Molly’s step

Molly on her favourite step, waiting for a game of tug with ‘Georgia’ her toy Alligator.



Leatherhead Art Exhibition

With the Autumn exhibition starting on Saturday I’ve put together a post on my paintings in the show. If you are interested in seeing them live then the exhibition is being held at the St Johns School Chapel, Leatherhead, Saturday to following Sunday. Plenty of free parking in the school car parks.

Art 1











Australian Holiday Sketches

I’ve just returned from a wonderful holiday to Australia, travelling to Melbourne and Sydney. I managed to produce a few sketches as we journeyed round…


A fantastic city, with free travel in the CBD. We stayed in a modern flat on the 26th floor. So the view had to be sketched. Unfortunately the window frame was at eye level so there was a lot of hopping around to get the detail in.

Melbourne 1

View of Yarra River harbour, Melbourne

The river flowing through the city is the Yarra. Melbourne is known for its sports and the ARF final was on when we were there, so loads of added atmosphere. Lots of building work in the city so the view had to include another skyscraper being built.

The iconic view of the city is Flinders St Station. I had 45 mins sketching the entrance from the main square – Federation Sq.

Melbourne 2

Flinders Street Station , Melbourne

I met up with a work colleague, Brett and he took us on a tour of the South Bank and Botanic Gardens. Thanks for the tour Brett! I drew this at an Aussie restaurant called Pure South. Great burgers and views of the South Banks

Melbourne 3

South Bank, Melbourne


We flew to Sydney and stayed in a small house in the suburbs. Staying there gave a very different vibe to Melbourne. The iconic view of Sydney Harbour was the highlight.

Sydney 3

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

We visited the maritime museum and found a replica of the Endeavour that Cook sailed on his first journey round the world. This jarred with the modern city and other boats in the museum. By this time I had a streaming cold and sat and sketched this whilst the others toured the sailing boat James Craig.

Sydney 2

Endeavour, Sydney Harbour

Hyde Park is right in the center of Sydney and I found a moment to sketch the Cathedral, St Mary’s , whilst the others went round the Australian Museum. It felt a little odd to see this Gothic style building in such a modern setting, in the Southern Hemisphere.


St Mary’s

Out from the city we walked the famous coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee beaches. This was the first really sunny weekend of the spring and the beaches and coastal walk were very busy.

Sydney 4

Coogee Beach

The next day we hired a car and drove to the Blue Mountains. There is a massive canyon with several scenic points in the center and we walked to half a dozen. There was time to sketch from Echo Point, just as the sun was setting. Really tricky to get the colours and scale but I did get the Three Sisters in the picture.

Sydney 5

Three Sisters, Blue Mountains 

On the final day I managed to return to the Botanic Gardens and that view while the others went shopping. We had fantastic weather when we were in Australia but it did rain on the final evening and I drew this sketch under a tree as the sun was going down.

Sydney 6

Sydney Harbour Bridge and ferry


Firle Place Fountain

This is my third fountain painting, using similar techniques to the previous ones that included birds. I visited Firle Place one rainy afternoon and went round their country and horse show. We had tea in the gardens, which was very good and I saw this fountain and thought it would make a picture.

Firle House

Firle Place Fountain

Art Events Competition win

I entered an art competition in May, organised by Art Events (Linda Bywaters) with the theme ‘Summer Gardens’. I felt that it needed to have movement and fun in order to appeal to a wide audience. So I produced two paintings featuring birds and water in the sunshine. Loosely based on Erik Lundgren’s University fountains paintings.

I chose the Birdbath to represent my work after asking a few people which they preferred.

I went to the prize giving yesterday given by Linda Bywaters, and found I had won first prize!

competition winner

First Prize

Here are the paintings :



This is the other painting but was not submitted


Many thanks to Linda and Reg of Art Events for organising the weekend and their hard work all for charity.

Plein Air overview

Its been over a year since I first started painting Oils outdoor and I’ve been thinking of reviewing my progress. Painting outdoors is the biggest challenge for me as there are so many factors involved in creating a successful painting. Until now I’ve not really been able to say I have produced a finished outdoor painting. So this is a chance for me to look at a years worth of pictures and see the development.

Some of these were finished at home, so they won’t be all directly comparable but I need to start somewhere.


The images are in rough chronological order and I am able to produce finished paintings in a sitting now. But photographing and reducing the images flatters the paintings. Overall I’m pleased with the progress but need to keep on practicing.

Latest Oils

I’ve not been posting regularly on this blog lately as I have been sending some of my pictures to select Facebook groups instead. So another post today is a bit much but I wanted to show some of my latest oil paintings.

These two paintings are tests in styles. Both are highly detailed but in different ways.

Frost Bite Longbow, shows a group of archers nocking their arrows during a winter competition. The difficulty was achieving likenesses without over-painting or producing caricatures. I liked the way the bows & arrows criss-crossed through the composition. Also there was bright morning winter sun producing strong shadows and highlights.


Frost Bite Longbow

Oak Tree, is testing a different technique on painting trees. I have plans to try using this style on a large format using a picture from the lakes. I have to decide if this is a path I want to follow.




Sketching in the Lakes

We had a wonderful but scorching holiday to the Lake District last week. I’ve not been to Cumbria for about 40 years, so it was a great chance to see the most beautiful landscapes in England and sketch them.

We were only up there for a few days so I didn’t have much time but I did produce the following sketches.

Orchard Cottage

View of Skiddaw from our Cottage

This was an initial sketch, used for planning further paintings in the studio. Its missing the enormity of Skiddaw so I don’t think I will be using it


Bassingthwaite evening lights and darks


Derwent Water

I had 30 mins waiting for the ferry to capture the lake and Cats Bells.


Buttermere & Mellbreak

The walk around Buttermere was magical and I had 30 mins to just outline the lake and Mellbreak hill.

My last sketch was using Oils but I just couldn’t get to grip with the subject and the medium to do justice to the scene.


Skiddaw from the cottage garden

Brooklands Museum

I met up with some other artists in the Plein Air group this morning at Brooklands Museum. Plenty to look at but some difficult scenes to paint. I chose one of the trickiest.

I liked the jumble of planes, all different sizes, all crossing each other, with the famous track banking in the background. A very enjoyable morning.