Suburban House #4. 2013. Watercolour and pencil on paper.
Painting (above) SOLD. Please remember, most of the artwork displayed on this site is still available as prints even though the original painting or drawing is no longer available for sale!
Suburban House #5. 2013. Watercolour and pencil on paper.
Downtown Houses. 1985. Watercolour, wax and pencil crayons on paper. Approx' 35 X 45cm (14 X 18in).
Some of these paintings are Post-art college work and go back to the very beginning of my launch as a freelance artist on my return to the cold north after spending three years in the sunny south. They carry with them an established and perfected technique of combining black Conte crayon with water-based colour washes. I was using watercolour and Conte crayon in my large handmade sketchbooks at Maidstone College of Art and not realizing how attractive it was together - I regarded all my sketchbook work as preparatory work for the serious business of oil painting. I was too young to see the significance and worth of my "sketches" and formulating ideas. It was lecturer, Dave Winfield who pointed out how pure, how spontaneous and simple they were and how I should pay attention to them as potential "finished pieces" in their own right. I sort of knew this, but I guess I just needed to hear someone say it. After all, I had naturally brought Conte crayon and watercolour together as an effective medium for picture making a year before Maidstone and had framed and displayed one or two paintings. I was an instinctive watercolourist as a youth and had been introduced to the medium of black, white and coloured Conte crayon (hard French chalk) at Hartlepool College of Art by the superb art teacher Stephen Crowther.
Returning to Middlesbrough I threw myself into drawing and painting houses. I think it was a homesickness thing which I was getting out of my system. It was the first of the "painting series" I would become associated with as an artist. Since the 1980s I've involved myself with many "series", or working projects as an artist. The Celtic Cross series (not on this site) is one, Big Parochial - the central theme of this website, is another. Perhaps confusingly, all the paintings you view here on this site, as well as belonging to one of my "series" fall into their respective art categories, or genres within the wider scope of painting - the above houses paintings fit into a painting division known broadly as Urban, Town or Cityscapes. Big Parochial is part of Landscape, as a point of interest, and will be explained better later.
Within the opening exhibitions I had in Middlesbrough in the mid-1980s, my first customer, Jan Lewis, was a lady who would go on to eventually work for the council. She bought one of these house watercolour and Conte crayon pictures.