Home is where the art is

l remember a geography textbook in secondary school titled ‘A sense of place’. I cannot recall all of the content that it covered, but it included subjects such as settlements, conurbations and transport infrastructure, and the such like. Some of these topics have influenced my choice of painting subject and much of my artistic philosophy is rooted in a feeling of place.

Read More

Figuring out life painting

A memorable creative period for me was between 1997 and 2000 when I attended weekly life study classes in Rosebery Avenue, Crouch End in north London. Attending life classes was a welcome challenge - and an artistic diversion from my landscape painting - and it offered me the opportunity to develop my skill in capturing the human form whilst consolidating my established approach to painting.

Read More

Sizing up to art

Is it important for me to create consistent sizes for my art? My recent exhibitions with ArtCan and The Other Art Fair gave me important insight into scaling up (or down) the dimensions of my artwork.

Read More

At The Other Art Fair

Taking part in an art event is always exciting, daunting and usually involves a lot of organising, hard work and tiredness but also joy, growth and recognition. One such event, The Other Art Fair Bristol, 26-29 July, gave me the opportunity to exhibit in a high-profile show alongside seasoned peers.

Read More

Five artist heroes

Speak to any artist and they will have their creative heroes who they will always name as being a major influence on their art practice. For today's blog I have selected five painters who have inspired me at different stages of my own artistic development. 

Read More

Blue sky painting in Barking

Over the years much of my art has depicted night-time scenes: inky dark skies punctuated with dull clouds and vibrant electric lighting set in monochromatic compositions. This year, however, I decided to embark on a project of bright daytime scenes, many painted on a larger scale than my usual plein air work. I chose to depict Barking in East London, with open spaces in the process of regeneration.

Read More

Painting in the style of John Christopher's ruined earth

Inspiration for painting often comes in different forms. One such inspiration is a science fiction novel by British author John Christopher titled “The White Mountains”, part one of a trilogy of books published in the late 1960s. The ruined earth vision it depicts is compelling and often informs my choice of painting subjects such as abandoned railways and other derelict places.

Read More

Portraiture: Facing a different challenge

Landscape painting has been my primary mode of creating pictures but, like any other artist, I have tried my hand at portraiture over the years. Developing a painterly style that is fresh and consistent in feel is a challenge as I believe that it is more important to capture a sense of the sitter’s personality, attitude and surroundings rather than simply copy a ‘photographic’ likeness.

Read More

Painting day and night

Painting isn't like a 9-to-5 job. Take a quick look at my gallery pages and you can see that there are several ‘out-of-hours’ pictures, made after dark, placed alongside daytime renditions of the same landscapes. 

Read More

In the mix with fluorescent colours

Fluorescent colours are ubiquitous in our contemporary world, from day-glo signage and hi-viz work uniforms to street art and fine art installations. The super brilliance they produce is both eye catching and garish, and is a visual symbol of the modern era. I have always held a mildly scientific and aesthetic curiosity for such colours but it was only a few years ago that, as an artist, I sought a way of adding this vivid chromatic range to my plein-air painting palette.

Read More

London's second river

If you watch the opening and closing credit sequences of the BBC soap opera ‘EastEnders’ you might notice a small, tightly meandering river that flows into the River Thames. This tributary is the River Lea and, unlike the Thames (with its grand architectural backdrops and visual splendour), it flows through relatively unassuming and unfashionable landscapes in north east London including old industrial sites, urban edge-lands, residential estates and green spaces populated with electrical transmission towers which, for me makes for perfect backlands landscape painting.

Read More

Busy painting busy roads

A roads, dual carriageways and motorways are ubiquitous across our landscape... a necessity for getting from area to area. They are places between places, a no-mans land where countless journeys are made each day. At first glance they appear functional in fashion and devoid of charm. It is the combination of these things - the basic human need to get from A to B and the artificial physicality of the highway itself - that I find captivating as a subject for painting. 

Read More

Four seasons in one view

Commissions often provide an opportunity for me to create something different, such as an unusual theme, location or viewpoint. One project, in particular, presented me a challenge of producing four paintings, overlooking a large pond in Kew Green, south east London, with each piece depicting the same view but during a different season.

Read More

When night-time was amber

Many of my paintings over the years have been inspired by the golden aura of low-pressure sodium street lamps. Artificial lighting such as this has always held a fascination for me and it illuminates the darkness in unusual ways.

Read More

Creating a scene: St Paul's in the wind and rain

Plein air painting can be an adventure, especially when weather conditions add challenges and excitement. There is, however, the odd occasion when the elements decide to take over, like the night I painted St Paul’s Cathedral in the wind and rain.

Read More