two today

Two paintings today, both with underpainting in bright red and orange, but surface colours mostly blues

This one is my regular size, 80 cm sq

Title :’All manner of things I’ll never understand’

This is a big one, 160cm x 220 cm, unstretched canvas, stapled to the studio wall. ‘Is there anyone there?’

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laying the groundwork



I was priming a large piece of coarse jute canvas today with gesso. A long piece 3m x 120cm, rolled out on the mucky floor of the studio.

I took photos as I worked as usual. Of the process and the light and shadows. Of me working. Of the canvas up on the wall. Of the fire.Pondering all the while on what I’ll actually paint once it’s ready



Messed with the photos on Instagram later. Cropped. Negative. Brighten. Contrast. The wee pebble embedded in the rough cement render. In blue. In yellow. The fire. The different rectangles. In triplicate.



The studio is always a painting. In a painting. Of a painting. During a painting.

without you can’t get in

It started with a search for something to paint over because I’ve run out of canvas.

I chose these 2 as they are rather boring and not too textured or lumpy

They are each 70 x 50cm on board

I laid down some first layers and decided to turn them sideways

I was thinking about people out on the street during these cold winter nights and started to make some loose marks with solvent and a palette knife. I have some new gold Winsor and Newton oil. Added some of that, mixed with wax, with a roller. The shapes are clumsy and awkward

The song from Paul Simon’s new album, called wristband, the third verse running through my head. The bit about riots and how not having a wristband to get you in the door becomes a metaphor for the excluded and disenfranchised. Thinking about the election of Trump. And Brexit.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=40220

Add more colour. Roll over and obliterate most of the scraped marks. Make some new marks with a graphite stick

Thinking too about the desperate situation in Aleppo. And David Wolfe’s moving and horifying before and after photos on Facebook 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1290315790990889&id=100000374406030
It’s not about pretty pictures

What is it about? Painting? What do we do it for? Why? How? Is there any point?

Darker and deeper

More confusing

I don’t know. But I keep painting

(Header image is another stage on the journey, not the finished image – I signed it then changed my mind)

Blood and concrete




2 canvases each 100 x 80cm (39 x 31.5″)

As 2016 draws to a close I’m trying, against the odds, to look ahead to 2017 with hope.

Hope that we will all be mindful of anything we can do that helps rather than hinders. In so many areas. For Peace. For People. For the Planet 

The paintings above are called ‘blood and concrete’.

an extra layer


Just reworked these 2 with a few more marks and a layer of creamy coloured transparent oil and wax mixture

They are each 80cm x 100cm and are part of the ‘Oceans – a tipping point?’ series from last week

I think they are much better for the extra later.  What do you think?

Here they are as they were before: