Thursday, 29 November 2012

New prints going to SOTA


Here are a few prints that are going off to State of the Art gallery in Witney in the morning. They're also showing one of the original girl paintings along with a selection of the forest paintings...which are selling well...:-) they're open late tomorrow night for the switching on of the Christmas lights, so if you're in Witney call in and take a look :-)


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Some little experiments


What a busy week....lots of framing and Artweekend fun, but in amongst that I've been working on these experimental pieces. The one one the left needs a few more bits doing, but the one on the right is finished...very different styles but both very interesting to work on...I'll take both styles further I think...:-)


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Eynsham Winter Artweekend

Lots to see in Eynsham this weekend...And if you're venturing over to The Cuckoo's Nest we'll also be open on Sunday between 11 and 5...AND we've got 10% off all framing this weekend  :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Natasha sketch


This is the initial sketch for the painting of Natasha, the design is all approved, so I need to get some stretcher bars to make up the canvas and then off we go :-)


Friday, 26 October 2012

Mirror mirror on the wall...

First gesso frame all finished...:-) This one has been gilded in white gold, painted in off-white, limed and aged, then fitted with a beveled mirror. It's 19x23 inches and is on display in the shop now :-)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Portrait commission - Natasha

We've had a visit from Natasha this morning, she was sitting for some photos and discussing her painting commission. I'll be doing some sketches from the photos we've taken over the next week or so and then work on the painting can begin in mid November. It's going to be in the black, white and gold style of the other 'girl' paintings I've done this year. I'll be posting photos of the piece as it develops, so watch this space :-)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Swirling house commission

Finally a commission I can actually show you ;-) I painted this piece last week as a present for a customers husband. They had actually moved from the house on the left to the one on the right! I needed to get them both in frame and bend everything around in my usual style, which was a fun challenge as this road is perfectly's the middle of Queen Street, Eynsham should you ever be there, see if you can workout which houses they are ;-)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A sunny Sunday...

Getting some panels ready for the winter exhibition paintings and working on a commissioned painting this afternoon...nice and toasty in the studio, The Steeldrivers on good and loud and hot coffe flowing freely...very nice :-)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Quack quack...

Something a little different here...I happen to have this little Roman brooch in my kitchen this you do... Anyway, I thought I'd post a quick photo of it because its such a beautiful object, you can still see the enamelling, blue on this side, green on the other, traces of thin silver over the head and down the beak, the base metal is bronze....I've been thinking a lot about the value of craft lately, particularly as I've been working on the gilt frames...craft is something not always valued in the modern art world....alas...but this is a tiny object, nearly 2000 years old, its maker was a wonderful artist and craftsperson, it's an amazing object to spend a little time with...I wonder who has worn it and where.....

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Here I am starting to gild the mirror frame, I went for 12 carat white gold, rather than pure silver in the end as this will give a warmer feel to the final frame. It'll need to rest for a day or two now before I can burnish the gold...then I can begin work on the painted areas... :-)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Last of the Bole...

One more coat of red to go on the top frame & I'm just going to go with a single coat of black on the mirror frame as I want as much warmth to show through the silver as possible. These need to dry out for a couple of days now before we move onto the next stage... :-)


This is the first coat of red Bole (clay & size), both frames will have 5 coats on the areas that are to be gilded, the larger of the two will also have a couple of coats of black Bole as I'm going to gild that one with silver.

Silky smooth...

The two original frames have been sanded and water polished...silky smooth now :-) in the background are three more sample pieces, each of these is using a different profile of moulding, so I should have a nice little selection once they're all done.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Forest Paintings

I realized I hadn't added images of all the latest pieces finished and here they are :) Have been building some new handmade frames today, will post some pictures of those later in the week :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012


More work on the handmade frames today. I realised I wasn't going to have enough size so I've made up some more, this time using rabbit skin, this comes in granules rather than parchment form. This is what it looks like when you've soaked it in water overnight...

Next, we just needed to warm it through gently and then add the whiting (chalk). Once that was done I started applying it to the's a frame after the first coat...

The tricky bit now is to keep adding layers of gesso at the right intervals, it mustn't dry out or the bond will be weak. But you don't want to add it too soon, or the new layer will pull up the one below... So basically, it's a case of keeping your eye on it, while dancing around the studio to kill odd bits of time in between layers :-) Here is the frame once its had 6 coats of gesso...


Now the gesso needs to thoroughly dry out, this will probably take 3-4 days in my studio...then it'll be ready for the next short stage...water polishing....more on that in 3-4 days ;-)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

First handmade frames

Here are the first of the handmade frames I'm going to be producing, I thought I'd show the behind the scenes processes here on my art blog and leave the main Cuckoos Nest blog for the finishes pieces. Anyway to start with I'm going to make a couple of test pieces, one for a mirror and one for this small pear painting I did a while ago. I'll be using the same moulding for both, but the gilding and paint finishes will be different.

Here you can see both frames assembled and getting their first 'size' coat (that lovely brew I cooked up the other day). They need to dry for a couple of days now and then I'll mix up some gesso for the next layers...


Friday, 14 September 2012

Exhibition all setup :-)

Everything framed & hung, shelves polished and floors swept, the Autumn exhibition begins tomorrow :-)...I've some commissioned work to start on next week and I want to begin working on the handmade frames also...once that's underway, work can begin on pieces for the winter exhibition...;-)

Some Cuckoo's Nest blurb :-) ... Our Autumn exhibition opens tomorrow and runs through to the end of October. We've a new collection of forest themed paintings by Graham along with a selection of prints including some Andy Warhol art prints and beautiful Tintin cover posters. We're open every Thursday 12 to 8, Friday & Saturday 10 to 6.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Here we have the leftovers...

And here's the bit we were actually after...'size'...I'll be using this on a sample piece of frame later in the week....

Not much in there as I cooked it a little too long, but I'll add a little water to it when I use it and there should be more than enough for my little experiment...:-)


Cooking up something different tonight....framing related, but thought I'd post it in here anyway :-