Thursday, 19 April 2018

Twixt Goodmanham and Middleton on the Wolds.

A very very hot baking day, record for an April day, what a change. I found some shade, which was not easy and saw this building, it is called Station Cottage. Halfway through painting, a huge wagon with attached huge trailer passed me. It was carrying lumber from the distant woods. Yellowhammers were again calling as I painted, and George lay chewing a branch, in the shade. I started by having a coffee at the Fidler's Cafe in Goodmanham, ( the name relates to the old fashioned, manual fiddle used for sowing seed ). This spot is 5 minutes drive away. Whilst I was painting a car stopped, out popped an ex colleague who had just left Fidler's where she had taken her mum and sister. It always amazes me, that in the middle of nowhere friends pop up. Celandines were glowing golden yellow in the verges looking luminous. The chalky ground in the fields was evident here and there, reminding me that crops grow under a heavy regime of fertiliser and spraying. Indeed, I cautiously moved George as a huge crop sprayer approached us at one point.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Holme on the Moor, East Yorkshire. ( WOLDS COLLECTION )

Plein air, oil on canvas 12 x 10 inch
This took me two visits, most done yesterday, with today just to finish off details as yesterday was very blustery making the pochade box wobble ! Though this is not an obvious view to paint I have found it delightful. This shows the western approach to the hamlet with daffodils still in bloom on the verges. Celandines are now also at their best and are scattered along the grassy roadsides. As I painted, the quietude made one almost meditate at times. I was fortunate to see a hare emerge from a hedge, and then casually move along it before crossing the lane. I also saw lots of partridge in the hedges, both grey and red legged as well as hearing the 'krarkk' of pheasants in the fields. The peace would occasionally be disturbed by passing farm vehicles and at one point a low flying RAF trainer plane. Sheep, to my left,  with very young lambs completed a lovely, serene, bucolic experience.

Monday, 16 April 2018

South Dalton, looking at St. Mary's Church.

12 x 10 oil on canvas
Hi everyone, I set out mid afternoon to finish this painting as the weather was sunny and I thought it would be nice to paint in the warmth of of a spring day. I had thought about not doing this view but as I looked I saw various points of interest including two distant horses. The large beech tree provides good framing and, in the end, I like it. It is a view which is probably more interesting to paint at this time before the greenery develops on the tree. At the moment painting, though a joy, is also a little challenging and I hope, as time passes, it will be easier.
A cheerful sight of a bright yellow, yellowhammer, made me smile as i packed up....'a little bit of bread and nooooo..... cheeeeeese"
Hope you like it.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

South Dalton and a red kite.

12 x 10 oil on canvas
After seeing friends in Beverley, I drove out in the late afternoon, to South Dalton. I pulled up and saw this view of the distant St. Mary's church, across bare fields. I liked the way the tree framed the spire of the church. In front of me were pools of water after all the rain we have had, even today was misty in the early morning and only improved slightly. The cold became penetrating and with my hands freezing I packed up and headed for the Pipe and Glass for a coffee. I had a lovely chat and sat near the fire to thaw out. On leaving, I looked up and saw a magnificent red kite circling lazily on outstretched wings, it's forked tail being just evident. I have kept this painting quite loose and not over worked it.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Barn near Bracken, East Yorkshire

!2 x 10 Oil on canvas
A quiet day started with a visit to Beverley Minster, to hear the visiting The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, going through some practise before Eucharist. I then left and set off to find somewhere to paint. The sky was overcast, dull though the sun was trying to get through. I found myself on this road again, leading to Bracken. Growing on the verges alongside these quiet roads are wild primroses and anemones auguring in the developing spring. I set up on the edge of the field. The quiet location encouraged many cyclists to ride by, away from nearby busy roads. Vintage motorcycles also passed noisily with names from the past on their tanks. Two horseriders, having passed earlier, returned and said hello. I have put them in on the right hand side.  I have moved the left side tree closer to the barn, to help the composition. All the painting was done at the site and is a little loose and not overworked.
Back in Beverley I met the mother of one of my students ( AG ) and we had a lovely chat, as a fellow artist I hope you like this picture.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The road to Bracken, East Yorkshire.

12 x10 inch, oil on canvas.
Another showery day with aggressive skies threatening, at any moment, to open up and force a retreat. I saw this barn just off the road to Bracken, East Yorkshire. ( That will have a few of you looking it up -  it is near Lockington ). Hope you like it.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Holme on the Wolds, East Yorkshire.

12 x 10 inch, oil on canvas.
Driving around the South Dalton you come to this junction at Holme on the Wolds,

( ... always makes me feel like singing
 " Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day....)

anyway it is a small farming hamlet. It has rained so much recently I have wondered about building an ark, and indeed I managed only to sketch this onto the canvas before it rained again. So I had to finish it at home. It will be so good to get some dry weather. I hastily moved over to the Pipe and Glass, at South Dalton for a bowl of soup.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Holmedale Farm, near South Dalton

Tootling around South Dalton before we had all this rain I saw this elevated farm, Holmedale Farm. Feel it needs tidying up really but wanted to post it.May just tidy uo the windows and also review some colour, may even remove the gate.

Monday, 26 March 2018

A road to Middleton on the wolds.

It was a lovely day today and after some essential jobs, I decided, quite late, to try another sketch. I found myself on the road to Middleton, and saw this view. I set up the pochade box and after a short while met a local farmer. Very interesting chat about past weather. He could remember the winter of 1947 when he walked on snow which had settled at telegraph pole height !! The cottage in the distance is Firtree Cottage, the road to South Dalton via Hotham Hall turns right just before the cottage. Though quiet, the song of a yellowhammer made me smile, ' ...a little bit of bread and no cheeeeese..' Huge agricultural machines passed by having done their work in the huge adjacent fields and horse riders came over to us. A lovely day with D'reen very much with me in my thoughts.

The set up.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

South Dalton

The quiet tranquil road lead past grazing horses, indeed, coming towards me along the road were two horse riders, heading for the nearby equine training centre. A rural scene. The trees planted along this road are magnificent and border the local estate of Dalton House. The quietude, no motor car noises, is unusual and bird noises seemed especially clear. Sudden, loud, honking sounds occasionally echoed around me a geese flew overhead. Above me kites circled on lazy wings as I painted. I needed two visits and today I was joined by a lovely friendly terrier, later retrieved by two people who had come down the road looking for her. Doreen would have loved this view.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

South Dalton from the North East

South Dalton 12 x 10 oil on canvas
Though sunny the weather remains very cold with the wind chilling blasts making the pochade box wobble and my fingers complain. This has been done using a minimum pallette, cadmium yellow, cerulean blue, raw sienna, black and white. The icing on the cake, so to speak, was a recuperative visit to the Pipe and Glass for a sandwich and coffee, where on leaving a red kite hovered overhead as I chatted to a local farmer and his wife. He was knowledgeable regarding local wildlife and spoke of  otters, roe deer and coots. A lovely excursion and something which is typical of what I would have done with Doreen, whose presence is still very much with me.... thank god.

Friday, 16 March 2018

D'reen - temporary message for my followers and friends.

Many of you will know now, that I have lost my loving, supportive wife. Words cannot express how I feel.

In time I will be painting again, but for now, I am lost, my strength is weakening and now after the initial frenzy of necessary things to do, I am missing her more. Yet I must remember I have been blessed with so many memories... it just hurts.

Here is a picture of a smiling D'reen just last October on her birthday. Pat, the flowers were from you, and she loved them.

Link to video with pictures and dialogue

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Skidby Cottage.

Wednesday was such a lovely day.
I was en route to see friends in Hull and had time to detour to try another painting, however, after walking George I only had time to do a sketch. I saw this building, actually two cottages, nicely framed by huge, ivy covered trees. It was an obvious choice. Just out of view, a man was fixing a garage door, I almost felt like asking if he needed help. It is so nice just to sketch and really look at what you are doing. The twittering of some birds made me look across and I saw two long tailed tits and a lone bluetit, can you see them. Spring is definitely here now with lots of bird activity. I had almost finished when cars came and parked in front of me - they thought I may have been from the council, so I said "We were knocking the cottages down and putting in a roundabout,".....before admitting I was simply sketching.
I will add a wash to this sketch soon.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Near Risby, East Yorkshire.

I set off to visit the "The Art of Terence Cuneo" exhibition at Hull University though, as the weather was so much better, I changed my mind and detoured to Risby. I found myself near the remains of an Italianate terraced garden. It was fascinating to read the history of the place, the terraces easily visible from where I painted this picture. As I painted I heard the honking of a skein of geese to my left, flying low, before settling rather aristocratically with their 'noses' in the air. A buzzard flew lazily by and then all was quiet. This is only the second painting this year and I am still rather rusty. Yet it was good to be painting again. Suddenly a car pulled up on the narrow road. It was a colleague from my time teaching at Beverley Grammar School ( founded AD700 - a note for my friends in 'The Colonies' ).
We had a lovely chat as we recounted various times and other colleagues.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Beverley Open Exhibition.

I have been fortunate to have had my work regarding D'reen  selected for the exhibition. The pleasure I felt at having these pictures accepted and on display is that poor Doreen died, in my arms, on the 12th March, and thus they have become a poignant though ultimately important tryptich marking the end of a ten year journey. God bless you Doreen, you were absolutely perfect and loving and utterly supportive to me and so many others.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Dementia Journey - D'reen.

I am pleased to say that these pictures have been selected for the Beverley and East Riding Open Art Exhibition. I would like to thank the curator and selectors for their help and encouragement.

 D'reen, as she was always called, was intelligent, thoughtful, kind and caring. Here is a portrait of her as I remember her, happy, alert, kind and intelligent. Sadly she succumbed and suffered from dementia. It started 9 years ago and has got progressively worse, and about four weeks ago she has had to go into a care home.

 Here is a picture of D'reen going away. It is rather conventional with the perspective focusing on the light. She is walking through shadows, a metaphor of her life. The autumn leaves suggest termination. Is she is heading for the black shadow or the light above. Will she turn the corner and get better. Is the road endless. A road sign mentions Zone Ends, does life end?

Shattered memories
Stained thoughts
Leaving reality

The finished picture needs to be explained.

Doreen is shown lying back, an element of perspective emphasises her downturned mouth. Her mouth is open, a large area of blackness, a repeating darkness. The faceted face is asymmetrical yet balanced. Her head is tilted slightly, indicating that her equilibrium is off balance.

The face is faceted the eyes open, yet unseeing, her hair falls onto tilted shoulders with another perspective element emphasising a slight diminution to the left hand side. There is something about the hair. It looks like it could be wings, a wing either side of her head. The Left hand wing is damaged, again a metaphor, yet also there is a finality about this, the damaged wing ultimately dooming the ability to feed and eat and survive. Stepping back you can see the wings provoke a suggestion of an angel. An angel flying away, flying higher, but that its damaged wing may mean that it cannot ascend quickly, efficiently, it needs to struggle to get away.

To the left of the head there is a linear conjunction of shapes making a line which touches and enters the upper forehead, here it stops, though there is evidence of continuity past the head to the right hand side.

The head has been hit, has been entered and damaged?

A bar has hit the head, and caused damage to the brain.

Below this bar, either side of the head larger shapes represent partial recall, memories of people who may be recognised as familiar, though not necessarily recognisable. Something about them is familiar, but what?

Is the flesh coloured triangle on the right hand side John the husband of 40 + years.

Above the 'bar' we see smaller triangular shapes, smaller memories, some are family members, parents and sisters, some are our dogs. But they are fading, they are in focus and organised but the next second the are discordant and confused. Some of the triangles lie adjacent to ones of similar colour making it difficult at first glance to identify where one stops and the other starts.

Dark shapes, black holes? Memory voids?

Occasionally there are flashes of much more distant memories, of people, of words, 'woebegone' mountains and lakes.

The shapes, mainly triangular, can be seen as delta shapes, a mathematical symbol of change, her representing change, deterioration and ultimately an ending. Standing back again some of these delta shapes combine to produce arrow heads flying away, taking away, taking memories away.

The shapes coalesce and some form slip planes, areas of structural failure, of memory weaknesses. Memories become darker and are disappearing off the edge of the picture.

Below the head Doreen is enshrouded by her comforter.

She is wearing her striped top which can be seen below her head.

The whole picture is made up of colours found in the face. The person and the surrounding memories are thus linked, are one, are shared.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Stream - a watercolour sketch

Idid this sketch some time ago, just came across it and thought that I would share it with you all. this simple little sketch using some basic watercolour paints was done in situ, loosely put together. I guess my idea was to try and capture the reflections in the stream. I often stop at this bridge, over the stream, which leads into a field used for growing a rotation of crops such as wheat, barley, cabbages and peas. One reason I stop is to spot the endangered water voles, mini beavers which appear in the spring. Mallards also appear at this time and proceed to swim up and down this section of the stream and are later accompanied by tiny ducklings.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Pocklington Canal - first painting.

Oil on canvas 12 x 10 inch
The first painting of the year and, in fact for over a year. Though I have tried some acrylic portrait work this is the first time I have managed to get out and paint 'en plein air' ... and I was a little rusty. The simple mechanics of walking to a spot with the tripod and pochade box, setting up and painting proved a little challenging. ....And it was a cold day. A dull day with low cloud. Behind me the sun tried, occasionally to get through.
I saw this area, near the last lock that is being renovated and thought it might work as a picture. It does not matter really. It was so good to get out and paint. Few people ventured out though a group did appear in the distance, one of whom wore a bright red jacket, so I quickly tried to add them.  Glad to be back.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Women's Suffrage and Hull Fishermens' Memorial

Today marked a significant point regarding the commemoration of the loss of three HULL trawlers within a short time of each other. It resulted in many safety improvements for those involved in this hazardous life at sea. I like to think of the efforts of the headscarf housewives, in particular Lillian Belocca who championed the fishermens' cause.
At this time of remembrance and also the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote I thought this illustration was apposite.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Womens anniversary of getting the vote.

This is a reworked poster which I produced for a friend some time ago, it has massive significance at this time and, as can be seen, pre-dates women getting the vote by some time.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Friday, 12 January 2018

View from Myton Bridge cabin 1980

Here is an old, late 1980, sketch showing a busy River Hull entrance. A ferry can be seen with its two vertical masts and I am trying to find out which ferry it was. The ferry service stopped when the Humber bridge opened and the phalanx of pedestrians seen making their daily march to offices, school and other places of work in the town just stopped.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Grab a 2018 calendar.

Hi everyone, the calendars have arrived from my printer. They contain some "walled garden" pictures of Castle Howard and Sledmere House, a preview of a future exhibition, also, other work of a local, East Riding, interest.
The calendar is A4 opening to hang as A3 and includes a year planner at the back.
An ideal gift for Christmas.
Cost £10 incl p+p.
Contact me here

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sunset study, Westwood, Beverley.

Watercolour 22 x 15 inch ( half imperial )
A glorious sunset. Inspired and taken from a brilliant photograph a good friend had sent me, when I mentioned I was trying to capture sunsets. Hope you like it. Yesterday, early, I walked George, our dog, on the Westwood, headed for Black Mill, which is looking as if it has been freshly tarred recently, before exploring further afield. Lots of dog walkers, I recognised some old friends and missed others.
I have tried to reproduce some of the intensity of the power of the sun as it sets. Very soon the setting sun will have moved to the other side of Black Mill, as the days get shorter. So I want to paint when the conditions are good. This week, the forecast says we will have lots of grey cloudy weather with showers, making things difficult.
Best wishes to everyone.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sunset near Black Mill, Beverley.

Quite pleased with this one.The surprise here is the appearance of the slim crescent moon. It was the first time, during the painting of these sunsets, that it appeared. Usually, it was behind me. Evenings are drawing in now. On cloudy evenings the light is gone by just after 9pm, not long ago it was nearer to 10pm. Sitting on the garden, as dusk falls, the evenings still mild, one often sees bats hunting. Silhouettes darting by, in search, in pursuit of some of the 2500 different moths that we have here in the UK. The swifts and martins are also active earlier in the evenings flying low to catch the insects which hug the trees and bushes. Summer still has time to go but there is a feeling of it passing too quickly.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Sunset near Black Mill, Beverley Westwood.

Another sunset appeared recently with some strange fingers of rosy cloud, raking across a very pale sky. I have tried to get the effect here. These sunset studies may be worth using to create oil paintings, though I will have to think about it. Time, at present is not something I have much of.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Sunset, Beverley, Westwood.

 This view, with some cows is interesting as a young man on the left appeared and started to fly his drone. Once it was Peter Powell stunters, then parasail kites, how times change. Actually, talking of kites it is about time I made some. But that is for another day.