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Monday, 29 December 2014

Temptation according to Mae West

This painting is the result of thinking about Oscar Wilde's quote on temptation. " I can resist anything but temptation "
Mae West said something similar " I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it "
Then of course there is Adam and Eve!
Nothing is new under the sun so the title of this painting is ' The Same Old Story '
Painting size 20" x  20" Acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Weakness for Werthers

I can resist anything except temptation. So said Oscar Wilde!

Like my father before me I have a weakness for toffees. Unable to keep to just one I never keep them in the house. However in an effort to sabotage my manly figure my cousin bought me some for Christmas. Here is evidence of the shameful result, a whole bag in one sitting!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas everyone. Don't overdo it!!

Fortunately couldn't get this bottle back to England. This photo was taken on one of our French cycling trips and is at Cahors. I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. May the world work towards reconciliation and the ending of violence.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Wood Spirits

Do you ever feel the life in the trees, lakes and forests? Do you feel the energy? You are never alone. Can you see the nature spirits dancing round these two young lovers in my painting?

For sale on

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Lake Isle of Innisfree W B Yeats

This poem by W B Yeats was on my mind when painting this. I was listening to Mike Scots fantastic CD ' An Evening with Mr Yeats ' on which he adds music to Yeats poetry. This poem invokes the vision of a cottage by Lake Innisfree. Maybe my cottage is a bit grander than the cabin in the poem but I hope my painting captures the spirit of peace.
Here are the first few lines.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

Do look up the rest or buy Mike Scots CD.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Albert Einstein on Technology

Albert Einstein said " It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity "
He said this long before smart phones and facebook of course. I wonder what he would have made of social media which is routinely used to bully, exhort acts of violence and reinforce simplistic prejudices?
We as humans have the choice to use technology for good or bad. I give thanks to all those who choose the former.
I was thinking all this while painting this peaceful picture! Is that a happy dog I see in it?

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Path Again

When I am in between inspirational direction and am not sure what to paint next I come back to this path through the woods. I like the composition but never get it quite right. I always feel there is a great painting in this scene. Maybe I will get it right someday!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

More art to cheer up a dull winter day. My semi abstract on stretched canvas. Size 91cm wide x 60cm high. Ready to hang. View more paintings on Saachiart.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Brightness on a Dull Day

I was feeling a little down today having spent four hours at a speed awareness course. I was caught speeding at 3 mph over the speed limit!

So to cheer myself up produced this colourful abstract. Felt more into the Christmas spirit afterwards. Acrylic ink on paper.

Monday, 3 November 2014

A New Path

This is my first painting since moving back to Norfolk so it is appropriate that I painted a path symbolizing a new direction. Actually I come back to this subject time and time again. I think I have restless spirit that is intrigued by what might be round the next corner.

Today I went for a gentle cycle ride to a gorgeous country pub with my friend Jeff to celebrate his birthday. We had a splendid ride through lovely lanes and the trees are turning the beautiful colours depicted in my painting.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Meeting of the Riff Rafia at 70th

Jeff opening cards and presents
 Quite a few of my loving disfunctional family were present at Jeff's 70th bithday meal. Jeff, the partner of my ex wife Jo said it was like a meeting of the Mafia. Rachel my step daughter said it was more like a gathering of the Riff Rafia! .

Also present.My son Julian and partner Vicky with children Ben, Jayden and Isla, Jeff's son Philip and his two boys. Rachel's husband Andrew and their son Teddy plus dog Charlie. Andrew had to eat in the courtyard as the dog couldn't come inside!
My lovely grandchildren

Myself with Jeff

Julian and Vicky

Jeff with Jo


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Summer Light

It's Autumn now but this painting is my attempt to capture the intensity of a late summer sun and shadow. I also took a photo of the scene ( see previous post ) so you can see my interpretation is not exact. Artistic licence!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bridge over river Bure

I have been rather preoccupied lately to do much painting but have almost finished painting this scene The photo was taken in August and is of a bridge over the river Bure near Oxnead church and hall. It captures the strong contrast between light and dark which I so love as a painter. Perhaps I love it so much as a metaphor of the human condition?

Scottish Referendum

I was wrong. I thought the Yes side would sneak a narrow victory ( see my previous post ) but in fact the No side won.. Now Facebook and Social Media are continuing the arguments! I would like to see Yes and No voters coming together in a spirit of reconciliation otherwise we will perpetuate the bitterness and resentment so much in evidence.Facebook and Social Media can be wonderful but is often used to bully and insult anybody with differing views. Please stop.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Goodbye Scotland my love

All my life I have loved Scotland visiting practically every year. For the last five years it has been my home too.

I take my hat off to Alex Salmond surely one of the most consumate politicians in my life time.

From the very start he has out manoeuvred the opposition. The very wording on the ballot paper immediately has negative connotations by voting No. Yes sounds so much more positive.

The length of the campaign has given lots of time to work on whipping up grievances and injustices imposed by the auld enemy. You would almost think Scotland has been occupied by a merciless army rather that being in a benign and mutually beneficial union with the rest of the United Kingdom.

He has created a whole army of new swear words which are articulated with real venom as often as possible. Top of the list of course is ' Tories ' closely followed by BBC, Metropolitan Press,Big Business, David Cameron, Team Westminster, London etc etc.

He has persuaded practically all voters that they never got the government they voted for. A total lie. The majority of Scottish voters voted for the last Labour Government. There are still over 50 Labour MPs in the PRESENT  parliament and only a handful of SNP MPs!! He has made voters believe the NHS is in danger off privatisation when in fact it is controlled by Scottish devolved powers. Another total lie.

On North Sea oil I often wonder how it has been accepted as Scottish oil when the waters around the United Kingdom were considered to be just that, United Kingdom waters. On that basis the oil belongs to Wales too. The SNP started claiming it as Scottish from the moment it was discovered. Shetland may now decide to become another country and claim oil! But the oil is controversial so I won't get into how much is left.

Alex has also persuaded voters that all the promises can be funded without raising taxation and that no public sector cuts could happen. Again I won't go into it or the currency issue. Everybody believes what they want to believe.

What has REALLY disturbed me is the bad feeling and sometimes downright hatred all this has generated and it will not go away. If there is a yes vote as seems likely the aftermath will be very ugly. When the SNP doesn't get all it wants in the two years of negotiations it will be another opportunity to blame it all on the English. Actually polls show an overwhelming majority of English, Welsh and Northern Irish want Scotland to remain in the Union. I wonder how they will feel if told to Sod Off? I wonder also what the ( as seems likely ) half of the Scottish electorate who vote no will feel about coming out of the Union on a tiny majority? Of course in the event of a NO vote we will have to go through this all again until we give the right answer.

As for me, like a lover who has been rejected, I hope you leave.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Buxton Mill. Norfolk. Stormy sky. Sunlit foreground.

Aristotle said. " The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance"

For me the significance of this painting is the marvellous heartwarming conversation I had with a young man while painting it. He was so positive about life and was totally inspiring.
Do you love these wonderful chance encounters?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A Girl Needs Her Handbag

Isla my granddaughter with her protective brothers on holiday at Wells next the Sea Norfolk. Leaving the handbag was not an option!

Below. Can I play in the mud too?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sold from The Loft Restaurant

The Five Sisters of Kintail the mountains overlooking Loch Duich Scotland were the subject of this recently sold painting.

Friday, 8 August 2014

My Favourite Painting Sold

Retreat Cottage in Summer was my favourite painting of my seasonal quartet and has been sold from The Nicholson Building Gallery in Forres. The owner of the gallery Graham has bought Retreat Cottage in Autumn so only Spring and Winter are left now.

Retreat Cottage in Winter is on display at Picture This Gallery in Inverness and Retreat Cottage in Spring can be seen at The Loft Restaurant near Kinloss.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Exhibiting at Cordy Hedge Gallery

 These three semi abstracts have been accepted for exhibition at the Cordy Hedge Gallery at Logie Steading, Near Forres, Morayshire. If you like abstract art this gallery is essential viewing.

My three paintings are titled ( in descending order ) River Bank the Abode of Ratty,
Mystic Flow and White Goddess. All framed with matching red frames. £395.00 each

Monday, 4 August 2014

Socrates said " The unexamined life is - - -

Socrates said " The unexamined life is not worth living and the unlived life is not worth examining."
As someone who meditates daily I have done more than my fair share of navel gazing. Taking time to examine our mental volitions as they relate to our lives is a useful habit.
However it is important to experience new challenges either creative, physical or intellectual to continue to have something to examine.
I am exploring abstract or semi abstract paintings at the moment. I didn't have much enthusiasm for abstract painting before but have suddenly become excited with what is arising out of the depths of my subconscious.
This painting is called ' Infinite Space ' and is 90cm x 90cm and can be viewed at The Nicholson Building Gallery, St Cathrines Road, Forres.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Spare Paint. Not a problem for Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages is a famous painter from France, so famous that he was visited by president Hollande recently. Monsieur Soulages uses only black paint so if he has paint left over he just starts another canvas!
As for me? Well I always miscalculate and have paint left over. Rather than totally waste it I decided to slap it on canvas to create abstracts. This painting is titled ' Spare Paint '
Of course is could be argued it would have been better to waste the surplus paint?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Mark Rothko. If imitation is flattery!!

Mark Rothko said "It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism". I don't know what he meant! I don't know what his paintings mean, do you? Anyway this is my abstract. The colours have an emotional resonance to me. Perhaps that is the purpose?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Mystical River Findhorn

This is my painting of the river Findhorn. It's clean waters run dark owing to the upper reaches traversing peat hills on the journey to Findhorn Bay. This gives the river a mysterious and mystical air which I have tried to capture. This was painted near Logie Steading. I may work on it some more but I am not sure. Advice welcome.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

River Derwent. English Lake District

I am fasinated by light and dark contrasts. This is a view of the river Derwent near Castle Crag in the English Lake district.

Size 16" X 16" Oil on canvas

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Four Seasons at Retreat Cottage

 My large paintings of Four Seasons at Retreat Cottage are now on sale at The Nicolson Building Gallery, St Catherines Road, Forres, Moray.The Gallery has been refurbished and now has a pleasant coffee lounge. Exhibiting until 3rd August. Also exhibiting a wonderful collect of Photographs by Jack Martin entitled ' Through the Lens ' The Exhibition starts on Saturday 3rd May. Put it in your diary.
Do give it a look.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A bigger blue

Following the sale of my picture 'Sailing into Blue' at the Moray Art Club exhibition. I thought I would paint another one, but much bigger and in acrylics. This is the result. It is 30" x 30" and can be seen along with some of my other paintings at The Loft, East Grange Farm, Kinloss.
They are in the restaurant and the pottery.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Sailing into Blue

I have put three paintings into The Moray Art Club exhibition at Elgin library. This one titled Sailing into Blue  has been sold. There is still time to see my other two paintings and all the other wonderful exhibits by some very talented artists. It ends this Friday at 8pm so hurry.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Five Sisters of Kintail

My latest mountain painting. This is my second attempt at this range of Scottish mountains. The view is from Ratagan on Loch Duich

60cm x 50cm on stretched canvas.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Nowhere Man

When The Beatles wrote the lyrics to ' Nowhere Man ' they probably didn't intend it to have a deep meaning. Indeed maybe it was a disparaging observation on a life lived without meaning! However there is a wisdom in No Where. There is a wisdom' in Not Going. There is a wisdom in Not Doing.
So many people are on ' a journey ' a journey to find themselves, to find the truth, to become enlightened.
Here in Findhorn we have a constant stream of ' Teachers ' claiming to give answers. Their workshops are well attended and if their methods don't work, well there is another ' way ' on offer by another teacher!
From my observations there is a certain type of deluded egoism at work here. It is fashionable to drop into conversations the revelation that " I am on a journey, I am on the path " Here in Findhorn everybody is on a ' journey ' so endless conversations about the collective ' journey ' take place and reinforce the seekers determination to get ' there '
But where is  there? Where is it?
Actually it is nowhere and it is everywhere. It just is. It is not necessary to follow the latest teachers workshop or Utube video. Save your money and sit. Sit and watch the sea. Sit and contemplate nature, a wonderful sunset, the miracle of a bee and the warmth of the sun. You are part of this. Isn't it enough?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Loch Duich looking towards Eilean Donan Castle

I have just spent a very pleasant weekend on the Scottish West Coast. I was with a large group so had little time to paint. However I did squeeze in this small canvas which was completed in less than one hour.
The view is from Ratagan looking down Loch Duich in the general direction of Eilean Donan Castle and Skye.
Looking the other way the view to The Five Sisters of Kintail ( a mountain range ) was superb but as the wind was rather keen I chose the view down the Loch from a spot sheltered from the wind.
The painting is small for me at only 12" x 12" ( 30cm x 30cm ) so is for sale at a small price. Not yet on my web site so if you would like to buy before it goes on, it is only £30.00

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My Terrible Secret

My terrible secret. My blog was started for the disingenuous purpose of trying to get viewers to visit my art web site  and thereby buy a painting or two. Not sure it is working! However I discovered that if I allowed Google to place ads on my blog and website they would pay me each time you clicked on a advert. Google is very clever and tailors the ads to your likely preferences. Now I am a few pence away from my first pay cheque so keep clicking folks. I will say however that I do enjoy putting my quirky thoughts down as they arise. I hope you sometimes enjoy reading them?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Cullins.Isle of Skye Mountains

After my exhibition I had a painting pause. This is my first painting since then. I finished it today. It is of the magnificent Cullins viewed from Sligachan. It is the same size as all my recent paintings on canvas. That is to say quite big. 24"x 24" or 60cm x 60cm

To view other paintings of this size on canvas go to my web site 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Good Idea. Bad Ideology

How did it come to this?

50% youth unemployment in Spain and Greece. 12% average EU unemployment.

Who can argue against the original objectives of the European Union? A prosperous, voluntary trading bloc of nation states that would put the possibility  of another European war beyond imagination?

However it is difficult to argue now that it has all gone to plan. The vision, especially the Euro has become an ideology!

Ideologies go beyond the rational. If European leaders were rational they would be able to admit the Euro has been a ghastly mistake. A good idea that became an ideology, an ideology that has locked several countries into generational unemployment which is nothing short of criminal.
So instead of the devaluation of their currencies ( as would have happened in the past ) they are forced to adjust by so called internal devaluations, ie. unemployment, cuts, wage reductions, deflation, lower standards of living etc.

These are the conditions which give rise to another ideology, that is to say a rise in far right national parties or the mirror image of the far left.

If only European leaders would have the courage to tell voters it has been a mistake and that a change of direction is necessary they would gain the respect of the electorate.

I doubt this will happen. Ideologies tend to be pursued to the bitter end against all rational criteria. That is what defines an ideology!

Maybe the Euro will survive in spite of the extreme costs. Maybe the rise of the far right will not lead to war, but it is a terrible risk and the people of Europe are paying a terrible price

Saturday, 8 March 2014

T S Elliot

 We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of our exploring 
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time
My favourite quote/poem by T S Elliot. What does this mean to you? Sometimes when I meditate I like to really contemplate something like this. I turn it over in my mind, savour the wisdom, reflect on what it is that I know for the first time. What has my journey taught me? How far have I travelled away from the ultimate knowing before returning to true understanding. Who or what guides and guided me? Was the exploration neccessary at all? Do you have a favourite quote to which you return as a refuge, an anchor in the stormy sea of life?
My painting is of nature spirits. My guides.

Affordable Art

Reflecting on the success of my recent exhibition at Elgin from which I sold nine paintings, I have come to this conclusion. Perhaps it was because my paintings were affordable? Of course I would like to think the buyers recognised my artistic talent! However I priced my work from quite frankly cheap, to reasonably priced. These two paintings were the cheapest and the dearest with the other seven in between. Can you guess which is which!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Heart Break Hotel!

Pensioners would get a 30% reduction at legalised brothels, or would have if the Bus Pass Elvis Party had won the Clifton North, Nottingham, council by election. As it is the Bus Pass Elvis Party beat the Lib Dems who came last! This manifesto pledge is an amusing reflection on current politics and is an antidote to the increasingly divisive Scottish Independence debate. One does wonder where the legalised brothels would be located. Hotels perhaps? If so could they become Heart Break Hotels when pensioners rushing to claim their 30% discount found some things just don't work as well as they used to! With apologies to Gerry Active pensioners especially those still with a smile on their faces!

This story is true. Well you couldn't make it up could you?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Elgin Exhibition ends 28th February

Our Elgin exhibition ends on the 28th February. It has been rewarding with nine sales so far. Thanks for the lovely comments in the comments book and thanks to all who turned out for the preview on a wild wet windy night. Pictured with me is my good friend Brian Anthony.If you didn't get a chance to go you can view my work at