ARCHIVE | focus | description
this gallery shows just a few of my own personal favourites from my archives of past works with a focus on why I have chosen them and a quick description of the ideas behind them - I intend to update or add to this page so keep checking back for different paintings
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moorland | snowdonia | n wales
resin on block | 120 x 100cm | private collection
This is one of my all time favourites - which is why it is included in my private collection.
Note how this resin painting is dark and brooding compared to my newer acrylic paintings.
The foreground represents the pools of water that form on moorland, some being visible, others disguised beneath vegetation. Clusters of rock slab showing through, partly covered in lichen the rest wet and glinting in any available light. The sky is heavy with cloud of many layers, reaching down and cloaking the ground so that the two become one. The slashes of thin resin represents the movement of rain, wind and light as it traverses the landscape. The brackish water found on moorland inspired my colour palette which continued into the sky giving hope that the rain was going to clear to allow a late sun to shine through whilst the shadows contained purple and paynes grey invoking thoughts of moorland heather. Silver metallic highlights were added to the composition which fade in and out along with the glossy wet areas as you pass by the painting and the light changes. The painting also changes character when viewed in daylight and artificial light from a table lamp below at night. The slashes of resin look dark in daylight but change to silver like thread at night whilst the shadows reverse due to the source of nightime light coming from below.
other-worldly | snowdonia | n wales
acrylic on block | 90 x 60cm | private collection
This painting is a hybrid between my resin style bases of block with thin layers of ply and acrylic pastes and gels. Note how this painting is ' hard ' in appearance but softer in colour due to resins being replaced by acrylics.
Wales is littered with slate mines. Some find them an ugly blot on the landscape but I find them a source of interest with their hard hand cut angular formations. When wet the slate shows its beautiful green blue hue which catches the light from any surface not in shadow. My pallet is influenced by this colour with a hint of blue from interference medium giving the impression of reflection from a blue sky above after clearing rain. Often water courses can be found in these areas or at the very least dripping through channels and cracks, natural and man made. The composition above is both inspired from those shapes found but arranged as a ' design ' of shapes that formed an environment that looked other-worldly as these slate mines often do.
a barely discernable horizon | burnham overy staithe | n norfolk
acrylic on deep box canvas | 120 x 100cm | sold
I have chosen this painting because the idea for it was almost the same as the ' moorland ' painting above, but the complete opposite in its overall appearance where it it is much softer and lighter.
As the title suggests the land and the sky have merged [ or is there any sky at all ] the dark pool of low tide water being the main focus for the entire composition. The acrylic pastes have been left ' raw' in order to utilise their surface textures to attract or repel the washes of colour to follow. The top two thirds of the painting have been treated as a wet area but because acrylic gel has been poured directly from the pot [ ie un-tinted ] the neutral underlying colour is unaffected. Varying degrees of tinted gel have then been overlaid to form the central feature of pooled water. Between these layers washes of interference blue have been applied which gives the appearance of blue sky reflected in the wet surface - subtle where it is over the neutral area but more definite where it is over or between the darker tinted gel layers. The resulting smoother wet surfaces in the top two thirds contrasts well with the more textured bottom third. I very often run the gloss element into sky areas for continuity and to blur the lines between land and sky - it also lends the sky luminosity.
ending great heat | stiffkey | n norfolk
acrylic on deep box canvas | 97 x 60cm | sold
This is still one of my all time favourites of my newer acrylic on canvas pieces - I'm not quite sure why - but occasionally I complete a painting where it just stands out for me personally.
The first time I visited Stiffkey was on one of those rare UK days when it was very hot with an intense blue sky. The water left behind by low tide had an orange tinge to it and the dried mud banks a silver white hue - it did in fact remind me of some Australian landscapes after having just returned from there. So whats going on with the near black water / sky ? Having completed an interpretation of Stiffkey with a blue sky I revisited on a more normal UK day and found the same colours present even with a grey sky [ hence the title ] I do from time to time saturate those colours found within a landscape and that is how this painting came to be. I was also pleased with the complimentary textures - I purposefully cracked the gels forming the incoming tide and pooled water which complimented the smooth yet cracked mud which then contrasted with the rough gritty / pebbly foreground. Keeping the colour palette simple but saturated added to the drama of the scene.
beach detail m a s p a l o m a s #2 | gran canaria
acrylic / glass on deep box canvas | 60 x 60cm | private collection
m a s p a l o m a s #1 | gran canaria
acrylic / glass on deep box canvas | 97 x 60cm | private collection
These two paintings are from a new series of interpretations of the beach at Maspalomas in Gran Canaria - the square one a detail or ' element ' and the rectangular one a wider interpretation along the beach. I have chosen these because they were a new challenge for me.
So whats going on with the dark grey water / skies again !! During the summer months when trying to keep fit - by walking the length of the Maspalomas beach around the dunes - it became a necessity to do the walk before sun up. The beach and dunes are made up from black volcanic and white saharan sands and during the cool light of dawn the two types of sand contrast against each other even more than when the sun is shining. These two sands have different weights and are easily separated by wind and water in a constant process - which is what I wanted to interpret. The ' element ' piece shows the patterns formed by the sea gently pulling away as the wave receded separating the two sands - [ there is also a second ' element ' showing the wave approaching the beach ] - the wider interpretation along the beach showing the tip of the peninsular where different tides create black pebble / shingle banks. Both are painted from black over an acrylic paste textured base. There is no colour in either of the bases - both are layered with different metallics and interference medium - with just a small amount of bone black mixed into some of the gel on the larger painting. Natural pebble, black mirror, mirror and clear frit plus glass spheres have been added for texture and light during the layering process. Once the wider landscape painting was finished I realised that it could be hung in landscape or portrait format [ 2 further landscape paintings were then completed to form a triptych - see below - note yellow iron oxide was also added to these to warm the series up in a progression ]