Down By The Lake

Down By The Lake (Detail) Here’s one for those narrow, tall, spaces:

Down By The Lake

Oil on bamboo floorboard,
920×90 mm
March 2009

Nothing special in any way, but I kind-of like it anyways. Click here for the real picture, or stop by for a cup and a look at the real thing.

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A Job Complete: The Swan Quadryptichon

leo (detail) Allow me to introduce Leo. Leo completes the Swan Quadryptichon:

Swan Lake, Lost and Found, Gunter, and now Leo. It’s always nice to complete a painting, but to complete a project of four paintings has an extra level of satisfaction coming along with it.


Oil on canvas, 12×50″
March 2009

Click here, or click the thumbnail, to reveal the complete painting.

You can see the complete Swan Quadryptichon here, all four of them side-by-side, and in chronological order left to right.

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With Two Geese and a Turtle

With Two Geese and a Turtle (detail) Allow me to introduce the latest exhibit: With Two Geese and a Turtle.

I’ll leave it to you to work it out. The solution can be found on the wall of every second home, or so it would seem. Mystery solved or not, I hope you like it.


With Two Geese and a Turtle
Oil on canvas, 16×20″
March 2009

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polly (Detail)Allow me to introduce my little blackbird: Polly.

Nothing much to say about this quickly done simple oil painting, using a pretty good but terribly sticky acrylic medium: Daler-Rowney Alkyd Flow Medium, diluted with 25% of purified linseed oil.

If you are experimenting with oil paint, I surely recommend this medium. Among the acrylic media, this is far superior compared to Liquin or Galkyd.

Oil on canvas, 10×12″
February 2009

As always, click here, or the thumbnail, for the complete picture. The real thing is on permanent exhibition somewhere in W7.

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The Great British Summer

The Great British Summer (Detail) In preparation of the next painting, I wanted to return to a very oily media, last used here with Timothy Leary is Dead in 2003. I thought a practise run would be appropriate.

Now, the Great British Summer only lasted a day and a half this year – very appropriate, given that this painting took no longer. A bit like paint by numbers and I didn't like it very much, but I guess it comes out as a reasonably decorative picture.

The Great British Summer.

Oil on canvas, 500mmx200mm, August 2008

Click here or the thumbnail to reveal the whole picture.


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Home Improvements No 1 of Many

frontWall The front wall has been re-built and is no longer in danger of falling onto the pavement one night.

Nice job by Colin our Mauerbauer.

The ironwork needs brushing down and a lick of paint, but at least the structure is done at long last.

Nice to see how things start rolling, even if certain home improvement plans at times seem to get their very own dynamics.


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Open Secrets

Makeup The wife doesn’t use make-up, and neither do I. I am counting on you to explain this:

Many women and some men use a great deal of tools and pastes and powders and what-not to increase the own beauty. Some do it skillfully and clever so that the additional layer of paint isn’t obvious. Most do a pretty poor job at it, typically by simply doing too much. I guess they all apply whatever they think needs applying in the privacy of their own bathroom, but I am sure you’ve all seen women refreshing their make-up in the tube, at the bus stop, at a restaurant table. In short, almost anywhere.

I don’t get it. Applied with or without skill, surely the aim is to enhance the own beauty in order to deceive members of the opposite sex, or maybe sometimes in order to impress the own peers. Public re-application surely gives the secret away.

What am I missing?

Better Sketching

Most books recommend charcoal for sketching the outlines on canvas , but I find even with careful brushing away of the loose bits, charcoal smears into the paint.

More convenient are China Markers, also suggested some times. Maybe they work well with Acrylics, but China Markers are definitively a nightmare with Oil paints, smearing and staining as they do.

I have found the perfect sketching tool, at least for me: watercolour pencils. These come in different colours, don’t crumble, don’t smear, don’t stain the paint. They are easy to cover with oil paint, and can be thinned down such that even a transparent film of paint can cover them. Works fine for me.

There’s free dinner at my place for the first person guessing correctly what the sketch shown here is all about, by the way.

P.S. Reviewing this post prior to publishing this morning made me realise that I misspelled ‘paint’ as ‘pain’ in several places. I have made myself comfortable on the couch already, and the doctor will see me any minute.

Lottery Winner!

A roadsign showing a pheasant crossing
I should be a lottery winner; honestly,  I should.

This is a totally true story. It has nothing to do with the fact that I rarely play (and never win). Instead, it has simply to do with the fact that I bought half a dozen of eggs. Six large, free range, nice, brown eggs.

Those were special eggs: They were not just large, free range, and brown. As it turned out when cracking them into nice omelettes, each and every one was a twin. Two yolks! What are the odds of that?!

A shame you cannot see it for yourself; those omelettes were just too nice for keeping.

Those eggs had cost me £0.79, and returned two delicious meals.  A single shot at the lottery is one quid, making a difference of £0.21. I could have been a millionaire for only twentyone extra pence. Retire, buy a boat, sail, paint, raise twin chicken, …

What a life! For £0.21!

Tree Lovers


I am a confessing tree lover. Lover, not Hugger. So, what do I do while watching the telly in the evening? I idle around with pencils and graphite sticks, and sometimes watercolours. Doing so, I made myself a new tree last week.

It’s just a simple and small watercolour painting, but I quite like it in several ways: firstly, it’s got the colours and proportions right. This is particularly pleasing as this tree started out its life as a corral, but I won’t tell you that, will I?

Secondly, I like this because it had a large element of surprise for myself. The technique used here is to cover parts of each layer of paint with masking fluid, add another layer of colour, then mask more or different areas, paint, mask, paint, …. It takes a while and I will need to play with this technique a bit more, but essentially you end up with a rather dark and yellow-ish painting, because most of the paper is covered in dried-up masking fluid. Now let it all dry really well, wash the hands carefully so as to remove all grease and grime, and rub off all the masks – voila! A surprise!