All that glitters must surely be from Essex

All that glitters must surely be from Essex
Oil and glitter on canvas

Monday, 25 November 2013


In my last post I shared that for the first time in a really long while, I'm going to be working on 2 paintings at the same time.

  Now...this isn't life-changing, it won't rip apart the fabric of time and space, but it is quite a change in process for me.  I usually like to give one painting a time my full and undivided attention.  For some strange reason I really want to get another piece underway so thought, whatever- go with.

And so I charged around the ruins, taking photographs of every corner, wall, and doorway.  It was a beautiful, bright and crisp November afternoon and the winter sun helped to create some effective shadows across the walls.

It was very atmospheric.  From the remains of beautifully crafted doors and windows I really got a sense of the place it must have been before the Reformation.  

Even after taking its final battering during the Civil War, there is still plenty left to conjure visions of its former glory.  Ordinarily, I would know within minutes, which part to paint, but seriously....I really have no idea.  

Over the next couple of weeks I will make some sketches to see if a particular part speaks to me.  

I am sure it will, but one thing is certain, after spending some quiet contemplative moments in such a beautiful place...

I can't wait to start this painting - I hope I can do it justice.

Come back in a few days for the first sketch!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

St Botolph's in the making

So, this weekend I have changed the way in which I work.  Ordinarily I work on one painting at a time. Logistically this makes sense as my studio space is not much bigger than a first class stamp, but I also tend to do this as I like to focus on one piece at a time to give it my full attention.  That changed this weekend, when for the first time since being a student, I have embarked on a 2nd work which I will work on at the same time as finishing my painting of the Roman Gateway in Colchester (or the West Gate/Balkerne Gate, see previous posts).

I have started the research for the piece the subject of which will be another of Colchester's great historical features, St Botolphs Priory, or rather it's ruins.

Next weekend I will take myself into town to take some of my own photo's and make some preliminary sketches, which I will include on here - there are a lot on the internet if you would like to see what it looks like, but I'm not including any here as I don't want to infringe any copyrights!

My research this weekend has taken me by way of when it was built, who was St. Botolph and getting some images of the Saint that I could include in the work.  Also some Latin Bible text, as my work will look at it's destruction during the reformation and subsequent damage during the Civil War.  Now, the remains of the priory are a rather dramatic and stoic feature behind the shopping area of Colchester.  Often shoppers can be seen sat having quiet moments of reflection amidst the bustle of the town.  It seems that some sites keep an air of their past even in the present.  

If there is anyone reading this local or otherwise who can give me insight into this sites past, or their own personal view of the place then I'd be very happy to hear from you as I would like to work it into my painting.

See it's progress over the next few months here......