Monday, March 28, 2016

Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and a free gift...

This is a first... I'd like to offer a FREE GIFT!!!!

If you subscribe to my newsletter I'll send you five post cards of my latest works. The ones I'm offering are in the image below. 

Use the form to the right to subscribe.

If you have particular favourites email me and I'll do my best. 

Of course you'll have to give me an address to send them to but I'll email you to arrange that, no SPAM I promise.

It's that time of year again. 

I was fortunate again to have a painting chosen to be exhibited at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour at the Mall Galleries in London's West End. This is the second year in a row, so it's nice
to think that's I'm vaguely heading in the right direction.

It's great to be exhibited along with many of the current 'greats' of the medium like Lilias August, Paul Banning, Deborah Walker and Andy Wood.

I have more exhibitions coming up this year and a few projects in the pipeline too.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mr Benn

This piece is a scene from a favourite second hand clothing store By Retro which also apparently provides costumes for film and stage shows. 

Istanbul always seems to to defy stereotyping, it resists a neat category as a 'Middle eastern city, it's probably more Balkan in that sense. It resists being purely classed as a centre of Islam, it's Christian past and secular present both have had a major role in the forming of its identity. It is an ancient city but its past does not overshadow its present. In the same way this bizarre clothing store nestles in the fashionable district of Beyoglu as a witness to the city's diversity despite what many say these days.

The bizarre second hand costume store reminds me of a TV prgramme called 'Mr Benn' where a cartoon straight laced English man enters a magical costume store. Whilst trying on a costume finds himself entering into another world and having a brief adventure only to mysteriously return to his 'work a day' clothes just when the adventure it getting interesting.

You really can pick your own adventure in Istanbul according whichever whim takes your fancy. The city's long history has birthed a dizzying array of cultures and traditions and long may it remain so.

Watercolour on paper

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Crumbs on the Keyboard

It was the crumbs on the keyboard which I remember the most.

I had an hour's lesson each week with an elderly organist who would give lessons in a rented room with a piano. I would feel sick the night before in anticipation of the the dreaded hour when I would nervously play the tunes I'd been given to practice that week. 

The teacher would munch on a iced bun or a piece of cake and drink tea. I'd finish my brief renditions and await his judgement. I can't really remember what he used to say except that I was terrified most of the time. He would write things on the music sheets and I'd never understand what it was, I still remember it as spidery and mysterious and indicative that something needed to be worked on that week.

Leaving the lesson on a Friday afternoon was the same feeling one has when leaving a final exam, or finally walking out a police station with visa that has taken days to obtain. One felt free and liberated, able to relax until Thursday night would come round again when the familiar feelings of trepidation would descend.

The lasting effects of this childhood experience which went on for almost ten years was that I'd vowed never to make my kids learn a musical instrument unless they wanted to. I'm happy to provide encouragement but I certainly wasn't going to be an enforcer!

Watercolour on Paper 

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