Thursday 16 October 2014

The magic of the moors at Cober Hill

Having recently returned from a fun packed inspirational painting break at Cober Hill (Sunday 5 October - Wednesday 7 October) near Scarborough, the painting break I ran has filled us all with lots on new painting ideas with students eager to return ASAP!

With full day studio painting, evening demonstrations  and outdoor painting directly on the moors, it was a delight to see how everyone enjoyed it so much and with superb painting results.

Exploring different painting media on different papers and surfaces it was really great to help guide and encourage  all enthusiastic students just exactly what was possible when combining different media together - even outdoors!

Knowing the landscape close to Cober Hill had so much to offer with lots of different inspirational views, on the way to Fylingdales moor for our sketching and painting field trip on Wednesday we passed through some superb woodland on the way visiting the highest point of the moors close to Cober Hill to take in this superb view overlooking the valley in the early morning November sun - superb!

Realistically we were lucky to have a window of opportunity to paint on the moors in such changeable weather and experience the dramatic landscape at first hand at Fylingdales Moor for a few hours sketching. This was all we needed and perfect for all to soak up the atmosphere and experience the dramatic light and paint the beautiful colours and textures of the moorland heather in particular. The rising mists through the distant trees over the moor was quite spectacular.

Fylingdales Moor is very unique. Lone trees are scattered through the wide moorland expanse landscape almost acting as sentinels for this remarkable landscape. They made the perfect focus as well for our moorland landscapes later created with acrylic on canvas in the studio adding gesso and pumice to express the textures of the moors still further!

It was really great to teach a class full of really enthusiastic students lots of different creative techniques, share may different experiences, exchange ideas and above all have a really great time together painting some wonderful moorland paintings.

Finally a big thanks to all the staff at Cober hill who really made this art break for us all that bit extra special.

I’m looking forward to teaching again at Cober Hill and with bookings being taken NOW for the next art courses this is indeed great news.

Thanks again everyone. It was just great!

Here are the next three for 2015
1. Sunday 22 March - Friday 27 March ‘15. Contemporary seascapes with pastel and watercolour.
2. Sunday 6 September - Friday 11 September. Expressive landscape techniques with Watercolour and pastel
3. Sunday 22 November - Friday 27 November. Autumn landscape theme painting break with acrylic 

Get your skates on. Bookings are now being taken!

For further details for the above residential art breaks and to book your place on these exceptional art courses (which are superb value for money I might add) at Cober Hill, Cloughton, Scarborough please ring the administration team at Cober Hill on 01723 870 310 or email:

Cober Hill Newlands Road Cloughton, Scarborough YO13 OAR

Thursday 2 October 2014

New art career on the rocks!

Well actually, I'm riding the crest of a wave as it happens! My seascapes are pretty popular at the moment in all sorts of galleries which is absolutely great!

Taking advantage of this amazing early Autumn weather we recently headed for the one of our favourite costal spots on the East Coast of yorkshire - North landing near Flambourough.

The weather was spectacular and I just couldn't resist doing a spot of drawing in this amazing cove. 

With the tide rushing in, ideas for later studio paintings were quickly drawn, remembered and put to paper. 

With the crashing, rolling waves being so attractive, Alfie couldn't resist trying to 'tame and control' them again taking the occasional soaking in the process which put a mile on our faces! 

Here are the results of just some of my latest seascapes with reference from Flamborough, Bempton and near Saltburn.

Over the ocean
Mixed media on Saunders Waterford 140lb (300gsm) 'Not' watercolour paper
15 x 21 inches

Heading out
Mixed media on Saunders Waterford 140lb (300gsm) 'Not' watercolour paper
15 x 21 inches

Gannets are really powerful birds and so majestic in flight - a perfect inclusion in this East Coast painting bringing everything to life and one new finished painting to add to part of my 'Wildlife in context ' series for our forthcoming exhibition 'All Paintings Great and Small' from 16 April - 4 May 2015 at North York moors visitors centre at Danby, North Yorkshire.

It's going to be a great exhibition!

Back to Flamborough
Pastel on Canson Mi-Tintes Touch paper
9 x 12 inches

More to come....I'll keep you posted!