Toy Story

Toy Story - a still-life. Toys do have a life of their own. They create and give safe harbour to some of our most precious memories that connect generations, friends and families.


Eye to whose eye?

Eye to eye is a watercolour and pencil detail. As we look eyeball to eyeball with ourselves in the mirror who is looking at who? As we look into the eyeball of a portrait, no matter when it was created, who are you looking at? The eye of the sitter or the eye of the painter? Are we looking through our eye to the eye of the sitter or through the painters eye and back again? Or all of them?


Stil life in silver, green and brown

Still life in silver, green and brown. A photo composition taken using my new digital camera - to add to my sketchbook "tools". We'll see how it goes...


On graphite ground

Self portrait on graphite ground, drawn by removing layers of graphite under tungsten light.


Cumberland Basin, Bristol

Cumberland Basin, Bristol. A pencil on cartdrige paper panorama made up of several individual sketches. This was done during my student years at Bristol Fine Art department. It measures approximately 2.5 metres wide by 12 centimetres tall. I did a series of panoramas in Bristol and north Cornwall in the 1970s and 1980s. You will need to click on this image to see it enlarged.


The Case of Roger's Knee

Roger Conlon, portrait detail. A large oil on canvas painting of Roger. Surface texture, rhythm and pattern, cool colour range were the guiding principles of this painting.


Scene 3

Scene 3 - Nez discovers all was not what it seemed in his past life. Memory fabricated by parents, friends and enemies alike left him undeniably alone and confused.


Young Mum

Young Mum, mixed media on white paper. Detail from double portrait of my Mum and Dad.


Foiled reputations 4a

Foiled Reputations 4a - three dimensional object in aluminium with added colour.


Foiled Reputations 1A

Foiled Reputations 1A - a new self-portrait, deep relief on aluminium.


Event series - a new interpretation

Event Series - new interpretations: This is a composite image from a very large oil on canvas from my ongoing "Event" series.  This new image is a result of playing around with some new nifty and stupidly cheap software. It is producing a completey new persepctive on my earlier works as I put them through the process and is helping me to think and see in new ways. 


Early Summer, Cornwall

Early Summer, Pendeen, Cornwall. Oil pastel on heavy watercolour block paper. Summer is nearly here again though with recent temperatures we could be forgiven for thinking global warming was a media plot to fill a schedule


Newcastle Library Demolition and a Canny Song

Thanks to IluvNUFC on You Tube for this great video and song.


Fragments from the Fireplace 1

Fragments from the Fireplace 1 is a new work done this week. It is a reworking of a large set of drawings done 30 years ago. The new work will be a reappraisal of the whole series.


Kingswood, Bristol

Kingswood, Bristol. A small pencil sketch near our old house in Kingswood, Bristol. Happy days!



Walk 3 - a small sketch, life-size, tells the story of a walk along the Anglian beach; a David and Goliath tale of the small stone  redefining the larger stone; it's a story of every walk along every beach. Always interesting and for a while completely new to the one who picks up the stone.



Walk 2 -  a pencil and graphite sketch. So small you can hold it inside a closed hand whilst its memories span the universe and time as we understand


Walk 5

Walk 5 a pencil drawing on white paper of a stick pciked up on a walk near Ullswater. The memories this stick holds, now locked into the page, are brought to the front of my mind anytime I see the drawing. This is a truly strange and powerful aspect of image and memory that goes right back to our earliest processing and communication skills. 


Boldon Colliery 1979

Boldon Colliery, Tyne and Wear.  A small study in oil on canvas on board looking across fields, still farmed to this day, to the iconic landscape of my early years. The pallette is starkly characteristic of the contrasting hues of farm and factory yet the scene is a friendly one in my memory's eyes.

Near Warkworth, Northumberland

Near Warkworth, Northumberland, and somewhere between the cottage and the town on a sunny summer afternoon in 1975.  A small oil on canvas on board,  this was an escape into a childhood that was not mine but which I had the privilege to get to know so well. 


Soundwell Road, Bristol

Soundwell Road, Bristol is a small oil on canvas on wood study that started innocently enough - really just to allow me to explore how many greens I could make in one picture. Still it created something more than a process and I ended up with a surprise picture with an atmosphere of a full growth English garden in the warm summer days that you get down in the south west.


The Dome, March 2009

The Dome is a pencil sketch done this morning. The light pretended to be a herald of summer to come whilst the air foretells of snow later this evening. The light contained that most paradoxical of colours - a cold yellow.


Dear Stanley

Dear Stanley is a small intimate oil on canvas glued onto board. Stanley Spencer is one of my all-time heroes.  I recently saw a small but wonderful show of his work in Newcastle's Laing Art Gallery which brought back home to me the real power and humanity of this quintessential English painter and story teller. It was like the welcoming smell of real coffee in the mid-morning. Visit here for more on the great man: http://www.stanleyspencer.org.uk/ 


The art plot thickens....

I recently was tracked by a dogged art detective called Kim.  Kim invited me to join the campaign http://www.myartplot.com/   I have to say, after initially being a bit put off by the choice of mono photos on the home page (why is there no artwork there?) that I like have warmed to site and the easy way it works for users and visitors. The shopping area is practical and I particularly like the random search button that takes you to the registered artists in the MyArtPlot community.  Indeed I too have succumbed and have my own presence in this relatively new community http://www.myartplot.com/users/Bernardqu I am not sure that there is a "fight" (as described in the "about" myartplot blurb) to create art communities of this sort (free, informal, pragmatic) but I like the enthusiasm and apparent informality of their campaign.  There is also an air of unpretentiousness about the site too which is good. Take a look and see for yourself. 


Roger's Head

Roger's Head is a a detail from a large oil on canvas. The pallette is a very close one using only earth colours and no black. I have no idea where Roger is these days but my memory of his companionship is a fond one.


Detail: The Comedians

Detail: The Comedians is a large oil on board painting after a rather amazing small canvas by extraodinary but tragically short-lived French painter Jean Antoine Watteau, 1684-1721 who could magically conjoin melancholy and sweetness in one painting. For some unspecified reason my Mother always liked this painting more than any of my other works. This detail is almost one half of the finished work.


Detail: The Event Series, Goya's woman enters

Detail: The Event Series, Goya's woman enters is a close up detail from a very large oil canvas. The edge between past, present and future is blurred yet the sense of being between times/worlds is very tangible, almost real. I want people to feel they are witness to something that may have happened, is happening or is about to happen and use their own imagination to complete the story. This is the basic concept behind this long running series of images which started in the late 1970s and is still running.


One hand two heads 2007

One hand, two heads 2007. A small pencil drawing on yellowed paper. As one year goes, another arrives as sure as the doubt stains the optimism.