Last night I made my TV debut on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the year. Filming it was a surreal experience, so I thought I’d share what happened. After all the preparation was done and I was finally in Kent. The day began early. We had to be at Scotney castle by 7am. It was grey and drizzly, we were all prepared for a cold soggy day. I was met by a production assistant and we were taken down down the hill to the pods so we could see where we’d be painting.I was relieved to find architecture dominated but the view was dull. After racing back uphill, we were then told to grab some breakfast while we were being briefed. Miking up was next, and that stayed on ALL day. I quickly found the “off” switch so I could have some privacy. We were chaperoned everywhere. I initially thought it weird but quickly realised it was so they could find us and not hold up production. Filming then began. Walking past the paintings, Here’s the piece that I submitted and features in the first part. Then more filming Walking to the pods with our equipment, Setting up, looking at […]
Landscape Painting often involves plein air sketching. That translates as “painting outside” to the average person. I have done landscape paintings and sketched outside in the past and will do so in the future. But there’s nothing quite like painting in the studio. Especially when you work in watercolour and it’s wet and windy outside. I’m often asked whetherI paint in situ, and yes I do. In fact I’ll be sharing my last excursion to the House of Commons with you quite soon. But mine is not a technique that lends itself to outside work. I can do the drawing part at an easel fine. It’s when I start the painting I have issues. First, I have to paint flat. Many effects my work relies on would be lost if I inclined the surface. I’m not averse to drips, but I want the ink to move in many directions. You can see in this landscape painting of London in progress. Notice how the ink goes up? gravity wouldn’t let me do that. Then there’s the salt and blooms I use to create effects. These take time to form. Jostling them around, to take them home, would disrupt the process. Besides […]
Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year is in it's second year. A finished painting in 4 hours, when I normally take 15+, no pressure there then!
This is how I prepared after being selected to take a place in one of the pods. Although what happened is still pretty hush, hush so you'll need to watch it it you want to find out if it worked.!
Distinctive style can start in the most insignificant of ways. You never know when a small action can be the start of something great. There are moments in everyone’s life that are catalysts resulting in massive change. Sometimes, we’re aware of their existence and potential. Other times we just go through the motions of the day, oblivious to the impact the actions of the day will have.Only when a lengthy period of time has passed do we realise the significance. For many of us, there may be more than one such event. Let me share one of mine. A Eureka moment that only became clear some weeks/months later A painting called Abstract Flowers I have no photographs of this as a work in progress. It was done as an experiment. It is one of the first paintings I did where I used masking fluid to any extent. It was the beginning of something, a small action that snowballed into something big. So, how did it come about? I wanted to experiment with texture, and knew that masking was the best way forward. I’d used masking fluid before, wrecked brushes in the process. So I decided to try some other bits […]
Ever wonder what happens in an Artist’s Studio? The short answer is anything, artists’ techniques and creations are so varied it’s impossible to sum them up in one post. Even a single artist never does exactly the same thing on two consecutive days. I can, however, show you what goes on in my studio on ONE day. Here’s what went on in my studio on this particular day. I have family so first thing is spent getting up and making sure they are where they should be, so I get to the studio around 9. I usually make myself a coffee, turn the music on and then get started. (The coffee part is repeated frequently. Often because I forget about it and it goes cold.) I start with Painting This is what I’m currently working on. I haven’t decided on a title – something about the Police Force is as far as I’ve got. The boat is on the Thames and I loved the positioning of the railings, which are yet to be painted.Painting bouts are relatively short, as things need time to dry. I’ve learned, from bitter experience that you must let things dry. If not the inks merge […]
When you hear Blondie’s Hanging on the telephone what do you imagine? At the time of the song, public call boxes were everywhere and I can imagine her standing in one, receiver to ear waiting… The setting adds a touch of visual drama . The lonely figure waiting for an answer. In the age of mobile phones, the importance of the telephone box is not something Millennials think of, but there are still plenty around. The ones by the Houses of Parliament are probably the most well known, and an obvious choice for people calling home from the city in former times. These days they are more often used as a photo prop. Ever look at someone in a phone box and wonder who they’re talking to or what they’re saying? Maybe it’s just me being nosy but I often wonder what conversations phone boxes witness. Good news, bad news, “I’ll be late”, “I got the job” This red telephone box painting got me wondering how many stories could it tell? The title took a while coming.Paintings can seem mysterious in the beginning. It takes a while for the shapes and character of a piece to emerge. This painting is […]