Royal Society of Marine Artists

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I am delighted that 2 of my paintings have been selected for this years Royal Society of Marine Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  This painting, ‘Polperro Rocks’ and another ‘Sunny Cliff’, will be on display alongside the best in contemporary marine art. The show runs from 5th – 14th October 2017.

Calm Waters

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An afternoon plein air painting from the path next to our local beach. I was attracted to paint this scene by the division between shadow and sunlight. The light changed quickly – which is something that you gradually get used to in plein air painting. You can either try and anticipate how the light will be towards the end of your painting session and plan it out based on this (known as painting into the effect), which can work if you are familiar with how the scene will look at a certain time. The other option is to paint out of the effect by making colour notes based on how the scene looks at the beginning and then work partly from memory to complete it. In this painting I painted out of the effect. By the end of the painting session the scene was pretty much completely in shadow.

View from the Patio

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Looking down at the local bay from above. Felt very fortunate to have the chance to paint this lovely scene. In Greece I find I need to use cerulean blue a lot more than back home. It is perfect for mixing those greeny blues of the sea. Apart from that I keep the same palette as when working in England. I also always use a quick drying Alkyd titanium white which helps ensure everything is dry in time to transport the paintings home.

Coldharbour Common

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This group of tall pines were beautifully backlit and attracted me to paint this view in Coldharbour Common in the Surrey Hills. The countryside is so spectacular at the moment with a lot of the wild flowers in bloom and everything in leaf. This was a walk that I used to go on a lot so was great to rediscover it.

Evening Stroll

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Have been meaning to paint the view down this lane, which is very close to where I live, for some time. It was a beautiful sunny evening and I took the chance to take my plein air painting kit out on my walk. I sketched the scene fairly rapidly as the light was changing quickly. I am happy with the loose handling of the paint in this image. I like paintings which look like they are made from paint! I am interested in this view as a motif and might do another from the same spot.

A View of Box Hill

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Was pleased to have an opportunity to paint the view towards Box hill from Redlands wood today. Am recovering from a knee injury and haven’t been able to walk very far recently so it felt good to get out in the fresh air. This painting felt very exploratory in nature and the process of making it was enjoyable. Whether the end result is of any merit I’ll leave for you to decide! I certainly think that I am making progress towards my own artistic aims – which feels good.

Awakening Oaks

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From Leith Hill Place a wonderful spring view unfolded below. When the oaks first come into leaf the colour of the new leaves is like no other tree, in some light it is closer to yellow ochre than green. Was a joy to be outside and painting in this warm sunny weather!

After Sunset

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I wonder whether you’ve ever stood in a field after the sun has set and observed as darkness falls. Starting at the edges of vision the scene softly dissolves into darkness. As the land becomes darker you become more aware of the still illuminated but dimming sky. This is the moment that I tried to capture in this plein air painting. Leith Hill is seen in the distance.

Winter Sunshine

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It was a beautiful crisp sunny day and I went to Karadjordje’s park again looking for a good subject to paint. I found it quite hard to settle on something and spent some time wandering around. I always find that it is better to just choose something instead of continuing to search for the perfect spot to paint. I was attracted by the light on the snow in this scene.  I found this a difficult subject to paint at first, but then started losing myself in the abstract qualities of colour and shape and started to enjoy it. This was a good reminder for me that painting should be fun, experimental and playful. As artists we can arm ourselves with knowledge about techniques and theory and we can study other artists’ work that we admire. But for me the most satisfying painting experience is one which has been approached with a naive openness and is in response to the present moment.

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