The first out of the blocks for this year a warm up as I’ve not painted for over a month. Another Biddie Black of one of my favourite walks out to Crow Point in North Devon. New Year’s Day 2010 was very busy here with people observing the latest lockdown. I’m really surprised with this as for many years Crow Point has remained quiet, even in the summer. During the Covid Pandemic locals have reacquainted themselves with this quiet beach and now it’s busier than I have ever seen. It was lovely to bump into a few friends here that I’ve not spoken to in a long time.
Another picture inspired from Roborough near Pilton, Barnstaple. I’m using some broken sticks from the hill to create some surface texture. This is painted using Bideford Black hand prepared paint on thick cartridge paper. The view is of looking toward the top of road leading down to Raleigh and Barnstaple. In the distance there is a slight glimpse of the River Taw leading to Fremington Quay, Instow and Crow Point. Al
A Bideford Black painting I finished last year finally in it’s new home. What a great setting and choice of frame! Really pleased at how it looks! Al
A mixed media composition of the late Peter Green who died on the 25th July 2020 aged 73. 540 x 400mm, Bideford Black, Uni-ball fine line pens & Indian Ink. I’ve found this frame on a recent trip to Clifton in Bristol where I discovered it in an antique shop.
Peter Green was one of the greatest Blues guitarists Britain ever produced. His shape-shifting riffs and long, improvisational excursions made Fleetwood Mac one of the most exciting live bands of the 1960s Blues explosion.
He first picked up a hand-me-down guitar at the age of 10 and, like many of his peers, began to devour the import vinyl that trickled into the UK from the US. He studied the greats Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and BB King – combining their tensely coiled playing style with the shimmering vibrato of The Shadows’ Hank Marvin.
But he actually started his professional career as a bassist, until an encounter with Eric Clapton persuaded him to ditch the instrument.
“I decided to go back on lead guitar after seeing him with the Bluesbreakers. He had a Les Paul, his fingers were marvellous. The guy knew how to do a bit of evil, I guess.”
He later had the seemingly impossible task of taking over from Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Fans were unconvinced at first, but after a handful of incendiary performances, he won them over, earning the nickname “The Green God”. Interestingly enough I thought the Green Manalishi was him but Mr Green says it was actually about a wad of cash he dreamt about.
Bideford Black pigment on 250lb Bockingford Paper. After a warm cycle ride around the Marsh in Braunton I’ve decided to paint this Linhay yet again. Stormy sky and an even more stormy time for everyone regarding the present Covid conditions. I thought the dark foreboding nature of this paint and subject to be quite apt! Al
Last night I spent an enjoyable evening exhibiting work with photographers Adrian Beasley & Stephen Raff. This event was a preview exhibition for this year’s North Devon Art Trek 2019. The name Black Arts originated from our collective work of black & white photography and Bideford Black paintings.
Throughout the evening Adrian showed his skills in photo editing for which he runs regular weekend courses far and wide. He also performed some electronic music, has numerous albums and performs with the group Airsculpture. Stephen took some traditional wet plate portraits which intrigued the audience greatly. I chatted about my sourcing of the Bideford Black pigment, it’s preparation and usage. For us the evening turned out much better than we had anticipated and we’d like to say a great thanks for those who attended. Al
Another Bideford Black painting 610 x 350mm on Bockingford paper. This was from an idea by Adrian Beasley Imaging who suggested copying one of his landscape photographs for an upcoming joint exhibition at a local venue. We are both exhibiting black & white landscapes and a comparisonal piece will be interesting. Just a few minor adjustments in the cold light of day but this is it. See you on North Devon Art Trek. Al
The original AB photographic image above and my afternoon’s work beneath. I’ve taped the outside so that when removed it gives a kind of photographic edge to my painting. Al
Last Bideford Black painting for a while. This is of the famous Seafield House at Westward Ho in North Devon. Always love looking at this building with its decay and mystery. Recently a local businessman has purchased this so it will be interesting to see what happens. http://www.westwardhohistory.co.uk/seafield-house/ If you are interested here is a video tour of the inside of this building https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/break-haunted-seafield-house-westward-331933