New year, new plan. Go public with images and ideas. Until now my blogging has been sporadic and unfocussed. I will still post to me artist Facebook page and to Instagram, but will endeavour to keep this space current…

EDIT: So I ignored this blog for about a year. I am now endeavouring to re-engage with it…

I look forward to reading any comments you may have.

Much of the work is for sale (as cheaply as possible as art is mostly a storage problem), and I would be delighted to exhibit work.

About me: I am a 57 year old bloke with a studio at Bloc in Sheffield. I am a tutor with the Open College of the Arts on Drawing, Painting, and Fine Art degrees. I’ve been doing that for about ten years. I completed a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University in 2016.


Last week I watched ‘The Magnificent Seven’ for the first time in over thirty years. In fact, I was only half watching it as I was also making some small gouache paintings and occasionally looking up.

Before the action gets going – before the bandits arrive to raid the village – the hired gunmen are getting to know the villagers that they’ve been hired to protect and there’s a festival of some kind. A structure that contains an effigy of a goat or some other livestock animal is held up and shaken. against the blue sky. It’s an arresting image and one I wanted to capture.

Since the first lockdown if 2020, I have been aware that the images I make of towers, trees, angels, UFOs, ladders, and so on, have a tendency to embody what I clumsily call ‘upness’. I think it’s related to hope, but without any concession to ‘aspiration’. This image fits in with that, I think.

It’s a small painting, made at a desk at home (that is, not in the studio) using gouache and watercolour. It’s modest in size – A5 – and a bit scruffy. It’s possible that I’ll return to it to clarify a few elements and/or intensify the light, but not right away.

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Figures on a Raft with UFOs (after Théodore Géricault and Brian Rea)

Oil on Canvas

230mm x 300mm (approx)

Today’s picture is, like yesterday’s, a small one which is in contrast to the two sources I’ve placed together.

The more famous source is Théodore Géricault’s massive painting Raft of the Medusa . The other source is a mural by Brian Rea I saw installed at the Míro Foundation in Barcelona in 2010. Most of the images of that show seem to be on Pinterest, but there’s a couple on this UFO-themed site.

By placing the motifs together I think something happens to both of them. Something I don’t always understand at the time. This painting has been on my lounge wall for a few months now and it is, in many respects, different from a lot of the work I make.

The other factor (which shouldn’t be under-estimated) is the quality of the pigment used to make this painting. I ‘upgraded’ to a more expensive brand of oil paint and haven’t looked back. That purple is outrageous.



Waving at Ideology

Oil on Canvas

200mm x 200mm

This small painting is probably finished. The waving figures are taken from a photograph taken when the Berlin Wall was being built and the background is a version of Velazquez’s View of the Garden of the Villa Medici, Rome.

The colour choice is something I didn’t fret about too much though I’m pleased that the pink building give a dreamlike quality to the painting.

Making such a small, detailed work is odd for me (I’m not great at detail), so perhaps this is a bit of a breakthrough. The stodginess of the paint (undiluted white and violet, basically) allowed me to make the building’s architecture pretty clear.

I love that the Velazquez painting is of a part of the Medici garden that has been turned into a shed for the gardeners, gently undercutting the grandeur of the patrons of the Renaissance. The waving figures are tragic. When the Berlin Wall as being erected people would hold children up to be seen by grandparents and so on. Having these people wave at a building is, of course, absurd and that they are perched on a stepladder, doubly so.