New painting ‘Dawn No.2’

Dawn No.2 oil on canvas 122x107 cm 2016 £3268

Dawn No.2 oil on canvas 122×107 cm 2016 £3268

Since the spring of 2016 I have been working towards a series of paintings about the ancient standing stones and stone circles of West Penwith, for myself this is a long process requiring lot’s of visits, lot’s of drawings, and lot’s of time spent in and around these places. Often with projects like this I will start by painting close to the main subject, slowly through painting, different views in different seasons I will get to know the place. So this is one of those paintings in a series about this particular place, though this painting is focusing on the sunrise and bluebells near to Tregeseal stone circle rather than the stone circle itself……the Tregeseal stone circle painting is in progress and is somewhat larger…….

Here I am just yesterday Saturday 29th Oct 2016…….putting the last finishing touches to the painting. This is the most exciting part of painting for me…..all the months of drawing and painting and thinking and contemplating…..the mistakes…..yep….. lot’s of them.

me finishing the painting

me finishing the painting

All the processes  that a work of art goes through lead to these last moments. In many ways what you are left with at the end is just a final single image but what lies behind that is so much more……the  result of  months or sometimes years long project, throughout which the artwork changes and evolves with every new visit every change in circumstance to the place where it all started…..It might have begun in the summer, spring winter autumn or winter… might have been raining, snowing, windy, sunny, or a combination and then there’s the emotional and psychological state of mind…..all these things contribute…the memories the experiences, everything.

Rothko said it best when he was once asked how long his paintings took….he answered with his age. From beginning to end it might take months or years but in terms of experience and knowledge to arrive at that point……It takes a lifetime……


New painting just finished. ‘By The Sea’

By The Sea. Oil on canvas. 80x80 cm 2016 £1600

By The Sea. Oil on canvas. 80×80 cm 2016 £1600

Started in the spring just as the wild flowers, bluebells and campions are beginning to show there colour. Most of this summer has been filled with early morning mists and fogs that fall from the Cornish cliffs near where I live, and this is another in that series of early morning paintings started after cycling with sketchbooks along the coast just after dawn, drawing this coastline and then back to the studio to start painting….

Oh and it is painted close to Tregeseal stone circle.

Holed Stone and Mist Kenidjack

Another painting finished today. As always exploring the landscape and weather. This one is part of a series I am working on about stone circles and standing stones. This is the first one finished.

Holed Stone and Mist Kenidjack. Oil on canvas. 60×60 cm £1100

Mist above Portheras Cove Oil on canvas 80x80 cm £1100

Mist above Portheras Cove Oil on canvas 80×80 cm £1100

View gallery click – here

Early morning bike ride

I quick post this morning….another early morning bike ride in the mist……This is an image looking towards Tregeseal stone circle as I approach it on my bike. Thee as well as some new sketches will form the start of a new Tregeseal painting…..

Tregeseal stone circle in the mist

Tregeseal stone circle in the mist

Later this morning I’ll be heading up to Boswens standing stone……as long as the mist holds….

Fields of Campions 3 new paintings

Campions. Oil on canvas 70x70 cm 2016 £1100

Campions. Oil on canvas 70×70 cm 2016 £1100

The beginnings of a new series of paintings, this post follows on from the Tregeseal stone circle drawings post from a few days ago. Three paintings  just finished yesterday and a few more drawings….. not sure about a titles yet…..probably like the others finished yesterday the title will be something along the lines of Field of Campions. Oil on canvas 70×70 cm £1100.

Field of Campions. Oil on canvas 70x70 cm £1100

Field of Campions. Oil on canvas 70×70 cm £1100

They came about through frequent short cycle trips up to Tregeseal stone circle, and part of a new series of paintings that will eventually include several paintings about the stone circle above Tregeseal. As always during these cycle trips I carry my sketchbooks and camera to capture something of the experience. I do not copy from the images I take with my camera….I use it to document the activity and the images will often get stitched together and turned into a short film. and this will happen as the collection of images continues.


Wild Flowers and seeded grasses

Wild Flowers and seeded grasses

Gathering all these strands together is a complicated process, always I hope that the process feeds through and can be at least hinted at in the final finished painting. Although it presents itself as one thing…..a final image it is much more and encompasses all the activities that occur during the process of creating am artwork. But not all of that process is obvious so for those interested in how these paintings come about I decided to keep a blog, although I tend to think of this more as a creative diary.

tangled Bracken

tangled Bracken

These three new paintings have been through the usual long process but gradually over the past couple of months as I began to think more and more about painting some of the standing stones and stone circles and cycling out to visit either Tregeseal or Boscarwen Un stone circle, these three paintings began to take on something of those experiences.

I am intending to do several paintings at Tregeseal stone circle that will reflect the different moods and weathers that come in throughout the year…… from fog and mist, rain and hail, storms and bright summer sky’s and with a bit of look snow…..

Campions in mist. Oil on canvas 70x70 cm 2016 £1100

Campions in mist. Oil on canvas 70×70 cm 2016 £1100

Tregeseal stone circle drawings

Here are some drawings done at dawn or just after on my way cycling to Tregeseal stone circle. All my Sketchbooks, drawing materials and camera I carry in my pannier bags on my bike. The drawings are all done quickly as I try to capture something of the feel for the place, and in whatever the weather conditions happen to be.

Approaching hail

Approaching hail

So some have approaching hail. It is quite fun sitting and waiting for the hail to travel across the moor.


I seldom use erasers….preferring to use my palm or fingers as I tend to use 9b pencils which are easy to manipulate, some eventually have collage and paint even soil or sand added to them. And if it rains well that just helps to move the medium around especially if I am using watercolour. Eventually some get framed, but I like my sketchbooks and tend to hold onto them…….

Tregeseal stone circle

Tregeseal stone circle

They are like journals and references of varying technique and often suggest different approaches or directions. I will often work on them concurrently as I work on the large scale paintings that come from these drawings, so that they feed into each other. The process often almost completely re works the original sketch or drawing. But this I like and it reflects the changing nature of landscape.



So a drawing may start out as a calm spring morning only to have the weather change dramatically with showers even hail. It is challenging to capture this change…..but it seems to me that this is the point. Snapshorts of nature only real instants in time, I much prefer to capture something of the constant change in weather.

In recent years I have taken to making images of these drawings to save to my computer in order to work on them digitally creating far more abstract works which begin with drawing and become part drawing, part digital, part collage.



These artworks are much smaller and go through repeated processes of drawing, digital manipulation, printing adding collage until they are finished…..






The last image for now was also done at Tregeseal stone circle……a dry stone wall with tangled bracken and a rainbow….



Tregeseal Stone Circle

Over the next few months I will be working towards a series of paintings about some of the standing stones and stone circles near to where I live. This subject is problematic….but it is something I have returned to from time to time over the years. In fact the first painting I ever sold during my degree show at Wolverhampton Polytechnic was titled ‘Standing Stone and Sea. and came about from visits to Cornwall in 1984 but mainly from my student exchange to Limerick in Ireland in 1985 during which we stayed at Dun an Oir on the west coast of the Dingle peninsula.

So I will be posting a series of images drawings and hopefully a short film about making these paintings

Tregeseal Stone Circle No

Tregeseal Stone circle