International Artist Mag Challenge No 92

We are currently experiencing a water shortage in South Africa. Water is an essential element in our lives and I’ve long enjoyed activities around water. It’s commonplace for people to enjoy their daily lives where the setting for what they’re doing is at a lakeside, river, dam or the ocean – all appealing for the obvious ambience water provides.

As a keen fly fisherman when I get the opportunity to get outdoors, I have begun to see water from a different perspective. In March this year I started a new series of paintings along the theme of water.. I think this will be an ongoing body of work that could take a lifetime. Water is so complex – The way it can reflect, mould itself around everything it comes into contact with and the creatures and plants it supports as well as being so life-giving. Water also enhances, complements and can alter the way things look. I’d decided to paint this subject because of these qualities.

The International Artist magazine have regular challenges for artists worldwide to compete and encourage the best talent working in the world today to enter work. I entered the first painting I’d done in the series “Orange Spoon”and was fortunate to be chosen as a finalist for the Landscape Challenge No 92! (Featured in Issue No 108 April / May 2016)
The Title was given after I had thought there were orange water lilies in front of one of the reeds, but on inspection of the images afterward, one of the “lilies” turned out to be an orange spoon.
In the working process of these paintings my aim is too seek out the patterns, shapes and accent the light and shade I find in the subject matter being depicted, also to explore the affect water has on it’s environment and generally water as one of lifes ‘alma maters’
I’ve since painted another 2 new works for the series which is ongoing, and incidentally learning from.. I’ll post further work on the series as they’re completed. Pics below are work on the series in the order completed.

Orange Spoon

Orange Spoon


Lily Matrix

Lily Matrix


Lillies of the Gloaming

Lillies of the Gloaming


It has been a while since my last post.. It’s been a period of personal growth.. –  disappointment and uncertainty have been a constant companion as I find my feet as an artist. I’m particular about my art, so being in a frame of mind where I’m unclear in my mind as to the next painting I want to undertake has hampered my progress somewhat. I’ve explored some new ideas and there is light at the end of tunnel. Some of the work I thought I’d start were canned a day or two into the process (several times..) What sometimes seemed a good concept one day became a thorn in the side the next, as I grappled with notions that it was not good enough.

It’s not easy to admit we’ve walked into a brick wall of sorts. It’s like having writers block, but not.. I’m confident in my ability as a painter, but I don’t want to paint a subject I don’t have an affinity with. The painting for me should elevate not only the viewers disposition toward the subject / painting but also gratify the artist.. Having looked at numerous artist’s work I revere, its apparent to me that they must have felt something similar – or at least that’s how it comes across to me. It shows in the work. Failure is important, as through that we learn.

In a previous post Influences / June 2015 – I talked about how eminent artists, influences can inspire. Whilst going through stumbling blocks and search for inspiration I’ve also been through a phase of intrigue for the photo-real, yet in this is also a process of change with wanting to convey neo-expressionistic sensibilities and abstraction. The style we work in can define our work, how and what we paint. I deduced that pattern and form play a huge role in what appeals visually, as it’s evident everywhere around us and comes into play irrefutably in painting. Deciding on a particular path can be daunting, and commitment to a particular style can stifle.. Exploration of paint and style are essential I think in awakening the aura of a work. These are some of the  transitions that play a role in an artists story of his paintings..


I started this site in order to showcase my paintings and share my views on fine art, what inspires me to paint and where possible to contribute, learn more, and also to utilise the site as a platform for my fine art in general. I have worked as a freelance commercial artist for just over thirty years, servicing the advertising industry – having worked on many different projects, encompassing various disciplines to create the artwork required. This has given me a good base as an artist.

Originally when I started out as a freelancer, much of the artwork was done the traditional way – using media like acrylics, inks (particularly for airbrushing), watercolours and various other media. occasionally I’d receive a commission to paint a subject for a client or ad agency that would involve painting in Oils or acrylics. Most projects were commercial and briefing was frequently ‘tight’ – always with the clients objectives in mind.

Once the digital ushered in, the advertising industry transitioned to the computer for creation of artwork and desktop publishing was born. I resisted at first, but a few years later had little choice but to join the digital community. The world-wide web also came into being and e-mails were replacing fax as a means to communicate. The rise of software applications like Adobe Photoshop also impacted hugely on editing of artwork and even the creation thereof.. 3D applications also came to the fore and subsequently the nature of artwork creation changed for me. As a freelancer – one had to be a ‘jack of all trades’ because I’d have to create artwork in so many forms. Examples would be digital illustration, vector art, graphic design in its various forms and also finished art. 3D modelling and rendering were also a huge part of my everyday workflow – having taken years to learn and become proficient in, was essential to the working pipeline.
My online commercial art portfolio

Now, many years down the line I’ve re-discovered my roots and being somewhat disenchanted with the industry due to being restricted by briefs from creatives at ad agencies, chasing after payments and the innate commercialism that comes with the advertising industry as a whole. I find painting therapeutic and creatively I can explore. The possibilities with paint and it’s challenges will be a lifelong pursuit to master.

As a realist painter, my work is moving toward the narrative genre. I’ve always loved work that explored the obscure undercurrents of the subject – what ‘draws’ the viewer in.. and thereby the viewer have an affinity with a work. I intend to show work that is original and inspired, always seeking to perfect the oeuvre..

– Updated 19 June ’15 –