Abstract cats

These are works in progress, a Ginger autumn cat and a Catfish, I’m doing quite flat designs on black canvases. The catfish painting looks better in the second photo but I think the Ginger autumn cat isn’t quite right yet.

Yesterday I bought metallic colours that really glint in the light, I think my problem is photographing them as they are a bit over exposed in places. I may add additional colours as the Orange is not as subtle as I would like.

Talking about cats and painting, keeping my cats from drinking my paint water is a challenge. I will try and remember to empty it tonight!

Anyway these are going into my exhibition / art sale at the weekend, so I had better get on with them.




Just spent two hours going from a blank canvas to this. I’m trying to paint Planetary nebula NGC 2044. May have got the number wrong?

Anyway I saw the canvas last week and decided to have a go at something. I was going to paint the moon  but decided on something a bit more colourful….hmm there I go again!

Anyway, astronomers out there will see its not accurate, but its bloody difficult to hold a book in one hand and the canvas in the other…not doing my back any good. Its now 2am. I have an appointment at 9.30am, I dont know why I’m still up? Well yes I do, my artists block is well and truly broken. I have finished 8 tiny paintings today and started this!

I sort of explode sometimes with art.. can’t help it. I am so full of ideas sometimes…..but…bed…ok..bed..hmmm…coffee? No..bed…

Night all!


This is the finished painting. Sorry about the lighting!

Breaking the block!

Going to an arts group is a great way to start painting again when you are struggling.

I’m a member of a couple of groups so I spent a few hours today doing a couple of little paintings, a view of a hill with a sunset adapted from an old magazine photo and a green man or woman (not sure yet) from my imagination, but taking the eyes , mouth and nose from a face on a leaflet at a local fire station where we hire a room once a month.

As usual I’m concerned with colours, trying to get them right…is there too much brown in the green person painting? Is the sunset too dazzling in the  hill and lake painting (which is only about 1 by 1 and 1/2 inches).

I started discussing skies with other members of the group. Trying to think through how to render the light on clouds as the sun sets. To be honest when I get my hands on a paintbrush and paints I soon start creating again. The friendly support of the other members of the group just gave me that lift I needed.

If you can join a group I would recommend it. Each person had a unique idea of what they wanted to paint or draw. We all have our own styles, and some people wanted to use pastels, while others were using oils or acrylics. Each make marks differently. It’s wonderful to take a walk round the room and watch the progress of the artists there.

So…….the block is broken. There may be a mass of pictures coming this way soon!

A quick update

It’s been a couple of days and I’m getting on quite well with this painting of a willow pattern platter. I’m now working on the border and will then try and get more depth and shading into the background .

I’m hoping the paler, cooler colours help the cobalt blues of the plate stand out. This Is the third painting in a collection of ceramics. There may be more to follow.

Working to a deadline

I’m still working on new paintings to sell at the new hotel at Spode, but I only have a few weeks to get them done. Working to a deadline means that I have to try and give myself enough time to do my pictures, but also time for other things. Staying up till 5.30 am is OK occasionally but I cant do it every night.

I started this new painting last night and hope to have it finished in the next couple of days. The details are hard to do when you are holding the canvas and your computer tablet in one hand, and the paintbrush in the other. That’s is because I need to look closely to see all the tiny details on the painting and the photo I’m working from.

The original picture is of a round plate. But I remember a large platter from my childhood so I am trying to fit everything onto a more oblong shape… it will make an interesting challenge…the border will have to be changed to fit the space. I also want to get some shadows and reflection into the background, so wish me luck!

I have 5 more paintings to do in time for the opening. These will be pictures of parts of the Spode site if I can get some interesting views. Hopefully the contrast of the industrial heritage of the potteries and the ceramics that was made here will make for an interesting show.

Not another one!


Soon to be finished I hope. The top image was taken at 5.30am…but I need some sleep!

This painting of a jug had a pattern of Ivy and Holly which is similar to something I saw on a Spode mug.

The background of Ivy leaves will need work as will the shape at the top of the jug. I’m trying to get an effect of shiny tiles underneath it and a fabric screen behind. The painting may have some gold added to it as I want to paint studs or rivets around the screen at the back.

Anyone for tea (pot)?

This is a current work in progress….


I’m working on a painting that might be a bit odd, but as I live in the Potteries its nice to do something that reflects that heritage.

The painting is a bit smaller than A2 in size, acrylic on canvas. Although I have looked at a couple of reference photos its mostly from my imagination. I decided on a dark background to make the teapot stand out more. I need to do more work on the background wood panelling and the pot. Bringing in more reflections and light.