Sunday, June 30, 2019

A tribute to my friend Alan Chipperfield who passed on the other day. Alan and I had been getting together on Monday afternoons for several years now for the practice of painting portraits.

It started when I was told of this elderly gentleman who wanted to learn to paint portraits, and I soon found was that what he really wanted to paint a surprise portrait of his son, the internationally renowned architect Sir David Chipperfield. 

We discovered that we had many things in common in our backgrounds, and Monday afternoons developed into a regular painting sessions along with cups of tea and coffee and discussions of everything under the sun, and which stopped for very few things... Monday afternoons were for painting!

Alan's house was a heritage house circa 1812, and he operated his antiques and restoration business from there, and as there was nowhere inside suitable for our painting we always worked outside which was not easy but that is the way he wanted it.

He was a remarkable individual, growing up in England in the 1930's, evacuated during the war as a child, becoming a successful businessman before emigrating to Australia and spent the last decades of his life working with antiques.It would take a couple of books to describe him, and fortunately there are a couple of autobiographical books that he did write. One of them is titled “A face in the Crowd' describing his life up until his move to Sydney over 25 years ago.

Here are some photos. my portrait of Alan, Alan working on portraits at the back of his house, some of his antiques and upholstery and what he did it on... never a person to spend money unnecessarily!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Hot Day with Tea

Yesterday at 44C in Richmond was a bit on the hot side! Alan had suggested that I drop round to Price House as Sonny, a Chinese friend  who had sat for us at one of our 'painting practices'  was coming over, and with some photographers as well...  we weren't sure what for!

Sonny is from China, and she imports some special teas from a certain region of China, where tea cultivation, preparation and drinking is an artform with similarities to our western love and appreciation of wines! It turns out that her husband (who is from England) had recently participated in a tea making competition in China... against some highly prepared commercial contestants, and against all odds had won!

So there was a small photographic crew from a Chinese TV network following Him around doing a documentary of him and his teamaking in Australia. He prepared a special tea for the four of us, with tea I think from some of the ancient  (1800 year old) tea plants, which had been stored in a dried mandarin, which we drank from some of Alan's antique cups and the whole event/ceremony and chat was recorded by the film crew.

The film team was sweltering in the heat (it is winter over there) but fortunately the Historic old house feels like it has air conditioning... even though it doesn't.

I don't know if any photos will turn up from this unexpected event, but I do have a photo from the charcoal drawing I did of Sonny when she was sitting for us

Monday, January 09, 2017

A Time for recycling

I have been life drawing for over 15 years now, and apart from the instant rejects after a session, I throw a lot out every now and then when I look through them.
Even so I have huge piles of drawings... which is one of the reasons I mainly keep to about an A3 size for most of my regular life drawing sessions. This last week I decided on a more ruthless cull and was going to gesso over most of my A2 works and lots of the A3's but discovered that many of the sketches took on a new lease of life if I just trimmed them to an A3 size... they seemed to have a new impact!
Anyway after a lot of cropping I saved about 120+ drawings still have a huge pile to recycle for the coming year!

Pile of A2 and A3 drawings to recycle and some of the trimmings from the cropping

 a pile of A2 drawings to be recycled
and some of the salvaged drawings

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Showroom and Gallery

Alan Chipperfield a very unique and special friend of mine. He is 85 years old and lives in historic Price House in Richmond NSW (circa 1815), which is also the showrooms and display area for possibly one of the best antique and antique furniture restoration businesses in Sydney.

Alan works daily on restoring antiques to their former beauty, but he is also multi talented, plays the piano daily, is an avid chess player and has a razor sharp mind. He and I get together once a week to work on  painting portraits... just one of his many goals!

He is also extremely proud of his sons, one of whom is a world renowned architect and the other a journalist.

Recently Alan decided to convert an old dilapidated storage shed  into a Showroom and Gallery, and wanted to display some of my paintings in it.

It's almost finished, the. lights went in yesterday.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Brian Jones Memorial Exhibition

A special exhibition was held last Sunday at the  Hawkesbury Regional Gallery,  to commemorate Brian Jones's life, and his contribution to the Hawkesbury area. The paintings were by Brian Jones, and some of the  works he had donated to the Friends of the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery ( and also my portraits of Brian). Friends and colleagues were able to gather together to honour and remember him. Speeches were given by Hawkesbury Councilors Paul Rasmussen and Christine Paine, and Artist Greg Hansell among others.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Brian Jones

Brian Jones was a gentle man, he contributed greatly to the Hawkesbury and to the Arts, and will be missed!

I had intended to paint him like this with his cane,  inside the Regional Gallery, but  painted him in his garden in Freemans Reach

Saturday, November 19, 2016


a  portrait of 'Dave' from a recent session at Richmond Art Supplies
24 x 18 Oil

Hawkesbury Artists Fair

Computer problems have been/are  holding things up lately, here are some of my paintings on show at the moment at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery until the 4th of December as part of the annual Hawkesbury Artists Fair. The Exhibition was opened by the new Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett.