‘Bristol’s North Street Blues…. Oranges & Reds’. 4/5/17

This is a new painting I am working on alongside ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ which is nearing completion. As with ‘Don’t Be A Dick’, I am interested in painting local, recognisable, sometimes iconic scenes as a backdrop to my usual trademark female figure.  So for Cape Town, we have the House Of Machines cafe with its eye catching Dont Be A Dick (no apostrophe!) and the bright red walls of the State Of The Art gallery where I show my art ( ) to set off the girl with her ubiquitous mobile, a statement of our times. So it is with ‘Bristol’s North Street Blues…’.  North Street is the lively, vibey street where I live,  home to cafes, bars, independent shops and of course the street art festival Upfest held every year when graffiti and street artists descend on North Street from all over Europe to paint their distinctive scenes.  I am particularly drawn to this recent street art which appeared and I decided to place my model in the front of part of it, sliding by in a bright red dress, oblivious of the scene beside her.  Again, possibly a statement of our times.  Hopefully, when this painting is…
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‘Don’t Be A Dick’ work in progress 27/04/17

My son takes great exception to the fact that there is no apostrophe in the lettering in the cafe window featured here.  He thinks I should put the apostrophe into the ‘Dont’.   Normally I would agree, but the lettering doesn’t feature in the original, and as I hope this painting will one day soon hang in the gallery opposite the cafe, I feel it must reflect what the cafe shows.  Sorry son….. The gallery is the red building reflected in the cafe window and is State Of The Art on Shortmarket Street in Cape Town ( ).  Drop in if you are passing, especially on First Thursdays when loads of galleries stay open in the evening on the first Thursday of the month in Cape Town.  So much great art to see. I am getting down to the detailon this piece and should start pulling it altogether next week. Really becoming one of my favourite artworks.  Painting large works for me. If you are in Bristol UK at the moment, go along to a great restaurant off Millenium Square which is showcasing an exhibition of art by Clifton Arts Club.  I am showing some of my art there and…
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‘Don’t Be A Dick’ work in progress. 12 April 2017

This is a larger piece which I am hugely enjoying.  Beginning to pull it together now and making the composition work.  Because of its size (80 x 80 cm) which is large for me for an oil painting, I am breaking it down into four quarters and working one quarter at a time.  In an orderly clockwise direction. Or at least that was the  intention ….. What REALLY happens is that I start mixing some fabulous pink or blue or vivid red paint on my palette, begin putting it on said quarter and then my eye is drawn to a completely different area where I think that colour would work as well.  So off I go, and my neat plan is screwed. However, the advantage of this is that the colours are really drawing the picture together and if you are looking at one part of the painting, your eye is then automatically drawn to another, different part of the work.  Clever stuff, eh?! This piece, as mentioned in the last blog, is for the gallery in Cape Town (see previous blog for details) and I am now gearing up to paint similar works for the Bristol gallery (again see…
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‘Don’t Be A Dick’ detail.

As I am painting a much larger work, 80 x 80 cm, I can’t really post work in progress each week as not of a lot of progress would be shown.  So for this week I show a bit of close up detail for those of you interested in seeing how I work. It has been interesting painting a larger work, as it enables me to paint in a looser style which I am much enjoying.  I can also be more experimental with colour and am looking forward to trying out jewel bright pinks and oranges on the red paint of the gallery building and blues and pinks elsewhere. This particular painting is for the gallery in Cape Town which incidentally is the red building shown there.  Hopefully, it will be one of a series and I am now excited about painting a similar series with a Bristol vein for in the UK.  I remain, as always, committed to painting the female form, but I like the idea of local, recognisable buildings in the background to add interest to the piece.  Time will tell! If you are in the New York area, please come along to ArtExpo at…
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‘Don’t Be A Dick’. Work in progress. 29.03.17

My apologies for no blog for a couple of weeks.  I have ongoing back problems which are affecting my ability to paint as much as I did. I was also away in Cape Town on a working holiday and have come back inspired by the colours, warmth and enthusiasm of Africa as always.  Cape Town is a vibrant melting pot of art, and I met some wonderful talented artists on my trip.    I have a mass of photos to work from and the first is shown here. It is larger than previous works (80 x 80cm) and I am painting it for the gallery in Cape Town that takes my work, State Of The Art,  It is mainly a successful online gallery but now has a physical presence on Shortmarket Street.  If you are in CT, go in and have a look at the great work on show there, a lot of figurative art which is always good to see. This photo is taken from the gallery looking across to the local cafe opposite called House of Machines.  There will be more reflections in the window of the cafe as I work the painting up.  The woman in…
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‘Throwing Shade’ Completed and available.

Well, I asked and got so many suggestions for titles for this piece, so thank you to all on Twitter for your ideas.  A difficult choice to make, but in the end I liked the contemporary feel of this title.  Thank you Mark Pearson! You can make of this composition whatever you like. It could be a woman looking out to see seeing storm clouds on the horizon and comparing it to her life.  Or she could be seeing the calm waters and flat horizon and she at lasts feel at peace.  Or she could just be hot and cooling off under the parasol! This is why I so love painting narrative works, as the viewer makes up his or her mind as to what is happening. What I may intend to happen is probably completely different to what the viewer sees. I have a wealth of new images from my stay in Cape Town and can’t wait to get started; but will probably paint something completely different initially to give me a change from painting  water…. in Cape Town are now showing my latest street art Graffiti Line Art.  They are a great online gallery with a physical…
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New work, week 3. 21 Feb 2017

Making good progress now, next week should see it finished and available.  Still not sure of a title, so any ideas please? I think I will still liven up the bikini colour somewhat and the skin tones need more depth and development before I shall be satisfied it is finished.  However, I have never yet met another artist who is completely sure they have finished a piece; there is always something small that needs adjusting.  Artists are perfectionists by nature, forever searching and developing their skills and talents.  Or so I believe! Loving being back in Cape Town and am grateful for my beloved IPhone to point and shoot at some interesting scene, be it on a beach, in a cafe, or half way up Table Mountain… daughter has been out to stay and has, as always, been an inspiring muse for me.  I can’t wait to get started on a series of Cape Town paintings on my return to Bristol, but in my style though.  I would not wish to try and copy some of the amazing African artists here.  All I can do is use my own perspective and ideas to hopefully produce some great paintings, but with…
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Week 2, new work. 8 Feb 2017

Decided the bikini colour was too bland against the light shades of the sand.  So the bikini is now a lovely shade of red; I may introduce some orange shading as time goes along. The sand is beginning to take shape as I paint in more shadows and tones; in fact I may have to soften those lines by next week as they look a little rigid at present. The shadows on the sand of the legs and the parasol stand break up what could have become a rather dull foreground.  As usual, I am not a fan of brown in my palette so those shadows will veer towards purples and blues. Enjoyimg painting in the vibrant colours of the parasol, getting more definition as the painting develops. Skin tones gaining strength; horizon no longer drunken, getting there! It’s amazing what staying in a warm and colourful place like Cape Town is doing to this artist’s thoughts and ideas!  I will be returning with an IPhone full of new and wonderful photos, of swimming pools, blue seas and skies and hopefully masses of colour.  Africa is a vibrant place and gets under my skin just as the cliche says it…
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Week 1, new work. 2 Feb 2017

A complete change from the last work, less fabric, more flesh tones to deal with; both always challenging. This is very much a first draft as it were.  At the moment the bikini is golden yellow but it may well change to a vivid red to give more emphasis against the sand as the composition looks a bit bland.  I want to inject more colour after the more muted tones of the last painting ( see last blog, Dreaming of Lady Gaga ). I will be levelling out the horizon of course as it looks a bit drunk as it stands.  I will also be adding in more colour to the sand to bring it to life more.  As for the parasol, well that will burst alive with colour! I am away in Cape Town just now on a working holiday, hence this composition.  I hope to take some more great sunshine shots for future paintings so keep reading my updated blogs for more info.   It never ceases to surprise and uplift me when I am staying somewhere hot.  The people seem more alive, the colours are just amazing and I end up wanting to paint so much more…
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‘Dreaming of Lady Gaga’ completed. 26 Jan 2017

This piece is 12 x 12″ (30 x 30cm) and is now finished. It is painted on gessoboard and is in oils. The title is very much tongue in cheek.  When I was about half way through the work, one of my followers on Twitter suggested there was a resemblance to Lady Gaga and that I should send it to her.  I had never set out to paint Lady G;  this is in fact my daughter in law sitting nursing a little glass musing….. I decided to put the work up on one of the groups for artists on LinkedIn and got a lot of interesting feedback.  I did stress that it was never my intention to paint Lady Gaga, which was a good thing, as several people commented that she would probably not have been happy to be painted without her permission.  My own thinking is that she must get so many Tweets etc, it was highly unlikely she would look at my one photo! It was fun to see all the comments and of course I will not be sending it to her, but I couldn’t resist the title.   This young woman could be looking into her…
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