Boating at Peasholm Park, Scarborough

In association with

Blog Post no.151

This is now a historic situation.  The boathouse, presumably standing since the 1920s, was sinking.  This has now been replaced, together with rowing boats and canoes.  Dragon pedaloes now rule the waters.

On this occasion, a rather more complex construction was envisaged before I took the first of three photos, all from the same spot over time.  All these required to create this painting.

I asked my wife Rose to sit alongside the couple already on the bench and waited until the rowing boat arrived at the position I required.  A few days later I returned to the same spot to capture the moored rowing boats.  I would have preferred the canoes but you can’t win them all.

At the times when the above pictures had been taken, the pagoda had been hidden by trees.  Months later, when ice was covering the lake and the trees had shed their leaves, I returned and took the final photo required.

To create the picture took an amalgam of all photos.  I had to reduce the height of the trees to enable me to create more of the top of the pagoda.


Stay safe


Woodhouse Lane and University Leeds circa1930’s

In association with

Blog Post No One Hundred and Fifty ! ! ! A miracle.

All my Leeds images were researched and created between the 1970’s and the early 2000’s whilst still living in Leeds.

Here we have Woodhouse Lane leading up to the University. Trams would then proceed through Hyde Park Corner, Headingley, up the hill to West Park and on to the terminus at Lawnswood.

Compositionally there are a corner church spire and university tower dominating the left, the main focus the tram slightly off centre, with the buildings and tree enclosing the right of the scenario.

Very likely the Lance Corporal tram ( one of only three in the fleet ) would be a replacement by me from the original tram in the photo I used.

Adding to the interest, possibly a Ford Prefect car and a Standard Vanguard approach on the right, whilst a Morris Ten with it’s distinctive wheel feature on the boot lid follows the Leeds Corporation bus probably on it’s way to Cookridge.

In 1949 I could have got off this tram at it’s previous stop when visiting my grandparents on a Friday afternoon.

Much has been happening recently. Mike Hutchinson and I have been spending many hours in collaboration creating the new website and eventually a sales situation.

I know that some of you have been trying to contact me and it is with great regret that due to my inability to understand digital and access messages I have been totally frustrated. Indeed my machine has actually told me that I need an app to access. This has been totally untrue as Mike has stepped into the breach, found some and replied on my behalf. Working together, Mike is to be my “ Social Media Manager “, intercepting and responding to your messages.

At 83 I am like an old dog trying to learn too many new tricks,and I’m quite simply out of my comfort zone so I hope you will understand that this is the best solution that we can can come up with. If you have messaged me in the past and received no answer, please try again.

This hopefully will enable me to start painting again, as I have only managed one quite complex painting in the five years since my stage 4 cancer.

Stay Safe


Market Day Malton North Yorkshire

On a busy fine day looking north bounded by the church.

In association with

Blog Post no 149 on 10 / 06 / 2021

Hi hope there is still someone out there. This is the first Blog from the “ Lone Ranger “ alias Pete Lapish. See my completely rewritten Home Page on my new website. WELCOME.

Another apology for the long delay from the last Blog. The reason – the amount of time I and Mike Hutchinson my new web designer together have been putting in to recreate the website.

With much more work than just reorganising images into Many Locations and Subjects, each with up to twenty paintings, these are now much more easily found to be perused.

Having continued to learn so much in the past few months, I shall continue in future Blogs to try to tell you as briefly as possible about the shown painting and how we are, or how we are not progressing.

Mike is somehow going to LINK the website with an entry on Facebook ! !

I hope to continue shortly with my Blog No ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY.



Small Part Briggate Leeds Circa 1930

This image from a much larger pen and ink picture was my first created for publication. Prompted by a friend who worked for a printer, but they only produced in black and white, or as in this case sepia. From the first there are many people in it and it took far too long to create. Dated 1981.

Blog No 148.

In association with

Regret the long delay since Blog 147, much work done behind the scenes to add Locations and Subjects to the website by myself and my new web designer Mike. It is envisaged that the site will move mainly onto Facebook when I am shown how to do this, for at the moment I find this difficult to navigate, my digital skills being very limited.

There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel after a few health problems and a quickening of pace in the future as there is always so much to think about and to do. As I say to many people “ Don’t get OLD “ it’s not worth it and causes so many problems. Nobody takes any notice ! !

Let’s hope that with the lengthening of the days and easing of the lockdown there will be some normality returning to our lives and some pleasure. It will be nice to feel a bit less tired !

Next Blog I shall get back to more positive note and give more information about how things are going to look after I see what Mike has produced. The whole idea is to disentangle the present site and re- present it in a more coherent form without all my writings, but still retain what has been already done.

Best wishes to all


York Shambles with Visitors C2014

In association with

Blog Post No 147

One of my very infrequent posts at the moment ! Big changes are afoot for which I am spending many hours doing my part in the eventual reorganisation of the presentation of the site. As I am not the mastermind behind exactly how it will look this is all that I can say to you at the moment.

I must apologise to everyone who has contacted me and to whom I have not replied it is because despite trying repeatedly to find your messages l am unable to “ bring them up “. And I find the system impossible to navigate, deal with and respond to. Hopefully the CAVALRY in the guise of my new web designer will soon arrive and sort out my difficulties.

This painting as so many of my others contain some or many people and continues the theme of placing them in a scenario to give life, focussing points and scale. In addition in this scene I have used the image of a child to point at some element of a building which is being passed. This might encourage viewers to take a little time in examining the architectural content contained in this ancient street scene. and possibly using more building situations in drawing and paintings.



Why have PEOPLE in paintings Luddenden

In association with

Blog post No 146

I regret being absent for some time due to much activity ‘ behind the scenes ‘ . Reasons for my absence and inability to publish will be explained in ongoing Blogs.

Now to business ! This Blog follows on from my short series of ‘ How to draw people ‘ . This painting amongst many of my others illustrates the very useful way a figure or figures can play a key role in the scenario.

1 People ADD LIFE to the painting.

2 People can give a FOCAL point or points.

3 People bring SCALE to the surroundings.

4 It gives an OPPORTUNITY to add that often essential touch of colour ie RED that I often use to draw attention to that vital FOCAL point.

COMPOSITION still always the PRIORITY first before starting to draw up.

I have chosen this scenario of Luddenden in the Calder Valley rather than a tree lined lane to illustrate that in our long gone travelling and walking days we visited and I painted ‘ off beat ‘ as well as ‘ high profile ‘ situations. Also to illustrate various points listed above, much drawing to practice here !

Also in Aug 1840 Branwell Bronte was firstly an assistant clerk at Sowerby Bridge station on the Manchester and Leeds Railway before being promoted in Apl 1841 to Booking Clerk at Luddenden Foot station.

See everyone again soon



Some figures to draw – Cartoons

In association with

Blog Post No 145

In these cold dark days of January 2021 with Covid 19 stalking the world, I thought that something more light hearted might be more suitable. To take minds off present problems if only for a short while, draw these cartoon figures. They were selected most probably whilst I was in my teens or twenties from scenarios created almost certainly by that brilliant cartoonist GILES.

I have just found them whilst again trawling masses of papers kept during several house moves. They have not seen the light of day for decades, nor ever been seen by anyone but myself.

If you have slogged your way through my last three blogs drawing manikins, then you should have by now a good idea about how to go about drawing these images. Whether you have or have not done this, have a go. Then colour them in !

A reminder. 1 Draw arms and body down to the waist or below. 2 Finish skirts or dress. 3 Next legs and feet. 4 Adjust if that is necessary. 5 LASTLY place on the HEAD. 6 If it has not worked out, give it another try, trying to think about what went wrong and how to correct it this time. 7 Relax an enjoy.

It doesn’t matter what you draw with or what you draw on. As you will have already seen mine were on a cheap loose leaf pad !



The Sequence to Draw the Manikin

Blog Post No 144

In association with

I regret the long delay since the last blog, but my ability to PUBLISH disappeared several weeks ago and has only just been reestablished.

My many thanks to everyone of the 4500 and counting people from 17 countries who have logged into my website following my feature in the November 2020 issue of the Dalesman magazine.

Right now down to business. In these covid times particularly, my hope is that any information I give will help to improve skills and meaningfully occupy time.

Here is the front view of a smaller manikin in action. I NEVER try to tell viewers what to do, only suggest. If you try a different way, why not ? And You have the information from the previous TWO manikins to use as you draw and / or check when the figure is completed.

Draw lightly with as much rubbing out and adjustment as is necessary.

As you draw use the spational, directional and relational information to help proportion the body shape. Use a ruler if you think necessary.

If you don’t get it right first time, try again.

Best of luck.

NEXT time Blog No 145, we will be drawing figures from my paintings on the website. Now that you have the basics it will be much easier, and I shall be going through the process with you. We shall not be using all the ‘ scaffolding ‘ we have used so far.




In association with

Blog Post No 143

This is the same image as Blog No 142 but with additions and amendments. Before we consider the MANIKIN l need to say a few words. I do not want you to be put off by thinking that this how we will continue to draw but we have to START somewhere.

STARTING something is always the hardest task. This MANIKIN with the information on it is a REFERENCE TOOL to REFER back to when we START ‘ PROPER DRAWING ‘ in Blog No 145. This manikin will give you the MEANS to DECIDE if any figure you are DRAWING is CORRECTLY PROPORTIONED.

Why did I ask you to draw the manikin last time without giving instructions ? It is because it can be useful for you to EXPLORE the situation for yourselves to see what you make of it. Good, Bad or indifferent. If you found it difficult, don’t despair, here are some guide lines to help you have another go, and NEXT Blog No 144 I shall run you through the SEQUENCE of DRAWING when it will become more clear. But by then you will have become familiar with the MANIKIN.

Well we start with the HEIGHT. The HEAD is ONE SEVENTHof the height.

If it helps draw a ‘ BOX ‘ 6 centimetres’ ( cm ) by 14 cm into which the manikin will fit.

Divide the height of the ‘ box ‘ into seven equal sections each 2 cm.

The width across the shoulder is about 3 cm.

START drawing at the SHOULDER and work DOWN.



Rub out and correct if necessary.

Now you can relax and ENJOY the moment if you have got anywhere near. If not RELAX anyway and we will go through the process in Blog No 144. At least hopefully it has been an enjoyable experience and it should get better.

Be careful, the VIRUS is on the MARCH, so



Drawing the MANIKIN

In association with

Blog Post No 142

This image is totally different from anything seen before. It was drawn to help illustrate the penultimate session of the library group where of course I was able to talk about how the session was to progress whereas now I can only write. I had purchased several manikins to use by the group whereas now it is a different situation.

SO Drawing PEOPLE is not that difficult if broken down into sections.

Remember, I am TOTALLY SELF TAUGHT so you might find that my way of showing you how in the FOLLOWING Blogs it is different from the methods of other people. BUT IT WORKS.

Regrettably I have only limited space to give information. There will be a progression.

Now if you wish and without giving you any ideas at this stage try to draw the manikin as seen above. However I have put some markings on the figure which may give you some thoughts. If you are not satisfied with your first attempt try and think where you went wrong and have another go.

Try to remember ( make notes if you want ) where you started to draw and why, how you progressed, what you found easy and what is found difficult.

I suggest pencils hb, b, or 2b, use of a rubber and about A4 size paper or card of any sort.

With my next Blog will explain how I start and why. On that and following Blogs my approach will be to present ideas and ways of doing things, leaving you to explore possibilities and your own avenues of exploration.

DON’T throw away your results as we may return to look at these.

Including PEOPLE in your pictures gives a whole new avenue as to what you can do. Best of luck. Next Blog soon.



Butchers Shambles York C 1900

In association with

Blog Post No 141

The response to the feature in the November issue of the Dalesman has resulted in clicks onto my website in thousands. I welcome all new viewers of my work and hope that you and all the ‘old regulars’ liked all that you saw and read. In forthcoming blogs I shall amplify various aspects of the writing there.

I am writing this on the day that the Prime Minister is announcing another countrywide lockdown, but am reminded that some areas have already been experiencing something similar for some time.

Here we go again ! But this time in the winter months ! So more time inside with time to fill.

Spending time meaningfully is one way of getting us through. And ART, DRAWING, PAINTING and anything productive can lead to a more satisfying and meaningful way of using time.

You might wonder why I have headed this Blog with the Butchers Shambles York ? True I could have used many more of my paintings. It is because there are PEOPLE in it. Without the people there could be NO painting. This is probably why the Editor of the DALESMAN has entitled the the feature ‘ THE PEOPLE’S PAINTER’.

Have you noticed how few PEOPLE are included in paintings ?

Therefore it may not seem so odd that my return to assisting anyone who wants to travel with me in following blogs is to gradually help you to draw PEOPLE.

Making a fist of that will bring confidence. Will lead into more interesting COMPOSITIONS. And bring those pictures to life.

Please keep on logging into my Blogs and let us see where we can get to ! ! ! It’s FREE.



The River Wharfe below Kettlewell ( 2 )

In association with

Blog Post No 140

This again just to show that my photos are not just reproduced as a very recognisable lifelike image, this being in the Fauvist style.

I am extremely aware of our changing situations due to the increasing rate of COVID advance. In following Blogs I intend to return to my initial intentions of trying to give more inspiration and advice together with a mix of different paintings and images.

We all need ‘ things ‘ to do and concentrate upon whilst our movements are restricted due to impositions imposed upon us. Organising these Blogs and now further exercising my brain with verse gives me satisfaction and helps me forget for a while other pressing matters, whilst hopefully spreading ideas. So:—

Strange may you all have thought

My notice in that previous Blog have made

But with full support

Of the DALESMAN editor, Jon

There was no wish to interfere

With October,s issue of that month

Which perhaps you may have bought !

Therefore I again announce

That in this year’s NOVEMBER’s issue

Of the DALESMAN myself regarde

May a FOUR page FEATURE now astounde.

Written by a journalist, now a friend

SEVEN paintings include and also append

A photo of myself, wife Rose

And Pip our dog so many years ago.

With full walking gear we goes

With leggings, socks, boots, ( not the dog )

At that time when we could walk, not now

All those years ago.



Re my Feature in the DALESMAN November 2020

In association with

Blog Post No 139

It is my pleasure to inform viewers that I have a feature in the November 2020 issue of the DALESMAN magazine. It was agreed with the editor that I would not publicise this until mid October.

The article has not been written by myself, but by Dr Andrew Liddle, a prolific author, and freelance journalist of forty years standing. This arising from a long chat in my garden ( respecting social distancing ) following a request for an interview.

This covers FOUR pages and includes SEVEN of my paintings ( NOT the one heading this page ). These range from the Coast to the Dales. Plus a a photo of myself, my wife Rose and our collie which we then had, taken in the Dales by a friend. The dog seemed to love having his photo taken as you can probably tell ! We were in walking attire ( not the dog ), which indicates that we did in fact often walk many miles taking photographs along the way, some of which I subsequently turned into paintings.

If you cannot obtain a a copy of the DALESMAN locally, you can phone them direct for a single copy of the magazine on 01756 701033 or

email subscriptions@

If you purchase please




Footbridge and Stepping Stones Bolton Abbey Wharfedale

In association with

Blog Post No 138

Hard by the Abbey

And the River Wharfe

To cross this water

You do but have a choice.

Most people choose

Surprise, the easy way

That is

Across this long pedestrian bridge.

Those who like adventure

Take yet another chance

Needing a good balance

Choose those slippery stepping stones.

What about this painting

Not my usual stance

By using much more water

Just try it now

And take a proven chance ! ! !

A NOTICE from me ( Pete )

Nothing to do with this painting

By the middle of this month

October two thousand and twenty

Please log again this website

When I am fully authorised

( But not before )

To EXPLAIN a forthcoming event ? ? ?

With the upsurge of U NO WHAT

Please take extra care



( You will get the explanation within SEVEN days )

The Christmas Mail Coach

In association with

Blog Post No 137

Too many years and a day

Whilst in Headingley far away

On the grapevine did I hear, shall we say

A stagecoach arriving in Malton one day

And to bring

Spectacle, happiness, wrapped up with string.

What a scoop for a painter like me

To get there on time and wanting to see

How it was to be travelling in that old fashioned way

By stately coach and rich apparel

Either outside or in

And hand down that trunk he said with a grin.

Was it worth early start to get there on time

To take many photos and enjoy in that place

The horses, that stagecoach,those people

All dressed

In costumes,the richness of colours, all there to see

Then homewards with memris, and photos, oh lucky me.

Briggate ( Boots ) Leeds C 1910 Summer

In association with

Blog Post No 136

A WINTER ( snow ) scene has been painted and based

In this well known location and latterly placed

In this long series and now to be seen.

At Blog Number seventy one which still can be traced

Found, and compared with

This SUMMER companion, time gone it has been.

You say it’s the same scene

But what else has it got

Location’s the same

But the TIME it is not

Just look at the TRAMS for you to discover

Some open to Weather, other Top Cover.

Boots in the heat of the SUMMER sunshine

Grows large it’s many sprouting sunblinds

Boots in the cold WINTER weather with snow

Sports winter treasures for you only to know

You see for yourself what this artist can do

To these scenes made up and portrayed only for you.

COVID 19 is at it again

So be extra careful

And all the time

Keep in mind STAY SAFE


Middleham Castle North Yorkshire

In association with

Blog Post No 135

This is a scene 

Not seen

Unless like me

You want to see

The castle in it’s entiretee.

So why you say

Do we walk up this way

Is this a better view

Perhaps it is, perhaps not, with a sigh

If it fits the view came that reply.

All the while I’m thinking

Of the painting one day I’ll be painting

Comprising those verticals, more horizontals

And eventually, as I get the right view

This contains the diagonal too.



Cottage Thornton le Dale North Yorkshire

In association with www.petelapish. art

Blog Post no 134

This cottage must be the one

Most admired and required to film and paint

But for where and for why is this so

This pretty corner seems to us so very quaint.

So why did I

So many moons ago

Do that very little thing

Others have done, some fast, some slow.

Why cry I

Who has not the right to paint

A house so cool with water near

Of things to him so very dear.

So with paint, and brush in hand

Set forth he to modify

That image digitally enshrined

That image on paper to solidify :-

But NOT as others have DONE BEFORE.



Rough Sea North Bay Scarborough

In association with

Blog Post No 133

Scarborough has two bays

Not everyone knows about that

There is a big difference between them

And not everyone knows about that

It’s the castle that sits in between them.

The North Bay has the weather

The wind that comes from the North

It ruffles the sea

Causes waves that break free

And crashes them onto the shore.

The South Bay has entertainment

The North has more sedatement

But both share a link

By the surfers that think

That both Bays give them excitement.



Portinscale Derwentwater Cumbria

In association with

Blog Post No 132

Derwentwater has many a bay

With headlands around to see

What lies beyond, what delights will be

Where yachts can gather and stay.

Portinscale we had to find

By hook and by crook we had to see

Eventually in my boat you’ll agree

Round the reeds and there it will be.

Beyond the lake’s outlet running free

The lake’s water escaping to be

A new river flowing to the sea

Was the harbour of Portinscale ahead of me.

In the 1990’s we stayed many times at the Keswick Camping and Caravanning Club site situate on the shores of Derwentwater. This was only a short distance from Portinscale BY WATER not by land.

We stayed there so often I purchased a boat, a Tinker Tramp, with mast, sail, oars, keel, rudder etc. I was a hopeless sailor, but good with the oars.

Pip, our collie loved it so much he couldn’t wait to scramble in when we put it in the water. His position was in the bow. It was fitting that we promoted him to be captain ! !

The verse tells how we got to Portinscale and it’s small harbour.

This image from the land side.

Yet again STAY SAFE


Low Petergate York C1900

In association with

Blog Post No 131

Here’s a little doodle I did

Some thirty years ago

To give an impression of

That time of life in York when

Even the pace was slow.

Then like paintings I used to do

Some thirty years gone cold

Those so interesting buildings


To come from sources old.

But inspiration taken from

How buildings do look now

A personal visit to be made

To take from what those buildings are

What they might, only might have been.

And then the scene on that same street

Where all manner of folk might meet

A completely different sight might be

Created from scratch by me in place

Of what originally there was to see.

With appreciation to that unknown photographer who took that original excellent image which I so modified.



Rock Pooling South Bay Scarborough

In association with

Blog Post No 130

What a lovely clear day

For rock pooling

Just look at the way

Pete’s created the bay

With the colours and textures he’s using.

What makes you think he likes Monet

Pete just gives it away

He’s just trying to say

In paint

It all works like a sonnet.

Just look at the way

Pete leads you to the rock pool

Where the people play

And stay with their dog

Enjoying their day rock pooling.



Multimusician A college Painting

In association with

Blog Post No 129

T’was at college in sixty six

To become a teacher I did mix

Of various subjects in our course

And strangely enough as well and because

In that mix I chose that ART

And Multimusician was in that part.

Left on my own

To do as I pleased

Perhaps Picasso I had spied

Or then again Paul Klee I owed

To inspire this modern mode.

Whatever it was

I got on with the job

To create this wondrous noveltee

And look as if I always knew

Just how I was going too

Complete this inventive celebritee.

It’s all change yet again

This COVID 19 isn’t finished yet

So please



Hardraw Force Wensleydale (again)

In association with

Now that I am enjoying creating verse, I intend to blog various images again with this method of communication. Don’t think that I have run out of more images to post. That is far from the case. I shall leave on the original posting, in this case No 61. I hope that you will excuse and enjoy my new way of doing things.

This waterfall 

In cleft so small

Is entered magic through

A pub

To surprise of all.

You pays your fee

Gives chance to see

Gets to where we gaze at last

This gap caused by waters past

Now for you to see.

And here the travelled waters plunge

To crash into the pool at last

To look upon them from on high

Are serrated cliffs from which flowed

Many waters from that distant past.

And here we see

Rose posing to create

That focal point which we need

And give scale to those cliffs

Which still frown down upon that leap.

I shall be back shortly with new images

Especially now



Occasional Photo to Head my Verse

In association with

Blog Post no 127

Taken at York station some time ago from the footbridge. Composition not too bad but doubt if I shall ever get round to painting it.

This a comment on my VERSES.

My verses may sometimes be naff

Though I try to create my own style

It’s got to be snappy

To make me more happy

Should my verses give you a laugh.

My verses may not always rhyme

But try as I will all the time

You may try to improve it

I’ll always approve it

And the pleasure will always be mine.

Give it a try

Write your own verse

It’s fun and helps your mind.

I never ever imagined

That I would ever do it

Let alone have the nerve to PUBLISH it !!!

Have fun

And ever now



Hacking down a country Track

In association with

Blog Post No 126

My usual image this is not

But finding this

It makes a change

To show it off for those who are

Into off road hacking.

How wonderful it must be

A leafy track but with bare tree

Ride along with friend astride

Your other very horsy friend

Your very own pony.



Time for a Chat Thorpe Yorkshire Dales

In association with

Blog Post No 125

Pete’s on about that ‘thing’ again


It’s everywhere

It’s here, it’s there, and there again

Always that dratted ‘ thing’

So why can’t I see it from here?

Then where shall I seek

Shall I move and just peek

Shall I change the spot I’m in

Shall I just turn around

And then make a guess

And find it somewhere around!



A Shadow Strewn Road in Saddleworth

In association with

Blog Post No 124

From the train at Greenfield

Our boots took over the job

Of getting us to Dovestones

Along this tree shadowed road.

‘Twas’long ago this journey

With Autumn tones of gold

We put our best foot forward

Along this tree shadowed road.

At last we got to Dovestones

The valley of water to see

And it was worth the journey

Along this long shadowed road.

I am now in my eighties

With memory not so strong

But I think this was the journey

Our boots so took us along.



Lady Hill Wensleydale North Yorkshire

In association with

Blog Post No 123

And now a break from 

Sea and sand

To those Dales on Yorkshire’s crest

Where in that Dale where we could

Rest, be still

And look upon that Lady Hill

Oh what a wondrous place

To be

In the bosom of that Dale

Surrounded by those hugging hills

Historic treasures all around

For those who look they can be found.

The trees that sit upon that hill

Those pines majestic in their way

To those returning from their stay


From this lovely valley say

It,s good to see that Lady Hill.



Break Water and a Wind Breaks

In association with

Blog Post No 122

A balmy day

Sun sea and sand

A day to have a break


Settle down behind

The wind break.

With time to spare

And we could share

Upon that Sandsend’s sandy shore

A break

Against that wooden waters break

That time and tide did damage make.

And oh those colours Pete

Did make

To give those people there

To take

Refreshment in that sun and sand

And send them home in happy state.

New orders

Face masks wear



St Ann’s Staith Whitby C 1880’s

In association with

Blog Post No 121

Please note that permission was granted by the Sutcliffe Gallery in Flowergate Whitby for me to create this painting. And I always purchase the specific photograph from the gallery, also making alterations from the original in my usual procedures.

In those days

So long gone by

Mainly in

And around old Whitby town

A photographer brilliant in his craft

Worked his magic with eagle eye.

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe

Was his name

Who with tripod

And camera large

Made stunning pictures ever new

By the harbour and from the cliff.

And then process those glass negs

A job

In itself perfection made

By that man with eagle eye

Photos that are ever still




Canal or River Head Driffield

In association with

Blog Post No120

I don’t always paint the obvious

My attention is something it grabs

And thereby leaves an impression

That provokes me when I reach my home.

It’s always the look of the water

With reflections and ripples there on

Retaining some of the structures

That add interest also there on.

It’s a pity that life has gone from it

Canal boats call never again

But beauty still resides here

Bringing peace and tranquility now.




Bird Watchers on Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire Coast

In association with

Blog Post No 119.

Now it’s back to the ‘ day job ‘. Rose, my wife is an enthusiastic Bird Watcher and has found for me in the R S P B handbook of British Birds those which ‘nest ‘ on Bempton Cliffs. So :- As the verses I wrote in Blog No 113 the first two verses following were written between midnight and one o’ clock this morning, but now I can’t remember the start of verse three which came to me shortly after and I did not write down ! ! !

From far and wide they come

A glimpse to catch

Of those many aerial flights

The one that all their interests match

Holding binoculars here to watch

Those that nest upon these heights.

Bird watchers many stay

For hours to spot that very one

They hope will turn up

And hopefully may

Feed their offspring while the sun

Shines upon their perfect day.

Here are those far ranging Aerial Wanderers

Those cliffs that rise

To entice

Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake

On effortless glide

With Guillemot, Puffin and Razorbill

To rest, nest and multiply.



My Difficult CANCER to diagnose ( Continued )

Please read Blog No 117 before this.

Blog Post No 118

So what did those clever diagnosticians eventually discover? I shall not be too specific regarding the results.

It showed a ( blood cancer ), a lymphoma with multiple areas of bone involvement at stage 4. ( Not good ). Being shown the X rays of my P E T scan, the extent of the cancer was seen as numerous black marks superimposed upon the outline of my skeleton. And there would have been other tests ( blood tests etc ) at the same time.

I was then immediately introduced to my cancer specialist who explained my future treatment ( chemotherapy ). She also gave me confidence that I had a good percentage chance of recovery.

Throughout my first six chemo’s, mostly at Scarborough hospital, and the special extra strong one administered over five nights in York hospital, this to clear any cancer in my head, I remained as positive as possible. Whenever it was expedient and I felt well enough, having a chat and a laugh with doctors, nurses, patients and any other staff was good for us all as it lifts the spirits. They were all fantastic and I would not be here now without their ministrations.

And then not to forget my wife who had to plan for each day, visiting, plus the strain and stress of looking after me during long periods between chemo’s whilst at home. At these times I was often not able to do much for myself. On top of that there was the complication of administering the large bag of pills and potions which accompanied me home after each chemo session. These had to be administered at specific times of the day so a plan had to be drawn out.

The treatments succeeded and I am still here to tell the tale, thanks toe everyone connected to our N H S, and the aftercare by my doctors and nurses at my surgery. And to my Macmillan nurse.

So to sum up, anyone ‘out there’ who feels that they have a real problem, DON’T DELAY, go and get it checked out, and if necessary, more than once.




My Difficult CANCER to diagnose

Blog Post No 117

I have been thinking about writing about this for some time. Talking to my friends, they all think that I should.

If it should help to save ONE LIFE it will be worth it.

In apparent denial of Health Services to Cancer and Possible Cancer patients during the Corvid 19 epidemic I am prompted to tell you about my DIFfICULT to Diagnose CANCER. This to prompt any one who feels that they could have a problem to check it out URGENTLY.

I shall make the telling as short as possible.

I did NOT have a lump or a bump. I had a PAIN in my LEG. To be correct I had a PAIN in my LEFT THIGH.

It started mildly during the summer 2015. Several consultations during the following four months all agreed that it was SCIATICA. Then at the end of October, the pain which had steadily been increasing ‘ fell off a cliff ‘ and became excruciating.

Sent into hospital as an emergency inpatient, an MRI scan indicated a problem. In early November a BIG operation gave me a replacement hip and a replacement for the thigh bone.

Much later the ‘ chief ‘ surgeon told me that I had become a ‘ celebrity ‘ by the scope of the surgery. I can assure you that there are much better ways of becoming a celebrity !

Then the hospital had to find out what kind of cancer I had. I well remember one of the doctors on his rounds, coming over to my bed to say to me ‘ We WILL find out what is wrong with you ‘.

I feel that is enough for one day. I shall continue in Blog No 118



Black 5 departing Haworth K W V R

In association with

C 1980’s Living in Leeds at the time it was a straight forward journey to Keighley for a day on the railway ( the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway ) in West Yorkshire. I was a member for a short while, had a line side pass, and was able to access several locations along the line during that day.

This image was taken from the bridge leading to the Main Street and Haworth Parsonage with which many people will be familiar.

The sloping decent to the station on the right is giving more interest to the painting rather than just the train starting off. Many former passengers are still on the platform including a fellow photographer.

The engine, ex L M S and British Rail, has a power, Class 5. It was a mixed traffic locomotive (passenger or freight ). They were very rarely given a name ( except in preservation ) and were always BLACK.

Be vigilant STAY SAFE


Trams over Leeds Bridge C 1930’s

In association with

Blog Post No 115……..Pencil drawing up for one of my tramway reconstructions created C 1970’s. This image shows the route down Lower Briggate and over Leeds Bridge, then coming towards us going south.

It’s time we took up the pencil

To follow the line with the brush

We have ambition to try it

Now’s the time to take up that brush.

Where ever are those flipin paints

I know they are somewhere about

It’s always the last place to look for

But now I can’t do it without.

Then it’s been worth it wherever I’ve looked for

And found where I’d never have thought

Tomorrow’s the day when I use them

Let’s see what my efforts can sort.

But without starting with that pencil

Nothing but now’t would come out.



Canal Boat approaching Saddleworth Viaduct

In association with

Blog Post No 114

Upon this walk we quickly rode

Bus, train, bus to decend

Atop the Pennines from where we strode

Decending again to tunnels end

From there nearly level past lock and mill

Towards our goal of Uppermill.

Presently we are passed

By this canal boat chugging slow

Towards the viaduct appearing vast

Beneath which the narrow boat has to go

Past, yet still

We have to get to Uppermill.



Storm Approaching Langstrothdale

In association with

Blog Post No 113……..This is an indication that the climate in these Pennine locations can bring sudden variations to the weather.

That is all I am saying about this image as we are in the realm of verse, and I wish to leave you with a different but relevant thought

It’s always at the dead of night

That thoughts always impinge

Upon the mind that is not still

Those very thoughts that always will

Give that perfect verse and light

Upon that wondrous image bright

But gone upon the dawn.



Beach Huts Holkham Bay

In association with

Blog Post No 112

Beach huts, beach huts along the strand

Oh so many I cannot say, and

Along the bay

We walk and walk

Along Holkham Bay we walk and talk.

About each hut so finely made

Each to the owner’s highly grade


Painted by the hand

That to each owner looks so grand.

Be really careful of your safety now


Flamborough Head Yorkshire Coast

In association with

Blog Post No 111………Over the past one hundred and fifty images that I have posted, I have written and explained many things. The time has come the walrus said to talk of other things. And for that I have introduced myself to verse.

There is a limit to the way about which I can make those explanations. But they are still there, written down and can still be perused.

And there are are ‘ other things ‘ that I want to express. So from now on, Blog 111 upwards I will continue to post more paintings plus a ‘ bit of this and a bit of that ‘.

These could or should continue to be found to be useful ! !



Oh Pete’s flogging that old horse again

Why can,t he just leave it alone

Compositions baloney

It’s not worth a pony

But my painting’s not working again.


The Unfathomable Beneath the Waves

In association with

I’ve had a metamorphosis

That verse is the way to go

So here’s my second rendition

And yours is the way to know.

Here are the shades of that Miro

Who found the places to go

To find what was his genre

And innovate the flow.

Composition, oh where is that Pete

Focal points not noticeable too

But did I not say along the way

That ART is up to YOU.

Pete Rose and Pip C1990’s

In association with

Well here we are

Or should I say then

Pete (that’s me)

Rose (that’s her)

And EAR’s that always will say ‘when’.

Oh for those legs that went walking

Oh for those years that passed by

But now I will use all those memories

To show where we walked by and by.



Filey Brigg

In association with

Blog Post No 108………Having walked the distance along Filey beach to reach the start of the Brigg, it is quite a long ‘ walk ‘ , part scramble along the base of the cliff to get to this point. Then the base rocks ( the Brigg ) continue out to sea for some distance. There is absolutely no way that I could get there now !

The photo from which this painting is derived was probably taken C 2010. There is considerable distortion with distance. Scarborough, across the bay is much enlarged from reality. However bringing this forward towards us creates a more interesting picture. ( In my opinion ).

The end of the cliff gives a powerful ‘ stop ‘ to the left. And a huge contrast to the slabs of rock constituting the main focus of the image.

This is a typical L shaped COMPOSITION. We just can’t get away from the importance of composition. !

Without the two visitors gazing seawards towards the now not so distant Scarborough, the picture would not be complete. They were actually there, being the two minor verticals which just continue offset to the vertical of the Scarborough castle.



Reflections Wasdale

In association with

Blog Post No 107………..The calmness of the waters on our day of visit gave almost still reflections of both the Screes and the metalware of old fences and gates. These placed as barriers to prevent any livestock passing from one area to another.

All that I can remember of that day is that the starting point was from the caravan site in Ravenglass. That Wasdale was somewhere we had to visit. Images of the Screes had captured our imaginations. Having put in all those miles to be in striking distance we had to ‘ go that extra distance ‘. We were not disappointed.

Having arrived, the next thing was to find a position from which to photograph the Screes, an interesting view with a foreground. We could not have wished for a more tranquil scene. The trees on the left closed off that side, and together with the dark railings with their reflections provided a counterpoint to the lightness of the rest of the painting.

We did spend the rest of the day venturing further up the Dale to enjoy the experience. It can be recommended.

Thanks to everyone continuing to log in. I hope that I am providing material that is found interesting !

There is much more varied ‘ stuff ‘ to come.

Remember to be vigilant and STAY SAFE


Park Row Leeds C1950’s

In association with

Blog Post No 106……..As there are very few Leeds City Tramway views in the past one hundred and fifty postings it seems time for another.

This one is of Park Row just north of City Square. I mention from time to time, I am just as interested in the architecture of the buildings as the vehicular transport.

However I will commence with the trams. Of particular interest is the single deck purple and cream Coronation Car built in 1953. Only two were built with different equipment to assess which was to be the fore runner of a new fleet of trams. They never came to pass ! ! !

Tram number 154 was one of a very successful fleet of four wheel Horsfield Cars with ahead of it an older Chamberlain car. As we always say, wait for a bus or a tram and two will come at once !

On the right hand side inside Lane, a Jowett ( Bradford ) van is making it’s way into town.

Park Row as I remember it was a road made up mainly of banks and insurance type offices.

The space on the left just behind the traffic lights ( which were reputedly the first to function in England ) was the pre war site of the Leeds City Museum, demolished as it had received a direct hit from a Second World War bomb.

As usual I well people my paintings both on and off the pavements and inside the transport.

It’s good to get out again but Rose and I stay well within our own bubble



Another Dalesway Location by the Wharfe.

In association with

Blog Post No 105……….An early Spring view of the Dalesway alongside the river Wharfe. In this instance I think that this is downstream of Burnsall.

I rather like this COMPOSITION with it’s several elements of interest. So we will have a look at these. The main tree sits just nicely off centre giving it’s stretching presence, whilst the branches of another tree coming in from the left are closing off that side.

The sunlit grassy slope and area are neatly enclosed by the far wall and the poles in various stages of verticality alongside the near river bank, whilst the river itself is enhanced by the dark mass of the trees on the other side.

The bright red of the path slices diagonally across to the grass directing the gaze to the short wall and gate. Behind which the two walkers are approaching the gate to pass through. The conical fir trees give that critical added height.

There appears to be some kind of wooden structure leading into the water making me wonder about it’s past or present purpose.

I always like added interest !

Continue to STAY SAFE


Top Withins and Wuthering Heights

In association with

Blog Post No 104……..In the 1990’s Rose and I did much walking in the South Pennines. Many times we visited the areas in and around Haworth and on rare occasions ventured out west onto the moors beyond Stanbury.

On this occasion I remember that we took the bus to Stanbury and then walked to the location of Top Withins, the shell of which is visible. Certainly as we viewed the farmhouse at the time of our visit, it was a pale shadow of it’s former self. Never the less, an opportunity to imagine although in a different era the lives of Emily Bronte and her sisters.

However from that vantage point looking back east, one certainly obtained an idea of the scale of the moor, although in the past there were several more farm houses scattered over the area.

Coincidences come in many guises. I am not a literary gent. But my wife, Rose reads and explores many things. As I start to write this she then produces a book. Title ‘ The Real WUTHERING HEIGHTS ‘ by Steven Wood and Peter Brears. The Story of the The Withins Farms. There is a preface by Sir Tony Robinson who visited this place on one of his walks, and which we watched on television .This is full of information and many photographs and pictures. I had forgotten that Rose had actually asked me to buy the book for her birthday a couple of years ago !

Coincidence. Peter Brears was in charge of the Leeds City Museum C1990’s and invited me to paint certain buildings of Leeds and purchase other images of the city for a prolonged exhibition of these in the museum. A really nice gent. We got on well.

An interesting part of West Yorkshire along with the Calder valley to visit. Plus there is the vintage railway, the KWVR which also passes through Haworth.



Headingley Cricket Ground C1990’s

In association with

Blog post No103…….Living in Headingley at the time, it occurred to me that I should photograph a cricket match in action to create a painting. Obviously the stand behind the action would be a major part of that image.

This picture taken by me possibly in the 1990’s shows the bowler running in and bringing up his right arm preparatory to delivery. The batsman by his side is ready to see if a run may be possible.

The batsman receiving is just visible behind one of the fielders, accentuated by the running up marks created by bowlers from that end on the grass. Both batsmen are wearing dark red caps.

In hindsight it would have been better if I had taken the photo slightly to the right of where I did. This would have given a complete sighting of the receiving batsman and the field of play. As it was l was probably concentrating too much on getting the bowler in action.

Well it was a long time ago and I might as well make some kind of excuse ! ! !

I used created grass mowing marks to give give recession-to the field of play.

New rules to get your head round……..STAY SAFE


Docks on the River Aire Leeds C1900

In association with www.

Blog Post No 102 ……….With this image we are delving back into the mists of time as my painting is dated 1982. This was at a time when we had returned to live in Leeds and I was increasingly interested in various aspects of the city as it had been. There was a river, the Aire which ran through Leeds, but for me it was never to be seen, as if it was hiding. In effect, if one lived in the northern part of the city and never had cause to cross the bridges, one did not even know that it existed.

So when I found an image of this location, with all the activity, it seemed too good to be true. As far as I am aware this was taken from Leeds Bridge, with the river barges or lighters, warehouses, dockers and wagons, it is a far cry from what it looks like today.

It was years later when I found ‘ the Dark Arches ‘ with the river flowing underneath the railway station that I realised what was going on ! !

Early days when I was doing this type of work I was applying rough sail canvas onto board with rabbit skin glue. And painting exclusively with oils often using a painting trowel.

Looking at this image after such a time lapse , I am pleased that even at this early stage I was using an interesting range of colour for the distant warehouses.

Keep safe


Poster for Yorkshire Rider Limited

Blog Post No 101 ……Commission for this poster was at the time when Corporation buses were taken over by private enterprise. In turn Yorkshire Rider presumably was taken over or absorbed into progressively larger concerns.

Whether it was my idea or not, the intention was to take an image of different transport vehicles from various locations in the area over a period of time and paint them in detail. Then choose an iconic building associated with the location of each vehicle. This to be represented in an impressionistic style.

Passengers or transport staff then superimposed to give ‘ life ‘ to the poster. Complete with roadside infrastructure.

I cannot take credit for the writing in my heading and tailing as this was completed separately.

Continue to be vigilant and STAY SAFE


Racehorses Returning from the Gallops Middleham

In association with

Blog Post No 100 ……This is the third of four racehorse paintings I have done at Middleham. The images were all photographed a few years ago. At the time I had absolutely no idea where the many stables were situated.

Also from which direction the racehorses would appear, and where I would need to be to photo them in a good location ( composition ). As it happened this one was near to where I was standing, waiting for the sound of approaching hoof beats.

It turned out well, for one could only hope that the horses legs would be in a good position at the moment of digital capture. It was a one shot at a time camera ! No problem with the relaxed jockeys.

When I painted these four images my only equine painting was of the Donkey Ride at the South Bay Scarborough. So it was ‘ suck it and see ‘ time ! ! Fortunately I had a transparent brown, which with modifications gave ( in my opinion ) a fair representation of these magnificent animals. Bringing as much ‘life’ into my work and trying to make people,animals etc look as if they might be moving is what I am about.

Also an authentic ‘ background ‘ sets them in place, giving me the opportunity to paint the buildings, an essential element of the composition.

To create added interest and link the two a horses and jockeys, I created mother and daughter chatting in the background which also gives ‘ scale ‘. Shadows also help ‘ ground ‘ the horses.

Keep Safe


St. Nicholas Cathedral from the Castle Keep, Newcastle

In association with

Blog Post No 99………Another commission from Kingsmead Cards. Specific information when available was always supplied. Additionally most if not all cities and towns with a tramway system have books and or literature detailing tramway workings, usually with black and white photographs. If one is lucky and the systems ran long enough, coloured images might be available to help with tram liveries etc, if they were still current with the time of the picture.

If not, then I had the task of contacting people in, say the Tourist Information Centre for as much help as they might give. With the page headline of an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post of the ‘ Tram Detective ‘ will give an idea of what I often had to do.

My responsibility was to create a winter snow scene with a completely different snow scenario taking place.

In this instance a large empty area as well as the roadway needed my attention. So I also needed to use my imagination to occupy that space with some interesting happenings. With a layer of snow already on the ground it gave me the opportunity to show not only what was going on at the time, but also make up previous movements.

With lockdown now virtually ended please be even more vigilant, and STAY SAFE


Idyllic Coastline at Runswick Bay North East Coast

In association with

Blog Post No 98 ………We have only had day visits to Runswick Bay a couple of times, and those many years ago. Walking along the sea front if I remember correctly in the 1980’s we came across this old world scenario. The location may have changed significantly since then.

I state in my home page that I only started painting again after coming across the works of the Impressionists, and this was my attempt at emulating their style. Even down to the figures, Rose and our then teenage son Andy, ‘ floating ‘ through the herbage, after Monet’s masterpiece.

A simple, mellow scene with just sufficient interest to convey the ambience and give some balance to the painting.

With the relaxation of lockdown we are in uncharted waters. Be vigilant and STAY SAFE


Surfers contemplating sea conditions

In association with www.petelapish. art

Blog Post No 97 …….Surfers flock to both the North and South Bays Scarborough throughout the year.

There are two aspects of this painting which interest me and give added reasons for it’s inclusion. Firstly the surfers themselves. I include many people into many of my paintings. Whilst they may play key roles in those paintings they are NOT the ONLY subject matter. Here the two surfers are the SOLE subjects.

Just before the Library art group had to close due to the virus, I had introduced a session on drawing people using the drawing of a mannequin and the wooden model itself to help focus attention.

And only this week this topic was discussed at some length during a telephone conversation with a friend. This also included the placement of figures in relation to recession and other matters. I shall include a Blog about figures in due time.

Secondly the WATER. With no reference points to help, the task was to make the water look ‘ realistic ‘ and ‘ liquid ‘. I can’t remember the exact sequence and using acrylics it would likely not matter whether I organised the water before or after undercoating the figures.

Likely I applied one or more thin washes from the top and manipulated a slope as the washes ran down, letting each dry before the next. Then the runs and splashes of ‘ froth ‘ were introduced until I was satisfied. The two figures with their surfboards would then have been completed.

With more freedom, remember to STAY SAFE


Sunlit Walk along the River Wharfe

In association with

Blog Post No 96……….From the days when Rose and I walked many miles in many places, we seem to remember that this image is in the region of Grassington, Wharfedale, North Yorkshire.

For me this is a ‘ happy ‘ picture, sunny early Spring day, trees beginning to break into leaf, and there is, as I like, water, this time in the form of a river.

The broken shadow running across the foreground emphasises the bright yellow / green sward running up the hillside. It”s an uncomplicated COMPOSITION with the characteristics of the terrain needing no explanation.

The river banks give the necessary recession with the waters of the river now running smoothly.

As usual we have a figure in RED walking into the distance. This gives a focal point and scale to the painting.

Now that lock down is easing, be careful, have fun but STAY SAFE


Preparing to Sail Thornham Creek

In association with

Blog Post No 95 ……….I think that this image is from the first time we went to North Norfolk. Our then teen age son was keen on bird watching, so we decided to visit the ‘ bird watching capital of the world ‘ Cley.

However after a long drive we had to find a place to stay the night, and at Thornham we found a lovely reception at a B and B.

For the remains of the day we explored the Creek, which was a revelation to us and a complete contrast to Yorkshire. It was the first time we had experienced boardwalks needed to cross the tidal flats with supported stakes giving ninety degree angles to the horizontal vegetation.

The icing on the cake was to find the yacht being prepared for sail. It’s tall mast sectoring the sky and complementing the many handrail vertical stakes. And the two mariners hard at work.

Yes. Andy did get his fill of bird watching along the coast for the rest of our stay.

There is no other way of finishing but to say, still be very aware and STAY SAFE


Dales Walk near Burnsall Wharfedale

In association with

Blog Post No 94 …………It seems like a lifetime ago since Rose and I did this walk and I took this photo. Obviously I could not have taken the image AND be one of the two walkers portrayed, Rose as always being the one ‘ in frame ‘, I having added MYSELF in the process of painting ! Obvious really, but I thought it would clear that up !

Just a typical Dales scene with the barn and trees with rising ground as a backdrop. Sort of an L shaped COMPOSITION with the walls continuing out to the right. AND in this instance no trees or shrubs to prevent the gaze continuing out of the painting to imagine what is out of sight further up Wharfedale.

Looks like early Spring on a cool breezy day with the world and the trees starting to awake, The old barn being a reminder of how life used to be in days of yore.

Complicated days at the moment. Do stay aware and keep safe


P S …I do very much appreciate all your continuing interest in these Blogs and hope that my writings help to give an insight into the substance of the varied paintings. Being divorced from face to face contact with my digital tutors it is difficult to proceed with things I have in mind at this time.

I shall communicate improvements to you if I can make them happen in due time. In the meantime I have many more images to process, write about and Blog. Please keep on logging in.


Colourful Rudbeckia

In association with

I like BRIGHT colours and they don’t get much brighter and showier than a bunch of Rudbeckias. I’m often tempted to take my camera out into the garden to photograph with the prospect of painting. But it doesn’t often happen !

Usually I am doing something else and by the time I have finished it’s meal time or I’m too tired, or more often the sun has disappeared behind the biggest black cloud ever seen.

I really like flowers, but not to paint. So this is a rarity for me. Swathes of orange and yellow applied with gusto, with that huge dark centre containing all those arranged ‘ dots ‘.

I like it but it’s rather GAUDY, rather MESSY, with some flowers on their ‘ last legs ‘ and with the darker mottled under painting.

But it is COLOURFUL ! ! ! And I still like it !

Stay Safe


Top Path Canal Gardens Roundhay Leeds

In association with

Blog Post No 92 ………..Canal Gardens with it’s attached Rose Garden and Glasshouse is situate at the opposite side of the main road from Roundhay Park. This used to be the terminus for the Roundhay tram service.

So called presumably due to the waters being long and straight, having the appearance of a canal.

The attraction for me is always the water and how to portray it’s surface in any particular location and mood. Here it is constantly disturbed by the several splaying fountains with the repercussions caused by the droplets. I love it !

The canal bank sides, the path and rear wall of the Rose Garden all give recession. Also the bases of the fountains, whilst the topmost reach of the three visible fountains, all being at eye level are on a horizontal plane, contributing to that effect.

The old buildings at the far side of the main road, reduced in size confirm the distancing.

As usual small figures, one wearing a RED jacket are added to give that sense of ‘ life ‘ and scale.

In these changing times as usual again STAY SAFE and watch out for some people who do not seem to know about the rule of the TWO METRE distancing ! !


Westborough Scarborough C1910

In association with

Blog Post No 91……..Tramway Days again, one of my favourite subjects, but Scarborough this time ! It was probably in the 1990’s when I had the idea of travelling to Scarborough from Leeds. This to see if Scarborough Library had a portfolio of good, interesting images of the foreshore and harbour areas suitable for painting. They had, and I ordered a few to be printed for use as reference material to that end. And included was an expanded view of this image.

I was well into creating city tramway paintings at this time. The scenario for me would not be complete in many cases, including this one without an interesting group of buildings, trams plus other vehicles, and many people to give ‘ life ‘ to the painting.

Alterations to the original photograph are always made including the movement or removal of an item, introduction of others, and my ‘ popping in ‘ as many people as I think necessary. Each person to have a ‘ life of their own ‘ to give this momentum to to the painting.

Buildings are slightly altered, e g in this case sun shades added or removed.

Photos of this time were black and white ( or sepia ) so I have to make decisions when I am not familiar with a location regarding colours. Often in any case I enlighten to bring out detail and create an image to be enjoyed.

I always try to to find out the correct livery for the trams for the period that they are depicted, but that can be very subjective. This is included in all other research work that often has to be done.

Please enjoy and take care in these difficult and altering times


Grassington Weir Wharfedale

In association with

This is another painting from the 1980’s. Living in Leeds this was a popular and relatively easy place to get to. I am never quite sure whether to call this Grassington Weir or Linton Weir as it sits at an almost eqidistance from both.

I can tell immediately that this is is not a recent work. Whilst it is not that ‘BAD’ there are a number of ways that improvements could be made. I go through these to assist all ‘ out there ‘who are coming to grips with painting.

1…..The first and most important thing is that the COMPOSITION is O K……….2 Next, my gaze goes immediately to the bright green meadow across the river………3 But this is not the main subject which is the banking of the WEIR and should be far more outstanding in colour……4 The children standing I would now give more prominence.

5…..I t seems to be that I was probably using BLACK for the DARKS. I have explained previously using, say ultramarine and a dark red, nearly black can be achieved with much variation especially with a small amount of white or any other colour. Just experiment, I do. If it goes wrong a lesson has been learned for next time.

I have been painting in various ways for about fifty years and am still experimenting and learning. It never stops !

There is more that I could say but I am typing left handed due to my shoulder previously mentioned and shall have to call it a night.

Just look at the painting and decide what other improvements could be made. It’s a good exercise.

Lock down easing but make sensible decisions and STAY SAFE


Cafe Area Victoria Quarter Leeds

In association with

Blog Post No 89……….I am now in a situation never imagined whereby there about 120 images posted on a website which was never envisaged. So again ‘ now ‘, apart from images that I am holding back to Blog at a later date, I am and shall continue to trawl for pictures to provide a continuing variety of interest.

Whilst in the 1980/90s I was often referred to as ‘ The Tram Man ‘ it was the whole experience of being in Leeds in the tramway era which was such a strong drive to my referencing of that time, and my reconstructive paintings.

And the buildings, then ( black with years of soot and grime ) as important as the transport.

Years after the trams were gone, I captured aspects of Leeds on film, and this ‘ roofed over ‘ street, one of these. It was the multicoloured glazed roofing and end panels which inspired this image.

But finding a good location to create the atmosphere of the place as well took a little while. This is the cafe area looking towards Briggate.

Painted in an impressionistic style, placing the coffee aficionados in context with their immediate surroundings and the soaring columns, walls and ceiling. I really liked the imaginative way the whole area had been conceived and created.

Stay safe


Awaiting the Cliff Lift Saltburn

In association with

Blog Post No 88………..We have only been to Saltburn a couple of times but found it an interesting resort. The town is perched on the cliff top, connected to the sea front by a steep S bend road and a Victorian CLIFF LIFT.

The mechanism for operating this is ingenious, water power. Both cable cars are fitted with tanks, which fill with water at the top giving them weight to decend whilst at the same time pulling the other car up to the top.

The water from the cable car now at the bottom now disgorges it’s water, which is pumped up to the top to fill the tanks in that car which is now the heaviest. So the whole process can be repeated at Infinitum. Hope I haven’t bored you but I found it fascinating and ingenious !

Now at last to the picture. Having parked at the top, I just couldn’t resist taking this image.

An interesting and unusual COMPOSITION. I really liked the bright RED cable operator’s cabin, which I placed to the left, and the row of future passengers waiting at the railings and/ or looking at the sea.

Although imobile each figure has it’s own character, clothing and baggage for the day. The foreground pavement, the sea and sky all play their part. And the two pinnacles on the operator’s cabin are arranged just to poke into the sky area to link the several layers.

A glimpse of days at the seaside we used to have. Things will change and with patience and common sense we will get through to better times ahead. For he first time I am doing this sitting at a table in our camper in the drive warmed by the sun. This is within range of our internet connector just yards away in the hall. There is no connection to the gazebo, I’ve tried it !

Stay safe



Walled Garden Sewerby Hall Bridlington

In association with

Some time ago I was requested to do an exhibition of several paintings at Sewerby Hall. Rose and I have visited many times over the years and still remember sheltering from a snowstorm under a shelter on the left hand side beyond the hedge in April 1970’s.

Beyond that clipped hedge the walled garden continues to the just seen summer house in the right hand distance with the trees behind.

I just love the ‘umbrella ‘ tree in the centre of of the red/ orange/yellow bed of flowers, themselves surrounded by the low clipped hedge. The greenhouse gives an interesting contrast to the immaculately kept flower beds, highlighted by the dark trees behind.

And the ball shaped shrubs essentially break up the uniformity of the regimented beds.

It is always a pleasure to visit.

Stay safe


Manchester Oxford Road

In association with

Blog Post No 86………This is another of the images I created for the beautifully produced Kingsmead Cards commissioned by Heather Hilder. The arrangement functioned very well over several years. With cities in the north ( except Leeds where I was able to access suitable material ) , usually black and white images were sent to me to reconstruct snow scenarios for Hospital and Hospice Charity Christmas Cards.

Copyrights were transferred to Kingsmead for two/three years and then returned to me. This is the first time in these Blogs that they have been seen since.

I have photographed several cards like this using the front and back of two cards, showing the title and write up given to me by Heather. Her father was the famous landscape artist Roland Hilder, and I always felt it a privilege to have been sought out to create these works.

Using the buildings, considerable exploration and imagination was always required to assemble the ‘ action ‘. Unfortunately the cooperation ceased when we were forced like many others to leave Headingley by the spread of student accommodation.

And regrettably the plans we had made for removal did not work out well and due to circumstances I lost touch with Heather.

According to the press today there does seem the possibility of slight relaxation of our lockdown soon, so let us together, but separate keep busy and safe


Part View of the Artist’s Back Garden

In association with

Blog Post No 85………….Until now I have not shown any of the photographs which I have used or not used for my paintings. However with all the gardening programmes showing beautiful images, I look on ours, to a lesser extent, as a work of art in a similar fashion.

This photo taken in early April this year 2020, has yet to start the emergence of colour that will develop throughout the seasons, and which I shall continue to photograph.

This garden was not like this when we took over about twelve years ago, being mainly grass. Then I was relatively fit, cut out curving borders, purchased and planted fruit trees and organised the gazebo. Now being quite disabled, that kind of activity is well beyond me.

The genius of the garden is my wife, Rose who is a knowledgeable plants woman, has done all the purchasing and organising that is visible, herself working by the pot plants.

The garden is now a haven for bird life with several feeding stations and water bowls. Sparrow Towers ( the beech hedge running the full length on the left ) can be particularly noisy when sparrow parliament is in session.

More later in the year.

Keep safe


From My Scrapbook ( 3 )

In association with

Blog Post No 84………This is one of three paintings for the boardroom of chartered accountants Price Waterhouse.

This publicity photograph is of myself with partner in charge at the time, Keith Rawcliffe standing in front of ‘ Leeds Looking West ‘ which was taken from a vantage point in a Leeds tower Block. The other images were ‘ Leeds Looking East ‘ from the same height.

The same picture in black and white including just me was married to feature in in the YORKSHIRE POST entitled ‘ High Way to a Cityscape ‘ on Thursday January 29 1987. A lifetime away ! ! !

I heard on the ‘ grapevine ‘ years later presumably when changes were made to the boardroom, the paintings were offered to Leeds City Art gallery. They were refused !

The paintings were sold privately.

Carry on. More information on the television early this morning, changes seem to be in the air.

Keep safe


Sealed Knot at Ripley Castle C1990’s

In association with

Blog Post No 83 …….Another diversion and a period piece ! …..I cannot remember exactly when this event took place. Rose and I had stopped off when passing through Ripley to visit the castle and had not expected to find this colourful gathering. I’m always excited at the prospect of something different to photograph and possibly turn into a painting.

I think that at this stage the battle had been fought, and the columns were standing for a moment before continuing to march off.

Painted in an impressionistic manner, not too bothered about detail. Apart from a few individual figures standing out, it was the whole body of infantry, the animation of the flags, and with the verticals of the flag poles and pikes which created the ‘ buzz ‘.

The tree broke further into the horizontal of the columns. Then the background line of hedges,the lone pike man exiting to the left, and the two lone figures discussing on the extreme right closed off the scenario. The tussocky grass in the foreground indicated that this was no lawn.

On the whole an interesting COMPOSITION created on the spur of the moment.

It looks as if there might be some small movement regarding the easing of our lock down in the near future. Don’t hold your breath, but stay safe and use art to usefully pass the time.


Manet Visits Haworth West Yorkshire

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Blog Post No 82 …… This painting is a hybrid of years, buildings and people. It is a product of a situation which did not materialise from a photograph received. And having part completed the painting I decided to give it another twist, not wanting to waste the time and effort in getting so far.

Now after a decade stuck in the dark, I came across it doing a trawl I again decided that the painting might as well see the light of day.

The viewer is not expected to understand what I have just written !

The nicely cleaned up and decorated buildings are a far cry from how they might have looked in the 19th century. The elegantly attired people I made up and introduced to the scene are all probably well clothed for their day. And it is unlikely that Manet in the left foreground would have flown over from Paris by a low cost airline to seek out new subjects to paint.

However I think that it looks interesting and hope you like the scenario. It’s a twist on what I do ! ! !

I’m doing this in the middle of the night as my right knee and leg which have been supporting my bionic left leg for four years have decided that they have had enough. It’s less painful out of bed and doing work is a pleasure which also takes the mind off the problem.

Just a fact, no sympathy please, it’s just part of the rich tapestry of life and we get on with it. As l have stated at the start in my home page, I would not be here now without the ministrations of those wonderful people in the N H S at Scarborough and York who saved my life those four years ago.

Every day I can’t image the courage of the present day N H S people who confront this deadly virus often without the protection they need.

I salute you.

Everyone stay safe


The Old Cafe Sandsend Whitby

In association with

Just a reminder that my surname is pronounced Lay-pish. Very few people ever get it right !

Blog Post No 81……….. I was asked to do a second slightly different version of this years ago, and hope that this is mine. Since this painting, a new cafe building has been built in front making this an historic version. An image containing the replacement cafe was started ages ago. When it will get finished is anybody’s guess !

This was created in a ‘ free and easy ‘ impressionistic style about ten year’s ago. As with all my paintings I did a very light drawing up so the original pencil marks don’t show through. That was just general positioning of the infrastructure, with no fine detailing.

Using the paints, probably acrylic as I explain elsewhere, although watercolours would turn out to look about the same, often applied in washes ‘left to do their own thing’ as in the cliff top slopes and foreground grasses and path.

It is fairly obvious that the chairs and people were quickly brushed in. And the whites are just the paper.


Bird Hide Golden Acre Park Leeds

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Blog Post No Eighty. Another milestone ! ………A very pleasant country park we use to visit regularly when living in Headingley. It is situated on the A 660 out of Leeds beyond Lawnswood.

In it’s heyday in the 1930,s it was a major pleasure park, the lake being much bigger with boating. There was a miniature railway around the lake, with it’s locomotives now in use on the North Bay Railway in Scarborough. It hosted bus loads of visitors.

What attracted me to this image was the contrast of the golden coloured trees in the sunshine ( which is presumably how the park got it’s name ), to the cool shades, ripples and reflections of most of the waters. And I really liked the dappled contrasts on the bird hide it’s self with a glimpse of the bird watchers inside.

And sometimes you get lucky with a bonus. In the brief time of actually taking the photo, a water bird decided to fly straight towards the camera. An element that immediately catches my attention when included into the painting. It even takes precedence over the RED coats of the visitors. And you will notice how much I go on about little touches of RED making a focal point in a picture !

Then one can look around and explore the differing aspects of the painting. A nice place to go if you live in the area.

Another week of lock down got through. It,s got to be eased up sometime, but still keeping our two metre distancing. Keep safe



Digging for treasure ! !

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Blog Post No79…….. The most important thing that I bang on about constantly as in this image is COMPOSITION. So I am going to look at this painting with some care. Get that wrong and it won’t work.

Compared with most of my paintings, in this one there are few elements and they need to be placed in harmony. The two boys obviously are the main focus of attention, and they both need to be offset from the posts on the breakwater.

To make this point we all have seen pictures of people, say with a lamp, a tree or some other thing sticking out of the tops of their heads !

And the addition of the breakwater with it’s vertical posts and horizontal slats plus an opening, all at different levels are an essential component to add a sense of place and additional interest.

Now all my representations of WATER are different as befitting their locations and circumstances.

My last observation will be regarding the two boys. One is sitting and the other is squatting, duly placed in harmony with each other. But on the other hand both are concentrating on ‘ different things ‘. So I try to bring this element to the viewer ‘ what are they each thinking about or intent upon ‘ ?

Painting can be complicated. Try and think things out BEFORE you start to work and things could turn out better. …..Stay safe


Low Tide Robin Hoods Bay Yorkshire Coast

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Blog Post No 78. ….This image is taken from the cliff top path ( the Cleveland Way) to Boggle Hole. I was going on to state that this bay was created due to the usual coastal erosion. But NO. From three booklets provided by my wife Rose who has interests in many things, these flat rocks or scars running into the sea have a far more interesting past.

I use a melange of words from all three booklets………. They are all that remain of a huge geological dome structure. This caused by tectonic earth movements before being eroded to leave magnificent wave cut platforms or rings of lower Jurassic strata.

I bet that you didn’t expect that for a geography and history lesson ! ! Neither did I. Now an interesting subject for a photographer and artist. The remaining land mass stops at the cliffs.

Painted before my cancer so I can’t remember the exact details. I used thin washes of yellows, red/ pinks, blues of probably acrylics which work the same as watercolours, with the added advantage of remaining stable when dry. This means that they can be overpainted without turning to ‘mud’ like watercolours might.

With paper or canvas at a gentle slope I ran small amounts of ONE colour where I required down the cliff face, and then while still damp ran down a SECOND colour on or next to the FIRST to let them intermingle. If required lift slightly and alter the plane and angle of the slope.Then when dry run the same or different colours down where you want. I use a number of very small jam pots to mix the paints. ( I always eat the jam first ! ! ).

There is always an element of chance in these type of procedures, and often unforeseen, interesting and exciting results occur.

Try it, enjoy it, have FUN and stay safe


Racehorses passing the Black Bull Middleham North Yorkshire

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Blog Post No 77. This is an update of Blog posts 2 and 3 when the creation of these was a completely new experience, the focus different from now and I knew practically nothing about everything digital. The main aim now is to have an enlarged version of the painting in line with all more recent ones. The original points are still relevant so I leave Blogs 2 and 3 in place.

This is the second of four racehorse paintings I created in Middleham. It is the centre of the horse racing ‘ industry ‘ with many stables in and around the village. When one has no idea where any of the stables are hiding behind the frontages in the main streets, and the first inkling of where horse and their jockeys might appear from narrow side alleys is the clatter of hoofs on cobbles, then getting a decent COMPOSITION including the racehorses is a matter of luck and instant reaction.

The Gallops are a short distance up the road into Coverdale. With my small pocket camera I never got a worthwhile shot of the racehorses galloping despite efforts to do so. That’s life, in this case it’s pointless trying to create a painting without that most important thing, a GOOD COMPOSITION.

Let’s get through this lockdown period and keep safe



Malham Bridge and Post Office

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Blog Post No 76 Hi everybody. I came across this image during my recent trawl of old paintings on 35 mm transparencies. Not feeling too brilig for the past few days, so for the first time I am doing this Blog without doing a preparatory draft.

I can’t remember how long ago Rose and I last went to Malham when this image was created, and whether it is by brush or painting trowel. However I still like the vigorous method employed and have been thinking that when I do get back to painting, this is what I might well enjoy doing.

The first thing that I notice is that darks as I keep mentioning were even at this stage a combination of ultramarine and Alizarin mixed on the paper. Intermediate shades of these two colours were applied to other areas such as roofs, bridge etc keeping a unity to the Composition. A green and a yellow were also applied in a similar manner possibly with the addition of white.

Notice how the light portion of the bridge with the two figures and the touch of red on the building also help to balance the picture. If you like this style of painting, be bold and have bash. Find a picture that you like and copy it, in any way that is satisfying TO YOU.

While painting or doing anything else of interest, it does take my thoughts away from our present situation

Stay safe


Sunshine and shadows Linton

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Blog Post No 75 This is the Linton near Grassington not to be confused with the Linton near Wetherby.

The sun was out, the shadows strong casting great shadows. This painting must be from an early period when I was concentrating on creating the light reflected grass with little variation. And it looks very much like uniform Black for the shadows. Not what I would do now, but O K for the time, probably the 1980’s. There is nothing wrong with that, it WORKED.

If you are finding painting hard going this painting is ‘ Not Too Complicated ‘ so I would recommend ‘ Have a Go ‘ at any Composition that takes your fancy. If it does go wrong don’t despair, it’s a learning curve and try again. It,s how I made progress.

It,s now week four of our lockdown. I need to keep busy through the day as I soon get bored, breaking time down into manageable chunks including coffee and lunch breaks. It also occasionally means an occasional nap in the afternoon !

It will end sometime. Keep safe


Castle Bolton Wensleydale

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Blog Post No 74. This well preserved castle is situated between Leyburn and Aysgarth Falls. During several visits we found the attached village street with it’s old houses of considerable interest.

I took this image from the slope below the castle alongside this hedged field to give the maximum architectural presence. Using the autumnal colours of yellows, oranges and reds for the vegetation, l carried this colouration part way up the castle walls to relieve the stone colours, and unite this with the field.

It seems surprising that despite the overwhelming bulk of the castle buildings, ones gaze is still drawn to the visitors, one with a white coat and one in RED about to go past the bushes. I keep on repeating that ‘ a SMALL thing can make a BIG difference ‘ ! !

And the dark trees in the left background accentuate the Light stonework of the castle.

Keep Safe and if you can keep busy


The Library Art Group

Blog Post No 73 This is a slightly amended poster by the library trustees of my e mail to them. It is not an ideal time to be posting this Blog. But it might give the germ of an idea for when I RETURN to this subject with more detail in hopefully BETTER TIMES ahead.

This will be when the present coved-19 lockdown approaches it’s end.

The way that all our members have worked so well together to make it a success might work well for others.

In the meanwhile please keep on logging in for many more of my retrospective paintings and shortened writings as I am having to continue doing some left fingered writing due to the problem with my right shoulder. One of my pet utterings is ‘ If it’s not one thing , it’s another, and if it’s not that it’s something else ‘. And in my case that is certainly true.

But I always try for a dry joke and follow Winston Churchill’s motto ‘ Keep bu———-g on’. And it works.

Keep Safe


The Sea Front Ravenglass Cumbria

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In days of yore when Rose and I were a great deal younger and living in Headingley, we spent many holidays in the Lake District. At that time we had a trusty Bay Window T2 camper.Then we both had two good legs ( unlike now ) and did our share of walking and enjoying the delights of this ancient sea port.

From the then excellent caravan site in Ravenglass, instead of going straight to the terminus of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway for a lovely trip up the line and a walk, we could enjoy the village and it’s surrounds. In this case, straight out of the site, a gentle walk along a wooded way, we would pass the well preserved remains of a Roman Bath House. Cutting off to the sea shore we would come across this scene.

This gave me a typical L shaped COMPOSITION. ( Start with a good composition and you are half way to creating a good picture ). Making use of the building and it’s structure, it gave the necessary Main Vertical Structure and what I call a ‘Stop End’ to the right hand side.

The pebbly, weedy shore, glimpse of the sea, distant vegetation, and the added verticals of the washing line posts which help to balance the picture, complete a simple but pleasant image.


Briggate Leeds C 1902 ( Boots )

In association with www. Pete

Blog Post No71 This is another of the commissions for Kingsmead Cards, see Blog Post No 48. This also had been preceded by a Summer version but in this case much alteration had to done to the Boots building, starting with the removal of the large Sun Blinds.

A completely different scenario was created for the activity going on in the street. I had previously created the item of the the waiting horse drawn cab with the child feeding the animal, so I thought that this would be good for the foreground.

As I decided to have open top trams, the date had to be prior to 1905 as this was the the time when the top decks started to be partly enclosed.

Loved doing the raised and elaborate Boots Signage, then added Christmassy paraphanalia to the building. Then it was just a question of adding the SNOW wherever needed and popping in all the people ‘ doing their own thing’.

We are now in the fourth week of lockdown for coved-19 and apart from the very slow and short walks, sometimes having to use two Leki walking poles into the grass land opposite the house, we have only been out of the house and garden about four times for shopping.

Having been given back my life by the ministrations of NHS wonderful surgeons, doctors and nurses in the Scarborough and York hospitals from my cancer in 2015/16, l am in awe of what they are having to do in this present crisis.

Let us be so grateful that we have such dedicated professionals going into personal danger to help total strangers in their hours of great need.

May all viewers keep safe. Please keep viewing as I have many more images to show and words that I want to write


A4 Bittern Steaming into Pickering NYMR

Blog Post No 70. This is another update, this time Blog Post No 8 featuring now a standard size picture. Taken from the bridge connecting the two platforms enabling scope for the locomotive to be seen in context with it’s surroundings.

Whilst the ex LNER and British Railways locomotive is the star attraction, all the admirers and photographers on both platforms take equal billing in my painting. Being a one time volunteer on the NYMR, at a later date l persuaded Alan the station manager to pose for me in this position, and give a balancing influence into the Composition after painting him in.

It is always important to me to give any picture as full a complement of interest as is available given the situation. As I was equally happy to paint locomotives, buildings, people and surrounding trees etc, this image gave me nearly as much as I could possibly wish for ! !

In association with


Ghaistrills Strid Wharfedale

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Blog Post No 69 This is an update on Blog Post No 7. When a good image to photograph arises I do not analyse it, I size it up, take several hand held shots to choose the best, and get on with our walk.

It is only now that I have to write about the painting that I am scrutinising it to make sense about what I have achieved, and perhaps help viewers in their own endeavours.

I have just realised that the picture is divided into two parts. My immediate gaze is diverted and directed to and past the barrier or gate to the tail end of the Strid. ( in this case a passage of rough waters over a stoney section of river ). The river then continues it’s curving course downstream towards the distant horizon.

This is almost a picture within a picture, it’s boundaries contained by the near walls and trees, and the sloping banks on the right with it’s cohort of small trees.

The second section of the painting is the sun kissed meadow with it’s treaded footpath leading to Rose still in her RED jacket climbing the style into the next field.

When I had the idea of creating my website, and then continuing with these Blogs, I would have been and now still am , amazed at where this is leading me to ! ! ! However I am finding it very interesting as to what I am learning in these exercises, and hope that some will find it interesting too.

Keep safe in these difficult times


Dock End Whitby 1880

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Blog Post No 68. I am Blogging again No 6 to give the image more space to display it’s self. The writing in the original actually does say basically that which I would write now.

However I would repeat that I am very grateful for permission from Michael at the Sutcliffe Gallery Whitby to interpret this wonderful 19th century photograph by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. This in COLOUR from the Black and White/Sepia original.

I also repeat that from the Gallery I do purchase for painting purposes, a copy of that photograph and individually seek permission for it’s use.

Please note that Blog No 6 was one of my first attempts at creating Blogs and I have had a great deal to learn since then.


Walking the Riverside above Grassington

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Blog Post No 67. Here we have the promise of Spring in the fresh light green leaves of the tree leafage taking over from the shades of Autumn and Winter, which will soon be banished.

As far as I can remember, this is the pathway to Ghaistrills Strid which is almost in view further up the River Wharfe flowing well after rain in the hills. Tussocks of last year‘s vegetation stand tall breaking into the scrambling waters.

I have photographed this image from this position to include and emphasise the foreground fence posts. These add more verticals to the trees and shrubs, thus giving more structure to the COMPOSITION. It is always the composition which gives any picture a good START.

Rose with that little Touch of RED again gives scale and direction to the WALK.

We are now well into our third week of lockdown for coved 19. Creating these Blogs is a labour of love. It keeps me busy, and the concentration keeps the problems of the day at bay. And with the number of hits the Blog is getting, my hope is that not only are viewers enjoying the places that my paintings take you to, but that it inspires some to create artwork that it will give respite from thoughts of our present situation and give pleasure.

Good luck and STAY SAFE.


Knaresborough from the Castle Grounds

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Blog Post No 66. Many years since we last visited this attractive town, but this was always a ‘ must see ‘ view of the river and viaduct. For me it was always a bonus to see a train passing over it, to or from the station situate in a cutting on the right.

This was painted in my ‘ watercolour period ‘ probably in the 1990,s. It was a quiet day in town when I took this photo. I have done other paintings of this scene from different locations, usually with rowing boats out on the river.

I am aware that I complete fairly complicated paintings of a variety of subjects, but still surprised at the amount of detail when I found this image in a recent trawl of old images.

The comments I made in Blog Post No 65 regarding colour apply equally to this painting. But also like the other it gives a flavour of the essence of the place.


Track and Bridge Muker Swaledale

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Blog Post No 65 Rose and I visit Swaledale usually when we stay at Hawes in Wensleydale. A long climb up the Buttertubs pass, then a steep decent to the Swaledale road junction. For a diversion turn left to Thwaite and then on through Angram to Keld where you get a real feel of the Dale. Retrace you steps and continue down the Dale to the tiny village of Muker.which is a short way past the afore mentioned road junction.

This image is the beginning of a track that leads further up the hillside. Painted many years ago there appears beyond the bridge a few of the houses and the church tower.

As the main aims of publishing these Blogs apart from showing my work,are to promote mainly YORKSHIRE, and improve viewers Knowledge and Practice of ART. Therefore I am looking at this painting with the benefit of hindsight and accumulated experience.

I am satisfied with the Composition which I keep banging on about and it is an O K painting ! However now I would definitely give more colour variation. It looks as if I was still using Black to create contrasts and Darks. Now I never use Black unless I have to, e g the Class 87 where it was necessary.

Now I would use say, Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson which gives many shades and nearly Black. And a range of purples and oranges and yellows together with a blue to vary the greens.

And I would give the leading figure and one of the guys on the bridge one of my trademark RED jackets.

Keep Safe


L N W R Hardwicke and Midland 4 4 0 Leeds

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Blog Post No 64. I had got wind that these two paired vintage locomotives were coming into Leeds from Harrogate, and the approximate time. So where to view and photograph them, together with a good setting ?

I remembered going to watch the Harrogate Pullman , double headed toiling up the gradient out of the Leeds basin with a Hunt class, maybe the ‘ Sinnington ‘ and A1 ‘ Sugar Palm ‘ blasting out and filling the sky with smoke and steam.

And here is the location viewed from a pedestrian footbridge with Burley Park on the left. In earlier times there had only been railings bordering the railway. 2 – 2 – 2 Hardwicke leads the 4 – 4 – 0 through the road bridge with the old terrace houses helping to balance the concrete wall and trees.

The strongly defined locomotives stand out well against the softly and loosely painted surrounding foliage. Momentum is induced by the soft white emission from the chimney of the leading loco and the excess steam blowing off from the 4 – 4 – 0. What memories !


Paddling South Bay Scarborough

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Blog Post No 63 At the end of a walk on the beach at the South Bay here was a situation with possibilities. An interesting grouping with a good backdrop.

In this instance the paddlers themselves create the picture. It is the inter positioning and actions which cause the gaze to flit between them. It almost gives movement between the people compounded by the wavelets and reflections in the waters.

The verticals of the paddlers is continued upwards by the lighthouse tower and masts. Then the horizontals of the piers counter balance and pause this upward movement. The heads of the people breaking into the base of the piers unites the two distinct halves of the picture to create the whole.

I think that the lady perusing some object and the boy exiting to the left are a strong theme and convey mixed messages. I deliberately introduced the tiny yachts in the distance which support the young people preventing the gaze exiting to the right.

I hope you this gives something to distract in these coronavirus lock down days


Snow in the Yorkshire Dales

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Blog Post No62 Having been commissioned by Heather Hilder C1990’s, this is one of the several images I did over time for Kingsmead Hospital and Hospice Charity Christmas Cards. Copyrights all returned to me.

There was snow that year. So I ventured forth by bus to a situation that I knew. It worked out well and this is the result with a couple of tweaks requested from my provisional sketch / painting. This is typical of the often depicted snowy Lane with walls of different types, and fence posts, all disappearing into the distance of snowy fields on rising land.

The trees and sloping fence posts gave the required verticals, with the requested additional houses a feeling of habitation, and my often included figures to give life and scale. All together it gives a flavour of the Yorkshire Dales.

With the minor additions already mentioned this is an actual location in Wharfedale.

Continue to keep safe


Hardraw Force Wensleydale N Yorks

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Blog Post no 61. This is the first Blog with more limited wording due to the reasons set out below.

This waterfall about two miles from the village of Hawes is on private land accessed through a pub where a fee is taken. In this image, due to the contrast between sunlight, shade, and the confines of the situation, the photography proved a problem.

I would have liked more length of tree and more space at the base, but this would have reduced the impact of the fall. Placing my wife to give scale to the elements within the picture is crucial to the outcome.

Now, due to the onset of the coronavirus, and the recent diagnosis of a calcium build up in my right shoulder which has been giving me pain for some months, this and future writings will be directed more towards the image , and shorter than of late.

I shall be doing some one finger LEFT hand typing so mistakes may occur. But I have been doing some trawling of images and have even more passable ones than previously thought. This is one of them.

Being in ‘ lockdown ‘ is certainly a drag, and I find that for me keeping busy with some variety of activity within the home is the best way of getting through through the day.

Stay safe


From my Scrapbook (2)

In association with

Blog Post No Sixty A milestone for me as I never thought that I would get this far. I am not going to make any comments at this stage about this poster but please note that this is in the Cafe Zone, not with the Real artists. This image is my created poster, not the official one !

The image is of the Interior of Leeds Kirkgate Market.

I now wish to continue from Blog Post No 59 as the world is a different place today. After a brilliant five months start our library art group have had to call a hopefully temporary halt to he actual meetings.We have all gelled so well together, growing in confidence and ability which we do not want to loose.

So by the use of the telephone and gradually digital communication, within the week we ( the experienced ones which does not include me ) are already trying to organise keeping in touch, talking which has been the lifeblood of the group, and coordinating artistic expression whilst self isolating. More of this in following Blogs as they happen.

I am so appreciative of the many hundreds of hits to this site, over the past few months. By fronting my paintings and and giving various explanations about where I have been and what I do, it is trying to give out ideas of what might be possible. Especially now in this new world, if anyone out there thinks it is a way of easing isolation and giving mutual motivation give it ago !

Blogging at the moment is the only way I know of communicating, and for me ( a digital beginner ) even with all my explanatory flow charts, it is complicated but is a steady and enjoyable task. I have tried the F way but can’t get my head around it. And now I am isolated from my advisors apart from phone or digital so my learning process will be much slower. I can’t even find messages which may have come in so please accept my apologies for any responses I might otherwise have made. I am much aware and trying to sort this.

Please spread the WORD. I shall be back with Blog Post No 61 soon.


Boating Wharfe Meadows Otley N Yorks

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Blog Post No 59 Rose and I had many years living in Headingley, and had the the demographics not changed rapidly and drastically, I can’t see any reason why we would have been compelled like so many others,to leave.

One of the easy and pleasant places to visit and enjoy was the riverside at Otley, often going by bus, eventually dropping down to the town on the flank of the Chevin with great views. Then it is a short walk from the centre, over the bridge from where this image was taken.

In the past there were many rowing boats moored at the landing stage, and at this time a small motor launch. The Otley weir ( see Blog Post No 39 ) is just beyond.

To the picture. My main interest in doing the painting was in depicting the disturbance to the surface of the water by the oars of the people doing the rowing. This in comparison with the rest of the river. As far as the composition is concerned, much ‘weight’ on the left hand side is partly balanced by the various boats on the river. As I often say ‘ SMALL things can make a BIG’ difference.

Whilst I am writing this I am not at all unaware of the momentous changes to all our lives due to the virus, and the life and death situation we are all in, especially at my age. But with these Blogs I aim to maintain a semblance of normality where there is none.

It is my hope that my paintings will give you something interesting to look at and my writings with information, some ideas ( if you need them ) to do something for yourself to escape for a little while into the world of art.

I will explain again that I have NO ART qualifications, am TOTALLY self taught, and just an ordinary old guy trying to give pleasure through my wide ranging pictures and pass on any experiences that I have gained. The best of luck in these dark days. I shall be back shortly with Blog Post No 60 .

Class 87 Awaiting Departure Crewe

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Blog Post No 58 Hi M this is for you. The original has no watermark.

When I received several months ago from my nephew a request to do this, you might imagine what my initial reaction might have been. Very busy as I have been for some considerable time learning about computers and digital from scratch, to be now up to Blog No 58 with many more to come, this rested on the back burner for a little time. Eventually with many misgivings – All those straight lines- Detail- and Time, I got the show on the road.

I did make use of the painting in it’s preparatory stages, to run through how to find a vanishing point which is off the image with our newly created art group, and discuss other matters concerning it’s creation. Much later it was used again following completion.

Prior to the latter details were sorted out and painted in stages, over time I eventually had to resort to Impressionism to cope with the bogies as there is so much detail. It seems to have worked, having been given the O K by the few people who have been shown it. My only addition is the single person on the platform !

The train is now ready to depart.

Towards the end I was appreciating what had been accomplished, just about enjoying the experience, and so glad that my experience of many years ago had not deserted me after the passage of time and my illness.

As my nephew will not be travelling to collect the painting for some weeks, I am using the Blog to give him a preview. I hope everyone who logs in will appreciate it too.

Children Playing Hutton-le-Hole N Yorks

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Blog Post No 57 Turning North of the A 170 at Keldholme near Kirbymoorside a relatively short way brings you to the tiny village of Hutton-le-Hole. Now following a day of coronavirus restrictions, I can’t say what will be open or not, but there will be found the very interesting Rydale Folk Museum, much of which is in reconstructed old buildings within the grounds.

This image shows the centre of the village with children playing in the stream. Some reconstructive work to give the painting a more modern forceful presence, was done after some consideration of the original straightforward version. A vigorous, robust approach was performed on the trees, and ‘gestural’ strokes define the geometry of the left bank. As usual all the people are occupied in their various pursuits, or just sitting.

Apologies, but I couldn’t resist using the word ‘gestural’ following my comments to the art group !

Voluntarily, with reluctance the Newby and Scalby (Scarborough) library art group decided to stop meeting for the duration, days before the library itself is to close temporarily for the same reason.

I, and all members of the art group would like to thank again the Trustees and library volunteers for their help in the formation and assistance throughout. And we all look forward to the happier day in the future when there will be the resumption of our sociable, interactive group in the premises of this lively library.

Locking on the Rochdale Canal

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Blog Post No 55 This image was taken during one of our favourite walks in the Calder Valley between Todmorden and Walsden. In the 1990s Rose and I several times left the train at the former town and climbed up the northern slopes of the valley to join the old pack horse route. Then after a short distance a corner is turned and (to us) a glorious view unfolds showing up and down the expanse of the valley, the road, river, canal and railway all entwined.

Usually for us time to sit, eat, and enjoy before setting off down to join the canal which is about half way between the the two towns.We retrace our steps a short way to this view. (It is an easier option to reach this spot by walking directly from Todmorden by the canal towpath).

Now to the picture. Here we have one of the hire canal boats entering the lock.For the composition there is quite a lot of interest. Apart from the canal boat itself nosing it’s way in, there is the stonework, the open lock gates and long ladder. There is the footbridge, winding gear for the sluices,grasses and other vegetation enclosing the lock. As a backdrop the ornate Railway bridge makes it’s own statement. Seven people are portrayed in specific locations. The person on the right closing off that side.And a black block on the left stops the eye exiting on that side. Then there is the Water,my speciality.

As in all my paintings , get anything wrong and the whole painting is ruined ! !

Especially after the recent floods, please explore the Calder valley to support the people and enjoy the beautiful scenery. With my immobility and distance to travel we much regret that we are not now able to continue to do this. But we did many times before even the canals were restored, and we loved it.

The Walled Garden Temple Newsam Leeds

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Blog Post No 55. It is a short walk fromTemple Newsam house, past the lake , over the bridge to the Walled Garden. At one time I seem to remember that this was the Rose Garden but around the perimeter were the herbaceous borders.

It is because of accidentally coming across the works of the Impressionists years after leaving college, that I started to take painting seriously. As I have explained previously I am TOTALY self taught.

From the Impressionists it was for me a natural progression to look at the works of the Neo-Impressionists. The two principle exponents of pointillism being George’s Seurat and Paul Signac painting in small juxtaposition dots or dabs of colour.

Painting this image about thirty years ago I was not fully aware of the the principals devised by the French chemist Chevreul merely using white or coloured dots over a precoloured undercoat. I should have been using complementary colours derived from the colour wheel.

I had drafted a more thorough explanation but apart from not wanting to bore you with that, I don’t have the stamina to type with my one finger approach. Anyway I thought that the image is sufficiently different to be included in the the blogs.

Please keep on logging in as there are many more retrospective images to come. Thanks to everyone for looking and hope you enjoy my postings.

The Bird Watchers Watched

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Blog Post No54 For many years Rose and I were members of the R S P B. Now we are not able to travel as we used to. However Rose is doing a great job of feeding and increasing the numbers of sparrows living in Sparrow Towers ( one of the hedges in our back garden ).

She is a keen bird watcher and this image was taken on a visit to Bempton Cliffs, just down the coast from Scarborough.

Having watched the seabirds for some time my attention switched to the variety of people who were there, and particularly the Bird Watchers whose attention was focussed on the activity going on below, and above. I was much taken with the huge camera, tripod and pose of the photographer. Happily my wife who always ‘ does her own thing ‘ on these trips was a great ‘foil ‘ in her red jacket looking through her binoculars. And the person to the left looking skywards, and framing the image to that side was too good to miss.

The safety railings with added fencing, plus the strong shadows complete the composition. The sea, many metres below and to the horizon is lightened, but that and anything else done is in the remit of the artist.

A bit Degas. ! !

Majestic from City Square Leeds C1950s

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One of my many tramway reconstructions of Leeds sourced and painted in the 1980/90s At that time the Majestic was a Cinema and Dance Hall apart from any other functions that it afforded. City Square ( which was not a square ) was the western hub for the tram routes, mainly East/West, and North/East.

This view looks at the tram route West which proceeds along Wellington Street at the left hand side of the Cinema. As can be seen from this painting, this was part of a busy interchange where I managed to include one of the several lovely ladies ( whose names are now forgotten ), on pedestals holding high their ornate lamps.

The types of trams included are two Horsfields in the foreground. Behind the car on route 3 there are side views of a Chamberlain followed by an ex London Feltham, many of which were purchased when London’s trams were made redundant by replacement buses.

North Bay, Castle and Pier Scarborough

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Blog Post No 52. I purchased this black and white view of Scarborough ( with others ) from Scarborough library many years ago with agreement that this would give me information for painting. Not all that many people seem to know that a pier situated in the North Bay had been destroyed by a storm in 1906. I would have been well into recreating scenes of Leeds and other situations in the 1980’s when this image was painted.

In my quest to make scenarios more interesting, colourful flowering plants have been introduced into the bankings. And people(s) walking into the scene draw the gaze into the creative way the Victorians have moulded the slope to entice the promenading of visitors.The imaginative designing of the pathways, and the intricate tracery of the wooden bridge lend themselves to a much more interesting walk.

And to top that is the splendid backdrop of the bay with the castle atop the headland.

Hilltop Beatrix Potters Farmhouse

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Blog Number 51

Rose has a date stamp in our National Trust Passport book which tells us that we visited Hilltop on 06/09/ 1995, which really does seem like a lifetime ago. Hilltop is at Near Sawrey , up the hill from the ferry crossing Windermere.

What amazed us even then as we approached the property were the number of visitors from the Far East. Then after walking up the entrance path we were almost expecting to see Peter Rabbit in Mr Macgregor’s garden ! I am a fan of Beatrix Potter for the little story books containing those wonderful pictures, plus what she and others did for the Lake District.

In this painting I have shown the house almost enveloped by the garden. I have taken liberties with the planting of the flowerbeds, but it gives me an excuse to introduce a little Impressionism. The path with a kink in it leads the viewer to the front door, partly obscured by the visitors having a chat.

The farmhouse itself stands solidly almost as a backdrop, with plenty of windows and the squat chimney stacks with triangular covers to the vents needed to stop ingress by the copious rainfall. Dark trees in the background enhance the light colours of the house and foliage.

The atmosphere was nostalgic especially as you were remembering who had lived there.

Starting the painting from Blog Post No 49

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Blog Post No 50. Before we have got to this stage all the white of the paper was elimitated by thin washes of blue/pink, except the rear of the camper which was given a coat of white. Acrylic can be diluted to a thin wash. Acrylic is stable when dry and over painted.

Now I work all over the image. Only brief details are given as time and my typing skills are both limited. Firstly I need to put in some DARKS all over the painting where required to give CONTRASTS. These will usually be mixtures of Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson. Only in exceptional circumstances do I resort to black.

Using light blue and white more thickly on the lake going straight through from end to end making it easier for the next stage. Mixing various greens I worked on the leafage, background hills and foreground grasses, all at the same time. This can give more unity to the painting. Washes of blue and red create the mauves for the hard standing.

In the photo I was wearing a dark patterned jacket, but had further thoughts and will change this. With some tidying up of my legs, the chairs and ‘odd bits’, the stage is set for future progression.

Yes, the COMPOSITION is unbalanced, but I have had the solution to this in mind in the planning stage. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the group had the answers as they remembered that I had already shown them that ‘little things can make a big difference’.

Regrettably the following part of this will be after a few Blogs of different subjects. This is as far as I have got with this painting.

Breakfast by Derwentwater Part 2

Blog Post 49B. I regret having to split this Blog but I was not up to it this morning and did not want to loose what I had done. Please see Blog 49 before you read this. Then I continue :—

As this was an early meeting in the group’s existence only the basics contained in the drawing were explored. The rule of thirds had already been ‘gone into’ at a previous meeting and it was agreed that this image did NOT fit the requirements. But that was O K.

So together we considered the matter and the group quickly ascertained what was needed to be done with a series of ideas. I explained why it was not necessary to draw the upper parts of the trees which was further agreed to be logical. Notice that so far NO answers have been given. Things will be when I Blog the progression of the painting. It’s not difficult but in the meanwhile I like to leave the viewer and reader with some thing to consider if you will.

As all members bring or start their own work at the library, a break of about twenty minutes brings everyone together. Talking and communicating is so important in the socialising aspect of the group. It introduces or reinforces the main points and often brings out other factors for discussion.

It’s drip, drip information. It’s seriously LIGHT HEARTED and we have lots of amusement. We have doubled our membership to the maximum that the library space can allow. So far so good ! ! !


Breakfast by Derwentwater – Drawing Up

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Blog Post No 49. I try to keep these Blogs as varied as possible. So this drawing up and the beginnings of the painting were done some months ago. In the meantime I found it appropriate to use this as discussion material early in the new library art group’s existence. I don’t have a set agenda as I ‘ go with the flow’ and as a group we look at and talk out specific situations as they arise.

The question as to whether to ‘draw up or not’ was already circulating between individuals.

As it happened this image with the back end of our then V W ‘bay window’ camper with myself at the table (taken from a photo by my wife, Rose) and drawn without alteration was outside even my very varied repertoire. Here we have shades of Degas.

As I have a habit of making mistakes the more I write I shall stop here and continue with Blog Post No 49B

Boar Lane from City Square Leeds C1950’s

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Blog Post No 48. As promised in Blog Post No 45 here is the image in full colour. It has taken me some time to sort out how to get the picture to present itself on the screen then get the writing to function following the recent update. But then I am still a learner with digital, again also struggling to assimilate several other new technical techniques, cramming as much as I can into each day.

Now to the painting. Quite an interesting situation. I have done many Leeds City tramway scenes, and when I was contacted by Kingsmead Cards for a Leeds image for that year I suggested that I could convert a just completed summer scene of Boar Lane from City Square into a winter snow Scenario. The change was agreed. So I did it.

Happily the summer version had already been processed so I still have that image.

Boar Lane was the main artery in the centre of Leeds taking all tramway traffic from west to east and visa versa. I add, subtract or reposition the transport. And exchange the version of a tram i e Horsfield for a Chamberlain so the painting is of my conception.

To create the ambience of recently laid snow became the priority without disturbing too much of the original image.

A ‘ Duchess ‘ in Scarborough Central

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Blog Post No 47 On the day that I photographed this image I was walking on the main road towards Falsgrave when I realised that something interesting might be going on at the station. Taking the side road to the bridge l was more than delighted to be confronted with the above scenario.

One of my favourite locomotives and train surrounded by the old signaling still in place. And the infrastructure of the station buildings including the added vertical of the clock tower to give me a good composition. To cap it all there were the people on the platform, some engaging with the driver,but particularly the two children playing, more interested in their game than the magnificent piece of machinery right next to them. This made my day.

Of course it’s the smoke and steam which create the atmospherics, and together with the people give ‘ life ‘ to the whole.

York Minster C1930’s

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Blog Post No 46 This image is an amalgamation of an old photograph and my more recent photo. Nowadays the trees on the right have grown to such an extent that much of the Minster is obscured. The Minster itself I have treated in an Impresionistic manner which I consider gives it more ‘ life ‘ and colour.

It is an oil painting created in the period when I was using that medium. Also it is so long ago to remember from where I obtained the image of the stylish open topped roadster. I just liked the look and style of it and placed it where it gives a whole new dimension to the composition. But it sets the tone for a C 1930’s feel, and gives a ‘dynamic’ to a mainly static scene apart from ‘people( s )’ which usually inhabit my scenarios.


From my Scrapbook ( 1 )

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Blog Post No 45. This image and writing by an unknown hand was posted in the Yorkshire Evening Post on Saturday 22 December 2001. I thank the unknown writer for his kind and perceptive comments. However in my opinion it is a great pity that there are no trams on the streets of Leeds in the 21st century.

The picture was one of a number commissioned over a period of years by Heather Hilder, daughter of the famous artist Roland Hilder for Kingsmead cards. Nearly all these of snowy Northern city centre tramscapes.

Each beautifully produced card was either for a hospital charity or in the case of several Leeds images, as far as I know for St Gemma’s Hospice.

This picture will appear again in a future Blog Post, but in full colour together with my own comments regarding time and place. Other images of Leeds and Cities for cards produced by Kingsmead cards will also be the subjects of further Blogs. Copyrights for all all these images were all returned to me following the termination of the contract requirements.


Heritage Trams Running in Blackpool

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Blog Post No 44 This image like others derives from 35 mm images on transparencies taken by myself. I would have waited at the same spot to take several photos featuring different trams in various places. When I came to create this painting an amalgam was made using elements required to make the composition. As RECONSTRUCTIONS of tramways were my ‘stock in trade’ at this time it was my normal practice but using extracts from old photographs.

The completed painting was again photographed on a transparency by me.

Neither Rose nor I could remember the time or circumstances surrounding this visit to Blackpool but it has to be about the 1990’s. Another coincidence, but a few days ago a TV programme featured this Bolton tram in immaculate condition at the Blackpool tram sheds. A date of 1901 was given for it’s original construction presumably then as an open topper.

Behind that tram is an Edinburgh tram in it’s purple with white stripes and further back two Blackpool trams so I have portrayed a ‘ spread’.

No picture of Blackpool would be complete without the TOWER. As well as giving detail to the trams as always I pay attention to buildings and to the tower.

As well as the conductor and people on the Bolton tram there are about twenty and a half ( due to cropping ) persons on the promenade, some taking a keen interest in the vintage transport.

And finally the web of tram sites reached by tram trolley poles to collect the electrical energy required to make them go. I loved the sound made by the bow collectors ( we did not have trolley poles in Leeds ) as the trams approached. Nostalgia. ! ! !

Malton Marketplace (1

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Malton is a busy town with a cattle market almost midway between York and Scarborough. With rail and good bus links and shops it hosts a regular market in a triangular ‘ square’ alongside the church.

Due to a request I photographed and completed two paintings of a vibrant market in full sway. This view No 1 faces north. Like some other market and town scenes, here I use two distinct methods of painting, one for the structures and another for the market stalls plus the action. I apply as much colour as seems reasonable for the latter.

Compensation in the church tower has to be made for photographic parallax problems which can cause more difficulties to correct than is apparent in creating ‘ verticality. Fortunately this is no different than usual in the type of work that I used to do.

Now to comments about the present. In the past few months l have started a small art group at my local library with full permission from the trustees and helpful assistance from the volunteers.

The express object was and is for members to ‘do their own thing’ but as a social group to be encouraged to TALK and DISCUSS paintings and the creating of a painting. It seemed a tough ask and I had no idea regarding any response. But with such a lovely group of enthusiastic and intelligent people the response has been brilliant. Everybody joins in, and the progress and confidence gained in a relatively short time has been beyond my expectations.

All members of the group are happy that I shall continue to mention our activities in my forthcoming blogs over time.

This is my way of freely giving my time and years of experience to create a SOCIAL and enjoyable interaction with a purpose.

Musicians Part (1)

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Blog Post No 42. Occasionally I go ‘ off the rails ‘ and decide to create some form of ‘Modern Art’. Sometimes it has been ‘ Fauvism ‘, another a golfing melange, or exploring the possibilities of a doodle. Then enhancing the doodle with COLOUR.

This is only one portion of the WHOLE painting as I have cropped out and created from it several mini compositions to fit a 4 : 3 format.

I would recommend any form of ‘ Artwork ‘ for relaxation or stress relief. Whilst one is so occupied the person will possibly be in the ‘ zone ‘ and other problematical thoughts banished.

At this point I must admit that at the moment BLOGGING is the only method that I can cope with to communicate with you the viewer and / or reader. I am really pleased that so many have logged in, and according to my web designer have stayed with the site. It is my hope that you all have enjoyed at least some of my paintings. And my scribblings have given encouragement to some who might be finding ARTWORK hard going.

Remember, I am totally SELF TAUGHT and have had many setbacks to overcome along the way. Only now after about fifty years painting am I analysing all these past works as I have had no reason to do so previously.

There are many more paintings to follow as soon as I find the time to write them up.

Awaiting the Train Muncaster Mill R &E R

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Blog Post No 41. It is many years since Rose and I plus dog travelled on the delightful Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway to commence a walk finishing at Muncaster Mill.

I have delayed writing about and posting this image because the name of the station we had started from had escaped me. And then on the television a few days ago appeared Sir Tony Robinson doing one of his series of walks which we watch and thoroughly enjoy. In this instance he was concentrating on Roman remains on his way from Penrith to Ravenglass. He travelled on the R & E R and alighted at IRTON ROAD station which I recognised immediately as the same starting point for the walk we had done years ago.

Staying at an excellent caravan site in Ravenglass we walked to the terminus station and boarded an open carriage behind the engine. The dog loved travelling. The delightful miniature but powerful real steam Pacific type locomotive whizzed us up the valley being an experience to be savoured. We disembarked wind blown but happy at IRTON ROAD station to begin our walk.

Wonderful views as we progressed along the high ground before descending to Muncaster Mill and the station there. In this painting one of the Pacifics approaches my wife, standing with Pip the collie on the platform.

In previous blogs I have spent much time explaining aspects of my paintings. This time I shall leave you with our experience of a wonderful day out in a lovely place.

Bolton Abbey from the cliff

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Bolton Abbey with it’s large estate is in Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, not to be confused with Castle Bolton which is in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. This I have painted many months ago and will be posted in due time when I have done the writing or it.

This image is to be found after crossing the river which runs between the Abbey and the foot of this cliff. Most people cross the river over the footbridge but there is an option of crossing by way of the stepping stones when the water is running low. Then it’s up the hillside and the photograph composed from the top of the cliff.

Early Spring, I have endeavoured to make the painting light and airy with the Abbey to stand proud, strong in it’s skeletal and vertical remains.

Trees and tree branches frame this main focus. Tree foliage in the mid background varies from dilute washes to more opaque but lighter markings to lift the gaze upwards to the right. The skyline stand of trees then reaches out to the opposite side, embracing the light pasture.

The strong diagonal branch then closes off this pasture bringing you back eventually to the Abbey via the light, just off horizontal markings in the grass.

Otley Weir West Yorkshire

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Blog Post No 39. Having lived in Leeds for a large part of my life I can remember being brought here by my parents as a child of about eight. Whilst they played a tennis match on the nearby courts I was free to play on the river bank below the weir. This was of course was at a time when the flow over Otley weir was merely a trickle.

This image is of a time following heavy rains on the catchment area of the Pennines. The photograph from which this image was painted would have been taken probably in the 1990’s when Garnett’s mill was still in existence.

As I often say, one of my interests is to paint WATER in it’s many guises. In this instance it is to depict the effect of rushing, sliding waters going over the lip of the weir, cascading down it’s slope, and then crashing into a lower level, foaming and continuing it’s headlong dash to the sea.

The time of year has given shades of Autumn to the trees and is created by me with washes of colours through the branches already painted and lower foliage.

Lake Steamers Bowness-on-Windermere

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Blog Post No 38. The purchase of a Bay Window camper in the 1990’s enabled us to become more free in the direction of our holidays. As well as staying in various destinations in Yorkshire we spent time more frequently in the Lake District. Always we used good quality Club and other sites from Bowness-on-Windermere to Ravenglass.

As well as using the local bus services to give us end to end walks we enjoyed going on the lake steamers. In this instance I think that we had spent much of the day ‘ on the water ‘ and were returning into Bowness-on-Windermere pier.

It had been a sunny day and I had taken several photos whilst on board. I was hoping for ‘ something good ‘ on our run in.

There was the Tern, the oldest of the the three steamers. Built in 1891 as a ‘ steamer ‘ it was later converted to diesel but still retained it’s graceful and charismatic looks.

With only a ‘ one shot at a time ‘ camera, and not in control of the angle of approach, luck plays a part in the photo you get and it’s composition.

Bridges Lower Slaughter the Cotswolds

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Blog Post No 37. In the time before the cancer Rose and I would travel every year to visit family ‘ down south ‘. To break the journey we would stay at a Caravan Club site in or near the Cotswolds for two or three nights. When using the Fosse Way the whole distance from Leicester to Cirencester the most convenient stop was the site at Moreton in Marsh.

Sometimes we would take the train to visit more distant locations but more often we would use the camper to tour around the local area to spend time in the charming villages. Amongst these were Upper and Lower Slaughter. Only a short distance apart never the less they were both completely different.

In this watercolour the river had just flowed past the mill and is about to go under clapper type bridges giving me the opportunity to photograph then eventually paint one of my favourite subjects —– water.

The juxtaposition of the mellow Cotswold stone houses, the trees and vegetation edging the slow running river made it well worth the framing up.

At Play Sandsend Whitby

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Blog Post No 36. Sandsend, within view of the pier at Whitby. On a warm sunny day like the one in the painting, a charming location for children to play and adults to relax. Another busy beach scene full of colour and activity.

An acrylic. A versatile medium as previously mentioned, fast drying and permanent. If varnished it has all the appearance of an oil. In this image mostly the paint has been applied thickly or in several layers. Only small areas have been covered in a watercolour consistency as in the yellow overpainting of the child’s shirt on the left, and of the light blue of the sky.

Whilst the foreground grouping of the children at play is a focus of activity, the man standing in the water draws the gaze upwards towards the opposite side of the stream and the colourful jumble of canvas screens.

The stonework of the sea wall takes the interest across to the distant cliffs and a glimpse of the sea. The man on the right taking the photo brings the focus back to the children playing in the foreground. The aforementioned child on the left in the yellow shirt and wearing the red cap prevents the gaze exiting left, whilst the man taking the photo, the standing child in front of him together with the man and child with spade in the mid distance provide the same function on the right.

Small details like the white post play an important part in the design, in this case continuing the verticality created by the standing characters.

Derwentwater from the Caravan Site Keswick

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Blog Post No35 This painting is a very infrequent change from working with or translating photographs. Here I am working ‘ en plein air ‘ at the Keswick Caravan and Camping Club site which borders the edge of Derwentwater. A watercolour completed at one session sitting by the lakeside.

Clearly this painting identifies the difference between the simple outdoor created composition and my usually more complex images. It follows the often used compositions of a foreground beach, water, then hills or mountains in more diluted washes as they recede into the distance.

Painted probably in the 1990’s I cannot say with any certainty how I organised it’s progression. It does look as if there was coordination of some colour in the foreground beach with the mountains which means that they would have been painted using the same mixes at the same time. My usual method of painting on the whole surface at one time.

The dramatic dark area of sky was probably created firstly by lightly wetting the surface with water. Then letting it flow a little, inverting the image to let a light grey wash percolate skywards. A darker mix is added at the top of cloud whilst still damp.

Why I did not use this same mix at the same time on the waters as I would now, could have because working ‘ en plein air ‘ was a ‘ one off ‘ and I was concentrating on ‘ one thing at a time ‘ However yellow from the foreground was incorporated in the sky.

The addition of the red sailed boat gives the focal point and recession to a hopefully atmospheric painting.

Reflections on the Lake Scampston Hall N Yorks

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Blog Post No 34 Scampston Hall is found some few miles east of Malton along the A 64 towards Scarborough. There is a good parking area and Garden Cafe. The planting within the walled garden was designed by the renown plantsman Piet Oudolf.

Also there are the spacious grounds to explore created by ‘ Capability ‘ Brown within which is the subject of this painting.

Rose and I have visited on several occasions. One hot summer day seated on the Palladian bridge spanning the lake watching the wildlife I realised what an attractive picture this would make.The reflections on the languid waters gave a real depth to the image. The brightness of the colours make a good contrast to the darks in the background, the trees and their reflections.

How useful it is to have a camera small enough to have in one’s pocket to be taken out for that insightful image which would otherwise be missed.

Deckchairs and Lighthouse South Bay Scarborough

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Blog Post No 33. I am revisiting this scenario from Collection 3 of my website. An extended observation in a Blog that I can now produce and Publish myself. This image is slightly cropped to a 4 : 3 format.

A sunny day on a crowded beach with many people enjoying themselves on the sands and in the sea. The main focus of attention are the three striped deckchairs in the fore ground, two occupied, the last strewn with towels and belongings awaiting the return of it’s occupant.

I love doing busy scenes. On the beach it is the juxtaposition, not only of the many things going on, but also the positioning of the groups, large and small, and the spacing and flow of the open sandy areas which are important.

Even as already mentioned this image has been slightly cropped it but still includes coming in from the left, a man and his boy defining the limits of the painting on that side. And two people talking on the extreme right helping to prevent the gaze exiting on that side. This is a device that I use with various permutations in many paintings.

The diminishing size of the people take the focus to the pier and lighthouse in the background which closes off the rear of the scenario. As it is low tide the replacement Coronia is moored at the outer pier awaiting further custom for trips around the bay.

For me paintings like this are about trying to create the right ambience, and creating people that look real and comfortable in ‘ doing the thing that they are doing ‘ but without too much detail which would stop any action.

Path to Cow and Calf Rocks Ilkley West Yorkshire

In association with www,Pete

Blog Post No 32 This painting will not be to everyone’s taste but illustrates and disproves an allegation put to me that paintings from photographs must of necessity be slavish copies.

This image is another painting in the style of the Fauvists, ( wild beasts ) a short lived post impressionist group. Colour was often strident and violent embracing a variety of styles and was never subtle. I like some of the Fauvist paintings for the use of bright colour, and I like particularly to incorporate bright yellows, orange and red.

This is an interpretation of one of my photos taken on slopes up to Ilkley moor, the famous Cow and Calf Rocks overlooking the town and the Wharfe Valley. It is but a short walk from the car park which is situate nearly at the top of the long gradient up from the town of Ilkley.

Figures are added to the picture to give scale and that additional ‘ life ‘ and ‘human touch ‘ to the image. Also appearing is that extra touch of pure red in one of the figures which I like to incorporate in my paintings where appropriate. This creates a main focal point and distraction from the main subjects which are of course the Cow and Calf Rocks.

Notice that there are a few strategically placed ‘ DARKS ‘ which enhance and give contrast to the ‘ LIGHTS ‘. My darks are usually created from varying amounts of alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue some times with added white. These colours can be varied depending upon the range of colours use in any particular painting. Paints used in this image are acrylics.

Sailboats Passing Thurn Windmill the Broads Norfolk

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Blog Post No 31. On the occasional visits that we made to Norfolk, Rose and I ventured as far south as the Broads. Like the creeks in North Norfolk, we found that there was often some distance between locations where we could get to interesting places by the waters.

One of these was at Thurn. Apart from the windmill itself surrounded by the golden foreground I noticed like like many other situations on the Broads that the only parts of the yachts visible above their surroundings were the masts and sails. Quite charming. It was as if they progressing by themselves across the scene.

So the combination of the two, the Thurn windmill and the sails made a photographic opportunity not to be missed, and a memory that has stayed with me.

When one finds oneself in a situation that you know is unlikely ever to be visited again, decisions regarding photography have to be sized up and taken without too much hesitation.

Sklddaw from Derwentwater

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Post No 30. On the same bright, early, clear morning that I photographed ” Landing Stages Derwent Island ” I rowed just a short way into this little bay, and was presented with this lovely view. We (our border collie who could not get enough of being in our boat, aTinker Tramp ) and I were now sitting becalmed with a slight swell giving a glorious reflection of Skiddaw shimmering in that early morning light.

Even though this was in the 1990’s I can still remember the stillness, there was no one yet at the Landing Stages with no boats launched to disturb the waters . The hillside of darker green trees gave a good contrast to Skiddaw, and the light green of Crow park divided the mountain from it’s reflections.

This is a watercolour. I had I had spent some time transferring from oils at that stage which I was using only by request, and had not yet introduced myself to acrylics which would be my preferred choicest at the moment.

Magnifying this painting on the computer l realise this is anything but a simple operation to complete.

It is only now many years after doing most of my paintings that I am making a short analysis mainly of their compositions. This is not how I think then or now when I take a photograph. It’s just reflex. I see a situation, preferably in sunlight as I like colour, which might at some time make a good painting, try to get a good angle on it, create one or more compositions, then see if I can find alternatives.

Later at home I delete the unsuccessful and continue to weed out until I find the best.

Thornton le Dale ( Square )

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Post No 29. I am not and have never thoughtful myself as a wordsmith. Nearly all of the paintings shown derive from the many years before the cancer effectively stopped all activity for a while. Eventually by gradually learning to deal with the digital environment, creating the writings has given me the opportunity to use my artwork in a way I could never imagined.

Here in Thornton le Dale we also have the unexpected. A charming rural village with at it’s centre a triangle not a square. For the visitors there is a is a large carefully tended car park, two tea rooms and a pond with an island. Short walks in the village have benches to rest for the less mobile like myself.

There is a brook which is divided into several streams, each taking their own constructed ways. These waterways with their mini waterfalls were utilised to provide power to several mills from the 13th century.

And now the television programme Bangers for Cash drags many vintage Motörhead’s to the village to wallow in nostalgia at the bygone motive power and perhaps bid at the frequent auctions. I am one !

This watercolour image has off scene the triangle to the right, one stream to the left with one of the ‘ eateries ‘behind which is the church.

I also find it amazing that a Coastliner bus starting in the centre of Leeds terminates at this triangle in a tiny village. Although some buses on this service continue over the spectacular North York Moors to Goathland and terminate inWhitby.

Helmsley Market Place from the Bus

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Post No 28. I have painted several market towns. Rose and I have very occassionally travelled past Pickering and Kirkbymoorside by bus to have a short break in Helmsley. An attractive small town with period features including its castle and walled garden. It was market day.

For our return journey I just had time sitting upstairs at the front to grab from my shirt pocket my ‘ ever ready ‘ small camera. Then very quickly compose and take this image before the bus took off. One has to make use of such opportunities for that different angle on a subject !

Now for a brief note on the painting. Like Leyburn market I have used two styles of painting, one for the buildings and another for the market activity. The former to give a static solidity to the buildings and the latter, impressionism to give colour life and activity to the market.

I deliberately made the background tree and church darker to accentuate the light and concentrate attention on the market scenario.

Ilkley Tarn In Autumn

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Post No. 27. If we did not wish to use our vehicle it was a convenient bus ride to Ilkley from our then home in Headingley. The Tarn is part way up the famous Ilkley Moor above the town. Also a little way from the Cow and Calf rocks. All the various pathways up to it give glorious views both up and down Wharfedale. Much further than I can even dream about walking nowadays !

In this view I have chosen to depict the Tarn looking eastward down the valley of the River Wharfe.

I like colour and always photograph in sunny weather if possible, taking into account where the sun is positioned in respect to the image I wish to photo.

There is a footpath around the Tarn with a couple, one wearing a RED jacket drawing Attention to this and creating a FOCAL point. On this bright, crisp day the sun is creating dark foreground shadows which enhance the richness of the Autumnal colours. Trees and bushes create the verticals, those on the right breaking up the skyline whilst the foreground green upright bush breaks up the Tarn surface and points to the small tree on the left. Both also help to balance the scenario.

The previously mentioned winding path entices the couple and us to slowly walk into the distance enjoying the view, whilst the straight left hand path brings us slowly back.

Kiosks and Landing Stages Bowness-on-Windermere

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Post No 26. As in so many locations I try to get a different angle on my subjects. In this instance while jetties and waterfront are of great interest I have always found this area quite intriguing. From here there is still a good backdrop of the sunlit lake with it’s complement of small boats and across the water the far shoreline highlighted by the much darker higher ground.

Painted probably about the turn of the century, in retrospect I would have moderated lightened and varied the latter somewhat.

The foreground bathed in full sun gives a range of interest so as not to leave the kiosks on the right to dominate the scene. Whilst the open Ice Cream and Postcard kiosk with the young man making his purchase does draw our gaze to that area, the number of visitors ‘ doing their own thing ‘ and especially the lady on the left walking out of the picture encourages a circuit of the space and helps to balance the bulk of the kiosks.

Then the verticality of the aforesaid lady leads us to the water area and the black and white cafe on the lakeside. And the white sailboat masts lead us further to the far bank of the lake.

Coble Trips North Landing Flamborough

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Post NO 25. This Composition is completely different from ‘ North Landing ‘ from the car park. The first consideration for this painting was to encompass the cove with the cliffs at both sides in view. And now that there are so few cobles still remaining is to fill the foreground space.

It was important that the mast was kept clear of the cliffs giving an essential vertical to the scene. I can assure the reader that this scenario, as all my others is carefully considered which is why my wife,Rose is positioned descending the steps on the right. This provides one of my ‘ stop ends ‘ preventing an exit to the edge of the picture and also using the figure as another vertical.

The Coble is loading for the next trip, but as there was only one working I waited at the same spot and filmed it again returning which also added interest to that space. More people were added to those already there.

Notice can be taken of the detail in and around the two foreground boats and the strata and tide lines on the cliffs.

Canal Boat Approaching Uppermill

Post No 24. In association with www.

It seems – and is many years ago whilst living in Leeds that Rose and I were fit and able enough to get to places such as this. A bus into town from Headingley, and then a train to Marsden where the Huddersfield Narrow Canal disappears into the northern portal of the Standedge tunnel.

From Marsden we take a bus heading over the Pennines.We dismount to start our walk at a high point, then descend to the south portal of the tunnel. Then I remember a lovely sunny walk down past locks newly restored from their long decline into decay and disuse.

Just as we were coming into Uppermill this canal boat slowly overtook and presented an interesting COMPOSITION with the sun highlighting aspects of foliage.

Using a cranked painting trowel with oils I gave the application some enthusiasm, mixing paint on the blade and on the painting surface. I still have many tubes of oil paints not used for any years and reminiscing over this I do feel the urge to use them. Providing of course that I can find the room for the drying processes.

By an absolute coincidence a new and different short series of canal journeys was shown on TV the very SAME evening as this was drafted 18/11/2019.This first one by Robbie Cumming from Marple to Huddersfield was in my opinion off beat informative and very interesting. From Uppermill to the south portal it traced our walk from so many years ago, One sequence gave almost the exact spot of this image.

From the northern portal, sequences of the programme gave us many glimpses of the many different walks we did walking towpaths. Lovely reminiscences, thank you Robbie.

North Bay Railway and Sealife Centre, Scarborough

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The NBR is a narrow gauge passenger carrying railway between Peasholm and the Sealife Centre. Commencing at Manor Park station we go round the end of a small lake and behind the open air theatre. We then proceed through a short tunnel eventually. emerging alongside the promenade where sits this station platform. North Bay terminus is about half a mile along the track, above the Sealife Centre which is located in the white pyramids.

The composition is taken from the footbridge over the tracks.

The white pyramids help balance the foreground action. As there were no people on the platform it seemed necessary to make up and pop in the little family group to add more life to the painting.

The two 4-6-2 Flying Scotsman type A3 locomotives, Neptune and Triton, which are the mainstay of the NBR services, had a previous existence as they circled the then much larger 1930’s lake at the Golden Acre leisure park near Leeds.

The bird observation hut at Golden Acre Park is the subject of a painting by myself at the reduced lake in the 1990’s yet to be posted.

Drawing up a subject in the 1980’s

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Post No 22

Note – Drawing up is the process of combining material from various sources to produce an image of the final composition.

Looking at this drawing up, I cannot imagine just how long this took me and why I did it in such detail. In the 1980’s I would just have been getting into the city centre tramway scene, collecting reference material, and having enough information to put together a reasonable composition.

This picture continues to the right but has been cropped by me sometime ago to my standard 3:4 format to be used as an example of my methodology at that time. But all this was a waste of effort.

Imagery was all to be transferred to canvas for the creation of an oil painting. Perhaps this was needed to lend realism to the mental image my drawing up had produced.

So interesting. Perspective is there and I was not shy of introducing people even then, but there is so much to rectify in the construction of the buildings in particular.

We all have to start somewhere and build upon that. !

4F Darkens the Sky over Oakworth

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Post No 21. C1980’s when I was living in Leeds I became for a short while a member of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Always seeking different images l had a specific location in mind along the line. Oakworth station where much of the acting for the well known film ” The Railway Children ” was done seemed a good choice.

I had a track pass and knew exactly where I needed to position myself to hopefully get a good shot with the train setting off from the station and through the open track gates. Compose the composition and let train start off uphill towards Haworth and steam into it.

Apart from the position of the locomotive and the carriage in relation to the rest of the pre-organised composition, my interest is in the atmospheric dynamism produced by the smoke and steam shot into the sky through the Locomotive’s chimney. This will provide the ” life ” to the picture.

For the non steam ” buffs ” 4 is the power classification of the engine and F denotes a freight engine.

Shibden Hall the home of Gentleman Jack

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Post No 20 This image painted c 1990’s is not one which I would ever have expected to post on the www as it would probably have only been of interest to a select group of people. Now there is an exciting story attached to this Hall which has been viewed on the television by very many people and has attracted waves of interest.

Rose my wife and I spent much time visiting and exploring in Calderdale at that time. Of course we knew nothing of Gentleman Jack and his exploits with which we have recently been acquainted. We have always been interested visiting new places and when we were living in Headingley Leeds had the choice of using the extensive public transport services or in this case due to it’s situation our own vehicle. We really enjoy the features of old buildings and their surroundings. This did not disappoint.

I took several photos from different angles to see which would give good viewpoints.

I chose to paint this image in a semi fauvist style which I thought at the time would give added ” quirkiness ” and a reasonable composition.

Together with it’s grounds and lake ( boating there on at the time ) it’s worth a visit.

On the beach Robin Hoods Bay. North Yorkshire

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Post 19. Whichever way is taken to get down to this North Yorkshire beach it is always a pleasure to arrive at the boat landing area. My view looking north with the cliffs in the distance take in the rocky, sandy and ” rock pooly.” area. This gives so much to be explored when the tide is out.

The buildings on the left frame that side of the image. My focus is upon the groups of people all doing their ” own thing.” Not only do they add life to what otherwise would be a mainly static scene but link the various aspects of the composition.

The figures on the right are important elements. They help in small measure to counterbalance the buildings but also assist in preventing the gaze wandering off the edge of the picture. I often mention to people that small elements can be important. These people, small vertical elements are an example of this.

Staithes from Cowbar

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Post 18. I am well aware that this is a well known location and already painted many times. But when one has arrived in Staithes, decended the other side of the gorge from the car park, crossed the footbridge, then comes the urge to climb the roadway at this side to see if the the view really is as good as imagined. Well it really is, and it was not long before out came the camera to compose my version. I always try to create my version a little differently from anything I can remember seeing previously. Firstly in my image is a small section of grassy foreground to give an impression of depth to the scene below. I cannot recall seeing the small garden with a washing line stretched around a pole so this small detail was to be included. As I say many times people in a painting small as they often might be bring a painting and can , but not in this case be focal points. Here I have two entering the cottage on the left, two descending the road and others on the footbridge. I do not skimp on the number of cobbles as there are several moored in short lines. And the apparent jumble of buildings are just an artists delight. Then the outer harbour, enclosed by striated cliffs take you to the sea, the horizon and completion of a beautiful view. No wonder that it has been painted so often by so many.

Aysgarth Falls Early Spring Yorkshire Dales

Post NO16      In Association with  The bridge over the river Ure at Aysgarth provides the central link of a Z bend.    This image taken by me is just off the bridge on the road before the steeply rising section leading up to the village of Aysgarth situate on the main road up the Wensley Dale.        With riverside vegetation dealt with this location gives arguably the best view of the majority of the upper falls on it’s several levels.       Depending upon recent rainfalls the amount of water cascading over the numerous rock faces varies enormously.      In my image water levels are relatively low making for numerous small flows.

I have endeavoured in the relatively level stretches of the river to keep a resemblance of transparency by using paints with this quality, broken with ripples of white and darks.      Trees are kept light and ‘ frothy ‘ with bare branches breaking into the structure of the falls themselves.     Foreground rocks are kept unfocused so that the viewers gaze will go past these to the main subject matter.          Skyline trees are just showing a hint of breaking into leaf with very light washes over the branches.

Photography Boating at Peasholm Park Scarborough

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Post  No 17    This image is one of the first to be entered onto Facebook and was intended to be transposed to Blogs but did not succeed.   At that time I really did not have a clue about how to go about Posting so it is as well that I am dealing with it again with expanded notes.

I had in my mind exactly what this composition might turn out to be.   It took four visits to the same spot over over a period of months.  The final visit was when there was ice upon the surface of the lake and the trees leafless so that at last the pagoda could be seen.

Then to the PAINTING.     In the foreground my wife with two other figures give depth to the scene.   The boathouse and landing stage are now HISTORIC, replaced due to their collapse into the mud following many many years of service.   I had hoped to photograph canoes moored to the staging but there were rowing boats there on the day so these make a good substitute. The centre of activity had to be the action of a boat being rowed towards the viewer.  People on the landing stage doing their respective ”things’ were positioned where they actually were or where i considered improved the composition.

And the trees painted ‘in leaf’ are shortened to enable the PAGODA, the reason for extra visits to be seen in it’s correct location.


Briggate Leeds Night Scene C 1940’s

  Post no 15     In association with www.petelapish. art

I can remember this scene ( but not from this angle ) as if it was yesterday. Regrettably it almost a lifetime ago.   In 1949 I would have been eleven.  On a Friday evening after visiting my grandparents we would wait for the No 4 Kirkstall tram in the covered reservations in the middle of Briggate between the two sets of tramlines.

Mind you the trams being an essential part are but only part of my painting as the city buildings hold their own fascination.   In those days buildings black with  accumulated soot obscured some fine carvings now restored to their original magnificence.

As a child waiting in these tramway barriers on a windy night, awestruck as these dark buildings took on the bouncing light from the large shaded street lights swinging from suspended and swaying overhead wires.    This created a light and dark dance on their multifaceted surfaces.   Magic and atmospheric standing in the narrow metal tramway barriers listening to the gusts of wind and for the music of the electric overhead tram wires as the No 1 Lawnswood or our No 4 Kirkstall tram descended Briggate.

And to complete the thrilling nature of the situation we would board the tram very unusually at the drivers end.

Gayle Mill near Hawes, Yorkshire Dales

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Post No. 14 This image of Gayle Mill was taken by me and painted circa 2014 when the Mill was newly refurbished for use. The Leet (the watercourse) on the right supplying the water power for the Mill wheel had also been sorted out and brought back into use.

Like all the Dales rivers and streams the water levels are all dependent upon recent rainfalls and the waters flowing down from the surrounding hills. In this case the runoff is relatively low.

As in all my paintings, to create the lightness there has to be the darks to give the necessary contrast. Elements of the painting direct the gaze to the main focal point – The MILL which is enveloped by the surrounding greenery of the countryside.


Post 13    River Wharfe just above Kettlewell North Yorkshire by Pete Lapish.

In collaboration with  A relatively simple composition in comparison with many of my busy and more complex scenarios.This is intended to be an echo of the kind of painting that so attracted me to the style and imagery ( but so much better done by ) Messrs Monet, Pissarro,  Sisley and the other Impressionists which they created mostly outdoors.

This oil painting, a medium which I mostly used in the early years of painting and created about the nineteen eighties using a small painting trowel, a favourite tool of the time.  It was probably done as respite from the time taking tramway and other scenarios that I was increasingly becoming involved with.   I remember that several images were done in this style and gave me a freedom to relax and enjoy the experience.

Whatever colours and white were to be needed are squeezed onto the palette, often taking two or more small dabs of different colours onto the trowel at the same time to be applied and mixed onto the painting surface. The expressive nature of the trowel marks give life and texture to the finished work. Whilst this picture has been lightly cropped to give my 4:3 format for printing purposes my usual criteria for format applies. As I am constantly saying ” small things can make a BIG difference ” a small touch of RED to indicate a walker creates movement, interest and a necessary FOCAL point.  The sheep are also a useful addition in the same context.


Acrylics used as Permanent Watercolours

Post No 12 Fountains Abbey from Studley Royal   Yorkshire Dales.  This image is featured in my website www.petelapish. art with notations.    I am now going to consider the experimental aspects of painting a ‘ modern art ‘ rendition of an icon of the Yorkshire Dales.   Acrylics can be used ‘ out of a tube ‘ or thinned to a watercolour consistency.    The BIG difference is that when dry the result is PERMANENT and further layers of paint can be applied to modify the result.

After priming the support, in my case now usually M D F as it is stable and is more difficult to damage and again in this case followed up by a ‘ sketchy ‘ drawing up, thoughts can turn to —-” Where do I start with this one and what colours to use “.  It being some time ago since painted, I think that the whole board will have been lightly undercoated with an acrylic ochre, the colour which has remained in the sky.    I have the board at a slightly elevated angle and also use additional tilting.    Short runs of two different colours are applied separately one into the other.     These mix and merge as they travel slowly down.   This after allowing each application to dry is repeated until satisfied.    The reflections are done in a similar manner.

Runs are stopped before penetrating the space to be occupied by the orange bushes to the right  and other spaces.  The green swards to left and right are applied by brush.   They provide the necessary recession to the Abbey.    To break up the vertical aspect of the reflections very thin and light horizontals are continued from the pink and blue-grey reflections over the central water aspect.   The weir and tiny figures give a distance and scale break.

To break up the sky area I ran in areas of white leaving the edges to harden before washing the remainder of the paint.   It looked interestingly different so I left it at that ! ! !      Compositionally  different with the main focus, the Abbey nearly central.     However this is made not too obvious by the right hand features creating a heavier balance to that side.    The trees to both sides give a necessary verticality to the whole paining.





Expect the unexpected photo opportunity

Post 11   York Minster from M&S cafe.

Artistic composition from a photo by  Pete Lapish.   Rose and I get to York less frequently since the cancer.  Previously upon alighting from the bus at Stonebow our first thoughts would be ‘ lets have a coffee at the ‘ M & s cafe ‘,   As soon as I entered the cafe I immediately took note of the large windows at the far end of the room. Always on the lookout for a chance photo from a different and useful location ( this was some years ago ). I think that in front of the window was a telescope mounted upon a stand which incorporated a standing step.

I had gone to York partly to take any useful compositions which may or may not provide useful material to create a picture.So out of my shirt pocket came my small digital camera.   The roofs, timber framed building and  striped canvas coverings to the market stalls together with the the people shopping give an interesting and almost  historical foreground.  And There in the distance towering over the city is the pride of York, the Minster as a backdrop to the composition.

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Perspective The Station Concourse

Post 10        Artistic Compoition by Pete Lapish.   This is a “modern art” idea from a painting by Viera Da Silva – “Egypt”.    His painting is a complete contrast to my finished scenario but based upon the same principle :  SPATIAL AWARENESS.

All matters connected to RAILWAYS are of interest to me and into my mind came the station concourse at Leeds station but with different orientation.   Construction of the COMPOSITION has to start with the rear wall.    Within that wall the VANISHING POINT for all the lines of recession is found about mid point at eye level.

The FOUR corners of the rear wall delineate the starting points for the two walls, the floor and the ceiling.    Next came the creation of the rear wall pattern with the entrance to the train shed and platforms   . Within the entrance is the partial sighting of a steam locomotive.

The width of the floor, ceiling and wall boarding ( which provide the recession ) is deliberately arbitrary as is the sectioning of the boards.   I love bright colours, and that is what is applied with thought.   Then came the action withe carefully placed passengers    .Travel Posters are then inserted at convenient intervals to break up the wall space.      ” Modern art ” is another thing which interests me but  prefer it to have some meaning.

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Artistic Composition City Centre Tramway

Post 9 Catching the Tram in Kirkgate Leeds C 1950’s by Pete Lapish.

We are taking a diversion here to consider one of my many city tramway paintings created from the late 1970’s until the early 2000’s. These included images for Leeds and other cities commissioned by Heather Hilder for quality Kingsmead cards. The latter all for Hospital or Hospice Charities.

The buildings and the historic street scenes were as interesting to me as the historic vehicles by then long departed. The last Leeds trams ran in 1959. The city was in the grip of modernisation. Why did I feel the need to recreate scenes and atmosphere of my childhood and youth ?   I suppose tramways and railways are part of my D N A.

This painting is derived from a ” base ” black and white photograph containing the buildings. As far as I  can remember, one tram only, the Horsfield No 192 was incorporated into the composition. All other trams came from various sources, resized and probably remodelled to fit onto the tracks. One is an ex London Feltham repainted in the new Leeds livery of red which inspired the colour to be spread to the majority of the Leeds fleet. At that time I had built up a small library of books and other material as one had to be quite knowledgeable about the historical aspects. This included the sourcing of other specific material like the advertisements. Time consuming believe me ! ! !

No doubt I I would have visited the site to photograph it in colour. Finally assemble all my material, decide the COMPOSITION ,create tram crew and other people, draw it all up and paint it.   Notice how I have included  tramway posts and a person on the extreme right to balance my picture and to provide a “stop end”.

To keep a common 4:3 format cropping has taken place, a composition within a composition.

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Thinking about Photography


Bittern steaming into Pickering station NYMR another painting by Pete Lapish.

Before the cancer I did a certain amount of photographic work along the line and at the stations.Several paintings were the result. I am always concerned to obtain a good composition and got myself into a pre-planned position well before the train arrived.

The fixed structures and the people on the platforms eagerly awaiting the train steaming in  are all as important as the main attraction and focal point. So I took the main photo. But for me there was one other secondary focal point missing and I was hoping that this could be obtained on a second visit.

As a volunteer at the time I knew some of the station staff. Luckily  it was not too difficult to persuade Alan the stationmaster of the day to pose for me in the spot that gave maximum balance and interest. It took a little while to get the pose I required to complete the composition that I was satisfied with. Thanks Alan.

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Ghaistrills Strid above Grassington Wharfedale

Post 7. Paintings from Photos by Pete Lapish.

Ghaistrills Strid above Grassington Wharfedale.

The composition is below the turbulent waters of the strid looking downstream towards the village.

The various verticals and horizontals are posing as a barrier or gate down to the riverside.  This is the principal focus of attention. Old stone walls and the footpath walked into the turf by countless visitors together lead the eye to the stile in the corner of the field.  This is the second focal point.  The bare trees and bushes create a unifying factor.  There is Rosemary in red jacket and hat creating action whilst climbing the stile and then onward into the next field.

Please return and join me for Post N0. 8.


Dock End Whitby North Yorkshire 1880

Post no 6 Paintings from Photos
By Pete Lapish
Famous Photo by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe
Dock End Whitby North Yorkshire 1880
I have been an admirer of F M Sutcliffe for many years and his pioneering photographic works. Fortunate to be given permission by Michael at the Sutcliffe gallery in Flowergate Whitby to interpret his image in colour. The black and white photo I worked from is purchased from the gallery.
In my rendition it is my intention to create a work which whilst in colour has an indication of age.
In reality however the scene could have been more colourful than I have made it.
Much of my painting life I have been recreating scenarios from the past, mostly city tramway reconstructions always with considerable research.
With Dock End only minor alterations are made to differentiate it from the original.As I think Frank Sutcliffe faded the background to give prominence to the shipping, I have done the same.
It is a great pleasure and privilege to add some colour to the work of a master pioneering photographer dealing with the equipment of his day.

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Racehorses passing The Black Bull, Middleham

Racehorses passing The Black Bull, Middleham.
Pete’s Paintings from Photos. Post No 3 ARTISTIC COMPOSITION – continued.

Now to this painting. I considered and staked out the LOCATION for the COMPOSITION and eventually horses and jockeys rode into view to inhabit the space.

The BLACK BULL and the racehorses off the centre and to the RIGHT. When painting I felt it necessary to create a small family group going into the picture to fill that space and to add FURTHER INTEREST.

So I made them up and popped them in.

To the LEFT the properties fronted by the cars give a shallow diagonal which aids recession. The chimney stack to the extreme left creates what I call a STOP END.This stops the eye travelling out of the picture.

These buildings take us into a glimpse of the YORKSHIRE countryside and the rural surroundings of the entrance to Coverdale. The background also links together the two main elements of the COMPOSITION.

Please join me again for Pete’s Post No 4, PHOTOGRAPHY

Racehorses passing The Black Bull, Middleham.

Racehorses passing The Black Bull, Middleham.
Pete’s Paintings from Photos. Post No 2 ARTISTIC COMPOSITION.

Hi Everyone. Looking this up on the web, there are several definitions. Slightly altered I choose :- Place the main point(s) of interest (focal points) of a WORK of ART harmoniously in relation to EACH OTHER and to the PICTURE as a WHOLE.

Usually this has meant using the RULE of THIRDS, which divides the picture HORIZONTALLY and VERTICALLY into three. Using MAINLY the outer lines, place the most important elements OFF CENTRE.

These rules can obviously be irrelevant for example single portraits or elements, modern art, etc.etc.

In Post No 3, I will explain my thoughts on the content and COMPOSITION of this WORK.So just draw or paint whatever is of interest and ENJOY the experience.

POST 1 – Pete’s Paintings from Photos

This is Yorkshire artist Pete Lapish (pronounced Lay-Pish) commencing my long delayed sortie into Facebook.
Now aged 81 and having been a professional artist for over forty years, I am now in recovery from cancer and slowly getting to grips with digital technology to use in the portrayal of my paintings. This posting is to set my agenda. With the input and direction of my good friend and computer guru, Mick Jones, I choose this method to showcase my paintings.
Over time, talking with people interested in art or who have ‘dabbled’ in art or are confused or struggling, in my opinion the most difficult issue is how to get started.
Apart from being an artist, as a long time past schoolteacher, I aim to use my images in future postings to illustrate some basic principles and methods on how I approach my work.
These I use in conjunction with my website The home page will give more information followed by 50 of my painting, each with brief comments. I will commence POST 2 with ARTISTIC COMPOSITION.
Do we need to think about this before starting to draw or paint?

The Spa from Clock Cafe

“The Spa from the Clock Cafe, South Bay, Scarborough”.This painting heads the home page on my website, This website contains fifty of my works, each with written observations in a gallery of five collections of ten paintings.

Welcome to my Website

Hi I am Yorkshire artist Pete Lapish Introducing my new website . By the way Lapish is pronounced Lay-Pish most people get this wrong for the first time.

I must apologise to all the people making the recorded thousands of hits whilst this site has taken such a long time to sort out and develop.

Two years ago when in the early stages of recovering from cancer I met my computer guru Mick Jones. Now a very good friend he has taught me all I know regarding the transfer of my created images, some originating in the 1970’s and 80’s into my computer. Then to process these images into the three 3:4 format I am able to present to viewers.

Social media has not been dealt with until recently and with which I am still a complete novice.

I am aware that my paintings, genre and times past have created much interest, having featured on several occasions in periodicals such as the Dalesman and in the press. The Yorkshire Evening Post even ran a double page spread after inviting readers to submit their reminiscences following receipt of two of my Leeds city centre prints. These being sent in from a collector in Canada.

All the paintings are accompanied by my observations and occasional hints and tips.

Genre paintings (dictionary definition – portrayal of scenes from ordinary life) are from where I and my wife have enjoyed visiting. These include the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Coastal Scenes, Railways, Canals and many varied locations. Other Paintings of city and tramways systems in times past are also included as well as colourful quirky modern art.

Many paintings contain people, often lots of people; and I do enjoy painting water in its many guises.

Totally self taught, I am an ex teacher and have been a professional artist for over 40 years, taking up artwork seriously after coming across the works of the Impressionists.

There is a direct link from the homepage to the Leeds city library ‘Leodis’ website. Here there are nearly EIGHTY of my Leeds area paintings – ‘NOT FOR SALE’.  Most of these have been shown for over 10 years. Informative writings with each image are by the library staff and myself.

The next of further collections of ten paintings with my comments is now in preparation to add to the site.

Another Blog will appear at about the same time. It will again contain a small spattering of useful information.

If you do log on, I hope that you will enjoy the www, presentation. I invite you to log in again to my expanded website and further blogs.

This website has been produced in association with Scarborough Digital.

Some Day I might have time to do more paintings, some of which are already on the stocks.