Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

Experimenting with Watercolours

Posted: March 2, 2011 in Art, Artists

A couple of weeks ago on BBC1, Shelia Hancock hosted a programme about watercolours.  It didn’t focus on how to paint using watercolours but on artists, especially Turner, who were famous for painting with watercolours.

It was a very enjoyable programme and sadly, a one-off, but it did remind me that some years ago I bought my wife a set of watercolours and she had never used them and I knew exactly where they were, which in this house is no mean feat.  The next day I got them out of the cupboard where they had been since they had been bought, dusted them off and had a go.

Being use to oils, it was a very different experience and my first 3 or 4 paintings were pretty poor.  A few days later I came across an illustration by Rene Gruau that he had done for the fashion house Dior.  I was very taken by the illustration and decided to try to paint it with the watercolours.

Now I know it’s not very artistic to ‘copy’ another piece of art but I wanted to focus on ‘how’ to paint with watercolours and not worry about ‘what’ I was painting.

I was very pleased with the end result and here it is.  Although I must say, since looking at it again, her shoulders are way to wide, poor girl. I must make them more petite if I try painting her again.


On Saturday evening my wife and I spent the night with some friends on their yacht in Emsworth (Hampshire) so we could make an early start on Sunday morning and get out on the tide in Chichester Harbour at 5am (madness).

After loading the boat and having a couple of swift G&T’s we walked up the road to a pub by one of the Mill Ponds on the old A27 called the Sussex Brewery.

I cannot tell you how many times I have driven past this pub and wondered what it was like inside because from the outside it doesn’t look great but I had once, somewhere, heard good things about it.

Walking into the pub I immediately noticed it looked a lot older on the inside than it did on the outside.  The ceilings were very low, it had a flagstone floor in parts as well as wooden flooring, all covered with a generous sprinkling of sawdust on the floor and it also had exposed timber beams. It really was very nice.

There were a few locals at the bar and we were immediately served by friendly staff and then got some menus.

It seemed their speciality is sausages, mash & gravy and you really were spoilt for choice, not only on the meat variety of sausages, but there must have been about 8 different types of vegetarian sausages.

The food came quickly, it was hot, tasted great and not a scrap was left on our plates.

The only let down for me was that the woman who served us knew absolutely bugger all about their wine selection so I had to look through the bottles behind the bar to find something I liked, but that aside, I would definitely recommend a visit if you are ever passing through Emsworth in Hampshire.

Paintings of Cornwall

Posted: August 9, 2010 in Art, Artists

In 1986 and 1987 I spent time in Cornwall and in one week I drove just over 2,000 miles, including the drive from Portsmouth and back, discovering the coast of Cornwall with my wife.

We would leave the hotel early in the morning and just drive off along the coast road and find incredibly beautiful bays which were completely deserted (in July!) and have them all to ourselves to enjoy.

Recently memories of that time have come back to me thanks to my friend Chris (@Artythings on Twitter) who introduced me to these two artists via his twitter page.

The first artist Chris led me to is Kurt Jackson, a British artist who is about 49 years old.  If you go to this page and then click on the image it brings up a slide show. Its amazing.

The second artist is Simon Andrew and again, these pictures are of Cornwall and they too are amazing

I did this painting in about 90 minutes as a warm up for a painting I am going to do for a friend of mine called Mark.  Mark lives in a fantastic country house on the edge of the New Forest and As I wanted to do a large canvas but had nowhere suitable to hang it, he obliged.

It is in the style of the American Artist Harry Ally.  And that is part of the problem, I have yet to find my own style.  But that is hardly surprising as I don’t paint that often and in the last 5 yrs have not really completed anything.  However i intend to change that (now I have commandeered the Laundry room!

Since I took this photo, I have done a bit more on this.  The man arm is not so prominent so to me, it now looks better.

I did feel better recently when I looked at Bridget Hunters Blog – and she said so many of her paintings ended up in the bin!