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I'm out on the ship now, but I do have an internet connection so I've added a new page which links directly to my Fine Art America page. You can now buy prints from FAA directly from this site.


I've now added my latest painting, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal near Foulridge to the Works in Progress page. You can see the painting as it progressed here.


I think I've managed to get the site back up and running now, and with a new design and layout.


So I now have 3 days left to try to get the site up and running again. On the 29th I'll be going from the hotel to the ship, which will be in Yokohama. From there we'll be sailing down to Taiwan and then on to the Philippines. Hopefully I'll be able to continue updating this column as we go to work just north of Luzon.


Well, after 3 weeks of emailing back  and forth with the host company and getting nowhere, it turns out that my anti-virus program is preventing me from adding new photos to the site.


After 41 hours of travel, I've finally made it to my quarantine hotel in Narita, Japan. I'll be spending the next 10 days looking at these four walls so maybe that will give me time to figure what the heck the problem is with the site. At least I can add text, just not images.


I've been trying to edit the site, but keep getting "Undefined" errors and no one seems to have a clue why.


 I thought I would add my latest painting to the website, turns out that may not have been such a great idea...



Leed - Liverpool canal near Foulridge, UK.


An ex-colleague of my by the name of John Ibbotson is an avid hiker and photographer. He regularly posts beautiful shots from his treks across northern England. When I saw a photo he posted of the canal from Leeds to Liverpool and a bridge near the town of Foulridge, I immediately stored it away for the time when I would be able to try to do it justice in oil paint. That time finally came earlier this year (2021) during the Covid lockdown period.


John was happy to give me permission to use his photo for which I am always thankful. Cheers John.


I would normally just draw a scene like this freehand or even just go straight at the canvas with the base coat. But I wanted to make sure that the perspective worked and it didn't end up looking like the water war running off the bottom of the painting. Also, the last time I painted an old stone bridge like this, the results we're decidedly underwhelming.

Canal Bridge 1Canal Bridge 1


Once I was happy that the composition would work I added new layers to the river banks and made a start of the most distant of the trees. I would wait till each layer was dry before adding the next. Plentiful amounts of Liquin were used here to speed the drying process of the layers.

Canal Bridge 2Canal Bridge 2


I was struggling to find a balance between creating a realistic scene and lifelike trees and bushes, but yet not wanting to full-on phto realistic, if that makes any sense.

Canal Bridge 4Canal Bridge 4


I still hadn't tackled the reflections of the trees or the ripples on the water so that had to come next. I also kept going back and adding a few more leaves to the foreground trees while trying very hard to not overdo them. It's not supposed to be full on summer, more of an early spring with cerulean blue skies.

Canal Bridge 5Canal Bridge 5


By now I'm quite happy with the trees and the canal bank is starting to work so time to do something about the bridge reflections as well as the rest of the water.

Canal Bridge 6Canal Bridge 6


Ok, on to the finished pruduct. You can see I spent quite a bit more time on the reflections. Sometimes things seemed to work, and sometimes they didn't. The beauty of oil paint though, is that you can just keep working them till you're happy. Likewise with the grass verge. I wanted it to look realistic, but I had no interest in painting every last blade of grass. So  my style here is definitely more of selecting roughly the correct colours and tones and then just keep playing till some happy accidents happen and I start to see some sort of life-likeness.


Anyway... here's the finished piece. It's 24" x 18", oil on canvas and thanks again to John for letting me use his photo.

Canal Bridge FinishedCanal Bridge Finished