Saturday, 22 November 2014


Well here it is, for what it's worth. Not brilliant but I feel I can move on from here. It's Acrylic on Canvas 9" x  6"

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My First Steps into Portraiture # 1

I started off by watching a few videos with my favourite, Will Kemp.

Colours used, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light, Mars Black, Raw Umbra and Titanium White.

I put down a wash of Neutral Gray (grey) on old damaged canvases 

From the Colours on my limited palette I produced colour strings by mixing the colours.

This gave me a feeling of the range the palette offered. Although they would be a bit 'bright' for the subject of my first portrait which, as you can see, has a very pale complexion.

I then sketched the model onto my canvas, at which point our visitors returned.

Tomorrow we are catching the Ferry to Ireland and return: Duty Free Christmas shopping trip. It's going to be Sunday before I can paint again!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Zorn's Limited Palette

Forgive me for stating the obvious when I speak of Zorn's limited palette. To me, the Newbie to painting, Anders Zorn is a recently discovered character, to you all he is probably common parlance.  

He was Swedish 1860 - 1920 (found fame in the US after painting the portrait of Presidents, Cleveland, Taft and Roosevelt)) and, from the look of his studio, seems like my sort of man.

What interests me, amongst other things, was his use of a limited palette. 

The fewer colours I use ... the fewer mistakes I can make! At least that's my theory :0)) So if I used a his limited palette for portraits I should stand a better chance of getting things a little less wrong than I otherwise might ... if you can understand that bit of back-to-front English.

Just to compound the task of portraiture I shall use Acrylics. I'm going to try Golden Heavy Body acrylics and maybe a W & N Burnt Sienna.

I think I may be forced out of my rigid attention to detail into a looser impressionist style to make it work. Who knows?

As we have friends staying until Saturday, I shan't be able to start until Sunday next. I shall record what I do for two reasons:

(i) It might give you a good laugh!
(ii) You may be able to point out the errors of my way.

Either way, I'm quite excited about it all ... should be great fun!! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

THIS IS IT Folks!! I'm Back ... ready or not!

After a very long time ... I'm back.

We have now moved into West Wales and are very happy to have found this fantastic and magical place!

I have had a very non-art year, which I'm not going to bore you with. The last stage was setting up a new studio ... and here it is.

The Drawing Office Part For Pen & Ink Mode.
The Writing Area for Author Mode
Another View of Drawing/Writing areas
The Painting and the  Library/Reading Areas
 So ... no more excuses for not working. Get the Coffee & Cookies ready, I'm on my way to yours shortly!!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Still Here!

I'm still around folk ... but only just!

We should move to West Wales in September, in the meantime I'm still hard at work, but no time for art until I'm established in Fishguard in the county of Pembrokeshire.

Nevertheless, some of the art I have produced since being on this blog is still doing its thing.

I'm still selling prints, and I have sold the original of the Lunardi Balloon to a gentleman in Oxfordshire, UK, which is unusual as most of my originals got to the US. My stuff seems to find favour (or should I say favor) rather well over there ... 

Every inch of my garden is now done, and I've only achieved that twice in 26 years.
The Main hedge was a monster - 15 bin liners of clippings.
Excellent company whilst doing it: butterflies, a few dragon flies, and millions of bees on the lavender bushes. At one end of the garden I have the thin robin for company whilst at the other is a fat one - never ever see them both at the same time. Not forgetting the grey squirrels who spend ages searching for - but never finding - their buried treasure.

No more wood pigeons or collar doves indicates the hawks are back nesting in the Castle.

The house and outbuildings are now all painted. The rooms that needed re-wallpapered are done.

The Outline Planning Permission (so much work and drawing of plans for that) for the side-land was received on Friday, and the land is up for auction on 28 Aug. 

We have a lovely couple who are hoping to buy the house.

All this effort has cost 2 stone (28 pounds 12kg) in weight and I feel fitter than I have in years ......... the reason for all this effort is in the video ... it's where we are going to live. 

You're all welcome to come and stay!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hi Everyone.....!

Still around but little time for art at the moment.

Missing you all, but it will be a month or two before I get back to normal in the blogasphere.

I keep peeping to see what you're all up to and it makes me want to join in, but I'm so busy getting this old house ready for sale.

Here's a little collage to remind you who I .....was!

Have fun, here comes the sun ... butterflies & bees in my garden all ready, 2-3 months too early!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Dipping my Toe in the Water!

The fish series continues and in it I have 3 'American' fish to draw. Here is the first: The Freshwater Wide mouth Bass. 

                                                                Freshwater Wide Mouth Bass   John Simlett

Pen & Ink on 350gsm Cartridge Paper
15 inches x 10 inches
38cms x 25.5 cms

Not a lot to say about it. However when we move to our new home (see previous post) it might be more appropriate as it is in the town of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

As my father was the outcast of the family I knew nothing of my roots until a few years ago when I did the family research thing. It turns out that my family on both my mother and my father's side go back many 100s' of years ... in Pembrokeshire. The earliest I can find is Philip Simlett marrying Ann Fortune in 1705.

I had never been there until we went for a week last September. We fell in love with it and bought a house down there in the first 24 hours. The coastline is now a National Park, and voted the second best coastline in the world by the National Geographic Magazine. It is off the beaten track and seems decades behind the rest of the UK. The view from the house, straight ahead, is across the sea, and on a clear day you can see Ireland. Looking to the right gives a view of the North Wales mountains.

In preparation for the move we have tried to rationalize our library. We thought we would get rid of some of the books that were overflowing. No chance! Instead we tidied them, double stacking some and putting others on top of the bookcase. Here's a couple of views of one end of the room.