Works on paper

  • London Eye watercolour and ink sketch

    watercolour and ink sketch of the London Eye

    London Eye watercolour and ink sketch

    Watercolour and ink on Arches watercolour paper.    13x20cm.     11th June 2024

    A sketch of the London Eye.

    The line art was drawn first, using, appropriately, a Uni-ball Eye ballpoint pen. The ink in these pens is waterproof, so it was no problem to then add a blue watercolour wash over the drawing to create the sky.

    The sky was created using Sennelier cerulean blue watercolour. This colour is good for skies because it’s easy to lift the colour off the paper with a tissue or suchlike to create white clouds (and because it’s a nice colour).

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  • Watercolour pencil art – Organic Matrix

    contemporary art works on paper Organic Matrix

    Watercolour pencil art – Organic Matrix

    Watercolour pencil on paper. 20 x 29cm January 2024

    A painting, created with watercolour pencils, depicting a network or matrix of organic forms linked by tube-like structures.

    The work is from the imagination (as you can see), and although it wasn’t created with any particular meaning in mind it probably alludes to the connectedness of life, with the blobby entities being connected to each other by the tube-like structures. I’m not sure whether the blobs are meant to look like slightly unsettling organisms or wonky potatoes. Probably both. The work may allude in some way to the nature of consciousness or intelligence, with the entities possibly communicating with each other like cells in a brain.

    A work on paper created using Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolour pencils, which have a very high pigment content.

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  • Lunging Figure – gouache on paper

    contemporary art works on paper lunging figure

    Lunging figure

    Gouache on paper. 350 x 250mm November 2018

    A gouache work on paper featuring a lunging figure.

    The work is from the imagination and was created as part of a series of relatively spontaneous, unmediated artworks.

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  • Conic construction in a landscape

    contemporary art watercolour painting

    Conic construction in a landscape

    Watercolour and gouache with digital additions.      2023.

    A watercolour and gouache painting of a cone in a landscape, with additional features added digitally.
    The original watercolour painting was scanned to create a digital file to which additional features were then added in Adobe Photoshop. The digital additions were created as spontaneously as possible, without too much conscious consideration. The results are similar to other works that I have produced using the same process, but I suppose that’s only to be expected. Next time I’ll consciously try to do something different.
    The image partly resembles a creature of some sort, maybe with a beak and what may be an eye. If the white blob that may be an eye had a dot inside it, it would obviously be an eye, but it would lose some of its slightly sinister mystery.
    Maybe it’s not an eye at all. Maybe it’s a hole in the top of a wigwam. Those straight lines protruding from the top of the cone look a bit wigwamy now I come to look at them.

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  • Environmental art: watercolour tree

    contemporary watercolour tree

    Watercolour: Tree

    Watercolour on paper. 2023

    A watercolour painting from the imagination, depicting a tree in a sinister landscape. The dark foreboding atmosphere of the painting is partly to reflect the atmosphere of the ongoing environmental crisis and partly to reflect the atmosphere of thinking about it.

    The tree looks as though it has uprooted itself and is trying to get away from its environment by using its roots as limbs. Alternatively, maybe the ground around the tree’s roots has been washed way as part of environmental degradation (perhaps by floods caused by climate change or by people’s exploitation of the land), literally sweeping away or undermining the foundations of a sustainable environment. And what are those objects next to the tree?

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  • Contemporary art watercolour painting with digital additions

    Contemporary art watercolour painting

    Watecolour painting with digital additions.

    Watecolour painting using collage (April 2021) with digital additions (Oct 2023).

    A spontaneous semi-abstract watercolour painting with additions in Adobe Photoshop (added several years later, so it’s not that spontaneous).

    The watercolour rock-like object is collaged onto the sky, with the line work added later digitally.

    The painting is meant to have a sinister edge to it, with the rock-like form being some sort of creature. I’m very interested in the way that people see some creatures as being cure (baby mammals, especially furry ones being a prime example) and other creatures as being repellant (even at the baby stage).

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  • Rectangle on legs

    Contemporary art - abstract gouache painting

    Rectangle on legs

    Gouache, acrylic, collage 30x40cm February 2022

    Is this a lopsided building on stilts or a rectangular creature lumbering across the painting?

    The black rectangle was placed on the sky for no particular reason other than that the rectangle was close to hand. It then became whatever it is.

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  • Pen and ink sketch – sweet chestnut tree

    dip pen and ink sketch sweet chestnut tree

    Dip pen and ink sketch of a sweet chestnut tree. Drawn from life.

    Dip pen and ink. 13cm x 18cm. 4th September 1991.

    This is a dip pen and ink sketch of a sweet chestnut tree in the Dordogne region of France that I drew from life on quite a cold day.

    There are numerous sweet chestnut trees in this part of France, as they were cultivated for their nuts, which I believe were a major part of the local diet.

    The tree was very old with lots of dead branches. There were also lots of leaves, which I think may have been growing on relatively new branches that may have sprouted lower down the tree when the tree recovered from a trauma of some description (and which nearly killed it off). Behind the tree is a ramshackle hut which appeared to have almost become part of the tree.

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  • Abstract acrylic painting

    modernist contemporary art acrylic painting

    Abstract acrylic painting.

    Acrylic on watercolour paper. 30x20cm. 2022.

    An abstract painting composed of black lines and areas of colour.
    The framework of black acrylic lines was painted first, quite quickly and spontaneously. The coloured areas were added to this superstructure later after experimenting with their positions.

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  • Pencil sketch – imaginary winged creatures

    contemporary art pencil sketch from the imagination - imaginary winged creature

    Imaginary winged creatures.

    Drawing from the imagination. Pencil on paper. 21.3.2022.

    Drawings from my sketchbook. Imaginary creatures consisting of spheres with anatomical features such as wings or legs recur quite often in my work. I like the way that in anatomical terms a sphere can be both a head and a body at the same time.
    This is a drawing from the imagination (obviously), drawn during a spare moment over a coffee in a cafe.

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  • Spider heads – pencil sketch from the imagination

    contemporary art spiders - pencil sketch from the imagination

    Spider heads.

    Pencil on paper. 20.6.2022.

    I frequently draw imaginary heads in unusual situations. On two of these ‘spider heads’ I’ve turned the hair on the heads into long spider legs, with the heads forming the anatomically incorrect spiders’ bodies.
    I think the spider legs in these sketches probably owe something to the spiders of Louise Bourgeois. The spiders may also be influenced by the work of Symbolist artist Odilon Redon, whose The Crying Spider has definnite similarities, although I don’t remember having seeing it before I drew my sketch. I did read a book about Symbolism back in the 1970s, Dreamers of Decadence by Philippe Jullian, so maybe it was in that (When I say I read the book, I mean that I looked at the pictures).
    Like many of my imaginary sketches these were drawn over a cup of coffee in a cafe.

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  • Pencil sketch from the imagination

    contemporary art drawing from the imagination

    Ball with multiple arms and legs.

    Pencil on paper. 10.8.2022.

    I often carry a sketch book with me in case I have a free moment when inspiration strikes. I drew this in a cafe over a cup of coffee.
    It incorporates several motifs that recur in my work (spheres and arms and legs).
    I think that the idea is that the imaginary creature in the drawing moves forwards by rolling from leg to leg rather than by swinging its legs as we do.
    Like most of my work, it’s purely from my imagination (and the imaginations of artists and illustrators that I’ve seem previously and that have seeped into my subconscious).

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  • Pencil sketch from the subconscious – balls on stalks

    contemporary art pencil drawing from the imagination

    Balls on stalks.

    Pencil on paper. 16.6.2022.

    I frequently draw sketches from my imagination with little or no preconceived idea about what I’m going to draw. This is one of them.
    These ideas frequently reappear at a later date as part of a more finished concept.

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  • Abstract acrylic painting: linear and curved forms

    Abstract contemporary art - acrylic black and white based painting

    Linear and curved forms

    Acrylic, paper, collage.    35 x 25cm.    2022.

    A painting from a series of abstract acrylic artworks featuring strongly linear black forms interacting with curving coloured forms.
    Although the black linear elements in the painting are abstract their composition give the impression of a living entity such as an animal or a person – an effect that is heightened by the coloured curving forms, some of which hint at anatomical features such as eyes or ears.

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  • Rorschach mask

    Contemporary art - Rorschach mask

    Rorschach Mask

    Watercolour, acrylic, paper, collage.    30cm x 21cm.    2021.

    A watercolour Rorschach pattern, or inkblot test pattern, with a panel of stripes in acrylic collaged onto it, giving the impression of a mask.
    The type of watercolour paint used to create the Rorschach diagram (Daniel Smith lunar black) creates a particularly intricate and textured inkblot pattern.

    Below, the image framed.

    Rorschach test in contemporary art

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  • Painting of linear and curved forms – acrylic on paper

    Contemporary artwork - abstract acrylic painting, black and white based

    Linear and curved forms

    Acrylic, paper, collage.    35x25cm.    2022.

    An abstract acrylic painting featuring a strongly linear black form overlaid by curving coloured forms (some of which are collage while others are painted directly onto the paper).
    Although the black linear elements are abstract they convey the impression of a dynamic animal form. This is heightened by the coloured curving forms, some of which hint at eyes or of other anatomical features.

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  • Drawing from the subconscious

    Drawing from the subconscious

    Abstract figure drawn from the imagination

    Pencil on paper. 2021.

    A semi-abstract figure drawn from the imagination with no preparation.
    I have a feeling that my semi-floating figures like this owe something to the Symbolist painter Odilon Redon.

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  • Tree and sphere. Ink drawing with collage

    contemporary art tree and sphere painting

    Tree and sphere. Ink drawing with collage

    Pen and ink, gouache 30x40cm May 2022

    A pen and ink sketch of a tree drawn from the imagination, with a collaged sphere painted in gouache.

    The sphere is meant to have a slightly otherworldly quality about it, as though it’s from a different dimension or reality.

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  • Abstract paintings and mirror art

    Contemporary art abstract paintings

    Abstract paintings and mirror art

    Solo show, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, 2022

    Some of my work on display in my solo show at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall, in 2022.

    The abstract paintings are from a series of gouache and acrylic works on paper featuring simple geometric forms in flat colours. The works are all linked by, amongst other things, the use of the curved shapes with bulbous ends that exhibit an unusual organic quality.

    The three works displayed below the paintings are all sculptural works that feature mirrors.

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  • Environmental art – black flower sketch

    contemporary environmental art – acrylic and watercolour black flower

    Environmental art. Black flower sketch.

    Acrylic and watercolour on paper. 2023.

    An acrylic and watercolour painting of a black flower.
    This painting is an example of my work relating to environmental issues, a subject with which I’ve been involved since the late 1960s. In this painting the flower’s petals are black, the flower’s stem is black, and the grass is black. The flower’s petals are shrivelled and misshapen and the stem is crooked. It’s an image of foreboding.
    In contrast to all this blackness the centre of the flower is reflective gold. But it’s a dull gold, which may act to reinforce the bleakness of the black rather than creating a glimmer of brightness. It’s ambiguous.
    The gold centre to the flower and the spiky petals give a hint of a dying sun or star, with the accompanying implications for life on earth (such as the flower). It’s a dying sunflower.

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