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After much prevarication, here’s my first attempt at oil painting. I’m calling it ‘Multitudes’. An  abstract offering. I’m not claiming claiming anything for the painting in terms of any perceived or imagined merit. It is what it is.

photo-4And it was indeed, a very different painting experience using this much vaunted medium. Will I continue in oils? Yes, of course. Hope you like it.



The Powerful Play Goes On

I’ve now completed the abstract painting I’d recently started. It’s now looking quite a bit different to its first incarnation as a result of a re-think.

I instinctively knew it wasn’t right and took steps to change it quite radically although I feel for the better.


I’ve given it the title ‘The Powerful Play Goes On’ – a line from one of Walt Whitman’s poems. Hope you approve.


Work In Progress

Fascinated by the base of a particularly old tree one evening a few weeks ago in Queen Square in Bristol I spent some time sketching it. Back home in Liverpool a few days later I decided to apply a more abstract approach to the sketch. And now I’ve started working this up into a painting.


Here it is on the easel and I’m working in mixture of acrylics and emulsion of all things.  A long way to go but I thought it might be interesting to record its progress to completion. Watch this space and, as always, your comments are very welcome.


Colour Grab

I know the title of this painting would indicate I’m a little out of synch with the seasons but it was the use of colour that grabbed my attention.


This is an oil painting by Howard Coles called ‘Autumn Woodland’. His usual subject matter is landscapes and seascapes in North Wales.
Here’s his website -


The Magnetic Force Field That Is Dieter Roth

While on my drawing course at Tate Liverpool, one painting in the gallery caught my eye from the outset. It’s a work by the Swiss artist, Dieter Roth.

photoApart from its bold use of colour, the painting uses a range of materials and artefacts and the artist’s face is there to see if you look closely, too.
Not the sort of artwork I might have expected to have liked in the past, but it’s definitely got a force field all of its own that draws me back even now.


Before The Blossom

Just finished this painting I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

photo-9Calling it ‘Before The Blossom’ – it’s based on a sketch of the blossom tree a number of weeks back when the branches were bare, well before the blossom arrived. It’s painted in acrylics and emulsion (I had some paint sample pots lying around!).

Let me know what you think.



Cherry Blossoms In Spring, And All The Joy It Brings

One of my favourite new bands are Night Beds – not least for the astonishing voice of Winston Yellen who writes and sings their material. Perhaps the song that showcases both his songwriting skills and amazing vocal range is Cherry Blossoms.


This is a shot I took this morning in my garden – it looks its best in Springtime. This line from the Night Beds song says it all really –

Cherry Blossoms In Spring, And All The Joy It Brings

Seriously recommend this band – sadly missed them on their recent UK tour – hope to catch them next time around. Meantime, hope you like the shot of the blossom.







Exciting Times For Henry

Exciting times for my chocolate labrador, Henry, who’s just passed his Kennel Club bronze award this morning on the Wirral. This was actually taken last night near Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

photo-1The excitment continues later in the week as Henry celebrates his 1st birthday!



Liverpool – Slipway To The World

Ever sat in a restaurant and realised that the person sitting opposite you will have had an entirely different view from yours. Maybe you’ve got the view to the street and pavement outside, while your companion can see the hustle and bustle of the kitchens and the serving hatch. Your experience of the restaurant might be qualitatively distinct as a result of the simple matter of perspective and outlook.


Apply this thinking to the cities of the United Kingdom and you might suddenly begin to understand something of the particular character of one of the greatest of those cities – Liverpool.

The picture above was taken last night down by the shore of the wide River Mersey as the sun was starting to set. In the distance, the mouth of the great river is still lit as the sun drops in the West. I’ve been picturing the UK’s cities in my mind and their rivers – London and the Thames, Newcastle and the Tyne, Bristol and the Avon, yet none of these rivers open so clearly onto the oceans beyond like the Mersey as it flows in and out of Liverpool. As a Liverpudlian, your imagination is constantly drawn by this slipway to the rest of the world. To the cities of North America; Montreal, Quebec, New York and San Francisco. To the far shores of the antipodes; Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. To the Orient; Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond. If you want a clue to the character, personality and outlook of Liverpool and it’s citizens, look no further than the River Mersey and the seven seas lapping at the city’s shores.












Artist New To Me – 2

Perhaps it’s fairer to say that Ben Quilty is an artist who is new-ish to me. I am, however, fast becoming a big fan of this Australian artist’s bold, evocative portraits in oil.


This is actually called Self Portrait After Madrid, 2007. Will certainly be taking a close look at his technique when I come to start working in oils myself.