The Story of An Island Artist . .

renovating a stone cottage, building a studio and keeping the rabbits out

1 Comment

I’d Rather Be Painting but . . . . . .

Everywhere you look on the Island there are sights that spark off an idea for a painting.


Living in an old stone cottage has pros and sometimes cons, but . . . . .

The cottage needs to breathe or dampness creeps in and stays.

So what is getting in the way?


westview stove in and alight 05 15


Stoves need fitting, walls, filing, brick work re-pointing.

There goes a week or two.


Not to mention the scaffolding, new chimney. drive re-gravelling,

stonework making good, gable re-rendering and a new chimney.

westview building the chimney

Fences need painting.

westview new fence 05 15

Kitchen roof fixing.

westview fixing flat roof

Break for cake baking, then . . . . .

westview cake 05 15

westview porch paint shadows bw

Peeling paint needs stripping.

westview stairs 1

Including the stairs.


The veg plot needs digging

westview rainbow

Check the rainbow at the bottom of the garden.

Make sure the wildlife is happy.

westview renovation toad

Night falls, then it all begins again.

westview sky sunset

A year later, most of the house is ready for decorating but enough is enough.

Time has to be made each day for painting of a different kind . . . . .

STUDIO working 2

The Beach lighthouse and dogs

Leave a comment

An Island Artist’s Tools

Once inspiration arrives, an idea coalesces, sketches are made then the last tool to come out is the studio.

My studio is a big place, it extends beyond where the painting happens. I include my Island surroundings.


Quick glances and thoughts become two-dimensional sketches. I will use several,  often of different subjects to jigsaw a picture.




St Catherines Lighthouse closeup bw 05 15

GARDEN leaf shadows

bouy store

westview sky sunset

At a point when the picture begins to shape up in sketches I move to my wooden studio . . . . .

On the way to the studio

Take out tools . . . . . .

STUDIO workplace paintjars clup

STUDIO workplace paint tubes

STUDIO workplace paintjars

STUDIO workplace pencils

STUDIO workplace backwall

And begin to mix, brush, scrape, repaint, drop, splash . . . . .

STUDIO working 2

At some point the decision is made that to do more will be a retrograde step and so a painting is finished.

Dinghy to Home

Find my recently updated artwork at

Leave a comment

An Island Artist’s Garden Comes Alive

An artist is the sum of all seen and thought about. Places, the living world,  people.

We all are all like that, artists express it in the form of some kind of medium, usually with a view to presenting to an audience.

This is the first summer in my present garden. An old island cottage garden, at least 150 years in its present form although there has been a building on this site for at least 400 years.  I looked forward to some horticultural surprises and was not disappointed.


Spring brought the snowdrops . . . . .


Then quite soon after early butterflies . . . . .


I am not brilliant on plant names, instead I think of them in terms of shapes, sizes and colour.

Simple shapes are calming  . . . . .

FLOWERS 2015 clematis

Eye catching . . . . .

FLOWER star olify

Big spreads, simple flowers

On the way to the studio

On the way to the studio

Colour and pattern from simple petal shapes . . . . .


More . . . . .


Poppy petals grow into complex arrangements

FLOWER poppy

Complexity of structure also . . . . .


Structure and colour out of the ordinary . . . . .



Put them all together.


Crowd of flowers, a metaphoric crowd of people. Loud, quiet, subtle, showy, opinionated, reserved.

My website has been recently updated with new paintings, visit at

If you find yourself on the Island during September a selection of my paintings will be exhibited in Newport at . . . .

Isle of Wight Traders  (Arts)

23 Holyrood Road

Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5AZ

tel 01983 522 399

Leave a comment

Sailing by the Island

For many years the idea of living on an island has been appealing. A theme in many of my paintings. Not so long ago my painting showing a yacht sailing towards an isle was bought and it left me thinking. I am always glad to see my works beginning a new life maybe the time has come for the desire to become a reality.

The cliches about moving to the country are by and large true. Yes, someone in the village does use an old tractor as a car, yes the walls were damp and yes the views are stunning.

The story begins for real about a year ago in Berkshire.