Sunday, 6 December 2015

Roger Cecil

Roger Cecil, who died this year, was born, lived and worked in Abertillery just a stone's throw from Pontypool where I grew up and went to school. I would have liked to have known that. Would I have knocked on his door and asked to see his paintings? He lived alone and spent his life painting; not a recluse but, from all accounts, a friendly man who would have been welcoming. He leaves behind paintings to captivate and intrigue the viewer - that's all painters can hope for...

Untitled - oil and mixed media on canvas. Roger Cecil.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Rain in London

Cardiff gets it's fair share of rain so I'm used to it but London has never seemed to me to be so drenched and bedraggled as it is now. There are are gaps in the grey skies when the sun weakly breaks through but not enough to dry the ground to let me go in the garden and start attacking the overgrown shrubs and dense undergrowth. Instead I amuse myself by imagining I am descending into the Underground station in Cologne where I can admire this extraordinary mural by Katharina Grosse.

Friday, 6 November 2015

On the Edge

On the Edge.  Oil on canvas.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

North London

I am painting in a studio in North London - a temporary arrangement and one which has allowed me to finish a painting for the Albany Gallery's 50th Anniversary Exhibition. A new place, a new view from the window yet the painting, already part finished when I arrived, is of the South Wales coastline. On Saturday it will be on it's way back to Cardiff.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

On my way to the studio.

In case anyone is oblivious to the rugby fever in the city, this is there to remind us.
I passed it as I went into the studio yesterday.
More nail biting on Saturday when Wales play England - always the big one!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Running to catch up.

It's not something I want to grumble about, the fault lies with me, but I never seem to be in position where I have a stock of new paintings at hand, out of which I can choose some to send to the gallery when requested. Instead I am always running to catch up; always working on new canvases with deadlines looming. This is how it is now. I am working hard to produce paintings for the Albany Gallery so that they can be part of the 50th Annniversary Christmas show. The paintings take time and can't be hurried. They remain unfinished for what seems like weeks whilst I go through stages of discontent and dislike of the way the work is going. Finally there's the relief when I decide the painting is finished. For a few days I won't look at it, uneasy that I will change my mind and it needs further work. This is a tricky moment and if I go with my instinct to leave well alone, years later I am often glad of that decision.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Thank you to the blogger.

Thank you to the blogger who wrote about the exhibition with nice comments about the gallery and the paintings.

Pictures from an Exhibition.

A month ago I was unloading paintings at St Davids Studio Gallery ready for the exhibition.

A couple of weeks later, over the Bank Holiday, we went to see the exhibition.

This gallery has been the perfect setting for my paintings and Jane's skill in curating has always been inspired. This time was no exception - the paintings were beautifully presented. It was a delightful experience for me.

In a few days the exhibition ends and in just over a week I will go to pick up the remaining paintings.

But work goes on  - I am now preparing paintings for the 50th Anniversary at the Albany Gallery in November.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Start of the Exhibition

The exhibition begins today in St Davids.

Photos of the exhibition are at the bottom of the Home Page.
Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Exhibition at St Davids Studio Gallery Pembrokeshire.

I left Cardiff in torrential rain with a car packed with paintings for the exhibition and arrived in St Davids in bright sunshine. It couldn't have been more different. The place was packed with holiday makers and it felt as if I was stepping into a different country.

The paintings are now on the gallery website and the exhibition opens in a week.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Cardif Life

I did a Q and A interview for Cardiff Life and it's in the August edition.

Here's the link to the online version.

My website is being updated. People who have bought work over the past 12 months will soon be able to see a "sold" sign next to their painting!

St Davids Studio Gallery

I'm busy preparing for the exhibition. A touch of sadness is creeping in - the day the exhibition ends, the gallery closes. I shall miss it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Everything covered.

The new wall easel is up at home so I have two paintings on the go. No easy escape from work. I'm hoping this is the perfect arrangement - it already feels like it.

Friday, 22 May 2015

The next stage

When I called into the studio yesterday I became re-acquainted with this canvas after a break of several weeks and I could see what I needed to do next.  But I was meeting up with a very old friend and the thought of whiling away the time over lunch and a bottle of wine was far too good to resist. It was the best decision by far because by the end of the afternoon I was in such good spirits that I felt re-energised and tackling this painting over the next couple of weeks will be a cinch!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Shirking work

When I'm not painting I am thinking about painting. I have discovered iPlayer archives where I can watch John Hoyland working and talking about his work in 1978 and Paule Vezelay being filmed in 1984. It's totally absorbing but lurking in the back of my mind is the notion that I am doing this to escape the studio and the painting which sits unfinished on the easel. I am dodging work because it's hard going. I wouldn't presume to set myself alongside Hoyland but I am reassured to hear him express feelings which resonate with me. He describes it as a "nerve wracking business". "It's just you on your own in a room ... just making a painting seems such a ridiculous activity in a way ...      ... you don't know if you can do it...."

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A day of rugby.

It's the final day of the Six Nations so although the sun is shining outside I'm going to be inside watching rugby on TV. Last Saturday I was at the Millennium Stadium to see Wales beat Ireland in what has been described as the best game of the championship. Now they have a chance to win the championship and it's nail biting time!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Morning Glory


Morning Glory.   Oil on canvas.

The painting which took so long to finish but by last Friday it was finally done.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

My head is full of orange.

After a week in the studio finishing a painting that seemed to go on for an eternity I finally gazed at a new canvas without any clear thoughts on what I was going to do next.
I had spent the evening before thinking about it but there was no song going around in my head to trigger images and I hadn't been overwhelmed by an emotional experience or a particular landscape. I was clear about one thing only, that orange needed to dominate this picture and that's where I started. Before leaving the studio yesterday I took an image of the first stage of the painting.
I am curious to know where it takes me, why the colour orange was so important and what thoughts and past images will it evoke.    

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Spring in the Bay.  Oil on canvas

It's March 1st and St David's Day. Wales beat France yesterday in Paris and are still in the running for the Six Nations championship. It's sunny but bitterly cold. That hardly matters - in my mind St David's Day heralds Spring and the promise of long hot days to come.
Daffodils are everywhere. People are wearing them, I have them in vases in my dining room and they are appearing as small green shoots in the garden. I am back at work with a vengeance - the days of hibernation are over and it feels good.  

Friday, 30 January 2015

Changing times

I've been sitting in front of the laptop reflecting on news which has stunned me over the past week. The owners of the St Davids Studio Gallery in Pembrokeshire are calling time after this year. The future of the gallery is uncertain, it may continue, but it will be hard to recapture the warm relationship I've enjoyed with the owners over the past 11 years. The laptop remains untouched - there's no solution there.
More usefully I can start to plan for an exhibition of my work at the gallery at the end of the summer.
Now that my thoughts turn to new images for paintings I'm energised.

Meanwhile behind me the cat is doing what cats do!

Friday, 23 January 2015


August. Oil on canvas.

Painted in France in 2003 and sold by St Davids Studio Gallery,Pembrokeshire to a woman living in Oxfordshire whom I'm never likely to meet - I like the strangeness of this.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


In 1969 I used to pass the Marimekko shop in Jyväskylä almost daily, It was only a few hundred yards from our apartment.  It was winter in Finland when we arrived and I chose the one hour of daylight to push the pram through the snow to shop for the evening meal. In the long dark days with the monochrome landscape Marimekko became a beacon of colour. I went in often. I made curtains for the living room, bold blocks of white, bright yellow and shocking pink, and dresses of stunning blues and greens.
It's good to reflect on that time. If I have any worry now that leaving the bright colours of the South of France will adversely affect my paintings - I can forget it. My head has always been full of colour. After all, the designers at Marimekko managed it - brilliantly.
I still trawl through the Marimekko websites and look at all the designs I remember from that time.
More recently memories have come flooding back. I have been given two small beautiful Marimekko eggcups, as a gift from my son. Not normally an egg lover, I now start each day with a boiled egg. I can't resist the pleasure I get from just using them.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Wind and rain

The wind has been battering the house and it's raining heavily. With luck we may escape the snow this year. Over Christmas in Germany, as if by order, we had snow. Plenty of it just two days after Christmas. That felt different. We couldn't go far but we could walk to the restaurant in the evening and walk by the river, and we were on holiday so nothing really mattered. It was a bonus.When we stood on the balcony to watch the fireworks welcoming in 2015 the trees and houses were still covered in snow. It was magical.

I haven't resumed work yet. I am anxious to get back to the studio and start painting. Next week hopefully.