Dog Agility

Molly has been doing dog agility for a while now and I’ve been persuaded to have a go. I thought it would be interesting to have a go at painting some dogs in flight….





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Ancient Surrey Track

I’ve been wanting to paint one of Surrey’s ancient tracks for a while. I love the light cascading in through the trees and the promise of a beautiful walk along the way.

This is on the Polesden Estate, which is a favourite walking spot for Molly and I.

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Framing Oils

I’ve embarked on a burst of framing activity. I’ve bought plain wood mouldings from a local framing supplier and been busy cutting, gluing and painting.


I’m preparing for the Leatherhead Club Exhibition in May and excitingly my first Surrey Artists Open Studio in June. More info and dates in future posts.



Plein Air – Nov & Dec

I’m really enjoying my Friday Plein Air outings to various parts of Surrey. I’ve made a new travelling palette from a plastic document case and an old glass frame, which is working well. I try to get to the agreed spot as soon as I can in order to recce the area.

Its always interesting to see what the other artists select and see how they get on. I’ve got into a pattern for painting now and so its a matter of ensuring I keep looking at the subject and checking the painting.

Here are the previous five weeks in date order.


Castle Bandstand, Guildford




Farm/Stables near Compton


Barn Kitchen Cafe, Walton


Fairoaks Airfield, near Woking

Autumn Colours

I went to view an artists’ show late in the summer and his work inspired me to introduce more colours into my work. With the wonderful autumn we had I’ve been inspired to really push the colours and see what happens.

The first two painting are of Yew Tree farm in the Polesden Estate. The first is a watercolour.


Yew Tree Farm

The second is a smaller oil painting, opening out to a wider view incorporating the trees and wall.


Yew Tree Farm, Oil

The third subject is of Headley Heath and the Belted Galloways grazing in rough. I used oils on watercolour paper and this produced a really nice soft edge effect. Almost like pastels.


Belted Galloways on Headley Heath

On a walk to the Common Meadow, by the River Mole, I loved the way the water was streaming through the trees and reflecting on the water. The low sun, autumn colours and reflections all produced a magical effect. I used the palette knife to make more abstract marks and ramped up the colours.


River Mole at Leatherhead

Finally, on another walk with Molly in the Polesden Estate I took a photo of the Italianate Bridge. I’ve painted this before but in watercolour so I thought I would try the bold approach in oils.


Molly again

I’ve been looking at other ways of painting¬† in oils and found an artist I admire, Karen Schmidt. Based in Louisiana Karen is a Fauve Impressionist, which I had to look up. She starts with a heavy base layer, which provides strong, deep colours and then defines edges by painting both positive and negative shapes. This method allows the dark values to be set very early and its then up to the artist to bring light & colour into the painting.

Fauvism seems to draw on primary and secondary colours being used in the purest forms, in blocks of solid colour and strong outlines. Complementary colours are constantly placed against each other but not mixed to produce the overall effect of another colour. Brush strokes are fierce. Matisse was a Fauvist.

I thought Molly would be a great subject to produce a painting based on this method. Karen produces wonderful Dog and Cat paintings so it was a natural subject to begin with. I’m going to continue developing this style for a while and see where it takes me.

Molly 2

Molly disemboweling another toy

Latest Plein Air Work (Jul-Nov)

I’ve had a pretty active summer painting outdoors and I’d like to review my paintings and remind myself of the locations and people I’ve met along the way. My last overview was in July, so this takes me up to November.

St Marthas

St Martha’s Church (oil) Nov


Bletchingley (oil) Nov

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Claremont Garden (oil) Oct

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Grace & Flavour, Horsley (oil) Oct

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Scotts Hill Windmill (oil) Sep

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Elstead Ponds (oil) Sep

Woking Food Festival (w/c) Aug

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Shere (oil) Aug

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Ockley (oil) Aug

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Steers Field (oil) (Aug)

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Ripley Lock Keepers Cottage (oil), July