Monday, December 14, 2015

"Magic Jar"

Here's a different concept ... an ACEO which stands for "Art Card Edition and Original". Each miniature painting measures 3.5" x 2.5" and is painted - or created - in any medium you wish. I have a collection of them for sale on eBay and there seems to be quite a market for them. I believe Collectors have hundreds or all different mediums and styles.

Some of mine have added sentimental value by being painted on the back of vintage photographs, many of which were taken in the shadows of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

This one is a collage and acrylic called "Magic Jar" and can be found on eBay. Simply click the image or its title below it.

More ..... all on eBay ....


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Daisies and Fairgrounds

I've just finished a mammoth task of photographing, editing, and uploading a whole whack of paintings to both my own eBay sales page as well as my sister's Selador Collection. She was sensible and chose a nice short and simple name for her business - not me, ho no, I go for ... The Painter's Palette Original Art Store. Typically long-worded. What the hell, it's the paintings which count!

Here are two of them, a floral and an abstract, and you just have to click the images to go through to the relevant sales page.
"Daisies" by Lynda Cookson

"Daisies" was entirely palette knife painted, while "Fairground" was mostly palette knife painted but includes some finishing touches with brush as well as a few bits of collage.

Monday, November 30, 2015

SOLD! The magic word for artists

A contemporary abstract painting I did a couple of years ago when I was full of ambitious energy has just sold to a favourite returning customer of mine in the States. It's called "Abstract Autumn Bowl" and was created during an Easter weekend of video making. Alan and I hired the most economical camera we could find and spent the whole weekend filming demonstration paintings, with the aim of using them to promote sales online. Most of those videos still await editing! The sale of this painting - for some inexplicable reason, one of my favourites - will prompt me to quickly edit and upload the video to YouTube methinks.

I genuinely feel sad when a favourite painting jets off to a new home and I spend as much time as I can looking deep into the painting like a mournful depressive, trying to imprint every palette knife stroke into my psyche forever, before slipping it into its packaging. Sad. Sad, weird artist. But I know that the real thing is so much better in colour, texture and life than the digital image of it and that I'll never again enjoy that same feeling I get when I look at it. As I said, sad.

 "Abstract Autumn Bowl"

The same customer purchased a small oil painting on paper called "Bright at Night" - and here it is:

"Bright at Night"

As a Thank You Gift to a much-appreciated client, I enclosed a magnetised print of one of my photographs taken in Co Galway, Ireland, some years ago. I hope she likes it!

"A Roscahill Farm"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I was very touched by the German pianist who traveled 400 kms to take his piano to the site of the music hall in Paris where the terrorist attacks caused such devastation. He sat and played John Lennon's "Imagine" for a couple of minutes, then, feeling too emotional to continue, he packed up and left.

I've put a link to the video of him playing, below. It's great how that song has made such an impact on the world ... thanks John Lennon.

I was finishing an abstract study painting at the time I saw the story of this pianist, so decided to name the painting "Imagine" ... sigh, how original can I get! But then, I hope it adds its little bit of strength to the actions of that pianist and to the meaning in the song.


I suppose I would like folk to consider the fact that, despite your political beliefs and frustrations, kindness is in everyone. You just need to use it. The political situation will be as it is, and sometimes, as an individual, you are powerless to change that .... but you're not powerless to be kind.

It is possible to separate humanitarian acts of care from political beliefs.

Click the image below to see the video of the pianist playing "Imagine"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Portrait Progression and The Selador Collection

So there's been more work done on The Sunflower Wedding couple portrait ... mainly scary stuff like paint mixing and quick studies ... which sometimes make me feel more nervous than confident ... but I know that each study I do, despite the fact that all studies are challenging and explorative, I get closer to a more alive painting than if I hadn't done them.  And that really, is what I'm about ... paintings which capture essence and energy.

What bold and confident talk this is! LOL

Two extremely quick studies (less than 5 minutes spent on each)
helping me to decide whether to wield my palette knife or a brush
when working on the final painting - brush it is to be.
I call the couple of studies above "The Two Bruisers"!

Working on mixing skin tones

James, who features in the portrait, popped in this morning to hand me a very welcome envelope of money (being the mid-way payment in accordance with our agreement) ... and I must have frightened the living daylights out of him by grabbing him and dragging him into my studio, madly gazing at his eye colour and his hair colour, then plonking him down on a stool, pulling him into the position I wanted him in, and avidly taking more photographs. He had rather a terrified look on his face by the time he made it out the studio door again.

I've also been up to another bit of nonsense ... assisting my sister in setting up an online store selling Art, Vintage Clothing and Collectibles. It's called "The Selador Collection" and can be found here:

 We've also created a Facebook Page here:

Please have a look and Like her page if you do.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Original Art Sale - 15% discount at The Painter's Palette Original Art Store

I've been hitting the keyboard and heating up a storm in my office today. The reason for my expending of so much energy is that I've been helping to create a new eBay store for my sister who'll be selling Art, Collectibles and Vintage Clothing. She's called it the Selador Collection.

I simply can't resist the fun of starting a new business!  Alan (husband) shrinks in  his seat, visibly, when we drive past empty shops in towns ... he knows full well that my brain has gone into immediate "What I could do with that space! It would make a stunning art gallery!" mode. And we've had loads of fun and some success with ventures in the past. However, I'm going for the peaceful and creative life now ... until I pass empty shops that is.

You can find my sister's "Selador Collection" here:

So while I was about it, I was tuning up my own store on eBay and decided, that as I'm working like crazy to create new paintings to upload this coming winter, I may as well create a promotion to see how much of the existing stock I can sell in time for Christmas presents. 

For the next 6 weeks, starting from today, the purchase of 3 items from the store will mean a 15% discount for you, as well as combined shipping costs of course. And I've included at least 95% of the stock in the store in this promotion.

You'll find it all here: 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pontivy exhibition in a deconsecrated church

My first participation in a group exhibition in France! Woo hoo!

We set up on Tuesday in a stunning, cathedral-like church in Pontivy (Brittany) and the exhibition runs through to Sunday 25 October 2015 from 2 pm to 6 pm daily with an entrance fee of only €2 per person.

How stunning is this venue! I don't even have to write much this time ... these images simply speak for themselves.

Tra la!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Stages 3 and 4 of "The Sunflower Wedding Portrait"

I've published similar images of these images below, of Stages 3 and 4 of "The Sunflower Wedding Portrait", on so thought I'd go the whole hog and display one or two here too. I've also given more detailed explanations of the process on the Facebook page.

I'm getting a bit nervous, and certainly very vulnerable, now as this is the first time I have published images of something important that I am working on - as I am working on it. This means that errors and corrections I make as I go along will also be public!!! Uh oh.

The first stage of tracing the drawing

Detail of  how as many darks and lights are traced onto the canvas

 The face of the man is not yet correct as the image
I have been working from is very dark. More work needed there!

After correcting the drawing of the male face, the next step will be to put in the background.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Sunflower Wedding Formal Portrait"

The groundwork has been laid and now it's time ... during this next week ... to get going, with my heart and soul going into the "Sunflower Wedding Formal Portrait".

I'll add  images here as I go along, or you could watch the progress (which will be fairly slow!) on

For now, here's the starter. The basic outline of the composition has been agreed upon with the help of a pencil drawing on baking sheet paper, initial colours have been chosen, and the canvas has received two coats of lovely clean white gesso.

Rarin' to go now.

It was decided to lose the Welsh Guards badge (top left corner in this image) as, although it's a precious and sentimental symbol for the couple, there was just no comfortable or harmonious place to put it in the painting. James' head has since been enlarged a little and Carrie will be holding a flower on the book on her lap. She'll also have a suggestion of a chair to sit on so she's not sitting on thin air! So looking forward to getting going with this painting.

The two coats of gesso make a huge difference to a canvas. It's like a first date ... you're just starting to get to know the creation, and beginning a lovely relationship.

Tally ho!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Art Bloggers Page on Facebook

Just wanted to let you all know that I have an Art Bloggers page on Facebook ... anyone else out there with an art-related blog who would like to promote it on my page? Just get in touch with me with the details and I'll upload it. Here's the link:

This is "Hello Summer" a small piece which features as the title image on the art Bloggers page ... and which is for sale (very reasonably priced) on eBay. Below is the link to my eBay store ... if there's very little uploaded for sale when you click through to look, just message me through Facebook ( and I'll let you know when the next mass upload will be.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Lone Palm" and "In the Pink"

Two recent sales have been "Lone Palm", a subjective abstract oil painting which I have always rather liked. It seems to capture the energy of cool sea-breeze weather and hot tropical sunshine with a richness of texture and colour. I suppose it's not surprising that "Lone Palm" found its  home in Norway then!

 "Lone Palm"

And then "In the Pink", a charcoal and pastel life class drawing on sugar paper. Life class exercises are always challenging, always fun and always surprise you with how different the works from each class are. It's most often the influence of whoever is running the class I suppose. This particular drawing was completed in a class I attended in Dublin about 2 years ago where the instructor encouraged us to experiment with white charcoal. I love the freedom one feels creating these drawings. To me, the most important aspect, is to capture the chemistry I feel from the model. I'm not really interested in portraying his/her face and am more interested in capturing the body language and attitude often conveyed by the props they may use.

"In the Pink" now lives in Louisiana, USA.

"In the Pink"

Monday, September 07, 2015

"Sunflower Wedding"

"Sunflower Wedding". Gone. A week ago ... and my studio is now less bright. I miss it. Sniff.

If anybody wants to give me an excuse to paint another painting in this style ... taking elements of your life, or lives, and immortalising them in oils on canvas .... just send me a message and I'll send you my price list.

I have created another painting since this one, in this ilk, but I can't show it to you now as it's a surprise for someone who hasn't received it yet!

This is Alan's pic after he framed the painting and this is before framing ...

Oh, and did I mention that "Paddy and Liam" and "Carrick-a-rede Bridge" were both SOLD recently from Gallery 1608 in Bushmills, Northern Ireland?

 "Paddy and Liam"

"Carrick-a-rede Bridge"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


SOLD to Mary F. in the UK ... thank you Mary!

"Herself" is a charcoal line drawing on an oil monoprint. The monoprint was one of a few created during a fun printing class in Galway. The line drawing is one of a collection which evolved during a couple of life drawing sessions where the models seemed particularly grumpy on those days ... calling for humour and lightness in what I produced.

I have a few in this series, some still for sale, and will upload them as soon as I can get good images of them. It's too late now and time to throw out some of those zzzzz's before heading out in Milly the Motorhome tomorrow for a peaceful day of painting by myself in some secluded spot. I have a commission to finish ... without Bridie the German Shepherd nagging me to play by shoving her nose under my elbow and flipping my arm up at crucial painting moments!

Friday, August 21, 2015


I've just bought myself a gift! I love this little painting but it's about to be framed for sale in a gallery soon .... so I ordered a small canvas print for myself as a keepsake.

It's a funny thing but I often find that once a painting is complete it seems to have a life and identity of its own, separate to me. Not always, but often. While paintings are in process they are very much me, my expression, my moods, my expectations and my skills ... but once it is complete sometimes I view it as if it was created by someone else. Hmmm, I think I must take more notice of this in future and try and work out with which paintings, perhaps with which mediums, I am able to do this.

Do other artists notice this I wonder?

Friday, August 14, 2015


"Wisteria" is an oil study on brown wrapping paper. It's one of four studies which hang on my office wall and which came into existence during a demo day in Hitchin in the UK, 2014. Unfortunately only half the image is visible on this blog page ... you'll have to click it to see the whole image. Sorry about that.

I have no idea why I named it "Wisteria" and was reminded of it only by flipping through images this evening ... but somehow the name fits.

It's very liberating and one of the best exercises an artist can do, to simply work on a poor quality surface (being brown wrapping paper) letting go of any inhibitions and reserves within you, knowing that if you make a mess then not much is wasted.

You can draw on whatever patterns, memories, shapes or feelings which surface during the process and trust your instinct that you will put them in the place which is "right" for them ... even if you're feeling rebellious and hoping to create disharmony or discordance. You'll know when to stop working on a study when, after  you've gone through the bad hair day moment you begin to hesitate and question whether you've done enough or not. Or maybe you'll be lucky and without hesitation at all say Enough, 'tis done.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Irish sheep ... so many to count they kept me awake!

I've just finished painting a whole fleecing flock of Irish sheep ... enough to send me to sleep for the next decade! 

"Caitroina" which means Chaste and Pure in Irish

For thirteen years we lived with the hardy, black-faced, long-fleeced sheep which Connemara in the West of Ireland is so famous for.

They're hilarious to drive behind on narrow Irish boreens (little farm track roads) and you can't help but giggle at their wobbly behinds and woolly tails as they run ahead of you, bumping into each others behinds as you herd them along, looking for a friendly and convenient farm gate or siding to huddle into. If all traffic jams were this humorous road rage would be a total unknown.

"Fiona and Colleen" which means Fair Woman and Little Girl in Irish

Come February, in the area we lived in, lambing season arrives and mornings become filled with murderous sounds as the farmer trudges into the field with buckets of feed. The noise can be quite incredible with no two sheep or lambs having the same pitch, tone, warble, gurgle or bleat - but all of them have a high degree of drama. Peaceful mornings erupt in a cacophony of sounds and you'd swear they were all being murdered in cold blood. A quick look out the window is reassuring that they're only hurtling down the mountainside or across the field in noisy hunger.

"Conall" which means Powerful Wolf in Irish

There's not much that can match the attitude of these woolly wonders with their large burnt-orange eyes that glow in your headlights at night. But ... more about these characterful creatures another time when more sheep need to be painted!

The rest of the flock can be found on my Facebook page.