stories and illustration

Tony’s Leaves

Tony's leaves

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hydrangeas in October

hydrangeas in october

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Naples Yellow Field

naples yellow field

July 26, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment



March 16, 2015 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boat on the Other Bank

Fishing BoatI am in England, that boat over there is in Scotland.  These days I am fascinated by the shapes of trees, I think I am gearing myself up to paint a boy in a wood, a boy who is following the cry of a captured hare. Trouble is, the story is set in June, and the trees I am enamoured of are in their February colours. What will change, the colours or the season? I saw some historical Japanese armour and horse armour last Sunday, and I fell for those colours too – dark red, metal grey, buff. sienna, dark brown, gold, silver, black. Charismatic, strange, beautiful. Coming back home today I came across a tree full of bullfinches – well, four or five of them, and some of their colours are in the same range.  My favourite birds, I haven’t seen any for more than ten years.  “Fairy birds” I believe is one of their folk names.  I couldn’t take proper pictures of them, as I only had my small camera today, as I wasn’t intending to take many photographs; and I certainly wasn’t expecting to see bullfinches. I’ll go on the qui vive over the weekend with the camera that magnifies more, and see if they are still haunting the place,tearing the buds off the tree with little jerks of their heads.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trees Across the River 2

Trees Across the River 2This is the feeling that I want for the woods in my picture book.  The part that is set in woodland talkes place at nightime, but maybe I will just put some stars in a lilac sky to signify the dark, and keep these delicate colours.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Field by River Tweed

fieldA dark afternoon, just flashes of sun.  So much brown, in layers of fallen leaves, earth, branches, flower husks, ploughed fields; and then the contrast of the brilliant green of the spring sowing, and the dark green of crocus spears in the garden. New Year’s Eve.  No carousing for me.  I expect there will be fireworks on the green, with cracks and hisses and scintillations that will scatter through our peace.  Happy New Year to you all.

December 31, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

December yellows: gorse and sawdust



Out walking the Norham path on Christmas afternoon, hear shooting across the river, maybe someone taking a Christmas potshot at the crows. I see scarcely a bird (can’t blame them), scarcely any colour anywhere until I come across the gorse in bloom, and on the way back notice the colour of the sawdust streaming from the severed tree:


December 25, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Up into Birch Leaves

birch leaves

Still these blue skies during the day, but in the evening the air has an edge of frost. The clocks have gone back. Down the side streets in Coldstream, in the late afternoon, I can hardly see my way between the dim orange glow of the widely-spaced street lamps.Today was the first time I have worn gloves for months, I had to burrow my way between old soft  hats to find them. Back to work time, I think: a book of high summer.  I am going to spoil myself by ordering the most exotic colours I can find in designer gouache. I cannot understand how I buy paint, I have tubes and tubes of raw umber.  Why?  No more of this.  It’s violets and fuchsias, and dark maroon I want, though why these autumnal tints are going to represent high summer I don’t know.  Just call it self-indulgence.  There will be lots of naples yellow used and yes, some raw umber no doubt.  And I need to find out how to create a green so dark it verges on black.

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Autumn water 1

autumn water 1

October 24, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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