Thursday, 11 February 2010

Art Materials Soon Available!

I'm in discussion with a supplier who will be able to provide great quality paints, brushes and paper as discount prices to everyone who visits this website! Look out for details coming shortly. If you sign up for my news-and-info emails then I'll let you know as soon as the materials become available. I'm hoping to get everything sorted out in the next few weeks so Watch this space!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

10% discount on Algarve Painting Holiday

I am now able to offer a discount of 10% on the price of the Painting Holidays in the Algarve this year. This offer is only available until the end of January 2010, so if you were thinking about joining me for a week of painting in the sunshine of this pretty fishing village, then now is the time to book up! The discount has been provided by Art in the Algarve who organise the courses.
Dates are 10-17 April or 18-25 September 2010.

For more info go to and follow the Painting Holiday links.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

My life - latest updates

It's been a while since I last had time to write in this blog. In the last month I've been on an intensive Spanish course, trying to get to grips with the language in my new home country. The old brain has filled up and there's not been time for much else.

I am still in the process of writing the oil painting course, which I still hope to be able to publish in February. It will be an introduction to using water-soluble oil paints.

I'm also considering breaking the watercolour course down into separate sections (a beginners introduction to using watercolours, how to mix colours, how to create different effects and textures etc...) These would be sold available as an alternative to the complete watercolour course. Let me know what you think.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and an arty New Year!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Painting Holiday in Northern Spain

I've just arranged a painting holiday in Cantabria in Northern Spain for next summer (May 30th - 5th June). It's a beautiful part of the country, and I'm really looking forward to it. So why not come along and join me for a week of painting tuition, fun, good food and good company? I'd love to see you there. For more info visit

Friday, 16 October 2009

Hola from Olhao - Painting Holiday

I've just returned form a great painting holiday in the Algarve in Portu
gal. Seven painters from the Rohampton Club in London joined
me for a week of sketching and painting in the lovely fishing town of Olhao.
The town has everything an artist could want - old crumbling buildings with magnificant wooden doors and windows, cobbled streets full of charm, a large fish and fruit market, a fine white church, a harbour full of colourful fishing boats, and islands in a lagoon which are reminiscent of the caribbean. Plus of course, lots of sunshine and warm weather.

I've now returned with a number of oil and
watercolour paintings from the trip, and with loads of photos to work from in future. The colours, buildings, fishing boats and coastal waters have been a great inspiration.We were accomodated in a very plush and quirky house with it's own studio where paintings could be finished in comfort. And every lunchtime and evening we were wined and dined in one of the many restaurants edging the harbour, often being served the local speciality fish dishes.

I've got another two painting holidays planned for the same venue in 2010 (April 10-17 and October 9-16) so why not join me there. There are more details on my website at

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Pochade Paintings

I've recently painted four small water-soluble oils and here they are.

We sat in a little courtyard in the Andalucian mountain town of Competa in Southern Spain and ate bocadillos and drank wine. The sun cast lovely shadows on this little scene in front of me and I tried to capture it in a small pochade painting in oils. The large ceramic pot added character to the picture.

I also painted from the roof terrace of our friends house and tried to catch the sunlight and shadows of the narrow street below. Not sure how well I did on this one.

The beach huts below are on Southwold Beach in Suffolk and reminded me so much of our family holidays when I was young. We used to rent out one of these huts every year and sit and shiver in it as the cold north wind swept past the door!

Finally a small painting of Venice, taken from a photo I took there last year. Yes, I know it's all a bit familiar and there are hundreds of paintings of this very scene, but this is my quick attempt at it.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Counterfeit Banknotes

I read somewhere recently that banks train their staff to recognise counterfeit banknotes. They do so, not by pointing out defective notes, or letting them study bank notes which contain mistakes, or with lists of how to spot a counterfeit, but by showing them hundreds and hundreds of real notes. The bank employees get so used to seeing the real thing, that when a counterfeit note appears it just jumps out at them.

How does this relate to art? Well, I think we can spend too long looking at the wrong sort of painting! We can study our own mistakes and those paintings that haven't turned out particularly well, we can look at the paintings of others in our evening class who are at our same level and ability, and we can begin to assume that we can then spot a good painting.

However I think it is much better for us to spend our time looking at the Best of the Best in order to understand what a good painting is - immersing ourselves in galleries, looking at books of paintings by famous or professional artists, cutting out and keeping paintings from magazines that we really admire. And as we get used to seeing the 'real thing' I believe our own art will improve in leaps and bounds.