Friday, 29 March 2019

In Court

As you may have read in the NEWS page on my website, I'm going to be Artist in Residence on the 15th and 16th June in the Old Courthouse in Ely.
I'll be working on my current painting 'Who Stole The Toothpaste?', having previously made drawings in the main courtroom for part of my research.
During the Isle of Ely Arts Festival , visitors will be able to see a display of all my preliminary studies as well me working on the final canvas.
I plan to bring along my 1931 Morris Minor as well and park it just outside the building.
The car appears in the painting but I am also hoping it will attract some attention and bring people in. Especially if I tie colourful helium balloons to the luggage rack

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Squaring The Circle

Having finished experimenting on nine preliminary canvases, I've now started the final painting.
'Who Stole The Toothpaste?' is about my ancestors making a fortune a hundred years ago and then loosing it all again.
I'm working on a circular canvas which is reminiscent of the shape a toothpaste pot my great,great , Uncle Tom sold as part of his pharmaceutical company. I've covered the circle in lettering  and I'm just beginning to paint the overlay which charts of the rise and fall of the company - more on that later.
I'll put some photographs of my progress on the website in a few weeks time.

Friday, 15 March 2019


During my last tour of 2018, one of the visitors took a series of six photos of the gallery.
They've just been put on my Facebook page and if you would like to see them just click to the left on any page of my website.
I think the best one is of Mr Turnip - a puppet from 1950s television who fascinated me as a child.
The photograph with it's strong shadows, makes him look very spooky. No wonder my daughter has to have him covered up when she sleeps in there!
Mr Turnip inspired two paintings - 'Diamonds' and 'The Enigma of the Chinese Mask', both of which you can see on the PRINTS FOR SALE pages.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

For Sale

I don't often sell my work, so you must forgive me for letting you know that a new batch of preliminary canvases are for sale. These were made in preparation for my latest painting 'Hinaki', which explored the family links between Ely and New Zealand. I always test out my ideas on small canvases before starting the final piece.
You can see the paintings if you click on the link in the NEWS AND REVIEWS page, just under the NEWS headline. You'll need to scroll down passed those with SOLD across them  to find the new batch.
The completed picture can be viewed on the TOURS page.
End of advert.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Wilful or Stubborn?

We've had a visit from my nephew and his young family recently and I gave them a tour around my pop-up gallery. He was particularly interested to know about the painting ' David's Journey ' which I made to mark his fathers 50th. birthday, twenty seven years ago. (you can see the painting in the PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website)
In it, I portrayed my brother as Muffin the Mule, whom I saw as an icon of 1940s television, when David was born. I was interested in the symbolism surrounding different animals and used all Muffin's friends to represent various members of the family. My sister-in-law was not best pleased to be portrayed as a hippopotamus until I explained  that it was a great honour as this animal symbolised the great earth mother in some cultures.
My nephew was keen to know what I had chosen to represent him but at the time I could not remember. However after looking through about twenty old sketchbooks I finally found the information. I had chosen Peter the Pup to be his animal as the dog symbolised wilfulness although to be fair, I think stubbornness might have suited my ten year old nephew, better.
 I was running out of animals  to represent the family, so I hope he will forgive me this character assassination.