Saturday, 16 September 2017

Golden Harvest, Shoreham

Just going through some records and had forgotten about this work... it would be lovely for it to emerge from the archives and be appreciated in someone's home...!

'Golden Harvest, Shoreham' (Kent). Water and gouache approx. 20" x 16", £550.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Castles and Others...

In 1977 I mounted my first exhibition of 'Castles' held at Woodlands Art Gallery, Blackheath, entitled 'Castles and Others', it also included other buildings in the picturesque tradition.

For the previous 3 years I had toured the country in search of likely subjects. My first discovery was Caernarfon Castle in North Wales.

Caernarfon Castle 1975, oil (sold).

From the top of a medieval wall tower I managed to paint a small oil panel in the midst of difficult circumstances. In the face of a howling wind I was only able to work by stuffing coconut matting into the battlements. Despite the hostile conditions the painting turned out better than I expected partly due to my enjoyment of the symphony of slate grey rooftops surrounding the castle. It was subsequently bought by The Landmark Trust who owned the property and hung it in a room below my rooftop painting perch. 

Then followed drives to Scotney Castle ...

Scotney Castle, Kent (sold).

Saltwood Castle...
Saltwood Castle, Kent 1976 oil on panel (sold). 

and Lauriston Castle near Edinburgh...

Lauriston Castle, 1977, oil on panel (sold).

My nearest subject was the towering landmark at Shooters Hill, Severndroog Castle, built to commemorate a victory on the Malivar Coast in 1735. Severndroog Castle also acted as a beacon for Thames shipping such was its height.

Severndroog Castle, Shooters Hill, oil on panel approx. 18" x 14", £375.

These paintings are romantic in spirit and owed much to the history and myths surrounding these fortresses. In past centuries artists had enjoyed a close affinity with literature and this produced a rich cross fertilization, very obvious in the painters I most admired such as Thomas Girtin and Turner. By the mid 20th century new developments moved rapidly away from this happy relationship. I personally found these later movements ultimately lacking in depth.

My fascination for Girtin subject matter has also remained constant e.g. river scenes, particularly the Thames, woodland glades, city vistas and also the occasional one house on the edge of a moor! Visionary in mood these latter are painted always from memory from a bank of images many decades old. Although mystery surrounds these isolated dwellings they remain a welcome sight for the weary traveller.

Bishops Palace, Durham 1974 (sold).

Highland Scene with Unidentified Castle, 1978, oil on panel (sold).

Eynesford Castle Kent 2000 £200.

Rochester Castle, from the Cathedral Close, oil on panel (sold).

Built in the early 1700's I have long been impressed by Vanbrugh Castle, high on the skyline overlooking Greenwich Park in South East London.

Vanbrugh Castle, a Winter Scene, 2005, oil on canvas 11.5" x 11.5" £450.

Beginning a medium sized oil of this subject 3 months ago I have just this week completed it. I was surprised at how Gothic in appearance it turned out with a mood of low keyed pervading mystery!

Vanbrugh Castle, a Gothic fantasy, 2017, oil on canvas 24" x 30" £950. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

West Greenwich Library Talk 9th June 2017

The 2 videos below are a recording of the talk I gave at West Greenwich Library in June this year. I hope they give an idea of my background, the city life that shaped me and what led me to become so passionate about painting the Thames. The recordings are by Irene Butcher and Delia Scales. Irene filmed the introduction with the jazzy music and did a brilliant job in editing. Delia, who did most of the filming, admits that as a first attempt at filming it's a bit shaky in places with some unusual angles and close ups but I think they capture the gist of it all! Peter Garretty mastered the mysteries of uploading videos! My thanks to a great team and also to all those people that attended the talk and I hope it will be of interest now to many that didn't. Thank you also to West Greenwich Library for their generous support, they truly are a fantastic local resource.    

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, 13 July 2017


Just found out that I'm in this months' edition of Vogue, sadly not for my great fashion sense but for an image of London featuring alongside an article by Cristina Ruiz...

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Blackheath Halls Summer Exhibition

Last chance to visit our fantastic Summer exhibition at Blackheath Halls, the exhibition is open until Thursday 29th June 10AM - 5PM daily. For more information please visit our Facebook page . This year the society celebrates it's 70th anniversary and as such is the oldest art society in London, launched in 1947 with Graham Sutherland as first President.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A Huge Thank You!

To everyone who visited the exhibition and to all those who made it to the talk and to West Greenwich Library who hosted the exhibition and were so generous with their help and support.I have hugely enjoyed this trip down memory lane and hope you did too? For those that missed the talk but would like to see it I will be posting a video of the talk on this blog soon.

Photo courtesy of Irene Butcher

Photo courtesy of Irene Butcher

Friday, 26 May 2017

West Greenwich Library

West Greenwich Library is a grade 11 listed building designed by Sir A B Thomas in the early 20th Century. It has been greatly loved and valued by the local community over many years as a haven for learning and a quiet place to knuckle down and work or study. More recently exciting events take place there which are advertised by the library. You can find more information on their Facebook page plus a great (first attempt!) video of the Private View for the current exhibition  . The Library is helped by the Friends of West Greenwich Library, you can find out more about them here; . Please help keep this valuable community resource going by joining up, it's very reasonable and they help support the following;

  • Children’s Outreach: supports the Summer Reading and Reading Readiness programs and partners with the Head Start program to encourage development of early literacy reading skills
  • Greenwich Library’s Book Van: provides weekly delivery and pick-up service to senior residences in Greenwich
  • The Friends Friday Film series: for nearly 40 years has provided an eclectic mix of new releases, classics and foreign films
  • Children’s Programs and Shows: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Grammy winners Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could
  • Concerts in our Cole Auditorium: distinguished Musicians from Marlboro and pianist Jeremy Denk
  • The Flinn Gallery: offers a range of exhibits focused on contemporary artists.
  • The Oral History Project: a collection of more than 800 interviews with people who have helped to make or witnessed Greenwich history.
Contact Anne Shafqat in the Friends Office (203) 622-7938, or email the Friends Office.