Kitchen studio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI set up the easel in the kitchen for an hour the other afternoon. Some fruit on the worktop and brushes balanced near the toaster I managed four very speedy sketches on small square canvases.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some fruit of my labours

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo a fruitful hour was had (enough already !)

Afterwards it was just a matter of clearing up and getting rid of the smell of white spirit. I then cooked some minted lamb chops which changed the kitchen back to its usual purpose. Amazing what can be created in a small space one rainy afternoon…………

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso


old stuff from the eighties

For ages I have had a box of slides of old work that I did after I left art college and it was work that I thought I could maybe be a bit more realistic and relevant with.  Recently I found a cheap machine that puts the slide images on to the computer. The slides were a bit dirty and dusty and the images a little jaded but it was fun to see the work and remind me of that time. I don’t think any of these works exist any more, maybe a couple do but there is a small story behind each one……



This was an old jeweler who worked at the back of a tiny shop in Gilmore Place. His son worked at the front of the shop and he let me take some pictures of his father when I asked if I could. He seemed to work in quite a dim and cluttered area but I was pleased with the image and I painted it oil on board and got it framed.This was mid 1980’s. I didn’t prime the board and the colours eventually went darker I remember….I think I was too shy to ever show them the painting so it stayed in my house stacked somewhere.



This was an actual commission I got to do a pastel portrait of someone’s five year old son, pastel on sugar paper I think. They seemed to be pleased with it but I should think this child is a grown up now…..



This is a piece I did still at college inspired by a trip to Venice. This was oil on canvas and I remember consciously using a more chunky style of brushwork.

So three very random pieces of work which all they have in common is a personal trip down memory lane……. 🙂

one shot two ways

As I walked past this house in Milan I could not help but wonder why someone had gone to so much trouble to paint the perfect shutters on the wall. I was quite intriqued.I was pacing along and couldn’t really stop long so took a full shot trying to get the whole scene in from across the road.


Then I took the second shot  which was to kind of reinforce the first shot and a zoom in on the neatly painted shutters. No works of art but presumably broke up what someone had thought was a bit of a boring wall.


All very clean and neat. A tromp l’oeil……



This framed drawing that I did in 1992 sits gathering dust in amongst other framed stuff that gets no wall space.

It is my son at the age of two and I used three colours of charcoal pencil.

I thought at the time maybe I would show it and do more pictures like this but it was quite hard work and that is good if you are doing the picture of someone you know and want to capture. I think I must have reworked the eyes about three times til I got it just right. It’s always the eyes that seem to give a person that individual distinction. Well, usually anyway.


I suppose it would have been nice to have done a lot more portraits of the children as their faces changed and got older but I never got around to that somehow. (photos seemed a little more instant!)


So as it turns out this portrait was more or less a one off!

I like it because it is a rarity in that I actually sat down and focused and put some proper hard work into it,although usually I prefer to work a lttle more fluidly and the shoulder is a little narrow. ( I don’t think the paper was that good as it seems to wrinkling a little……..)

Crowd scene

This painting is going back to 2007

This was the Edinburgh Festival of that year when the streets are just heaving with people performing and walking and watching and busking and anything else. This was outside St Giles cathedral. I don’t remember the specific performance maybe some acrobats but the sea of heads was what I painted and I was  using acrylic ……