New Series: Roundhay Park

"After visiting the park for over twenty years (and wearing out two and a half dogs in the process) it has become a familiar and known terrain, its landmarks firmly rooted in the history of where I live and work.

I wanted to attempt a visual reappraisal of the landscape and rather than paint those familiar landmarks I wanted to focus on its wild beauty. For a city park it has an unruly nature that once you’re off the beaten track seems untamed (although we know it’s very well maintained).

There are so many elements of the park to inspire those that appreciate natural themes. For me it’s about a connection with vital open space, the reflections on the water; cloud; stone; wood. Its wildlife, the birds and the sounds of crows, rooks and waterfowl. Colour, texture, natural form transformed by constantly changing weather, the passing of the seasons, time rolling on".

David's new series "Roundhay Park" is available to view and buy at Art Roundhay Park until 3rd June.

10am - 4pm, The Mansion Conservatory, Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Leeds LS8 2HH. 

His series can be purchased from this website here (click through).


The Creative Process: Portuguese Gardens

The surrounding gardens of a hotel provided the inspiration for a playful series of images using the seemingly random layout of trees and shrubs. The lack of formality lead to some unusual juxtapositions of shape and colour. Initially a series of collages, I really enjoyed introducing a looser style when applying the paint for the foliage and flowers which is contrasted with the almost flat background.

The more time I spent amongst the gardens the more I wanted to put down the shapes and colours I was seeing. The bright Mediterranean sunlight gave the foliage sharp edges and beautifully contrasting colours against a brilliant blue sky. Despite the deep shadows I began to see the final images as flat - almost like a stage set, where the scenery has been wheeled into place, which of course meant that anything could go anywhere - the freedom to compose the final paintings with no regard to formal notions of making it real. When I returned to the studio at home I made some quick drawings in a notebook - exploring different ways of making the paintings. The collages that I eventually made from the sketches hold all the information I needed to make the final paintings which are all about colour, using basic shapes nothing too sophisticated - overall plant shapes reduced to a graphic shape.

The original series of Portuguese Gardens is available to buy here (click through) and prints are available to buy here (click through).

"Just One Blackbird..." finds its way to New York

It’s been an interesting week. One of the “Just One Blackbird...” images was picked up at a trade show in New York, Surtex, a show for original art and design. I’m not sure how, but I can only assume via PG Live, where I exhibited last month. A journalist from the New York Examiner has since interviewed me. The American market could be a new opportunity and one I want to explore. Many thanks to Meagan Meehan the journalist who published the article.

“Just One Blackbird...” 

"A series of 12 acrylic in hardboard paintings created from sketchbook doodles as an exercise in wish fulfilment.  

“Why don’t birds visit the garden as frequently? The colours used are an intensified palette to emphasise the imaginary nature of the series. The gardens are impressionistic with key elements reduced to graphic symbols (which follow on from the “Wildflowers” series).

Since the series was completed the birds have returned in larger numbers and in greater variety."

The full range can be seen here and the originals are available to buy here.


The recent drawings of the sparrow and the white blackbird are the result of an ongoing fascination with birds, and their symbolism within our history and culture. The bird in flight is a symbol of freedom, particularly intellectual and creative freedom, but also has other meanings. This particular sparrow was drawn just after events in Paris. The symbolism is multi-layered, the common sparrow rising above. White blackbirds also exist, albinoism occurring in birds as in humans. The sighting of an animal so rare is taken as a portent of dramatic change and has magical connotations.

The original sketches are available to buy as the original charcoal on paper (here), or as limited edition prints (here). We use Headrow Gallery in Leeds for all our framing and can arrange for you, if required.

Work in Progress: Applecross, Wester Ross, The Highlands

Using photographs and memory I've been building up a collection of images in a sketchbook using various techniques - collage, acrylic transfer techniques - around my recent trip to Applecross. The photos evoke a rich sense of place and history. It's an unspoilt coastline, no industry to speak of apart from tourism on a small scale - every view is vast and open, huge skies and rugged mountains, endless coast with views as far as Harris and Lewis. I also had inside knowledge thanks to the expertise of our 'guide' Iain MacRae [my brother-in-law who was born there] whose colourful descriptions of local characters and the life they had, began to play upon my imagination. I plan to evolve the sketches into larger scale works using a variety of media but mostly painting I think and then of course find a venue to exhibit. 

Roundhay Open Artist Studios Art Event 2015 - LEEDS

The Roundhay Open Studios Event 2015 is an annual event to show the diverse talents of local professional artists. On Sunday 26th April 2015, visual artists in the LS8 area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, opened up their art studios for the day.

"I opened up our home to showcase my original art, acrylic on boards, sketches and works in progress - some pieces only friends and family had seen before. I talked about my work and the creative processes and over 50 pieces at home were on display as well as a selection of limited edition giclée prints and greeting cards. It was a busy day, helped by the sunshine - over 100 visitors on the day with a few more the following week."

Please contact me on 07968 131866 if you are interested in viewing any of my pieces at home.

All of my work can be found on my website here.

Facebook: Roundhay Open Artist Studio

Details: here

Ink Flowers Series 1

Ink Flowers, Series 1 – ink drawings using Winsor & Newton inks on Hahnemühle Traditional Fine Art Paper.

“The ink flower series uses brightly coloured drawing ink on the rough side of Hahnemühle Traditional Fine Art Paper.

There is a degree of control in using the brush to apply the ink. The textured paper gives rise to spontaneous edges and the element of chance comes into play.

I'm reminded of the art of "Sumi-e" - oriental brush painting that uses black ink to create beautifully simple renditions of natural forms”.

Inkflowers - Series 1 and Series 2

“The Inkflowers Series uses brightly coloured drawing ink on the rough side of Hahnemühle Traditional Fine Art paper and Winsor & Newton inks.

There is a degree of control in using the brush to apply the ink. The textured paper gives rise to spontaneous edges and the element of chance comes into play.

I'm reminded of the art of "Sumi-e" - oriental brush painting that uses black ink to create beautifully simple renditions of natural forms”.

ART TO BUY: Inkflowers Series 2, original art using ink, available here.

Inkflowers, Series 2 – Original with Mount - ink drawing using Winsor & Newton inks on Hahnemühle Traditional Fine Art Paper.

"Wildflowers" Christmas Gift Ideas

I'm aware 2014 has been very much about my "Wildflowers" series. To round up 2014, I have produced a few gift ideas for Christmas from my “Wildflowers” series:

·       2015 Wildflowers calendar – showing a few of the “Wildflowers” original sketches and acrylic on boards – available from my website here.

·       Limited edition giclée prints – mounted and unframed available from my website here, or mounted and framed here.

·       Canvas prints - available from my website here.

Most of my images are available as limited edition giclée prints - please enquire

Where to next? Inside my sketchbook

I’ve had a busy time the last few weeks but it's time to get back into the studio.

My garden is often a source of inspiration. Having noticed a decline in the number of small birds visiting recently (which has been widely reported) I set about making some scribbly sketches with a view to reinterpreting them as larger pieces. I found they naturally fell into seasons depending on the coloured background - the blues and purples referencing the colder months, yellows and greens the warmer. I think the deep reds and oranges are Autumn. Simple colour psychology.

I wanted the simple bird shapes to denote the absence of the bird rather than a presence - a ghostly silhouette. There is also a fox that makes an appearance but he too has been absent.

Head Series - Acrylic on Board and Acrylic on Canvas 2012 -2013

I’m aware that, at the moment, my original art appears to be colourful and bright. Here is the “Heads” series to contradict what you’ve seen so far. These are painted on acrylic on board and canvas; a couple of these, which I display at home, created a lot of interest at the recent Roundhay Open Artists' Studio event in April.

"Late 2012/early 2013 I produced the “Heads” series, whereby I painted one head per day without reference to sketches or subject matter. I wanted to paint the same thing everyday but the results are very different over time. A definite identity became apparent as each head emerged. As to who they are, I have no clue".

Heads Series, Acrylic on Board and Acrylic on Canvas 2012 - 2013