Category Archives: Art Projects

From Fulham to Putney in paintings

It’s been nearly three years since I took up oil painting for the first time and inevitably a number of my pictures have been of Fulham and Putney, because I live in the former and my art course is at Putney School of Art & Design.  I’ve been putting all of my pictures up on my tumblr page  (click here) straight away as it is quick and easy, but when I started this site I said I would try to provide more context on some of my paintings, so here we go. Most of the following are on fairly large canvases  – about 100 x 60cm and are oil on canvas unless otherwise stated. To see them fullscreen, just click on the thumbnails.

In terms of a theme, rather than chronological, let’s go geographical and  travel from  Fulham  to Putney School of art itself…

So this is a view of back gardens in Chiddingstone Street, looking towards Bradbourne Street:

Back Garden

That is one of my earliest oil paintings,  whereas this next one of Parsons Green I finished yesterday:

Parsons Green 2b

This is looking North and the larger building is actually where my sister was born in 1967 – back then it was a maternity home, now it is an NHS walk in centre. The pub to the left is The White Horse, also known as ‘The Sloany Pony’. It is worked up from a pencil sketch done ‘on location’. I will put some sketches at the end of the blog.

Parsons Green

This is a sightly larger canvas, again from a sketch made in almost exactly the same position but looking South down towards the New Kings Road. I was trying to capture a particularly sunny day. This is now currently hanging on my mother’s living room wall. Walk about 50 yards to your left and you come to Parsons Green tube. This is again a fairly large canvas showing Parsons Green Lane early on a sunny August morning…

fullsizerender-4

Heading South, this is the river walk in Bishops Park, near Putney Bridge, looking westwards at sunset towards  Fulham Football ground, just out of sight.

River Walk

..and from further along, looking eastward towards Putney Bridge.

FullSizeRender 7

This was done in my art class following a sketching field trip one evening. Some of the sketches from that evening are lower down.

Near to the River Walk is Fulham Palace. This is a painting I did from a photo I took lying down in the gardens of the first flower of Spring. Not entirely sure it works as it makes the flower look like a triffid.

Bishops Palave oil

This pastel of the corner of the Palace itself probably works better I think:

Fulham Palace 1

OK, so let’s jump over the river to Putney.  this is the slip road down to the Thames near Putney Bridge, looking East at sunset and again following a sketching trip with my art class.

FullSizeRender

If you walk past the Bridge and then look back across the River you get a view of All Saints Church in Fulham that is often immortalised in paintings.

Putney Bridge

This was done as part of a project where we had to paint on unusual shapes – hence the diamond – and this is actually on oil paper rather than canvas. I have to confess I am not a big fan of oil paper as I find canvas a more malleable surface. In this one I was trying to go for a more simplistic Hockney/pop art approach.

I tried to take a similar approach with this picture of Deodar Road near the river which leads to Wandsworth Common (through the arch in the picture).

Wandsworth1

This was my attempt to work from sketches plus a photo taken using the ‘panorama setting on the iPhone, so I deliberately painted the ‘fish eye’ effect – the curve in the first third of the painting isn’t really there -it’s all one road. I had to glue three sheets of oil paper together.

Moving a few streets further South this painting is of the house directly opposite PSAD, on the corner of Oxford & Disraeli Road.

Putney November Night

A quick charcoal sketch was made on a cold evening, which then became the guide for this painting done back in the warmth of the studio. You can see a couple of others students, sketchbooks in hand,  in the final picture. This is now owned by my friends Bill and Sue Blyth who bid for it in a charity auction that I donated a couple of paintings to.

Moving inside PSAD itself, here is the central staircase, leading to the studios:

PSAD1 copy

A painting done inside the studio of fellow students:

Artclass final

..and some Putney rooftops, pastel studies done from the window of Putney School of art at sunset:

PSAD2

PSAD1

Meanwhile if you go right to the top of the PSAD building there is a roof terrace looking out onto the Upper Richmond Road.

IMG_1389

So that concludes the trip. Finally here are some sketches over the last few years, some done in situ, a few of which were worked up into the paintings above. Again you can click for a more detailed view

Putney Bridge (Fulham side):

Putnet Bridge

The underground Bridge:

Putney Railway Bridge

Bishops Park River walk:

Bishops Park River Walk

Priors Bank ( in Bishops Park):

Priors Bank sketch

St Dionis Church on Parsons Green:

photo 3-2

Parsons Green looking South:

photo 2-2

Putney Wharf:

Putney 3

All Saints Church from Putney:

Putney 2

..and finally a watercolour done about a decade ago that I found on my hard drive of All Saints & Putney Bridge.  So that concludes our trip around my stomping ground. In a few days I hope to post a blog themed around skyscrapers…

River 1 Putney

Outdoor Scenes and Pop Culture: Some recent paintings

I haven’t put any of my efforts up on the blog recently, as it has been quicker just to upload them directly to my Tumblr page, but I thought’d I’d rectify that by putting up here some of the stuff I have been working on this summer. All are oil on canvas except where stated. Firstly this is the biggest picture I have ever done, about 40″ by 15″. It’s an oil on canvas of Parsons Green looking South from near the White Horse pub. I was trying to capture what was actually a half decent summer, based on a pencil sketch I did in situ. Parsons Green The next one is in a similar style, of a view across the River Avon near the RSC where a chain boat operates as a ferry across the river. Again I did a sketch whilst there and then worked from that to develop the final painting. Stratford   To complete a trio of outdoor scenes here is one from my art class of Putney Bridge and All Saints Church. I painted this just before the bridge shut for the summer. This one was on oil paper as opposed to canvas. The task set in the class was to work on an unusually-shaped paper – in my case a diamond. I tweeted it at the time and it went viral, not because if the quality of the picture I suspect, but because a surprising number of people – including one panicked Estate Agent – did not know it was closing..   Putney Bridge Next are a trio of more recent ‘pop culture’ paintings as I am attempting to learn how to paint figures and – more challenging – faces. They are in chronological order so you can judge if I am progressing or regressing. All are obviously from photos as sadly most of the subjects are both famous and deceased. Firstly a study of Steptoe & Son. For American readers, it was a 60s/70s comedy about rag & bone (junk) men that was copied in the US as Stanford & Son, I think. Wilfred Bramble (left) is fairly easy given his iconic chin, not sure I entirely got Harry H. Corbett though… Steptoe Next is an attempt to work just in black and white oils from a monochrome print of Bruce and Clarence from, I would guess, around 1976. I think the pose makes you realise who it is, the faces less so. A useful exercise nonetheless… FullSizeRender   My most recent effort is on Patrick McGoohan in a distinctive Prisoner pose with the village of Portmeirion behind him. I am actually fairly happy with the face in this one. Unlike the others it was done on canvas board, which felt very different to work on as it dries really quickly, but it seemed to help with the face, even if it could be interpreted as a Gerry Anderson puppet take on Number 6…. Village

Meanwhile this is something I have just started, will let you know how it goes..

IMG_0250

Ocean Drive

Art Tumblr

RM Art TumblrI will be putting some new pictures up on the blog soon, but in the meantime I have gone with a new theme for my art tumblr – see what you think. I put all my stuff up there – good and bad – just after I have finished it, plus the occasional work in progress. It takes a short while to load but shows all the pictures on one page – eventually.

To get there just click the image on the left.

Sunset over Venice and Boston – Three Oils

I thought I’d post the end product of an painting I finished just this week, as I haven’t posted much so far this year.  It’s an oil on canvas 24″x 20″ that was done from a photo that I took whilst at the ASI conference in Venice last November. We arrived via a water taxi just as the sun was setting and the main dome you can see is the Santa Maria della Salute, which sits near the bottom of the Grand Canal.

Venice Sunset 3

Arguably this rounds off a trio of paintings of sunset over water – the first two I posted here last year and were both taken from photos I took attending a Kantar event at the Kennedy Library, looking back across the bay towards Boston. This is a bigger canvas, about 30″ x 20″

Boston Sunset RM

And a different view slightly later in the evening. 20″ x 18″, again oil on canvas….

Boston Flag 2

I tended to work fairly quickly on these sunsets, working mostly wet on wet and trying not to get too bogged down in detail. The Venice painting took about three hours across two sessions, the first Boston four hours, and the ‘flag’ painting two and a half hours one evening at my art class.

Finally here’s my original photo that I took as the basis of the Venice sunset..

IMG_4747

Art Project 5: The Wire – Hamsterdam and The Baltimore Sun

This isn’t an art course project but something I did at home as I continue to learn how to use oils.. I was stuck for something to paint one day and happened across a coffee table book about The Wire which had some interesting photos in it from the set. So I did a couple of paintings from them and may do a third so I have a ‘triptych’. Both are oil on canvas and about two foot square.

The first painting is from season 5 when Bubbles (Andre Royo) gets a job as a newspaper seller for the Baltimore Sun. The billowing weather protector he is wearing does make it look like he has a pin head, but I quite liked the focus in the original picture on one pre-occupied individual in an urban landscape

Wire 2

The second is Officer McNulty ( Dominic West) visiting a crime scene at the site of what will become Hamsterdam, set up in season 3 as an ill-fated safe haven for drug use. I  liked the desolate, overcast rainy feel in the original picture.

Hamsterdam 2

Stay tuned for a third (possibly)

Project 4: Caravaggio

suppemmas

 

One of the projects in the Autumn term of my art course was to choose a ‘classic’ painting and attempt to reproduce it. the brief was not to slavishly copy or produce a fake – clearly I am not good enough to do that – but to focus on aspects of the painting and bring them out.

I chose this Caravaggio painting called ‘Supper at Emmaus’ (on the left) and decided to focus on the three characters to the right of the painting. For me the great thing about the painting is the way the glow illuminates the faces and the dramatic light and dark, so that is what I focused on.

In the first week I did a charcoal and chalk drawing to get a feel for the layout and in particular the transition from dark to light in the picture, with edges closer to the light more defined than those farther away which fade into the darkness:

Cara 1

 

Having done that the following week I then used this layout, as opposed to just the original painting, to move to a fairly large oil painting. I tried to use a fairly limited pallet with a lot of burnt umber and yellow ochre. You can see the painting evolve in the stages below:

photo 1-2photo 2-2

 

 

 

photo 2-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is the final painting. Relative to the original objective – to focus on light and colour I am fairly happy with it. The old lady has a ridiculously long neck like a tree trunk and I didn’t have any small brushes with me so the faces are as a result quite cartoony. However overall it was a really useful project – I was doubtful at the start as I have never really felt motivated to paint from a painting, but I did learn from the exercise.

Cara 2

 

 

Through a Fulham Window

 

This is quite a big oil on canvas I have been working on sporadically for the last few weeks,  the view from the back window of my childhood home. It’s a view I very much associate with Fulham, where the terraced houses create mini ecosystems of adjoining back gardens surrounded by buildings, almost like tiny Central Parks. The houses were built around the turn of the 20th Century and are called ‘Lion Houses’ as they each have little stone lions on top.

 

Back Garden

 

It proved a bit of a challenge, because as summer transitioned into Autumn the foliage kept changing, but I have tried to keep it as a late Summer scene.

Here you can see it at an earlier stage alongside the view out of the window.

 

Backgarden 2

 

Meanwhile here is a similar earlier view I did, this time including the window and foreground over Christmas.  This is oil paint on a board, only my fourth ever oil painting.

 

Window view