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Wednesday 23rd January 2019The Tree House

I'm pleased that the story of one of my favourite paintings has been featured in the Tyne Valley Express this month. I found both of these windows in a long-abandoned house in Huntshieldford, Daddry Shield, Weardale. The house was in such a poor state that I had to crawl into it - the back wall had completely collapsed. And yet, once inside, it was a treasure trove of 'found' objects, including a tallboy, stuffed grouse and plant pots. There was an elderberry tree growing right through the floor.
I produced both of these paintings based on windows in that house, 'Tree House' and 'Window' - and the hole in the roof in 'Window' makes me think of the painting to myself as 'Velux.' It's a personal favourite.

Thursday 23rd February 2017Painting Abandoned Dwellings - Hidden Treasures

 This blog relates to my painting 'Window' and explains some of the inspiration behind my work.

I'm so often inspired and amazed by what I find in long abandoned, crumbling cottages, farmhouses and barns. The photograph above features items left in an old farmhouse I explored in Huntshield Ford, between St John's Chapel and Daddry Shield in Weardale, which led to my painting 'Window', which you can see on the left. The brace of stuffed grouse surprised me most!


I have found whole cooker ranges, chairs and many personal objects intact in these long abandoned, derelict cottages and farmhouses. I always leave the contents exactly as I find them, and paint what I see, without any rearrangement at all.


It sometimes seems as if the family has just walked away...

Posted on February 23rd 2017 on 04:52pm

Thursday 09th February 2017An Inspiring Weardale Farmhouse

I painted both 'Window' and 'Tree House' after discovering this derelict farmhouse in Weardale, near St John's Chapel - the two windows are upstairs. 'Treehouse' is the window on the farmhouse's left and 'Window' is on the right. You can see the photos I took originally of the farmhouse below in the collage, and the actual paintings above. 
If you look to the top of 'Window' you will see that it has its very own natural Velux feature! It's one of the watercolours that I enjoyed painting most. And I also like the poem that Noel Connor wrote to accompany 'Tree House' in 'In the Pause of Passing'.  I have copied a short extract below. If you look closely at the painting, you will see the details he is describing:
'...Jam jars on a window-sill
preserved in watercolour,
no more than berry-stains on paper,
a still life ripening
on his autumn easel.'

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