Thursday, 29 December 2016

Fallen angel

Fallen Angel, watercolour on 140 lbs paper. 11x7.5 ins.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Night sky

A night sky in December with sheep quietly grazing. I just loved the simplicity of this scene. The night sky back drop was perfect for the sheep in silouette. The words of an REM song, "forty thousand stars in the evening..... Forty thousand reasons for living.." Watercolour on 300 lbs Waterford Saunders paper 11x15 ins.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Two children playing in the snow. Oil on gessoed watercolour paper. I exploited the tone of the watercolour paper here for the background, just suggesting the sky and horizon. 7x10 ins. Unvarnished, suitable for a framing under glass and a mountboard.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Washing line

A woman about to collect laundry  from a washing line as the day closes. Oil on paper. I often use a failed watercolour as the substrate for an oil study. A few coats of clear gesso over the paper, front, back and sides and its sealed, ready to use. 7.5x11 ins.

Friday, 9 December 2016


I added some new colours to my watercolour box recently, Ivory black and titanium white, Daniel Smith brand. Up to now I have always been a traditionalist when it comes to watercolour, in that, I never used white or black. I relied on the white of the paper as white and black was mixed from ultramarine and burnt sienna.  So I decided to give Ivory black a try and the painting of Geese was just the work to try it out, not that I gave abandoned my traditional approach, but it's good to experiment. The geese is a study of tones, keeping it simple and exploiting the contrast of light against dark with a few aspects of colour, just so the work is not completely monochrome.

10x8 ins (cropped ) on 200 lbs Bockingford paper.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

My turn

A bowler about to take his turn on a bowling green. A watercolour where I used some body colour to create a bit of highlight and colour, just a few touches here and there. A few touches of blue and yellow to create recession and depth, a bit of highlight on his cap.  10x5.5 ins Two rivers paper

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Bingo night.

Bingo night. An elderly couple make their way into a bingo hall for an evening of entertainment and maybe good fortune. Oil impasto on linen canvas. 10x8 ins.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Landscape at the close of day.

What I love about watercolour is its immediacy. If I get an idea or plein air on site, a watercolour can be worked up in minutes. Does it work, can I change the composition, the sky, or whatever. The painting today is such a work, in that I was experimenting with the composition, the sky and the clouds to see if it works. 11x 14 ins on watercolour paper. It's just great to experiment and see where it goes.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

London street nocturne study in watercolour

Nocturnes are difficult in any medium. I had a go at this one in watercolour. A London street at night with a bus approaching a bus stop. If I was to have another attempt at it, I would use Fabriano artistico/ Waterford Saunders paper and body colour. The paper here was Bockingford 200 lbs, which was ok but a little flat, and was great for lifting out colour but difficult to overlay washes without disturbing a previous wash, 11x15 ins.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Conflict 1

On the news daily and online we all see terrible images of war and destruction somewhere in the world. I was inspired to experiment with this study of the aftermath of a bombing and the destruction. The black smoke contrasting against the warm sky. Watercolour study on 90 lbs paper 9.5x12.5 ins.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Trámor beach

I am still in watercolour mode. This little beach scene in Trámor, Waterford, has had a bit of a rework, to the sky and foreground. I made the foreground warmer and added a bit of drama to the sky. It's the last of the light and still there are people making the most of a nice evening. I was thinking of cropping the end of the pavilion, but its presence helps create depth and perspective. Watercolour on  cotton paper 10x14 ins.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Lanzerote sunset study

I have been practicing with watercolours in recent days and using a 1 inch flat brush, in an effort to be as loose as possible with washes.  It is quite difficult to add detail with this size brush,  so it limits any detail one might be tempted to add. The study is a beach sunset on Lanzerote, where one half of the sky was blue and the other half a golden yellow. Watercolour on Bockingford 200 lbs paper  11x15 ins.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Lambs 2

Lambs 2, oil impasto and texture on linen panel. I would say this painting is slightly surreal in the choice of colours. It is based on a previous work and I wanted to push the boundaries with texture and colour. 8x10x0.4 ins

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Travellers waiting for a connection at a train station. An experimental rework of an older painting. Impasto and palette knife using medium for effects and texture. Oil on linen on birch panel 8x10 ins.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Two farmers

Purely an experimental work, of two farmers having a discussion. Heavy impasto with medium, oil on canvas using a palette knife. 8x10 ins

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Simple landscape

A simple composition of houses, fields and the sky. I normally do not use medium in my oil painting, other than thinning the paint in the initial stages with odourless mineral spirits (OMS), but in this case I used Neo Megilp to help create a bit of texture. Use the medium thinly. Oil on linen on 9 mm birch panel 6x8 ins.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Using clear gesso as a ground.

The study today, is of three figures getting ready to get into a boat. I just wanted to demonstrate the potential of using clear gesso on hardboard as a ground and exploiting  the warm middle tone of the hardboard. Acrylic on gessoed hardboard 7.5x10 ins.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Waterford street

An experimental impasto oil  painting of a figure in a Street in Waterford, Ireland. I used a palette knife to create the effects of light and shadow, along with some megilp medium. The megilp sets up pretty quickly, being an alkyd based medium and the surface becomes a little tacky after a while, but 3-4 days to dry.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Girl in sunlight.

An experimental piece on paper, mixed media. Girl in sunlight . Oil over a watercolour and acrylic. I added clear gesso over a watercolour and acrylic and then painted with oil paints using a palette knife. At times I often leave some of the initial watercolour show in the final piece, depending if the tone works. In this case the hat was the original watercolour. I added light effects with impasto.

Mixed media 7.5x5.5 ins on watercolour paper.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Men in a canoe, mixed media.

In recent weeks I have been working on new oil paintings with some new ideas, but at the same time just for fun, experimenting with mixed media on older works that missed the cut. The painting below started out as a watercolour, which was okay, if I say do myself, but I just left it as a maybe. Recently I added some pastels I had laying about, then had a go with some acrylics with a palette knife. So it is truly mixed media, lol. Not sure I improved it much but l learned a bit about using mixed media. 7x10 ins mixed media on cotton rag paper.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Woman reclining on a chair.

I like to experiment with various art mediums on occasion, as in, combine watercolours, pastels and acrylics. Recently I was looking at some watercolours I had painted a while back and thought what can I do to make them more vibrant, or just see where I go? This painting was a watercolour of a woman reclining on a chair. I added some texture using acrylic with a palette knife, still keeping much of the watercolour. Mixed media 8x11 ins on paper.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

A beach landscape in watercolour.

A beach scene, watercolour on cotton rag 140 lbs 9x12 ins. I tried to convey atmosphere and space with loose washes and no detail.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The stray.

A cowboy rounding up a stray. A minimal limited palette, using a palette knife, brush and some medium. Oil on canvas 25x30 cm.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Sea view

I have been experimenting a lot recently with paint texture and abstraction. This painting is such a study of forms such as the clouds, the sky and the sea. Oil on paper using a palette knife 7x10 ins.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Cloud reflections in water, oil study.

 A study of clouds over water. Palette knife with brush. I wanted colour harmony with texture. Oil on gessoed paper 8x10ins.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


A watercolour of figures enjoying a day on the beach, on one of our sunny summer days, a few weeks ago. Cotton rag 140 lbs paper 9 x 5.5 ins.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A church on a hill, oil study on gessoed paper.

Whilst out on my rambles, I come across familiar sites and places. The church depicted is one such place that I have passed on numerous occasions. It's in a sleepy little village a few miles from my house. This particular day, the church was back lit against the sky and hills and I was interested in the profile the church made against the sky, thus transforming the ordinary familiar everyday scene, for me at least. Oil on gessoed paper 5x7 ins.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Orange and black with blue.

I love painting figures and this study is two women in contrasting colours that I saw on a recent trip to town. Oil on gessoed paper 7x5 ins. Impasto and brush work..

Saturday, 18 June 2016

River landscape, oil study on paper

River landscape study and sky reflections. Oil on gessoed watercolour paper. Palette knife impasto with some brush work.


Saturday, 11 June 2016

A farmhouse in shadow, in a summer landscape.

 I used gessoed heavy watercolour paper here as the substrate. When a watercolour does not work and is heading for the reject bin, I use the quality heavy paper, give it a couple of light coats of clear gesso and it's ready for use with acrylic or oil. This painting, oil on paper 7x10 ins, is a study of a field with the grass just been cut for silage and the farmhouse in shadow.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

White House

The weather has been wonderful, sun and great skies with majestic clouds,  so I seek out local landscapes that are beautifully lit. This lone house in the landscape, acrylic on gessoed watercolour paper 7x10 ins. I used a brush to block in the colours and shapes and then a palette knife to drag and create some texture.


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Blue cow, oil sketch on paper

A very restricted palette here, a cow in a field with the hills and the sky as a back drop. Oil on paper 5x7 ins. Palette knife and brush.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A farmers home, oil sketch by Joseph Mahon

I have been doing a lot of oil studies on paper recently, mostly landscapes. Dramatic skies and wonderful clouds appeal to me. This little study oil on paper 5x7 ins is of a farmers house, barn and the sky for company.


Friday, 20 May 2016

Landscape study

A landscape study on paper 7x10 ins. I use oil painting paper at times to try out different compositions and colour schemes or just work out an idea. This little painting is of a view near to where I live. I was mostly interested in the sky and creating distance and depth.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Figures from a sketch book

Another sketch book study of three young men at the water's edge contemplating going in for a swim or just talking. Watercolour on cartridge paper 8x11 ins

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Holiday people

One of my sketch book studies. Watercolour on cartridge paper. A holiday couple 8x6 ins.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Mom, Dad is lost again.

A little study of a dad, mom and their son. Dad is looking at a map, not sure which direction to go. Palette knife on Jacksons linen canvas panel on 3 mm MDF. Approx 15.3 x24 cm ( 6 x9.5 ins )

Friday, 29 April 2016

Beach figures

Two figures on a beach. Palette knife painting on canvas 10x8 ins. I broke up the colours as I wanted texture and movement.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Old times

Two older guys talking about times past. Watercolour study on Cotman 140 lbs paper. 10x8 ins


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Red and white

Two cows in a field, painted with a palette knife, with the overall effect impressionistic. Oil on linen canvas 8x10 ins. This painting and others are available at

Thank you.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Kilkenny Cat.

A cat sitting on window ledge in Kilkenny. Oil on gessobord 7x5 ins, mostly  impasto rendered with a palette knife.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Figure in red

I need to keep in touch with watercolour,  after painting with oil paints for a while. A figure in red on cotton rag paper 7x5 ins.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Victoria station London

Travellers heading for a train at Victoria Station London. Oil on linen on birch panel 10x8 ins. Palette  knife and brush work, with the introduction of ivory black. Recently I have started using ivory black as one of my colours, in an effort to create greater contrasts and tones.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Tramore Ireland, mixed media.

An beach scene in the evening with figures.Watercolour and some acrylic. I wanted to revive a watercolour that was a bit too dark, so I used some acrylic with a hog brush, to try and liven the foreground and the sky. 10x14 ins on cotton rag paper.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Heading to Aldi.

A study of an evening scene. A figure heading to Aldi supermarket as the evening sky closes in. Oil on linen board 6x8 ins.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Woman in a blue hat

In between oil painting, I have recently been doing some direct watercolour studies. With these I just paint directly on to the paper, no pencil or drawing as a guide. The aim is to do the painting directly and in one go, no further washes or additions. There needs to be a little blotting here and there to lift out some colour, otherwise it's all direct. 12x9 ins on Fabriano artistico 140 lbs paper.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

In the garden

In the garden. This is a painting of my wonderful daughter Lucy, in the garden, in London on a summer day, painted in 1998. Watercolour on paper 15x8.5 ins. My watercolour style then was a mixture of loose washes and fairly detailed in other areas.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Village street.

A street scene in a small village in Kilkenny county. Late autumn with summer hanging on. I was struck by the colour more than the scene, where nothing was happening.Watercolour on140lbs paper. 9.5x11 ins. 2007

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Friesan cows study in acrylic

I am still trying out acrylics. The immediacy of them is great and the possibilities are huge. I used a bristle brush and undiluted paint, to keep the tones under control and also to obtain a heavier paint layer. This little study of two Friesan cows is on gessoed watercolour paper 7x10 ins.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Waiting for the guests to arrive.

I am continuing my experimentation with acrylics. This piece is of a waitress  and a waiter sharing a joke, whilst waiting for guests to arrive at a function. The palette was muted in keeping with the scene, mostly blue and yellow tones, with a few touches of magenta. Acrylic on artist canvas panel 10x8 ins.