Newsletter – July 2018

Hello all and welcome back. As I promised last time, etvoila! a teeny, tiny miniature oil painting to complete the set for my customer (see photo). I hadn’t appreciated the difficulties I would encounter on such a minute project. Within a few licks of the paint brush the tiny canvas would be saturated and I would have to allow days to pass in drying before I could move onto the next stage. Patience really was a necessity in this case. The customer is very pleased with the end result and the set are now hung in her home.

August sees the start of various gallery summer exhibitions and I’m pleased to confirm that I have 2 paintings being shown at the prestigious Off the Wall gallery in Llandaff this year. www.galleryoffthewall.com I have exhibited at this gallery since my very first year of producing art work and I am always very appreciative of their unwavering support. The summer show starts on 11th August and runs for approximately 6 weeks so if you have a chance to call in, it is well worth a visit as their shows contain work by a host of international as well as local artists like myself and are generally quite diverse so something to appeal to everyone.

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update andif you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 


 



Newsletter – May 2018

Hello all and welcome back. After a bit of a lull following Christmas as is to be expected, a few paintings have now left my possession for new homes. The abstract painting using the fluid painting method, “Enchanted Forest” and the more traditional street scene, “Old Town, Vilnius” have headed up country to new owners. My semi-abstract painting of poppies entitled “Remembrance,” which I did as a tribute to mark the centenary of the many WW1 battles of northern Europe in 1917 has surprisingly gone overseas and has been bought by a Canadian and is now hanging in Ontario.

My latest painting is of a town high street familiar to many and which was one of my most regularly visited venues for a day out growing up, “Abergavenny” About 12 miles from my home town and nestled in stunning countryside, it is a lively and picturesque market town on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and I hope you like my quirky representation of it in the Gallery – Landscape page.

My current project is a bit of a departure from my usual. I was approached by a lady who had bought two miniature antique frames from a vintage store. One frame had a small and very sweet oil painting already but the painting from its matching frame was long lost. She asked if I could do a miniature oil painting on canvas to complete the pair for her. Working with such a small area, approx. 2”x 2” it was agreed that I should match them in colour pallet, backgrounds and themes as they will hang in a kitchen area but just vary it a little to provide some differences between the two. (See photo).

I hope you’ll join me again next month to see the replacement miniature painting to complete the pair and for the latest news update.If you would like to contact me or leave your comments pleaserefer to the contact page for details.


 



Newsletter – January 2018

Hello all and welcome back. January has to be the gloomiest month of the year and for those involved in accounts and taxation like me, it is crazy busy and predictably stressful. Well, I’ve survived another year but I try not to complicate the month with painting in my spare time so, no new piece to share with you but I do have some other good news.

I’m happy to announce a new gallery to represent me and my art work in the perfectly situated town of Abergavenny – Martin’s Gallery & Framing on Baker Street in the centre of town is a lovely, welcoming venue with an impressive collection of British, contemporary artist’s work on display. It’s great to have a foothold in this community where my paintings seem to be increasingly well received of late.

The 3 roomed gallery is about to undergo a reorganisation of  the space and whilst my presence there, for now, is modest, the owner, Martin, and I hope to expand this in the months to come when additional display space becomes available and it will make a good launch point for new paintings I produce. www.martinsframing.co.uk

With the stresses of January now behind me, I’m looking forward to tapping, once again, into my creative side and seeing what new paintings I can come up with in 2018.

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 

 

 



Newsletter – December 2017

Hello all. I hope you had a fun-filled Christmas and are brimming with optimism for the New Year.

The new addition to my gallery for December is a scene of the Sirhowyriver valley town of Ynysddu (pronounced, “Unisthee”) near Newport. It is a piece commissioned as a surprise birthday present for a chap who grew up on the High Street there and spent many an evening in the bar at the Ynysddu Hotel. Now settled and living,in more latter years,in West Wales, his wife hit upon the idea to ask me for a painting to be made of his street and I hope the painting brings back many fond memories from his formative years(see Gallery – Landscapes page).

The lead up to Christmas was typically busy and a flurry of sales of prints kept me on my toes. A new addition to those now gone to “print” is the quirky scene of “Cefn Golau Pond” – a popular destination spotin my home town for a bit of fishing or a few hours out for the family but otherwise, not widely known. Hence my surprise when the postal destination for the print turned out to be deepest, darkest Sussex! The mystery was later explained. It was a surprise gift purchased by the brother of the owner of the cottage at Cefn Golau Pond featured in the painting! What a lovely outcome that the framed print should hang there.

The photo aside shows the pond from a different view, a full 90 degrees turn from the aspect I used for the painting and taken from the rise of the surrounding moorland of Rhymney mountain with the edge of my hometown, Tredegar creeping into the background.

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latestnews update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 

 



Newsletter – November 2017

Hello all. You may have noticed the absence of an October update but it was a little quiet in terms of new developments. I kept busy of course, but new projects take a little time to progress sometimes so please excuse the brief “pause”.

Art lovers in the south Wales valleys and Breconshire area have kept me busy for several months with commissions of picturesque views of that area so I thought I was long overdue for a change of scene. I’ve turned my attention, following a general enquiry from a lady a while ago, to the Swansea area in West Wales and the dramatic coastline. It’s a couple of years now since I last tackled a seascape and the chance to shake it up a bit with a dramatic, stormy sea hooked me in.

I hope you like my latest painting, “Mumbles Point” (see Gallery – Landscape page). In a twist to the usual “landscape” format, I decided to turn this canvas vertical. The composition with the height of the lighthouse seemed to cry out for a variation and I am pleased with the contemporary twist it gives the painting. You find yourself viewing this painting from top to bottom rather than left to right. I also enjoyed getting to grips with the breaking waves and the textures offered by the shingle beach.

For the first time in over 18 months, my latest painting, “Mumbles Point” has not been commissioned directly for a customer so it is actually available to buy from this website.  
So, having indulged myself with a personal choice project, a new commission has arrived which will have me, next month, getting creative with an area along the Sirhowy River that has special memories for the customer’s spouse -a surprise birthday gift.

My December update will probably miss the festive season so I hope you all have a joyful Christmas – Tredegar Town Clock has now been illuminated in readiness (see photo). I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – September 2017

Hello all and welcome to my update for September. I took a lovely little trip this month combining business with pleasure back to visit some of the old haunts of family days out growing up close to the countryside of Brecon, Crickhowell and Llangattock. The scenery was stunning on a sunny autumn day and the welcome warm when I delivered the commissioned painting of “Prelude to Powys” to its owners at the Borderers guest house in Brecon and also visited the beautifully refurbished and now re-opened Horseshoe Inn in Llangattock which has just been fully renovated and now run by a childhood friend of mine.

A new commission has followed as a result of the outing to paint the Borderers Guest House front aspect with the novelty addition to the composition of their recent guest’s car – the famous travelling Zapp family from South America. The family have been travelling the world in this vintage car for 17 years receiving much international publicity over that time.The owners of the guest house thought it would be a fun touch to their new painting.They also plan to have the image of the painting printed on promotional post cards for the guest house. The new painting is well underway and will be available to view on this site next month.

September has had some other varied and interesting developments with some more sales of my prints to the US and chatting to a new customer, a hotelier from Lincolnshire, who acquired 3 of my earlier paintings for display at his hotel and advised me that he was the proud owner of several pieces of work by the esteemed Welsh Artist,Kyffin Williams. When he compared one of my paintings to a similar style to the great man I was incredibly flattered. 

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – August 2017

Hello all and welcome to my update for August. The commissioned painting for the hotel dining room in Brecon (see photo) is now complete and as I expected, it has been a challenge. Combining various Breconshire scenes on one canvas and also dotting in some of the local wildlife as requested by the customer. I’ve named the painting “Prelude to Powys” as it incorporates various scenes from the region forming the south of the county from Talybont, Crickhowell town and castle, Pen Y Fan mountain peaks in the Brecon Beacons and the distinctive stone bridge over the  river Usk. Of course, no landscape of this area would be complete without some sheep but there is also an otter, squirrel, rabbit and the regional Red Kite for you to spot. 

The new owners are thrilled with it and currently in the process of selecting their choice of frame. The fully framed painting should prove quite a talking point for their guests in their newly refurbished dining room. See the completed painting in the website Gallery – Landscapes page.

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – July 2017

Hello all and welcome to my update for July. Following a mini-break to the stunning coastline of Croatia and the completion of various garden projects only achievable in the Spring, I received a commission from a couple who have recently acquired a hotel in the beautiful market town of Brecon. Having come across my website they contacted me for ideas for a large painting to adorn the wall of their soon-to-be redecorated dining room at the hotel.

The couple are full of enthusiasm for their new venture and completely in love with their surroundings so it was a difficult process of elimination of various natural beauty-spots and local landmarks from which to consider for inclusion in the composition. The area of “Brecknockshire” has a wealth of interesting sites as well as including the Brecon Beacons National Park there are many picturesque country towns, historic monuments, natural wonders and wildlife.

With such a variety of subject matter, we settled on a combination of various scenes which although not necessarily geographically placed or necessarily to scale would capture all the elements of the region and provide an eclectic view of the points of interest for hotel visitors to chat about over their breakfast. This is the first of this kind of “multi-scene” painting I have attempted so I hope I can achieve the right balance and cohesion for it to all come together in a pleasing way. Quite a challenge! The image on the right of the legendary waterfall at Talybont-on-Usk is just one aspect of the composition (See photo).

I hope you’ll join me again next month to view the completed painting and for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – May 2017

Hello all and welcome to my monthly update for May. Dividing my time this month between some much-needed “extreme” gardening and also working on my latest commissioned piece of “Pontypridd” has been quite a challenge. This is the largest commission I’ve undertaken to date and also a very detailed composition. This has meant that hours have slipped by whilst just dealing with a very small section of the canvas. At times progress felt painfully slow and the same could be said for the gardening but it has been worth it – the garden is once again tamed and the new owner of the painting confirmed from a photo of the not quite finished canvas that he “loves it!”

Since then and with the painting now finished (see photo Gallery page – Landscapes) and in the hands of its new owner – it will grace their home in Hertfordshire and bring back fond memories of growing up in Pontypridd and the family home they still visit. The view is from the window of that house looking out on Sardis Road rugby ground where the owner trained as a youth and has fond memories. The photo aside is also of the rugby ground and gives you the view from the opposite side of the valley looking towards the house on the hill that provided the viewpoint for my painting.

During June, I’m off on a little jaunt to sunny climes which will hopefully revitalise me after my battle with mother nature these last few weeks to try & regain the upper hand with various trees, shrubs and lawn and on the art front I’ve had some interesting enquiries from people in the Abergavenny and Brecon areas - a beautiful part of the Welsh countryside both and so I’ll keep you posted regarding any developments.

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest news update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – April 2017

Hello all and welcome to my monthly update for April. Spring has positively sprung and artistic inspiration is all around. I hope you have had the opportunity to view my recent series of abstract paintings based on natural wonders. The photos don’t really do them justice as “in the flesh” the colours are gloriously vibrant and the techniques used give a shimmer and reflective quality that can get a bit lost in a photograph. (See Gallery – Abstract page).Bear in mind that if the colours or style of these paintings take your fancy, you can commission a unique painting of your own with the size and colour combination of your choice.

I’ve received a commission this month from a couple who grew up in Pontypridd but have settled in Hertfordshire some years ago. They both have fond memories of their childhood and still visit relatives there and would like a painting of the view from the window of the Pontypridd family home to hang on their wall in Hertfordshire. This will be my largest commissioned piece to date at almost 1 Metre square so quite a challenge.

This project came about as they contacted me to obtain a super-sized print of one of my most popular paintings “Georgetown”. They were looking to obtain the print at 100cm x 80cm (40” x 32”) which hadn’t been attempted before. In discussions with the printing firm we established this could be done and even larger if they wished. However, as our discussions developed they decided to be bolder and commission an original painting of their own hometown view instead.

I hope you’ll join me again next month to see the finished painting and for the latest news update.If you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details.

 



Newsletter – March 2017

Hi everyone – A little later than usual this month, my update was held back whilst I perfected a few finishing touches for not one but two abstract paintings. This now completes my intended series of four abstract paintings using a method called “fluid painting” which is a very organic way of working with no paint brushes used. Instead the paint is “poured” and manipulated in liquid form on the canvas to achieve the desired effect. It’s the opposite end of the art spectrum to the fairly controlled style of work I usually employ for my quirky local scenes and landscapes and I felt the complete departure from my usual style and subject matter was a refreshing boost to my imagination before I return to more familiar projects.

I based the series of four completely contrasting paintings on some of the world’s natural wonders which a traditional painting style might not do justice to without that element of fantasy and organic formation that the fluid painting method permits. It also means that they remain open to interpretation by the viewer as each person sees different aspects within the composition. In addition to “Sleeping Satellite” and “Enchanted Forest” I have now added “Coral Reef” and “Alpine Moon” to the collection (See Gallery Page – Abstract) I hope that even the traditionalists amongst you can appreciate them and if the style of what can be achieved inspires you then commissions are welcome where subject, colour and scale can be agreed to suit your taste. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss the options available.

With regard to my project for the coming month, no clues or spoilers this time - I’ll keep you in suspense about my next piece of work for now. So join me again next month to see what I’ve come up with and in the meantime, in celebration of the season, I leave you with a view of the glorious spring cherry blossom currently in full bloom and providing a showy display. 

 



Newsletter – February 2017

Hello all and welcome to my monthly update. This year certainly seems to be flying by with February already behind us. I am so looking forward to Spring for the longer, lighter days and spending more time outdoors.

The end of this month has seen the completion of my double commission for paintings based on my previous works of “Georgetown” and the “Tredegar Town Clock” for a Tredegar local, John Trace. To personalise the paintings I always make a few subtle changes as well as, on this occasion,adding John and his cute as a button beagle, Cosmo, to the Castle Street foreground of the “Clock” painting. John opted to have the paintings framed as opposed to canvas and I arranged the framing for him as well. He’s absolutely delighted with the end result (see photo).   

In an exciting business development, I’ve also entered into a new partnership with international company Society6 for not just the production and distribution of my prints and framed to order wall art offering a wide selection of sizes and frame styles but also around 30 other quality merchandise products from stationary items to T-shirts, mugs, bags and bed linen all available carrying the image of your choice from my back catalogue of over 50 art works. Society6 are a competitively priced and well-established organisation and promote free shipping internationally.  If you have a particular favourite painting of mine but have limited wall space, this could be the answer. You can search the Society6 website by artist name or the name of a particular painting and see illustrations of the various products. Prices are quoted in US$ but transactions are just as straightforward and with an exchange rate currently around $1.25 to £1 they are also very affordable.www.society6.com

I hope you have a chance to browse the Society6 website but rest assured that if your interests run to original paintings, mounted prints and commissioned art works, these will continue to be offered directly by me from this website. 

I hope you’ll join me again next month for the latest update and if you would like to contact me or leave your comments please refer to the contact page for details. Happy March everyone!

 



Newsletter – January 2017

Hello all and welcome back.

January, for me is traditionally a month of crazy frustrations when I try and balance the increased demands of my day job due to the looming tax return deadline and the same badly organised individuals whilst I try and fit in my other interests and pursuits. Add to this the gloomy weather and I would have to say it is my least favourite month of the year. So, in between bouts of poor temperament and grinding of teeth I try and concentrate on my painting project “du jour” and put all other things to the back of my mind for a few hours of an evening at least.

It was nice during this month to be concentrating on a painting of an old favourite I’ve called “George III” or as it is actually titled “Georgetown”. Now a reworked third edition of my original oil painting from April 2014 which has proved so popular as to have been commissioned again. Its two predecessors went to homes in the London and Birmingham areas so it is nice to know that this one is destined for a wall in the town of its origins – Tredegar.

The painting will be joined next month by a second painting for the same customer of “Tredegar Town Clock” This will be the third edition of this painting also though slightly scaled down to match the dimensions of the “Georgetown” piece. In this carnation they have been painted on boards rather than canvases as the owner’s intention is to have both pieces framed. Join me again next month to see the finished and framed paintings.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 



Newsletter – December 2016

Hello all and welcome back.I hope everyone had a pleasant and cosy Christmas and hello to 2017!

On the art front, December saw the sale of some of my earlier works with the paintings of “Roath Park Lake” and “The Nine Arches” finding new homes. The latter has gone all the way across “the Pond” to take up residence in America. Please keep in mind that if any of my sold paintings happen to be a particular favourite, that quality mounted, limited edition prints of them can still be obtained.

The completion of the surprise Christmas gift of the oil painting of “Ferns Barn” as a house warming and good luck gift for the owner and soon-to-be new residents of the barn conversion in Herefordshire was a well-judged triumph by all accounts. The painting portrays the restored property and also the family members and some symbolic references personal to them. I wasn’t present at the giving and unveiling on Christmas Day but I was advised by the commissioner of the piece that the reaction to it was “Awesome” That’s certainly even more than I could have hoped for.(See Gallery – Life Studies page). Aside is a photo of the barn conversion in the early to mid-stages of renovation when I visited it back in the summer of 2016.

In the run up to Christmas as deadlines were met and various paintings and prints distributed to their new owners, I received a surprise new commission for what will be my first works to be undertaken in 2017. A request for what will now be a third version of each of my 2 paintings of “Georgetown” and “Tredegar Town Clock.” Naturally, I will be introducing a few unique characteristics to each painting to personalise them for the new owner but I consider it a great complement that both paintings have proved so popular as to generate a third undertaking.

I hope the New Year has started well for you all and proves to be a cracker! If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 



Newsletter – November 2016

Hello all and welcome back. November has seen me return to my more traditional painting style with the completion of not one but TWO oil paintings to fulfil a commission I received from John and his wife living in Whitchurch, Cardiff. John is originally from the Rhondda and also lived in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff for many years before settling in Whitchurch. When he came across my various prints online he fixed on two images in particular, “Pontcanna Street Rugby Day” and he was also taken with the print of “Georgetown” as the Valleys scene reminded him of his home town, Treorchy. As both original paintings had long-since sold and I couldn’t tempt him with prints, I agreed to do a second “Pontcanna Street” painting for him and I tracked down a suitable image of the Treorchy area which had a similar composition to the “Georgetown” painting to base a new painting on for him. Imagine both our surprise when the “Treorchy” painting was unveiled and John announced with some glee that it was “Cwm Park” a smaller town near Treorchy where his family had originated from and lived for several generations. He said it brought a tear to his eye he was so pleased with it. (See Gallery – Landscapes page). Both paintings now have pride of place in his newly built extension.

In the current month I’m fulfilling another commission for an oil painting agreed back in the summer for a customer who wants to present it to a client of his business as a surprise “thank you” and Christmas present. I dare not reveal any more at this stage in case I give the game away but I hope you’ll join me again (after Christmas when the surprise has been sprung) to view thenew painting and catch up on any news.

Please keep in mind that even though my commissioned paintings are done to order and so sold on completion, limited edition quality prints of them can be acquired as with my other artworks if something should take your eye.

It just remains for me to wish you all a merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 


 



Newsletter – October 2016

Hello all and welcome back.This month I am pleased to present to you my 50th painting. A contemporary abstract piece entitled “The Journey” (see Gallery – Abstract page) having had very little experience of producing abstract art it was a nerve-racking undertaking on my part and a tremendous leap of faith on the part of the very discerning customers that I would be capable of pulling this off. I wouldn’t want to bore you too much with details of the new techniques & skills I needed to acquire but the manipulation and manhandling of a 2ft x 4ft canvas dripping from every edge with wet paint whilst trying to obtain a fairly specific outcome and without the use of the usual painting tools which had to be abandoned in favour of a spray gun and a hairdryer tested my own faith in my artistic capabilities to the limit.Fortunately, Allun and Simon were delighted with the outcome (see photo).

I hope that even the traditionalists amongst us will appreciate the finished piece. The whole creative process was such a departure from my usual painstaking and detailed style of painting that I have pressed on and produced a new series of abstract works (see Gallery – Abstract page)which I hope you will enjoy. The experience has also prompted me to continue to explore what can be achieved using the more abstract and unorthodox methods and I intend, over time, to produce a varied selection of abstract pieces alongside my traditional and more familiar oil paintings. Hopefully, this will provide people of all artistic tastes and preferences who visit my website with something of interest to view.

In an even more recent development, I was thrilled to receive another commission from a Cardiff-based couple who happened across a selection of my prints on-line and were charmed enough to place an order for not one but TWO original oil paintings on canvas. The subjects will be a Welsh landscape and a Cardiff street scene, both locations dear to their hearts and I hope you’ll join me again next month to view thenew paintings and catch up on any news.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 


 





Newsletter – September 2016

Hello all and welcome back.This month marks the 4th anniversary of my taking up my brushes again after a 30 year hiatus. It has been a surprising and thoroughly enjoyable period of new experiences and creativity and I hope long may it continue.

September also coincides with the undertaking of my 50th painting. I wanted to mark this milestone with a project that was both memorable and challenging. I considered subjects that were personal and significant to me and was still undecided when another commission came my way. This commission will be the second largest painting I’ve ever undertaken and it is a contemporary abstract piece. I will need to adopt a method call “Fluid painting” involving no brush or palate knife work until possibly the final stages. This will be a completely new technique for me to try and master and as you will appreciate,the abstract style is the opposite end of the art spectrum from the impressionist style of painting I’ve produced so far.As you can see from my chaotic work bench – (see photo) it’s a messy, innovative and slightly terrifying prospect but certainly the “memorable” project I’d been searching for to become my 50th piece.

The client for the painting which is already named “The Journey” has just completed a major renovation to a now stunningly decorated townhouse in Penarth Marina and the painting is to adorn the wall in their new open-plan living space. I’m hoping to persuade them to allow me to take some shots of the room for the website when the painting is hung to share with you.

In the meantime, the surprise 60th birthday present that was commissioned by a gentleman from West Wales of “Tredegar Town Clock II” is now complete, (see Gallery – Life Studies page). Whilst I have retained the basics of the original composition, the client’s family and the birthday girl herself have been added to the Castle Street foreground.
 
I hope you’ll join me again next month to view the new painting and catch up on any news. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 


 



Newsletter – August 2016

Hello all and welcome back.This month I have been working on a very pleasing commissioned piece for a customer that I’ve entitled “Lazy Sunday in Llanellen” The converted Victorian school building in the leafy suburb of Abergavenny is now a rambling family home full of character. I’ve personalised the oil painting for them with a couple of generations of family members and the household’s dog all at leisure for a summer weekend. We’ve pulled it all together from a combination of my visit to the house armed with my camera and some family snapshots. I hope you like it.

My next undertaking is another commission. A gentlemen in West Wales has requested a painting based on my original “Tredegar Town Clock” that was the centrepiece of the Bedwellty House exhibition (April to July 2016) and already sold. His good lady wife is originally from Tredegar and he has commissioned a similar painting for her as a surprise 60th birthday present. It will be a slightly scaled down version of the larger original painting and I will introduce some changes to include his family as the characters in the Castle Street foreground to make it unique. The original street scene was made up of me, my family, school friends and other animals. (See photo Tredegar Town Clock).

Remember, if you missed the Bedwellty House solo show and would still like to view pieces of my work, a selection are now included in the 2016 Summer show at the Off The Wall Gallery in Llandaff www.offthewallgallery.com and at the Pontcanna Frame Shop & Gallery on Pontcanna Street, Cardiff  (off Cathedral Road) for the rest of this season.

I hope you’ll join me again next month to view the new painting and catch up on any news. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 


 



Newsletter – July 2016

Hello all and welcome back. Well the Bedwellty House solo show is now behind me and it was followed by a flurry of activity despatching various paintings to their new owners and re-assessing my remaining collection for redistribution to various Cardiff galleries for display. Bedwellty House was a great success and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It’s also pleasing to know that there is already talk of a second show of my work there when I have had the opportunity to create some new and interesting pieces.

If you missed the show and would still like to view pieces of my work, a selection are now included in the 2016 Summer show at the Off The Wall Gallery in Llandaff www.offthewallgallery.com and at the Pontcanna Frame Shop & Gallery on Pontcanna Street, Cardiff for the rest of this season.

For this month’s project, I have dipped back into a semi-abstract style for a painting entitled “Remembrance.” We couldn’t fail but be moved by the touching events this month held to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the battle of the Somme and the carnage that took place there during World War 1. I decided to produce my own small tribute in a warm and hopeful scene of the poppies that now cover the French countryside and are the emblem for continued peace since that tragic period of history. I hope you like the new painting (see gallery – Abstract page).

My next undertaking is a commissioned piece depicting another very desirable residence, this time set in the glorious countryside of Abergavenny. As well as capturing the house in the “quirky” style requested by the client, I hope to add even more charm to it by featuring some family members. I hope you’ll join me again next month to take a look.

Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 


 



Newsletter – June 2016

Hello all and welcome back.Well, I’ve clocked up a 3 month stay with my solo exhibition at Bedwellty House,quite an achievement. We have now settled on a closing date of 6th July. It’s a shame that all good things must eventually come to an end. The buyers of various pieces have been very patient, kindly allowing the paintings to remain in the show for the duration, but it’s time to call time and let the new owners have their paintings and make room for something new at the grand house. Thanks again to the organisers, contributors and visitors who have made the event so memorable. There is already some discussion of a potential return to the house for another run in the future which would provide me with an opportunity to showcase some new works and I will keep you informed of any developments.

My new painting this month is available to view in my website gallery on the landscapes page. “Bank Cottage, Talybont” is a charming and beautifully renovated old stable in the Brecon Beacons. The commissioned piece has pleased the owner with its quirky style and I’m sure if you are also taken with it, he wont mind me letting you know that the 5 berth cottage is available to holiday let via the booking website www.breconcottages.com if you fancy the full “rural idyll” experience.(photo;Talybont on Usk, Brecon Beacons).

Since the end of last year I have either been occupied with locally themed pieces in preparation for the Bedwellty House exhibition or commissioned works for customers so I’m now taking some time to decide on my next project which I hope will be both diverse and challenging. Please join me again next month to see what I’ve come up with.

Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 


 



Newsletter – May 2016

Hello all and welcome back.Good news, by popular demand my solo exhibition at Bedwellty House (almost 30 canvases and a selection of framed prints) has been extended by a few weeks into June. If you haven’t yet made it to the show, now’s your chance.

Last month’s painting “Team Work” has now been finished and oak framed for its owner and he is thrilled with it (see photo). It seems the painting is causing a bit of a buzz amongst the local sheepdog breeding and training fraternity – I may have found a niche market – watch this space.

This month’s project is another commissioned painting. “Bank Cottage, Talybont” is a beautifully renovated, stone built cottage which used to be a stable for the local “big house” in the Brecon Beacons. Now, tastefully converted into a luxurious cottage that sleeps up to 5people, the proud owner of the holiday home and rental property has commissioned me to capture the scene of the front elevation and surrounding countryside. As a bonus, I will be including his two dogs in the painting as a personal touch.

Please join me again next monthto see the finished painting and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 



Newsletter – April 2016

Hello all and welcome back. Well my largest solo exhibition to date at Bedwellty House (almost 30 canvases and framed prints) got off to a wonderful start with an excellent turnout for the opening on the 9th April and so much supportive chat and curiosity from everyone who attended. I couldn’t have hoped for a more positive day.

The media coverage also came up trumps with a “featured artist” illustrated piece covering my paintings in both the South Wales Echo centre pages and the Gwent Gazette front page and full article inside. That extra publicity in the run up to the opening of the show provided a real boost. Don’t forget, the Bedwellty House exhibition is open until the end of May if you would like to visit. 

By sheer coincidence, and having intended a little break from painting after the exhibition opening, the same week I received my second commission – so the brief respite never materialised. Commissioned by a proud owner and trainer of sheepdogs for trials, I agreed with Gareth to attempt a painting of 4 of his prized dogs at work. I’ve named the painting “Team Work” and it has pushed me out of my usual comfort zone in trying to capture the individual characteristics of each dog but more informally than through the media of portraiture. I hope you feel that I have succeeded – Gareth has only just seen it for the first time and he’s chuffed to bits! (see Gallery page – Life Studies).

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 



Newsletter – March 2016

Hello all and welcome back. More exciting developments and news regarding my solo exhibition at Bedwellty House on Saturday 9th April (launch party at 2pm – everyone welcome)The Surrey based owner, of the original oil painting, “Georgetown, Tredegar” has kindly agreed to loan the painting for the duration of the exhibition. He and family members have decided to make an event of it and are combining attending the opening of the show with a weekend of re-visiting his home town for the first time in 30 years.

A surprise development, an advance sale this week of the exhibition centrepiece “Tredegar Town Clock” to a lady in Swansea who didn’t want to run the risk of it selling before she could attend the show to purchase it in person. She has kindly agreed to the painting remaining in the exhibition for the duration before she takes ownership.

I have also received my first commission this month for an oil painting from a charming lady living in Staffordshire who was “devastated” when she was poised to buy “Georgetown, Tredegar” from my website only to realise the original had been sold. She spent 10 years living in Kimberley Villas as a teenager and has such fond memories of her time there that I have agreed to try and recapture the Georgetown scene for her.(Work in progress - See photo).

My new painting this month is “CefnGolau Pond”located high on the mountain road to the West of the town. A well-known local spot for Tredegar people of all ages to pass a few leisurely hours for generations, the painting completes my series of Tredegar themed paintings for the Bedwellty House exhibition representing landmarks at all 4 compass points of the town and the central point with the Town Clock.

I hope you can find time to attend the exhibition opening day or visit it at some point during its run to the end of May and please join me again for the latest news next month.Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 

Newsletter – February 2016

Hello all and welcome back.

As I mentioned previously, my intention is to spend the next couple of months focusing on producing art work that has significance to me growing up in my home town of Tredegar.This is in honour of a solo exhibition I’ve been asked to compile of my paintings and prints which will open at the distinguished venue of Bedwellty House on Saturday 9th April 2016.

As anyone familiar with Tredegar will confirm, no exhibition of local images would be complete without a representation of the iconic town clock which has stood imposingly at the centre of the town since 1858 (see photo). The clock was the project of Mr R P Davis, the master of Tredegar iron works and his wifewho were, at that time,residing at “Bedwellty House.” His significant donation of £400 was added to by the fundraising of the people of Tredegar and the clock was commissioned for the princely sum of £1,000.

The iron for the 72ft structure was cast in Newport and it took 16 weeks to assemble. The face dials were originally illuminated by gas. It has been the gathering point for almost every major celebration in the town ever since from the party that markedthe end of WWII which lasted for several days to every New Year’s Eve arm linking, hand clasping midnight Auld Lang Syne. I hope you enjoy my painting (see Gallery – Landscapes page) and hopefully you will have the opportunity to see it and others in the flesh at the forthcoming exhibition.

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 

Newsletter – January 2016

I am pleased to announce a rather special undertaking which I will be working towards for the next couple of months. I have been asked to compile a collection of my art work for a solo exhibition in the rather grand and beautifully refurbished, Bedwellty House in my home town, Tredegar (see photo). I feel very touched at such an early stage in my artistic endeavours to be singled out and honoured in this way. The show is still at the early planning stages but with a potential opening date for this coming April, I intend to tailor some new pieces specifically centred round the town and my childhood memories of growing up there.

One piece already destined for the Bedwellty House show was completed last November. You might recall my painting of “The Nine Arches”. This month I have turned my attention to the monument on the brow of Sirhowy Hill, the “Aneurin Bevan Stones” with a fantastic panoramic backdrop of the surrounding hills and town in the valley below. The 4 stones, mined at the local Trefil quarry, mark the site where the highly regarded politician and founder of the National Health Service held his public meetings for his constituents from the surrounding towns of Tredegar, Ebbw Vale and Rhymney. In addition to being a modern day tourist attraction, they continue to provide the symbolic scenery and press conference photo ops for current, socialist political gatherings, most recently on national news, the then campaigning Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the town. I hope you approve of my dramatic portrayal of the vista (see Gallery - Landscapes page).

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 

Newsletter – November 2015

Hello all and welcome back. I’m pleased to say that the launch of the new exhibition, “Harmony” at Boundary Art gallery, Cardiff Bay went well this month, despite hurricane Abigail doing her darnedest to add “atmosphere” to the event shall we say . (See photo). The exhibition which includes 5 of my landscape paintings and various prints is made up of international artist’s work in all forms of paint media as well as sculpture and ceramics. The show will run up to the New Year so if you get a chance, call in for a browse. For more details, go to www.boundaryart.com.

On the sales front, it’s been quite a trip down memory lane for me with the order of a print of “Tredegar” going to a resident of my home town who I hadn’t seen in some 20 years. The original oil painting was snapped up a year ago by a customer living in London but with links to the town as a child and fond memories so it’s nice to see that my image of Georgetown is creating such nostalgia.

A print of “Cardiff Bay Sunset” with its semi-abstract view of the main landmarks of the Bay has also been acquired for a Christmas present along with the sale of two of my earlier, original paintings. “Cabaret” has gone to a jazz music-lover in Blackwood & “Malayan Table” to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. Good homes all!

My new piece is my 40th painting since taking up my brushes again 3 years ago and is a second nostalgic homage to my home town, Tredegar, as this month also sees the start of my demi-centennial year (can’t bring myself to print the number). Please take a look at the new painting in the Landscapes page of my gallery. “The Nine Arches” is an historic and impressive feat of engineering in Tredegar that is often overlooked these days with new roads and bypasses popping up around it. It was a place for picnics & playing in the river not just for my generation but also my parents and before them and it seemed a fitting and timely tribute to the town.

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.


 

Newsletter – October 2015

Hello all and welcome back. I am so enjoying this dry, bright autumn weather we’re experiencing that I had to celebrate it. This month’s painting is a seasonal explosion of autumnal colour displayed in a majestic view of Cardiff’s premier landmark, the castle, captured from the Cooper’s Field and parkland area that surrounds its rear perimeter. See Gallery page “Landscapes”.

Another of my “local landmark” paintings has been selected for exhibition this month at the Off the Wall gallery in Llandaff – “Roath Park Lake” which features the lighthouse, clock tower and a sprinkling of ducks and swans. www.galleryoffthewall.com

I am pleased to say that 2 of my earlier works have sold this month, “Villa Maggiore” painted way back in November 2012 and “Roath Park Weir” painted in Jan 2013, both from my 1st year of painting. The new owners are Swansea and Cardiff based respectively so it’s encouraging to be receiving such local support.

Excellent news! I’ve secured an exhibition of a selection of my paintings starting next month in a wonderful new venue only opened in March this year in Cardiff Bay, The Boundary Gallery. (See picture) It has impressive display rooms flooded with light and space and also has a tea garden for visitors to emphasize its “East meets West” fusion concept. I feel very honoured to have had my work accepted at this gallery which has an impressive and growing collection of international artists and to be represented by them hopefully for years to come. The new exhibition is still being compiled and is due to start on 14th November 2015 continuing on into the New Year. I will keep you posted of developments but you can have a taster by visiting the gallery’s website  www.boundaryart.com

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below


 

Newsletter – September 2015

Hello all and welcome back.

I’ve been inspired by the return of “Strictly Come Dancing” to the BBCs Autumn schedule. It becomes compulsive viewing every year in the run up to Christmas and although reality TV shows generally leave me cold, I make an exception for this one. Of course it has glamour and great music but it’s also the sheer hard work the celebrities put into it. Some of the performances in later weeks are truly inspiring for the degree of effort and improvement they’ve made since starting out.

Consequently, and with the spirit of a challenge in mind, I’ve once again explored my figure painting skills to produce “The Dancers” and I hope I’ve managed to capture some of the sparkle and drama of a passion-filled latin number (See Gallery – Life Studies page).

On other matters, I’m pleased to say that I received an order for 2 prints of my paintings, “Tenby Harbour” and “Roath Park Lake” this month from a lady who had seen the original “Tenby Harbour” oil painting hanging at a client’s office and loved it. It’s very heartening to know that the painting which sold some 2 years ago is well displayed and continues to be appreciated.

This leads me nicely to just explain that you can obtain a quality mounted print of any of my paintings even if the original painting has sold. The “Buy now” button is displayed alongside each piece of art work and very efficiently takes you through the process completely securely via Paypal.

I have also been approached this month by local sportsman Nicky Piper MBE, whose many achievements include winning the Commonwealth light-heavy weight boxing championship title in 1995 (now retired of course). He is currently a sports presenter and amongst other things acts as the events coordinator for a very worthwhile Cardiff based organisation, the George Thomas Hospice Care charity. I have agreed to donate one of my art works for exhibition at the Village Hotel, Whitchurch, Cardiff to be featured in their annual catalogue and charity auction on Friday 2nd October. The art work from a varied selection of Welsh artists and others is on display at the hotel in the run up to that date and should be well worth a visit.

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – August 2015

Hello all and welcome back.

In honour of my 5 day trip to Lithuania in May, I’ve marked it with a painting this month of the picturesque old town of the capitol, Vilnius (See Gallery – Landscapes page). I had no previous experience of the Baltic States and I returned very impressed by the city and the people I met.  Like many mainland European countries it has a chequered history of invasion and occupation which has influenced the varied architecture but it all sits side by side nicely in the old town. As a nation, they were the first Soviet republic to declare their independence from the USSR in March 1990 despite the Soviet government’s refusal to recognise it until September 1991. They’ve certainly embraced the last couple of decades of freedom. Let’s hope they can hang onto it and not have to endure the threat that has dominated its near neighbour, the Ukraine, in recent years.

If, like I did initially, you struggle to even place Lithuania on the map – here’s a regional map for your reference (See photo.) I highly recommend it as a destination for those who enjoy a more relaxed city break.
I’ve been making a concerted effort recently to market some of my older paintings that have languished a bit in my Gallery for a while now. This month sees the sale of a still life oil painting “Tongan Table” I completed back in February 2013. It is also a milestone painting for me in that it has sold to the United States! I can now honestly say that I am an “International” Artist.

It’s always nice to see older works go to a new home to make way for my new pieces.  Please bear in mind that if a particular painting interests you, I’m always happy to receive sensible offers for consideration.

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – July 2015

Hello all and welcome back. June proved to be a very quiet month on the art front so I hope you’ll excuse me if I just skip straight on as there was just nothing of note to report.

July has been a little livelier. It saw the sale of one of my earlier pieces – “Castell Coch – Spring”. That’s another of my paintings that’s gone north recently and I don’t mean Bangor, oh no, Tyne & Wear on this occasion! It’s good to know that scenes of Welsh landscapes have some broad appeal. I hope the painting gives the new owner years of pleasure.

This month has also seen the return of the Sunday night  BBC1 show “Fake or Fortune?” which calls upon various art experts to establish provenance and authenticity of various, privately owned art works if their origins are in question. I’ve been glued as, so far this series, it has featured works by L S Lowry and the impressionist, Renoir, who are among two of my favourite artists (you can see my 21st century homage a Renoir painting “The Umbrellas” on the Life Studies page in my website Gallery).

The art world never fails to fascinate me as to how the same charming French river scene painted around 1875 (see photo “Bassin d’Argenteuil” by Renoir?) can be worth next to nothing one minute or upwards of £300,000 if only it can be assured that Pierre Auguste Renoir had a hand in it. What was even more disturbing in this case is that the piece had passed all authenticity tests and provided a good case to establish provenance and one highly regarded Art House expert confidently accepted it was a Renoir but another of equal standing did not. There is no appeals procedure you can follow in this scenario and the despairing owner of the painting is left unable to sell the piece at auction as a Renoir.   

Well, all I can say to MY art buyers out there is, I ensure each piece is always signed and recommend you hang on to your paperwork chaps!– I’d hate for you to have this kind of tussle with Christie’s a few decades from now – who needs the aggravation eh?

My latest painting is an abstract with just enough realism – I hope – to endear it to most tastes. Entitled “View from a Blanket” (see Gallery - Abstract page) it represents the view you get when lying in the long grass soaking up the hot summer sun – I know you have to use your imagination this summer in the UK I’m afraid. See if you can spot the “wildlife”.   

Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – May 2015

Hello all and welcome back. Well May also seems to have been somewhat hectic with on-going garden maintenance due to a no-show patio restorer, a mucked up garden furniture order from Frankfurt (I previously had such faith in German efficiency too!) and the usual “rain stopped play” disruption.  Because of these varied and frustrating delays the sequence of tasks has dragged on to the extent that I had to down tools in the middle of it all for a previously arranged trip to Lithuania. An unusual destination I know but I was very impressed. It’s been a member state of the EU for some years and adopted the Euro as its currency from this January. The old town of Vilnius, the capitol of this little-known Baltic state where I stayed was beautiful and interesting with just the right balance of activity for me to unwind and recharge.
  
So, even though I’ve returned to the tiresome remnants of the extended campaign to rescue my garden, I do feel some benefit for having stepped away from it for a while. I’ve captured one corner of it on camera, albeit unfinished, in the picture aside as promised.

Although my painting has had to take a bit of a back seat of late, I do have a new piece to share with you this month. My love of seascapes has helped calm my senses and you can view “Gower Gold” in the landscapes page of the site. For me at least, it’s a restful, calming picture deliberately done with a restricted colour palate and muted tones to add to the soothing nature of the south west Wales coast and I hope you like it.
Please join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – April 2015

Hello all and welcome back. I have to confess that for the first time since I (re-) started painting in August 2012, I have failed this month to produce a new art work for which I humbly apologise. I blame this on a combination of contributory factors but mainly a rampantly deteriorating garden which has required all my efforts and some additional hired help to pull it back from the brink this month. The hard landscaping has needed serious attention & also everything else from furniture and masonry painting to a grub infestation destroying the lawn. The restoration is still underway but I am at last hopeful that the worst is behind me.

Unlike painting, gardening is not a labour of love for me. Its back breaking, dirty work and also, unlike a painting, the reward for all your efforts lasts for about two weeks until some freak weather strikes or vicious insect demolishes all your hard work. For those readers who have a more upbeat and optimistic viewpoint on gardening, I might share a photo of it with you next month as even though it’s not strictly art related, unless I adopt Claude Monet’s approach and start to paint it incessantly, it is a pretty view and hopefully proves that I have been far from idle this April.

Other contributory factors to the absence of a finished piece of art are quite simply inspiration and indecision. I have several partly formed ideas for a new work which is probably worse than having just one idea as I can’t decide what to go with. Out of these several ideas – there is not one stand out idea which grabs me & says “Yes! I must give that a try.” That’s not to say it wouldn’t make a good painting but I’m not fired up – it’s a strange creative process but I’m hoping I will be able to organise my thoughts and instincts shortly.

In the meantime, the photo aside is of the recently reorganised Pontcannna Gallery & Frame Shop, Pontcanna St, Cardiff where Mike, the proprietor, has generously allocated some of my art work exhibition and sales space to the extent of six original canvases and two framed prints. If you are in the area, please feel free to call in and have a look around.

I hope you’ll join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – March 2015

Hello and welcome back. For the last couple of months I’ve been following the BBC’s Sunday evening show “The Big Painting Challenge,” 12 British amateur artists competing to win by avoiding elimination each week. My favourite artist from week 1, Paul from Glasgow, won last Sunday’s final.

To my mind, each of the finalists had done at least one blinder of a piece at some point in the competition but Paul showed more versatility and consistency of standard than the others. That’s not to say he didn’t produce the odd “turkey” over the weeks – the wrong composition, perspective problems or just a poor choice of colour palate can be the finish of a promising piece of work – this I have also discovered. But when you do get it just right it’s a lovely feeling. Paul, who is in his 50’s, has now got 2 of his paintings hanging in Tate Britain and hopefully a promising career off the back of the show. Marvellous result!

The show’s final episode was held in Dartmouth and it amused me that their last challenge was to paint a seascape of the harbour. It’s a beautiful spot as I discovered when I travelled that stretch of the Devon coastline myself. The four finalists were set up with easels along the quayside at the very spot my 7 year old photo (aside) captures called “Bayard’s Cove.” It’s the old Georgian part of the harbour and is so quaint as not to be believed – even the strolling ducks along the cobbles are real and not a choreographed prop! I’ve considered painting this scene in the past but if it wasn’t for my photographic evidence, it would seem unbelievably twee.

My March painting is titled “Spring at City Hall” an unusual perspective and colourful study of the civic building that I captured with my camera one lunchtime a few weeks ago. If you get a chance, take a look on the Gallery Abstract page (only just semi – abstract really). I hope you’ll join me again next month and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – Feb 2015

Hello and welcome back. I’m a bit delayed this month as I’ve been engaged in a little “forgery” – just kidding. My homage a Renoir is complete with a modern day adaptation of his painting “The Umbrellas”. You truly appreciate the skill of a Master when you attempt to interpret their work in close detail. It has been a learning and enjoyable experiment.

I didn’t want to change the composition too much from the original painting as that’s what drew me to it in the first place. I planned to reduce the use of blues a little and vary the clothing colours to give more definition to each character and also reflect modern day styles and fabric textures that technological development has given us since the 1880’s – nylon and plastic materials are the tip of the iceberg in day-to-day living now when you consider that cotton-weaving mills were the cutting edge, mass-production boom businesses back then.

Take a look at my 21st century version of the painting in the Life Studies page of the Gallery and see if you can identify the Hunter wellies, Burberry mac, Ugg boots and Louis Vuitton tote bag.

Other news, I’m pleased to say that one of my earlier works from 2013 sold this month “Rock pools at Ogmore.” Surprisingly, it will not hang locally where I thought the appeal would be greater, it’s gone to a new home near Edinburgh! It must be the Celtic connection.

This month’s photo (see aside) - Cardiff City Hall proves that spring has finally sprung. It also inspired me as I emerged that lunchtime from the gloom of the underpass to witness this explosion of colour to capture it in an abstract style for next month’s project. I hope you’ll join me again then and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – Jan 2015

Welcome back. I hope a merry Christmas was had by all. Getting back into things in the New Year is always a shock to the system. January is my least favourite month of the year with its dark, gloomy weather and for anyone dealing with taxation for a living, it’s stressful beyond belief, so I chose a subject to paint this month that would both perk me up and calm me down. I also had an unexpected sale of my painting, “Saundersfoot” this month which is now gracing a wall in Bristol and I felt a happy and sunny replacement seemed appropriate. I hope you like “Newquay, Wales” which you can view in the Landscape section of the Gallery.

On other matters, I was very flattered to be approached a few months ago by Jack Davies, the Editor of a regional, on-line periodical about featuring two of my paintings in his magazine article about Castell Coch and various artists’ representations of the Cardiff landmark. The 5th edition on this theme was published in January and if you would like to take a look, the link to the website is http://tongwynlais.com/2015/01/12/paintings-of-castell-coch-part-5/   
With nothing very picturesque to photograph this month, I thought I’d share with you the lovely Renoir painting “The Umbrellas” A busy Paris street scene completed in 1880 but then partly redone by the artist some 5 years later. The change in ladies fashion of the time is why the later additions of the figures on the left hand side don’t really match those on the right. I wondered about how a modern day take on this painting would look?

I hope you’ll join me again next month for a newsletter update and to view my latest painting. Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – Dec 2014

Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you have a lovely, festive holiday season planned. I’m pleased to say that the usual hunt for novel Christmas presents combined with the start of the rugby season has boded well for one of my paintings – “Pontcanna St Rugby Day” (see Gallery – Life Studies page) The original oil painting sold very quickly at its first exhibition when it was completed in 2013 but there has been interest and orders for the limited edition print (see photos on Services page of the mounted print). At a much more affordable price than an original oil painting, it has proven to be a seasonal hit.

So, to my latest painting, I came across an image used in a news article about blizzards in mid Wales which I’ve based it on. As usual, I couldn’t resist prettying it up to reflect the sunny and crisp calm after the storm. As a nod to the Welsh National Park it represents, I’ve cheekily called it “Snowed-in-ya” A Welsh accent helps (see Gallery – Landscapes page).

Have a lovely Christmas and I hope you’ll join mein the New Year for the newsletter and to view my latest painting. Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – Nov 2014

Hello all and welcome back. I’m pleased to report that, despite such a brief window of opportunity to display 3 of my paintings in a 1 week exhibition at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay, a sale was achieved! “Pen-Y-Fan – Brecon Beacons” has gone to a very tenacious couple and will hang on a wall within a mile or two of the scene it depicts in Brecon. What a lovely and fitting outcome. Thanks again to Juan Carlos of Aasobe Studio for organising the event.

The painting of an area of my home town, “Tredegar” has also sold this month. Again, it’s gone to a buyer with a marvellous connection to the scene and who could quote the names of the featured Georgetown streets. The buyer had a fascinating story of being born into the workhouse there in 1948 and with a family history in the town stretching back 150 years but now living in London since the 1950’s. I couldn’t have wished for a better home for it.

Well I’ve finally taken the plunge and painted a portrait. It’s a very different experience and approach to my usual subject matter but I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted a subject with a face full of character and where better to look than a miner. After all, my grandfather, uncles and cousins worked hard in the industry whilst I was growing up so there was no shortage of examples to work from. Take a look in the Gallery – Life Studies page and say hello to “Gwyn” – I hope I have managed to capture the strength and humour that was always very apparent in the mining men of my family.

I hope you’ll join me again for the Christmas newsletter update and to view my latest painting.

Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – Oct 2014

Hello all and welcome back.As a tribute and also a fond farewell to the summer weather, this month’s painting is a reminder of the warm sunshine and the beautiful Welsh coastline. I’ve selected to paint Saundersfoot, Tenby’s lesser known little sister town but an historical village and pretty tourist attraction in its own right.Take a look at the Gallery – Life Studies page. I hope you like it.

Some excellent and flattering news, I’ve been approached by an up and coming artistic events organisation based in Cardiff, Aasobe Studio( www.aasobe.uk ). They have only been operating since June this year but already have several events to their credit. They came across my art work on-line and contacted me to ask if I would like to contribute some of my art work to their exhibition at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay (See photo). The show will run for one week only from 3 rd – 9 th November and I will be one of 4 local artists featured. The paintings they have selected from my available work are: “New Theatre”, “Pen-Y-Fan – Brecon Beacons” and “SognoDei Ponticelli”. Call in if you get the chance. Admission is free and it’s a lovely venue. I’ll let you know how I get on next month.

Join me again in November to view the latest project and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – Sept 2014

Hello all and welcome back.As promised, I’ve been out and about with my camera making the most of this Indian summer September has grantedus and in searchof inspiration for my next piece of work. I settled on the very recognisable local landmark and beauty spot of Roath Park. The parkland is a vast 130 acre site which was reclaimed by the Marquis of Bute from bogs and marshes in the late 1800s. It has many features from under glass botanical to rose gardens but I was particularly keen to capture the 30 acre lake. (See photo).

The Edwardian offshore clock tower was built to commemorate the voyage of Captain Scott and his team which left Cardiff for the ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic in 1910. The amazing birdlife the lake continues to attract is remarkable in such a busy city centre location and the unfenced proximity to visitors.

Unfortunately that day, as all would-be photographers will vouch, the moment I reached for my camera the sun disappeared behind thick cloud and the birds became camera shy and disappeared to the other side of the lake. I’m afraid I’m not blessed with the patience it would take to sit around for that perfect shot so you’ll have to use your imagination but in my defence, some swans are grouped in the far left of the picture and one sympathetic bird did a fly-by which I managed to just catch in the mid right of the photo.

I hope you like the whimsical and impressionistic style painting (See gallery- landscape page). This has been an experiment for me in using all acrylic paints for the first time instead of either an acrylic/oils combination or all oils which I am more familiar with but I’m pleased with the result.

Join me again next month to view the latest project and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – Aug 2014

Hello all and welcome back. A bit of a departure from the norm this month in that I have produced some portrait sketches rather than a completed canvas. I wanted to test my skill in the area of portraiture in readiness to tackle a portrait painting in the coming months. The sketches are not “finessed” for exhibition or sale purposes but merely drafts and ideas. Have a look at the “Sketch Book” page and I hope you find them interesting.

“Penarth Marina” is currently on show at the Off The Wall Gallery at Llandaff this month and has been well received (see photo). I’ve also been lucky enough to maintain an ongoing presence in the artwork displayed at Pontcanna Frame Shop & Gallery, Pontcanna St, Cardiff where 4 pieces are currently on show.

For those of you who regularly take a peek, you will notice some changes to the website this month.

A rolling display of some of my paintings now adorns the front page and with the increased volume of work I now have to display, I have categorised the Gallery section into the appropriate genres to make viewing a little easier. I hope you approve but I’m open to any suggestions for further improvements.

With the summer and its distractions appearing to be over, it’s time to approach a new piece of art work with renewed vigour. I’m staying with landscapes for the time being to ease myself back into it.

Join me again next month to view the new painting and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – July 2014

Hello all and welcome back. My latest painting is now on the Gallery page “Sogno Dei Ponticelli” or “Dreams of Bridges” continues with my more abstract style and was inspired by several European cities I’ve visited, the most recent being Budapest and the epic river Danube that dissects the capital (see photo). I hope you like it.

I am pleased to say that Off the Wall Gallery in Llandaff have requested one of my earlier paintings, “Penarth Marina” (see Gallery page) to include in this year’s Summer Exhibition which is currently taking place there (24 th July until September 2014). The summer show is always a very eclectic mix of 2 and 3 dimensional art works to suit all tastes and well worth a visit.

Over the next month or so, I’m hoping to make some changes to the website which will improve and enhance it. It’s only natural that some more development is needed to accommodate the increased body of work I now have since the site’s inception in December 2012 when I only had a handful of paintings to display.

Join me again next month to view the site, catch up on any news and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – June 2014

Hello all and welcome back. I’m just back from a whistle-stop trip to Budapest – referred to as the “Paris of the East” I was very impressed by the Hungarian city that straddles the immense river Danube with the aid of a unique collection of bridges so I’ve used those views for inspiration for my next painting with a very European flavour which you can see next month.

In the meantime, I’ve completed the first of my series of more abstract, textured works and progressed to a larger scale piece using plaster, acrylics and oils. Take a look at the Gallery page and see what you think of “Crimson City”. Already sold and framed to taste, you can also view the canvas on the Services page to see it in a room setting for the full effect.

Also this month, I was pleased to be contacted by the editor of a local publication who had come across my website when researching images of Castell Coch. The publication, www.tongwynlais.com has run a series of articles showing art works depicting the local landmark and the Editor asked if he could use my two paintings of Castell Coch – Winter (now sold and framed - see photo)and Spring to feature in the next issue with a plug for my website. (Publication date T.B.A).

Join me again next month to view the new painting and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – May 2014

Hello all and welcome back. I hope you’ve had a chance to take a look at my latest painting on the Gallery page, “Tredegar.” It is a petit homage to my home town in the South Wales valleys. It’s the view I had from my bedroom window and which my parents still enjoyin Park View of the opposite side of the valley, Georgetown.

This month I have some bitter, sweet news. My painting, Hill Top Farm, was shortlisted for the prestigious Royal Academy of Art summer exhibition in London (see photo).

There are 12,000 international artist entries each year and my little offering was scrutinized by a panel of renowned artists and made it through two nail-biting elimination rounds over the last few months into the final 500 pieces. I’m sad to say however, that ultimately it was “shortlisted not hung.” Artist friends have assured me what a marvellous achievement it still is in my first submission to the Academy and ultimately the painting has a happy new owner who had been awaiting the outcome in the wings – so onwards and upwards and I’ll try again next year.

On a completely positive note, I was contacted this month by a young couple to ask if they could use the image of my painting “Cardiff Winter Wonderland” for theirnotifications of their forthcoming wedding this December at Cardiff City Hall which of course the painting depicts. I agreed and they kindly sent me an example of the notice in the post. My congratulations and best wishes to Manjari and Ryan and I hope the event proves to be a “wonderland” for you.

Join me again next month when I will be displaying a new style of painting which I have been experimenting with and see what you think. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – April 2014

Hello all and welcome to the April update. The latest addition to my gallery page is a painting of the New Theatre in Cardiff. It’s a scene leading up to the evening performance and surprisingly for Wales…..it’s a rainy night. The reflections of the theatre lights on the wet street add another dimension and the few well-dressed stragglers making their way inside or waiting for a late arrival complete the mood I hope.

I decided that for my next project and some 18 months into my artistic venture, I was ready to tackle some form of “homage” to my home town – Tredegar. It’s not a particularly remarkable place although it has spawned a few well-known sons such as the founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan and Labour party and opposition leader Neil Kinnock.Even so, capturing an image of a mining town which grew up around dirty and invasive heavy industry and then struggled through decades of decline is not my usual subject matter with my tendency towards pretty scenes. Indeed, friends and family laughed when I mentioned my intention. Is it possible that a scene I viewed through my windows for more than twenty years across to the opposite side of the valley can be given an appealing twist on canvas? The Tredegar area of Georgetown is one of the oldest parts of the town still remaining.Made up mainly of what were low cost miner’s homes built tightly together in terraces cutting across the almost vertical mountainside with tiered streets named after the then contemporary events of the19 th Century Boer War campaigns such as Mafeking and Colenso. Now mostly modified for 21st Century indoor plumbing, double glazing and the extension on the extension they are a higgledy-piggledy living history.

Join me again next month to view the painting and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – March 2014

Hello again. I hope this month’s letter finds you all well. I’m certainly throwing off the shackles of winter hibernation and tackling outside garden and maintenance jobs with some gusto in the last couple of weeks. It’s uplifting to look out of the window and see the ravages of winter gradually transformed by fresh paint and plants.

My latest painting is of “Pen y Fan” in the Brecon Beacons - a panoramic view from the foothills of the highest peak in South Wales and the south of England too! (see Gallery page). Many have taken up the challenge to climb to the top. Even I was tricked into the undertaking once. Persuaded along for some “hill walking” with friends who were relying on my ignorance of the scale of it. Clearly, I survived but had I known what I had agreed to, some assault course training would have served me well beforehand. I hope you like the painting and at least this way, you can enjoy the view without the pain!

In contrast, my next project is a scene which makes me reminiscent of many a leisurely evening filled with fun, wonder, music and usually accompanied by good food and company – the New Theatre in Cardiff (see photo). Over the decades I’ve attended so many events there from pantomime to opera and musicals to monologues. Its long history and Victorian elegance always adds to the occasion and even with the advent of Cardiff’s impressive and contemporary Millennium Centre, long may this venue thrive.

Join me again next month to view the painting and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

 

Newsletter – February 2014

Welcome back. I’m always glad to see the back of January. Slightly lighter, longer days begin and it can even get quite spring-like on occasion which lifts the spirits. “Penarth Seafront” is this month’s painting (see Gallery page). Even though it was based on a late December image, the day was calm and full of sunshine. With a warm coat on you could pretend it was May! I hope you like it.

I’m pleased to say that Off The Wall Gallery at Llandaff are to include another group of my paintings in their next exhibition featuring women artists in support of International Women’s Day from 20 th February to 26 th March. Check out their website for more details if you would like to pop along www.galleryoffthewall.com.

My next project is a move inland – the magnificent beauty of the Brecon Beacons. It’s easy to forget the impact of this natural wonder when you grow up with them on your doorstep. The area has everything from pretty villages and rolling fields to dramatic waterfalls and windswept crags. There’s such diversity it was difficult to select only one view but join me again next month and see what you think of the painting.

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Picture- Off the Wall Gallery – International Women’s Day Exhibition.

 

 

 

Newsletter – January 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and a Happy New Year! After the appalling weather most of us have experienced over the holidays, I hope you wont think me heartless posting a photo of an outing to Penarth seafront on Boxing Day. It was a glorious lull amongst the numerous storms, a brief window of sunshine and calm. It gave me an excellent chance to try out my Christmas present - a new camera. The glorious December view and the superbly renovated pavilion is also the subject of my next painting.

In the run up to the holidays, in between the shopping, wrapping and decorating, I spent some remaining time attempting to capture another well-known coastal view, a night scene of Cardiff Bay featuring the St David’s Hotel with its striking sail-like roof structure. Take a look at the Gallery page and let me know if you like it.

As promised, the illustrated magazine article about my art work appeared in Golwg (issue of 9 th January). I proudly and promptly popped along to the Newsagents and picked up a copy on the day and admired it. As luck would have it, a tax client of mine also spotted it and got in touch to confirm it was in fact me and remarked it was a lovely piece. When I explained that I thought it looked great.....but, umm....I couldn’t read Welsh, she kindly took pity on me and provided a full translation. And so, only 24 hours later I finally knew what it said as well! :) Thank you to Non Tudor at Golwg magazine for raising my artistic profile and thank you to Ceri for the essential translation.

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Newsletter – December 2013

Merry Christmas one and all! I’m also marking my artistic 1 st anniversary and the launch of the website this month. The previous monthly newsletters say it all really but I’m still thrilled at the achievements my first year has brought from gaining the support of a gallery to selection for the National Eisteddfod and my first solo show - it’s been exhilarating. I’m already making plans for new challenges next year and I hope to keep up the momentum.

2014 is off to a good start with interest in my work by the Welsh magazine Golwg360. They intend to run an illustrated article in their Arts section on me and my work in January.

The gallery page this month has my 20 th canvas added to it – “Hill Top Farm” it’s reminiscent of scenes where I grew up in the South Wales Valleys on a late winter’s afternoon - sheep being brought down from high ground to protect them against a heavy snowfall. I hope you like the seasonal theme.

The next project is to be another experiment for me. I’m intending to do a night scene over water of a local landmark. I’m rather nervous at this departure from my usual detailed painting style as so much of this next work will be relying upon shadow and suggestion – it could go horribly wrong. I hope you’ll join me next month to view the new painting.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

Best wishes to you for the New Year!

Picture- Off the Wall Gallery Christmas Exhibition 21 st Nov-9 th Jan 2014.www.galleryoffthewall.com .

 

 

Newsletter – November 2013

Hello everyone. It’s been good to get back into painting with fewer distractions this month. If you can, take time to have a look at the latest canvas on the Gallery page. “Cabaret” was quite a challenge in light and perspective. I hope I’ve managed to capture some of the mood of the cellar music club scene.

As always, I like to move on to a complete contrast for my next piece and keep experimenting.

I thought a rural, working Welsh landscape with a crisp, fresh feel to it would be both seasonal and untested for my next project so I went out and about to some nearby villages in the Vale of Glamorgan for inspiration like St Fagans (see picture).

I hope you’ll join me next month to view the new painting and also to celebrate with me the 1st anniversary of this venture – what a uniquely memorable and surprising 12 months it’s been.

Don’t forget, if you fancy an hour out, I have two paintings included in the Christmas exhibition at Off The Wall Gallery in Llandaff which opened on 21st November. www.galleryoffthewall.com. The show is very diverse and multi-media and includes both local and international artist’s work.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – October 2013

Hello everyone and welcome back! My first solo exhibition is now behind me and what a rush! The response to my art work was very encouraging and sales of some 40% of the work shown were secured so that counts as a success in my book. My sincere thanks to Andrew & Lee the proprietors at Café Brava for all their time and support.

Don’t forget that if you have a favourite painting that has since sold, a limited edition, quality print (framed or unframed) in a variety of sizes can still be obtained for a relatively low cost. There’s an example to see on the “Services” page of a print of Tenby Harbour recently commissioned to be included in a charity auction.

With regard to future exhibitions of my work, selected canvases are currently displayed at the Frame Shop & Gallery, Pontcanna St, Cardiff. I also have the good fortune to have two paintings included in the Off the Wall Gallery’s Christmas exhibition in Llandaff starting on the 17th November. www.galleryoffthewall.com

And now, with autumn properly upon us, it’s time to turn my attention to new work. My love of landscapes keeps tempting me back and I’m brimming with new ideas but I’m also keen to try other subjects such as tableau scenes like the “Tapas Bar” or some portrait work. I’ve been quite torn as to what my first piece in the new series of work should be so I thought I’d get back into it with a few preliminary sketches and build up from there (see Sketch book page). I’d like you to meet Gloria on vocals, Marcel on guitar and Floyd on percussion. They’re some potential characters for the new painting which will be a tableau titled “Cabaret” and I’m aiming to create an atmospheric piece with a sense of mood and music.

Join me again next month to view the new canvas and for the latest news and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – September 2013

Welcome back! Well I’ve given myself a holiday to mark my first 12 months so no new art work in September but I thought I would take the opportunity to up-date you all on the exhibition. I’m pleased to say that my first solo exhibition at Café Brava has been very well received. Some pleasingly favourable feed-back and a couple of canvases already reserved for sale.

Potentially, the exhibition could be extended for a further week but if you plan to pop along, I recommend you go before 13 th October to avoid disappointment. If you need more details or directions the café website is www.bravacardiff.co.uk

I’m considering offering a price discount in the final couple of weeks to encourage further sales and to “clear the decks” so to speak in readiness for the new work I intend to produce in coming months. I hope to stretch myself with new subject matter, style and techniques of painting so I hope you continue to follow my progress and give me your opinions.

Join me again next month for the latest news and new workand remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter –August 2013

Welcome back! What a month this is proving to be. With all that is going on in the promoting and exhibiting side of my paintings, I wondered if I would have anything to add to the Gallery page but I have completed “Cardiff Castle Keep”. A less seen view of the interior grounds of Cardiff castle and the majesty of the peacocks that patrolled the grounds and made me jump as a child with their bone-shaking cries.

I made the epic journey the length of Wales to visit the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh where two of my paintings were exhibited. It was quite an experience and an opportunity to see the diversity of work and talent that’s out there on a national level.

I was fortunate enough to make the Welsh news this month with a half page colour photo article detailing my artistic journey so far (issued 8.8.13 and on-line at www.icwales.com ) Many thanks to the journalist, Jonathan Evans for the interest his article has generated in my paintings.

Off the Wall Gallery in Llandaffhave their summer exhibition underway until mid September which includes two of my paintings in their eclectic mix of international artists.

And, as if this wasn’t enough, I’m currently in the process of adding the finishing touches to the pieces for my first solo exhibition. There’s so much to think about and I’m learning more at every stage. It is the best possible finale to my first year’s artistic endeavours. I hope I’ve managed to put together an interesting and professional looking collection. Pop along to Cafe Brava between 19 th August and mid October and see what you think. www.bravacardiff.co.uk

Join me again next month for the latest news and new work and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

Newsletter – July 2013

Welcome back! I hope you like my latest additions to the Gallery. The first is “Cardiff Bay Sunset.” The perspective I have used allowed me to include the diverse architecture along the waterfront from the Victorian gothic of the terracotta Pierhead building next to the modernist and organically shaped Senedd (Welsh Assembly). The amazing “armadillo” metallic roof of the Millennium Centre provides the backdrop by reflecting the last rays of the sun,and finally, in the foreground, thehistoric Scandinavian structure of the Norwegian church attended by Roald Dahl in his youth no less. It must be a unique grouping of edifices by any country’s standards and so I decided to emphasize the surreal image they create with the dramatic sunset and vivid colours.

Inspired by the pleasure I get from my own garden at this time of year (see photo), my second painting, in stark contrast to the first is a gentle and traditional study of the “Cowbridge Physic Garden”. Open to the public, the gardens date back to the 18 thcentury and provide a tranquil, walled haven of beautifully tended beds and pathways displaying the medicinal plants and herbs grown as remedies in that era. It originally formed part of the Great Hall gardens but has since been restored and maintained by volunteers.

Join me again next month for news of the National Eisteddfod visual arts exhibition (opening 2 nd August 2013) and remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – June 2013

Welcome back!Marvellous news! Not one but TWO of my paintings have made it through the selection process for exhibition at the 2013 National Eisteddfod – I’m thrilled. The prestigious annual Welsh arts show is taking place in Denbigh, North Wales this summer and so my paintings will be displayed and available to buy to thousands of international visitors over a six week period. The paintings selected are “Cardiff Winter Wonderland” and “Castell Coch” the winter scene. There are several prizes also awarded at the show but I imagine competition will be fierce and I am extremely content to have achieved this level of acceptance and approval of my paintings in what has been an amazing first 10 months.

My current work has progressed well. I’ve approached it in the same way as my very first canvas “Dawn Patrol” but instead of the stillness of early morning, this has the hustle and bustle of a Saturday afternoon where shoppers mingle with the red jerseyed, Welsh rugby supporters enjoying the build-up to the game and making their way to the match at the Millennium Stadium down the road. I hope you like it (see Gallery page).

I am nearing completion of my first series of paintings focusing on local landscapes. It would not be complete however without a painting of Cardiff Bay. This will be tricky due to the diverse architecture of the buildings and sheer variety of views to try and capture – what to pick? I have some ideas but I’ll keep them to myself for now. I hope you’ll join me again in a month to see the outcome.

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Newsletter – May 2013

Welcome back!With the weather finally breaking into something more Spring-like, the much delayed home gardening and outside maintenance work has now been tackled and I’ve caught up after over six months of hibernation. This has meant a rather slow month on the painting front but I have still managed to find time to complete the latest canvas, “Rock pools at Ogmore.” This has been a very “stop-start” piece due to a bout of flu and then the garden distractions. I don’t really enjoy painting that way, preferring instead a more intense timeframe when the inspiration for it is fresh in my mind but I hope you like the finished piece (See Gallery page).

In the Sketchbook page, I have also included some of the preparatory, sofa-doodle ideas for the figures to include in the painting. The seagull caused me some amusement as I decided it started life as a buzzard, graduated to a turkey and finally evolved into {what I hope is} a seagull – it’s amazing the difference a millimetre in scale and proportion can makewhen painting the neck or body and the curve of the head or the length of the beak can make to the creature.

As I continue on my theme of local landscapes in readiness for my solo exhibition at Café Brava in August, my next project is a street scene and where better to base it than on my old stomping ground in Canton (Cardiff) and location of Café Brava itself, Pontcanna Street. (See photo). It’s a bustling place at any time with its pubs, restaurants and boutique shops but to add a little more “Welshness” I decided to try and capture it on a rugby day. Every match dayit’s thronged with red jerseys and colourful scarfs, toys and children with face paint. Tune in next month for a gander (oh no more birds for a while please).

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Newsletter – April 2013

Welcome back! Well another month of bitterly cold weather has continued to deter me from being distracted from painting to attend to some long overdue garden maintenance. Having said that, a broken central heating boiler nearly defeated me – I had an image of me as this Dickensian-like figure completely swathed in layers of ill-fitting clothing and fingerless gloves, stubbornly hunched and shivering at my easel clutching a paint brush – luckily it didn’t get quite that bad and 21 st century heating technology has now been restored.
I did venture out to Penarth Marina to get some shots for my latest project (see photo). Unfortunately it was a grey and bitingly cold day. Not at all like the warm and vibrant day last summer when I walked along the quayside and wished I’d brought my camera. So some artistic licence combined with vivid recollection has been necessary. I hope you like the painting (see Gallery page).
My first public Gallery exhibition has now drawn to a close and with a sale also achieved I’m more than pleased with my debut in the art world. The national art competitions I’ve entered, submissions, selections and feedback will dominate my thoughts for the next month or two. This will probably be a significant learning experience for me to draw upon when it comes to preparing appropriate art work for next year. I just hope I manage to get some positive interest in my paintings to take forward.
My next canvas already underway is a local coastal scene, “Rock pools at Ogmore”. Such dramatic coastline on my doorstep is a gift and I’ve been looking forward to attempting this project for a while. Come back in a few weeks and see what you think. Remember if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments please add your details below.

 

 

Newsletter – March 2013

Welcome back! And what marvellous developments I have to report. My first approach was made at the end of last month to several local galleries to try and drum up some interest in my work as a new artist. I had been warned by those who know and I was fully prepared for at best, polite indifference and at worst, complete rejection or even some harsh criticism. I accepted that to get a foot in the door of established galleries could possibly take a few years of persistence and cajoling on my part. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I received a complimentary and encouraging response the very next day from Off The Wall gallery in Llandaff (www.galleryoffthewall.com) and the request to include 5 of my paintings in their March exhibition! I was elated to say the least. The exhibition started 7 th March for a month and is a collection of 12 women artist’s work (see photo). I’ve also been included in the gallery’s A-Z of promoted artists on their website so I am hopeful of their continued support and the chance of future opportunities to exhibit new work.
In this week or two that I have set aside to promote my art work, I have also submitted paintings for consideration to 2 prestigious national (Welsh) competitions. Whether I am one of the lucky ones selected, I won’t know for a few months yet. I imagine the standard will be high and competition fierce but selection would mean my paintings would be displayed for some six weeks during the summer to thousands of visitors so I’m keeping my fingers firmly crossed.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, I am further encouraged to have received confirmation from the proprietors of the incredibly popular Cafe Brava (www.bravacardiff.co.uk) that they would be pleased to display as many as 9 of my local landscapes in their restaurant. The Cafe is a well known “gallery” as well as an established eatery in the heart of Pontcanna, Cardiff with local talent given wall space for an 8 week period to promote their work. My chance to exhibit will take place towards the end of August.
With all this excitement it was good to turn my attention back to the calming influence of my painting. The latest project has now been added to my gallery page and is a contrasting season in the grounds of Castell Coch. The fairytale quality of the local landmark has inspired me to attempt to capture a very different view which I hope you will enjoy.
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Newsletter – February 2013

Welcome back! Well it would have been a shame not to take inspiration from the seasonal events and weather in January so I hope you enjoy two of the works I’ve now added to the site. Cardiff Winter Wonderland with its impressive City Hall backdrop. I hope I’ve managed to capture the hustle and bustle that it brings to that corner of the city every year in an L.S Lawry-esque style. The second painting of Castell Coch must be one of the most captured images of the area but in the snow I think it has a very different aspect and not quite so familiar. I also took the opportunity to re-try the “wet on wet” method of painting and with this canvas done over a concentrated two day period; the ability to blend the oil paint on the canvas was a great deal more worthwhile.
With the end of January and the melting of the snow, I felt the need for a little more warmth and a taste of the exotic so; instead of booking a holiday I changed tack with my painting subject - a move away from landscapes temporarily to test myself with still life. Instead of the familiar country garden style of local items, flora and forna, I chose a more far eastern flavour with vivid colours and bold contrasts. I took inspiration from items around my home (see photo). With too many ideas for one study, it seemed appropriate to complete a pair of canvases similar enough in composition but varied in colour and specifics. Some of the still life items also appear on my “Sketch book” page with the other “sofa doodles.”   
My next project is a bit of a mystery at the moment. I’m waiting for inspiration to strike. I think a life study or some form of portraiture would prove a challenge but I am a little nervous of the subject so join me again in a month and see what I’ve managed to produce.
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Newsletter - January 2013


Welcome back! I hope you all had a good Christmas. With the main event now behind us and although there was some seasonal disruption to my painting routine, I have managed to complete the latest canvas of Tenby Harbour.  My experiment with the “wet on wet” painting method was made but I’m not sold on it as yet. I’m a fairly slow painter, devoting between three and six hours per session and so the ability to blend the paint on the canvas was a little lost on me after the first session. I may try it again on another piece of work but I would need a less detailed subject than Tenby Harbour so that completion could be achieved more quickly.

The finished canvas of Tenby Harbour has now been added to the site. My painting style for this canvas is impressionistic and I look forward to hearing your comments.

Feeling the need for a complete change from the buildings, boats and blues of Tenby Harbour, I’ve already started a new work. This is another local landscape involving water but it couldn’t be more different. It’s the weir at Roath Park in Cardiff on a glorious autumn day. (See photo out and about at the park) The still water is a mass of mirror-like reflection ending in the blackened rush and splash of the weir. A Victorian period bridge crosses the weir and the surrounding park is a blaze with autumnal golds and reds.  

I hope you’ll join me again in a few weeks to check out the Roath Park canvas and if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or leave your comments, please add your details below.


 




Newsletter - December 2012

Hello and welcome to my first news letter entry.  I am more than a little wired at developing this website. It’s a very creative process in itself, designing and laying it all out. Let me know if you like it.  Whilst the art displayed is only made up of several months work so far, I hope you still find the content fairly well rounded and interesting and stay with me for coming months when new works will be added and any new projects reported.
The five canvases completed to date have been works of pure imagination. No reference material was used other than a few items “stolen” from my immediate surroundings like my kitchen stools and counter top which appear in my bar scene and the skulking cat in the street scene is now called “Whisky” after a friend’s black cat. Sadly, the original Whisky passed away recently after a long and contented life roaming their garden in Spain and now I like to think he has, in a very small way, been immortalised. I hope John and Val approve. 
I referred to a “voyage of discovery” in my returning to art after such an extended absence and these first canvases created entirely from my imagination have been part of that process – testing myself and my ideas. Could I stand before a blank white canvas and create something interesting, varied and with depth, colour, light and good composition. I’ll leave that with you!




My approach to my next piece is different. I plan to paint a specific and well known local scene. So I ventured out and about for inspiration. The sea front at Penarth was one possibility (see photo), the local marina was another. Both may be tackled at a later date but for my next canvas I have opted for the picturesque harbour at Tenby, Pembrokeshire. It’s a place I’ve visited and holidayed many times since my teens and I was always inspired by its pastel colours and period charm. Whether trying to capture a specific and well recognised landscape will be easier or more difficult than my unique imaginings so far, I’ll soon find out.
The early preparatory sketches or “sofa doodles” as I’ve called them are on my “Sketchbook” page if you would like to take a look. Work on the new canvas will start shortly and I’m considering experimenting with a different method of oil painting, the “wet on wet” method to see how I take to it. I’ll let you know how I’ve got on in the next instalment.
My short term goal between now and the spring is to complete around 6 new canvases in time to submit a selection for consideration to a couple of local galleries. Acceptance for exhibition would be a big step forward for me but enjoyment of the whole creative process is still the ultimate reward.
In the meantime, I have 3 canvases currently on display at The Frame Shop and Gallery at 17 Pontcanna Street, Cardiff and some very early speculation of a potential commissioned piece for a Cardiff business premises. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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