In my opinion there is only one way to paint one of our English Skies. The medium must be Water Colour. When I'm asked how long did it take to paint that sky? the truthful answer is about ten minutes, the smart answer could be thirty years. Just as we write our signature in a flourish I think water colours should done and left.
A closer look at the forground on this painting 'Rag and Bone man, Nelson', shows
single brush strokes, get it wrong and and its not as effective
The stonework however was done wet in wet,
and could take some time
In complete contrast, is this detail from my picture 'Sarlat-la-Caneda', reflecting I hope, the hot
colours of France. This is an oil painting, with thick buttery paint
applied with a painting knife
The last of the mediums I have used is 'Pen and Wash'. Allied to watercolour,
the image is drafted out (in my case) in waterproof Indian ink, drawn
with a reed pen. The pen can be made from a piece of cane, which is
sharpened to a point. The effect is an attractive irregular line,
hopfully seen on this close up of the fishing boat
This water colour 'A Beach in Donegal' is a subject that is particularly
suitable for water colour. The dry brush work on the breaking
waves takes us back to the 'one stroke flourish'. I spoke of
at the start. The white bits are the untouched paper,
Two hours away from Pendleside is the Lake District. We often go in the motorhome to this beautiful campsite, in Keswick. The site lies beside Derwent Water. There are superb views on all sides. My main interest here is photography, both still and movie
This oil is from Derwent Water, looking south to Borrowdale, a backlit study in cobolt blue
At the other end of England lies Cornwall, Rickard is a cornish name, and I always feel at home when I cross the border from Devon. We had a count up Dot and I, and realised we have been going to St.Ives for over forty years
Low tide St.Ives
the sea has retreated. Showing off the great lines of boats, even the tiny ones like this one
This old boat was discovered in Gweek, south Cornwall. The time of day is pure imagination
Finally this painting of the canal wharf at Wigan was the picture produced as a oil painting demonstration in the making of my film 'Boat'
Until the age of eight I lived, only a few miles away from this location known as 'Wigan Pier' Here again this is a record of things that were. The whole area as been renovated, and as become a tourist attraction
Less than an hours drive away from Pendleside are the Yorkshire Dales, a National Park. The time portrayed is early morning, What a splendid position this hill farmer has, of Dentdale. I've always felt lucky to live in this part of the world
This is a view of Sarlat-la-Caneda, which is a few miles north of the Dordogne, eastern France. We stopped in this beautiful area camping by the river in the motorhome. The local stone is a lovely Golden colour. This was painted using a palette knife, being itself the subject of one of my films 'Impasto'
I have lost count of how many times we have been to Cornwall, in the south west corner of England. This water colour of the old fishing boat at St. Ives was done in the studio from one of the many sketches I've done over the years
No prizes for this one, Venice. A composite oil done from several photos, taken last year. This was during the same six week tour of Europe in the motorhome
Downham is said to be Lancashire's prettiest village, and this view was my first subject many yeas ago
This is a typical Pendle side farmhouse, a painting that has been exhibited in in Creil, Paris, Nelson's Twin town
The old cobbled streets of Nelson still exist, but the rag and bone man was drawn from memories
This weather is typical of the Pennines, clouds speeding overhead on a brisk March day
This old farm is no longer there, but for years it provided good subjects for my paintings from every angle
Finally this view of the Leeds and Liverpool canal shows what a rich source of subjects we have by the old cotton mill cottages
When I started painting in the sixties, out of the fifty or so members of an art group I joined, I found I was the only one painting in watercolour. also I was only the one who was doing pictures of the old back streets and smoke blacked Cotton mills. It was said that the paintings reminded them of Lowery, an observation I did'nt agree with. My philosophy was, and still is, that even the most unlikely views can be transformed into magic under fleeting light. For over twenty years I worked less than a hunded yards from the spot above
I have lived all my life in England's county of Lancashire, East Lancashire to be exact, under the brooding shadow of Pendle Hill. Pendle has always facinated me, its a hill steeped in legend, stories of witches, exacuted in nearby Lancaster Castle in a age of superstition and intoralance. It was from the summit that George Fox founder of the Quakers had his famous vision. It is then from this historic area, that as I have been inspired to record this part of the world in watercolour and oil paintings, both rural and urban. There are many old industrial remnants, that have provided me with many subjects, a landscape that lies at Pendle's feet.
A Lancastrian, now retired, I have spent all my working life as a printer. Dorothy and I have been married since 1961, we have one son who now lives in Ireland. All my life I have had a love of painting. For quite some time my greatest interest has been film making, starting over forty five years ago, first with 8mm, and then 16mm, so I have been able to give public shows with the larger format. Now my films are made on video, in all I have made over one hundred films.
After getting our first Golden Retriever fifteen years ago, we graduated to motorhomes so the dog could come with us. We have been lucky enough to tour through Europe many times. Of course there have been times when 'Cindy' was left in the Kennels and we travelled further a field.