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Showing posts from October, 2012

Sketched in the City: Tap East, Stratford City, London

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TAP EAST
Finding a pub for a cheeky one near a train station when you’ve got a spare 20 minutes usually involves buying into a naff nationwide chain on the concourse. So imagine my wonderment at seeing not just a bar virtually at the top the escalator by the high-speed line home to Kent at Stratford International, but an in-house microbrewery too. Situated on the outside corner of the Great Eastern Market area of ‘Olympic-tastic’ Westfield shopping centre lies this hoppy haven, not only for opportunist commuters but unkeen ‘shopping halves’ too. It must be a tall order making a place like this feel as welcoming as your local back home when the place has glass walls and a shopping centre out front, but it’s been done well. When I visited tonight there were no less than ten unusual-suspect keg beers on (US beers, wheat beers, etc) and five closer-to-home ales on handpump. I opted for an amber ale, London Extra, (5.6%) sketched above, which was excellent. Apparently the guys running thi…

Keith’s wooden house

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Last month my old college friend Ben, my brother and myself took off on a circular cycling tour around Bordeaux. This is my brother’s friend Keith’s place, nestled in a huge woods. He built the place himself and was kind enough to put us up for the night. Not only were we treated to a huge chili con carne, but lashings of local red wine and Keith’s performances late into the night on slide guitar and spoons! Definitely our most raucous night of the entire trip. Thanks Keith - this painting’s winging its way to you as a ‘thank you’ ; )Black Indian ink (via dip pen) and Winsor & Newton watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm NOT paper.

Red & green hen (• SOLD 13 Jan 2013)

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A random hen for the show (it can’t all be about fish, fishermen and that maritime stuff). A big puddle of plain water was laid down for this in the shape of the body and pigment dropped into that puddle once only the sheen of water remained. (You need to use big, bold water-loaded squirrel mops for this). The result, rather like a photographer’s experience in the darkroom, is a joy, watching the colours blend, dominate and develop in front of your eyes. Minor leg and head details/caption were added with a dip pen and ultramarine ink. The downy feathers of the hen’s rear was achieved beyond the puddle area, dragging out the pigment eastwards with a dry squirrel brush, across untouched paper. It’s best, again for simplicity’s sake, to stick to just a couple of colours when experimenting like this. Winsor & Newton watercolour on Two Rivers handmade paper (rough). SOLD 13 Jan 2013
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Another current exhibition piece and again using a ‘Pierre Noir’ pencil/watercolour. I had used a 7B graphite pencil but it was still looking weak, thus the more graphic treatment. A big dry squirrel mop brush also ensured a similar simplicity of stroke in the watercolour work.

Whitstable harbour

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A new painting for my current show at The Horsebridge Arts & Community Centre, the harbour itself only a minute’s walk from the gallery. A simplified and graphic interpretation, it sums up the spirit of the harbour which still has a working fishing role to play. The show goes on until next Tuesday 9th October 2012 in Gallery 2. Drawn in (appropriately) a ‘Pierre Noir’ pencil which gives a very punchy line which works well with large, strong and simple compositions. Winsor & Newton watercolour with Pierre Noir pencil on The Langton 300 gsm rough grain fin paper, (with a touch of wax for foreground texture).