Saturday, August 01, 2015


Oil over acrylic on canvas 14" x 11"

I found a few old family portraits I had done months ago and decided to rework one in oils. It is based on a photograph of my grandmother.  I know the family photograph concept has been done to death by artists but when it concerns someone you knew and respected and had some time for I feel I don't need much excuse to use the idea.  I had the urge to use warm, dark colours and have very few hard edges. It painted itself quickly - sometimes that is the case, especially with a re-work where the bones are there but it needs all to be pulled together.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Oil pastel and graphite on cartridge paper 16" x 16"

Monday, July 27, 2015


Oil pastel and graphite on cartridge paper 7" x 7"

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dreaming of stones

Oil pastel and Indian ink on cartridge paper 8" x 7"

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" Pablo Picasso.

Traveller with stones

Oil pastel and Indian ink on cartridge paper 7.5" x 6.5"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Oil pastel on cartridge paper 8" x 7"
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
("I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou)


Saturday, June 27, 2015


Oil pastel on cartridge paper 7" x 8"

When I played my penny whistle on the braes above Lochgyle
The heather bloomed about us, and we heard the peewit call;
As you bent above your knitting something fey was in your smile,
And fine and soft and slow the rain made silver on your shawl.

Your cheeks were pink like painted cheeks, your eyes a pansy blue .

My heart was in my playing, but my music was for you...

(Robert William Service)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

The dark landscapes

Oil and acrylic on canvas 36" x 36"

I started this series in 2013 and had put it on one side knowing that one day I would come back to it. This particular painting I called "Ghost".  You may think it strange looking at the latest oil pastel work that there should be such an apparent difference within one person's body of work. My justification is that we live on earth - we experience and enjoy sunlight, warmth, the company of others. We create things, houses, gardens, art, meals, music and so on. I am no different to anyone else. But the earth tolerates us and begs the question - for how long? Certainly things are in  a state of constant and complex change as they have always been if we believe in evolution - which I do. Remnants of bones and spirits may haunt the planet when we are gone and in fact do so now.

The paintings have many layers of colour which only really start to become visible when seen with the naked eye. I have not abandoned the oil pastel work but will continue to follow the two paths as it is viable.  By clicking on the website link to the right you can see on my website some of the other work in this series under the heading "Reclamation" paintings (but please note I am currently reworking a number of these).

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Oil pastel on cartridge paper 20" x 14"

Miracle, bird or golden handiwork,
More miracle than bird or handiwork,
Planted on the starlit golden bough,
Can like the cocks of Hades crow,
Or, by the moon embittered, scorn aloud
In glory of changeless metal
Common bird or petal
And all complexities of mire or blood...

   (From "Byzantium" by William Butler Yeats)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Red Riding Hood

Oil pastel on cartridge paper 6.5" x 6.5"

Be yourself, all the others are taken...

    (attributed to Oscar Wilde)


Oil pastel on cartridge paper 7" x 7"

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lennie's girl

Oil pastel on cartridge paper 7" x 7"

I used to like being young, and I still do,
Because I think I still am. There are physical
Objections to that thought, and yet what
Fascinates me now is how obsessed I was at thirty-five
With feeling older than I was: it seemed so smart
And worldly, so fastidiously knowing to dwell so much
On time — on what it gives, what it destroys, on how it feels.
And now it’s here and doesn’t feel like anything at all:
A little warm perhaps, a little cool, but mostly waiting on my
Life to fill it up, and meanwhile living in the light and listening
To the music floating through my living room each night...

(From "A Private Singularity" by John Koethe)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Oil on cartridge paper 7" x 6"

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

(from Alice Walker "Expect Nothing")

Tuesday, June 09, 2015