Painting No 14
(40cm x 30cm Oil) November 2016
Francis at Home
Frankie Howerd at home at Wavering Down.
Scratching around looking for something to paint, I was distracted by a film on TV. ‘The Great St Trinians Train Robbery’ starring Frankie Howerd.
Why not, I thought, one of my comedy heroes.
Looking for a suitable picture I found hundreds of him clowning for the camera but few of him, almost, straight-
Anyroadup! I had a go.
Oooh no missus!
What? You don’t like it!
Well please yourselves!
Francis at Home
The Ermita at Sunset
Painting No 15
(80cm x 40cm Oil) December 2016
This is what I see from my living room balcony. Not every evening produces as dramatic a sunset as the one in my painting but there are times during the year that I can’t believe the sheer beauty of the slow onset of night.
The Ermita sits on a hill, surrounding by fir trees, almost hidden from view. A few years ago you could see all of the Ermita but, naturally, the trees grew and grew. They are now managed to prevent them from totally obscuring this beautiful building.
The painting was another landmark for me in that it the largest I’ve attempted. Over twice the size of my first paintings.
Painting No 16
(60cm x 40cm Oil) December 2016
I wanted to have a go at a snowy scene; something cool to look at during the baking-
I could have left it at the mountains but it felt a little empty. So I lifted the horizon line to include a frozen bay. I thought people lived there and added a house and a few outbuildings. If people lived there they must earn a living somehow, so I added a trawler. Then the tiny figure of the fisherman as he walked towards his home. He wasn’t alone. Smoke is coming from the chimney and his family had decorated the fir tree outside the house ready to greet him when he returned, safe and sound.
Painting No 17
(40cm x 60cm Oil) January 2017
Over the last few months, since I started painting, I’ve found that I get more satisfaction from painting portraits. Real people who should be instantly recognised.
It’s a double challenge in that the paint still has to flow but where it flows is more exacting. Eyes are particularly crucial, as I said with The Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The next subject was to be Audrey Hepburn and I saw a picture of her taken when she was about sixty and was taken by her classic looks. Undimmed by the years, her eyes sparkled.
While I was preparing the project I remembered the famous black and white photo of her from Breakfast at Tiffanys and gave myself the challenge of painting both.
So here she is, Audrey Hepburn standing in front of the iconic Breakfast at Tiffanys publicity photo.
I have to say this was one of the most rewarding paintings I’ve attempted.
Painted with respect.
Painting No 13
(60cm x 30cm Oil) October 2016
Painting Number THIRTEEN! It’s a good job I’m not superstitious -
After the concentration needed for the Turner, I thought I’d paint something easy-
Trees maybe, they’re nice. Perhaps a lake. Autumn, with yellows and golds.
For the amateur artist nature is very forgiving. Nothing is ‘wrong’. Nature doesn’t do ‘wrong’, it just is.
So, right or wrong, this is Firebird Lake. I called it that simply because the shapes of the leaves in the trees reminded me of a classical album cover for Stravinsky’s Firebird.
Painting No 18
(50cm x 40cm Oil) March 2017
I had purposely not painted anything for at least 6 weeks. Two reasons; I didn’t want to be bored by it and lose interest and I needed to get out into the sunshine.
Waves on a seashore would be nice; a few fluffy clouds and that would sate my appetite for the oils.
The painting sort of ran away with itself. The clouds were wrong, the shore line was too high, the horizon was too low. The ‘sunset’ was too bright. Then, by a stroke of ‘genius’, I turned it round and it became a sunrise. But the ‘sun-
Then it’s something else entirely.
And then it makes sense.
Painting No 19
(40cm x 30cm Oil) April 2017
After painting my neighbours dog ‘Ben’ (Painting No 10) I was sure I wouldn’t want to go through that pressure again. It’s their pet, they love it, I can’t mess it up!
When my neighbours (Eric & Pam) asked me to paint a family pet they’d lost some time before I was very reluctant.
I started the painting as normal, blocking out the main areas, but when it came to the detail I started another painting as a little relief from the concerns of getting Fudge right.
(All this whilst I was negotiating for the purchase of my next home with all the stress that entails)
I painted and I painted -
On seeing the result Pam gave me a big hug and a kiss.
She was pleased, I was relieved -