Friday, 22 July 2011

B Is For ........

This is the second letter of hearts I have completed in what will become an Alphabet Series.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


The object of this painting, was to see if I could make a coherent letter made up of hearts.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Keep Going

Yesterday, was a difficult day, creatively.I'm sitting staring at a blank piece of paper, and not a drop of inspiration would come my way.Absolutely nothing. I looked over my previous work, and tried to work out a variant on those themes.Nothing!
I couldn't muster anything, and that happens quite alot.Some people will ask,where does your inspiration come from? I used to think it just popped out of nowhere, and all I had to do, was sit and wait like a passive observe,r for the thunderbolt to hit. Yes, that does happen from time to time, but it is not the norm.Trust me.
So, in this case, there is only one thing left to do. Sit down, and start to doodle, and try out ideas, no matter how random, and bizarre.
It is this process, of perseverance, that helps inspiration to strike.To keep on going, when others give up.
Sure enough, slowly out of the gloom, the doodling started to take form, and the idea of a heart made from smaller hearts came.
I wasn't sure about this piece, but I kept on going, and now it's painted, I really like it.
Even, better than that, I have an new wave of  creative ideas that emanate from this piece.
So when a vacuum is stumbled upon, you just gotta keep persevering, until you extingish it.
Never, ever, ever,EVER, give up.

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Watercolour on paper 7 x 3 inches.
This painting is only half of a piece..It's about letting your dream go, and watching it fly.The child represents the freshness and innocence of that dream.
I will paint another similar piece, which will show the outcome of this act. It will simply be an adult capturing that balloon
Have a dream.Release it to the world.Believe in it.Watch it become realized.
Dreams do come true.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Latest Piece

This is my latest piece. Two and half days work, but worth every moment spent on it.
It was only when I came to paint the hearts, that I realized how many were actually there. Roughly about 90. That was the most time consuming, especially lifting out the highlights on them.
At 21 x 14 inches, it is a lovely piece to look at, if I do say so myself : )

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Is it work?

I, without doubt, consider myself a working artist.I paint on an almost daily basis, and when I'm not painting, I'm either planning a new piece, or spending my time marketing and promoting my work.
I easily clock up in excess of 60 hours a week, all told, on my work.
I absolutely love what I do, and sur,e I would paint even if I wasn't selling my work.
I'm not in that position, as I need the income as much as anyone else does.
I still treat what I do, as a full time job, and I will never retire 'per se' as it is a career and vocation I will follow to the end of my days.
Art for me, is a way of life.A philosophy almost. It is something that inspires me to get up in the mornings for.It has meaning, and helps to define who I am.
I never see it as work though, but I treat it as any person would, a job that they love.
The more hours I am able to spend doing this, well, the happier I am.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A reason for everything.

For me, everything happens for a reason. Now whether that is true or no,t is debatable.
 In fact it is proabably a big lie. And yet, if I act "as if " it is true, then it propels me along in a better direction. It's one of forward thinking, and never looking in the rear view mirror.
A way of making order from the chaos.
Rejections, rebuttals. Excellent.Bring them on!
It's in these events, that I'm being gently steered to my true destination.
It is here I will find the golden pot at the end of the rainbow.
I may not know the reasons why, but if I believe everything has it's reason, then who am I to argue.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Only for a moment

I have been really lucky to have this workspace to bounce around my creative ideas. It is full of fabulous light, and to my mind has influenced my work no end.
Unfortunately for me, it is only temporary, and I will have to move on,, once again.
So while the cards have landed well for me, I intend to make the most of it, and produce as much work as I possibly can while here.
And when my circumstances change, I will figure out what to do next. But until then, there is no point worrying about what 'might be', and only concentrate on 'What is'.
"Strike while the iron is hot" "Carpe Diem" are more than just words.They are an attitude,and mindset, which as we know, Attitude is Everyhing!
To enjoy the moment, one must be able to recognize the moment.In most cases, it is no more than a shift of mind to open up a new world of being in the Here and Now, and experiencing everything with an intensity that knows no bounds.
Sure, I will plan for my tomorrows, but they won't come any faster or slower than anyone else's. So for now, I will enjoy what the fortune has provided for me, and when it comes to it's inevitable end, I will be just grateful for having had it at all.
Now to apply that philosophy to the rest of my life..................

Monday, 20 June 2011


This for me constitutes Summer. Rolling hills, and vibrant brightness. I just wanted to incorporate the element of the house and the hearts with a couple of figures that appear in my Aceo's.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Destiny?

I can almost remember the day about 3 years ago, when I made the decision to become an artist full time. Little did I know the journey it would send me on.
It happens to be a one way ticket kinda decision, because doing what I do now, there is no way I could go back to a regular life. Ever!
Not because of any other reason than, it's impossible. Art has captured my soul, and set me free. Now, where it will all end, is another story. I put myself in for the long haul, and in some ways, I'm not actually too concerned on whether I "make it" per se.
It's the journey I have set myself on, and it is where the the real adventure lies to my mind.
Times are tough , as they can be for many other artists, and I have to see it out to the end wherever I land up.
It has certainly given me a different perspective to my old life of before, and even though I don't have the money I once had, I wouldn't change any of it for the world.
This is my life now, and there can never be a way back to my old normality.
This is what makes me feel alive, and somewhere deep, deep, deep inside me, I know I'm gonna be alright.Somehow!
This is the life I have chosen for myself, and I bless every day for the opportunity to be able to do so.
Only one life to live, and succeed or fail, then at least I will be doing it on my terms.
Amen!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

What Inspiration



I have no idea what inspired this painting.I'm not even sure what it means to me, or what I was thinking at the time.It just sort of popped up and developed itself from the ether.

That happens sometime, I just start doodling, and playing about with ideas, and the subconcious part of me takes over.

Inspiration can creep up out of nowhere, and the painting or sketch takes on a life of it's own.

Cause and Effect

The last 12 months of my life have been, in short, rather turbulent to say the very least. Life has taken me down a route I could have hardly anticipated in any form. There's a saying "Life is what happens while you're busy making plans". How true I have found that concept.
It is easy to sit back and take everything, in the role of the victim, but then, I was never brought up that way. Some things just have to be accepted, and when you're pushed to the floor, the only thing to do is to just stand right back up again, dust oneself down, and continue the march forward.
That's exactly what I do, or rather exactly what I have done. When the light starts to appear once again at the other side of the tunnel that I have been forced through, I know it has been worth the effort to keep on moving forward.
Optimism is a glorious gift to have possession of.
It has impacted on my journey as an artist without doubt. By all accounts my work should be mirroring a darker or more maudlin tone.But it hasn't though.
It's brought my work to a more brighter and happier place. Perhaps because in my mind, optimism does a strange thing to one's psyche. For me, it empowers me, and lifts me because I am forced to look deep inside the well of my resources, and access parts of me that otherwise I would never have known existed.
It builds ones character, and gives depth to ones personality.
Tempered steel is strong for a reason. Defeat in anything is only a mindset that allows such a dastardly outcome.
If my work is to follow a brighter path of hope, then let life, throw it's worst at me.I will cope with anything, and allow me to continue to bring out the best in myself to it's full glory.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Simplicity


I love this piece for it's simplicity. Life is complicated enough as it is. Well my life anyhow.



Hearts are a universal symbol, and as such, certainly for me, they speak volumes in any piece of work. Sure, they are open to interpretation, but even so the base message is always prominent.
Why is one heart orange? What does that signify? Actually in this piece it doesn't mean anything.
It was coloured as such to break up the block of red from the adjoining hearts and also acts as an anchor in a triangulation of the other yellow/orange elements in the painting. It also contrasts well with the larger blue passage. It has been used as merely a colour device.
Sometimes a composition will dictate requisite colours and tones.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I believe in Love

I believe in love.Not just because I want to.But, because I have to.Otherwise, for me there is no purpose in anything. It drives me.In my relationships.In my work.Without it, life is stagnant, and barren.At times, when there was every reason to abandon that pursuit, I could never give up on it. Persist with it at all costs.Open oneself to it. The rewards are immense.There is no other path.Despite the thorns that catch on the heart at times, a clearing will always appear to the persistent traveller. But, it is the journey that enriches. Much more than the view itself! Yes.I believe in Love.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Anatomy Of A Painting








I had painted a similar style piece like this before, but wanted a larger and slightly more complex composition this time.

In the first photo you can see the original drawing sketched onto the paper.In deciding the composition, I was acutely aware of the negative space surrounding the hearts pouring from the chimneys, so I needed that space to be able to support them spatially.

A low horizon punctuated with the houses and trees ties the sky and land area together.I feel this works well.

After masking out the hearts and trees, I quickly brushed in th sky, keeping it simple so not to confuse the busy hearts in the sky.Masking allows to keep fluid and wet washes for the sky.Also when the masking fluid is removed it takes the sheen off the paper, allowing the washes placed afterwards, to saturate the area with more strength.

I next paint the houses,as they are a lighter element, allowing me to guage the background hills and hearts, later on, for more high impact visuals.

With the front lawn areas painted in, the trees and hearts are ready to have the masking fluid removed,leaving lovely pristine paper to be painted upon. I made the lawn areas green to contrast with the dominance of reds in the painting.The yellow/orange of the trees actually act as a colour bridge to the hearts above in a more flowing manner.

The hearts were going to be painted in 3 different hues with the Red ones in the middle,as they were to dominate.The right hand hearts were a link to the distant hills and to the middle section of hearts colourwise. The yellow/orange hearts give
a slight contract, and echo the trees with in the painting.

Could I have done anything better.Well, yes! Lots of things actually, but that's a secret I won't be sharing with you.I will learn, and grow from yet another experience, getting better as I go.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Brought the light up to me.
I have basked in it's glow.
Of desires once touched.
Now embers I know.

In service to you.
Of a bargain once made.
Now reluctant surrender.
The light slowly fades.

Dreams once like bubbles.
Expand and explode.
Fragile and transient.
Yet together we rode.

It was not down to me.
Please don't blame my unease.
It is because who I am.
I can forfeit my fees.

Such is life,sure I know.
Who said it was fair.
What is, is what is.
What's not there, isn't there.


Expression


Everybody has a voice.
Has a way to best express themselves.Often, it's finding the best and most elegant way in which to express that.
Some will do that through Art, Music,Singing, Comedy,Charity work, etc,etc.
I have always been good at articulating myself with words, probably due to my love of reading, but at the same time unable to actually express myself through anything other than Art.
I think there is a big difference between the two.
At an emotional level, what's truly in my heart and thoughts, are people, and love.Everything else, for me is extraneous to these things. I certainly hope that these ideas shine through in my work, as they are the source of my expressions.
When I look at the work of my fellow artists, I've never yet noticed a bad drawing or a bad painting.Because to do so, is to look in the wrong direction.The point is being missed.
If you are noticing any art being either badly or well executed, I feel it's like picking up a book and only looking at the cover, and not delving inside to actually read the story.
To merely admire a pristine cover of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and never turning the pages is just too tragic to contemplate.

I want to look at someones inner ideas, thought processes, and what's in their heart.What is this artist trying to communicate to me?, to what does this artist want to express?, and how can I relate this to my understandings?
There is no good or bad art to me.Only someone's attempt to express themselves.
That is the essence of it to me. An opportunity to connect to one another.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Choices


How do you see your world?
I know how I see mine.We can all choose to see the darkness or the light.It is always a choice we have.
Sure, there is an underbelly to life, and that doesn't mean it cannot be acknowledged, but we also don't have to let it pervade our pschye either.
No-one will ever know true reality, due to it's subjectve natue.As people, we have the opportunity not to see what we think is there, but the imagination to know what could be there.Is that not where true visionaries started their journies? To be able to see the hidden possibilities.
My work is grounded in a reality symbolised by figures, and I try to project an essence of joy, and hopes and dreams.Rather how I think things should be, whether or not these things ever come to pass.
If you actively seek joy and beauty in your life, and persevere relentlessly towards those things, how can you not arrive at that destination.
What you see in my work, is what I seek for in my life.Whether I choose wisely or not, it is ultimately my choice.What's yours?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Balance and Unity

When planning out a painting like this one, I tend to start with the layout of the houses.Then I look at it, and visualize it sitting on a set of scales to see whch way it is inclined to tip towards.
Forgetting the figures for a moment, you can see it would tilt down to the left due to a bigger mass of buildings.
This means it needs counteracting.
The figures I now needed, had to stay predominantly to the right of the middle,whilst still relating to each other and to the painting as a whole, with the balloon heart on a higher plane to weight it further.
My signature further added to the right makes me feel a balance has been achieved.
I never quite understood this concept when I first started out, but it becomes more second nature as the years and experience progress.
Again, using a fairly limited palette, with a dominant purple hue I also feel unity has been achieved, and add the balance of tones to be found here, I am quietly satisfied.
Majoring with colour ,warmth,direction,line, shape or tone are very powerful ways to instill unity in a painting, and to refrain from a disjointed or jarring piece.It's importance can never be overstated.
However, with another week or so, I will come back to look at this again, and note many other tweaks I could have done for a higher impact painting.
All par for the course, and all to be taken onboard to the next one.
The joys of learning one's craft.!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Symbolism



I thought I'd tell you a little bit about symbolism in my work, and the meanings behind them.

A lot of hearts feature in many paintings.

The meaning is to about giving out love.So whenever you see for instance, a child releasing a heart, it is about giving out that love.Children have a very untainted and unconditional sense of love.It also represents their hopes and dreams.That a future is around the corner, and though not yet understood,it is where one is going, away from their roots.However when a balloon is being released and floating away, it actually represents loss, and letting go.

The older style houses are indicators where most of us grew up, and easily identifiable in many peoples lives.

A lot of these paintings try to encapsulate a time long by, and a place from where we started off.

Uncontent with what was my world, I wanted something more, and perhaps the child releasing the heart is a yearning for farther horizons, not just in distance, but in development of where I want to be, and who I want to be.
The painting to the left is about searching.For something missing.Love perhaps.Someone holding a heart is holding it as a key, waiting to unlock those dreams, again over a distant horizon. The balloon in the air, is the marker, guiding the way, over and towards the horizon, keeping the figure firmly on the right path.This particular heart is more representative of that inner intuition shown in a tangible form.This person is correctly moving in the right direction.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Meanings


I think very often when having a conversation, it is not necessary to relate everything in minute details.It is the quality of the chosen words, and the unsaid, that is often the most enigmatic and interesting.The same is applied to music, in it's simple melodies that are embellished at key points, along with it's silences that produce memorable and emotive pieces.
I don't bog myself in all the details, as I want as much interpretation left open as is possible, while keeping you on the path I want to lead you down.
For me, the simplicity in this piece conveys, all I want to relate.Innocence, and hope.
What you see of course will no doubt be quite different.It doesn't matter though whether you get my point of view, it matters only that you can connect and relate it to some part of your life.The degree to which it affects you, is what really carries the most weight, and if the experience is powerful, then hopefully I have done my job well.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Colour,colour,colour.We have the tools, the technology, so why not just use it to it's max.
ACEO titled'Where to my Love'

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Aceo 'A Tower Of Love'

What the public want


It's always been a delicate balance for me.Trying to guess what will sell against what I like and what I hope may sell.
I hardly ever get it right.I have had no choice but to follow my heart, and paint the things that inspire me the most.
Many a piece I have completed, and thought Wow!, that will fly off the shelf.....Hahaha!, I thought after relisting it on Ebay for the 3rd time.
Then other paintings I have considered throwing in the bin, as I did not want my name attached to them, and have gone on to sell, incredibly well.
I shake my head in submissive abandon, as I just cannot guage what other people really like or want after all these years.
That's why I paint for me....Now this piece above (Aceo entitled 'Follow Your Heart'), I really, really like...Hmmm!, no fortunes to be made off this one then !!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


It's always interesting to me, my own limitations to painting Aceo's, being that I'm confined to such a small area.
It certainly focuses the mind, as there is no room for superfluous imagery to get my message across, and it helps produce an efficiency to my work.
The downside, is it keeps me out of practice of bigger sweeping scenes, that I sometimes feel I need to produce.I can get locked in very easily to a macro view of the world.Nothing bad in and of itself, just frustrating for a while , when I need to switch viewpoints.
Still, I have a real love of painting these Aceo's, and that isn't going to change until I feel I have explored a lot more territory with them yet.
Imagination is equal to limitation.

Friday, 14 January 2011

I finally decided that I have found the palette that best helps me to express myself.It has taken a lot of searching, and certainly not on the concious level.
I can discern many an artist on their colour schemes alone, and now I can also define myself accordingly.
This is where the real work begins, as I have to now maximise my potential with the hand I have dealt myself with.
We are all responsible and accountable to ourselves, and the choices we give ourselves, and how we choose to run with that, are what will ultimately make or break us.
There's no hiding from that.