Painting number 2 for my graduation show – Ramshaw Rocks

After painting the hilltop that is Shuttlingsloe, I moved on to a more imposing and dramatic landscape. The wind weathered sharp fingers of Ramshaw Rocks are one of Leek’s most recognisable local beauty spots.

I wanted to portray the eerie, sometimes menacing nature of the rocks in this piece. The rocks are often shrouded in low cloud during the autum, winter and early spring. It gives them an almost mystical quality.

Here’s a few progress shots and a reference image so that you can see where I am coming from.

Here’s a couple of quotes to set the scene …..

“Arrive there on a summer evening, fighting fit and determined – preferably with a few preliminary bouts under your belt – crash the jams in, move quickly and the climbs submit. Arrive on a bad day, and it is a different story; the rock will maul you and you will retire bloodied to lick your wounds.” Martin Boysen, Rock Climbs In The Peak, Volume 6. Staffordshire Area 1981.
“We noticed all manner of weird and fantastic shapes along the skyline of the Rocks, and readily realised we were in the Highlands of North Stafford.” W.H.Nithsdale. In the Highlands of Staffordshire. 1906.

Ramshaw Rocks


40 x 50″

First composition choice … I decided against this, so changed it to …


Composition number 2 … more emphasis on the iconic ‘Loaf and Cheese’ with some moody crags in the background


I worked on the background first


Then concentrated on the foreground detail


And decided to pretty much leave this one here …


Photo reference …


Shuttlingsloe – My first finished painting for my graduation show

After what has been a bit of a roller coaster ride recently, I finally managed to get down to the serious business of painting for my graduation exhibition at Astound 2017 … without going into details, I have had to work extra hours at my day job and wasn’t able to start working on my pieces until 2 weeks ago.

I finally have enough materials to make a serious attempt at furthering my painting career and (hopefully) start improving.

Anyway … here are a few progress shots of Shuttlingsloe plus a source image of the location itself.


Shuttlingsloe .


40 x 50″

Composition roughly sketched in … hill, horizon and pathway.







Some rough textured underpainting is added.



After many layers of paint and texture medium, it’s finished.


Source image of Shuttlingsloe showing the path leading up to the hill itself.


Finding new inspirations, even at this late stage in my course

I love being a visual person. Learning to paint has been a pleasure from the very start. Yes, sometimes it’s heart-wrenchingly difficult, and often uncomfortable, especially when you are reticent to share your work in public and open yourself up to criticism ( yes … I know … it makes no sense to choose to be a painter !). Still, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives.

Research is a pleasure. In all my years of being a glass artist, I have always strived to plough my own furrow and pay no attention to other people’s work for fear of accidentally stepping on someone else’s toes.  College has changed all that. We are actively encouraged to research other artists, mediums  and techniques.

Letting the work of others fill my head is just wonderful ! I am (slowly) developing my voice as an artist. It doesn’t happen over night. It comes in little flashes of inspiration, or from mistakes and dark times, but it does eventually begin to develop.


Something I’ve been working on recently

In researching my latest paintings for our Astound exhibition, I have stumbled across this fabulous landscape / abstract painter from Cornwall.

His name is Steve Slimm and he’s been exhibiting since 1979 … why have I never heard of him until now ?!

I feel that he kind of ‘speaks my language’ … I love his use of colour, light and texture. Something I aspire to ! Here’s some of his work … I’m afraid there weren’t any titles on his website, so I’ll leave a link to his page and a bunch of his artworks for you to look at … gorgeous !!!

Steve Slimm

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I’ve been busy …

Learning new skills and making glass beads like a woman possessed, in order to be able to dedicate my next month to painting and finishing off Uni work … Our end of year exhibition is fast approaching … I’ll post more about that soon enough, but May 20th at The Nicholson Institute will be the place to see Astound:2017 !

For now, here’s a few images of my recent makes.BeFunky Collage