Maili Reading

aili Reading fin

A portrait I reworked recently. It was shown last year in the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine but it really was in an unfinished state.

It now has more depth and 3 dimensional qualities. It’s lost the cartoonishness it had.

I also removed the reading lamp behind to create a more peaceful air.

1m x1m Acrylic on canvas

Sillars Meadow, Irvine

sillars meadow acrylic

Part of a series of paintings I am starting, showing familiar/not so familiar landscapes in Irvine.

It’s related to lockdown in as far as my daily walks have increased during it. The dogs pads are paying the price, though, of that extra mile or so that we are not used to for the past ten weeks. I now have to seek out more grassy paths and avoid the tarmac as much as I can!

I am painting in acrylic and sticking to a 10″x10″ square format.

The final piece will be seen as a collection I hope. We’ll see how it goes.

Under The Mall

under the mall

Acrylic on board 10″x10″

I am beginning to get something from my urban wanderings. The task is to find the views that I might pass frequently and see with fresh eyes the beauty revealed. In amongst the overly familiar, a scene presents suddenly as exotic or foreign. I have never easily dismissed the usual as usual but trying hard now to see the small corners and pockets of colour as special places.

Bogside, Irvine

Bogside, Irvine 2019

Trying out another couple of demos based on the work of Joan Eardley.

This is Bogside, Irvine, painted for the Tuesday group (I think) (It was last week and I forget!). It is close enough to the colours of Eardley, but a bit too stylised and not rough or wild enough to capture the essence of the work.

Joan Eardley exercise #2

eardley demo 3

Painting a copy is difficult because you are trying to mechanically emulate another’s spontaneous marks.

Painting “in the style of” another is equally difficult because the copyist has to fight with their own muscle memory marks and tried and tested signature picture making gestures to emulate someone else’s vision.

Anyway, it’s all learning!

Here is my third demo of the week to try and see the landscape through the eyes of Joan Eardley. One of Scotland’s greatest expressionist painters.

It is thinner than an Eardley, but I hope I capture the greys of her paintings and the wildness of her marks.


Joan Eardley exercise

Eardley exercise 1

A class demo for Tuesday group.  I was looking at the work of Joan Eardley and in particular, her time at Catterline.

An expressionist painter of the Scottish landscape circa 1957-1963.

Acrylic and oil pastel. There are touches of Eardley here and perhaps not enough of her greys. The emphasis is on gestural marks, layers and textures.

Painting from a sketch II

Another acrylic painting from a sketch of a photograph.

This is a view in Irvine of Duntonknoll, a row of white houses with the Dalry hills in the distance. A simple composition of low horizon and sky filled with summery clouds.

Being a demonstration, it is quickly executed with little time to think and pore over details. So, I wouldn’t think of these as finished paintings but as stepping stones towards that, although they are fairly close to the broad style I am aiming for.


duntonknoll sketch

Painting from a sketch

I demo’d this exercise for Wednesday class and will roll it out to the others this week and next.

The aim is to draw from a photograph, recording line, tone and colour notes to the point where you have all the info you might need to create a painting without referring to the original photo.

This frees up the image from a strict copy of the photograph which can lead to tight work. It is surprising how the exclusion  of information at the sketch stage takes the pressure off and leads to a fresher vision.

loudoun hill

loudoun hill sketch