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An Enchanted Eye and Hand

The last six lessons of my online course, Watercolour A to Z, began with the letter U and that fundamental technique of art practise, the underpainting. In watercolour, there's no better exemplar of the technique than John Robert Cozens, an…

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Still life, still important

  ‘With an apple, I shall astonish Paris.’ Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) I received an email with a link to a Guardian article, the other day, entitled, ‘Nobody has ever been astonished by an apple’ – sorry Cézanne, but still lifes…

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Life, Death and Art

You may have heard of the Pitmen Painters. In 2007, Lee Hall’s play made them quite famous, both in the UK and across the Atlantic, but first, there was the book that inspired the play, written by William Feaver, a…

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Seeing and Feeling

Oskar Kokoschka, Polperro II (1938) Kokoschka's lively composition is loaded with juicy brushstrokes. Under his impetuous hand, the clouds race across the sky, trees sway in the breeze and the quayside bustles. When I was very young, we'd go on…

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A Busman’s Holiday

This summer, during the worst of the British heatwave, I was in Madeira, where the sun rises late and its heat is tempered by balmy, sea breezes. I've visited the island regularly over the past few years, but this time,…

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The Sky Is The Limit

¡Hola! Here's the Montgó massif in Spain, a breathtaking lump of rock that rises 750 metres above the villa where I based my first painting holiday in two years, amply illustrating, in two photographs, my constant adjuration to students of…

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