Painting in the times of the Corona virus

These are very unusual times. How quickly the safety and comfort of knowing what life will look like tomorrow (pretty much the same as today and yesterday) have disappeared.

As so many people I know seem to be doing, I stay at home most of the time. Perhaps I go out in the early mornings, when nobody else is around yet. But the rest of the day is taken up with doing things at home. For those, like me, who are in the very lucky position not to have the acute fear of losing our jobs, our homes or even worse, it’s not so bad. It’s worrying and inconvenient, but not paralysing.

And I’m luckier still by living in a place where nature is not too far away. There is the beach. There are trees. I can see the sky (now no longer intersected by dozens of contrails). It makes a huge difference: being able to take a deep breath and smell the damp earth, the plants, and the salty breeze.

It seems, art and craft are having their hey-day at the moment. Try and buy art supplies online, and you’ll find “out of stock” a lot. “Expected back in three months’ time.” So, time to fish out some old charity shop finds, like a huge print (on some sort of plastic foil over a stretcher frame) of a magenta coloured flower in close-up. Just the thing to experiment with, since that’s what I bought it for. Watching far too many Youtube videos, I came across Gerda Lipski, a German artist who creates a lot of texture in acrylics and gets amazing effects.

I used thin glazes of acrylic colour, alcohol, cling film, more alcohol, water drops and sprays, more cling film,… and eventually got a nice complex texture. Turning the canvas round and round to see if any of the shapes created might remind me of something, that I then could go and make more obvious, all I saw was an off-centre blob. And all that blob reminded me of was a jellyfish.

I just couldn’t see anything else in it, and so I gave up looking and went with jellyfish. With some more glazes (this time more controlled and with smaller brushes), sharper lines, a bit more alcohol and by adding light and shadow, I eventually got a jellyfish out of my random textures with blob.

Jellyfish, 70 x 70 cm

I think he (he? do jellyfish even have genders? I have to read up on that…) came out quite okay. Maybe quite a good antidote for the slight mopey-ness that has a tendency to creep in these days? He already has a new home: someone who has a large, so far empty wall will hopefully enjoy him!

A new exhibition at Carlton Dental Practice!

From today, a set of four new landscape paintings are decorating the walls of Carlton Dental Practice. Peter Farrell and his staff there are the friendliest people you could ever meet, and have welcomed their new interior decoration with open arms.

This time, I decided to stick with representational landscape painting of both the local area and one painting of a view in Southern Bavaria towards the Alps.

Ilkahöhe is an elevation on the Western bank of the Starnberger Lake in Southern Bavaria, from which on clear days a large part of the Northern chain of the Alps can be seen. This painting depicts such a view in late summer, when the grasses are turning yellow and there is a lot of sailing activity on the lake. (Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 40 in, £960)

Elder tree on a summer day. I walked past this elder tree one midday in summer. It was warm and there was no one around other than the insects and birds. Everything green seemed very alive, and time somehow seemed to have disappeared. That elder tree was the inspiration for this painting. (Acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 60 cm, £380)

North Wales Dusk. Sometimes the sea takes on a bright turquoise colour at sunset, which appears shinier than anything around it. The land disappears in shades of purple and blue. The view from Hoylake beach over to the Welsh hills on such an evening inspired this picture. (Acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 60 cm, £380)

Tide Turning. Sometimes the water reflects the sky so perfectly that one needs a horizon line to tell which is which. The flatness of Hoylake beach often produces such still surfaces, interspersed with sandbanks. (Acrylic on Canvas Board, 16 x 20 in, £250)

All these paintings are available for sale and can be seen in person at Carlton Dental Practice in Hoylake. Here is their website. Though now, due to Covid-19, it is necessary to call them first.

A Fish for the Fish Shop

The lovely people at the Fish Shop in Hoylake (Hoylake Fisheries on Market Street) have put a painting of mine in the window! Appropriately, it’s a painting of a fish. A Norwegian Bass, to be precise, since they have a very attractive red colour and are just an all-round beautiful animal! I made it specially for them, since they wanted something themed. This painting took me quite a long time to make, with lots of layers in the background and in the fish, but I think it’s alright now, and I’m reasonably pleased with it.

Painting of a Norwegian Bass fish

Hello world! … and an exhibition space

Yes, hello world! This is the very first blog post on this site, and so has a special status. Acupuncturefirst in Heswall have very kindly offered me their brand new walls as exhibition space for some of my paintings! I am very excited about that and hope that they may contribute to the calming and healthy atmosphere that this acupuncture clinic conveys. They will also be available for purchase there. Here is what can be found there:

small abstract painting in blues orange golden and white

A-18-09-4 / 20cm x 20cm, £50, acrylic painting on canvas, signed in front and on the back

A-18-09-5 / 20cm x 20cm, £50, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the back

A-18-09-6 / 20cm x 20cm, 50, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the back

A-18-09-7 / 20cm x 20cm, £50, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the back

A-18-09-8 / 20cm x 20cm, £50, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the back


And also three larger paintings:

A-18-09-1 (Mountain Landscape) / 60cm x 80cm, £350, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the front

A-18-09-2 (Swing and Curve) / 60cm x 80cm, £350, acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the front

A-18-09-3 (Out of Somewhere) / 60cm x 80cm, £350 (sold), acrylic painting on canvas, signed on the front