Tag Archives: paintings

Scotland – storms and light

It has been a wild week: low cloud, strong to gale force winds, regular bands of rain or slushy snow,  punctuated by brilliant sparkling sunshine and, on the last day, luminous rainbows framing mountains that I have not made time to climb on this journey.

On the way north, I caught the last ferry of the day, just, to the isle of Mull, which was hiding under a thick grey winter blanket with a cold wind raising a small choppy swell.


I have achieved all but two of the main objectives that I had for this half-term break. I have spent time with friends not seen for too long, explored some new places, slept under stars and stormy nights in my oldest tent and on a boat, immersed myself briefly in the sea and made a number of paint sketches on most days. I had intended to paint more outside, but the general wetness of everything meant that the car was my main studio, if only to prevent the sketchbook from disintegrating.

Inspired by a recent presentation to the Wolverhampton Society of Artists, I had bought a brown card sketch book to experiment with painting quickly on a nearly mid-toned ground. I have enjoyed the results, in part because I  tried to loosen up my painting and catch impressions rather than details.


At one place, the enigmatic Clava Cairns near Culloden, I felt a figurative sketch wouldn’t work. Instead I followed a more expressive approach, a response to what I perceived in the place: the sense of the geographical location, the feeling of a flow of something through the site,  the sense of presence I felt standing near some of the cairns and upright stones.


I’ve been able to get used to using my reduced palette of acrylics in the outdoors or in the car, refinishing the logistics of deploying and stowing paints, water and a brush or two; all good practice for a possible trip further afield around Easter.

Inspirational Workshopping

Until yesterday, I had never tried the monoprint technique. I had not really understood the advantages and potential of this approach until the workshop, run by Art North Wales at the Trigonos centre in Nantlle.

We had a busy, productive and inspiring day, everybody producing very different and interesting work, with a vibrant atmosphere of playful exploration in the room as people rolled out ink and paints and experimented with paper, card, natural materials, collaging and more to try out new ways of image making.

For myself, I am trying to take a more free and loose style in my painting and drawing, especially in my landscape work.  After the first demonstration, I started to get a flood of ideas for possible ways of using this to achieve a shift in my paintings.

I started working on backgrounds, inspired by the wonderful autumnal colours that are persisting here and the layers of colours and forms in these Snowdonia valleys between the dramatic ridges.  Leaves and  stems from the grounds provided a set of printing medial to add layers to the pictures and I tried making multiple impressions, each one very different, as is the nature of monoprinting.  The results are below, I have been inspired and will be looking at how I can incorporate some of these methods into my work…


Autumn Change 1


Autumn Change 3


Autumn Change 2


Autumn Change 4


Ivy 1


Ivy 2


Ivy 3


Nantlle rain


Nantlle 1


Nantlle 2


“Into an old, new land”

Here is a preview of a new landscape painting, inspired by recent experiences in Scotland as dramatic rain clouds rolled in over Creag Meagaidh , as well as other things seen in the Cairngorms, earlier in the year.  Unusually, for me, it combines elements from several experiences. This and other acrylic works are on the updated Acrylic paintings page.

2016 a changing land w3

Into an old, new land – acrylic on canvas 76x51cm 2016

The inspiration for this painting ‘boiled up’ for me in the wake of the UK’s referendum on EU membership, added to what transpired to be a fruitless journey at short notice.  I felt the result in a very personal way that surprised me; I spoke to others who said the same. As the train rolled south on the day of the result, I felt I was returning to a land that was less home, more foreign, to me now.  The heaviness of the greys in the clouds, which I find beautiful and fascinating to watch, along with the strong contrasts and feeling of compression of the mountains, the gaps of light offering possible escape routes from the crushing presence of the rain-bearing masses.. all these had a resonance for me in the present situation.

I may add some finishing work to this, though not a great deal, it is essentially ‘done’.  I feel the sense of danger but also opportunity that changes bring; it is not an easy time.


After Easter

I’ve been staying with friends whom I haven’t seen for about four years. They have the luxury of a real studio and invited me to do some painting this morning. I was given a free rein with acrylics and a few brushes and objects to select, plus a mug of good strong coffee…
I had an hour before the train. 
So, first a quick still life, then a rapid little self portrait study on a small pad of watercolour paper to use up some spare paint from the palette:



Rijksmuseum – your own private collection!

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has added a great feature to its website in the form of Rijksstudios: this is mine so far –  https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/rijksstudio/160668–chris-terrell/verzamelingen

You can save details as well as entire images of works from their collection and download good quality images, order reproductions and other good features that enhance access to a superb collection of great art.  You can choose the language too.  I’ll try the phone app later and on my next visit to the museum, planned for August.

I don’t yet know whether any UK galleries or museums are doing this, a commendable idea and a great opportunity to explore the collection before and after a visit.

Het melkmeisje – Johannes Vermeer


Spring update

IMG00239-20120522-0712 IMG00230-20120522-0707 2 portrait studies 2012, acrylic on A3 paper.

The exhibition with Art North Wales in the Electric Mountain Gallery in Llanberis is now down and the paintings packed away for now. I shall be showing the paintings on this site (see Acrylic Paintings) for the time being.
The Summer promises to be busy with other commitments so painting will be sporadic. For the time being I plan to return to painting smaller watercolour landscapes from Wales and recent walking and cycling trips to Scotland. I’m about to update the Watercolour page soon so recent paintings should be there for viewing in the next couple of days.
Apart from this, I want to focus for a while on the portrait and life studies I’ve been building up in sessions at the Wolverhampton Society of Artists and at meetings of the informal “Art Mechanics” group near Telford. These are available on the Portrait & Life Studies page.
In my work at the school, I have started to assist a class with a transcript exercise (‘copy’) of a painting by Frida Kahlo; this was interesting to try out for myself, using the same paints and basic brushes as the students will be using. It’s piqued my interest in the artist herself, her challenging life and work.
I’ve also been exploring some basics in pottery and designing and making more armatures and wire forms for school projects with neighbouring primary schools: a full-size dragon, a clown that was transformed into an ancient Greek warrior (last minute request) and, most recently, a life-size Freddy Mercury for the school show “We Will Rock You”… we’ll see how it looks after the students have covered it in its ‘modroc’ skin!

New Site, New Start

Cloud-Land – acrylic on canvas – 16 x 16in – 2009

This is the new incarnation of my previous website at http://www.christerrell.co.uk .  This blog will have updated information on work in progress, exhibitions and so on.

The Pages will contain images and notes on my paintings in Acrylic and Watercolour and on work in other media. Images of the recent Acrylics are now up on that page, including a link to Oriel Tonnau in Pwllheli, North Wales, where they are being exhibited at present. I’m adding to the others as time allows.

Thank you for your patience as I rebuild and evolve the site; if you want to contact me to discuss works, buying a painting, etc, please do this by leaving a comment.  I intend to keep a regular check on this blog.  I may put up an email link soon, which will make this easier.