again today with another canvas, the leaves shelter and filter the sunlight and form an orange glow to the whole place, the Chateau of Rochechouart is just above me to the left out of the pic, feels a bit wierd, but completely seductive to a painter. I just wish I could do it justice, I'm anxious to get back there before the winds pick up and clear all the leaves off the trees, photos are good but you simply can't relpace the thrill of actually being there and feeling the place, the painting is different too. Yesterdays was from a photo and todays isn't, see the difference? I'm pleased with them both but in different ways, this is a kind of warts and all painting executed in about an hour and a half, no time to fiddle and thats difficult when standing, yesterdays I was sitting and was able to fiddle, make tea and consider for longer what it was I was doing.

Which do you prefer?

Falling Leaves. Oil. SOLD

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Detail from above:

2 November 2011

Beside the River Glane

Beside the River Glane. Oil. £99

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Jean Baptiste Corot (1796-1875) a native of Paris spent many summers painting beside the river Glane near St Junien, my nearest large town. Friends of his built small log cabin for him so that he could stay in the area he loved to paint so much, it still stands today. In 1905 a bronze portrait was cast as a tribute to the man and his work and was mounted on a granite rock on the opposite side of the river. This is a beautiful place, especially at this time of year.

His rural landscapes offered a freshness and spontaneity that seemed too experimental and unfinished to the taste-makers his time. But their lithe, sinuous lines and gauzy, atmospheric tonalities charmed admirers then as they do now.

It could be said that Corot is a "painter's painter" 

A Meadow with two large trees. Jean Baptiste Corot:
Ville d' Avray. Jean Baptiste Corot:

1 November 2011

Under the Haselnut Tree

Under the Haselnut Tree, Oil, £99

This is my favourite place to sit in the garden, there are two Haselnut trees here and they form the perfect canopy on a hot sunny day, behind the fence is Rogers' vegetable garden with all kinds of veg growing, some of which is for the Lapin's he keep's in cages further back.  I really enjoyed making this painting I got lost in it, the composition is unusual but holds together well and the chairs are balanced with the darks of the conifer tree on the top right.  There are a lot of rich buttery brushmarks in the painting which don't appear in this image so I have taken a separate pic to show some...


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