Tuesday, 5 April 2011


So here we are at the final week of my sabbatical and it seems the call to the council has finally worked and the annoying alarm has stopped - peace restored once more. So with just the sound of birdsong in the garden, I continued with two more paintings to round things off.

The first is of the river near Cookham Lock . I enjoyed painting the reflections in the Water Garden at Cliveden (see previous blog), so I thought I'd attempt a larger expanse of water. As you can see from the progression of photos the more you look, the more colours you see and still I'm not sure whether the painting is finished. I soon realised that I could become obsessed with this stretch of water and some might wisely suggest that I ought to get out more. See below for how it looks... for now.

 Charcoal sketch of River near Cookham Lock

River near Cookham Lock (one)

River near Cookham Lock (two)

River near Cookham Lock (14"x18")

So to have a break from water, I started on a completely different composition of some blossom on a tree viewed from close range. Despite looking like a dog's dinner in the early stages this picture turned out quite well.

Can you see what it is yet?

Blossom near weir, Cookham

Blossom near weir,  Cookham

Blossom near weir,  Cookham (12"x10")
Twelve paintings on I've come to the end of my stint as artist 'at' residence, but I shall keep you updated about where they end up. It has been a wonderful opportunity and I'd like to thank colleagues Lindsay Fitzpatrick and Sarah Harrison for nudging me to apply for the sabbatical in the first place, and to Annette Taylor-Anderson for her support. I will of course be continuing to blog and paint (but not at the same rate) and, who knows, maybe even exhibit in the future. In Maidenhead there's Norden Farm  Centre for the Arts which has a good exhibition space that artists can book, however just last week it was announced that the facility is to lose all of its funding from the National Arts Council. Let's hope it survives such a drastic cut.