It's a GoodThing on a long haul

It's a GoodThing on a long haul
It's a Good Thing on a Long Haul

Monday 31 October 2011

Things got a bit complicated

Well, they did. The city started evolving bigtime. Suspect a strategy to keep those dragons from their den.

Dragons' Den

A new perspective on pastel boards.....extending and incorpating onto the frame. This is a continuation of Dragonship. Both the city and the ships are eveloving into lifeforms....

Nightflight 3

This is my latest take on Nightflight

Artist in Residence at Chesterfield College - AA2A

I am delighted to be amongst 6 artists who've been selected by Chesterfield College to be their artists in residence for the next six months. This involves 100 hours of working at the college until April/May next year. The idea is to be available to the students so they can ask questions about our works, working practices etc. For them, a small window on what it is like to be a working artist, and for us a chance to share some of what we know, and no doubt learn a lot from them. A short intro to the students on Nov 24 will start the process, and then each of us will set up our work in one of the studios and begin.
For me, this is a wonderful opportunity to undertake a large mural on coarse chipboard, [OSB] something I can't fit into my studio at home. Ideas buzzing about how to carry this out, then how to carry it elsewhere...
The board I have in mind is 6' x8' [ or Length: 2440mm Width: 1220mm].
Ah, jigsaws......
The mechanics of this are part of the exploration of my chosen material. I am really looking forward to starting since my pictures invariably end up quite different from what I begin with. I will be writing a blog for the college, and will link it to this site.

Thursday 28 July 2011


Chesterfield Art Club is holding its annual art show at Bakewell Town Hall this year. Come and see what we have on offer. Entrance is free




The Message & The Return

I entered four pastel panels on chipboard, and two black and white 'Things' on canvas. The one that sold was 'Things are Piling up'- one of my favourites. The show as usual had some really interesting art, but sadly I couldn't get to see much of it as fate intervened.

Things keep Piling up & It's a Good Thing on a long haul

Monday 16 May 2011


I am at Via Gelli Mill again this year, with Netty Reddish, and we welcome anyone to come and see our artworks, have a cuppa, maybe do a bit of hands-0n Chinese Brush painting with me, or craftwork with Netty. She is offering to engrave your own design onto a jigsaw, or even onto stone with her laser cutter. [Bring your own stone/slate.chopping board for that.] There will be bracelet-making, colouring in, things for all ages. I will be bringing my airbrush, so if I can set up a small booth, that will be available for tasters too.
Fri MAY 27th 6-9 pm Preview Evg.
Drinks, nibbles and an opportunity to buy before the wider public descend at the weekend.
Just let us know if you'd like to come so we can provide enough consumables. Ah yes, and there will be singing...Some of the Dale Divas will give us a bit of a chorus. The choir has won so many medals this year, some of them will be off on their own projects, but we have booked Diva Kate to serenade us, and if anyone wants to join in, they're welcome.

My work
I have concentrated on doing some more chipboard panels during the winter as they seemed to go down well last year. I very much enjoy doing them partly because it takes a long time to build up the layers of colour into the texture of the board and partly because these paintings evolve. Watching them take shape satisfies my curiosity.

I have a number of Chinese Brush Paintings on display, and have also started doing a series of monochrome 'Things' paintings in black ink on canvas.
Things Keep Piling Up, but they also go Round and Round. Indeed, some of them are Still Up in the Air.

There are a selection of pointillist pastels and some pastels inspired by Japanese artist, Hokusai.

And I have just started working with an airbrush in the last month - so one of two pictures to see from that.

As well as original paintings, I will also have prints and cards on sale.
And some painted stones.
Hopefully something for everyone.


Also at Via Gellia Mill are two other artists now, Clare Walton, from Kute Fine Art is exhibiting amazing pet portraits at Unit 309. Ian Daisley Photographer for the Peaks is exhibiting at Unit 308. Check out their websites. And you are also welcome to their Fri night previews. Clare from 4-8pm, and Ian 6-9pm

Saturday 22 January 2011

Jan 14 2011 - Mini Murals Workshop for Ashby Art Club @ Ticknall Village Hall

This was a workshop i ran a week ago using imagination and pretty much any medium of choice applied to coarse chipboard. I personally find this surface very intriguing as the medium you use on it also has a definite influence on what emerges.
It is the artistic equivilent of a writer being given a title for a story, and then being let loose with pen and paper.

Ten artists with creative antennae and brushes quivering; ten Chipboards of differing sizes and shapes; ten different ways of seeing what was in the board and then teasing it out. One side was primed, the other bare.

The choices, the choices....

I took photos at various stages to show the development of the pictures but must apologize for the quality of some of these photos. If anyone wants to send me a better photo I will gladly substitute it. And if you finish your picture let me have it and that can go up too. In spite of some photographic failures I hope you can see the huge differences in approach.

Kay Astin started by applying pastel to the board and then observing what slowly emerged... a tree, a hummingbird, flowers, a cockerel, she then used acrylics to bring these features out. I understand there is even a dog lurking behind the tree.

Kay has updated her finished painting now (Feb 27th 2011), and here it is, renamed, Cock-a-doodle-do. What an amazing picture to literally emerge from the wood! Fantastic.

Some used the board with just ink wash. Below are a series of inks painted onto natural wood -
Blue Trees by Dianne Cox - with acrylics used for the white flowers. The ink soaks in, leaving the surface of the wood still visible. Watch out for the finished picture in due course....

This picture below, Mermaids by Jackie Adshead, is done chiefly with pastels, using the rough wooden texture to provide the seaweed and rocks for the drama being acted out!

Lesley Griggs did quite a bit of experimenting, using first her fragment of board and then both sides of the larger board with Trees on the primed side (inks) and Running Man on the wooden side, [acrylic & ink.]


Janet Hunt used both sides of her board too: acrylic Waterfall on the wooden side & inky
Tuscan Orange on the primed side. (Photos are bad, and don't do them justice)

Japnese Ladies with Kites, by Dave Tremain, were painted in acrylic and then highlighted in pastel. Little Green Riding Hood was painted in a mix of ink, pastel and acrylic on the primed side of the board - all inspired by one bit of wood!

Chris Cliff, declaring he had 'no imagination' at all, deliciously managed to prove himself wrong by painting not only a striking picture and using the strands of wood to good effect, but also creating three totally different moods, or times of day with his Purple Rocks. Quite an achievement.

Teresa Bailey used acrylics as a base and pastels as highlights to produce her Seed Pods, leaving the wood exposed as the background - very effective as you can see.

Anne Devenport was inspired by the shapes in the wood to find cone shapes, possibly buildings, a castle? She kept the wooden board as the background and enhanced it with metalic ink. The finished article is to follow......

This picture started off as a vertical Waterfall, and beccame Beachcombing when turned horizontal. Mary Oliver painted it largely in acrylics, picking out the driftwood in the foreground with pastel. A very intriguing surprise creation.

Viv Pichard painted both sides of the board, pastels and acrylics produced Huts by Waterfall, [right] and on the primed side, Climbers. Viv used the fibre of the board for the fence, roofs and rocks to very good effect. (The quality of these photos do not do justice to them. Note to self: must do better)

Liz Harris used the wooden background of her picture as the backrop for a Forest of Peacocks which kept peering out at her. A voyage of discovery within the wood which got more and more intricate as the day went on. It was fascinating to watch.

It was a day of exploration and discovery, a time to let go, because it is impossible to get this form of art 'wrong'. And not one person did!
A very enjoyable time was had by me, and judging by the feedback I've had since, others had a good time too, so thanks to the Ashby Art Club for making such a Happy Saturday.

Thursday 13 January 2011

2011 The Year of the Shed and Many Things to do

I have a new studio.....Hurray! The garden shed was insulated a week before the Big Freeze and is now my own domain where I can make art, mess, and no one else cares. So my aim this winter is to paint enough pictures for all the summer exhibitions. Mice, men and other things not interfering too much, I might get thirty paintings done. Too ambitious? Maybe, but New Year's Resolutions are, de facto, half full glasses.
2010 was the year of Chipboard. Those pastel panels seem to appeal to other people as well as to me, so I only have two left now and need to start some others. I aim to have five new ones in time for Derbyshire Open Arts, May Bank holiday at Via Gellia Mill, Bonsall, DE4 2AJ
This yearI am also starting a new series of paintings in black ink on white canvas. Check out 'Things' in my gallery as I'll add them as they come.

Painting is an odd thing. The medium itself dictates the result, like writing: handwriting has a life of its own quite different in character to typing. Thus, 'Things keep Piling up' done on A4 card is quite different from the same title done on canvas. I will post both to illustrate this. And if I painted it again, it would be different once more. These Things keep growing on me..... [that should prove to be an interesting picture too, maybe next month.] At the moment 'It's a Good Thing on a long haul' that starts the year, and it is a long haul, as Things keep multiplying (see what I mean?) In fact, Things are probably limitless, (stop it!) and you know how it is, 'One Thing Leads to Another' and then all of a sudden those Mice or Men interfere and 'Things have gone Pearshaped' leaving me with 'Things up in the air' and Things to do, places to go and a lot of 'ThingKing' to do. But generally 'Things are Looking Up'. I personally never say, 'Some Things were meant to be', or Some Things weren't meant to be!' but a lot of people do feel influenced by Things. Some people says 'Bad Things come in Threes', I just hope 'All Things Bright and Beautiful,' come your way in 2011.

At the moment most of these pictures, and about 40 others, are in a sketchbook, waiting to amuse you through the year ahead. Um...that's about four a month. Gotta go.