Early work: Painting

I have never, in the past, considered myself to be a painter. Only now, due to recent activities and the number of paintings completed would I contemplate using the term to describe myself. The series Morning Tunes has enabled me to use numerous techniques and stylisations and the sheer number of completed canvasses suggest that perhaps I am.

On these pages I am showing some paintings that seem to have happened in bouts about once in a decade. From my first paintings in oil when I was on the Foundation Course (then called Pre-Diploma) at Maidstone Art College to the mystical mid 1970s in Birmingham and a brief recreational flirtation with canvasses in the early-1980s. 

I find it interesting to see other people's early work. I remember seeing a Mark Rothko retrospective in Paris and being captivated by his Entrance to Subway (1938) and Kazimir Malavich's pre-suprematist paintings and I thought I could see signs of what was to follow. Even in my daubings; there are elements in my previous work which—though I claim not to have a 'style'—do seem to me to have certain consistency over the years. These pieces have been languishing in the loft and under beds for years, hidden away as immature attempts at doing something 'artistic'. Now, I am showing them now for what they are: precursors of my present output—though I never imagined I would ever regard myself as a painter.

My First Still Life

Painted in an oil painting class at Maidstone Art College in the Conservative Club Annex.

Oil paint on hardboard, 29 x 24 inches, c.1963 

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My First Self-Portrait

Painted in an oil painting class at Maidstone Art College in the Conservative Club Annex.

Oil paint on hardboard, 23 x 24.5 inches, c.1963 

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My First Life Painting

Painted in an oil painting class at Maidstone Art College in the Conservative Club Annex.

Oil paint on hardboard,

16,25 x 24.5 inches, c.1963

My Second Self-Portrait

Painted in an oil painting class at Maidstone Art College in the Conservative Club Annex.

Oil paint on hardboard, 24 x 36 inches,

 

 

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Portrait of Someone Wanted 

Painted from photograph taken in a train by a friend. Later used for one of my Morning Tunes.

Oil paint on hardboard,

22.5 x 24.5 inches, c.1963/4

Portrait of Someone Admired

At some point in the past fifty years I broke this into four pieces retaining only the quarter seen here.

Oil paint on hardboard,

8 x 9.5 inches, c.1963/4

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My Third Self-Portrait

Painted at home.

Oil paint on hessian sacking on hardboard, 18 x 18 inches, c.1964 

Dream

Oil paint on hardboard,

24 x 10.5 inches, c.1969

 

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Untitled

I think that I had just read Watership Down.

Acrylic paint on Canvas, 13.75 x 15 inches, c.1975

Untitled

Acrylic paint on Canvas, 14 x 14 inches, c.1975

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Untitled

Acrylic paint on Canvas, 14 x 14 inches,

c.1975

Untitled

Acrylic paint on Canvas,

14 x 14 inches, c.1976

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Untitled

(And unfinished)

Acrylic paint on Canvas, 21 x 14 inches, c.1976

Jukebox

Caran d'Ache water-soluble pencil on paper c.1982

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Flash in the Pan

Liquitex acrylic paint on Canvas,

28 x 18 inches, c.1982

Background of Blues

Not quite the final version which was inadvertently destroyed.

Liquitex acrylic paint on Canvas,

48 x 24 inches, c.1984

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Tract

Liquitex acrylic paint on Canvas,

48 x 24 inches, c.1984

Framed Barbra

Oil paint on hardboard, (c.1963/4)

BLK.3.0 paint on canvas, gold sprayed recycled frame on pale grey emulsion painted recycled drawing board.

48 x 59.5 cm. (2021)

Started: c.1963, completed: 2021

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