Tag Archives: Studio & Gallery

Durham School v St Paul’s School

Durham School v St Paul's School

Durham School v St Paul’s School Watercolour Painting

One of the commissions I had in 2013 was Durham School v St Paul’s School in the Veterrimi IV final on 3rd November 2013.

This was a historic event that saw the oldest rugby clubs in the world play off in a fantastic tournament which is one of a kind and only happens every two years.

The painting of such an event is not only a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture the event itself, but even more so for the parents whose sons featured in the match.

An opportunity to possess a painting of them playing is unlikely to occur again in their rugby careers.

I spent the weekend at Sherborne where the tournament was being held so I could gather the necessary reference to do the painting. The standard of rugby was very high and Durham School came out as winners in a competitive final.

The original watercolour painting can currently be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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#SBS Winners Event 2013

Photo Shoot #SBS Winners Certificate from Theo Paphitis

Receiving #SBS Winners Certificate from Theo Paphitis

Last Thursday I went to the #SBS Winners Event 2013 at the ICC Birmingham. I had several attempts at tweeting @TheoPaphitis my business with the all important hashtag #SBS during the time slot 5-7:30pm on a Sunday before winning the coveted RT from Theo Paphitis to his 400,000 plus followers.

My winning tweet on 11th June 2012 was “Painting is my passion, come rain or shine” with a photo of my original watercolour “Pump Room, Bath” available as a limited edition print from my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter, was created by Theo Paphitis in October 2010. Theo is best known for appearing on Dragons Den on BBC Two. He is Chairman of Ryman Stationery plus Boux Avenue lingerie and Robert Dyas, as well as joint owner of Red Letter Days.

Each week Theo looks at the 1,000’s of tweets he receive’s and chooses his favourite 6 who are then re-tweeted. The winners can gain an immediate surge of followers and some positive social media coverage.

The winners event 2013 was a great experience as we had the chance to ask Theo questions and hear his valuable business insight. My favourite quote from Theo on the day was “make a living doing something you’re passionate about”. I’ve been very fortunate to being able to do just that for the last 29 years.

 

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The Response

Watercolour of "The Response"

“The Response”

Every so often I decide to paint a subject which is different to my usual repertoire. Sometimes it can be very personal. “The Response” is a recent painting that has a number of meanings but rather than me explain them all in this post, I’ve decided to leave the viewer to have their own thoughts for now.

“The Response” is a very moving World War One memorial commissioned by Sir George Renwick, a local ship owner. He gave the memorial to the city to commemorate the raising of the World War I Commercial Battalions of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers by the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and also to celebrate the safe return of his five sons from the Great War.

The monument is an emotionally charged depiction of the call to arms in 1914. The life sized 5th Northumberland Fusiliers are patriotically marching to war, led by drummer boys and an angel. Various well-wishers, parents, wives and children, some cheering, some weeping gather around the procession.

When I was a little boy, I would be captivated by this scene of soldiers and their families when my grandma took me through the town to see the Saturday morning matinee. The monument cropped up in a conversation about sculptures recently so I decided to make some observational sketchbook drawings in my moleskine of this magnificent sculpture. I became more and more intrigued by what I was drawing to the point of painting a very large 40″ x 30″ studio watercolour.

The more personal aspect of my painting of “The Response” is the group of figures on the right. I’ve painted myself, my daughter Louise and her children Ewan and Anya. The last soldier behind Louise is my Great Grandfather Thomas Reed who served in the conflict. He was shot in the chest but miraculously survived the Great War. He used to carve ships figureheads for a living and was a gifted draughtsman.

The painting can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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Painting of Burnham Overy Mill

Watercolour Study

Sketchbook Study of Burnham Overy Mill

In September 2009 and July 2010 my wife and I spent a weeks holiday in Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk with our daughter and two of our grandchildren.

It proved to be a mini inspirational homage to one of my painting heroes Edward Seago. Like Seago, I was captivated by the distinctive flat landscape and “big skies” punctuated by windmills, sailing vessels and trees.

I would rise early in the morning before the family woke up so I could spend an hour or so painting directly, without any preparatory pencil drawing, into my handmade sketchbook and Arches watercolour block. As one study was drying, I would alternate to the other until both were completed. Two hours later I was back at the cottage cooking breakfast!

This sketchbook watercolour of Burnham Overy Mill has been painted into a mini handmade sketchbook of Norfolk and is based on 4 separate watercolours painted on location “en plein air” in September 2009. The watercolour of Burnham Overy Mill I painted on the Arches 14″ x 10″ block can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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“It’s a Big River” Exhibition

Watercolour of the Tyne

North Shields, Fading Light

“It’s a Big River” is an exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland which is one of many events taking place throughout June across the region for The Festival of the North East.

Over the last few months I’ve been painting various scenes of life on the River Tyne, from where the North Tyne and the South Tyne meet at Warden to North Shields. The painting above titled “North Shields, Fading Light”, is one of several original watercolours on view until 29th June. Prints also available.

 

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Spring Exhibition 2013

Watercolour of my grandchildren

Looking for Crabs & Collecting Shells

My Spring Exhibition starts Saturday 13th April at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland and finishes Sunday 28th April. The exhibition will feature a number of new figurative paintings including these two new original watercolours of my grandchildren Ewan and Anya.

Ewan can be seen “Looking for Crabs” and Anya is “Collecting Shells”. The paintings carry an optimistic hope for some brighter, sunnier weather after what seems to have been one of the darkest, coldest, wettest and longest winters that I can remember for some time.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the preview weekend then please contact me.

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Durham School v Ampleforth College

Durham v Ampleforth

Durham School v Ampleforth College

On 20th October 2012 Durham School 1st XV played Ampleforth College in one of the biggest rugby fixtures the school plays. I was there to record the game in this new limited edition print, in respect of Noel Shearing who the game is played in memory of. There are only 34 prints available as this was the age Noel Shearing died and I will be donating a framed print to Noel’s charity for auction.

Many of the boys are clearly identifiable in the painting and I am sure this will be the only time any of the Durham School players could hope to have a painting of themselves playing in such a historic side with such a breathtaking backdrop as Durham School and Durham Cathedral. Already several of the boys are ordering their copies of the print, signed and numbered with the same number shirt they usually wear for the team.

The print and the original watercolour painting can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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Christmas Exhibition

Grey Street, Snow Shower limited edition print

Grey Street, Snow Shower

My Christmas Exhibition Preview weekend 9-11th November was very well attended with plenty of sales. Star of the show was “Grey Street, Snow Shower” which received a good number of print orders. Despite the rising cost of stamps, there were still plenty of folk buying my new Christmas cards too.

My new range of Magnetic Bookmarks also proved to be popular, with customers buying them as stocking fillers. Images include scenes of Newcastle, Italy, Bath and Oman.

Locally produced hand made glass was another hit as well. The exhibition continues at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland, Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-5pm until Christmas Eve so there’s still plenty of time to pop in for a browse and a cup of fresh coffee.

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Paintings – Dhows Oman

Dhows, Sur, Oman

Dhows, Sur

It’s almost 5 years since I first visited Sur in Oman. It had been badly hit by Cyclone Gonu a few months previously and there was still much evidence of the damage caused. Sur has been associated with ship building for centuries and today there is a Dhow Maritime Museum dedicated to Oman’s history of sea trade.

I had been asked to do some paintings of Omani doors as well as dhows so I spent a few hours wandering around getting reference and making sketchbook studies of these Arabian vessels. I’ve published a number of my paintings of Dhows as limited edition prints since then which have proved to be popular. Some of the sketchbook studies have also been published in my signed limited edition Sketchbook of Oman.

The watercolour above is one of several new paintings to be exhibited at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland as part of my Christmas Exhibition starting 9th November.

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Ponteland Paintings

Watercolour of 1 Main Street, Ponteland

1 Main Street, Ponteland

The watercolour above is a scene in Ponteland I first painted back in 1980 when I was an art student. I remember selling the original watercolour to one of my lecturers at the time. Little did I know that 23 years later I would have a Studio & Gallery 2003-2008 upstairs in the building on the right hand side of the painting.

I’ve reproduced the watercolour as a limited edition print. You can see it at my Studio & Gallery which is now at our home in Ponteland, 17 Cheviot View, just a short walk from Dobbies Garden Centre.

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