This painting was done over three short sessions when the weather permitted, and is of a sunny day in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. My wife and I were very fortunate as this was the view from our room, Ferguson Unit 8, Chateaux Tongariro, New Zealand (when the weather was clear!) We could see for miles across the national park, many different colours of vegetation and animals enjoying the environment.
This is a painting of the view from Room 322 in our second hotel called The Palau Royal Resort. It was done around midday as we avoided the peak heat of the day and enjoyed the natural beauty (I am finally learning how to avoid sunstroke!) It was an amazing spot with the beautiful ever-changing turquoise green and blues of the ocean lapping against the rocks of the coastline and the beach. Paradise indeed! I love to try to capture the different colours and reflections found in tropical waters as they shine, mix and get deeper as the sunlight affects them. Palm trees are also very special and interesting to me as I had never seen them in Liverpool, England before and I love their forms, shapes and ability to survive.
This drawing was done one misty morning as the tide was low revealing more of the rocks and shadows at the base of the islands. The darker colours of the seabed were showing through the shallow sections of water disrupting the skies reflections as the sun tried to brighten up the day. The mountains in the background would disappear from sight as passing rainstorms enveloped them, re-appearing again once the storms had dropped off their load.
This Acrylic sketch is an attempt to quickly capture a passing rain storm moving across the Rock Islands. These storms would come and totally change the colours of the scenery, making the Rock Islands disappear and re-appear and giving them a magical and mysterious feeling.
This sketch was a real race against time to try and catch the fleeting colours of the sunset in the sky. I didn’t even have time to clip my sketchbook page down (as you can probably tell from the the crease lines!) Oil Pastels are an interesting medium that can be used in variety of ways, I like to add marks and colours and rub them to blend and soften them. I am starting to feel more comfortable with them and enjoy the speed and the fact that small details are almost impossible to completely control. I like this uncertainty as it can often lead to effects that were not expected and are unique to this medium.
This painting was done over two days from the balcony outside Room 3149 in the Grand Hyatt, Nusa Dua, Bali. When I started this picture the skies where overcast and a bright white-grey colour. The second day was much sunnier leading to many different colours and reflections on the water. I originally wanted to show the overcast colours of the first day but as soon as the blue skies came out on the second day the blue reflections seemed to illuminate the lake and I had to add the new colours into the picture. As happens with most of my pictures, as I’m doing it I become quite engrossed in the process and get a kind of tunnel vision. On this occasion it led to me getting some kind of heatstroke due to sitting outside in the sun and heat for longer than I should have! I guess the white balcony and water were reflecting the heat and sun onto me as I painted. Every hour or so when I took a break and went inside the room I could really feel the difference in temperature and finally was very happy to finish and get out of the heat altogether! It made me feel exhausted for a few days after this and I decided to draw and paint from indoors during the mid-day heat for the rest of the trip!
This is a picture of some of the fascinating trees that can be found in Taiwan. These particular trees are in Nangang Park, Taipei City near my house. I really like these trees with there incredible tentacle-like roots that seem unstoppable and able to get over or around anything. It really highlights nature’s ability to adapt and survive at all costs, these trees also have thin hair like roots that hang down from the branches to help find more water. This picture was done on six pages in my sketchbook, but originally started as just the two middle sections. As I drew this picture I decided to expand it and try to show all the trees that cover the small hillside. It was done in many sessions over a month from December to January in Taiwan and then finished in Liverpool as I prepared it for exhibition in the Threshold V festival.