Take Four Art Exhibition


Well that was a hectic few days, but I’m glad to say the Take Four art exhibition is now up and running! It’s in the David Hughes Centre in Beaumaris and is open from 10am to 5pm every day from now until Bank Holiday Monday 30th August. There’s some great work on display by Jenny Armour, Mike Linford and ceramicist Jill Plews. Hope you can make it!

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New Painting: Parys Mountain III


Parys Mountain III (oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm)

This is the third and final painting in the series worked up from plein air sketches of Parys Mountain produced during the Mike Knowles landscape painting week at the beginning of July (see original sketch and reference photo below for comparison).

I decided to really push the contrast of flat colour shapes/planes with the introduction of ‘directional’ mark making in the thick impasto to further suggest space and form.

As a result, the picture surface ended up looking like a tapestry, especially when the light is at the right angle.

Parys Mountain 20180705 (Oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm)

Parys Mountain Reference

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New Painting: Camarnaint Farm in the Sun


This latest painting is based on a plein air sketch from last June’s Landscape Workshop with Tim Iliffe on his beautiful holiday farm, Camarnaint, in Llanfairfechan.

During the workshop Tim encouraged us to ‘respond’ to the landscape, rather than ‘record’ it.

This latest version, then, is based on, both a sketch which was, itself, an abstracted first attempt at ‘responding’, together with memories from the workshop of the striking effect of the strong sunlight raking the cottage and gardens, so it’s more of an impression rather than an accurate representation.

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New Painting: Early Morning, Holyhead Breakwater Country Park


This is a painting of the lake and chimney at Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. It’s based on an early morning plein air study from a couple of years ago (which can be seen below for comparison) and is painted in thick impasto with a palette knife.

Once again, I’m using flat planes/blocks of colour as a deliberate counterpoint to my attempt to depict the space and light in the scene.

I was once described by a colleague as ‘someone who likes to draw boxes around things’. In my defence, I was studying a Systems Engineering module with the Open University at the time, a discipline which requires one to define and ‘map’ the contents and edges of, as well as the relationships between, sub-systems and elements that, together, make up a complex whole.

The reason for dredging that anecdote up is that, recently, I’ve been thinking about that comment, and feel that it goes some way to explaining my use of ‘fragmented’ flat planes of colour that I seem to be pursuing more and more in my paintings in that I’m trying to draw boxes around the visual sub-systems and colour elements that make up a scene.

Having shied away from oils in favour of acrylics for years, I am finding these current experiments using a palette knife and impasto to be hugely enjoyable and I feel like this new way of working is really helping me to balance my desire to ‘draw boxes around things’ with a willingness to be less precious about maintaining crisp edges.

Plein Air Study of Holyhead Breakwater Country Park (acrylic on paper 59cm x 43cm)

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New Painting: Four Mile Bridge Estuary

Four Mile Bridge Estuary (Oil on canvas 60cm x 50cm)
Four Mile Bridge Estuary Texture Detail

This my latest painting of Four Mile Bridge (Pontrhydybont) and is based on a plein air sketch completed some time ago (see picture below).

It’s one of my favourite painting spots on Anglesey, and one I keep returning to again and again.

Whilst continuing to investigate using flat planes of colour to depict space, I decided to really let rip with the palette knife and see what the effect of texturing those planes would produce. Great fun!

Plein Air Study Four Mile Bridge Estuary (acrylic on paper 59cm x 42cm)

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New Painting: Holyhead Breakwater Country Park I


This is my latest painting which is of Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. It’s based on a plein air study from a year or two ago (see below).

It continues my attempts to strike a balance between figuration and abstraction using flat blocks of colour to represent the planes of the forms/scene.

This is my third attempt at reworking this picture. In its earlier versions/states, the colour planes were very smoothly painted but, inspired by my recent palette knife paintings of Parys Mountain, I chose to rework it with thick impasto acrylic so as to ‘animate’ the surface.

Holyhead Breakwater Country Park Plein Air Sketch I (acrylic on paper 60cm x 40cm)

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