“Well, I am ploughing on my canvases as they do on their fields” (Vincent Van Gogh, 1889) .. …. – “and it shows!” (R.J.P. 2019)
(Click on an image to enlarge, and on the title for more info.)
I am an ex scientist/European Civil Servant who is learning to paint in retirement. With my paintings I am aiming to communicate something which has impressed me. As the paintings are accumulating in storage they are not communicating anything to anyone (!), hence the motivation for these web pages.
In the case of “Mountains” it is simply the spectacular or dramatic mountain scenery encountered on excursions in the Alps and further afield that have provided the impetus to paint. With “People” we are trying to capture some aspect of the character of the individual or group, or the feeling of the situation they are found in, while “Reflections” is mostly about the specular reflection of light on water, snow, ice, pavements and other reflecting surfaces.
The paintings are developed mostly from my own photographs, but in some cases from photos by friends and others which have impressed me enough to want to paint them – in these cases thanks and acknowledgements are included in the next section.
I am very grateful to my friends and fellow painters in Merkinch Painting Group of the Art Society of Inverness for their helpful comments and encouragement and especially to Jonathon Shearer for his patient coaching. See:
I have also greatly enjoyed following some of the video courses from the Will Kemp Art School at: http://willkempartschool.com
Out of many “how to” books consulted I have found “Free Expression in Acrylics” and “Capturing Light in Acrylics”, both by John Hammond, to be especially helpful.
As Claude Monet said – “No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition” – that pretty well rules me out then, but I’m working on it.
“Dolomites 1” is loosely based on a photo taken in the Brenta Group. Thanks to Geoff and John Cram for many enjoyable days together in the Dolomites.
Looks towards Gardeccia and the Catinaccio from above Vigo in the Val di Fassa. Oil, 40 x 30cm.
Approaching the Pass
“Approaching the Pass”, “Nepal Girl”, “Nomad Greeting” and “Nepal Harvest” were all based on pictures taken on a trek with the Yorkshire Ramblers Club to the Dolpo Region of Nepal in 2016. Thanks to the leader Mick Borroff for permission to use his photo of the girl.
“Approaching the Pass” Acrylic, 44 x 34cm.
“Nepal Girl” Acrylic, (sold)
“Nomad Greeting” Acrylic, 44 x 54cm
“Nepal Harvest” Acrylic, 46 X 36cm
Bivvy Spot Greenland ’67
From a photo taken while climbing an unclimbed mountain on the Imperial College East Greenland Expedition of 1967. The bivvy spot was actually about 200ft lower down but the ambience was much the same! Acrylic, 34 x 42cm.
Painted using an image from the Swiss webcam at:
Acrylic, 60 x 30cm
This is based on a clip from a distant photo of the cloud covered Dolomites near Selva, Val Gardena. Acrylic, 32 x 42cm.
Wham Bam Ama Dablam
This was inspired by a clip from a photo by Marko Prezelj published in “Beyond the Mountain” by Steve House, Vertebrate Publishing, 2010. Acrylic, 50 x 41 cm.
“Unlikely Trio” made use of the cover photo from “Perk’s Book”, Perks Publications, 2004, and shows George Perfect, the gamekeeper, looking after two pet foxes. Acrylic, 45 x 60cm.
This made use of a photo published in the Inverness Courier. Oil, sold.
In the Vineyard
This made use of a photo in “World Atlas of Wine” by Hugh Johnson, Chancellor Press, 2002. The workers have been moved closer together to strengthen the impression of them grappling with the vine cuttings. Acrylic, 46 x 36cm.
In the Bothy
This one came about as a result of joining John Sutcliffe on the final six days of his long walk from Cape Cornwall to Cape Wrath, so thanks to John for getting me on board. See: http://www.johnsutcliffe.net The bothy is the one at Strathcalleach near Sandwood Bay. Oil, sold.
This is a view looking west along Loch Ness from Dores. Oil, 40 x 30cm.
This is a fantasy making use of well known elements from Venice and a photo from Phil Brown. It is supposed to depict the passengers being safely ferried by the gondoliers on their last journey towards the golden doored cathedral. Acrylic, 55 x 45cm.
Aix by Night
This was inspired by a warm summers evening spent in Aix en Provence in the hospitality of Roland Zeyen. Acrylic, 40 x 30 cm.
This was composed using several images found by searching for “Venice Sunset”, but as the view looks east along the Grand Canal I guess it is more correctly described as a sunrise.
When setting up this web page I was initially inclined to miss out the contact section, but then I heard someone say on the radio that “artists should interact with society and not just create a shrine to themselves”, so let’s see how it goes….