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Thursday, 27 August 2015

WINTER IN THE PARK - work from earlier in 2015

These are part of a series of semi abstract works, still in progress, coming directly from my times drawing in Parc Parmentier, Brussels..  I am pleased so far.
Thoughts anyone?  
There are bigger ones on the way. All for sale eventually, prices yet to fixed.

 Ice , frost, fallen leaves etc, being very cold, sitting on a bench, drawing

detail of a bigger, A3, drawing. Charcoal on textured gesso on paper

no 1.  20 x 20 cm   watercolour on gesso on canvas board

no 2    20 x 20 cm   watercolour on gesso on canvas board

no 3  20 x 20 cm   watercolour on gesso on canvas board

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


 I have been having a bit of a thing with two sweet red peppers today.  Not an intimate thing nor am I  going to cook them ,  well not yet!  I just love their shiny firm shape and their glowing colour

one page of an A6 sketch book. Noodler's Ahab pen and Noodler's ink

this time a double page spread in the same book , 
does the one on the right look a little like a naked woman sculpture?

same size book, double page spread. watercolour,a bit of gouache and a Pentel ink brush pen..  I think there might be the genesis of a painting or two here?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

GIN AND T(omato?)

We have been very busy the last few days. Either hiding from the heat or gardening but I have found time for a few little pictures.

These very quick mini portraits of a lime, bound for my G & T are in very small pocket sketch books. One drawn with a Noodler's fountain  pen and ink the others in watercolour with a Pentel water brush, , the last with a few marks with a Pentel black brush pen.

First there were five (vine ripened!) tomatoes on my white plastic studio table top, Then we ate two and the remaining three took refuge in a terracotta plate on the same table.
A5 cartridge paper with a red acrylic ground, left over from some work i was doing last summer.  Gouache and watercolour

Friday, 21 August 2015


Last summer I wrote on renovations to the house opposite. It was eventually let, for a short while, to a young family, who were waiting for their own new house to be ready. In July they flew to pastures new and two huge pantechnicons arrived to take away their belongings.  I did this drawing to show what is a feature of removals here in Brussels and quite new to me - but then I am a provincial country boy! They have a sort of cross between a fireman's ladder and a lift which hoists boxes and furniture, some of it huge, up the outside of the building.

Shortly after we went back to England for a week to celebrate a big birthday for my inamorata and on returning we found the new occupants had moved in..  There are, as yet, no blinds or curtains so the whole edifice is visible. It is like a huge fishtank. So we have Christened the new resident Mr. Finn. We watch him making coffee, eating his breakfast, watching TV ( but not dressing or bathing) and, most often, sitting at the table. (are there any armchairs in the house?) all the while gazing it seems at a laptop. He is either Skyping his wife and children in Finland or, like me, is struggling to install his Windows 10 upgrade!  Mine works a treat now!

A few evenings ago the very hot weather brought on thunder storms and, for several hours, the sky darkened and, over the city, you could see the lightning flashing. Mr F leapt up, fearing rain and gusty winds and tore around the house closing all the windows but leaving all the lights on.  Here he is, a few minutes later, with the whole house lit up like a stage set, whilst he got back to calling Helsinki or where ever.
Some times he goes outside to listen to music in his white BMW

Monday, 13 July 2015


It has been a lean time for me lately for art and painting, Neither have I posted here for a long time.  But now, back in Brussels for a while, things are looking up, Although perhaps not for the unlucky Greeks who spent all last night in conference with their creditors just down the road!

I went for a walk two days or so ago, a slightly cooler day, down the hill to see my Shangri-La, Parc Parmentier, and was not disappointed. On the way there I walked, as usual, through a restful little garden connecting two streets and, to my delight, found this beautiful graffiti on the back rests of two benches and was spell bound. 

In fact the benches are black and the text is white and the hedge is longer and the seats are further apart.  I had, in an empty state of mind, left my sketching things at home but I had my camera. So I took a quick snap, well two actually to fit in all  as a panorama and produced this edited vision when I returned

I was so happy when, eventually, I reached the park, which was as beautiful and tranquil as ever,  that I took  lots of photos as visual notes. I prefer to draw in situ but this was different.  There are already four paintings coming together and one or two  may be OK. I will show them here  later maybe.
But, on the moment, I am so grateful for the visionary who wrote those words and lifted my heart

Sunday, 11 January 2015


It is five months since I last sat here, with my lap top, to write a blog post. Time to take up the quill again?

I have done only a little painting since then. I quite like a few pictures I made of Parc Parmentier in October. This is a detail of one of them , in a looser style than those I showed in Art Week. The sun is getting lower, some of the trees have leaves still but some are fallen......

water colour, charcoal and pencil on paper

Christmas over, I travelled again to Belgium  on New Years Eve.  Mostly sitting around eating drinking and reading and visiting family. But mostly luxuriating in being with Lutje again after two and half months!  And sleeping a lot! Is it being almost 76 ?
Just a little drawing to get used to being  back, upstairs, in the studio.  Looking in a shaving mirror on  an easel this is what i saw

Two very rapid ink sketches on paper. Noodlers pen and Noodlers ink

A day or two later, on Facebook, I was nominated by an artist friend, Alison Jacobs, to take up the challenge of producing a black  and white photo a day for five days.  Maybe the drawings above made me take a "selfie" for the first one?
Alison's images are made with her iPad. I have only a little Nexus tablet with no camera facing outwards.  This was made and modified in the nexus,  later I  may use a camera.  I shall probably post them here as well or you can find them on my Facebook page