Sunday, 10 December 2017

Finland - Suomi. 7th December 2017.

Finland is a hundred years old this week and it astonished me that I didn't know how recently it has existed as an independent country. Of course I knew some of the history but so much of what I remember now of our life there at the end of the 60's makes a lot of sense. When people expressed resentment towards Sweden and Russia I put it down to cultural differences developed over generations not realising how raw emotions were and how recent were the events that caused these emotions. The wife of one of our Finnish friends was part of the 1% Swedish/Finnish population. I found it hard to understand why other Finnish friends spoke negatively about her when to me she seemed very friendly and nice.  One friend remarked that people outside Scandinavia believed that all the beautiful designs in glassware, pottery, furniture and fabrics came from Sweden when in fact most were produced in Finland. I came to learn that for myself. Another friend told me that her grandfather had never stopped mourning the loss of Karelia to Russia.      
Now 50 years on I'm reading about people in Jyvaskyla, where we lived, celebrating the diversity of of it's population whilst in Helsinki there were multi-cultural Independence celebrations led by the President. Finland is a country to be admired, and I do.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

'Round Midnight.

This was painted in France when the sun was high in the sky, the day was hot and jazz was playing in the background as I worked. It didn't evoke thoughts of summer, blue skies and fields of sunflowers but of a small bar, good company and no-where to be but here, listening to Miles Davis and John Coltrane playing into the early hours of the morning.
Soon after bringing the painting back from France it was sold by the gallery to a buyer in North Wales. Later the image was used as the front cover of a British literary magazine, New Walk.

'Round Midnight. Oil on canvas.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Albany Gallery Summer Show

Two paintings for the exhibition next Thursday.

If I Can Dream. Oil on canvas. 76 x 51Cm.

Riding Along On The Crest Of A Wave. Oil on canvas. 30 x 36cm.

Friday, 23 June 2017

From Penarth News, 21st June.

In Penarth today an on-shore easterly breeze (despite what the BBC weather chart says) is keeping it slightly cooler than in baking Cardiff – or London where temperatures are expected to reach 34C.

Today is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – when Penarth is set to enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. The sun  rose at 04:43 and sets at 21:31 .
The heatwave is expected to end tomorrow – as the nights start drawing in.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The title that escaped.

The title of a painting is significant. It reminds me of what was in my mind, or on my mind, when I worked on a canvas. What prompted me to choose that size canvas, why those particular colours and what was I trying to recall that seemed worth preserving?

Sometimes the title is the starting point. It may have been in my mind for a while and I can't settle until I've dealt with it. Then there is the finished painting, still without a title, which mocks me and demands I search for a few words which will make sense of the image I've produced.

Last night as I slept I thought of the perfect title for my current piece of work. By morning it had gone. The harder I try to remember the more it escapes me.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

In defiance of a cold, very wet day.

Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave (and the sun is in the sky).

A long night.

I'm busy working at home and thinking about the night ahead. The General Election results will filter through in the early hours of the morning and I can't see me going to bed until there seems to be a clear result emerging. The thought of the country led by Theresa May is not a happy prospect but all the predictions seem to point that way. What a gloomy future if that's the case. I will watch the TV tonight and hope for a miracle!

Friday, 26 May 2017

A different coast, a different sea.

Last week I was on a road trip with my two sons through Dorset, Devon and Cornwall; never far from the sea, often on high ground (in campsites) and exposed to the elements. Sometimes stormy and very wet, there were also calm days sitting in the sunshine while they fished and I thought about images now trapped in my head which, in time, would be recorded on canvas. May is such a beautiful month. We drove through lanes of hawthorn resplendent in pink and white blossom. We walked through a country lane bordered by foxgloves, cow parsley and the delicate ragged robin. It was magical; I was back home in Monmouthshire, a child who walked lanes liked this on a daily basis and was always acutely aware of the beauty around me.

Cardiff knows how to throw a good party.

The Champions League Final comes to Cardiff next weekend and it will be immense. I have to somehow get to the studio to retrieve this and other paintings to work on at home. Otherwise it's a question of battling crowds, having to show ID and an almost impossible chance of parking or getting in on the train. All the roads will be closed in the centre and a temporary bridge will cross the street just below the studio. There's a lot going on.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Spring is on hold.

19th March.

So said the BBC weatherman this morning. I'm cheered by the thought that it can't hold out much longer and soon the rain will disappear and the sun eventually show it's face. The six nations championship ended on the weekend and I watched all three games. It couldn't compare with the excitement of the previous weekend when we were at the stadium to see Wales beat Ireland.

Chuck Berry died yesterday at 90. Listening to his music throughout the day on the radio I was a teenager again.

After a day at home on Tuesday waiting for the delivery of a new computer I finally made it into the studio yesterday to carry on working on the large canvas.

Wednesday 29th March

Feeling gloomy - the process of leaving the EU has started. I loathe the word Brexit - it's a made up word and, to me, it trivialises what is happening. It's so depressing!


Leaving the EU dominates the news and I guess this is how it will be for the foreseeable future.
I intended to go into the studio this morning but left it too late in the end so I'll need to be better organised tomorrow. I have work to do for the Summer Show at the Albany.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Back in the studio.

The large canvas I bought at the beginning of the year is on the easel and I'm ready to go!
I have the title and that's where I start.