(60cm x 30cm Oil) August 2016
I wanted to do a landscape painting this time. This was a more free-
(30cm x 40cm Oil) August 2016
Everyone would have seen the news coverage at the time of rescuers digging out this 5 year old boy from the rubble of what used to be his home in Syria.
The image was so strong but even more poignant was the fact that the boy just sat there, saying nothing, stunned, disorientated, staring out of the back of the ambulance.
I wanted to paint this one simply because the image was so striking.
The crumpled folds in the t-
I wanted him to be dwarfed by the big orange seat to show just how tiny and fragile he is.
(The boys name, I discovered later, is Omran Daqneesh. He lost his older brother in the bombing but he didn’t know that at the time the photo was taken. The door to that particular nightmare had yet to be opened to him.)
(30cm x 40cm Oil) September 2016
This is Ben, my neighbour’s dog.
I had promised to paint him and had just finished the boy’s painting so I thought I’d have a go at painting an animal.
Bearing in mind this is not just a dog, it’s a dog that people have known since it was a daft puppy, bouncing around all over the place. Now Ben’s grown into a ‘proper’ dog, with all the grown features. He’s still got boundless energy and he’s one of the friendliest dogs I’ve known.
I painted Ben from a photo I’d taken when his owner had been throwing a ball for him to chase and retrieve. He wasn’t even tired but it was the chance to get him to sit down for two seconds while I took the picture.
This is the first painting I’ve done for someone else to own.
Hardly a ‘commission’ but painting this was different from painting one of my own choice. It’s more exacting, it’s got to please someone else, it’s not yours to say ‘That’s it, that’ll do’.
The RSC and Holy Trinity Church
(60cm x 30cm Oil) September 2016
One of my favourite places. Stratford-
(40cm x 50cm Oil) October 2016
Born in Covent Garden, his cockney accent was initially a drawback in the art-
For me, this painting shows an eagerness and an optimism.
Known as ‘The Painter of Light’ this is echoed in his final words:-
“The Sun is God”
Some say that copying is valueless to an artist.
I disagree. The techniques used to simply apply paint to canvas has to be learned.
You learn to look at, almost, microscopic detail at each original and attempt to reproduce it, as well as an amateur can. Copying also steers you towards or away from certain styles of painting to a point where you start to develop your own.
Girl with the Pearl Earring
(40cm x 50cm) August 2016
This painting was going to be of Scarlett Johansson but when I searched for a picture of her I was reminded that she was the ‘Girl’ in the film ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ which was based on the life of Johannes Vermeer. When I saw his original painting I knew this was the one I wanted to paint.
The eyes of the girl were the whole reason for the painting. The look. Her look.
Usually I would start with the eyes; if you can’t get these right then there’s little point. But this time, because I was really concerned about the eyes, I began with the head-
I had to force myself to stop painting this one.
The final clean-
You can go one step too far, as I nearly did, and ruin the whole thing.
Stop! Sign the thing. Lay down your brushes. Step away from the painting and no-