Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Santo Antonio, sketch of trees, oil on card, 16 x 18 cm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, fields; Bolivia

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, fields, oil on card, 15 x 18 cm

This little town is very good for pictures, with a nice range of landscapes nearby: mountains woods and fields and I`ll go back there next week, perhaps.


Bolivia: the following seems likely: get from the Brazillian border city of Puerto Suarez to Santa Cruz by train, subsequently bus to La Paz, then further buses to Potosi and Sucre.

It strikes me that the parts of Bolivia that will be most interesting will be in the south west, because the Amazonian part will, most likely, be quite similar to Brazil. In any case, one cannot go everywhere.  I am dreading these long bus journeys.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Santo Antônio de Lisboa, April, 2014; Bolivia

Santo Antônio de Lisboa, April, 2014, oil on card, 15.5 x 17 cm

This time of year, Autumn can be great for painting here. It isn`t so damn hot, and there is often a fine, silvery and somewhat melancholy light, both clear and subtle.

I`ve paintied from virtually exactly this spot before. I like revisiting places and seeing how they have changed, and comparing my reactions with before.


I`ve booked flights to Bolivia- or rather, Campo Grande, from where I get a bus to the border. I`ll be there for just under a month, in July. I`d rather have flown direct to La Paz, but the air fares to there were extortionate. 

I have still to figure out my Bolivian itinerary. The lesson of previous trips is that one should not try to see everything, and that for painting it`s wiser to stay in fewer places, and get to know them, then spend one`s time rushing about just ti tick sights off a list.


Friday, April 18, 2014


I am selling some work through Saachi now, but you can still contact me directly through Facebook if you are interested in buying any paintings- it makes no difference and will be cheaper as there would be no commissions to pay:

Sunday, April 13, 2014



Horseguards Parade, the lonely civil servant goes home, oil on card, 11 x 15 cm  

Before returning to Brazil, I spent a couple of days wandering about in the strange fog that descended over London a week ago, which made it quite triste and nineteenth century.

Near St James's Palace, oil on card, 12.5 x 14 cm

St Mary le Strand, oil on card, 12.5 x 15 cm  

Crimea Memorial, oil on card, 14.5 x 12.5 cm   SOLD



Many thanks to John, Alison and Fred for their generous hospitality in London.


A Moroccan Adventure: Sidi Ifni; conclusions


Sidi Ifni is an old Spanish town, notable for its collection of white and blue Art deco(-ish) buildings, and good state of preservation, and its fine location on a ridge overlooking the sea.

I did a good deal of my work there from the hotel, which had excellent views across the town and beyond.

Headland, oil on card, 14 x 16 cm

Fort, oil on card, 12 x 15 cm

A view from the hotel roof, oil on card, 12.5 x 14.5 cm

This, above, has some affinities with C. R. Mackintosh's French watercolours.

Roofs, oil on card, 12.2 x 15.5 cm  SOLD

People in the street, oil on card, 12.5 x 12.5 cm

And this, above, is quite related to the Ourzazate street pictures. I am attempting a more fluent, almost cartoonish, method of brush handling, which I have been attempting to import from Chinese painting.

 A caravan park, oil on card, 17.5 x 17 cm

 There are a couple from my wanderings around the town too:

A man working in a smallholding, oil on card, 13.5 x 15 cm  SOLD

A terrace, oil on card, 12.3 x 15 cm  SOLD

Sidi Ifni, oil on card, 12.5 x 15 cm  SOLD


That brings to a close my offerings from Morocco.

There are a few weaker pieces, but that is always to be expected given my methods: I work plein air, and  do not make sketches beforehand. I am not a studio painter: I enjoy the element of risk that comes from working directly from motifs outside, and I enjoy being directly exposed to places.  And I tend to philosophise that without failures there would be no triumphs anyway.

It is always hard to make a fair assessment of ones own work, especially when little time has passed since their execution, but I feel the percentage of duds is low, and of good ones high, and that compared to previous North African trips to Tunisia and Egypt, this set is larger and more assured. The colours are more confidently handled and the pictures are bigger.

Partly this success is simply due to knowing which subjects to avoid- those which don`t suit the format, or motifs which, for whatever subjective reasons, don`t quite suit me. In addition, Morocco is a relatively easy place to visit and work in: more relaxed and, I sensed, more at ease with itself and with Europeans than either Egypt or Tunisia.

With such reflections I am considering a second Moroccan Adventure next year, but this time going to Fez, Tangier, Meknes and the cypress forests just south of there.


To see or buy paintings please visit this gallery:

82 Great Portland Street London W1W 7NW 
T 0207 602 7700. T 0207 323 1710


I must thank: parents, kind strangers, the amusing Dutch, German and British tourists who kept me company in various hotels, and of course Rose Issa for her encouragement.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Moroccan Adventure: Taroudant

Gates, oil on card, 12.5 x 12.5  SOLD

Taroudant is a nice old town with a leafy central square, in which snake charmers and story tellers appear at night. It`s well preserved with gates and walls almost intact, and a fine old ksar. As with the other places I saw in Morocco the mosques did not really stand out. There appears to be a standard form, with a square tower and a cupula, and this was repeated wherever I went.

 A lane, oil on card, oil on card, 12.5 x 15.5 cm  SOLD


One could pass a lifetime happily painting just shops in Morocco.

 Toilet attendant, oil on card, 12 x 14 cm  SOLD

This picture, above, is quite in the vein of Ardizzone, the British illustrator, whose sketchbooks are so lively.

A street along the walls, oil on card, 14 x 15 cm  SOLD

 A quiet street, oil on card, 15.5 x 13.5 cm

Wasteland, housing, oil on card, 12.5 x 15.5 cm

The city is expanding with building work here and there both inside and on the outskirts.

 Argan tree, oil on card, 12 x 15 cm  SOLD

The locals use bicycles a lot, whizzing past quite fearsomely in the narrow streets. I hired an old roadster and went on a little wander out of town. The landscape undulates nicely with olive groves.

A view of some tree, oil on card, 12.5 x 13 cm

 An avenue, oil on card, 12.5 x 15 cm

 A view from the walls, oil on card, 15 x 13.5 cm  SOLD



I must thank the kind Moroccan gentleman, whose name I shamefully forget, who bought me dinner and breakfast when he saw that my bank card was consumed by a cash machine and I thought the world was about to end. And I must also thank  Martin and Rea from Germany, who gave me cash to get me through the weekend, and took me for dinner too, and were delightful company besides. And thanks, of course, to my parents for wiring me some money and thus saving my skin.

Moral: have kind parents, or, when traveling, carry some cash, and never depend entirely on plastic.


To see or buy paintings please visit this gallery:


82 Great Portland Street London W1W 7NW 

T 0207 602 7700. T 0207 323 1710


Friday, April 11, 2014

A Moroccan Adventure: Ouarzazate and around.


People in the street, oil on card, 14 x 15 cm   SOLD

I spent a week in Ouarzazate, a serene place, with clear light, known for film studios, and as a gateway to the Atlas Mountains.

There seems to be no advertising at all, and few cars, which made me feel as if I were in an old Eastern European city in Communist times. The shops do not have elaborate signs or names either. This helps lend the place its peculiarly calm feeling. Here and there people sell things in the street: shoes, tools, magazines, but the streets are wide and clean, and calm. The buildings usually open flush onto to street, without gardens or porches, and are particularly boxy. Almost everything is peach coloured, including the pavements, some of which are painted thus.

Clouds, oil on card, 15 x 15.5 cm   SOLD

 Near the mosque, oil on card, 12.5 x 15.5 cm  SOLD

 A shop selling bric-a-brac, oil on card, 13.5 x 16.5  SOLD

A boy with a scooter, oil on card, 17 x 17.5 cm

This above, and the piece opening this posting were both painted from my hotel window and seem very de Chirico-an to me.

Mosque on a plain, oil on card, 13.4 x 16.4  SOLD

View of the mountains, oil on card, 12.5 x 15.5 cm   SOLD

I hired a little car (very cheap!) and drove into a mountain valley, entering through Ait Benhaddou and returning via Telhouet. This region is very dry, having suffered from droughts, and where vegetation appears it is almost surreally bright.

A distant ksar, valley near Ouarzazate, oil on card, 14 x 16 cm

Boys playing football, village near Ouarzazate, oil on card, 16.5 x 17.5 cm  SOLD

I can become sentimental at the sight of children playing football in empty patches of earth all over the world, from Brazil to North Africa: an international game, spontaneously and freely organised by children themselves, happily, without supervision, at minimal cost and one in which disputes  are usually amicably resolved. This can be taken as a rebuke against the regimented world of the British child.

A gorge, oil on card 16 x 16 cm

Valley, oil on card, 18 x 15 cm

The mountains are big, the pictures are not, and I began to sense the limits of the small scale I use, which is better at intimacy than grandeur, better at the small and enclosed world of towns than vast spaces. On the other hand, this may be simply a question of personality: after All Turner succeeded with describing the epic in tiny watercolours, and it could be then that my nature is simply unsuited to grand themes.

A ksar, oil on card, 16 x 14 cm   


These paintings are available through this art dealer, based in central London:

82 Great Portland Street London W1W 7NW 

T 0207 602 7700. T 0207 323 1710



Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Moroccan Adventure: Marrakesh


Marrakesh is quite flat, dusty, peach coloured and dry. The buildings are low and the layout is incredibly confusing: there are few street signs; the souks are labyrinthine and there are no high buildings to use as visual references.

So getting lost is inevitable. But as the city is not enormous this is no great tragedy.

When I arrived in late February there were few tourists and it was most enjoyable, a month later it mas much too crowded and had a somewhat frenetic atmosphere. The city has few cars; and many artisan workshops and provides endless subject matter for painting.

I was hassled much less frequently, and less aggressively in Morocco than in my trips to Tunisia and Egypt where both trips were marred by people pestering me with offers of camel rides, hotels, taxis and items for sale.

I love painting from roofs, and from above, the falcon`s view:

 From the hotel roof, oil on card, 11.5 x 15 cm  NOT FOR SALE

This was taken by Gallery 5595 in lieu of commission for the Porty Art Walk exhibition with Jane Rutherford. Others went to  Rose Issa.

From the hotel roof  (with mosque), oil on card, 14 x 15.5 cm

The city is very coherent aesthetically, with very cubic, peach or ochre buildings, nearly all two or three stories at most, everything dusty or bruised:

Building with a phone box, oil on card, 17.5 x 15.2 cm   SOLD

A lane, oil on card, 16 x 15.5 cm   

A yard, oil on card, 13.5 x 16.5 cm

 A yard, above, makes me think of Guston, rather.

There was a successful run of paintings of Marrakesh`s huge market square:

 Cart and market, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm

This, above, is one of the best pictures I have ever done, I think.

Little mosque in the market square, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm   SOLD

 Marrakesh with the mountains beyond, oil on card, 15.5 x 13 cm  SOLD

Market, oil on card, 15.5 x 18 cm

Marrakesh is well served by parks and gardens:

Entrance to a park, oil on card, 14 x 17 cm

There are endless shops and artisanal workshops, all wonderful for painting. Marrakesh is touristy, but much less mediated than places in Europe, and therefore considerably more alive.

Some shops, oil on card, 15.2 x 18 cm

A street near the hotel, oil on card, 13.5 x 18.5 cm   SOLD

Street selling cloth, oil on card, 15.5 x 12.5 cm

A brickyard, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm   SOLD