Please get in touch if you’d like a portrait of your own beautiful home.
Very pleased to complete this pen and wash commission of a lovely Burnham bungalow for a lovely person.
I was delighted to show my pen and wash portraits of beautiful Maldon High Street in the Maeldune Centre, at the top of Market Hill, Maldon, from 17th August to 2nd September 2023.
Here I am on the launch night, sitting in front of the half size fine art prints I had made of the original paintings. Click here to find out more about the prints and buy them.
The exhibition had a tremendously generous reception from Maeldune Centre visitors and volunteers alike. By far the star of the show was the black and white print I had made for the table tops in the centre of the gallery. People had great fun colouring it in and writing on it; the comments and shared memories of Maldon High Street were really touching.
Maldon’s mayor, Andrew Lay, and young Blake hone their colouring skills at the launch party.
Maldon historian Stephen Nunn visited a couple of times and I was able to add some fascinating facts about the High Street to the interactive artwork as he dictated. Here he is with my dad, Ron, who was also very enthusiastic and generous with his High Street memories.
The Maldon Society is in the process of adding photos of the interactive piece and digital versions of the original paintings to their archive. I am truly an honour.
Here’s what Stephen said about the exhibition along with some other reviews:
I was born in Maldon (as was my dad), and I lived there until I was 18 so I feel a very strong bond with the place despite having lived away for 30 plus years.
I decided to paint some of Maldon’s most beautiful buildings.
While I was taking reference photos I got the urge to paint all the façades from the old police station in West Square down to the Rose & Crown on the corner of Butt Lane.
Part of the loveliness of buildings comes from their relationship to their neighbours; that’s something we could also say about ourselves.
That stretch of High Street was too long to fit onto one piece of paper so I divided it into eight sections and started making rough sketches. Then I challenged myself to finish all the paintings in a year and exhibit them at the Maeldune Heritage Centre, which is one of the buildings included in the series.
The exhibition is called “Looking Up” because it occured to me, while I was taking the reference photos, how rarely I take the time to stop, stand still for a while, look up and really appreciate my surroundings. Perhaps you’re the same?
And since I’ve painted these buildings I’ve notice that they’ve become more vibrant to me. I mean that when I walk or drive past them now, they seem brighter and more alive. It’s as if by getting to know all the little details of their faces I’ve made friends with them!
The exhibition runs from 17th August to the 5th September 2023, do drop by if you can! There’s an low tech interactive element – please do some colouring in and share your High Street memories on the large black and white print in the centre of the gallery.
Fine Art Prints
I’ve had some beautiful fine art prints made which capture the essence of the original paintings at half their size. Click here to buy prints.
The ink is lightfast, so it won’t deteriorate over time and the museum quality paper is Hahnemuhle William Turner 310gsm, which has a texture and weight similar to the watercolour paper on which I painted the originals.
The Olde White Harte Hotel
I made this pen and wash piece over the two Sundays of Art on the Quay, which were part of the Burnham Art Trail. It was the first time I’d participated in the Art Trail and it was an excellent experience. Click here to read more about it.
Steam Tug Brent
I made the pen and wash piece above for this year’s exhibition celebrating this iconic vessel in Maldon. Read more about the exhibition here.
I was delighted to submit a painting for the annual exhibition of locally made artworks celebrating the Steam Tug Brent which ran for a week in July 2023 in the Octagon at St Mary’s church.
In preparation I paddled out with my kayak buddy to get a photo from an interesting angle. I wanted to show The Brent with St Mary’s Church and its Octagon in the background because that’s where the exhibition would be held.
I used that photograph as reference while I made my pen and wash painting (above).
There was a generous and varied selection of beautiful works shown in the exhibition, the youngest contributor being under 4 years old and the oldest having just celebrated their 93rd birthday.
Photographs of the exhibition space
Grapnells Farm, Wallasea Island
Just as the spring weather became gentle enough for open air painting I ventured out onto Burnham Quay. Those two black headed gulls kindly adopted a stylish pose on the post for just long enough for me to sketch them. Got to love an Essex gull.
Struck by the glorious wisteria adorning Sharings cottage one spring morning, I quickly snapped a photo hoping to make a painting of the scene at a later date. I worked from that photo to make the pen outline and then went back to sit outside the cottage and paint the watercolour washes. Quite suddenly a cloud of bees appeared and started settling on the cars parked behind me. “Keep calm and carry on,” I said to myself before scarpering sharpish a couple of minutes later as the swarm intensified. Such drama for a calm spring morning.
Burnham Art Trail 2023
They are framed and priced at £100, please contact me for more details.
This is me, proud as Punch! Having just hung my paintings in Holicity Health, 140 Station Road, Burnham on Crouch, my alloted venue for the Burnham Art Trail 2023.
It was Art Trail venue number 12, which you can find on the Art Trail Map here.
This was my first Art Trail, the culmination of nine months painting and anticipation, which is why I was so relieved and excited.
Diana and Nick from Hoilcity Health were an absolute dream to coordinate with. They were both so kind, laid back but enthusiastic and very flexible when I had to postpone my set up day because of a brush with covid. Huge thanks to them.
All my Art Trail Paintings are For Sale!
I’ve listed the paintings I exhibited in my Art Trail venue below. They’re all pen and wash and they’re all for sale, so do please contact me if you’d like to buy yourself, or someone else you love, some art:
Sunset, Winter Trees, Mayland
Sunset II, Winter Trees, Mayland
Sunset III, Winter Trees, Mayland
Grapnells Farm, Wallasea Island
Blue Boat, Low Tide
Wallasea Island from Burnham Quay
Clock Tower, Burnham-on-Crouch
Green Door, High Street, Burnham-on-Crouch
Morning Trees, Mayland
At Burnham Museum
And below is the painting, also pen and wash, that is on the Burnham Musuem ‘taster wall’
No7 High Street, Burnham-on-Crouch
And this is the original painted postcard I donated for the auction, it’s based on a sketch I made in my neighbours’ garden last year.
There was a lovely Art Trail launch party at Burnham Museum. It was a real treat to meet other participating artists, some for the first time. The range and quality of the artwork on show there was really impressive and I was honoured to be included.
Art On The Quay
I also took part in Art on the Quay during the mornings of Sundays 25th June and 2nd July. We painted under the bright pink gazebos opposite The Olde White Harte pub.
And here’s me painting it!
I received the application form for the annual art exhibition in Langford and Ulting Village Hall as a friend and I were planning a kayak trip from Hoe Mill Lock. It was the perfect opportunity to take some reference photos of the beautiful Ulting countryside along the banks of the River Chelmer as we paddled to Paper Mill Lock and back.
Being so low, sitting on the surface of the water, lends an unusual perspective and, as my kayak buddy pointed out, these pen and wash landscapes actually have the orientation of portraits.
I was struck by the lush green of this riverside field in contrast to the backlit branches, still bare, on the cusp of spring.
And lastly, the beautiful old church appears to grow out of the vegetation on the riverbank.
The exhibition will celebrate local artists and raise money for the village hall:
Langford and Ulting Village Hall, Langford Road, CM9 4SS
Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April 2023, 10am-5pm