Thursday, 16 May 2013

Paintings #12 and #13

A good week so far. Lots of sales of prints, and an original.

I asked Barbara Buir if it was OK for me to use my version (see previous post) of her 'Roses and Anemones,' explaining that I've only been painting for 6 weeks. She was intrigued and asked to visit the blog ... here's what she thought :

Well !  When I took a look at your blog, I was amazed, to say the least.  You hadn't mentioned your artistic prowess. I salute your eye for color.

You have piqued my interest.  Am I correct you are painting on canvas?  With fluid acrylics ? Using a glazing technique? Have you tried fluid acrylics on paper?


So, she didn't laugh! How nice of her to take the time. Seems I should have been using paper for her technique ... so the next one (#14) is to be on paper!

Painting 12 
                     ... is Pat's choice and I don't like it very much, too light for me. The window is 120 years old and is the 'leaded light' in the downstairs cloakroom. The flowers were her choice.

                             "Stained Glass"                John Simlett
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
(14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms x 25 cms)
Painting 13
                    Is chosen by my best friend and granddaughter, Giselle.  She loves all things Japanese and asked for me to do this one for her 22nd birthday next month.

                                                             "Eternity"     John Simlett (after Hasegawa Tohaku)
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
(14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms x 25 cms))
I have been studying ancient Japanese Art, and Giselle fell in love with this picture, from one of my books, which was first painted by Hasegawa Tohaku in 1599. 

It seems that he was occupied for a number of years painting sliding doors in a large building (the Azuchi Project). Each floor (story) of the building took a different theme. On the third floor were included Taoist legendary figures, including the Queen Mother of the West who you can see sitting in the middle behind the shadow of some large leaves. Here she presides over the reception of the spirits of the dead into her Western Paradise. She is a symbol of immortality.

This was one of the first times that gold (leaf) was used as a colouring in painting. As you can see I used mainly Burnt Umber  Titanium White, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow and pen and ink!

It, being a minimalist painting, limited me to copying as exactly as I could (no scope for adding my own thoughts). I have tried to keep my paint strokes as 'crude' as the original.

It was not the sort of subject I would have chosen... but... she wants it framed, which may help a bit!!


  1. Its not easy painting things others want you to paint as they don't call to you, but you did a wonderful job on them both. I love it when family requests things as you know they do like what you are doing. Keep up the good work. :)

  2. John, I've loved every drawing, every painting that has come out of your hands and your studio. I like the leaded light in your cloak room, I like the way you handled the tree in the Japanese style. I like that you have a little more meat to your painting than I am used to seeing in Japanese art, if that makes sense. I've not been a fan, but your work may just turn my mind around.

  3. So - you've been studying ancient Japanese art? Of course you have!! It adds to the billions of other wonderful things you have done! What an inspiration you are john. My life seems so much less full than yours and yet I have two kids and a puppy, lol! I do admire you. I would love to sit and have a cuppa with you :0)
    I LOVE your Japanese painting - it's beautiful! I also think you have done a wonderful job of the window. You must be SO happy with how quickly you have got so good :0)

  4. Hi John. You certainly haven't been letting any moss grow under your feet - you ARE BUSY!
    Your paintings are amazing! And a letter of appreciation from Barb Buer - I am impressed. :)
    Keep on keeping on!!!

  5. These paintings are fantastic, John!!! I love Eternity.. I must have looked at it several's amazing AND the stained glass is wonderful!! Love your work!!!!

  6. Ciao John,
    I deserted for some time the blog, and now I saw your works, flowers and shoes!
    I am surprise for your ability to across fron your fantastic architetural dessins to colours and little objects!
    You have the head and fingers able to change and create!
    I Hope you understand my bad english.
    Ciao, ciao, Floriana

  7. Dear John, how much work ...and refinement of themes and execution!
    All your paintings are a joy to watch!
    You are born for the colours!!!

  8. Wow - good for Barbara getting back to you. Nice lady.
    Love the way you did the stained glass and the trim around it. I also love the way you did the tree. Looks just like Tohaku

  9. Hi John, your work is a constant surprise to me. I like both these last works, particularly the first one, for its composition, its light and choice of colors. Ciao!

  10. How lovely of Barbara to have a look at your blog and give such wonderful comments! I like both paintings! The Japanese one would look great in a frame!

  11. Interesting to see the two different styles here John. I do really like both of them! And how cool is that that Barbara came to visit your blog! I'm curious to see the works on paper now. :)

  12. Both so different and both gorgeous!
    How kind of Barbara to visit and encourage :) x

  13. both excellent! I love how clean your work is looking--a testament to your penchant for beautiful lines and color. Many people who take up painting have mudstorms early on... not you! Brilliant..I'm tuned in for what's next!

  14. John, your work is outstanding I also love Stained Glass. Looking forward to your next painting.