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Thursday 06th September 2018Painting Places

Thank you to the Tyne Valley Express magazine for featuring this interview about the places I paint including Riddlehamhope, a derelict shooting lodge three miles from Blanchland, Durham. It is also a joy to to share the page with friend and artist Carol Davison.
 
 

Posted on September 06th 2018 on 12:18pm
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Friday 20th July 2018Blanchland - from Jaspah Crewe, Blanchland

This is a really interesting blog about the beautiful and historic village of Blanchland. Janice Hutchinson of Jaspah Crewe wrote the blog, copied below. Jaspah Crewe is a shop beside the White Monk Tearoom, just across from the Lord Crewe Arms. Jaspah Crewe stocks my paintings, prints and books and is an eclectic emporium of arts, jewellery, glass, ceramics and cards.
 
 
Blanchland 

The picturesque village of Blanchland (above), set in the glorious landscape of the North Pennines, grew out of Blanchland Abbey and takes its name from the monks’ white habits.

Not Persil-white, apparently; a 15th-century report rebuked the monks for drinking too much beer and told them to get proper haircuts and employ a washerwoman.
 
By the time John Wesley, co-founder of the Methodists, came to preach in 1747, Blanchland was little more than ‘a heap of ruins’.

Today, this greatly loved village is so picture-perfect that TV aerials are banned. Hence its appeal as a film location in period dramas, including Catherine Cookson TV adaptations and the movie Jude, starring Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet. Recently used in the filming of VERA with Brenda Blethyn. 

WHERE TO EAT: Housed in an old school, The White Monk Tearoom serves delicious homemade lunches and teas. Sit in the walled garden in summer 

WHERE TO STAY: The sensitively revamped Lord Crewe Arms, incorporating features of the abbey. 

DON’T MISS: Hadrian’s Wall; walking and cycling (maps available from the Lord Crewe Arms).

SHOPPING Jaspah Crewe: a cooperative of creative members- who make and sell their work and who take turns to work in the shop. Unique gifts from Key Rings to Fine Art. Open 7 days a week 10am -5pm .
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday 05th July 2018Inspirations: Ivan Shishkin – Mast Tree Grove and Dead Forest

I don’t detect paint when I look at Ivan Shishkin’s work, I detect light. The care he has taken is phenomenal. Like Andrew Wyeth, Shishkin could paint light on surfaces beautifully.
 
 
I discovered Shishkin’s work after creating my etching ‘The Pathway’ – and he had been making forest etchings almost 200 years earlier – he was a Russian Itinerant Artist. His work is well crafted and has real integrity and authenticity and the detail he excelled in helped to influence my own paintings, such as ‘Rhododendron’ and ‘Plantation Pathway.’

Thursday 05th July 2018Inspirations: Andrew Wyeth – Wind from the Sea

There’s a certain poignancy to Andrew Wyeth’s work that draws me to it. He’s a supreme technician, working in watercolour and tempura. He can capture the ephemeral fragility of a scene in one frozen moment.
 
 
Wyeth will spend a long time at certain locations. I love how he sees a building, or the movement of a breeze, and how he puts his paintings together. I discovered him at art school and his work still resonates with me.

Thursday 24th May 2018Gallery Garden

Gallery visitors are often curious about the garden behind the building, and Alison and I spend a lot of time there. Alison tends to the flowers and I look after the vegetables, berries and the greenhouse. This May has been perfect for sitting outside in the evenings, and my art students occasionally sit out on the patio too, in their breaks. I've had to relearn the mechanics of running a greenhouse and em enjoying growing so much of our own food from the garden.
 
We grow flowers, chives, mint, rosemary, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, gooseberries, blackcurrants and much more from the sunny plot and also have a variety of seating areas to catch the best light. Sometimes on quiet Sundays, I leave a 'Working in the Garden' sign on the gallery door, and visitors can seek me out there.
 

Posted on May 24th 2018 on 01:11pm
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Friday 13th April 2018Hexham Courant Interview - Travels in the Himalayas

Thank you to Helen Compson for visiting the gallery and writing about my travels in India and coverage in China.
 

Posted on April 13th 2018 on 11:44am
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Friday 30th March 2018Two Years Since Official Gallery Opening

It‘s two years since the official opening of my Prudhoe gallery - so much has happened since then. Thanks to so many of you for your support - Alison, family, students, friends, neighbours and social media supporters.
 
 
Highlights have been showing at Ripon Cathedral and with the Royal Watercolour Society in London, visiting the Himalayas, Tuscany and France, and the paintings that followed - and several commissions. Appearing as a guest on Look North to give photography advice and judge the photos for their calendar was also an experience (or two) and great publicity for the gallery.
 
Thank you again.

Thursday 15th March 2018A Tuscan Cellar - Sequence of Painting

It's interesting to see the gradual development of this painting of a Tuscan cellar here, from start to (almost) finished. I've enjoyed working on it and have often been up at  four in the morning lately to finish it. This is a slightly unusual medium for me, because of the use of pencil, alongside the watercolour I often work in. This painting will soon be available as a print on my website.
 

Friday 22nd September 2017Look North Video

I enjoyed my experience of filming for Look North. Follow this link to see the clip.
 
Fellow Prudhoe resident Paul Mooney asked me to go on the show to judge the Look North calendar page, alongside students and friends Carol and Richard. Paul made the experience quite relaxing for me - considering he was pointing a camera my way! 
 
 
 

Posted on September 22nd 2017 on 12:09pm
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Wednesday 19th July 2017New Series of Small Windows Watercolours

Having just completed two very detailed watercolours, it's very refreshing to develop this new series of smaller Windows works. This small window has developed dramatically in just one week, as you can see if you look closely at the photos below. I've been planning this new series for some time and I have a real sense of enjoyment working on these colourful originals.
 
The richly textured paper feels fine to work on, and is creating exactly the layered, textual effect I am after.
 
 
The second painting in my series of small Windows watercolours is now underway also, see below. I am working on the two, turn by turn. I have many ideas of exactly how to develop the series and it's very satisfying to see the new work taking shape.
 
 
 
 

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