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Tuesday 10th January 2017My Palette


I use a very limited palette and the colours are: Winsor Blue – both red and green shade, Winsor Lemon or Cadmium Yellow (pale) and Permanent Rose. This works well for me and most colours can be mixed from them. Other colours I may use are: Winsor and Newton Neutral Tint, Vandyke Brown, Sepia and Burnt Umber. I also use Rembrandt watercolours and Maimeri – they are very vibrant and great for bright, sunlit scenes.


Whatever brand of paint I use, I still stick to a limited palette. One of the teaching sessions I enjoy most is exploring the range and richness of shades that combining colours makes possible.


Posted on January 10th 2017 on 12:37pm

Sunday 08th January 2017Original Wallpaper Company and the Big Brother House

You never know what a new year will bring. Last month, I selected several of my paintings to be used by the Original Wallpaper Company as wall art. Another Original Wallpaper Company artist, pop artist Jacquie Boyd, has her work displayed right now in the 'Celebrity Big Brother' house.
I look forward to seeing my wallpaper in due course - and to seeing which houses it will live in in 2017. 

Posted on January 08th 2017 on 01:13pm

Thursday 15th December 2016 My Techniques

Visitors to the gallery are curious about how I collect and manage my ideas for my paintings and work on them, so I've decided to write a series of short blogs in response so that visitors to my website can read about different techniques.
This is the first - I hope it's of interest. 
Collecting Ideas 
I use a camera to record the various places I visit and it is a vital tool for the kind of paintings I produce. From this, I will produce a drawing – often on tracing paper as I find the paper surface can be damaged with rubbing out and this is only evident when the paint is applied. I work out the composition of the painting and then carefully trace it down. I will then do a detailed drawing of the scene in pencil before starting to paint it.




The washes are built up in delicate layers, starting with the largest and lightest areas first, then on to the smaller and darker parts of the painting. This process can take many weeks and sometimes months to do and the painting will only come off the drawing board when I am completely satisfied with it.




The application of many washes can soften the initial pencil drawing so I often have to strengthen it at certain stages of working on the painting. I may decide to use waterproof ink to make the lines sharp and clear. Sometimes I will use brown or sepia ink for the reeds and grasses or for the bare branches of trees.

Posted on December 15th 2016 on 10:40am

Thursday 03rd November 2016Stanley Burn Winter Show

I’m celebrating my first Christmas with the gallery open to the public by showing my new painting of Stanley Burn, Prudhoe. I am quite delighted at how things have gone so far, and as a direct result of opening the gallery, I have had my best year ever for selling my paintings, which has far exceeded my expectations.


Almost two centuries after Turner painted Prudhoe Castle and the Tyne River, I am releasing a new collection, led by a riverside Prudhoe scene of Stanley Burn, Prudhoe. I’m also considering painting a series of Stanley Burn watercolours in different seasons in the future.


The painting will be showing in the gallery alongside a Druridge Bay seascape; a watercolour of the North Pennines, ‘Green Door, Riddlehamhope,’ and a new Windows series print, ‘Cobwebs’. There is also has a range of prints, cards, calendars, posters, mugs and books displayed for sale, featuring my paintings - and several other original watercolours on show.


The gallery opened officially in March and I started working from there earlier. 2016 has been busy. I was invited to exhibit with the Royal Watercolour Society in London and sold my exhibition landscape. I was featured in a series of pieces on China Radio International and have been working on a range of interesting private commissions. Also, I teach painting in watercolour and oils to small groups of students in the gallery.


See the show in my gallery at 45, Front Street, Prudhoe – free entry, of course - from 28th November.

Posted on November 03rd 2016 on 10:46am

Tuesday 29th March 2016Feedback on Gallery Opening

Thank you to those of you who came along to my gallery opening at the weekend - I couldn't have asked for a better crowd of people and the atmosphere was fantastic. There was some lovely press coverage, including this interview with David Whetstone in the Journal newspaper.  http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/clean-sheets-fine-art-former-11098051 There was a great turnout of new and old friends, neighbours and art lovers (and the party went on until the small hours).  A fantastic day and night.

The gallery is now open Monday to Saturday.

Posted on March 29th 2016 on 03:05pm

Friday 18th March 2016Official Opening Event Almost Here - 26th March

 Reminder - Official Opening of Paul Stangroom Fine Art Gallery

The 26th is nearly here and we're getting ready for the opening of the gallery. Ellie, Alison's granddaughter, will be officially opening the gallery for us at 2 and the gallery will be open from noon (45 Front Street, Prudhoe NE42 5DB). I look forward to raising a glass with you!

'Wall Fell Farm' Watercolour

'Wall Fell Farm' is a painting of one of the many derelict farm buildings in Northumberland. Wall Fell Farm caught my eye from the Military Road, near Heaven's Field. I went to investigate it several times before it looked perfect to paint - one stormy, wet night when the light lit up the building. That's what I tried my best to capture.

A window I'll be painting soon has a similar story. I visited an old farm on Sipton Shield, Allendale, in both autumn and spring. I'm torn between the spring view from the window, with blossom just starting to touch the branches, and the autumn view, when the branches were bowed with plums (which Alison and I picked and brought home). I think it'll be the autumn scene that I'll paint.


Hope to see you in the gallery on the 26th.

Posted on March 18th 2016 on 03:56pm

Friday 19th February 2016Your Personal Invitation to the Official Opening of the Gallery, 26th March

Welcome! Alison and I are now settled into the gallery and our home. The beautiful and celebrated Ellie, aged 3, Alison's dear granddaughter, will be officially opening the gallery for us on 26th March at 2pm and you are invited to come along. The gallery will be open from noon (45 Front Street, Prudhoe NE42 5DB). I very much hope to see you there..

I have also had good news from the Royal Watercolour Society this month. 
Please come along to celebrate the opening of my gallery with me - just mention this February blog as you come in.

We decided to have Alison's granddaughter Ellie open the gallery as it is a family and friends celebration through and through. I would love to see you there.
The Royal Watercolour Society have chosen my watercolour 'Shooting Lodge' to be exhibited in their 2016 exhibition. The shooting lodge is nestled in the fells, between Stanhope and Blanchland, and my painting will be exhibited in London  from 4-16 March this year, so call in to see it if you're in the capital. Prints are for sale on my website.

Monday 16th November 2015Your Prudhoe Christmas Lights/Gallery Invitation, 27th November



This is your invitation to join us here in the gallery at 45 Front Street, Prudhoe, on 27th November. Only one front room will be open, as we are still working on the rest of the gallery, but we are very keen to welcome you in. I will be there all day and into the evening. There will a real buzz around Prudhoe for the switching on of the lights, so please come along to say hello.

Other major news is that China Radio International has taken an interest in my work and begun to promote me on their national radio station.

I will be in the gallery all day on Friday 27th November to welcome you. The Spechells Christmas fair starts at 3pm and there will be craft stalls, Santa, face painting and a hog roast.  The lights will be switched on at 6 and between 5 and 6 there will be complimentary mulled wine and mince pies from the Co-op - and Santa and crafts.

I look forward to seeing you in the gallery. 

I am really pleased to have been approached recently by China Radio International about my work. China's national radio station prides itself on introducing China's fine art to the rest of the world. In my case, they have approached me with a view to sharing my work within China and also with a wider international audience. My work will also be on shown on their website, alongside the radio transmission 
This is an exciting opportunity for me and I have been happy to supply the radio station with images of my paintings, a copy of my book and details of my career to date. This is a new experience for me and I am very much enjoying working with the radio station so far.

While we are finishing off the gallery, the Jiggery Pokery in Mickley has kindly offered to stock my prints, paintings and books. It's a great place to browse, with a cafe, furniture, food counters, crafts, books, antiques and much more on hand to explore. Jacqui, who runs the cafe, food and furniture areas, chose a range of prints to show and two originals, so call in and browse if you are passing or eating there.




Posted on November 16th 2015 on 01:39pm

Thursday 09th July 2015'Belmount Farm' Watercolour and the 'Blanchland Murder.'

 Belmount Farm
This original watercolour co
mes with a gory and murderous story alongside of it. I waited 30 years to paint Belmount Farm - I needed to capture this gently crumbling building in the right light and weather conditions. Despite the adders I always saw in the grass when I called there, and the remote location near Huntstansworth, I am drawn to the building. It has an almost continental feel to it, and a warmth, and I can imagine myself living there.
So I was surprised to read that on New Year's Day 1880, an extremely bloody murder took place there - the 'Blanchland Murder.'  Robert Snowball, the master of the house, was hit in the head from behind, so brutally that his teeth were knocked out and the hammer was half embedded in his skull. No one was ever convicted of the murder, though his elderly father, housekeeper Jane Barron and her beau were all questioned.
This shocking murder has left, for me, no residue of trauma in the building – and I was blissfully ignorant of all this at the time that I visited the house and as I was painting the watercolour. I feel it’s a peaceful painting and landscape, despite this bloody blot on the history of the house.

Posted on July 09th 2015 on 11:59am

Thursday 21st May 2015Teaching in Correze - Towers, A Locked Library and an Addams Family Window.

Teaching in Correze held a few surprises for me this May. The teaching was the main purpose of the trip - my sixth visit to this beautiful area of France. Staying in the stunning Chateau de Beaufort is always good for a twist or two in the tale - in the shape of a 'secret' library this time. I find doors, windows and ... bread ovens in every corner when I travel - and this May, I found a couple of candidates!
The primary reason for my visit was that I have a longstanding teaching arrangement in the village, La Roche Canillac. Kevan Myers, a British poet now living in France, is just one of a group of people in La Roche who is working hard to make this beautiful village an arts' magnet and my teaching is a part of that mission. My courses were well attended by French, Dutch, American and English students, I enjoyed working with them, and it’s possible I’ll be back there in August of this year. It was interesting that Kevan chose a painting of High Force to promote the watercolour course – an iconic Teesdale scene that is very dear to me personally.


I was also lucky enough to meet the director of the Rive Gauche gallery in nearby Tulle who took a liking to my Northumbrian originals and took eight of them to display, and also some of my Indian prints.


One of the highlights of my visit was that I got to stay in the stunning Chateau de Beaufort near to the salle polyvalente where I was teaching in La Roche. With a swimming pool, lake nearby and an almost secret, locked library in its tower, it was a superb place to stay in and to explore.


Another highlight was that I found two windows and a bread oven near to the village that would be perfect for me to paint, so I returned several times to get photographs of them at different times. I never change the interiors I discover, but I do take many photographs to ensure that both colour and light are ripe to show the window, door or oven at its best. The bread oven has been used thousands of times by villagers, which has created a worn and wonderful patina I'd love to capture. And one window reminds me of the 1960s Addams Family TV series, it's so festooned in spiders’ webs. - a painting waiting to happen.


Wonder if I’ll have captured it on paper by the time I return?




Posted on May 21st 2015 on 03:42pm
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