Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

the First Time Mother’s Joy

This is the first time I’ve done a painting in about 6 years, and the first time I’ve touched oil paints in almost a decade, so ‘scuse the rustiness and lack of technique.

Some very close friends of ours, Joe and Katie are expecting their first child this summer, and I really wanted to do something special, and personal for them.

First, I’ll give you some pictures of the space I’m working in.


The 'library'

dining room

The dining room, now a makeshift studio

I wanted to paint something that would appeal to small children, but also have an ‘edge’, hints of a fairytale darkness that would last for a few years in a children’s room, as mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve always been a fan of the darkness and more twisted imagery in children’s stories.

I started with a very loose sketch, just to give me a feel for composition and flowing the shapes together.


From there, I was able to start ‘drawing’ directly onto the canvases with a thinned acrylic burnt umber. You can see that I decided to move the figures, to give better balance to the piece.

panel 1

panel 2

panel 3

And that, for now, is where I’m at. It’s still very early in the painting process, but I’m pleased with where this is headed. I like the subject matter, the composition and my choices of a colour palette.

I just hope that the parents (and baby!) like the finished thing too…

deep into the darkness…

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

– Edgar Allen Poe

I’ve always been a fan of the fantastical, the power of the imagination to generate monsters and myths out of the ether.

And I’m also a real day-dreamer, able to let my mind wander and start seeing shapes and critters in the most mundane of objects. I once spent a whole night awake in my room because Death* was stood in front of the (closed) bedroom door, trapping me inside.

I really enjoyed sketching and painting this, the lonely traveller, lost in the woods. I like the warmth in the wood, and the lighting from the lantern. It’s a common enough theme, but I hope you like it too.


Just realised, this is actually a square illustration, so I’ll try and get some new, better pictures of it.

While we’re on the topic, here’s another, postcard sized painting (for a “Masterpiece on a postcard” competition).


This one has been painted in just 4 colours: Black, White, Red and Brown. The Satyr kinda looks like Tony Blair, which is weird. And disturbing.

*Death was a dressing gown. My dressing gown. My dressing gown I hung on the back of the door every night.

Cheese dreams and madness

For years I was fixated with drawing and painting these balletic, swirly and graceful figures. Humanoid plant shapes dancing in vivid flesh-scapes.

Why? I have no idea, I just liked it. Looking back on these paintings from 10-15 years ago, I see all the flaws and things I would do differently. Is it time to pick up these themes and journey back down the gullet to the source of these imaginings? Maybe, maybe.

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