This is the collection I'm spending most of my time developing right now.
I'm an archetypal artist – I'm either locked away painting in my garret, or I'm hunkered down in the landscape with my sketchbook.
These are all oil paintings, and they're on canvas or canvas board. They've all been painted in my studio in Yorkshire, UK.
I've a long to-do list exploring a number of collections and themes.
I've lists of paintings of Devon, Pembrokeshire and Northumberland waiting patiently for attention. Yorkshire is of course (given it's where I live) is the subject of most of my art at the moment.
How these paintings are made
A quick overview of the four phases
All of these landscape oil paintings are the result of an intense process. It involves several phases and many steps in each phase.
Phase one is about exploring and getting to know a location. It's when I study the scenery intently, trying to absorb its character.
I identify its key features which aren't necessarily the obvious ones. I develop an understanding of what makes being there feel the way it does.
Doing that is a challenge when I can only visit a location once. I'm still developing strategies for when visiting a place several times is not practical.
I'll sketch, photograph and paint several views while there. Making more than one sketch and painting is the ideal, but there are times when only a quick drawing and some photography is possible.
Regardless, there's always a lot of walking around before I settle with my sketchbook. Even a position a few feet this way or that can make a huge difference.
Planning art work
Phase two happens back in my studio. This phase is all about figuring out if a painting that works is doable.
By 'works', I mean I feel the composition (design of the picture) is strong, and I'm confident the 'thing' that calls me to paint the scene will come through in the finished artwork.
If a painting of merit begins to emerge, then I spend time planning exactly how to execute it. There's lots of scribbling, and painting on bits of paper during this stage. Sometimes I'll do a very finished small version.
Colour schemes, light effects, and ways of painting specific things within the artwork are some of the things explored at this time.
Lot's of questions need answering before I commit to a full‑sized canvas and the final oil painting process.
Painting the landscape
Phase three is when the painting gets painted. Everything I do now ends up on the canvases you see above.
All the work I've done to get to this point is hidden unless I make my sketches and plein‑air paintings available to buy.
If I've been disciplined and thorough in the previous phases, it should all be straightforward now – relatively. At the moment, it's rarely plain sailing though, as I'm not quite at that level yet.
Currently, I often find myself stopping and putting the painting aside for a time. I do this to get a fresh eye on it, or to take my time over deciding what the art needs me to do next. A painting will often point the way to its solution, but it takes time to distil it.
Preparing the art for release
Once the landscape oil is complete, the last phase begins. The paint ‘rests’ so it can start the process of drying.
Oils go through several changes while they cure. The art is vulnerable during this time so need to be monitored and stored appropriately.
Once thoroughly dry, the art is photographed and scanned for giclées, before being varnished and finally, framed.
Updated: 22 Nov 2020
You can buy my lino prints from my galleries in Yorkshire, UK. I am planning to add the ability to buy from this site using PayPal. If you would like to know when this is achieved, subscribe to my newsletter.
I spent the early part of my career as a fulltime employed illustrator producing paintings every day, all day.
My painted illustrations were in a technical realist style, which is what the brief required. I decided the style was not suitable for fine art landscape oils, but struggled to change my approach after years working in that way.
I decided to take a break from struggling with paintings to concentrate on my linocuts. As is the way, the break ended up being far longer than I'd ever envisaged.
I've now developed a sense of purpose with landscapes in paint that I've not had before, and can't make paintings fast enough. I feel I have a lot to catch up on.