Sketches of Spring

May and June are my favourite time of year. These watercolours are of gowans, lovely big daisies, which fill up the edges of our garden at this time of year, roses, and just the general joy and chaos of spring. I painted the deer at Leighton Moss, a nearby RSPB reserve. I’d gone with a group to sketch for the day and we were rewarded with seeing so many amazing birds and animals, an otter, marsh harrier, gorgeous young fluffy moorhens, and these red deer mother and young, who stepped out of the woods in front of our hide, like a scene from Bambi.

'June Garden', watercolour

‘June Garden’, watercolour

'Meadow', Watercolour

‘Meadow’, Watercolour

A sketch from a lovely garden in Eskdale, watercolour

Red Deer fawn, watercolour

Red Deer fawn, watercolour

Red Deer, watercolour sketch

Red Deer, watercolour sketch

 

Group Show at Halton Mill Opening Sun 4th June, 11am-4pm

The artists who work at Halton Mill are having a group show which opens on Sunday 4th June. It was looking really good when I left yesterday, quite varied work including prints, drawings, costume design and paintings. I’m showing two paintings:

‘Ash Trees, Hutton Roof’ Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

Borders Landscape (Clearfelling). Oil on paper, 23 x 18 cm

Here’s the poster with details of the exhibition and other events that are on.

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New paintings of Lancaster Canal

I’ve been working on a few different things recently, and painting the canal has been one I’ve really enjoyed – probably more so than painting the back door, which has been another project. The door was easier though.

These are mixed media paintings in watercolour and acrylic paint. I live very near the Lancaster canal and spend a lot of time both canoeing along it and walking my dog, sometimes also canoeing with the dog, (as he prefers to be in the boat). I love the tranquility of the canal, and aimed to capture its ethereal beauty in my paintings.

These are all paintings of my local stretch of the canal, between Garstang and Lancaster, including my favourite bit which is the arm to Glasson Dock.

Winter Canal, near Lancaster. Mixed media.

Winter Canal, near Lancaster. Mixed media.

Misty Winter Morning, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Misty Winter Morning, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Canal in spring, near Glasson Dock. Mixed media

Canal in spring, near Glasson Dock. Mixed media

Summertime, Lancaster Canal. Mixed media

Summertime, Lancaster Canal. Mixed media

Autumn, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Autumn, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Cow Paintings in JC Country

I have a lot of friendly looking neighbours with black and white spots. I like to say hi when I walk past with Ashby my dog, and I recently decided to draw some of them. These are cows from the dairy herd belonging to John Carr, of Clevely House Farm in Forton, and prints of my cow pictures will soon be for sale in the farm shop, JC Country 🙂 The cows are part Jersey and they’re really beautiful.

I love working in ink, like watercolour it is quite quirky, best treated with a light touch. These cows were drawn in Quink Ink, which although sold as an ink for writing, is my favourite ink to draw with.

Here’s the pictures, including Ashby who works as Quality Control.

Quality Control

Quality Control

'Cow-619', Ink and watercolour.

‘Cow-619’, Ink and watercolour.

'Cow-823', Ink and watercolour.

‘Cow-823’, Ink and watercolour.

'Dairy Cow, Clevely House Farm', Ink and Watercolour

‘Dairy Cow, Clevely House Farm’, Ink and Watercolour

Lune Year Paintings

Update: The paintings are for sale here.

My exhibition ‘Lune Year’ opens next Saturday at Halton Mill – a series of paintings and drawings of the River Lune since last December, after Storm Desmond. I thought it might be nice to put them all online as a gallery. So here they are 🙂 or rather, this is most of them and I will add the others when I can.

 

 

Lune Year Launch – Saturday 3rd December

My exhibition of drawings and paintings, Lune Year, will be on show at Halton Mill in December and January. The exhibition opening is between 12 – 4 pm on Saturday 3rd December, and all are welcome, do come along if you’re free. There is also an arts and craft fair at the Mill on the same day, and the cafe will be open. It would be lovely to see you there.

My work will remain on display at Halton Mill 10 – 5 (weekdays only) until Friday 13th January.

Lune Year Exhibition Flyer

I’m launching the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond, which caused extensive flooding in the Lancaster area and elsewhere in the North of England. The peak recorded flow of the Lune was equivalent to 41 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water going past the measuring gauge every minute, a rate that would fill the Royal Albert Hall in less than a minute. For anyone who knows this part of the river, the Lune was flowing over the top of the Crook O’ Lune bridge, several metres above its usual height. I have never before experienced such an event, and while the floods themselves were both terrifying and awe inspiring to watch, it was the aftermath which has really fascinated me. The river and riverside at Halton has been profoundly altered, with many areas washed away, new islands formed, and almost a year later, grass and debris are still hanging in the trees high above the usual waterline. After the floods receded, all these changes in the riverside really became apparent, and I decided to continue drawing and painting the river throughout the year; this exhibition is the result.

 

Inky Cats

Probably the most fun I’ve had with my art classes for a while! We spent much of last week drawing cats in ink. I love how expressive ink is, particularly Quink ink. As long as you apply enough water first, it does a lot of the work for you, conveying the fluffiness of their fur beautifully. If fluffiness is even a word.

The second drawing is of my friend Meg’s Bengal cat. He has the most piercing stare.

Ink Cats

Ink Cats

 

Bengal Cat, Indian Ink

Bengal Cat, Indian Ink

 

Doon The Water

Here are a few sketches from over the summer. I’ve been sailing, (doing my Day Skipper course, with Scotsail based at Largs on the Firth of Clyde, who I really recommend). I forgot to take any Paynes Grey or blue watercolour paint, other than Cerulean (sky blue). Most of the landscapes I saw were either basically grey, or blue, so I had to do what I am always trying to teach i.e. focus mainly on tones of light and dark and not worry about ‘accurate’ colour, just use what I like. I also forgot all but one useable paintbrush and I didn’t have any watercolour paper. It has reminded me that to sketch you really don’t need much at all, and also, how rubbish I am at packing.

Burnt Islands, Kyles of Bute

Burnt Islands, Kyles of Bute

Two watercolours from the Kyles of Bute. We’d sailed north from Largs to Port Bannatyne, (accompanied by porpoises much of the way), then up the east Kyle and anchored in Balnakailly Bay. I sketched these while we had a boat barbeque. We didn’t make fast progress because we were doing our Sailing Drills along the way, i.e. practising picking up moorings, practicing messing up moorings, practicing diving off the end of the boat and retrieving the tangled moorings from around the rudder, and so on. This was the only day of bad weather. Bad weather is so much more interesting to paint though, in my opinion. I enjoyed the challenge of perceiving/inventing nice colours out of the smirry dreich drizzle. (Scots is so much better than English for describing rain.)

Balnakailly Bay, Kyles of Bute

Balnakailly Bay, Kyles of Bute

Porpoise

Stunning photo of one of our porpoise friends

Boat BBQ

Boat BBQ

Me sketching

Sketching in the Smirr

The rest of the trip was lovely weather so I concentrated on sailing and didn’t do any more drawing. I painted the following afterwards when we stayed in a cottage further north in Argyll, based on photos and memories. We saw a few noteworthy other boats while sailing. This ketch (two masted sailing boat) was just really pretty, near Portavadie at the bottom of Loch Fyne. We saw the Waverley Paddle Steamer on a day out ‘doon the water’ from Glasgow. And a nuclear submarine near Arran.

Ketch

Ketch, near Loch Fyne. I had no ‘blue’ paint (cobalt or ultramarine) so had to mix purple and caerulean.

The Waverley

The Waverley Paddle Steamer

Smoke on Arran

Smoke on Arran

Arran is a stunning island, the hills are really imposing.

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Sailing Boats, Brodick

Sailing Boats, Brodick. Our yacht, Kitmar, is on the right. Not that you can discern anything other than a white blob.

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At Portavadie Marina. This is our sailing instructor Andy in front

The following sketches are from further north in Argyll after we finished sailing. I’m a skipper now, woo hoo!

West from Dunadd Fort

West from Dunadd Fort

Sketch from the top of Dunadd Fort, looking west towards Taynish Forest and Loch Sween.

Wee house, Keillmore

Wee house, Keillmore

Sound of Jura

Sound of Jura

Paps of Jura

Paps of Jura

Jura from near Kilmory

Jura from near Kilmory

Collaborators wanted for river/flood related art exhibition

As I have mentioned on my blog previously, this year I’ve been working on a series of paintings connected to the River Lune and the floods of last winter. I’m planning to exhibit these to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond (5th/6th December) – or thereabouts, in the Lancaster area. I’m looking for others who may have been working on art/writing/films/poetry/whatever related to floods or the River Lune or climate change more broadly and may be interested in also exhibiting their work or collaborating in some way. I’m also looking for somewhere to show my paintings. I have a couple ideas in mind but have not decided anything yet. 

If you are interested in collaborating or have any suggestions, please get in touch at jmr@jmr.org.uk. I am away for a couple of weeks until early September but I will get back to you as soon as I can.

High Water on the Shortest Day. River Lune, December 2015. Oil.

High Water on the Shortest Day. River Lune, December 2015. OIl.

Skipton Art in the Pen

I’ve just spent the weekend at Skipton Art in the Pen. Here’s a couple of photos of me in my cattle pen 🙂 I would love to share lots of shots of some of the other stalls but sadly barely got a chance to see any of it. Lots of very enthusiastic visitors though. Many thanks to everyone who came.

Me-Skipton-Art-Fair-web

Skipton-Art-Fair-3Skipton Art Fair 2