Monday, 28 February 2011

Secret Places of the Mind.

Secret Places of the Mind

I really should know by now never to give up on a painting too soon. This was a painting I thought I had left hanging long enough in the place where I had it hanging.

Time to move it on. But as soon as I thought that it sold. Last week I sold three paintings this is the first of the three.

I did this one when I was really experimenting big style with texture.

I think the painting needs little explanation as it speaks for itself.

Done with heavy body acrylic paint and heavy body texture. 

This blog is linked to my other.  I Wish You Two Would Behave.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons

I am sorry to go back to paintings I shared so recently, but yesterday brought me some good news. An hotel in Fife has agreed to let me hang these four paintings in one space.

I am so pleased that I will see them as a one work of art hanging together.

At the same time my mind had filled with doubts and uncertainties. Are they good enough? Can they justify my having a first night gathering for just these four paintings? Do they really show off any talent? And that is just the start, of the questions buzzing in my head.

I could so easily putting setting myself up for a real come down. Do I want to do that?

Should I spend more money than normal and purchase really good moulding and mount board (matte)?

So last night I was excited this morning the light of day has dawned and the questions and doubts arise with it.

So why am I posting them again here. Well so far I have had some good comments about these works. But I have also had some not so good from friends.

What I would love from all my blogging friends is a real open honest considered opinion. Please.

Have a great day and thanks in advance.

This blog is linked to my other where I talk about value and cost.  

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Playing With Paint.

Playing With Paint.

I must be beginning to feel better, because I am again beginning to think about my next venture in paint. I still have not solved the problem of what to do with my series of four. I have put them on my website but I would really love to have them shown on a wall somewhere if only for a week or so. Even better if I could have  soft music of Vivaldi playing as they were viewed. I keep looking for ways to make this happen.

This painting is no longer a painting it is now hidden under another and I am sure sold. I was musing through all the paintings I have done this past three years and there it was. One of the lost.

As I look again I am not so sure I should have discarded it. Just maybe there was something there worthy of pursuit.

I can remember that I was considering texture at the time. I go side-tracked and did another lot of paintings with heavier texture.

I am thinking , after the four and more with no texture at all I will try something with some gentle texture in it. If not today then hopefully tomorrow, I could make that my little treat, rather than the ice cream .

To hear more about ice cream see my other blog. A Little Ice Cream For The Soul

Tuesday, 22 February 2011



This is one of those paintings I did in the early days of my painting journey. It is one that I keep returning to, because it is one that I always feel is neither one thing or the other.

Yet it sold and sold very soon after it was created. 

Poppies are of course a favourite flower of mine I am enchanted by their seeming frailty and yet their ability to blossom on the most infertile of soil.

They also remind me of the frailty of my own life and life in general.

For those who have read my other blog before visiting this one there will be no doubt in their minds as to why I have used this painting this morning.

I painted this in acrylic. Maybe I should have a try at this painting again some three years down the road, this time in watercolour?

This blog is linked to my other. Remembered Thoughts

Monday, 21 February 2011

Winter Has Come

Winter has Come

It has taken me a lot longer to reach the stage of saying that I have now finished the series of abstracts based on Vivaldi – The Four Seasons.

In the process of doing it I have discarded a number of paintings. I have produced one or two paintings that I have kept but felt that they did not fit in with the first one in the series I produced. 

The first one came from a challenge to paint an abstract with blue in it. I ended up with two, one like a seascape and, “Spring.”  Having produced the  spring one I somewhat rashly set myself another challenge, to produce another three.  Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Along the way I have again produced one or two incidental paintings, at least two that have sold.

I found the last one the most difficult but here it is, Winter. Being four abstracts I am sure there will be many comments along the line, anybody could do that. 

I have to say that I can assure you it has not been an easy thing to produce a series of four.

Now I have an even bigger problem. What do I do with them?  None of the places where I hang paintings can hang on four in a line. It is difficult to show them on my website as a series of four.

I have a feeling these four abstracts; some of the ones I have sweated over most will lie in a corner of my spare room and gather dust.

I do though have to say it has given me a real sense of achievement and I do enjoy seeing them side by side.  So maybe once a year I will do just that ; drag them out and look at them.

This blog is linked to my other.  Anybody Can Do That

I have decided to put all four along the bottom of this post.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Lavender Fields.

Lavender Fields.

I added this painting today because in my other blog I was talking about my new garden plot. I thought this painting was a wonderful contrast between a plot in need of some love and attention and this beautiful field of lavender I saw while on holiday in France.

I have painted more than one version of this painting. The other version is on the other blog.  One has sold and this one is still in my possession.

Painting on canvas using acrylic paint.

The Task Ahead

I have added a further picture of my garden plot here. The contrast is indeed a challenge. I hope not a challenge too far.

Have a lovely day and a great weekend.

This blog is linked to my other.   Building The House

Thursday, 17 February 2011



It seems I am back to the flowers again. I have used them on this blog once before. I did paint yesterday, a second attempt at  producing a painting to complete my four seasons but I did not manage to produce something I feel happy with.

These blooms fit , almost , with the story of my other blog. They do not have thorns, rather they are often looked down upon as old fashioned and dated blooms. My father used to grow these, now they are hardly ever seen in gardens.

Yet they have a stunning beauty and their colour is vibrant.

This was one of my early attempts at flowers, I have never got any better at them. I see so many beautiful flowers painted by others on their blogs. I saw a drawing of a beautiful rose just last week , which would have fitted this story even better.

They were painted in acrylic and they did actually sell fairly quickly after  being completed.

This blog is linked to my other. We Are All In Our Own Way Roses

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Winter Is Not The End

Winter Is Not The End

My challenge was to complete the series of four paintings on the theme, Vivaldi, The Four Seasons.

I knew exactly the colours I wanted to use, almost all primary colours.  I had an idea of what the end painting should look like so that it complemented the other three.

The trouble was, faced with the blank canvas, I could not get this painting out of my head. It has all the colours I wanted to use but I am not at all sure that it fits with the other three.

It is though an abstract painting, and it speaks to me, though I am not sure just what it is saying. It is not shouting, “just throw me in the bin.” I did have my doubts, that that was in fact where it would end up though.

I had left it on the easel overnight, usually I will lay it to the side where I can see it as I go about other things. This morning I went to get it to sit it on the kitchen ledge. I would look at it over the breakfast coffee.

My wife came into the room, just about to head out the door to work. As she left she commented, “I kind of like that.”

She seldom, if ever makes comments on my paintings, unless asked.  This leads me to think it just may be worthy of further opinions.

So what do you think, and remember , “honesty is always the best policy.”

This blog is linked to my other.  The Answer Is Never Far Away

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Aonoch Eagach Ridge

Aonoch Eagach Ridge

When I look through my past paintings I realise that I have only ever really done two or so paintings that could be classed as winter. I painted an ice cave at one time and then this winter mountain scene.

Both painting did in fact sell. This one sold as a wedding gift for a young couple who had a great love of the mountains.

I am not a lover of painting snowscapes.  Maybe this was because I heard a fellow artist say that snow painting never sold. I did not even do the research to find out if that was the truth or not.

This is a painting of a very famous ridge in Scotland with its wonderful Gaelic name. I painted it using Pastels.

My challenge for my series of four is to produce something that speaks of winter. The fact that I will be trying to do it in abstract will mean that it will not look at all like this winter scene.

In fact I wonder if I will manage it all?

This blog is linked to my other.  Pens and Pencils

Monday, 14 February 2011



Yes I am aware they are not roses, and they are not red. But they were painted by me, and they were grown in my own garden. Yes they are blue. It seems my blue challenge started sooner than I had realised.

I thought the story today had to have some flowers. Flowers are not something that I paint very often apart from poppies which I just cannot resist. I painted these last summer. The butterflies love these flowers and they do grow very easily all over this part of the world. These flowers were picked for a bush I had planted to show my son how easy they were to grow.

He and I were sitting in the back garden and he mentioned them. I told him how to take a cutting from a plant. I showed him what to do and stuck it in the soil. Two years later I picked this bunch and painted them.

So with that thought and that story I added them to today’s blog.

This blog is linked to my other.  I Cannot Ignore The Day

Friday, 11 February 2011

Nature Takes Back Her Own

Nature Takes Back Her Own

I have no new artwork for todays blog. As you know I have been working on my series of three on the Four Seasons.

I have decided that I am happy with the colours and the shapes of the three that remain. Somebody commented that they liked the one I had discarded for summer. This person liked it , saw two people in discussion in it. I did also and that was why I decided to discard it. It did not fit with the other two.

Jerry commented on the colours of the “Summer” and wondered about the blue. I always see blue skies when I think of summer.  It is easy to remember the many shades of green. In Ireland they say that there are forty shades of green. I would not argue with that. But I think there is also forty shades of blue. Mt challenge to paint in blue has made me even more aware of that colour.

So I still have to paint winter. I cannot begin because I have no white paint, and I do not think I can even attempt it without that.

So today I have gone back to a painting somebody asked me about the other day. I have shown it on here twice before. The answer is, I still have this hanging for sale. It seems that many people like it but nobody wants to give it wall space.  Such is life.

This blog is linked with my other.   The Right Invitation

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Summer Will Come

Summer Will Come

There is not much at all I can say about this artwork. Those who follow this blog will be aware that I have been working on a series of abstract paintings in acrylic on acrylic paper. The theme of the series has been and is Vivaldi, The Four Seasons. 

Yesterday I showed you one of the discards of the process. Today I think I show you the one that will remain part of the four.  This one is based on the colours I associate with summer. I have one concern about this artwork and that is, I think it may be bit too busy.

I became aware yesterday in the process of this work just how wasteful I can be. I need to tighten up my thinking and the processes of my art. A few weeks ago I began to paint these smaller abstracts with mounts. I am not exactly sure how many I have produced, and for that matter how many I have sold, but I have one sheet of the acrylic paper left in the pad I began with. THe original pad contained 40 sheets. 

Something like half of my work finds its way into the bin. 

This blog is linked to my other.  The Good Corn Tale

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Summer Will Come

Summer Will Come

So what on earth is this all about. I can hear you ask. Relax I thought I would share with you today just a little thought about my process.

I had this, Big Idea. (See my other blog.) That I would take a painting that had grown on my. My spring one and make it part of a series of four. I managed to get on paper some of my ideas about the second one and I do quite like it, though not so much as the spring one.

So two down, and two to go. Yesterday was the day to do the summer one.

The summer was in my thoughts; I had learned that I was to have a much larger garden plot this summer. More growing, more fruit and vegetables. But I was in pain and summer was not really in my thinking.
Fearless I cover my palette with summer colours.  This was the fourth attempt to get anywhere near what I was thinking , but sadly not feeling.

So this today will be filed along with the other three in my bin.

Will the big idea flounder at this stage? I am not sure.

This blog is linked to my other.  The Big Society.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Autumn Will Come

Autumn Will Come

About a week ago I was challenged to paint an abstract in blues. Blue was a colour I normally saved for seascapes and landscapes, seldom if ever did I use it in abstract painting.

I painted two, one that was very much in the style of a seascape and another. The second of these I called, “Spring Will Come Again.”  I very quickly liked the finished work.

Since it was painted it has sat, in its plastic sleeve, on the cupboard in the kitchen, where I see it every time I am in there.

The other night while lying trying to sleep I saw a further three paintings in the same format. At the time I had my earphones under my pillow and I was listening to the music, Vivaldi, “Winter.”

Yesterday in spite of the bruising and pain of my morning event I painted the next in the series. I might add I am not painting them in the order I feel they should be, rather in the order of the palette that yells to me that day.

So this is , “Autumn Will Come.”

Like the, “Spring Will Come,” it is painted using acrylic paint on acrylic paper.

This blog is linked to my other.  A Touch Of Poor Me

Monday, 7 February 2011



I added this painting to todays blog for a very simple reasons. Firstly, and probably most importantly , I still like this painting.

I like the colours of it and I like the feelings that it still gives me when I study it.

The other thing I love about lilies is the this. We see only the leaf and the flower. But under the water the lilly has had to struggle up through all the mud and grim to give us this beauty. 

This painting was done in a acrylic. I still have it. Maybe because I have never hung it anywhere because although I like it  I still have my doubts about it.

This blog is linked to my other.  Barry, The Workplace Idiot.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Can I Tempt You

Can I Tempt You

Once again I have no new art to put on this blog. I used this artwork on my other blog because it fitted with the story of the day.

This painting done in pastel was completed after once again hearing somebody talk of the biblical story of Adam and eve and the story of the apple. I always laugh when I hear people mention this. The truth is there is no mention at all of an apple in the story. If you do not believe go and read it again in the book of Genesis. There you will see that there is the fruit of both the tree of knowledge and the fruit of the tree of good and evil but no apple.

Nevertheless the apple has become a symbol of temptation. Think of the tale of sleeping beauty.

This morning in my other blog this idea of us being tempted was my theme.

The painting is presently hanging for sale and there has been some interest shown in it.

Having a new computer means I will be adding people to my favourites bar again when I visit and I will do so from the comments it is so much easier.

This blog is linked to my other. The Four Wives of Life

Thursday, 3 February 2011



I have added this painting today for the reasons explained in my other blog. Pendo and her husband live in the same village as me. She is a devout Christian and a lovely caring person. The first time I met her it was a beautiful summer day and she was dressed in beautiful bright summer clothes and a bright scarf. She and I did not agree all the time about the things that we believed in and we had some wonderful discussions. We learned from each other and often agreed to disagree.

One day she was with her husband and I called out her name. When she turned I took a picture on my cell phone. From that picture I produced this painting. Her husband bought the painting from me, he insisted on buying it.

Today as I write this she is sitting on an aeroplane heading to her homeland to attend the funeral of her young brother.

The painting was done in pastel and catches the essence of Pendo.

I put it here today to say simply, “You are in all our thoughts, go well.”

This blog is linked to my other.  There are Other Worlds To Sing In

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Blue Abstract

Blue Abstract

I still have not painted any new works this week. I am still trying to get everything off my computer and ready for the new one. It was my hope to paint today but I have got up this morning and one thing and another I just cannot bring myself to go into my paint room.

Painting is at its best when the artist and the paint become one. A friend was telling me only yesterday that this was no longer happening so the paint was being laid aside. I pleaded with my friend to think again. I was wrong to do that. If the paint and the artist are not singing the same tune the finished work will have no inner being.

I was looking back at some of my latest. This was my attempt at an abstract in blue. It was seen by everybody as a seascape of sorts.

Last night I walked in what could only be described as a torrent of rain and wind. All those who said they saw the sea in this abstract were right I did not see it that way but the sea was very much like this last night.

My heart was in this abstract I can see that. I can feel it. Today I could not paint this or anything like it.

I have put it on here so soon after last posting it because I can see now that this is in fact a painting with more in it than I thought when I last posted it.

This blog is linked to my other.  Do to Others

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

T in the Park (Joy).

T in the Park (Joy).

I have been so busy these last few days preparing for my new computer that I have been unable to paint. I have therefore today used one that some will have seen before.

This abstract was painted after have seen a report of the large summer festival that takes place not far from where I live. The people attending the festival seemed to be really enjoying themselves and a sense of togetherness flowed from the screen. I just could not resist trying to capture that feeling and mood.

Amazingly the painting sold very quickly. I was sure if it sold at all, it would have been sold to a person who had attended. In fact it was bought by an older couple who just found it cheerful.

As you know my computer was crashed by a technician supposedly helping with the install of his companies software. I have spent over a week getting it back in working order. My family have insisted that it is time to say goodbye to it and I await the new one.

I suppose I should be jumping with joy and full of the emotion of this painting. Reality is I am kind of attached to my old “Gandalf.” My new computer uses a different operating system altogether and will take time to get used to, and feel the same comfort I do with this one.

Computing is a bit like painting, it is so easy to just stick with what you know and what you have.

This blog is linked to my other.  Things That Are Precious