Saturday, 1 August 2015


I am proud to exhibit the work of a fellow artist, Abbey.

Abbey is Twelve Years old and visiting us from Yorkshire, with her grandparents and cousin Sophie.

Abbey is, as you can see, an accomplished and imaginative artist.  On this occasion she has captured the view from our sitting-room window across the rooftops of Fishguard (Abergwaun in Welsh). Here you can see the harbour with the breakwater, and its lighthouse which shines green at night.

             Fishguard Harbour        
 Abbey Corker
Coloured Pencil on Paper
(7 inches x 6 inches)
Abbey and Sophie leave today. We have really enjoyed their sparkling company and look forward to their return.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Painting Again!

As the rainy day jobs come to a conclusion, I managed to slip in a quick painting. The first in months.

For those who don't know it, Wimbledon is the British premier tennis grand-slam venue. As it is the oldest lawn-tennis tournament  in the world it has taken on many very formal traditions. For example, Lewis Hamilton the world champion Formula One racing car driver, was refused admission to the VIP box, despite his invitation, because he wasn't wearing a neck-tie.

You can image the shake up then when German born Dustin Brown turned up on the famous Centre Court to play Rafeal Nadal who was expected to be in the final. Dustin Brown was an outsider in all respects: ranked 102 in the world, a Rastarfarian with body piercings, earings, necklaces etc.

The British have a tradition of cheering the 'underdog' on. Dustin rose to the occasion and won the admiration of a nation, and the hearts of the ladies. It soon became obvious that this young firebrand was a gentleman, a good sportsman and entertainer. His tennis set the place on fire and he beat Nadal. 

I've tried to draw out the 'red hot' nature of the man his tennis and the image he left burnt in our minds. I also tried to set it on the backcloth of a cool formality.

I hope you like it.

 Dustin Brown - Wimbledon 2015       John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
(30 inches x 18 inches
765 mm  x 460 mm)

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

RAIN = Four Poster

It rained a lot and so I finished the mahogany Four Poster Bed instead of continuing to build my workshop.

I also took a rain-check (pun intended :)  ) on Saint David's Cathedral in order to paint a portrait which I hope to post in the next day or two.

Monday, 29 June 2015

WORKSHOP (3) and Four Poster

I am getting on with the workshop. It takes a longer time when you're working totally on your own, and getting old. 
   This is not a studio but a workshop for lathe, pillar drills, grindstones etc etc. It will also incorporate a small 'potting-shed' for garden tools and where Pat can pot-up her plants. The far door way will be to the potting shed and the near door to the workshop.

On wet days, progress continues on the latest Four Poster.

In reply to Sherry, Linda and Minnimie: The foundation platform all ready existed. It's basically a concrete base with stone slabs cemented on. 
   There is no crawl space: the building is being built on a damp-proof membrane which covers the whole 'floor area' and extends up inside the wall for two strakes of planking.
  The floor joists lie directly on the mebrane (and hence the concrete base) and are jointed and screwed to the wall beams (photographs when they appear). 
   The flooring that goes on top of the joists is a wood composite stuff (new to me). I prefer to screw the flooring to the joists, as nail holes tend to get bigger over time, through the constant movement on them, this causes the floor to squeak!
   Electricity will be 'installed' by a professional electrician, as I don't pretend to be an expert in all things. Heating will probably be by wall mounted electrical heaters. 

Monday, 22 June 2015


TIME LIFE magazine did not mention the construction of my workshop (which is going really well) but it did have an article on my hero, WSC,  last month:

(AFTERTHOUGHT - Time Life should have said have said Great Britain and not England. Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales; Churchill was Prime Minster of Great Britain)

"Churchill would, of course, ultimately help lead England to a brutally fought, costly victory over the Axis Powers in World War II. But in the early years of the conflict, England stood alone against the Reich after Nazi forces swarmed across border after border in Europe. Churchill’s defiance in the face of what seemed, at the time, an invincible Wehrmacht juggernaut earned the aristocratic, independent-minded PM his enduring reputation as one of the greatest war-time leaders in history."

But there was another side to Churchill that my good friend CELESTE BERGIN knows all about. He was an artist.

All his kit and many of his paintings can still be seen in his studio at his home, Chartwell, which lies to the south-east of London. It's open to the public and well worth a visit. And don't forget you Americans, he's half American so you have a claim :)  

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Workshop Build (2)

Got the damp course in. Put in all the cross bracing (to strengthen against the winds) and fitted the last of the framing.

Start Cladding tomorrow.