Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ben Bulben Range, County Sligo, Ireland. Oil on Canvas.

This is Yeats country - the poet is buried not far from here. They are limestone mountains rising to about two and a half thousand feet or so.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

The River Alde from Iken. Oil on Canvas

I completed this oil painting about 30 years ago. I've always liked it and it hangs today on my sitting room wall. My parents had a holiday home in East Suffolk and eventually retired there. Iken is the approximate point where the River Alde widens into a great estuary.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Here is Where I'm At

I've been painting in oils for more years than I like to admit - I first put brush to canvas (well, hardboard actually) just over half a century ago as a 12 year old school boy. I've attended classes on and off and passed 'A' level art as a mature student. Over the years my technique has - I like to think - improved. I have given many works away and made some on comission, and sold others. Main outlet at the moment is the Oxfam shop in Chippenham. And why not? They sell quickly as they don't ask for silly prices. And it's for as good a cause as you could get.

Why don't I call myself an 'artist'? Well, because I'm not one. I paint simply for the joy of doing it. And I think that I am just a little addicted to the smell of the stuff. Did you ever smell wet oil paint? It is exquisite ...

By not thinking myself more than I am I am completely free to paint as I wish. I do not have to obey the rules set out by those who call themselves 'art teachers' - sometimes their rules are nothing more than personal whims or prejudices. For example - I use photographs freely. How I have been chided in the past for doing that! And I used to worry about it, but not any more.

What I really like doing is submitting a painting to an exhibition and then causing dismay by asking perhaps £10 while others that are much the same size are going for anything up to £100. But who honestly can make a living out of painting? Van Gogh only sold one painting in his life, and now the art dealers will make countless millions out the man who died in poverty not much more than a century ago. Sometimes I think that the art world is a total nonsense. But there - who am I to say? I am, after all, no artist ...