Category Archives: Project

Artist’s Books – Medieval Trees

I’ve always loved the idea of artist books and have plenty of sketch pads with designs, tree11projects and drawings. So at last, I’ve finally got around to making a hand bound book of my own.Ā  It combines three interests of mine, the medieval art style, liner projects that explore a theme and bookbinding.

I’ve put together a couple of books before but this time I decided to do it properly and bought myself the right tools for the job. So with this in mind, my recent art works have IMG_20190228_125654been looking at how trees were portrayed by artists through the Late Middle Ages.

From borders to hedgerows

The images start with the heraldic border designs, flowery lines with leaves and buds that dangle down the page and trail across the tops and bottoms. As the church relaxed its attitude to depicting nature, artists increasingly began to explore painting trees.

Their first attempts show lollipop style trees and any parent will be familiar with a green blob on a stick. These gradually developed to a stage where there are tree shapes filled in with leaves. tree5

Superstar artists

By the 12th century artists were becoming more and more recognised and with the arrival of Giotto di Bondone the superstar painters had begun. Prior to his fame, artists were merely seen as craftspeople with a technical skill.

IMG_20190227_125521Cimabue, Duccio, Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers all brought their own take on nature and with it secured the status of artists in society.

Drawing trees

Eventually the way of drawing leaves changed from simple ellipses to more complicated ideas. Here you can see the type of foliage that could have been found throughout the era.

By the end of the 14th century artists had started to nail painting nature and were capable of capturing the rich diversity of trees present in the landscape. It is really interesting to follow how artists, over time, looked at the world around them and IMG_20190303_092446_6experimented in painting vegetation.

Hand bound books

The idea now is to compile these paintings into a leather, hand bound book. I will also make a limited series of 24 watercolour paintings reproduced as digital prints and stitch these into an A5 copy of the original artworks.

If you’re interested in obtaining one of these rare books about the story of Medieval Trees, please email me for further information at –

On Closed Doors – Monte Urban Art Project


ENEL Cover Monte Santa Maria Tiberina – Watercolour and ink 58 x 54cm (For Sale)

I was recently asked, by the Circolo di Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, to take part in a project to decorate the utility meter doors scattered throughout the ancient town. The remit said that it needed to fit the panel, be relevant to the medieval town and take into account the lock on the door.

Designing door covers


ENEL panel

In total thirteen artists were asked to join the group and one Sunday a couple of weeks ago we all met up to choose our doors. Mine is the ENEL cover at the top of the stone stairs leading to the Palazzo and the main piazza.

Naturally I decided that I’d do a landscape of the area but I needed to disguise the black plastic door lock. I thought the best way to do this was to give the painting a harvest theme and hide the lock inside a strange, black, fantastical plant. Continuing the Fruita di Bosco the scene with a nectarine and more flowers in a vase, the meaning behind the books remains a mystery.

Urban art project

The access panel is quite large, some 58 x 54 cm and I felt that a landscape just plonked in the middle of the street would seem strange. So I included a terracotta tile window sill, on which the books, vase and nectarine stand, giving the impression you are looking through a window or archway.


View of Monte

The town is drawn from the same angle at which you look at the panel, so it has the effect of creating a world within a world. A fairground hall or mirrors, with infinite repeated views of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina stretching off into the distance.

The paintings will be printed onto film and the doors covered and hopefully remain in place for a couple of years. If you are interested in seeing them they will be ready for the town’s festa, which runs on the 8,9 and 10th October.

I hope to see you there. šŸ™‚



Painting for Dogs



At the end of the month , I’m joining in with the local ex-pat community in Italy where we support a charity called “Books for Dogs”. People donate used, normally English language books and they are resold to raise money.

Every year they hold an annual bazaar and the artists and crafts people of the Upper Tiber Valley come along and show off their talents, donate 10% of their takings to the cause.

Books for Dogs Fair

Well this year I’m going to take part and am in the process of putting together a collection of small, affordable pieces dedicated to the landscape around Umbertide, where the sale will be held.

Civitella Ragnieri 10x15cm Watercolour

Civitella Ragnieri 10x15cm Watercolour

Along with these watercolours, I’ll also take some of my prints and a couple of larger paintings I’ve got for sale. This should bulk out the table and maybe attract a little much needed interest. A captive audience is always valuable.

Painting project

The event is proving a good motivator in encouraging me to paint on a daily basis andĀ getting into the creative mindset each day. More recently I’ve been working on large scale metre long paintings that take a couple of weeks at a time to finish, so producing a painting a day is a completely different prospect.

Borgo S. Giuliana 10.15cm Watercolour

Borgo S. Giuliana 10.15cm Watercolour

Fair in the sun

Lets hope we manage to raise lots of money for the poor abandoned dogs in the kennels of Umbertide and Lerchi. The staff there do a wonderful job and need as much help and can be given.

So it’s tea and sticky buns onĀ the 30th May Ā and looking forward toĀ a good day out.