Opening

I have just completed a new ink drawing entitled, 'Opening'.  This piece is based on a quiet and slightly desolate looking area of Cannock Chase.  The dead tree in the foreground is contrasted by the healthy tree just behind it.  I like looking at both sides of nature and including both within a scene.  The piece was made using fine liner pens and brushed ink.

I plan to use the ink and wash technique with some urban landscape imagery next.  I have a few ideas planned for an exhibition next year.

Clearcut II and Three Counties Open Art

I have a lot more time to work on my art this year and as a result I have been able to produce more pictures than before.  I have been working on an ink drawing and have plans to start working with lino printing.

Today I completed another painting in the current woodland series.  This one is 'Clearcut II' which continues on from the previous piece.  The series together looks at the relationship between people and nature and the imagery shows natural elements contrasting with the unnatural which creates an interesting narrative.  The pieces work individually and also as a set.

I found out this week that my painting, 'The Shack', has been accepted into the Three Counties Open Art' exhibition which is held at The Burslem School of Art.  This painting had recently returned from London after it featured in the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition.

Clearcut

I have just completed another woodland painting which I have called 'Clearcut'.  This is part of series of work that looks at the interaction between people and nature.  Changes in the urban environment are usually quite apparent but in nature change is not so apparent.  Yet in my recent woodland series you can see a direct and dramatic change to the landscape made by people.  Upon finding these changes it is noticeable how quiet the forest has become once again with only traces of the interaction left behind.  'Clearcut' can be found in the woodland section this painting.

Last Thursday I enjoyed looking at the current New English Art Club annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  I was pleased to have my painting, 'The Shack' included this year which is a piece that has proved popular with quite a few people.

Entrance

I have just completed a new ink drawing which is part of the new Woodland series that i am working on.  It is called 'Entrance' and was created using fine liner pens and water soluble ink.  I have worked in this medium in the past but not for some time and have enjoyed the process.  The idea was to create an atmospheric drawing that was expressive and also descriptive.

The title refers to being on the edge of the forest but also describes the feeling of moving from one place into another.  It's about change, new beginnings and new experiences.

XA II

I have just completed another painting in the new woodland series which is titled 'XA 2'.  This is the companion piece to the previous piece although it exists in it's own right.  This work looks at the relationship between people and nature and how we leave traces of ourselves behind.  Often in nature it is easy to forget that changes are happening but the markings on the tree give evidence of a recent event.

I feel like my new woodland series is amongst my strongest work and look forward to producing a few more.  I'm also working on an ink drawing on the theme.

XA

I have just completed another painting which is part of the new woodland collection.  This series differs from the previous work in that it looks at the interaction between people and nature.  The new painting, 'XA', shows a scene with a spray painted tree indicating a recent interaction. I recently visited a beach in Northumberland where a similar interaction had taken place.  

As with my other work this piece also looks at silence and stillness - there is something beyond words that is felt and not spoken and the painting is my way of expressing that.

The Shack Accepted into the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition

I am pleased to announce that my recent painting, 'The Shack', has been accepted into the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition.  London shows are always very competitive so I'm really pleased to have got in.  The show runs from the 15th to the 23rd June.  Visit the NEAC website for details.

In other news my current painting is going very well and I feel that it displays a development in my technique.  The current collection is based around the interaction between people and nature.

Renewal

I have recently started looking at the forest once again for inspiration.  I enjoyed creating the woodland series three years ago and felt that there was more i could explore.  This time around i became interested in the traces people leave behind - cut branches, litter, paint marks etc  I found areas where people had recently left their mark - no longer present but traces remain.  As well as the man made trails there was also the more natural causes of change - trees broken by wind and storms, creating unusual forms and textures.  The forest never stays the same.

Aside from this surface visual level of interest, the new work will also look at themes of stillness and presence - being in the moment without thought, absorbed in the surroundings.  The idea is that the paintings capture this feeling as well as documenting the changes of time on a visual level.

The first painting in this series, "Renewal" has just been completed and i am really pleased with how it worked out.  I feel it has captured the essence of what i want to convey.  This can be viewed in the Woodland section of my website.

Grounded

I’ve just completed a new painting entitled ‘Grounded’.  This is based on a derelict World War 2 airbase in Staffordshire and looks at themes of abandonment and solitude.  The painting has a softer and more subtle technique which I think helps to create the right mood - one of stillness, calm and introspection.  This is a retreat from the overactive mind and the busy routine of daily life.  With this view, everything becomes beautiful, interesting or both.

Exhibitions and New Work

I am currently a good way into a new painting based on an partly collapsed abandoned airbase that was used during World War 2.  The mood of the piece is very quiet and the painting technique is more subtle than before.  I'm trying to create a picture that has perfect balance and so far it looks like it is working.

I have also been taking more pictures of Cannock Chase.  I produced work on this area a few years ago and have started to become inspired by it once again.  I feel like I have progressed as a painter and could produce even stronger work on the theme now.  As always my aim would be to show nature as it is rather than to make it a decorative exercise.

My Whitesands paintings (1 and 2) can be seen at The Guildhall Gallery in the current exhibition featuring work from artists across Staffordshire.  My 'Aonach Mor' paintings are now on display at The Goat Street Gallery in St Davids (Pembrokeshire).  

The Shack

Happy New Year!

I have just completed a new painting called 'The Shack' which depicts an old but still active car wash on the edge of Stafford town.  This is part of a series of work that looks at overlooked places on the edge of towns and cities.  It is also another piece of work that looks at themes of stillness and solitude.  The subject matter in my work is always less important to me than the what lies beyond the surface.  There is always something else there that is hard to put onto words but can be felt.  It is this feeling that I try to capture in the paintings - finding something beautiful or fascinating in everyday things, even subjects that are normally seen to be unpleasant or ugly.  An image of this painting can be seen in the urban landscape section of this website.

My art classes have been going well so far and I'm starting a new one at Burntwood Library from next week.  I teach people of all abilities from beginner to advanced and can cover a range of drawing and painting techniques.  A full list of classes can be found in the teaching section of this website.  New students welcome any time - contact me for details.

Christmas Exhibition

My recent urban landscapes are currently on show at the Christmas Exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art.  This includes my 'Universal' painting on display for the first time.

I am currently working on a new piece which is already looking very strong and could possibly be one of my best.  This is based on a slightly run down looking  car wash in Stafford but it is also a continuation of my my interest in stillness, empty spaces and abandonment.

Next year I am starting another art class at Burntwood Library.  Full listing of my art classes can be seen on this website.  All abilities are welcome and new members can join any time.  I am also booking more workshops which are also listed on this website. 

 

 

Universal

I have just completed a new painting which i have called "Universal".  This piece depicts a factory in Stafford which most local people refer to as "the old universal" from the days when it was the Universal Grinding Company.  These days the factory is still running but as a different company. 

What struck me more than the history was the atmosphere of the space and how quiet it was (it was a Sunday when i visited the area).  For many people this road is just a means to get to town or to go to Doxey - in other words a place that people don't pay too much attention to.

The idea behind the work was to take a look at something that isn't normally considered nice to look and to find a beauty or wonder by taking a deeper look at the space.  By clearing the mind of preconceptions and just observing with a clear mind you can begin to appreciate life on a deeper level.  The textures of the walls, the dash of yellow against the tarmac, the weeds growing through the concrete, the rhythms of lamp posts....  This can be felt almost anywhere by anyone - it is universal.  So the title has more than one meaning.

Exhibitions and New Work

My Aonach Mor paintings are now on show in the latest exhibition at the new Guildhall Pop Up Art Gallery in Stafford.  The gallery show Staffordshire based artists and craftspeople and it's well worth a visit.

My recent "Signing Off" painting is currently part of the Autumn Exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art.  This is a mixed show featuring some of the artists represented by the gallery.  Again, very much worth a visit.

I am currently working on another urban landscape which is developing nicely. 

New Painting and New Classes

Last night i finished a new painting which depicts the abandoned job centre in Stafford.  It is called 'Signing Off' and is a companion piece to the previous painting 'Exit'.  The theme is abandonment again but it also looks at how something ugly can also become beautiful or at least interesting when seen in a different light.  There are many things people walk past every day without noticing them and it's places like this that interest me the most.  An image of this painting can be seen on this website.

My art classes are set to resume soon and new students are very welcome to join in.  These courses are no longer run by Stafford College but people can enrol by contacting me directly.  A full list of courses can be seen on this website in the art classes section.

Summer Exhibition and new paintings

The Summer Exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art starts on the 11th July and includes three of my paintings, "By the Tracks", "Arrival" and my most recent piece "Exit".  The exhibition also features work by several artists represented by the gallery.

My latest painting "Exit" features the car park of an abandoned job centre.  I am currently working on a follow up piece that shows the same building from another angle.  This once busy place is now left unattended and is beginning to shows signs of neglect.  Broken windows, graffiti and litter now catch the eye as you walk about.

I have entered two drawings and one painting into the Three Counties Open Art exhibition at the Burslem School of Art.  It would be nice to have something included. 

Arrival

I have now completed my new painting based on an urban area on the outskirts of Stafford town.  It depicts the side of a garage and the railway line behind it.  What attracted me to this space is the run down appearance of the area with the peeling paint, graffiti and cracked concrete.  It has a feeling that something has happened or is about to happen and at the same time is the sort of place that is often ignored or overlooked.  

The painting is called "Arrival" which refers to the theme of transport (the garage and railway line in the picture) but also the sense of becoming aware of the spirit of the area.  The scene in the image would not normally be something people would spend time with - it would be somewhere that was passed or used briefly, perhaps to park or drop off a vehicle.  Most of us spend much of our time thinking ahead of where we want to be rather than being aware of where we are and what we are doing,  So this painting looks at looking at something generally regarded as ugly in a new light and seeing that everything is fascinating given the right outlook. 

This work also connects to other work i have done that explored themes of abandonment and stillness.  I intend to work more in this area.

New work for 2017

It's been a while since i have written anything on this site but I have been really busy painting and teaching.

My art classes are going well and I have just put together an art exhibition for my students at The Ancient High House in Stafford.  The artists are a mix of beginners, more experienced and advanced and the pieces have been very well received by the public.  The exhibition is called "Through the Looking Glass" and it runs until the 8th April.  Entry is free but most of the work is for sale.

I am currently working on two paintings both featuring garages.  The first is a private commission and the other features a scene on the outskirts of Stafford.  This piece is an  atmospheric urban landscape depicting an area that most people would probably not notice.  The piece attempts to capture a sense of the place, something that words cannot describe.  

This theme has been part of my work for a while now whether it is buildings, landscapes or interiors.  In some ways it doesn't matter what the scene is; it is more about being present in the moment and feeling alive within the space.  A feeling that goes deeper than the day to day issues, a sense of life and death, an ever changing landscape.

You can never guess how a painting will go but this new piece is flowing really well and I'm painting with confidence and a sense of purpose.

Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and were able to enjoy a break from work.  I am looking forward to getting stuck into some new art projects this year starting with a recent commission.

My art classes start again this month.  You can find a full listing on my Art Classes page

I teach people of all abilities from the complete beginner to the more advanced.  You have the choice of following set exercises or working on your own project which i will assist you with.  What makes my classes different to most is that I really try to cater for the individual and work hard to boost your confidence and ability.  My classes are also relaxed and fun!

Do contact me if you have any queries.

I look forward to meeting you this year!

Christmas Exhibition

Some of my work will appear in this years Christmas exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art in Birmingham.  This will include my two recent paintings of Aonach Mor.  The exhibition also features work by other artists represented by the gallery and it will no doubt be a good show.  It runs from the 5th December to the 7th January.