Friday, 29 October 2010


This is the first triptych I've painted in ages! Because my studio is so "compact", it's a bit of a logistical nightmare to create anything as big as this.  It consists of three 40 x 50 cm canvases, which were fitted onto a jig on my table easel to allow me to paint them as one unit.

I've chosen to paint one of my favourite views of Simonside, from fields at Flotterton, where the full sweep of the hills can be enjoyed.  I love the change from manicured fields and distant homes on the left to the wilder, heather clad slopes on the right- and standing high above, the iconic form of Simonside nestling amongst the clouds. 

Monday, 12 July 2010

Rothbury in the goldfish bowl....

We would like to thank everyone who phoned, emailed (and even visited us) to check on our wellbeing this past week.  It’s great to know that we have such a loyal following!

It has been a bit of a circus in Rothbury, with events stumbling unexpectedly from farce to black comedy to tragedy. As you are probably aware, our local newspapers usually have headlines like “Youth Snatches Yoghurt” (a single carton of strawberry flavour for anyone who’s interested...) so this whole media frenzy has been a bit of a shock to our normally tranquil village.  Who would have imagined that our Jubilee Hall, better known for its keep fit classes and pantomimes, would be broadcast live on Sky TV...?  Completely surreal!

We’re a pretty resilient lot in Rothbury and not liable to hysteria- despite a certain amount of encouragement from some journalists.  But it has nevertheless been a strain for us to be dragged into such a wretched tale, where there wasn’t ever going to be a “happy ending”.

Now we are trying to get back to normal.  So if you find yourself in the Rothbury area, do drop into the gallery- we could do with all the cheery faces we can get and we promise to reciprocate with a smile!

You can also see an exhibition of my work at Bede’s World until August 1st.   I am showing a series of wry drawings of family life in County Durham in the 1950s, and a group of still life paintings of family history and mining related objects.  

Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


It's June.... and at the moment it could be described  as "Blazing June"- the best antidote to the cooler weather we've been experiencing recently.   It's time for me to start looking for sites for seeing poppies. One of the ways I track down those elusive poppies is to take a double decker bus ride from Alnwick down to Newcastle via the coastal villages.  It's a slow lumbering route and certainly not the quickest journey from A to B, but it's well worth my time, because from the upper deck I can spot where the poppies happen to be flowering.  They can be invisible from the lower viewpoint of the car, especially as most of our fields still have thick hedgerows.  Later I can drive to the appropriate fields to sketch and take photos to paint from.  I love painting the scarlet delicacy of poppies- you just can't have too many of them!

Here are some of my most recent poppy paintings- from LAST year's crop.

"Poppy Cottage"

The Edge of the Poppy Field

Poppy Hillside

Bamburgh Castle with Poppies. 

Poppy Farmhouse
Below- Blazing June