Adventures in Photoshop – yes or no?

Samuel_Ruddy Headed Goose II_2018

Ruddy Headed Goose, egg tempera on board

See how this image pops!  Just been to a Helfa Gelf (the North Wales Open Studio Event – click here to look at their website)  workshop on Photoshop, really good.   Now dithering about whether it’s worth spending money to rent the programme.  It makes such a difference to the presentation of images on the webpage, but not sure there’s an economic argument in favour?  What do other people advise?

Samuel_Icon Cormorant_2018

Cormorant Icon, oil and gold leaf on board

It makes a massive difference to the presentation of my images because I like to have white backgrounds, which always come out grey or blue in reproduction.  Hm, meditate….

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Falklands magic



My visit to the Falklands Islands is now paying off!  Oil on canvas.  This is Rock Hopper Hop!! Rock Hopper Penguins are really charming and comical, and very interested in people.


Four Rock Hoppers and a King Cormorant.  This is in egg tempera, a new departure for me.  I love the way you can use it to do detailed work.  More details shortly.

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Guillemot time


Three Guillemots, oil on canvas, 60 cm x 60 cm

I had a super visit to South Stack on Anglesey a week or so ago.  It was a good time to go as it was late in the season, and the fledglings had left the nest, so there were a lot of birds to see, both mature and this year’s young.  Lots of puffins of all ages – well lots for South Stack, there’s never a lot of them there because there isn’t enough pockets of soil for a lot of them to dig burrows in.  Also rows and rows of guillemots, standing shoulder to shoulder along narrow ledges as they do, the Red Army of the bird world perhaps.  After mulling this over for a little while on my return home, I sprang into paint, and here are two completed Guillemot pictures, more in the pipeline.  In September they will be exhibited in Galeri Betws y Coed, so see them there if you’re in the vicinity!  Lots of other super things there also.  It will be part of the Helfa Gelf Open Studios Event, which takes place on 4 weekends in September across North Wales.   Above is the link to my studio, Ladder Store Studios, Llandudno, where you can come and meet me and my colleagues!  Check the link for our opening times.


One Guillemot, oil on canvas,                40 cm x 40 cm


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Have been struggling with this avocet for a time: these are beautiful interesting birds but it’s difficult to make them look good in paint.  This painting has gone through several stages, adding and removing backgrounds and surrounds till I settled on this one:


Avocet: oil on canvas

Quite pleased with this one version!  Not sure where I’m going to exhibit it yet…

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Spring news



Grey Heron, oil and collage on canvas

Really busy with admin work for a local art society at the moment, but somehow I’m finding that having to struggle to make time to do my own work inspires creativity.  I was struck by a rather tatty looking heron, stood and watched it for a while, but was puzzled as to how I could portray its noble tattiness, until I hit on the idea of collaging on the spiky feathers using raffia.  This took a while to get right, but I’m really pleased with the result – previously I’ve tried to use a variety of different brushes but without ever getting quite the effect I was looking for.


Curlew, oil and collage on canvas

I was so excited by my success I decided to have a go at a curlew as a companion piece.  Here the wing is collaged with some fine net to give extra texture, as well as the tail feathers which are raffia again.

These painting are going into Theatr Clwyd, Mold, as part of the exhibition of the Clwydian Art Society shortly.

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More and Different

Took some pictures into the Grosvenor Open Art Exhibition today: don’t know whether they’ll be accepted but we live in hope!  Quite pleased with my slightly wind-tousled Mallard however!


Mallard, oil, pencil and gesso on canvas.  45 cm x 45 cm

Also my inquisitive Canada Goose ….


Canada Goose, oil, pencil and gesso on canvas, 30 cm x 30 cm

I went to Slimbridge Wetlands Reserve the other day for a day of sketching to recharge the batteries, fell in love with the West Indian Whistling Ducks, expert pictures shortly.  Meanwhile, quite pleased with this photo of a damp Canada Goose.





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Well here is one..

Following my ‘new impetus’ decision at the start of the year, here is the first painting, not completed yet.  Although not a completely new approach, nevertheless it represents a  development in terms of mark making ….


White Fronted Goose, oil, gesso and pencil, 30 cm x 30 cm

Also I now have my own stall at the Craft Centre at Bodnant Gardens, the beautiful National Trust property in the Conwy Valley, North Wales – am going to miss sharing with Susie but I’ve so much stuff it was hard to fit into a half stand.  Here is a preliminary photo – it’s a work in progress!  Some new mini bunting on a seaside theme needed next, I think!


My Bodnant Garden Stall


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New Year, new projects …

One of my New Year resolutions was to further develop the bird paintings into more dynamic directions.  These are two Christmas commissions: I enjoyed painting the male and female eider ducks…..


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Christmas Shopping!

dsc_0317-1With a frightening 5 weeks to Christmas, frantic painting of robins has been happening at the Sea Holly studio.  There are stars and bauble-shaped tree decorations (on papier maché) and images on lovely honey coloured slices of leylandii wood, provided by my super son-in-law, Jeremy, who is based at Crumps Barn Studio – press here to investigate their website.

dsc_0325Very excitingly, I now have a Christmas Shop on my website.  Consult the page for decorations and stocking fillers….




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Good start!!

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Well, I sold three pictures before the exhibition at Galeri Betws y Coed even opened!!  They make a nice triptych, I think!  Check out the gallery here:

Still reeling with the pleasure!  Three black headed gulls flapped off to a new home, and I received a phone call to bring something extra to fill the space.  I had another black headed gull, but it was still wet, so framed it in a white box frame this time, rather than just presenting it on an unframed block canvas.  It actually looks really nice, am going to do this next time also ….

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