I was very pleased this month when a hotel owner, a fine chap with impeccable taste in art, commissioned me to paint two scenes of Cumbria: Striding Edge and Honister Pass. Cumbria is a favourite walking area for me, so this was all familiar scenery. Each was full sheet and I'm happy with the result, as was their new owner. If you're thinking of visiting the area, the Hazel Bank Hotel is excellent and offers, in addition to some splendid art, top quality dining and accommodation: hazelbankhotel.co.uk for details.
Last week I delivered (and hung) four paintings for a private client in Surrey. The buyer wanted two full sheet, 30"x22" and two half sheet, 22"x15", supplied framed. She chose the subjects from images on this web site, two of them being crops of small works. To expand and paint a detail originally couple of inches up to 30" presented a challenge, how to recreate a painted stroke or gesture 15x larger. Watercolour paint behaves differently at from small drop to large pool of watery pigment, there often being too much going on in the latter. It took four attempts before I created something I was satisfied with, very watery figures mostly in silhouette.
The recent inferno engulfing Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was shocking. The images however provided me with some excellent and often beautiful subject matter. I really hope the new spire will be a replacement and not some gaudy modernist eyesore so beloved of politicians and architects.
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the gallery which showed my work in Cologne informing me that they were moving my work to Mexico City, and would I paint a new series with scenes to suit the local art buyers. Below is some of what I painted.
The activities in Paris and across France of the Gilets Jaunes inspired me to create a series of paintings based on images found online. The bright yellow contrasting with the menacing black of the police, the smoke and occasional French flag all go into the mix of my take on proceedings.
A big thanks to two recent buyers, one Yorkshire (steel mill) and one Lancashire (Gilets Jaunes x2), who sent positive replies once they had the paintings in their possession. There's always a tentative period between sending the work and receiving a reply, wondering if the buyer likes the painting once they have seen the real thing. in addition, watercolours are usually glazed which changes the appearance again.
Anyone who has visited New York, or seen the city in films will know about the steam billowing from red and white striped pipes. I'm still not sure how or why these things exist and prefer it to remain a mystery. In this contre jour painting, I have used a reduced palette to allow the red and white of the pipe, don't walk signal and the flag to stand out.
With 2019 nearly 1/12th over and only 331 days until Christmas, my painting has begun with a Mexican theme. The French gallery which was exhibiting my work in Cologne has moved me to Mexico City with a request for Mexican themed paintings. Excellent. One day they might move me to London and ask for a load of railway paintings ... One day.
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks to everyone who bought my work in 2018, much appreciated.
I haven't posed here for awhile, so here's an update. I've been in couple of exhibitions since the STWC - one at the A&D Gallery in London and the other at Croydon Clock Tower. Below is some of the work shown.
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