Last weekend saw the opening of the exhibition with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in Bath at Gallery Le Fort. I’ve got several works on show and managed to sell these two on the night.

‘Low Tide, Wells-next-the-sea’ – oil on board (6×8)


‘Sunshine at the Radcliffe Camera’, Oxford – 10×16 – oil on board

Funnily enough, neither are of Bath but I’m hoping the Bath scenes will attract some red dots as the exhibition progresses :o) It was lovely to see everyone at the preview night and I was lucky enough to have a nice chat with the gentleman who kindly bought my painting of Wells. It’s great when you can meet the buyer as you get a real sense of the connection they have with the painting :o) My friends and painting pals Tim King and Valerie Pirlot joined me at the show and we headed out for some easel action the following day.

The main session was done at the allotments on Sion Hill. This is a great little spot, well away from the crowds and on a slope that looks over towards distant hills. Tim and I had been hunting around fruitlessly for a while and weren’t overly inspired as the light was really flat. We took a turn off Lansdown Crescent and stumbled across Sion Hill. I seemed to remember Peter Brown had done something down there so I thought it would be worth checking out. When we arrived we were greeted by a feast of green and other colours from the allotment. Perfect! I chose a tall slim format and it was quite a decent size, 10x16in I think. The sun kept coming in and out but I stuck to my guns and made it predominantly ‘in’ but with the distant hills lit up a bit. Valerie joined us not long after we’d started and we all happily painted away, enjoying the tranquility….even the distant chimes of church bells could be heard. Lovely. Valerie and Tim both did the scene full justice with their paintings. This is my effort from the session.


Tim and I headed for the Crescent as last effort to find a subject to paint. We were both a bit tired but had a go, vowing to approach it as a quick sketch more than anything. For some reason the wind really picked up and we ended up having to hold our easels with our free hand!
Believe me, you almost need sunglasses to look at the grass. It really was a bright, acid yellow/green. This is quite toned down, believe it or not! I wish I’d shifted things a little so the tree was a bit further left but hey ho, in the heat of the moment with the wind buffeting the easel you have to make fast decisions. I was more interested in getting the tones and colours judged accurately. I made a conscious effort to simplify the buildings and not have it descend into an commentary on Georgian windows! The sky is a little bleached in the photo…there’s more tone to be seen in the painting.