The tidy art room




My art room is much tidier now, how nice to know exactly where everything is! I am still trying to find some time to paint. After the big tidy up, preparing tutorials, tutoring and housework once again, I feel time slipping away, almost creeping by me. Last November I finally finished this painting titled ' Silence', it is now up on my art room wall and it is one of my favourite paintings. I really wanted to create a painting that evoked the feeling of silence.  It had been the plan to complete two paintings a month but since last December in which I finished two paintings I hadn't been able to complete my goal! It is OK, maybe it was in a way time to distance myself from painting. For years I have kept up a good pace creating many paintings.  It is true that my neck and shoulder kept seizing up and there have been visits to the physio and osteopath as well as exercises to do.  I do feel much better now, I feel there has been an improvement in my shoulder and neck. I still have to work slowly but that too is OK, why, there is no rush to do lots of paintings.

My artist friend Tamsin and I are going to have another exhibition in two years time in the library gallery which is a very large space, very modern and a good place to show paintings. We want to take our time and just see where the painting journey takes us.  Ideally I would like to create more paintings like 'Silence' and I am working on another painting at the moment which has a similar look and feeling about it. I don't want to get distracted and start palette knife painting again .......!

Happy Painting to you all and hopefully I will have another painting to show you soon!

palette knife paintings




For a while now I have been working on almost three different styles of paintings. Traditional seascapes with nice skies, quiet moody minimalist and limited palette seascapes and lastly the palette knife paintings which while still have large skies I have not felt they looked like my style of work. However the palette knife works do have a lot of energy and do work well on a small scale. The painting here in oils is 5 x 7 inches and is of a coastal area mostly from my imagination. The main idea is to try and create freshness with the thick paint and a feeling of life and movement. In many ways I would like to commit myself to painting one style of painting so that I could feel I was making progress instead of switching from one style to another just for a change. How can I progress forward if I carry on this way!  Interesting is that my studio is having a big clear out too which is taking ages! once everything is out the problem is finding places for it to go back! And the purpose is to also remove clutter!

I really want to commit to the palette knife paintings and see where the road takes me. To just focus on them.

Autumn is really here now, also the nights are drawing in. There is always that feeling of almost loss at this time of the year. Seeing the leaves fall, the leaves turning then fading and finally becoming crisp and dull looking. The branches bare, the shrubs diminished by it all as the wind whips through them and takes their berries away. Late flowers in the garden seem to be all the more brighter and more fragile looking as the surrounding flowers fade away and all seems gold and brown all at once. The bird life is very lively as they all rush about the garden gathering berries and tweeting with glee. I have to now remember to go and fill the feeders though the birds are so greedy the feeder becomes empty in just a day! Wild winds, rain, dim light, and that feeling again of loss. Wanting summer to never leave yet knowing the changing seasons are a beautiful thing too.

Wishing you happy painting days!

blue and buff titanium





I have been busy clearing up my art room which is a time consuming business! Time seems to fly by and before I know it many months passed and I find I have collected a great deal of unnecessary stuff. One being heaps of cardboard boxes I actually believe will be useful one day! and also a massive bag full of old carrier bags or plastic shopping bags again that become completely forgotten once I have stored them away! Also far too many art books, brushes, paints and more paints galore, kept for years!  The thing about clutter is that you somehow fail to see it after a while.  I have to ask myself do I really need this! most of all is it actually useful and of course does it give me joy! Anyway I still can't move in my art room because I have turfed out everything from the cupboards, drawers and boxes.

  In the midst of all this chaos I found this painting in a box. I started a little while ago putting things into boxes, and one of the things I put into boxes are paintings! I really enjoy opening a box and not knowing what is inside it! Mind you the problem with this is that I have heaps of boxes with stuff in it that I don't see unless I open the box! so I think it is still classed as clutter! I have now released this painting from it's box and remember painting it and then keeping it safe in a box until I wanted it. This was actually a long time ago maybe even ten years ago it has rested quietly within a box and now it is on my art room wall. I remember being pleased with the buff titanium paint and the blue which is so bright and pretty, I managed to blend it into the sky colour too. The best thing is that when I viewed this painting again I felt happy and uplifted by the blue. It is just a small painting only 12 x 12 inches but I do feel inspired to paint this again on a really big canvas!

I hope you are all well my painting friends, it is so quiet here in blogging land, everyone seems to be on facebook these days. I guess this is a quiet and secret garden to be in!

Happy painting to you all!

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!