Getting back into things


Shipyard Ghosts

Shipyard Ghosts

Its been a while since I posted, the cold I picked up in January hit me harder than I liked, guess the immune system took a hammering from the chemo/radio. Still, I’ve been able to get back into the studio quite a lot over the last fortnight, and whilst I’m not back to my best, have managed to complete one piece and get a good start on another.

I’ve been working my way back in to painting after a very long lay-off (has it really been six months since I started a new piece!). To begin with, I’m working on two small – for me anyway – pieces. One is a commission due in a month, the other a 75 x 50cm piece that is now finished. I started it last week, but was unhappy with the underpainting, so have done a lot of reworking in the last three days. It has been interesting working out how much of my struggle to control the paint is due to rustiness, and how much to the strange feelings in my fingers that are a hangover from the radiotherapy, but I’m reasonably happy with the result.

Shipyard Ghosts presents another imagining of the debris of the Industrial Age, populated by the ghosts of the workers who gained employment from it. This figurative element has featured more often in my work over the last 18 months, and I am getting happier with it stylistically, so expect to see more in the future. The painting can currently be seen in the Rotherham Art Show, at the old market hall in Rotherham centre.

Thanks for your interest 🙂 John



6 thoughts on “Getting back into things

    • Thankyou Sabiscuit. The colours are Raw Umber, Burnt Seinaa, Black and Titanium white. I mix my colours directly onto the canvas, adding spots of pigment and stirring into the mass, so can’t really give you any idea of the ratio of one pigment to the other im afraid. Cheers. John

      • Thanks, John. I just needed to know which colours because I have issues with backgrounds sometimes and I wonder what mix will work well. As yours is super gorgeous, I’ll try it out at some point in future.

  1. I have already told you how much I like this piece, especially the scale you created on such a small canvas. I’d also been wondering about the subtle mix of dirty reds, and wondered if you had actually used mud…

    These industrial paintings capture the grim beauty that, I am sure, the workers, at the time, didn’t see. And now I’m reminded of the glowing slag heaps on the edge of Barrow-in-Furness, the shipyards and then the launching of the HMS Dreadnought, the United Kingdom’s first nuclear-powered submarine, by Queen Elizabeth II. I was ten years old.

    (By the way, I know what you mean about those tingly fingertips 🙂 )


    • Thanks Don. I was having a chat with another artist earlier about the beauty of industrial remains. The question that they raise for me is how Ruskin would have reacted to them once they became rooted in the landscape 🙂

      • I suppose you have visited Brantwood – the garden and house overlooking lake Coniston; I, cynically, say he probably wouldn’t have minded too much, as it wouldn’t have been his landscape.

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