Sunday, 29 December 2013

Stopped, rather than finished!

Lara in French windows.  Summer 2013
I have been working on this drawing, on and off, for a month or more.  I am presently weary of looking at it yet continually see touches I could, and probably shall, add to improve the drawing but, for the time being, I shall give it something of a rest.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Back to Paint

I have been distracted from painting for a while now by drawing.  Although it can have been no more than a week or so ago, quite how I came across Tom Nixon and his just started 'Watercolor for Sketchers and Journalers' Facebook page is now a mystery to me.  Nor is it important.  What is important to me is that I have joined in the fun and am now following Tom and his on-line course.  Much of the painting I have done with him thus far has been by way of exercises; necessary but rather tedious stuff.  Beyond completing the exercises Tom invites his 'students' to try something 'freelance' but related to the current exercises.   Here is the first of mine; a portrait study effected in just three values of one colour (Ultramarine Blue):

And here the second, a drawing coloured in an infinite range of tones of mixtures of just two colours - Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Kafeneon at Kaplani

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Yuletide Greetings!

. . . The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney, as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge's time, or Marley's, or for many and many a winter season gone. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see, who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty's horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door. . . . . .

`I am the Ghost of Christmas Present,' said the Spirit. `Look upon me.'

Scrooge reverently did so. It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.”

From, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens 1843

Friday, 6 December 2013

Good News for the Built Heritage of the Balkans

The following three sketches were made from photographs illustrating the text of an essay in the Ancient Monument Society's publication “Transactions”, Volume 52, 2008; ‘The Built Heritage of the Balkans: A Rehabilitation Project’ by John Bold.
Jusuf Maskovic Han (Caravanserai), Vrana, Croatia.  Built 1644/5
Fortified Church of St. Nicholas, Drauseni, Romania. Present building dates from 13th Century
Aladza Mosque, Bosnia and Herzegovinia.  Built 1550/1, destroyed 1992/5.  This beautiful Mosque was completely destroyed by Christian Bosnian Serbs attempting to eradicate all traces of a Muslim Culture in  their country.  The remains of the building, scattered over a mass grave, are presently being recovered and used to restore the Mosque to something of its former glory.

A First!

This is the first drawing I have made on a large sheet of paper, rather than in an A5 sketchbook.  I worked this drawing up from the 'On Location' drawing I made last week of Vasilitsi Church.

Drawn onto 300gm2 Fabriano Acquarello HP paper, size 51 X 35.5 cms with .005 and .02 Pigma Micron Drawing pens and a Pentel Brush Pen.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Drawn from a snapshot taken by my daughter with her iPhone of a spread in her local newspaper (Possibly through a glass window?) concerning a Glossop Fire Service public relations event held in the centre of the town.  Her reason for taking this picture is that the small child hiding in it it is my grand daughter, Poppy.  I liked the strange, Ed Burraish,  quality of this image; the odd perspectives and hazy, non-connectiveness of some of the elements.  I also like the rather anachronistic telephone boxes.

'On Location' at Vassilitsi. 28th November 2013

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sunrise this morning, West Cork, Ireland.

Drawn from a photograph taken and posted to Facebook by marine biologist and principal of Whale Watch West Cork, Nic Slocum.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Le Moulin de Barre

Le Moulin de Barre, Vigoulant, Indre, Central France.  On my way home in October I stayed overnight at this delightful B&B where I was surprised when the owner greeted me in fluent Essex English.  Geoff and Doreen Watkins bought this then derelict mill a dozen years ago, restored it to habitable condition and opened it to paying guests.

Glanmore Lough III

Glanmore Lough II

Glanmore Lough I

Glanmore Lake, near Lauragh, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Le Prieuré

Le Prieuré, Lézigné, France; 260kms east of Roscoff.  In October, I overnighted at this B&B on my home from Ireland.  The building, originally a seminary for nuns, dates from the fifteenth century.


Bridge over a stream between Ardgroom and Lauragh, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Ruin at Drombeg

Ruined building adjacent to the cottage Lisi and I rented at Drombeg, near Ardgroom, Co. Cork.

An Interesting House in Lincolnshire

In September, en-route to Ireland, Lisi and I 'house-sat' this beautiful house, home to Lisi's sister and brother-in-law for many years, while they went on holiday.  The original house is Elizabethan but has been considerably added to and altered through the intervening years between the raising of the original building and now.

On The Healy Pass

The Healy Pass is named after Tim Healy, first Governor General of the Irish Free State.  This scenically magnificent road runs over the mountainous spine of the Beara Peninsular.  This Bridge spans a stream on the steeper northern, scarp face of the crossing.

Liquid and Solid

Edge of land; cliffs near the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry.

Bridge, near Baltimore, Co. Cork

Baltimore Harbour, Co. Cork


The cottage at Drombeg, near Ardgroom, Co. Cork, where Lisi and I spent a fortnight during October.


An attempt to depict sunlight on sea somewhere west of Dingle, Co. Kerry.


An Egret taking off over a flock of sheep at Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve near Boston, Lincolnshire.


When I first saw these birds, an adult and a juvenile, at the side of the road running along the coast west of Dingle, they were being enthusiastically fed with bread by a carload of Israeli tourists.


A segull silhouetted against a cloudy sky somewhere along the coast road west of Dingle, Ireland; an attempt to render in ink a cloudy sky.


Cabin cruiser moored at Cleanderry Harbour, Near Ardgroom, Co. Cork, Ireland; an exercise to render reflections on water.

The French Alps

The Alps seen from Les Houches, France; an exercise to try to record mist on the mountain.

Village house at Lézigné, France

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Abandoned farm building beside the restored farmhouse I am renting here near Ardgroom, Co Cork.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

21st May

That there have been no posts here for a number of weeks does not mean that I have been idle; there are drawings to be scanned or photographed and copied to here.  Presently I am on holiday in Ireland where I spent yesterday being instructed by painting tutor Barry Dawkes at 'West Cork Watercolour'.  During the course of the very satisfying day I produced these two paintings.