Friday 17 March 2017

Giselle Completed ....Again!

Still not where I want to be with oils yet , but still ... I think I'm getting there. I painted on a Burnt Sierra ground to warm up her finish  - which is why she looked like a redhead for a time. 

When I have been painting 'blondes' in the past I have tended to use a light-coloured background and then found myself having to warm up a pale face. 

                                                            'Giselle'                                        John Simlett
Oil on Stretched Cotton Canvas
31 x 23.5 inches
(79 x 60 cms)

Giselle is one of those rare creatures that has naturally blonde hair and deep brown eyes (Italian great grandmother), and I think that allows the Burnt Sierra to glow through. 

Sunday 12 March 2017


One of my poems was accepted into an International Poetry Competition today - the result published in May.

Not sure how it will come out here, it's okay in 'Word' but gets temperamental when posted elsewhere.




                                                                    I like flags.
                                                                              a  Set
                                                           fore  Sails
                                                     sail  is    Flapping
                                               not for sale  In the wind.
                                           you  may find   Makes one think
                                       that you need it    Of  flying far off like
                                    rather badly in a    Some Albatross set free
                                 wind or in a gale       From land and those grassy ties
        I                    and  without it  find      That shore can bring, although I do
           do      others quickly up your tail    Like being a landlocked Shipwright it's part
                 like                                            of
                       boatbuilding it's                  my                                                      
                           such a large part of my life. I love the smell of the wood as I cut and plane it.
                              Listen to the music of the parts that go to make a boat, each such poetry:
                                      tumblehome and transom; hog and hogson; apron and the thwart                
                                           gutter and garboard strakes of planking: clinker & hard chine
                                                       but alas, without a keel,
                                                              where would we be?
                                                                   capsized and upside
                                                                       down, swimming
                                                                               deep beneath
                                                                                          the sea.


Monday 6 March 2017

Giselle Again - A Work In Progress

My best friend granddaughter, Giselle, continues to be my favourite (favorite) model.

Oil on stretched canvas 31 x 24 inches 

I have another in progress that I feel might surprise y'all.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Boat Club

I haven't any paintings to show at the moment, but I have so many painting projects in the planning stage that I'm very excited .... however ... we went to a place called Parrog today (5 miles away) ... so ... look out for seascapes in the future.

Parrog is a small village which is part of  the town of Newport, Pembrokeshire. Now when I tell you that Newport has a population of only 1200, you can imagine that Parrog is tiny.

We went to Parrog to join the Newport Boat Club:

Newport Boat Club, Parrog, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

It was a wet and windy day and all the boats are laid-up for winter. Here's a more popular seasonal picture:

You can see the potential for paintings already can't you?

We joined the club - a cosy little place we will be using a lot once I've finished building Seagull

Seagull - The  Wooden Maine Lobster Boat I'm building 

I had a look around for launching slips and there are lots of them. This one looked the most likely one, for two reasons:

Firstly, it's adjacent to the Boat Club Car Park and secondly, it is next to the lovely little restaurant which you can see on the left, in yellow. Best Crab Bake Pat has ever tasted.

My daughter and her dog Blodwyn sniffed-out a second slip behind the Boat Club:

Looks like lots of fun ahead ... I like the idea of painting from a boat!

Thursday 2 March 2017

Sandra Busby!!

No, I'm not Sandra's Press Agent, but I do owe her a debt-of-gratitude.

When I first started blogging in 2012,  Sandra was the first person to 'comment' and generally support me until I got the hang of things.

The blogging buddies I met along the way were all painters, and really good ones at that. In those days I was a Pen & Ink artist (To See My Drawings Click Here). To me all you painters were magicians ... I was spellbound.

Eventually, I thought I might have a try at painting but had no idea how to go about it. Sandra, plus others, explained about fat on lean, colour (color) theory, linen versus cotton canvases etc...

Well Sandra vanished from blogland, but has reemerged elsewhere: CLICK HERE

The point to all this is not for you to join a fan-club, but for you to look at her latest posting: a video on palettes (See it HERE).

Her video has inspired me and given me an Eureka moment! I was using a glass computer table as a storage for paints & brushes. It was covered in over a year's worth of paint. Following Sandra's technique I had it looking brand new in a couple of minutes. I now have the biggest glass palette in the whole universe(ish).

Here it is in place:

This inspired me to clean my studio out ... I do this every two years, if it needs it or not :)

The Painting Area

The the Pen & Ink area

The Refuelling point!!

When I'm not painting I'm a writer/editor ...

... for which I need plenty of reference data.

Similarly I need Art reference, which is tucked behind the easel. I mix my mediums here too.

And finally a little area for planning my boat-building:

This turned into a marathon posting, although not as long as the 'cleaning up the studio' marathon!

'Blodwyn walking near the Studio

This is really a test of uploading a video onto the blog .... I've never done it before

Seems to work OK. Blodwyn is a 9 month old Welsh Sheepdog (similar to a Cross Border Collie)

As you can see there is always a wind blowing here, straight off the Atlantic(ish)