Soon I’ll be scenery painting…

Panto rehearsal started tonight. I’ve offered to help paint the scenery again and I might get a few lines to speak. It’s been a couple of years since we did it because of covid.

This is a picture of me painting a banner for a mystery play that we did a few years ago (based on the willow pattern). I love getting involved in these projects.


Another favourite painting

Painted three years ago. Another favourite painting I did a few years ago… Its based on the Willow Pattern which was a design produced by a lot of British potteries. There are lots of variations but most of them contain love birds and mountains, fishermen and priests on a bridge. Pine trees and the iconic Willow tree. I’ve painted it on a canvas and also as part of the scenery for a play.

Willow pattern

Images of a painting I did of the Willow pattern ceramic design a couple of years ago. The pattern is based on a few images that I saw online and copied, so it’s sort of a generic design. Many pottery companies had their own specific design. There are variations in the positioning of figures, placement of temples and types of vegetation. This was the British attempt to copy Chinese designs.

Some favourites from 2018?


Well I think it was 2018. Time gets mixed up in my brain. I enjoyed going to a life drawing group for a while then other things got in the way, the drawing of a dancer and a guitarist are from there. I had a go at using gold leaf on pictures, which is the picture of the crow or rook. The teacup with a willow pattern was a hat for our local panto. The owls was one of my first tiny paintings. The tree is one I drew while we were up in Yorkshire on the Keithley and Worth Valley railway. The houses ainting is based on a picture I had done in 1980. The photo of  me in the mirror is in my studio.

So that was the selection from 2018. I might do one for 2019.


Busy painting

My friend took these on Friday. I was busy painting a willow pattern background for the penkhull mystery play.

I’m hopefully finishing it next week. I’m about half way through so it should be done on time. It’s a painting on calico that had been primed with white emulsion so the paint does not go on easily and it’s a bit wrinkled where the emulsion has dried. Anyway I will persevere. Then I’m hopefully getting some new paintings done for a craft fair and an exhibition in September. It’s all go!

Finished Friday


I finished this painting of the old Methodist Chapel in Penkhull. I added some details including cobblestones reflecting the sky colours. The Chapel was built in 1836 about six years before the church was built on the top of the hill. Then of course I started something new.


This is a large image of a willow pattern platter. I’m a bit further on with it than this. I think I won’t be able to finish it till next week.

After this I went to sing at the church for the One night only show.

Willow pattern painting

These are a couple of photos of when I painted a willow pattern plate painting. I did it because I had moved into my studio at spode and I had done a series of paintings of pottery.

I looked at various tiny images of the willow pattern pottery by various manufacturers and selected about 3 plates to do the design from. Sitting holding my phone in one hand with the canvas on a table easle is quite difficult, trying to look at photos about 2 inches Square. I made up the outer border mostly from my imagination.


Working to a deadline

I’m still working on new paintings to sell at the new hotel at Spode, but I only have a few weeks to get them done. Working to a deadline means that I have to try and give myself enough time to do my pictures, but also time for other things. Staying up till 5.30 am is OK occasionally but I cant do it every night.

I started this new painting last night and hope to have it finished in the next couple of days. The details are hard to do when you are holding the canvas and your computer tablet in one hand, and the paintbrush in the other. That’s is because I need to look closely to see all the tiny details on the painting and the photo I’m working from.

The original picture is of a round plate. But I remember a large platter from my childhood so I am trying to fit everything onto a more oblong shape… it will make an interesting challenge…the border will have to be changed to fit the space. I also want to get some shadows and reflection into the background, so wish me luck!

I have 5 more paintings to do in time for the opening. These will be pictures of parts of the Spode site if I can get some interesting views. Hopefully the contrast of the industrial heritage of the potteries and the ceramics that was made here will make for an interesting show.