Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I'm slowly catching up posting some of the work that has been recently finished here in the studio and further afield. Going back to my recent South African trip, the ostrich is a bird quite often seen when driving through some of the less settled areas but these aren't truly wild birds, rather ones that have escaped from ostrich farms. When we visited Qwantani (see earlier blog) we saw quite a few of them and one morning 3 were on the grounds feeding around the chalets (one male and two females). When I stepped out for a closer look, all three headed in my direction and two ended up standing on the stoep itself! Not exactly wild birds then - obviously used to hand-outs from visitors. At first I was a bit wary as the males can be dangerous during the breeding season. But they only seemed to be interested in food so I managed some incredible close-ups with my digital camera and later drew this male as I had seen it the day before walking through the veld. Close up they are very impressive birds and have wonderfully long eyelashes! The males wing feathers are white while the tail is a warm reddish-grey - the females an overall greyish-brown. An amazing bird with very powerful legs and feet too! One of these days I'll probably do an African landscape with ostrich striding through just as I saw them. Ostrich study above - graphite on paper (sketchbook), 7" x 9".

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Sorry about the large painting in the last pic, It was covered with glass and I didn't realize that the window behind me was reflecting so strongly and washing out the image.
Amongst the artists, I seem to have most paintings in the exhibition - 9, and this is because I was working from two properties. Reflecting on the experience, I am happy and proud to be part of this exhibition and it seems quite a worthwhile effort on the part of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy group. I hope this exhibition continues to call attention to some of the threats that the Chesapeake area faces here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.


Here as promised is the String of Pearls Exhibition currently showing at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center, 114 S. Washington St, Easton, MD, USA. I'll split the show into two blog posts as there are quite a few paintings.

Monday, November 23, 2015


The String of Pearls exhibition is currently running at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center , 114 South Washington Street, Easton Maryland until the end of the year. The show is to help bring attention to the threats the Chesapeake Bay faces and how landowners can help. Artists are pared to different properties and visit each site to observe and to paint. I was fortunate to have two properties to work from so within the limited time I had, a few small plein air studies were done on site then larger paintings were finished in the studio.
Cold Reflection, oil on canvas, 8" x 10" (above).

Some of the views from the properties were magnificent, here I am looking downriver towards the bridge we crossed when driving there. We were blessed with great weather on both occasions and that always makes plein air painting so much easier.
Sundown, oil on canvas, 7" x 9".

The view here is from the lower fields looking East up towards the farmhouse and storage barn.
A New Dawn, oil on canvas, 15" x 20".

I really enjoyed walking around exploring and discovering different corners of each property, here the view is across the fish pond towards a shady area with mature trees - a warm late-summer day.
Deer Stand, oil on canvas, 9" x 12". SOLD.

I found many such views like this and could have painted there for days.
Edge of the Wood, oil on canvas, 5" x 7". SOLD.

Looking into the water was mesmerizing - the sun, the ripples and my thoughts drifted, I felt totally at peace.
Sun Reflections, oil on canvas, 9" x 7".
I'll try and post the whole exhibition online as I am not sure that the public can otherwise access the show.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I have been extremely busy preparing paintings for an exhibition in Easton, Maryland. More details about that show later but for now I just wanted to post this recently completed painting in which I wanted to capture the beginning of a new day along the Eastern Shore. Size is 16" x 20", oil on canvas.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Whenever it is misty outside, I take the opportunity to explore the surrounding landscape as often times, what was usually a walk through the woods becomes something completely different. I came upon this scene not far from home in a part of the reserve that we don't usually visit. I was surprised to see this hill and the descending area on the right fading through the fog. A small study followed which has helped cement a few ideas in mind for a much larger work of a quiet and misty scene down by the lake which also had the same amazing atmosphere. This painting is an oil on board, size is 5" x 7".

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I saw this scene not far from my home and worked from direct observation - the painting has become one of M's favorites. I wanted very subdued colors with rich tones and feel I did get close to my goal. This small work sat around in the studio for some time and actually only needed a little attention to the foreground and some subtle modulations of tone around the buildings to complete it. I'm really glad I did this one though as the farm and surrounding trees are now all gone due to development. I have been somewhat lucky to have been able to get to a lot of farms in our surrounding areas to do studies and take photos of them before they too were taken down. The finished painting for me represents a changing world - one in which I am not always happy to see progress.
This painting has proved very difficult to photograph though so might have to go back and re-do this one. Size is 8" x 10" (20cm x 26cm), oil on canvas.