30 November 2009 Phew!

Phew! At last it seems that I have a moment to put up a blog message.
We have been very busy getting our Open House exhibition ready and hung. Then we opened on Sat 21st, and Sun 22nd. Then again Sat 28th and Sun 29th. And of course we now get ready for next weekend when it all happens again.
Despite the fact that the weather has been 'interesting', very wet and windy in fact, we have played host to many intrepid visitors, sold lots of prints and cards, taken commissions for originals, prepared and drank gallons of mulled wine, eaten mince pies, and run our daily prize draw during open days.
Meanwhile the retail gallery and online gallery world is waking up for Xmas and orders for prints are coming in thick and fast. Help!!
And it goes on... tomorrow I am demonstrating my painting techniques at Canary Wharf London in the afternoon, plus in the evening we will be attending a private view where we are showing in a London east end gallery. That is the Art Group show 'Lets Play'.
Todays image is the solid gold 'Trevor the Cat' pendant that Graham Hale is showing at our Open House. Anybody who has looked at our website www.crabfish.com will recognise our mascot Trevor.

11 November 2009 Poppy Day

Today is a pretty significant day.
Armistice Day, when the world remembers those who died in war.
In 1918 WW1 peace was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
WW1 was billed as 'the war to end all wars'.
Today is 11/11/09.
That is 91 years after the signing of the armistice.
But war has gone on somewhere in the world ever since.
Here is one of Shyama's prints with lots of poppies.

8 November 2009 New Brighton prints

These three new Brighton originals are being shown in The Art Group 'Lets Play' exhibition in London in December.
However I am keeping the publication of the prints for myself. In preparation for the upcoming Artists Open Houses in two weeks time I have proofed new Limited Edition prints of 250 each. I have decided to publish them in two sizes, A2 [approx 38cm x51cm] and A3 [ approx 26cm x 37cm].

Lets Play on the Bandstand

Lets Play on Palace Pier

Lets Play on Brighton Beach

23 October 2009 The Affordable

Shyama and I went up to The Affordable Art Fair in London today. It is held in Battersea Park twice a year. It has been going for ten years already. Also nowadays in Bristol, Paris, New York, Brussels, Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.

Here is a super idea. Great big cushions to relax on when your feet start to ache.

Shammy and I have both exhibited and worked at previous Affordables. Shammy shows with Lara Bowen on the Four Walls stand [this is Lara pictured today with her new baby Tom]. Show them art appreciation early! Actually Tom's arrival on the scene is the very understandable reason that Four Walls are not exhibiting at this show.

We met several old friends, looked at some great art, and had a really enjoyable day out.

21 Oct 2009 Literature of New York

Sabrina Fuchs-Abrams sent me a copy of her new book.
As you can see she has illustrated the cover with one of my paintings of New York.
She did ask me, and I was happy to allow her to do it.
The painting has been sold, but the print is available on my crabfish.com website here;

20 October ... Local pub exhibits

Our local pub, The Roundhill Tavern, is displaying some of my naive style giclee prints on canvas. The landlord Steve chose a big 'Cat on Piano' and 'Brighton' to welcome customers across the main lounge, and 'Guinness' and 'Cat on Post' on the wall opposite the main bar.
There is another, 'Cat and Fish Supper' not shown here, on the wall behind the pool table next to the kitchen.
The big ones are 30"x40", and the smaller ones are 15"x20".
I have to go in and check 'em out quite often. And it's thirsty work!

9 October 2009 The Saffron Gallery

If you went by the outside of the Saffron Gallery in Battle last night, this is what this small family run gallery looks like. The gallery hangs only original paintings on the wall, with prints available from browsers. Framing is done on the premises.

But if you looked in through the window as you passed you might have seen that the gallery was crowded with members of the Fine Art Trade Guild who were enjoying a Branch meeting, a talk by Paul Cumberland from Birds Birds Birds in Faversham Kent, a bit of supper, a glass or two of wine, and a good chinwag [oops I mean a networking opportunity].

That is where Fran and I were as well. Being 'Master of The Guild' has some delightful consequences.

8 October 2009

A little late I know. Here is a picture of Shammy [Shyama Ruffell] on her stand at the Brighton Art Fair a few days ago. It was a good show. Very busy, very popular, and profitable.
We are going to be adding a portfolio of her original paintings and prints to the Crabfish website during the next week or so.
And then, on the last two weekends in November, we will be showing Shammy's new work, and Fran's and mine, at our next Open House. That will be here at 182 Springfield Road Brighton. Keep watching this space, or check out our website www.crabfish.com.

4 October 2009 back from hols

We went to the family house in Spain where we unwind with other family members once a year.
We actually got back a whole week ago but found such a huge mountain of orders and things to do that this is the first chance to get blogging again.
I had taken my small pochade with me fully intending to do a few small plein air paintings. But the best laid plans of mice and men went astray again. Instead I felt the urge to paint over one of my abstract canvases that hangs in the villa dining area. It was a print, an early experiment, that didnt work very well because it looked rather dull. It was one of the collection that we had donated to the villa when the family were furnishing it.

So I got out the paints and just started painting over.

Here is the painting still showing quite a bit of the abstract. I found the paella pan on top of a kitchen cuboard. It wasnt here last year, maybe it was left by a visitor.

Next picture shows the picture in progress. This is a lovely cool spot under the grape vines.

The finished picture shows the view across the valley, with a table and paella pan plus other bits and pieces. Click here to see more about the house [which is available for rent].

7 September 2009 Painting to print ... the process

Here is the final print. Hooray!
There is a big big difference between painting a picture for its own sake, and painting a picture to make a print. I usually paint nowadays with the primary purpose of making a good print. This bandstand painting is a good example.
I planned and painted the image by visiting and taking many photographs at different times. I chose a large format canvas and spent time in the studio creating the painting that I published here a couple of days ago.
But then, I had to convert all that into a good print. First a high definition photo in natural daylight.
Then upload to computer and resize in Photoshop. Crop, tweak colours and test print. Sounds easy, but it isnt. This time it took all day, and a dozen test prints, to realise that I needed to go back and change the painting a bit.
So I did that and went through the whole process again today.

Trial prints.....all discarded!

The 'Brighton Bandstand' print will be available soon as part of the new Brighton portfolio.

5 September 2009 The new bandstand

My new painting is nearly finished.
The old bandstand on Brighton seafront has been restored and re-opened in August. So I went along to see it to gather reference material for the painting. I was lucky because it was a lovely warm sunny summer day for a change.
The painting seen here in my studio, is 30"x40" acrylic on canvas.
When final tweaks and finishing touches are complete I will photograph and publish this in the new collection of Brighton views.
I intend to make it another 'Collectors Edition' piece.
Watch www.crabfish.com for more news.

31 August 2009 website makeover

We have just uploaded our latest website makeover.

You will see that the frontpage invites visitors to explore different areas depending on whether they are in the art business or not.
So we invented a new graphic.
It is on www.crabfish.com.

Left door utilises left brain sensible business interests.
Right door is for right brain creative enjoyment.

It all goes through to the same shared place once you are inside.
But, we will be able to develop different areas and content as time goes by.

Please have a look and let me know if it works for you.

28 AUGUST 2009 Brighton Beach ... finished

Here is the finished painting.
It shows a view of the beach and distant Palace Pier [also known as Brighton Pier].
The area immediately below the viewer is The Fishernmans Hard with a selection of old fishing boats that used to launch from this beach. Nowadays the fishing boats use the Marina or Newhaven Port just along the coast.
This is a 30"x40" acrylic on canvas. I will also publish a Collectors Edition print of this in various sizes.

24August 2009

This is my latest painting,still unfinished.
Size 30" x 40".
The seafront in Brighton on a nice sunny day.
As yet title unknown.

18 August 2009 ....from the past

I had an email today from Helen in Glasgow. She says; "While looking at your website I realise that I may have one of your early acrilic works. About 40 years ago my husband and I went to Wylie Locheads in Glasgow to buy some tables we had saved for but when we saw this painting we bought it instead!"

Crikey! Maybe poor Helen and husband have had to eat off their laps for 40 years. I feel very humble and grateful.
The story behind the sale is this; I exhibited, with artist Colin Paynton, in several of the House of Frazer stores throughout UK in a promotion by G Plan Furniture Co. during the late 60's. Wylie Lochead was the flagship store in Scotland. [Harrods in London and Rackhams in Birmingham were also part of the same group]. The store gave over part of the furniture dept as a temporary studio space where we painted pictures to hang in the beautiful room settings. The paintings were designed to compliment the furnishings.
Helen's painting looks like one of my works from that period, although I don't actually remember this one.
I think that it is a good idea to consider the location for a work of art when painting or buying it.
Some artists will disagree.

8 August 2009 Two Phone Boxes

Here it is just about finished. I will leave it for a day or two before making any final tweaks.
I think that I will title this 'Two Phone Boxes' because they look so good in this setting.
I reckon that we will soon see the last of these icons as nearly everyone nowadays has a moblile [cell] phone and the boxes are hardly ever used.

6 August 2009 Can you see what it is yet?

Back in the studio to make a bigger version of one of the small paintings. The first stage is getting the canvas surface to an interesting condition. Lots of roller work, painting over, and dry brush technique here. Then quick sketchy sort of blocking in to see the overall balance and design. Then key tonal points, the darkest area and the lightest. Then colour range with a few washes of thin colour. And this is the result. Can you see what it is yet? That question was the trademark question for a TV artist Rolf Harris here in the UK. Ive borrowed it. Thanks Rolf.

1 August 2009

School holidays now. So we took our youngest grandchild to a local farm where they have a maize maze, and other great attractions for kids of all ages, including Fran and I.
It rained in the afternoon but we all had a great time. Here is Ava sporting her green wellies and umbrella at a garden centre on the way home.
That is a helluva colour combination aint it?

31 JULY 2009 Alan Furneaux

Let me tell you about my friend Alan Furneaux.
Alan is a British artist living in Cornwall UK.
We got to know each other when he lived in Brighton, and we were both opening our houses for the Brighton Festival as part of the Fiveways Artists Group.
Alan moved across to another part of town after a couple of years, and later hundreds of miles away to Penzance, but we kept in touch.
I have always liked his paintings, and we've co-operated since exhibiting at art and trade fairs.
Alan occasionally returns to Brighton, and we met by chance in a pub earlier this spring.
So we chatted and discussed the price of fish, discovering that he shared my interest in the possibilities and challenges promised by 'plein air' painting.
On a later visit we went painting together for a morning in the grounds of Brighton Pavilion.
His blog is well worth following, because he has found that plein air painting is right up his street.
His new work is just super. The paintings are local landscapes and seascapes in a 'faux naif' style.
But don't be fooled by the exuberant looseness of his technique, because these are really very well painted artworks.

Have a look and see for yourself.

I have pinched one of the latest images from his blog to show you what his new work is like.
I hope that he doesn't mind.

30 July 2009

And our final winner collects her prize draw choice. Phew!
There were eight winners from last May when we drew one a day from the visitors to our Open House exhibition.
Vanessa Cooper chose one of Frans little egg prints.
It is to go in her new house, which she moves into today.
Hence the delay in her collecting the chosen print.
Here she is with Fran and the picture.

25 July 2009

Another Open House winner collected his prize yesterday. Here is Tim Shawcross with his choice of print. Tim chose 'London' which is a 'collectors print'.

19 July 2009 Garden Gadabout

Here in Brighton UK we have an annual event that raises money for a local hospice. All over the city people open their gardens for a day or two and charge a modest one pound sterling entry fee so that other gardeners can come and visit. All money goes to the charity. Host gardens take months getting ready, clearing up, etc. Some even lay on tea coffee and cake, while others put on art and craft shows. We ourselves have opened up for the last couple of years, and last year we laid on a free wine tasting at the same time. Visitors can have a wonderful time.
This year we didn't open, instead we spent yesterday 19th July visiting other gardeners gardens. We were delighted to discover how many enchanting gardens lay hidden behind rows of ordinary terrace houses.
Here is a picture of a comma butterfly posing for the camera in a garden just down the road from us.

18 July 2009 Here we are again!

Good day. No, I am not dead, on holiday, or having a breakdown. The gap since my previous posting has mostly been because ...... I have had a big birthday. The 'three score years and ten' birthday in fact. That means that everything from now on is a nice bonus :-)
We had a lot of things to do before last weekend, when we had planned a garden party.
The whole point of the party, and a new gazebo, was that we could host a barbecue and paella event. When we opened the gazebo package we discovered that gazebos are not waterproof. The suppliers even say that the gazebo can catch fire if exposed to naked flames.
Readers in the UK will know that last weekend in southern England it rained, lots of rain, heavy rain. We had advance warning for the previous week. So we decided to waterproof our garden with tarpaulins. They had to be sourced, bought and erected. What the weather forcasters didn't tell us was that it was going to be windy as well as wet. Putting tarpaulins over sheds, gazebos, and pergolas covered in thorny roses is tricky at the best of times. In windy conditions it is much more fun.
The party went well, nobody got soaked, the extra big new paella pan was used twice to feed about 100 people. I drank a little too much.
The wonderful surprise was that my family had persuaded John Crampton to come and play a live session in the evening. He is good. Click here to see.
Todays image is provided by my mate Adrian, who took this shot showing John playing with my neice 'G' dancing to his music.
Afterwards there was the clear-up operation.
So no new painting for a while. Hey ho.

10 July 2009

Regular readers of this blog, if there are any, may have noticed a lull in proceedings.

This does not indicate a catastrophic tsunami, or a nasty bout of swine flu. It just shows how fickle the creative muse can be.

However we have been busy making prints, fulfilling orders, etc.

Plus our ongoing priority and first love which is paperwork, records, and accounts. Not really, I am joking about that.

The pause in production of new paintings is partly due to the lack of looming exhibition deadlines. And partly because there are so many interesting directions to go. So this is a chance to take a long look at what to do next.

Please be patient.

3 July 2009

Local colour is the kind of thing that they tell you about in art school classes. The teacher will show examples that demonstrate that an object will reflect colour from surrounding objects.
Here is a close up of a bit of the 'Stinking Rose' painting from May 21st blog.
This shows that the tomato colour is reflected onto the plate and the garlic bulb. Blinding bleeding obvious eh? It happens the other way as well. A red tomato will also reflect the colour of its surroundings. If it is next to a green lime for instance, there will be green on the tomato skin. When you paint the tomato skin you would need to add green paint to show it.
But, we all know that the tomato was red, not green. Same as we all know that my plate was white not red.
This brings us to the subject of painting what we know versus what we see.
A child would know that the tomato is red and would be puzzled by any suggestion that the artist should paint some of it green.
This brings us to the subject of naive painting, where the artist is untrained, or where the artist paints as though he/she was untrained.
It is attractive to see a painting created by fresh untutored eyes. For example we have a collection of our childrens and grandchildrens paintings on our walls. They are delightful. But the paintings are often wrong because the kids are painting what they know before they learn to paint what they can see.
Sometimes I manage to shake off years of learning and make pictures using my child eyes. Sometimes I paint using all the skill and sophistication I can muster.
I dunno which persona I prefer, cos I like them both.

But why are tomato's red in the first place?
Ah-ha! There is a biological determinist answer to that in a future post.

2 July 2009. Local colour.

Well OK then, following Alan's comment on yesterday's blog, this is what I do when not painting pictures.
First thing is open emails and answer anything that has come in overnight.
Second thing is write the blog about previous day.
So yesterday I went to the local tip to get rid of stuff. Went shopping for food. Varnished some canvas prints. Packed parcel for shipment to Australia. Ordered tape and stuff online from Lion framing supplies. Chased payment for overdue invoice from online gallery that sold prints in April. Went to local surgery for blood test. Few more phone calls. Painted inside of studio door. Watched ladies semi-final tennis match on TV. Researched online for chicken coops. Went to pub for evening meal with friends and talked about holidays.
So where is the interesting thing there?
Ah-ha! 'Painted inside of studio door'. The issue here is 'local colour'.
The outside of the door is painted bright red. The studio is black timber outside and white inside. Red door outside looks good next to our bright blue Johnny Woodford bench. This morning it looked even more striking with the yellow weed bucket. [see illustration] But in the hot summer the studio door is often hooked open, and the inside [white] colour looks wrong in the garden.
So yesterday I painted the inside of the door with base red coat.
But the inside should be white so that when painting inside there is neutrality in the colour space.
Now we will have to see if the introduction of a splosh of red colour into the neutral studio space will have a detrimental effect.

Artists have to be aware of this 'local colour' effect. It is even dangerous to wear bright or strong coloured clothing when painting a picture because it bounces coloured light onto the painting surface and pallette. Then when the painting is shown in a different display space the colour is wrong.
I will report on the effect of the new red interior later.

1st July 2009 .. now we are 6 months old!

This blog started 6 months ago. Originally the plan was to join the 'painting a day' movement and post a new daily painting on the blog.
Well, the best laid plans of mice and men oft gang aglay [or something like that ... apologies to Robbie Burns and all our scottish readers].
Fact is that one new painting a day proved an unacheivable goal because we are also running the existing successful paint, print and publish business [ Crabfish Ltd.] that takes up most of our effort and time.
So the blog switched to ' a daily painting blog' sometime later. Even that is difficult to keep up sometimes.
Please accept my apologies.

However, looking back I see that I have painted 84 new paintings, and published them as limited editions. Wow!

You can see the collection of 84 paintings and prints by clicking here.

The blog acts as a diary reminding me of six months interesting experiences, exhibitions, meetings, developments, experiments and events.

So, what next?

Well I hope that the blog can get better at the task of posting something interesting for our readers, thats you!
Please click on the comments link under the daily message to tell me where I am going wrong and where it is allright, if it is.

What would you like to see in this blog in the future?

You can cut and paste and email to... cr@crabfish.com ...if the comments button doesn't work, or if you want to post a private message.

27 & 28 June 2009

When I was naughty at school, the teacher gave me lines to do.
Getting 'lines' as a punishment meant that you had to sit and write the same thing over and over.
Such lines as ' I must not run in the corridor'.
25 lines on a page, so 100 lines was four pages of agony, and so much wasted time.

Over the weekend I have been signing, numbering, and putting in the titles for hundreds of limited edition prints.
Here they are... in piles of 50 or so each image.
Such torture on a lovely weekend.

Then they had to be recorded, and packed, before delivery next week to the framers.
The IKEA box that came round the new flat packed armchair was just the right size.

Hey ho! Its tough when you fail and its tough when you succeed as well.

26 June 2009 the great god IKEA

We went to IKEA in Croydon to get a chair and odds and ends for the kitchen etc. As one does.
I had a budget in mind of £100. But at the checkout it came to £240.
New wine glasses, garlic press, footstool, boxes, plates, cushions, etc.
But enough of my weakness.
Such is the power of IKEA to tempt and persuade with all sorts of goodies.

Todays illustration shows my cards that are on sale in IKEA.
In a pack of five 7"x5" art cards called KORT on sale for £2.45.

That is incredible value.

They also have frames that will fit the size.
I will probably get just a few pennies each, so please go buy in your millions.

Or, get an individual, bigger, archival, signed, and numbered, collectable, version from my website [blatant advertising]. Click here to see New York prints.

PS. Why do IKEA call their goods such funny names? What does KORT mean? Probably Swedish for 'jolly good art work'.

25 June 2009 Graham Clarke

One of the perks of being a member of The Fine Art Trade Guild is that we get to meet others in the art business. Some of whom are really interesting, like our host of last evening.
The Guild South-east UK branch held their annual AGM at the studio of artist Graham Clarke in Kent. Graham gave us a talk about his life and work, we ate drank and voted, and rounded off the evening with a music fest wearing funny wigs and hats.
My part in the musical ensemble was to squeak a motor horn at crucial moments as we painfully rendered 'Under the Bridges of Paris', followed by the 1812 finale with our version of cannons and church bells celebrating Napoleon's defeat outside Moscow.
The studio is bursting with Clarke etchings and ancient machinery for etching production. Plus weird and ancient musical instruments, books, and strange sculptural things.
GC won Guild Artist of the Year Award some years ago and proudly displays the certificate, in a prominant postion in a private area of his studio, next to the letter from the previous Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

23 June 2009

The private portait is finished at last. It took a lot of time and stretched me into new areas.

I proffer no more feeble excuses for the lack of postings on this blog.

There is in fact another good reason [grin] why we have been preoccupied.
We have had confirmation of a big order for limited edition prints. The order will dominate all our effort and time for a few more days yet.
But we are not complaining. Heck no, bring on more orders like this.
So todays illustration shows one of the chosen images that have been ordered in quantity.
It is part of the Venice collection of limited edition prints.
Title 'Bridge of Sighs'. Click here to see more details on our website.

19 June 2009

Another winner, from our free draw held during the four open house weekends in May, has claimed and collected her prize.
BD from Sussex chose a framed print titled 'Brighton' in A3 size. From a catalogue of over a hundred signed and numbered images, 'Brighton' has proved to be the most popular winners choice by far.
[see illustration]

So far, over time, we have given away more than a dozen framed prints with a retail value well over £1000. The winners of the daily draw can choose any image from our collection that will fit into the free frame.

There is no catch, the winners pay nothing. We do this to get your attention, we get valuable feedback, and we collect a list of willing email addresses for our occasional newsletter. [We do not share this list with anyone so please don't ask].

I did some more studio painting on the 'secret' picture that was mentioned a few days ago. Calm down, this is no big deal, just a private commission that is not for general release. But it is taking time, and so there are no new 'public' images.

18 June 2009

This log-jam thing is tricky to beat. Here is one of the little critters that are causing the problem.
A small insignificant sketchy sort of thing isn't it?
This 6"x8" canvas has had deckchairs and other people on it, the sand and sea have been different colours, the waves have been breaking with white horses and without white horses.
Now I have painted over most of the evidence.
I quite like it like this. But it is not how I thought it would go.

In passing, can I share with you the pleasure that I get from reading the twice weekly messages from Robert Genn. He is a super artist from Canada who has been supplying a free and inspirational letter for yonks. You could find out more from this link to his website where you can choose to sign up for the newsletter. http://painterskeys.com/

14 June 2009 Logjam and a Purple Tree solution

My creative logjam is a bit of a nuisance. Hey ho, that's the way it goes.
Sunday is often a good day for quiet studio painting, but it didn't happen.
Instead I went to the beach and enjoyed the sun like every body else.

Fran to the rescue!
Here is a painting by Fran that she has reworked recently.
It is 8"x8" acrylic on canvas, titled Purple Tree.
This is one of her series of landscape paintings that explores abstraction, colour, and painterliness.
You can check out the series on our crabfish website.

13 June2009 Painters block. Interesting? or not?

Dear Diary... This is the opening remark of many a diarist. It sounds better than 'Dear Blog' doesn't it.
But a blog is a diary.
During the last 30 days this blog has been visited 785 times by 282 people in 38 countries. Wow!

But here is the problem. I don't come up with a successful painting, or even successful progress report every day.
In fact over the last few days it has been very difficult to produce a good illustration of the days activity. You will have noticed pictures of Brighton railway station and our garden, Why?

Well, this is the interesting bit. Interesting to me at any rate.
I have stumbled into a blockage/turning point/uncomfortable/frustrating/exciting 'zone of change'.
It happens to artists every now and then.

What I am trying to do is develop my painting to marry two areas and styles of my work. The recent plein air small paintings on one hand, and my studio 'post-impressionist neo-abstract expressionist' painting on the other. What!? Yes you can describe my London, Venice, and New York studio paintings as 'post-impress...etc'. Basically it means that the studio pictures are based on abstract qualities using rollers, dry brush, and scumble and glaze techniques to make biggish impressionist or expressionist images. A technique that must be done in a studio with time and flat surface facilities.

I have enjoyed my recent foray into plein air very much. The method produces small brush paintings, and is subject to the vagaries of weather, and good painting spots. The atmosphere is instant, dynamic, and genuine. Whereas the studio method can produce larger more creative work with some gorgeous painterly surfaces. So I am trying to put them together in a series of beach paintings.
I have vague exciting ideas of how these will look and how to do them.

The illustration today shows the result of a weeks work... not much to show eh?
These are backgrounds. The subject will be added next.
But it keeps going wrong. I have painted over stuff many times. Success is elusive.

Well I find it interesting anyway.
Back to the drawing board.

12 June 2009 garden and studio

Still no new paintings to show you.
I am wrestling with new painting ideas which are proving elusive.
Here is a shot of the patio outside my studio. I am surrounded by the wonderful garden that Fran has made. The pergola is weighed down with roses, the air is heavy with the scent.
No wonder that I struggle, I cannot compete with nature.

11 June 2009 apologies

Sorry for the 3 day gap in postings this week.
A couple of meetings away from home and studio, a computer software crisis, a new 50mb broadband installation, and other stuff, have meant that there are no new paintings to show you.
On wednesday I chaired a meeting of the Fine Art Committee for The Fine Art Trade Guild in London on the first day of a tube strike. Surprisingly my actual journey time was quicker than usual.
Todays picture is a photograph of Brighton Station taken on the last leg of my journey home.
I am thinking that the station could be an interesting subject for a future painting.

7 June 2009 Beach [again]

This morning I looked at yesterdays painting again.
Too dark in places, too vague, drawing weak, wrong feeling, atmosphere wrong...oh dear!
I needed to do some more work in the studio.
So here is the modified version.

Even now, I am still not happy.

6 June 2009 Brighton Beach

The weather was not meant to be good. Forecasters issued dire warnings for the weekend in the south. But the beach was lively, it was warm, it was dry, and the carousel was open. So I found a spot to squat down in the lee of a deckchair stack out of the wind, and listened to carousel music while I painted this view looking west. The skeletel remains of the burnt out West Pier draw the eye.

5 June 2009 Brighton Pier

Although it has been a cooler and greyer day today, I went to the beach, found a sheltered spot , and painted the pier.
The Herring Gull in the picture had just attacked a party of french students who had come onto the beach carrying a bag of chips, causing screams of alarm and panic.
The gull got the chips which were dropped in the excitement.
I expect that it happens a lot. Clever birds.

This painting is also published as one of the Painting a Day limited edition prints.