Friday, March 21, 2014

Cross Country - 8

Back to work on this piece today thankfully...I've extended the hedging across the horizon and worked on the basic forms of the grasses...there's still a long way to go.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Cross Country - 7

Feeling much more myself recovery from my week at work is shorter this time than it's been since I started. So was able to apply myself to my dotting...and as a muchly welcome bonus, I felt a return of my desire to run...I'm much lighter and fitter since I started work...and this showed in my running time. I managed to knock over 5 mins of my previous best time this year, I also took it easy not pushing myself, so I'll be potentially be able to go even faster next body felt like a car that's had an mot and full all i need is to be able to afford new tyres ( running shoes) and I'll be even faster!

Heres a photo of the progress today...I've begun work on the goldfish bowl too! Eagle eyed viewers will notice that the fish are now facing eachother...kissing fish!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Cross Country - 6

I'm currently working three days a week doing THE most physical job I've ever done. I work three ten hour shifts in a very busy ceramics factory, my main role (ahem) is to roll clay on a large manually powered roller...I make hundreds of sheets of clay each day...and they're weighty!! The down side has been that I'm exhausted most of the time...and recovery on my days off has been slow...but it's getting shorter and I'm getting fitter! Weight has dropped off replaced by muscle...and I'm now less tired. This has of course had a knock on effect with my artwork. The time I've felt able to work has decreased rather alarmingly. But I've always known this will be the case....I've always been aware that the level of energy I have was going to be low whilst I became used to the effort needed to fulfill my job.

Thi sis now happening and today I felt rather energized for the first time...hence I was able to get back to work on my'll probably be forgiven for asking what I've done. Well it's more work on the sky...not too difficult and it gives me time to get used to the delicacy of pen work I have to hands feel clumsy and are scarred from my job.

I thought I'd just include a photo of the train I'm depicting in this picture. It's a Voyager class 220 built here in Derby, England. and it's aboard these trains that I travel to stay in York every other week. The journey fills me with utter joy!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Cross Country - 5

The upper picture shows work on the sky..the one below it shows how I'm gradually refining the depth of shade and picking out cloud shapes.,  I had originally thought that I'd fill the sky with stars similar to previous pieces, but I wanted to empaisie the nature of the windy weather and show whispy clouds being blown along.So I've opted for this sort of late evening type sky which I'm hoping will help to bring the figure and train out.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cross Country - 4

I'm experiencing a time of change in my life...I'm still working away at my artwork, I'm still enjoying it...but I have to work. I've been very fortunate to find employment with Paul Cummins, a ceramic artist . I'm really looking forward to what is a great opportunity to  gain experience working not only with Paul, but the many other artists working on the project. I start next week.

Mean while, today I've begun work on the sky ...I'll fill in the blown leaves at another time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cross Country - 3

I've worked today on extending the basic structure of the windswept could be forgiven for thinking this is a daylight's not, it will be much darker eventually...ideally I'd like to introduce a layer of mist between the girl and the tree which I hope will give an more dreamlike appearance.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cross Country - 2

I've begun adding the grass to the foreground...I'm using a technique i've used many times before and it usually gives a good effect...I enjoy the apparently intricate appearance it gives whilst being relatively straightforward to achieve. I'm enjoying this piece.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cross country - development and beginning.

Can't believe it's been so long since I last posted here.Ah the curse of Facebook. Of course, if you follow me on Facebook, you'll already be familiar with these images. If not, then you'll see condensed here the usual process of development i go through from thumbnail sketches to drawings then transfer to paper for dotting to begin.

The picture is loosely based symbolically on my regular trips to York. Events which feature amongst the most important and significant of my life. I'll explain further as the piece develops. I'll try to keep up to date with posts here...I'll try.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Finished Rainbow Warrior. Finished exhibition.

Finished - Rainbow Warrior'
47 x 37 cm.

Well...after 7 months I've finally laid down the pens on this one! i'm utterly tired of it. This of course is not unusual...after staring at it, being familiar with almost every dot, I'm ready not to see it for some time. the practise almost always bears out , that when I finish a large piece, it goes away safely where I'm not going to see it. My work over the last few years gets the same treatment..secreted away down at the side of the wardrobe. Having returned to images such as 'Three graces with two headed lamb' 'Lectern' 'Museic' 'Viscount Bubbles' I'm happy to say I'm really satisfied with them now (despite the uneasy nature of their messages)

The swifts are summer visitors here in England...they fly from north Africa each year to breed...they always return to the same nests...they always arrive in the first week of May, and fly back to Africa in August. My Dad used to point them out...he was an incredibly experienced ornithologist who who was a lover of nature. He used tell my brother and I about their journey...the fact that they never land apart from to lay their eggs and incubate them...they eat, mate and sleep in flight.

The above photo and the one below I took using my self timer on the camera. I'm at the gallery in Cromford. Below i've just finished clearing my work out...sweeping the floor and leaving the place the way I found it. I find the end of an exhibition a sad business. I've sat for a week, surrounded by work that had in many cases been the product of deeply emotive issues...if not the subject, the things of life that happened during their creation. I meet people I love...I meet strangers...I have wonderfully amazingly inspiring and encouraging conversations, not to mention the drive home through beautiful Derbyshire countryside. the gallery is with my work in is like my self...the known and the hidden on display. I'm vulnerable, but I'm the master of my expression.

Today I the peace and quiet, sad for it to be ended, but happy...happy with some special memories...of a very beautiful day yesterday. 

now...what next?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 46 Day four of exhibition

Progressing well...I thought I might finish today, but it's going be tomorrow now (or Thursday) . I've begun work on the swifts which you can see in the picture below...I love swifts and always look out for their arrival in the first week of May. I want to have a cloud of them flying across the sky behind me...I need to introduce a few more varied poses to break up the uniformity of their flight pattern. 

Below you cans see how the whole composition is working...I quite like the fact that it contains a photorealistic self portrait but stylised other elements.

today I had a nice surprise when a customer bought one of my non-hyperpointillist artworks. A line drawing in Ink,I'd created it for my fist Willington Arts Festival back in 2007 (I think). It was sold to someone I didn't know. always a good feeling to sell an original! :)

During this afternoon it rain a little, a visitor to my exhibition told me that there was a lovely since I was working on Rainbow Warrior, AND I was wearing the jumper featured in that picture I snapped a couple of shots. I love rainbows (especially in one of my 'happy places')..that's why I'm grinning like an idiot!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 45 (nearly finished!)

 Apart from the cold, I really enjoyed my time at the day three of my exhibition in Cromford.I only had 33 visitors during the day, so this afforded me the opportunity to spend a good chunk of time working. I made a practice version of the figure you see here. (She is carrying the Moon )....before I felt able to work on the final version on the actual drawing. As the second to last piece of the composition, it was import and I didn't make a mess of it at this stage. Tomorrow I may very well final addition to the picture is a wavy flight of swifts in the sky....snaking their way from left to right. I'm really looking forward to doing that, as it's been an element I've planned from the very beginning, and will bring this project to an end.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 44. Cromford Exhibition day 2

 I had an interesting day at my exhibition...I've been learning some lessons too. The last time I exhibited at the Arkwright mills gallery in April, it was the most financially successful exhibition i've ever had...and was guilty expecting this one to get off to the same start as the last one wrong I was....and therein lies the lesson. I never take for granted the uniqueness of my gift/ talent...and although I have a pressing need to earn money like never before, I still have to bring myself back to the main point of why I do what I do. The simple reason is that how can I not?....It is a deep aching need at times to create images that express what, who and why I am...the things I have to say, the observations I make about myself and the world I try to make sense of. The fundamentally makes me happy and fulfilled. Showing my work and connecting with other humans is a big part in the whole process and knowing that having seen my work and how I work, many many individuals leave with a more enlightened view of art..themselves and the world around them makes me incredibly happy and humble. It might seem a little false to say that financial benefit is a nice bonus in that process...but recieving the fruits of my labour in financial terms is also a big part of what I do.

Sadly this element is often and usually the last to be forthcoming. So today it was very good to reach the amount of earnings that means the gallery hire is now accounted for.Excellent!

Here is the current state of Rainbow Warrior...I've worked well on it today and all being well, I should finish it this week! (apologies for the rather yellow tone of the photos, this was the reaction of my camera to the fluorescent lighting)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 43

Took down my exhibition today, I usually find it to be a sobering experience...and today was no exception...the rain fell making it awkward loading the pictures into the back of my car. Returned home and unloaded, spent the afternoon working on Rainbow Warrior. I find it interesting and a challenge to create something which essentially doesn't exist...I do admit to using resource photos found online, so a photo of waves is helpful , but essentially I'm making things up as I go along.So that's something I enjoy and I'm proud of. Today and this week I'm trying to move this piece to's been a long time coming, I started this picture in much has happened since then.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hello...long time. Time to catch up.

 Ey up! It's been a while since I last posted. I've now reached the end of my three week exhibition in Derby. Was a privilege to be asked and welcomed during the time by 'Furthest From The Sea'. An organisation that I will be involved with further I hope. despite the fact that I only sold three prints during my time there, I've enjoyed being in such a wonderfully historic and beautiful building.

I've posted below a series of six minipics produced over the last week or two, they're not great photos, but I hope you get the idea...they are each 10x6.5cm. and once framed , I'll have them  for sale in my upcoming exhibition at one of my favourite venues, the Arkwright's Mill in Cromford Derbyshire. I now have a few days to prepare for hanging my work next Friday.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Two finished minipix and Rainbow Warrior progress.

Time seems to fly by between posts here these days. I do apologise. At time of writing, I'm at the start of a three week solo exhibition in my home town of Derby. Furthest From The Sea are an arts organisation representing Musicians, poets, comedians and artists in the Derby area. Based inside the Victorian Market Hall in the city centre, there are studio facilities and a performance/ exhibition area. Something which has been lacking in our city.

There is so much more to write about FFTS, but suffice it to say, I'm incredibly grateful to them for inviting me to show my work....lovely people! Anyway, in anticipation of the show, I've produced a couple of new's the finished Crow and a new piece finished yesterday imaginatively entitled 'Blue Tree Cold'. In my mind, I'm producing one of these each day, in reality I've not. Still...there will be more in the coming weeks and I'm not short of ideas.

Below is the progress on Rainbow Warrior, today I worked on the smoke from the train, the sky and the lighthouse on the island. the colour reproduction here is not good, in reality it's a lot warmer. I'll be away for a couple of days, but back in the gallery on Saturday, I'll try to include a series of photos showing the gallery then.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More of that Crow!

Regular readers will be familiar with my bouts of frustration over the apparent stagnancy that is my career. I'm constantly at odds with the very real need these days to not only be a competent artist and creative...but to be a self promoter...a businessman...and I'm making no excuses...I'm neither a self promoter nor a businessman...but times change and our personal circumstances dictate reassessment. honest appraisal is needed....and this man has been doing that. So today I've finished and delivered an application for a  job. I've been self employed since January 2006...and now it's time to take stock and to be brutally honest, make some money.
Next time I'll tell you a little about my forthcoming exhibition which I'll be hanging on Friday.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hello's me!

 I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted here...Wirksworth Festival all done and now I'm preparing for a new exhibition which I'll be hanging a week today. I therefore have to produce some additional pieces to sell. Despite the fact that they sell fairly well, I usually grow weary of producing minipics. So after a pretty dismal tree and stars ( see bottom)...I've decided to try a few more familiar subjects echoing my larger pieces. This crow although not very colourful at the moment will be full colour with a suitably mysterious background. hopefully now I'll have more impetuous to  create more,

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 42

 Have spent a lot of time working towards the final stages of this piece. With the Wirksworth Festival just over a week away, I want to have this piece ready to finish at the aim way back in March was to finish in September...and this I will do. In the meantime I've got a couple of pictures to frame...and I also have yet to visit my exhibition's in a school...I'm still waiting for the Headmistress to get back to me to arrange a time.

Below you can see the overall view...I had stated that I'd finished the lower right hand corner yesterday, but spent the majority of today strengthening the yellow hues of the sky and viaduct...I've added yellow not only to the sky near to the horizon, but all the way up the the top of the picture....(trust me!). I've also penciled in the continuation of the viaduct over to the left. Observant ones will also notice that I've added shadow to the base of the seagull I'm holding. There is further toning to do on the body of the Gull.
Below is a close up ...I've managed to reduce the visible white by applying lemon yellow...I've added quite a bit of it to the sky between the clouds..the effect I'm looking for is to bring the viaduct out slightly and improve the overall atmosphere giving a more natural feel. the left hand area will feature almost a mirror image of this side regarding the viaduct and train, heading in the opposite direction you'll be left wondering whether it's two trains passing or infact the same train with locomotives pulling in the opposite direction.

I have yet to decide if I'm going to add some kind of vessel into the sea, or perhaps something altogether unexpected....(stay tuned! ). I'm generally pleased with progress and I'm enjoying the overall feel of the piece...i'm already thinking beyond the finish time to the next project. With a series of exhibitions coming up, I need to create a new selection of affordable works to sell. I want to move beyond the predictable minipix of old and introduce  more surreal/symbolic themes. Either way, read all about it here or on my Face book fan page!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 41

 Here a re a few shots showing the development of the scene involving the viaduct/ steam train and sea....I would particularly like to draw your attention to the way I'm adding in Yellow Ochre...I was chatting on the phone to someone explaining how I think of it as the 'magic colour'...bringing a sense of reality to a scene....sadly I don't think my rendering of the ocean waves is anywhere close to what i'd like you will see the beginning of a section of grass that will hopefully disguise my shortcomings in the Sea department! (bottom photo)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rainbow Warrior - 40

I'm back to work after a relaxing week away. Today I'm concentrating on developing the appearance of the sea and sky.My favourite part is when I begin to add the yellow can see how I've drawn a strip at the right .....

In other news, it's not long now until the Wirksworth Arts Festival in September. I have to visit the venue in which i'll be exhibiting. I hope to do this later this week or early next week. More details when I have them!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another postcard from York.

I've reached day four of my break...I'm having a lovely time. This city has lots to offer, history, architecture...lovely walks...all you need for a lovely holiday. I'm sure if I was not alone and just about penniless, I'd have lots of gorgeous bars...real ale pubs and wonderful tea rooms to frequent. One day eh?!...until then, I have two eyes, a big heart ...a fit body and an ok-ish here's some pics of my last few days.Enjoy.