Month: June 2019

June Plein Air

Apart from dodging the rain bursts I’ve been using the warmer weather to get out and about with Molly. Sometimes I’m out with Surrey Hills, others its with Leatherhead Art Club or its just Molly and me.

My focus is watercolours, using the panoramic format, which I think works well.


St Johns Road, painted while at my Open Studio


Newark Abbey, near Woking, with Molly at my side


Dorking Mill, also just Molly and me


Polesden Lacey


Reigate Priory Junior School, with Surrey Hills group


St Nicholas Ch, Leatherhead with LAC


Wey Navigation at Send with Surrey Hills group


Pintar Rapido Success!

On 22 June I made my way with Denise to Chelsea Town Hall for my fifth Pintar Rapido.  Pintar Rapido is a painting competition, where artists have to paint and frame a painting in a day and then its displayed and hopefully sold in the Town Hall on Sunday.

I took two watercolour sheets and two frames with the idea to try to paint two watercolours over the day. Two years ago I attempted an oil painting, which I didn’t finish and failed to sell. So this was a tall order. I’d planned to paint the ‘Boy & Dolphin’ statue near Albert Bridge plus the building behind it. The statue is well known and represents the area. I set up in direct sunlight, which was hot and noisy at the busy junction to the bridge. After sketching the statue and building in the sun I moved back in to shade to apply the paint. I was pleased to finish a larger format painting by lunchtime and achieve a decent representation of the view.

Boy and Dolphin

I met up with Denise in Battersea Park and we had a quick sandwich and drink to refresh our artistic ‘elbow’. I then took off again to find a spot to paint my second picture.

I settled at a spot just round the corner from the Town Hall and opposite the Sydney Arms. The pub was spilling out on to the pavement and they appeared to be watching the horse racing. I knew I only had enough energy to draw a part of the street and paint the the pub. I managed to make the final washes after about 90 minutes but I don’t really remember looking at the painting much afterwards. I framed and priced the two paintings back at the Town Hall and made my weary way back home.

Sydney arms.jpg

I was with Molly when Denise contacted my to say that not only had I sold the Sydney Arms painting but that it had also won the Hampstead School of Art prize!! To sell was great but to win a prize in such a big competition (over 200 artists) was amazing and totally unexpected. To win it with the sketch/study was really unbelievable.

Me at PR

Use this link to see my painting and the other winners


Open Studios update

My first Open Studio was a great success for me. Lots of lovely people came to see my work and many bought paintings, sketches and cards.

Many thanks to everyone who came to see me and Molly, it was really great to hear your words regarding my work and especially my sketchbooks. I was able to look at my work over the last three years in one place and review where I am and where I could go next.

Special thanks to Clare Conner for supporting me through facebook postings, Jade for also posting on Leatherhead Living, Annie for helping out on all three Saturday afternoons, plus friends from Leatherhead Art Club, Tango Dancers and Malden Bowmen. Cathy Brett made sure I was included on the Leatherhead trail and pushed many people on from her and Tania’s studio. Plus Jill, Linda and Brett for their OS support.

hugh and molly

A few figures of interest from the 8 days of Open Studios

170 visitors

30 cards & 19 paintings sold

of which 3/4 were watercolours

People liked Polesden Lacey, local scenes and Venice.

So lots of things to mull over, for the future but I’m pretty sure I’ll be painting watercolour sketches in the near future.

Watercolour buildings & gardens

I’ve been painting out where I can recently, adapting my work to a more sketchbook style, using line & wash.

I’ve really enjoyed these sessions and feel confident in creating finished but sketch based results. I’ve shown my old sketchbooks to quite a few people and they all love them, so I’m moving into producing more work like this, but not in a sketchbook. The paintings can then be framed and shown as individual pieces.


Polesden Lacey, Surrey


Gomshall Mill, Surrey


Athelhampton, Dorset