On the easel today

On the easel today is an oil painting 12 x 16 inches of a favourite bay here in Moray. I have painted this scene three times now each time varying the time of day, colours etc. I still have some more to do on this painting.  This is the last week of my holidays away from the tutoring.  It has taken a while to get back into my painting this year. I had another session with my new physio and the way forward is for me to paint for just an hour a day, which I have been managing to do.  As I love seascapes so much I thought I would carry on with my favourite view which is about half an hour from where I live. The great thing about the sea is that it always looks different, depending on weather and lighting conditions so I thought I could try and vary the same scene in as many ways possible.  I still need to tidy up the foreshore and think about the water area some more!

I hope you are all well and painting during this fine summer we are having.  Autumn is just starting here, the cherry tree is starting to turn her leaves to russet red and brown and other shrubs and trees are starting to follow her.  It is very windy today and mild too. There has been quite a bit of rain this year but it always manages to shine with sun at intervals. At least it has not been chilly. I have memories of past summers wearing a warm waterproof at least you only need to take a brolly out with you and not a jacket!

More on the beach painting

I decided to carry on with the beach painting I had posted here last. I wanted to create more cloud forms and have been fascinated with pushing on with this little oil painting. Since I took this photo I added a bit more warmth to the sky and land area. It is looking more like one of my favourite local beaches. I love the beaches near my home, those big skies and horizons that go on for miles. I can see Caithness on a clear day and the mountain Morvan, though I haven't painted it in ages!

I have started another painting, another coast. I seem to find myself revisiting a location in paint, but with different mood and lighting. More on that for another day!

Happy painting to you all!

Local Beach

Summer days are still here and it is breezy down on the beach. This is a small oil painting on canvas board 10 x 12 inches.  Hard to imagine that this simple scene that I wanted to be most of all about an ordinary day at the beach without my usual drama of the impending storm was so hard to paint. It has changed many times over the last week and I want it to remain fresh looking and to be how I see my beach on an average day. There are many blue sky days but always with lots of clouds that create interest.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer days and painting too!

Summer days

small oil seascape painting on canvas 10 x 8 inches

There have been some dramatic skies this summer and warm days too, here in the Highlands of Scotland. Richard is on holiday and we have been out everyday strolling by the sea and avoiding the daily down pour of rain by keeping out of the shadows of the clouds.  The sea has been so beautiful, so green and the boats gently bob up and down on calm waves. Even the bees that collect the pollen from the daisies that grow by the sea also fly out to sea, we have no idea why they do that!

I have been experimenting with palette knife paintings and it was a nice way to pass some time during the late springtime. Yet once again I found myself returning to my moody seascapes that I enjoy so much to paint and these are painted purely with the brush and involves a lot of blending. It takes a while to paint the large canvases so I have been painting on the very small canvases mainly as a learning tool. In a small space there is so much you can do, to be brave and not worry about mistakes as it is only on a very small space after all! I do have a large canvas on the easel too but only add a little to the painting when I have the time and inclination as I have a big area of sky to repaint. There is always the concern with a large painting that one alteration could mean I have to change the whole painting in order for it to look in balance. But that is the challenge and if painting was easy would we enjoy it so much!

I have missed my blog, I still get trouble trying to get into my blog but I have managed it again successfully. It feels like a secret garden that on certain days the door refuses to open to let me in to my quiet place. This is a quiet place so unlike facebook. It feels good to be back here today typing away in the middle of the night instead of retiring and sleeping!  I hope I can find my way back here soon.

Happy painting to you all!

using golden open acrylics

I have been practicing using golden open acrylics. They stay workable on the canvas for seven hours and allow me to blend my skies. I used a limited palette of quinacridone magenta, titanium buff, titanium white, ultramarine blue and hansa yellow opaque. I find the limited palette really interesting, as I had to make various colour mixes I haven't used in a long time. I am getting used to the slightly brighter colours and the titanium buff lets me calm the bright colours down nicely. The painting is on canvas and is 16 x 20 inches.

I haven't been able to access my blog for ages, yet tonight I managed to all is a mystery but I feel so glad to be back! Hope you are all well and painting!


My artist friend Tamsin and I had a joint exhibition in October in a wonderful space deep in the rural countryside of Moray here in the highlands of Scotland.  It was an exciting time for us as we had to man the exhibition ourselves with the help of Louise a friend of Tamsin who came in for a few afternoons to help.  It was a very tiring but rewarding experience and also successful in sales too.  For me personally it really did encourage my confidence in my work and I have now booked another exhibition for next September of which I am very much looking forward to.  The other important thing for me is to have solo exhibitions so I can see my works as a collection and in many ways to be able to see where I am going on my creative journey.  The feedback from the visiting public was so positive and it was really interesting to hear and see people engage with the works.   I am still trying to achieve a goal of finishing two paintings a month, just to keep me focused. The works take a long time to build up with all the glazing and I do want to keep working in oils.  This way I feel connected to the landscapes and the process of nature gradually changing with the seasons and the weather that comes in.

At this busy festive time it can be hard to take a step back and look out to the landscape and see all the beauty it has to offer us, most of all the deep inner peace that we receive from it whenever we wish it.

I wish you all a Happy Festive Holiday and all the best for 2017! Happy Painting!

Atmospheric Sky

'Atmospheric Sky' 20 x 16 inches.

I had started this oil painting a little while ago and it got forgotten. I was trying to have a more interesting foreground yet when I made changes it was taking distracting the eye from the sky and the drama that was present there.  Finally I put the painting back onto the easel and decided to simply focus on the sky and let the work be about the atmospheric sky. While we have been fortunate for a while not to have many storms there was a spell of moody weather about a week ago that brought in lots of nice skies especially in the early evening when here in the highlands it is still light.  There have certainly been some beautiful skies.  As I type here tonight it is after 8.30 pm and there is a soft pastel blue sky with apricot clouds that have grey and soft edges which threaten rain.

The cherry and the lilac trees are in full bloom and everything looks a lush green elsewhere in the garden. There are many birds too, blackbirds, robins, hedge sparrows, woodpecker that flies in from the pine forest close to our home and finches. There have been other visitors that fly in for the day and then seem to disappear, perhaps they stop here on route to somewhere else.

My art room needs another tidy up, it never seems to stay tidy for long, then I find I need something and then out comes everything!  I am busy tutoring before the holidays begin and then there is a break during July and August with just two afternoons being held for a summer class. I have plenty of paintings to finish, like the 'Atmospheric sky' painting it is time I got them all finished!

I wish you all a happy Spring time and happy painting!