Monday 29 April 2013 Paintings, #6, #7 and #8

The last of the shoe pictures!  

I bought a great book on acrylics and it hopefully seems to be improving my technique.

       Bow Belle (Painting #6)                    John Simlett              
 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas.       
14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms  x  25cms

       Rosie (Painting #7)                    John Simlett              
 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas.       
14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms  x  25cms

       Scarlet Ribbons (Painting #8)                    John Simlett              
 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas.       
14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms  x  25cms

Tuesday 23 April 2013

High Society (Painting #5)

No it's not some sort of fetish... Pat produced some pictures of shoes and said, "I reckon you can do these." She likes shoes!

 There is some pin-point reflection from the medium
       High Society (Painting #5)                    John Simlett              
 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas.       
14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms  x  25cms

Monday 22 April 2013

Russian Teapot (Painting#4)

When we moved into this house 24 years ago, we unearthed an old pot half buried in the old Victorian Green House. Pat washed and cleaned it, and it turned out to be a Russian teapot (there were markings on its bottom). Unfortunately the lid was missing, but nevertheless I posed it and painted it, and took the liberty of adding a little bit of a samovar.  This is my first attempt at painting detail, and the simplicity of the patterns on the pot very fairly easy to mimic.

The lemon slices were a bit of a disaster.  

                                                  Russian Teapot (Painting #4)                    John Simlett             
 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas.      
14 inches x 10 inches
36 cms  x  25cms
This painting was easier to do than rebuilding the greenhouse, as I did in  1996. I built it exactly as the old Victorian one that  had fallen down shortly after we found the pot. I kept the original steel 'A' frame as you can see in the picture.

In the comments, Linda Roth asks to see the finished greenhouse, so here it is:

The building to the right used to be a stables, you can see I've built a conservatory (sunroom) on the side. Inside, downstairs are my workshop and a gym. Upstairs, an office - it was my studio up until quite recently - and a storage room.

Thursday 11 April 2013

Friday 5 April 2013

The Secret Behind My Paintings!

The reason I placed the picture of Winston Churchill's studio here was because:

(a) He's my hero and also that of,  Celeste Bergin and John W Jarts. (click to see their blogs)

(b) Churchill inspires me. He had no university education, but, as a young cavalry officer in India, he decided to teach himself. His father's death had left them a bit short of funds, but his American mother doted on him and sent him every book and material he needed. From this he became a journalist and writer of distinction - in fact his fortune came from his writing. He largely taught himself to paint ... and build brick walls! Besides being voted the Greatest Briton Ever!

But Winston is not the secret behind me picking up the basics of painting so quickly, but this man, Will Kemp, is:

Will Kemp self portrait, Oil on canvas
(Copyright Will Kemp)
I bumped into him on YouTube when I was following Churchill's example and looking for sources whereby I might  teach myself to paint. Will seemed to speak my language, "... this is a canvas ... this is a brush ... this is acrylic paint ...etc." 

I followed his free video to paint the "Cherry" and was so happy (and amazed) at how it turned out, that I invested a mere £40 (US$ 60) to learn the basics of painting in acrylics. Hence my third painting, "Rosie Lee." His lessons were clear and easy to follow.  You can find him at

This is sounding like a commercial, so I'll stop right there!

Here's the finished "Rosie Lee." Unfortunately the isolation medium is reflecting light and giving it a bloom.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Picture #3 Rosie-Lee and Me!

So far my paintings are coming out far better than I had anticipated, how long that goes on for is anyone's guess.

I hear a little friendly cynicism: have I dabbled before? To be perfectly honest, no I haven't. The only paint I ever used was on tea-towel designs, where I drew them out in pen & ink and then coloured in the spaces with poster paint - no blending allowed.

So this really is my first attempt at artistic painting, and the only reason I'm using acrylics is because I was given a whole bunch of them.

                                                  Rosie-Lee                                John Simlett
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
14 inches x 10 inches

I have to understand the basic processes before I start attempting anything and I use the same route whether it be poetry, writing software, flying, drawing... or painting. So my 'procrastination' is a necessary part of my 'route in.' I need to read and observe the basic processes and talk about them. 

Painting is no different to Creative Writing. They say that it is impossible to teach people how to become writers. Maybe, but you can give people the tool kit and train them to a point where they go solo, thereafter, only their natural skill, talent and lots of practise will decide how successful they will become.

Well I'm a long way from going solo as a painter, but I'm managing to get my mind around the processes and enjoying myself immensely and that's what it's all about!

Why Rosie Lee? In the middle of London is the Church of Bow. Anyone born within the sound of Bow-Bells is deemed to be a Cockney (a Cockney Sparrow). The Cockneys' love to talk in Rhyming slang - which is a code hard to crack:
Apples & Pears = Stairs
Trouble & Strife = The Wife

Do you get the idea? Rosie-Lee = cup of tea!