Sunday, 23 November 2014


'Pasture' oil 9x12
Finalist in the International Artist Magazine Landscape Competition and now featured in a one page article in the Dec/Jan issue of the magazine. It is available at the West End Gallery in Victoria

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


I am pleased to learn that my painting, Spring is Coming, is a finalist in the Raymar Competition:

Spring is Coming, oil, 18x24

I first painted this subject in watercolour and wanted to see what I could do with it in oil.  It has been
 through several stages. At first I had decided to leave out the hedge and fence which were in the original watercolour and just allow the road to lead the eye into the painting but after awhile I felt it really did
need the stronger foreground.  I also had much more red in the mud but toned it down feeling it was
 fighting with the reds in the focal area. Available at Gallery 8, Salt Spring Island  

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


I painted in watercolour for over 30 years and once in awhile I decide that one of my old watercolour compositions might work well in oil.  The original watercolour for the oil below was painted in the mid 1980's.  The subject is a group of rowboats pulled up on the beach in St. Ives, Cornwall.  I have always loved painting old boats and enjoyed trying to capture the transition between dry and wet sand. It worked very well in watercolour and I think I managed to get the same effect with oil. 

Five Small Boats, oil, 18x18


Last week I met with friends to paint at a local beach.  A lovely sunny autumn morning.  Or so we thought.  A few hundred yards from the sea, we hit a wall of fog.  Not quite what we expected but it was very beautiful.  The friend who picked the spot insisted that there were several islands and a shoreline with houses out there in the mist but we couldn't see a thing when we first arrived. 

It was interesting to see what emerged from the mist over the next few hours

Thursday, 11 September 2014


A few years ago I came across an old book by Trevor Chamberlain in which he talks about, and shows photos of, a pochade box he inherited. I love boxes, especially wooden ones, and I fell in love with it. When I showed the book to my friend Sig he was so enthusiastic about it he decided to make one for me.  And one for himself..... and another for his daughter.... by the time the other members of our painting group, the Al Frescoes, saw
the box I reckon he could have gone into business.

This box is perfect for painting in the car - I keep it loaded with small tubes of my primary colours, several chopped off brushes and some 6x8 1/8" panels.  Sometimes I use it outdoors for a quick study, resting it on my knee.

Using my pochade for a rowboat study at the Marina

Sig Pederson, painting with the Al Frescoes

Friday, 15 August 2014


I'm posting a few examples of some drawings and thumbnails and the paintings that followed.  I do a lot of these.  Sometimes just a quick sketch, sometimes a whole pile of thumbnails that often are so scribbly I am the only one who can tell what is happening. I'm just working out a design trying to decide if the idea will work.  They often don't but sometimes I make a painting.....




Thursday, 24 July 2014


We have had some really great weather here in Victoria and I have been out painting a fair bit, sometimes by myself but often with friends.  I can't think of a more enjoyable way to spend a day!  I'm posting some random photos of me - well, actually pics of my easel as I rarely remember to ask someone to get a shot of me painting - and friends and a few of the lovely locations around here.
Oak Bay Marina
Des Bond watching 'master' Ken Faulks
painting a view of Two Tree Island
 Parry Bay with Ken Faulks, Jim McFarland,
 Keith Hiscock and Desiree Bond

Deborah Czernecky and I decide to paint Esquimalt
Lagoon one late afternoon. The wind came up and
nearly blew us away.  Just did a quick 6x8
One morning down at Oak Bay Marina
With Ken Faulks at Willows Beach looking towards Oak Bay Marina
A grey day out on the Peninsula at the top of Martindale Road.
One glorious Sunday morning I went down to Dallas Road
and did this study looking towards Ogden Point.

Out at High Oaks Farm with the Al Frescoes plein air group.
At Clover Point with Ken Faulks, Adam Noonan,
 Jim McFarland and Desiree Bond


Tuesday, 1 July 2014


A week or so ago, Keith Hiscock invited us up to his new place near Crofton for a morning out painting.  Ken Faulks, Desiree Bond, Jim McFarland and I had a tour of Keith's fantastic new studio and then we all headed to a nearby spot Keith had earmarked for us to paint.

Lovely countryside, reasonable weather and good company:

Saturday, 14 June 2014


My painting, Calm Before the Storm, has just won first place in the landscape category in the April/May Plein Air Salon Competition.

This painting was done from a study I started on the spot while on a three month painting trip to Ireland and England.  I just finished blocking it in when the sky turned black and I barely managed to get everything packed up before the torrential rain started.  I finished it later in the studio. 
Block In for Calm Before the Storm

Calm Before the Storm  16x16

Thursday, 29 May 2014


Old boats have always interested me much more than new ones.  The weathered boards and peeling paint and odd bits of rope and cable one often finds around old boats attract me especially in Europe where even large fishing boats are left to tilt over on the sands when the tide goes out making them wonderful painting subjects.  

Rowboats left on beaches are particularly interesting but not easy to find around Victoria, BC.  Most small boats have been dragged safely away from the water and overturned to keep out the rain.  That’s why this one, at Oak Bay Marina, is a favourite because it’s owner leaves it sitting on the beach just like this.
Blue Rowboat  24x24  
I often paint at the Marina but this painting was done in the studio. I rearranged the scene a fair bit to suit my composition; the background boats are from another part of the Marina and the rock has been resized and moved over.

Colour wise I took the violets and blue greys of the foreground and repeated them in a simplified value pattern in the background boats.   

This painting was selected for third prize in the January BoldBrush Competition and has just been juried into the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition to be held in Carmel, California.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Several more of the little ones.  Some of these are on the Daily Paintworks auction:

Beside the Path  oil  6x8
I have walked by this field many times in all seasons
and times of day. Love this light.
Blue and White   oil   6x8  
This is a composite of several watercolours painted in
  St Ives and Padstow in Cornwall, two of my favourite places.

The Rambler's Rest Pub  oil  6x6   
I believe this is the narrowest pub in Britain.  I love
winter trees and long shadows.

Sunday, 27 April 2014


I love painting the little ones, the 6x8's and 6x6's. So much freedom and fun in them where one brush stroke can represent so much.  Love them.  These below are some that I have/had in auctions on Daily Paintworks.

Early Spring  oil  6x6  
I was attracted by the colour combination of
orange, blue and violet.  The touches of yellow
and red really set it off.

From the Paddock   oil   6x6 
To paint this I had to stand equal distance from the
paddock on either side otherwise a nosy horse
would be upsetting my painting gear. 

One Small Boat   oil   6x6 
Rowboats are one of my favourite subjects
 and something about this one in St Ives is
 especially appealing.   

Fishing Boat in Rye   oil   6x6 
In England boats are left on the sand or mud
when the tide goes out.  They are so appealing
as subjects with all the ropes and cables and
shadows on wet sand. 

Friday, 18 April 2014


 All through the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s I worked in watercolour and, as I was living in England at the time, my  subjects were streetscenes and landscapes in England, France, Italy, Spain and Crete. I was always attracted  first by the light and then by the interesting textures of old stone, brick peeling paint and plaster. 
 Now, in my oils, I still want to get the light but I try to simplify things and let brushwork suggest details