A few paintings and pen & ink illustrations from the past,
A painting of Combesgate Beach in North Devon. Acrylic on canvas 810 x 390mm, that’s 32 x 15 1/4″ in old money. Combesgate Beach is special stretch of sand just around the rocks from Barricane Beach near Woolacombe. When the tide is in not much of the beach can be seen, but at low tide, the golden sand, rock formations and views out to sea and Morte Point are breath taking. In the middle of this picture is The Watersmeet Hotel and dotted along the ridge are houses overlooking the view, I also like to surf the wave here on my longboard and it is known a little as ‘an old man’s break’.
Acrylic on 610 x 390mm canvas of Sandy Cove in North Devon. This secluded and somewhat idyllic beach is just around the coast from Lee Bay. When the tide is out you can walk to this beach via The Smugglers Walk, a meandering pathway through the rocks and cliffs which eventually brings you to this place. Quite often this beach is very quiet and a perfect place to hunt for sea glass, look through the rock pools or have a relaxing picnic. It is now becoming popular for sea swimming too!
Bedruthan Steps, mixed media on 40 x 30″ deep edge canvas. I was struck by the white parallel lines of the incoming waves on this day as I sat on top of the cliffs. The name Bedruthan Steps is said to be taken from a mythological giant called Bedruthan, who used the tall rock formations on the beach as stepping stones, and seems to be a late-19th-century invention for Victorian tourists. It is now part owned by the National Trust, the beach is now closed due to cliff instability and fear of visitors becoming cut off by rapid incoming tides.
HELE BAY painted on a canvas panel 500 x 250mm, using some pigments sourced at Fremington Quay. I am presently working on smaller scale pictures to keep my enthusiasm whilst planning larger compositions which move away from my usual landscape work. Hele is a favourite place of ours to search for seaglass and is a short pleasurable walk along the coast from Ilfracombe Harbour. There is free parking here and is a great place to sit in the sun or explore the rock pools.
An hour of getting rid of the blank white canvas and laying out the basic tones and colours for this painting. It’s been quite a while, for various reasons, since I daubed paint on canvas so this initial start should commit me to action.
We loved our stay here a few weeks ago and the coastline along this particular part of the Cornish coast is stunning. I sat sketching the sea from ontop a cliff here and watched a sailing ship weight anchor and it’s small boat venture into Mullion Harbour over the crystal clear turquoise water.
The final acrylic painting is 24 x 30″ on canvas please note that the colours are not as the original painting! Al
A visit to Bristol for the Harbour Festival and to pick up some large canvases in view of trying to break my creative lull. I think Mullion Cove will be next!
I came across this painting of mine from a few years ago on another website and got to look at it through fresh eyes. The sentiment of it’s original concept still moves me today!
Acrylic on 36 x 36″ canvas.
Adela Legarreta Rivas 1979.
Original image by Enrique Metinides.
The tragic scene in my painting was originally captured by photographer Metinides and is of Adela Legarreta Rivas, a Mexican journalist. Rivas had visited a beauty parlour where she had her hair and nails done in preparation for a press conference later that day. On her way to meet her sister she was hit and killed by a white Datsun on Avenida Chapultepec in Mexico City. In the scene her perfectly manicured nails, expensive jewellery, makeup and hair look almost flawless was it not for a single line of blood running across her nose and face.
In painting this scene I explored my own ideas of death and often use circles seen in the background to represent reincarnation. We hang onto material things and ego to boost our self esteem then suddenly a scan or an x ray can change all of our preconceptions of life in a second. A quote I heard sums this up quite eloquently, ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live!‘
Troubled Sunset At Crow & Sundown At The Point 24 x 30″ acrylic on canvas. I had a terrible dream about waking up in the night and hearing repetitive thumps in the dark. I looked out and could see distant nuclear mushroom clouds glowing on the horizon it was Russia’s last gambit. In the dream I nudged my wife and said that I loved her and our time had come! After photo-montaging and adjusting several of my images the outcome is the preliminary image above. I tend to work with Adobe on my laptop or Procreate on an iPad and work up the images, a kind of preliminary sketching before finally stabilising the final image! Now to the canvas and paints.
I’ve decided to paint two pictures one with my usual process the other with looser more spontaneous brush strokes. In progress…
Below a triptych almost. The middle, and much larger painting already sold from last year.
Well now it seems like Glastonbury 2022 is going ahead. So as usual I’m working as a veteran with the Recycling Crew and will reside in Tom’s Field near Worthy Farm; Tom’s Field is named after the old horse that used to live there! We have a large marquee where we have wonderful free vegetarian food and entertainment, not to mention the wonderful local Singing Cider. We’re pretty self contained so we could just stay there and still have a fantastic festival. I love meeting up with old Festival friends, drinking the cider and chatting by our camp fires with the thump of distant music.
So almost two weeks to go and after a long lay off we’ll meet again in Tom’s Field and drink and remember lost friends and colleagues who’ll be missed! Al
I’m returning home to Glastonbury Town,
To fly so high I hope we never come down.
Oh come back to dreams and escape from strife,
A few days, an escape, from our hum drum life!