Monday, November 9, 2015

Painting Plums and changing cloths

Fun to be painting big again; just finished this last week. I like the tried and tested relationship of the greens with the reds and the fantastic colors in the striped tablecloth!

Plum and Tulips on striped tablecloth
36 X36     Acrylic on wood

Often times I find the trick to painting, is to keep the energetic loose feel of a painting 'alive' despite the fact that the painting may have had to undergo some redesign.  In the case of this painting I struggled with the tablecloth design. This I feel is a common struggle within still life painting, the question of how best to convey the pattern, whether to leave the design in, or omit it? Sometimes as the journey of a painting unfolds a new direction is needed, the end result should hide all of that struggle.


Within this painting I attempted to keep  the original material design; in the end I came to realize a simpler approach was needed. You'll notice the detail image above, on the right shows the transition between the two designs. I realized I had designed strong horizontals and verticals, so the idea came to me that using another tablecloth that included stripes could be very effective. I'm glad I did, this design leads the eye up into the subject and reinforces the edge of the table beautifully.

I like the placement and perspective of this jug.

detail of final tablecloth
Compare this detail to the image further up, to illustrate how the right design element can make all the difference.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A well travelled painting!

Finished up the painting that I began in my studio, and then took to Santa Fe to paint on location for a couple of days at my gallery (Ventana Fine Art), during the Paint Out festival. I then returned once more to my studio, to put the final touches to it.  It's a well travelled painting!

When working on a painting over a long period of time it can be tough to keep the energy up, and not give the painting an over worked aesthetic.  This painting has a loose energy to it, giving the impression it was painted quickly, with passion, and in the moment. The reality, of course, is it took considerably longer. I try to keep strokes confident and carefully placed, keeping it's frenetic energetic feel; careful planning, I find is also an important factor to maintain.

Tangerines & Peonies on Poets desk
24X32                   Acrylic on panel

Monday, October 19, 2015

Returning from Santa Fe's 'Paint Out'

Here are a few images of me working away during the event. The painting I worked on isn't quite finished, but as soon as it is I'll post it up. The festival was as fun as ever, at one point I was filmed for the internet by some nice guys for something called 'Alla Prima Live'.  It went out live, so I'm not sure if it's discover-able on the internet? I looked but couldn't find it.

Stupidly, I was so busy painting. I neglected to photograph the show, crowds or even the parade - what was I thinking!

 in progress.
I need to fix my shade umbrella!

in amongst the sculptures

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Santa Fe Paint Out Festival

This Saturday (17th Oct) the town of Santa Fe (NM), holds it's 'Paint Out' festival. Many of the galleries throughout the town encourage their artists to paint in or around the gallery. It's a huge event and a great opportunity to meet artists and see them at work.

My gallery (Ventana Fine Art) will be holding a group show and the opening night is on the Friday (16th). If you're in the area this weekend it's a must for art lovers and the curious...

Call the gallery for more info. 1-800-746-8815 ‪#‎Santa_fe‬ ‪#‎Ventana_fine_art‬
Check out more of the pieces featured, -

Here's a few of pictures of previous years, none of the inside, or the crowds.  Perhaps this year I'll rectify that?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Masters Gallery, Carmel Reopening

 This Friday, if you're in the Carmel (CA) area, stop on by for a ribbon cutting ceremony, at New Masters Galleries new location.

The fire is a distant memory and the gallery has opened it's doors just down the street!   October 16th from 4pm-7pm. Dolores between 5th & 6th,
 tel (831) 625-1511 for more info. ‪#‎Carmel‬ ‪#‎New_Masters_Gallery‬

Draped across the table 
34X34         Acrylic on wood

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Can you ever have too much green?

 Rambling under Stargazers
24X36                       Acrylic on panel

I've worked this painting up through a number of weeks, it used a number of ideas, subjects and themes I'd explored in about 6 earlier, other paintings. I sketched them together and then used photoshop to do a loose composite using photographs of the original paintings.  From there I worked up the frame work of the painting and then planned the color.

Some of the elements even within the color plan were based on the earlier paintings, (for example the jug and papaya on the left), while others we're designed a new.

I think the overall painting turned out really well, I may work through this scheme again, it's a creative way to explore and breath new life into old subjects. An opportunity to revisit, but at the same time, adapt and evolve into a new iteration.


Monday, August 24, 2015

A much travelled painting

This is a much traveled painting, with some broad changes along the way!  -  I originally started this painting, outside with reference material in Santa Fe. I then brought it home to my studio and finished it; at this time it had a bright orange tablecloth.

in progress in Santa Fe

As the weeks passed, I began to wonder if the cloth was a little overpowering? So, many weeks later I've gone in and found a more toned and I think pleasing color design to the cloth.

Summer arrangement of colors over blue
18X22             Acrylic on panel

The camera doesn't always do a good job of showing subtleties in reds with blues, but overall I think the painting hangs together well, when seen in person.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Small paintings and studies

Recently I've been working on a number of small studies and paintings. It's an interesting test for me, working small. I'm usually looking for large, loose free strokes with a big brush feel, that has space to breathe around the subjects; working in the confines of a smaller composition and canvas can prove challenging.

Subject matter needs to be simplified to it's bare essence, and content needs to be reduced (one of two elements, rather than a table full of subjects). Additionally the subject needs to be considered as 'small enough' to work within the format, e.g. Iris flowers are too large and elegant for these kind of sizes.

Small bouquet & lemons over blue
12X16              Acrylic on panel

A small grouping of lemons
12X12               Acrylic on panel

Study - Tangerine greens
12X9                  Acrylic on panel

Poppies, apricots and cherries
12X12                   Acrylic on panel

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More wine?

Another 2 recently paintings from my wine bottle series. The inclusion of a bottle within my still life compositions has been a fun challenge, both in terms of position of the bottle, and choice of tone & color. I'm finding increasingly I am comfortable with taking liberties with the bottles apparent color and it's labeling; however I think it's important to keep the integrity of the bottles shape. It's a form we're so familiar with in society, that even when the labeling is missing and the coloration is 'creative', the identifiability of the bottle is still easy to place.

Irises on fish drape arranged outside
30X30                  Acrylic on canvas

A new and growing favorite of mine is the elephant tablecloth. I enjoy representational imagery within a design and these elephants are so engaging.

 Lemons & pears over Elephant patterned cloth
34X18                     Acrylic on wood

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Recent paintings

Here's two painting I've recently finished, each very different in subject and mood.

Waiting for the seasons to pass
24X36 Acrylic on canvas

 This one was fun to paint, the changing of the season from winter to spring. I love the clarity of those winter days, and the skeletal structure of leafless trees before they burst with spring growth and foliage.
*   *   *

Tulips & Oranges lying over red
18X36 Acrylic on wood

I always love working on this wide landscape aspect, it makes for a fun composition. Balancing the repetition of tones and color of the subjects; for example the placement of the lemons and plums as they stretch across the composition.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sneak peak for Santa Fe

I thought you might like to see a few more paintings that are going into my Santa Fe show opening this Friday with Ventana Fine Art!

Call the gallery for more info. 1-800-746-8815

Such a wonderful range of sizes and subjects.

Alstromeria with lemons & cream jug 
18X14          Acrylic on panel

 Approaching storm (Rio Grande river,NM)
36X24           Acrylic on panel

  Tulips turning from purple
36X18        Acrylic on wood

Sunflowers lemons and bread
40X70        Acrylic on canvas

Peruvian lily with Pomegranate 
12x9      Acrylic on panel

Reds circling the fruit
32X18              Acrylic on wood

Plenty more paintings and events at the gallery, find out more here - 

Terrible news

My poor gallery in Carmel had a fire last night! (New Masters Gallery) My heart goes out to everyone at the gallery! Thankfully no was one hurt and I think all paintings we're rescued. Though I dont know whether any will suffer from smoke damage?

 A kind passer-by, rescuing one of my paintings.

 Here's a shot of a passerby rescuing one of my paintings! Thank you to the kind people people who helped rescue everyones paintings, and wishes and thoughts to everyone involved.…/fire-in-downtown-carmel-art-…/33445512

Monday, May 18, 2015

Upcoming show in Santa Fe

Here's a recent painting that will be in my 2 person show in Santa Fe next month! The shows at Ventana fine art and I'm sharing my work with Frank Ballam another British artist and friend of mine.

The peruvian table cloth in this painting has been featured in many of my Still lifes. It's a subject I keep coming back too. I really enjoyed working on those large blooms getting each over-sized petal just right as the light and shade hits them. I also really enjoyed playing the colors through the back ground drape and the chairs!

Morning arrangement with jug and pears
30X40       Acrylic on wood

Call the gallery for more info. 1-800-746-8815   #Santa_fe #Ventana_fine_art

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Demo at Danville Artists' Society

Finally put the finishing touches on my little painting from the demonstration night with the Alamo Danville Artists' Society from a few weeks ago.

The demo only really lasted about an hour and half which is pretty tight. I arrived with a color plan and some of my initial outlines painted in. All the under painting and the majority of the final paint was done hurriedly on the night; but the painting still needed adjusting, and refining over time in my studio.

 Alstromeria with lemons cream
18X14                     Acrylic on panel

 In action on the night... I'm down their in the front somewhere!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Small Sunflowers

'Sunflowers, jug & lemons on blues' 
20X16                    Acrylic on panel

Here's a little Sunflower painting I painted for my mother, when she visited recently. Her eye had been caught by a painting I'd completed in 2013, which had long since sold.

The original, older painting -
 'Sunflowers roses and plums' 24X18

I told her I could paint something similar when she visited. Together, we adapted many elements in the painting including (of course) the color; but the impetus and the sunflowers inspiration remained faithful to the original idea.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Draped across the table

A recent finished painting. I do like working with a square format, it always feels like an unusual shape to work within; and when it works, it has a strong presence to it!

 Draped across the table
34X34             Acrylic on wood

I really like some of the background color changes in the drape and the tones in the watermelon, so I added a couple of details here for you to enjoy.



Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Singluar Vision - Solo Show in Colorado

I've been slow to post a few pictures from my solo show in Basalt, Colorado (sorry there's been lots going on). It was titled 'A Singular Vision' and ran from March 10th to April 10th, with the opening reception on the Friday the 13th. Though as it turned out it wasn't as ominous or unlucky as the date suggested....

I got into Aspen a few days early and enjoyed walking and skiing in the area. It had been a number of years since I'd traveled to the state, and it was nice to spend sometime in the beautiful area again.

The Ann Korologos Gallery is a really beautiful gallery in a charming town that's just down the road from Aspen. The gallery staff had done a fantastic job of both hanging the works and promoting the show. I was on local radio & television (link here for the TV). The gallery also ran various advertizements in newspapers, journals and American Art Collector magazine.

The show had a nice selection of works in various sizes, with about half landscapes, and half Still lifes. I took most of these pictures before the opening night, and the gallery supplied some from the opening evening. The reception night had a nice steady stream of people, never mobbed or over crowded, but slow and steady; it was a fun evening and a good show.

Call the ‪‎Ann Korologos Gallery‬ for more information, on tel. 970-927-9668

 Campanula and Jug on Long Table
Acrylic on wood 

 Following the path
18X24             Oil on panel

 Tulips bathed with light
16X20                    Acrylic on panel

Tulips & Papaya with blue 
30X30          Acrylic on Canvas