News Updates

June 1st 2024

I have joined the Folksy craft-website for the purpose of offering my much smaller artworks, when I have them available; there is a page created here and the shopfront SmallArt Stuff at .

I've no idea how this will go, but since I do sometimes have quite small artwork, it is often too small for some of the online galleries, so this seemed like an opening for them.

Took a short break from the charcoal work during the past couple of days but hope to get back to it next week. I recently sent off for what I hoped would be a nice really black charcoal, but was quite disappointed when it arrived. No names was scratchier than willow charcoal and had nowhere near the same velvety feel to it in use. Maybe I bought the wrong grade...more investigation needed.

There are three small oils in progress (two of them very small); and a pastel which I have left in my art-class workroom. Nothing totally finished as yet for photographing.

However, this little experiment below is finished; charcoal and white pastel on Fabriano Unica print-paper.

"Spoons" : charcoal and white pastel 10 x 7 inches.

May 16th 2024

In between playing with my new printing-toys, I am pushing on with the charcoal work. Several more pieces have been completed, one or two of which I shall intend for local exhibition towards the end of the year. I am hoping to find ways of integrating the black of charcoal with some restricted pastel colour; it takes a while to fathom out what might work, so there are many days and weeks of exploration ahead.

It's necessary to have a paper that will hold the fine particles of charcoal plus the heavier ones of pastel; and the usual coloured pastel-papers aren't always the answer. Once again, test test test. Today's piece is an open field bordered with tall estate trees; it is done on Fabriano Hot-pressed paper. A little wash of pale green was laid on initially in the areas of dense leaves, but not elsewhere. Tree trunks were drawn lightly in thin charcoal; shadowed areas treated with a "glaze" of charcoal, before adding a medium-green pastel and blending in places. A lighter yellow-green pastel was introduced for highlights; I suspect that gouache could equally be useful for this task. I found the combination of greens and gently-applied charcoal to produce a pleasing woodland atmosphere and I shall exploit it further when I have another suitable theme.

"Summer Greens"; charcoal and pastel on hot-pressed paper 10 x 7 inches

April 30th 2024

Experiments with printing on both gelli plate and traditional glass continue. I think the gelli plate will need some re-assessment with regards to what paint I'm using on it; I have Golden heavy-body paint and I'm struggling to get it to transfer from plate to paper without tearing the paper-surface away. Softer-bodied paint seems to certainly be the answer; using Amsterdam at the moment. At some point I will hit upon a subject and technique that will work for me, so the trials continue. On the glass plate, the Akua inks are proving interesting, they transfer to paper well, but since I don't have a press it is likely that I will have to use thinner paper. Cartridge works fine for trials, as does ordinary copy-paper, but again it needs more playtime.

The charcoal trials are proving successful, so far I've used clear gesso-coated drawing paper; Fabriano Unica; the smooth and patterned sides of Canson Mi Teintes; and Fabriano Artistico HP. The rearside of standard Bockingford NOT isn't too bad either. I've also purchased more willow sticks, some woodless charcoal pencils and a drum of charcoal powder. I have my eye on some more expensive burnt-wood sticks, probably will get some in a few weeks' time. Meanwhile, here's an example on drawing paper, using  an eraser to lift out highlights;

"Welsh Hills  (Llyn Gwynant)"; charcoal on clear gesso-coated drawing paper 8x8 inches (20x20cm).

Working with charcoal is rather like using pastel, apart from the fact that it's all black; though in fact the charcoal powder is finer dust than pastel and has different characteristics. I will post a few more experimental pieces in due course and start another gallery when I've got enough.

April 19th 2024

The last couple of weeks has seen me giving myself a crash course in how to roll out printing ink for my monotype project....I haven't done it for so long, I have forgotten! So not much progress there at the moment, but some interesting sidelines with charcoal and testing various types of paper to use it on. More on that in a later post, I expect.

The gelli plate is also a new plaything, but so far I've managed to transfer a charcoal image onto paper using white acrylic paint. Having done so, I felt it was still too faint, so re-worked the printed image by firstly overpainting it with clear acrylic gesso and then adding charcoal directly to the image to strengthen it. Having done a monochrome version, I then created a second one with a few coloured pastels. Both are in the Experimental gallery, titled "Scrub Trees".  Rolling acrylic paint on the gelli plate proved tricky for me, despite watching YouTube videos on it many times over; in the end I purchased some softer-bodied acrylic and that seemed better. More practise needed, as is the case with many new things.

Canvas work has not been uppermost in my efforts over the past months. I have a large coastal one to be getting on with, in oils, but can't bring myself to focus on it for some reason. Instead, I have tidied up an abstract that has been sitting around awhile, waiting for me to decide whether or not to add anything more to it. It's just a fun piece using acrylic metallic paints in gold, silver and copper.

Precious Metals; acrylic on canvas 20 x 16 inches (50x40cm).

April 6th 2024

As well as moving on with my usual subjects, I am revisiting an old interest---monotypes. These are traditionally done with printing inks on glass plates and don't require a printing-press; but the modern gelli-plate is also capable of producing very interesting images. I am in at the shallow end with my gelli plate, learning its characteristics; but at the same time stretching my thinking to see how I might incorporate pastels into the prints created (so far I have little to show, but I've only had the thing for a week so I need time!).  My approach to pastels has been quite traditional---sanded paper and a direct approach to the subject with a small amount of under-drawing. Unlike oils, pastels can often benefit by being combined with another medium or technique; the trick is to find out what works for you.

I haven't posted any images for a while; primarily because I'm having a few problems with my scanner, and rain has stopped play for taking artwork outdoors for photography.'s a small pastel sketch of some  lakeside trees, done as a warming-up exercise for other work:

Tree Trio : pastel on pastelmat card 16 x 8 inches approx (40 x 20cm).

April 2nd 2024

Right, the whole site has now migrated to its new home and most (not quite all) images have also moved; one or two still to do.

Images are reached via the main gallery page and each section can be viewed in slide-show style if desired. About and Delivery are self-explanatory; the Contact page is a simple form (and yes it does work, I've tested it several times). The whole site is now much more compact and it's easier for me to manage. I don't mind writing html code but since the late 90s all the web template designs and layouts have advanced so much that it's hardly worth my time now trying to keep up with it.

New images that have sneaked in during the past month or so are "Red Glass" in the Flowers and Still Life gallery; and "Boundaries" in Abstracts.

March 25th 2024

I will not be keeping a regular blog-style of news, but simply updating this page when new images or information have or has been added. At present, is being moved (in stages) to this new host and will eventually run under the domain

My own domain name will remain in existence and will eventually redirect to this new one.