I need thirty paintings for a show in a couple of weeks and started getting things together before I left for holiday. The exhibition is based on paintings of the area around where I live. Most are in a realist or naturalist style but I have one abstract work and although I have some expressionistic works I wanted another abstract to complement it. It then takes the viewer on both a topographic and a stylistic journey. On the plane home I had an idea for something reflecting the canal where I live and do a lot of my plein air painting.

This was the result and may get further tweaked in the next weeks. I did do a couple of pastel sketches, but felt that they were a little busy.

This was the first one and on the second I decided to kill some of the blue

I liked the idea of building up the complexity in the middle, but keeping the outsides open and airy and decided to emphasise that on my acrylic piece. Perhaps I have gone too far now. I will leave it alone and make a decision later.

As I worked on the acrylic piece I started to think of the Nile – a little distance from the Lancashire plain where I started out.

Other abstract paintings are available for sale on my website:


  1. I like the abstracts and I think you improved each version. I think it’s my way of looking at information that influences this, but I gauge the importance of the canal by its color and size versus the city’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eduardo. At the moment I am looking to increase the extent of blue in the middle to give it even more mass and importance.
      It should also, hopefully, improve the balance of the image.


  2. these sort of pictures dont really do it for me, but i like the overall shape of the blue merging with the orange blocks that surround it and to me it makes for a balanced picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Steve. An abstract painting either engages you or it doesnt. I remember seeing a Howard Hodgkin painting called Glimpse – I dont normally like much of his work – but I thought I could see what he was saying in that one – it certainly resonated with me : would have bought it if I could have afforded it.
      I also find creating abstract painting difficult – you have few, if any, frames of reference. Ideas in your head become implausible when you commit them to canvas – you really have to work at it. I also find that the stretching of the imagination and problem solving involved in abstract painting can help in painting more realist works because you become more questioning of the overall design and you are more willing to change something if it will improve the image.
      This morning I have been adding to this work – so it isnt over yet. I’ll try and post it before it goes on show – that is if I havent ruined it.


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