Blow(n) away the cobwebs.

•March 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Much work to do… after 3 and a half months on Skye I’ve come back with so much stuff I want to do and I’m jumping about from thing to thing not seeming to get anywhere… but, slowly, slowly, work is getting done. Lets face it, I have always been a slow worker… much of it is me thinking about stuff, starting stuff and erasing stuff in between trying to have a normal life walking the dog, being the family taxi driver and general dogsbody!

while I was up there I wrote a bit but didn’t update…. see below

I survived the drive up here and have now been settled in Harris Cottage for three weeks. I have mostly been walking the local area and taking photographs and doing the occasional sketch of the landscape. Its only after a week or so I manage to start painting. I was originally in the living room near the window, where there is a fantastic view over the peninsula, but I have found the kitchen is a better place to paint, much lighter and with plenty work surface with a water supply and the local sheep looking down into the kitchen from the hill outside.

I want to focus on the light bouncing off the landscape and the  massive dark skies, without being too obsessive  about details but I find myself painting the landscape of cliffs,sea and moor and all the other little bits and bobs such as cottages, roads, rivers and fence lines which draw your eyes… its sort of aggravating me the place is so picturesque… blah!

I travelled to Skye just in time to catch the tail end of the autumn colours, the vividness of the reds, yellows and oranges when the sun was out was startling. The cloud movements switched the fire on and off, shadows sweeping across the landscape. Mid November saw the arrival of clear skies and freezing temperatures, frost and icy roads, tricky when walking the dog, who still loved to play in the surf for short spells as we walked briskly back to the cottage for a warming coffee for me and a scrub down with a towel for her before she flops in front of the fire. Its not long before the colours fade and the weather closes in… grey skies,rain and powerful winds with gaps where the sun peeps though.


14 weeks on an island.

•October 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Will three and a half months isolation on a Scottish island help me to focus on painting? When that island is Skye, with its fantastic landscapes… it should have me running out of materials within a month!  And I’m going to test that theory by leaving my wife at home and taking off at 4 in the morning on 31st of October. Watch this space cos I plan to do a bit more writing,  (once I’ve done packing the food, art gear and winter clothes) The countdown is already ticking…..

Trading, An age old way to live.

•September 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Recently came back from the Isle of Skye after spending 7 nights in a luxury cottage in a landscape to drool over and it hardly cost anything. How? Simple… the owner commissioned a painting and we traded… he got his painting and we got 7nights holiday… Made me think of how things were done in the old days before the event of money. It’s a cool way to book an holiday for sure.

In a few weeks my residency at Cross street comes to an end… it’s been a good experience apart from my failure to get up there as much as I wanted. It’s a good space to work in and when the other artists are in it can set you buzzing. As a marker there will be a exhibition where I will be able to put a couple of the paintings I worked on over the last few months on show.

The curator of Shevington Village Gallery has requested I exhibit work in January 2016, I am quite happy to do this as it clears storage in my studio for a month… these big paintings are good but they don’t half take up space.

There’s three different trades there, holiday for painting, residency for exhibition and another exhibition for some working space.

The life of an artist….

I hate exams!

•July 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

20150703_003640So why put myself through another art exam!? To produce new art of course! Bankley Gallery in Manchester are showing art produced within 3hours from start to finish in a mock art GCSE paper from 1966. Choice of multiple questions of which mine was “The Arguement”

It was nice to start a fresh piece of work knowing the end result depended on how far I could push it within the 3 hour limit.

Catching up!

•June 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

20150523_140301I cannot believe it’s been over 12 months since I updated the site; I’ve had so much stuff on that it’s just not happened at all. I’m disappointed to tell the truth, because it’s an ideal way to keep track of where I’ve been and helps me to know where I’m going if you know what I mean…
All I can do now is to list things that have happened and promise myself to be more diligent in sitting down every once in a while to jot a few things down, I know it makes sense.
Ok well… I do have the excuse that since last time I have had a cochlear implant, so I am not really all that lazy, but taking in all these new sounds is a bit mind blowing and disorientating to tell the truth, but I am so glad I had the operation… Its opened up a whole new direction in my life.
Anyway since my last confession?! I have…
Held a joint exhibition at Cross St with my wife
Had work in the World of Glass St Helens with Cross St Artists
Been chosen to put The Return in The Bigger Picture Exhibition, also at St Helens
Been accepted for a 6 month residency at Cross Street Arts.
Commenced a new portraiture project at Belong Wigan and Atherton.
Written a few blogs for Limping Chicken

Quick portrait in oils

•February 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment



Loved the latest portrait session simply because I had a limited palete, and certainly a limited amount of time to catch the sitter, John. I only had the main primary colours  (Red,yellow and Blue )  white and a bit of white spirit and decided before hand that I would do the minimum of mixing the colours on the support rather than on the palette. The support was a canvas covered board which was a wiped off painting from months back which I didn’t rate, but had left a lovely muddy green/orange background colour to work with.  I had 90 minutes to get a reasonable likeness that I could work from in order to complete the job in the studio later… sometimes this can be a problem, but by following a preset idea of how I was going to work ie. palete, size and position of sitter on canvas you can get your head around it much faster… still brings me into a sweat sometimes though as the clock starts ticking down!

Godfrey Pilkington Gallery

•November 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Godfrey Pilkington Gallery

Three paintings in the background definately overshadowed by this massive lighthouse reflector..but I’m well pleased with the gallery anyway… at least the paintings are the 2nd most powerful vision on show…and thats from the curator who thought they were very impressive and the strongest work on show, praise indeed!