Ten years ago one of my laptops crashed and some of my song ideas were lost before they could be backed up. I was recently searching for a Turin Brakes track called The Door with a wonderful incorporation of Pink Floyd’s Breathe that I heard at Cropredy 2022 when all of a sudden my name appeared with some recorded tracks. I don’t know how they ended up here but I’m so glad to be reunited with some of my old musical ideas. If you’re interested please click on the link below and have a listen! Al
The start of 2023. The completed acrylic painting 820 x 400mm above is of Kynance Cove from a sketch made in November 2022. My wife and I were staying in Mullion Cove for my Birthday weekend and made our way here. There were no tourists as the weather was very changeable but once we go down to the beach we were surprised to see that the tearooms were open. We sat on the benches and this is the view we enjoyed for an hour or so with it’s incredible light illuminating the sea.
I’ve tried to keep this painting looser than normal as it was just an exercise in removing the white of the canvas gesso and promoting some sense of light to dark contrasts. From the beginning I reference the original sketch and start to make sense of the correct sky tones and highlights on the sea. I must say there is a certain honesty to my original sketches perhaps my plain air sketch books should be shown.
Now finished I leave it on an easel for a week or so and make final adjustments. As usual the Titanium White appears bolder that it actually is when photographed. Al
A selection of some of the paintings I’ve completed in 2022, the year started out with a Bideford Black and ended with a large composition called Secluded Stream. I’ve had the great pleasure of twice visiting the Lizard in Cornwall this year and searched for sea glass with my wife along the North Devon Coast. During the year I was invited by a friend of mine, Adrian Beasley, to join again with the Black Arts for a residential course and worked with clients using the Bideford Black pigment at the Northam Visitors Centre. Having not exhibited for quite a while I ended year at the Burton Gallery, I’m now taking a slight break to plan my 2023 campaign. Al
A return to an old favourite of mine and perhaps the final painting of 2022. The old linhay on the Marsh in Braunton. Acrylic on canvas 30 x 40″. A sketch of this scene was made during one of my cycle rides along the Tarka Trail, around the Braunton Marsh and down the old American Road to Crow Point. I was quite taken by the neon cold light this particular morning and sat in the reeds watching the sticklebacks and swans.
Nice to be exhibiting again at The Burton. I’ve three excepted there titled, Leaving Heddon’s Mouth, Blackchurch Rock and Troubled Sunset at Crow. If you’ve the time please pop in there’s some wonderful work there!
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!
Sadly my 16 years old Martin guitar has had a mishap in my studio. I’ve knocked it many times but this time, well this time a knock too many. I’ve played guitars most of my life including bass guitars and although not the greatest player I do gain great pleasure from playing. One of my many guitars now in the hands of luthier James Millman.
Finally my guitar has been returned repaired and the frets redressed, I quite like the lower action. Very pleased with the results and actually playing the guitar more due to it’s new feel and playability! Al
It seems that a return to glass hunting on Hele Beach was in order today and although the tide was fully in we thought it possible to search the sands whilst the tide ebbed. We arrived, parked in the fee carpark and walked onto the beach, the tide was dropping quickly revealing shining wet stones and glass. It’s quite odd how searching in one direction you see no glass yet you can turn around and see everything, we believe it’s all in the angle of the reflective light and the wetness of the glass. You also have to crouch down quite close to the sand as sea glass fully reveals itself to only those who search intimately.
Today we found two bottle stoppers which are quite rare and some equally illusive blue glass. We managed to fill two small bags with our endeavours all the more with which my wife can continue to make her jewellery.
A quiet day at Combesgate Beach near Woolacombe in North Devon. With most of the summer visitors gone the beaches have now finally been reclaimed by the locals. We spent the day sitting in the sunshine on Barricane Beach drinking mugs of tea from the beach hut owned by the now locally famous Sri Lankan chef who supplies curries on summer evenings. In a week this curry house will be craned off the beach and stored marking the start of the approaching winter season.
Of course sea glass was found at Barricane but not so much at Combesgate around the corner although the rock formations there were outstanding. It’s on days like these, when you have the beach to yourself, you appreciate living in such a part of world.