Temperate times

For this exhibition I'm focussing on rainforests. You might immediately think of the Amazon but the trees I am painting are not in South America but are the incredible temperate rainforests that we have in the UK. There is even some evidence that we have small remnants of rainforest right here in Dorset. The show will be at the Art Stable in Blandford from 22 June to 20 July. All the works can be viewed here

I have also made sketching trips to the several precious pockets of rainforests that we have in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and the Lake District. These environmentally vital woodlands used to cover up to 20% of our country but now, sadly, they make up less than 1%. They are particularly enchanting because they thrive in damp conditions so their trees tend to be mistily romantic with branches draped in mosses and ferns. They really do look as though they've come straight from a fairytale book. 

I was inspired to begin this project after reading Guy Shrubsole's brilliant best-selling book The Lost Rainforests of Britain. I was particularly intrigued by the passages where Shrubsole describes the plants to look out for because they are telltale signs of these magical, enveloping places. Tree branches, mostly gnarly oaks, are covered in mosses, liverworts, lichen and polypody ferns. Oh and the clue is in the name, they need lots of rain. 

I turned amateur detective on walks around Shaftesbury's misty damp valleys, concentrating on spots next to streams near my home that have this tick list, so there is a theory that the oaks growing there could be remnants of rainforests in our county. It is an amazing thought.  Some people will be surprised to discover that some of the small tracts I have painted around the country are actually in popular tourist areas. They may well have walked in them without realising their ecological significance. 

The paintings, from around the UK as well as Dorset, have hidden silhouettes of some of the 2,300 species dependent on them, as well as some of the wildlife I see as I paint written into the background of the artwork. I'm also enlisting the help of the public by giving a gift of an oak sapling to everyone who buys one of the paintings. I hope that they will plant their presents with care, helping to replenish the UK's diminishing tree cover and maybe even make a small start in re-growing our lost rainforests.

Wetland haven

In the wetlands at Daylesford. The fields that the Evenlode River runs through are an example of progressive farming and highlights the part that we can play in nature restoration and recovering our lost biodiversity. While I was there sketching I witnessed the amazing amount of species that are drawn to the calm pools that have been been created with low-intensity farming. Silhouettes of the birds and insects I saw are included in the background of the painting.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

£1950 available from Adrian Hill Fine Art

Hide and seek

In the wetlands at Daylesford. The fields that the Evenlode River runs through are an example of progressive farming and highlights the part that we can play in nature restoration and recovering our lost biodiversity. While I was there sketching I witnessed the amazing amount of species that are drawn to the calm pools that have been been created with low-intensity farming. Silhouettes of the birds and insects I saw are included in the background of the painting.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

£1950 available from  Adrian Hill Fine Art

Following the path

Seeing the last of the autumn leaves hanging on during a Cotswold walk. Silhouettes of moths dependant on the trees are hidden in the painting.

Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 91cm x 61cm
Frame: 95cm x 65cm

£2250 available from  Adrian Hill Fine Art

Oak shade

Welcome shade from a 600 year-old tree at Daylesford in the Cotswolds. Oh, it also provides a home to 2,300 species dependent on it in some way.

Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 91cm x 61cm
Frame: 95cm x 65cm

£2250 available from  Adrian Hill Fine Art

Sun through the oak

Morning mist shining through a hedgeline oak

Oil and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 122cm x 91cm
Frame: 128cm x 99cm

£3250 Part of the solo Temperate times exhibition at The Art Stable. Enquire here

Crumbling wall

Looking across sweeping Cotswold fields

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 24cm x 34cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 contact me  here

Reflecting giant

The trunk of the enormous oak in Bourton-on-the-water is ten metres around

Oil and charcoal board, framed in FSC wood

Image: 24cm x 34cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 Contact me  here

Sheep under giants

Daylesford sheep in the shade of ancient oaks

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 24cm x 34cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 contact me  here

Gathering clouds

The water meadows at Daylesford in The Cotswolds

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 28cm x 38cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 Contact me  here

Mist in the beech wood

Low sun and mist in the beech woods near Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£595 contact me  here

Oak amongst the ox-eyes

A young oak spreading its wings in a field of ex-eye daisies in The Cotswolds

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 28cm x 38cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 Contact me  here

Autumn mist

Morning mist rising from around an ancient oak tree

Oil on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 61cm x 91cm
Frame: 65cm x 95cm

£2250 Contact me  here

Along the bridleway

Following paths near the Roman Villa at Chedworth in the Cotswolds

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 24cm x 34cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£595 contact me  here

Avenue of ancients

Centuries-old oak trees lining the road near Stanway House

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£650 contact me  here

Deep in the temperate rainforest

Temperate rainforests in the UK such as Horner Wood are globally rare and more threatened than tropical rainforest. This wood includes hazel, ash, birch and oak and is a diverse habitat. There are 2,300 different species of bats to mammals, lichen to fungi dependent in some way on oak.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

£1750 contact me here 

Woodland sunburst

Morning sun shining through ash and beech woodlands. Silhouettes of moths dependant on the trees are hidden in the painting.

Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 91cm x 61cm
Frame: 95cm x 65cm

£2250 Contact me  here

Morning mist

A misty morning in PIne Walk

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 44cm x 29cm Framed: 53cm x 39cm

£795 contact me  here

Chastelton close cut

The Chasteleton oak has been standing for 1,000 years

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood


Artwork: 44cm x 29cm
Framed: 53cm x 39cm

£895 contact me  here

Blenheim oak (1400)

2,300 species, from birds to beetles, fungi to lichens are dependent on oak trees. There are 326 species that live solely on oak. This tree started growing around 1400 and stands in the Blenheim Palace estate, the wood with the most ancient oaks in Europe

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

5ft x 4ft 

£3,750 contact me  here

Dusk falls on Blandford

Winter sun going down near Blandford Bridge. "We might see an otter." I said to my friend as we walked along the Stour in the centre of Blandford Forum an hour earlier. "But probably not. You have to get here at dawn really."……Cue otter. Names of species dependent in some way on the river are written into the painting.

Watercolour and charcoal on paper, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 34cm x 24cm
Framed: 41cm x 31cm

£595 Contact me  here

Sezincote (1370AD)

2,300 species, from birds to beetles, fungi to lichens are dependent on oak trees. This giant tree in the grounds of Sezincote House may have started growing around 1370

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

5ft x 4ft

£3,750 contact me  here

Wardour Castle No3

There are 1,058 UK species associated with ash trees, ranging from beetles to birds, lichens to mammals. All will be affected when we lose up to 90% of the UKs 70m ash trees from dieback disease. Research is ongoing into replanting these trees with ash bred with tolerance to the infection

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in waxed FSC ash 

11in x 8in / 28cm x 20cm

£595 contact me here here

Last light

Lucky to see a great sky on an early evening walk.

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Image: 29 x 20cm
Frame: 39 x 28cm

£595 Contact me  here

Reed gap

Near Wimborne where the river divides and passes White Mill Bridge. Names of species dependent in some way on the river are written into the painting.

Watercolour and charcoal on paper, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 34cm x 24cm
Framed: 41cm x 31cm

£595 Contact me  here

Wind on water

The Stour near Sturminster Newton

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm 
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£595 Contact me  here

Off the hill

There is evidence that people lived on Hambledon Hill 5,000 years ago, 1,000 years before Stonehenge was built. The worlwide human population in 3,000BC was around 7m. In 1964 it was 3,250m, today there are 7,710m of us

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on paper, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 28cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£650 Contact me  here

Beech slope

Foggy trees with their fallen autumn leaves. Silhouettes of moths dependant on the trees are hidden in the painting.

Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 61cm x 91cm
Frame: 65cm x 95cm

£2350 Contact  Adrian Hill Fine Art


See the painting in progress here

Walk up to town

A late winter view of the walk up to town. Come June and July we spot glow-worms displaying in the bank on the right during the walk back home from the pub on warm evenings. Species I saw or heard while painting are written into the background along with a glow-worm

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on board framed in FSC wood

Image: 34cm x 24cm
Frame: 41cm x 30cm

£725 from  Adrian Hill Fine Art  Holt, Norfolk

Gate to the smallholding

The gate into John and Carol's smallholding at the highest part of French Mill Lane

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 44cm x 29cm
Frame: 53cm x 39cm

£1150 from  Adrian Hill Fine Art  Holt, Norfolk

The young oaks

These young trees are (very) slowly getting bigger. They must be around 40 years old now and would have started growing just before we started slashing the hedges with tractor trimmers. There are no younger oaks along the lane because the industrial hedge trimmers aren’t able to spot a new sapling, which would be allowed to mature and so everything in the hedge is cut. There are 2,300 different species of bats to birds, lichen to mammals dependent in some way on oak trees

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 44cm x 29cm
Framed: 53cm x 39cm

£995 contact me  here

Nearly home

From a frosty morning walk on the lane as the sun slowly warmed its way through the mist.

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£695 contact me  here

Light lines

Light on the Roman road in Eartham Wood

Oil, charcoal and graphite on canvas framed in FSC wood

Image: 61cm x 91cm
Frame: 65cm x 95cm

£2250 from  Kevis House Gallery , Petworth
One of a series of paintings as part of The Monarch's Way exhibition at Kevis House Gallery, July 12 - 30

Last light above Bignor

Evening mist settling in on the Downs above Bignor Roman Villa

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 24cm x 34cm
Frame: 30cm x 41cm

£750 from  Kevis House Gallery , Petworth
One of a series of paintings as part of The Monarch's Way exhibition at Kevis House Gallery, July 12 - 30

Receding light

I was lucky enough to be wandering in Petworth Park and catch this winter late afternoon sunset

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC ash

Artwork: 30cm x 46cm
Framed: 39cm x 53cm

£995 from Kevis House Gallery   Petworth

Winter stream

In the snow near Windermere in a young rainforest. 

Temperate rainforests in the UK such as this are ultra-rare and cover less than 1% of the country. This wood includes hazel, ash, birch and oak and is a diverse habitat. There are 2,300 different species of bats to mammals, lichen to fungi dependent in some way on oak.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

Part of the  RI Annual exhibitio n at  The Mall Galleries , London from 28 Mar - 13 Apr

£1985 contact me here 

Winter lane

Sun setting as we walk down a snow covered lane from a temperate rainforest in Windermere

Temperate rainforests in the UK such as this are ultra-rare and cover less than 1% of the country. This wood includes hazel, ash, birch and oak and is a diverse habitat. There are 2,300 different species of bats to mammals, lichen to fungi dependent in some way on oak.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

Part of the  RI Annual exhibitio n at The Mall Galleries , London from 28 Mar - 13 Apr

£1985 contact me here 

Mossy walls

On the lanes leading back to Ynyshir in Wales, down from the Cwm Einion temperate rainforest . Beautiful trees cloaked in lichen, ferns and moss, lots of moss

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

Part of the  RI Annual exhibitio n at  The Mall Galleries , London from 28 Mar - 13 Apr

£725 contact me  here

Moss and ferns

By the river that runs through the temperate rainforest in Horner Wood in Exmoor. The river runs off the moor through a mixture of oak, ash and alder trees. Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£695 contact me here

Edge of the rainforest

Some of the twisted oaks in the temperate rainforest at Cabilla in Cornwall. The preserved wood is surrounded by farmland and the expanse of Bodmin Moor. Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

Part of the  RI Annual exhibitio n at  The Mall Galleries , London from 28 Mar - 13 Apr

£725 contact me  here

Oak in the bracken

By the river that runs through the temperate rainforest at Cabilla in Cornwall. The preserved wood is surrounded by farmland and the expanse of Bodmin Moor. Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods.  Names of the 2,300 different species dependent on oak trees are written into the background. A feathered thorn moth, in the bottom right of the painting is one those 2,300

Watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£695 contact me  here

Winter snowfields

Winter clouds gathering to put another layer of snow on fields near Windermere

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 67cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 73cm

Part of the  RI Annual exhibitio n at  The Mall Galleries , London from 28 Mar - 13 Apr

£1985 contact me here 

Winter in the rainforest

Under the twisted oaks and by the mist-cloaked river above Lynmouth in Devon. Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£725 contact me  here

Meanderings

By the river that runs through the temperate rainforest in Hartland, Devon The river runs off the moor through a mixture of oak, ash and alder trees. Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£695 contact me  here

French Mill oak

The fern-covered oak that grows next to French Mill and the Sturkle. A damp spot; could it be a remnant of temperate rainforest? Less than 1% of our temperate rainforests remain. Up to 20% of the country would have, should be covered in these lichen and fern cloaked woods

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£725 contact me  here

Foggy morning

Walking past the old oak along Gascoigne's Lane on a foggy morning

Ink and watercolour on board

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Unframed

£350 contact me  here

Antarctica. Deep water. An apology

A few of years back I was lucky enough to go to Antarctica. After (guiltily) sailing Drake's Passage, which is the 600 miles of open sea where the Pacific and Atlantic meet, this was the first view of land. After two days of seeing dark ocean and icebergs the incredible mountains and ice appearing on the horizon are other-worldly. The massive peaks and glaciers seem so monumental and give a feeling of permanence. Sadly it’s not. These are the words written into the background of the painting:

If the predictions were right this sight, my first glimpse of frozen Antarctica, has completely changed. Even by 2020 the peninsula was 5.5˚ warmer than in the 1950s. I can't imagine what it's like now. I'm sorry, but there weren't enough of us willing to adapt our lives to prevent the planet heating up as it has. We stumbled on, voting for politicians who denied what was happening. Many of them wilfully blocked any change for decades, even though the evidence of the damage we were doing was clear. Millions of us turned a blind eye to our knowing destruction of Earth so that we could lead comfortable and profligate lives, even though we knew that you, in the future, would have to pay for our selfishness.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 69cm

£1695 Contact me  here

Antarctica. Landfall. An apology

A few of years back I was lucky enough to go to Antarctica. After (guiltily) sailing Drake's Passage, which is the 600 miles of open sea where the Pacific and Atlantic meet, this was the first view of land. After two days of seeing dark ocean and icebergs the incredible mountains and ice appearing on the horizon are other-worldly. The massive peaks and glaciers seem so monumental and give a feeling of permanence. Sadly it’s not. These are the words written into the background of the painting:

If the predictions were right this sight, my first glimpse of frozen Antarctica, has completely changed. Even by 2020 the peninsula was 5.5˚ warmer than in the 1950s. I can't imagine what it's like now. I'm sorry, but there weren't enough of us willing to adapt our lives to prevent the planet heating up as it has. We stumbled on, voting for politicians who denied what was happening. Many of them wilfully blocked any change for decades, even though the evidence of the damage we were doing was clear. Millions of us turned a blind eye to our knowing destruction of Earth so that we could lead comfortable and profligate lives, even though we knew that you, in the future, would have to pay for our selfishness.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 69cm

£1695 Contact me  here

Antarctica. First glimpse. An apology

I was lucky enough to go to Antartica. After sailing for two days without seeing land this was my first sight of the continent. These are the words written into the background of the painting

If the predictions were right this sight, my first glimpse of frozen Antarctica, has completely changed. Even by 2020 the peninsula was 5.5˚ warmer than in the 1950s. I can't imagine what it's like now. I'm sorry, but there weren't enough of us willing to adapt our lives to prevent the planet heating up as it has. We stumbled on, voting for politicians who denied what was happening. Many of them wilfully blocked any change for decades, even though the evidence of the damage we were doing was clear. Millions of us turned a blind eye to our knowing destruction of Earth so that we could lead comfortable and profligate lives, even though we knew that you, in the future, would have to pay for our selfishness.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Frame: 87cm x 69cm

£1695 Contact me  here

Antarctica: freezing but thawing

A view of the becalmed bay near Port Lockroy, inspired by my trip to the frozen Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. A page from my sketchbook while I was there is included, as well as species I saw are written into the background of the painting. To me it felt so cold when I was sketching. I wore two pairs of gloves and took one off to scribble in fingerless cycling gloves, but could only manage a couple of minutes before I had to put both layers back on because of the cold. Sadly, and shamefully, the Peninsula, like its northern cousin the Arctic, is warming at a faster rate than the rest of our heating planet. It is 6 degrees warmer now compared to 1950.

Acrylic, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 50cm x 68cm
Frame: 71cm x 90cm


£1695 contact me  here

Antarctica: frozen but melting

A view of Wilhelmina Bay, inspired by my trip to the frozen Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. A page from my sketchbook while I was there is included, as well as species I saw are written into the background of the painting. To me it felt so cold when I was sketching. I wore two pairs of gloves and took one off to scribble in fingerless cycling gloves, but could only manage a couple of minutes before I had to put both layers back on because of the cold. Sadly, and shamefully, the Peninsula, like its northern cousin the Arctic, is warming at a faster rate than the rest of our heating planet. It is 6C warmer now compared to 1950.

Acrylic, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 50cm x 68cm
Frame: 71cm x 90cm


£1695 contact me  here

Antarctica: cold but warm

Awarded The Frank Herring Easel Prize at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 211th Exhibition for an outstanding work

A view of the becalmed bay near Port Lockroy, inspired by my trip to the frozen Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. A page from my sketchbook while I was there is included, as well as species I saw are written into the background of the painting. To me it felt so cold when I was sketching. I wore two pairs of gloves and took one off to scribble in fingerless cycling gloves, but could only manage a couple of minutes before I had to put both layers back on because of the cold. Sadly, and shamefully, the Peninsula, like its northern cousin the Arctic, is warming at a faster rate than the rest of our heating planet. It is 6degrees warmer now compared to 1950.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 50cm x 68cm
Frame: 71cm x 90cm

£1995 contact me  here

Antarctica. Waiting. An apology

BEST IN SHOW
At Society of Graphic Fine Art Centenary exhibition at Mall Galleries, London 5 -10 July

I was lucky enough to go to Antartica. This view shows moulting juvenile penguins waiting for their parents to return and feed them just-caught krill. In recent years penguins that wouldn't have been suited to breeding on the Antarctica Peninsula are now nesting in large numbers due to warming temperatures.

The year before I visited more than a third of penguin chicks on the islands died of starvation. In the same area trawlers were ‘suction' harvesting krill, a tiny crustacean, for our increasing demand for omega 3 food supplements and fish farm food. Scientists believe that with less krill in the area, less food was available to the birds. Fewer surviving penguins means less prey for seals and orca.

These are the words written into the background of the painting:

If the predictions were right this sight, my first glimpse of frozen Antarctica, has completely changed. Even by 2020 the peninsula was 5.5˚ warmer than in the 1950s. I can't imagine what it's like now. I'm sorry, but there weren't enough of us willing to adapt our lives to prevent the planet heating up as it has. We stumbled on, voting for politicians who denied what was happening. Many of them wilfully blocked any change for decades, even though the evidence of the damage we were doing was clear. Millions of us turned a blind eye to our knowing destruction of Earth so that we could lead comfortable and profligate lives, even though we knew that you, in the future, would have to pay for our selfishness.

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood

Image: 69cm x 93cm
Frame: 90cm x 120m

£2250 Contact me  here

Summer cliffs

Part of the South West Coastal Path as it meanders around the coves near Trevone in Cornwall

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£725 contact me  here

On the marshes

On the salt marshes in summer near Pagham, Chichester

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 32cm x 23cm
Framed: 40cm x 30cm

£725 contact me  here

Slow burn

If the oilmen in suits were physically setting fire to our forests there would be uproar and strenuous efforts made to stop them. But they are doing it more indirectly and subtly so that we hardly notice that it's happening. But it really is. Our woodlands are burning up and so are we. The shocking thing about the oil industry's actions is that it has known for years what the outcome of burning fossil fuels would be on the planet. Sadly, profits trump that knowledge.


These are the words written around the edges of the painting:
"In 2020 Shell had sales of £232bn. In the same year it aimed to spend £2bn on low carbon businesses. Its annual marketing budget for 2020 was £2bn. Oil and gas contribute 19,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the planet each year. Shell spent £1.5bn on low carbon generation from 2016-2020. At the same time it invested £90bn in fossil fuels. Shell is considered to be a climate leader in the industry. Oil companies invest 1% of their budget in clean energy. They are knowingly burning us alive."

Sources: clientearth.org, The Guardian, ourworldindata.org

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Unframed

£995 contact me  here

Warm words

If the oilmen in suits were physically setting fire to our forests there would be uproar and strenuous efforts made to stop them. But they are doing it more indirectly and subtly so that we hardly notice that it's happening. But it really is. Our woodlands are burning up and so are we. The shocking thing about the oil industry's actions is that it has known for years what the outcome of burning fossil fuels would be on the planet. Sadly, profits trump that knowledge.


These are the words written around the edges of the painting:
"In 2020 Shell had sales of £232bn. In the same year it aimed to spend £2bn on low carbon businesses. Its annual marketing budget for 2020 was £2bn. Oil and gas contribute 19,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the planet each year. Shell spent £1.5bn on low carbon generation from 2016-2020. At the same time it invested £90bn in fossil fuels. Shell is considered to be a climate leader in the industry. Oil companies invest 1% of their budget in clean energy. They are knowingly burning us alive."

Sources: clientearth.org, The Guardian, ourworldindata.org

Ink and watercolour on board

Artwork: 35cm x 25cm
Unframed

​£350 contact me here

Heated words

If the oilmen in suits were physically setting fire to our forests there would be uproar and strenuous efforts made to stop them. But they are doing it more indirectly and subtly so that we hardly notice that it's happening. But it really is. Our woodlands are burning up and so are we. The shocking thing about the oil industry's actions is that it has known for years what the outcome of burning fossil fuels would be on the planet. Sadly, profits trump that knowledge.


These are the words written around the edges of the painting:
"ExxonMobil had a turnover of £1,069bn between 2015-2000. During the same time it spent 0.01% of that on low-carbon investments and developments. Oil and gas contribute 19,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the planet each year. ExxonMobil is the self-proclaimed leader in carbon capture. It stores 9m tonnes of CO2 per year. That is 2% of its annual emissions of 730m tonnes in 2019. The world's oil companies invest 1% of their budgets in clean energy. They're knowingly burning us alive."

Sources: clientearth.org, The Guardian, ourworldindata.org

Ink and watercolour on board

Artwork: 35cm x 25cm
Unframed

​£350 contact me  here

Earthwork edge

There is evidence that people lived on Hambledon Hill 5,000 years ago, 1,000 years before Stonehenge was built. The worlwide human population in 3,000BC was around 7m. In 1964 it was 3,250m, today there are 8,000m of us

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on paper, framed in FSC wood

11in x 8in / 28cm x 20cm 15in x 9in / 39cm x 29cm framed

£595 Contact me  here

Shardow

There are 8.4m trees in London. I find this an incredible thought, especially when you view the city from high up. Besides looking nice and all the other benefits of trees, that equates to 2.4m tonnes of carbon safely stored away. In 2015 I was lucky to have stayed in the Shangri-La Hotel on the 45th floor of The Shard and captured this scene. From that viewpoint I could see only around ten of the 8.4m. 

Thinking back to 2015 gives me painful memories as I struggled to even get to the hotel. Two months before I slipped a disc which made walking or standing excruciating after a couple of minutes. For nine months I tried a succession of exercises and physiotherapies to cure the problem. Sadly none worked and I eventually had an operation that thankfully had me standing pain free instantly. Looking back makes me very grateful

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC ash

Artwork: 30cm x 46cm
Framed: 39cm x 53cm

£795 Contact me  here

Jürgen's view?

I stayed in a hotel Liverpool FC use the night before they play a home game. The whole team, including the manager Jurgen Klopp prepare for the match and overnight there. I was lucky enough to get an upgrade to a lovely room on the top floor. I wonder if this is the view Jurgen usually has? Looking out, I could only spot a couple of trees. The centre of Liverpool had 1% tree cover in 2012. It's aiming now to get to 10%

Ink and watercolour on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£595 Contact me  here

8.4m to 1

After sketching the Barn Elms Plane tree I stayed at a hotel in London (serendipitously called the Treehouse in Marylebone). The restaurant is on the 15th floor with 360 degree views. Quite late in the evening, while looking over the London rooftops, I noticed one Plane tree silhouetted in the streetlights. From that particular view it was the only tree I could see. An amazing contrast to the other London tree I’d seen earlier in the day. There are incredibly 8.4m trees in the capital city

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board, framed in FSC wood

Artwork: 30cm x 20cm
Framed: 39cm x 29cm

£595 Contact me  here

Bourton on the water oak No2

2,300 species, from birds to beetles, fungi to lichens are dependent on oak trees. This giant tree is 10m around

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Unframed

£495 Contact me  here

Frozen fields

Snow in the fields at Asmore, the highest village in Dorset

Ink, watercolour and charcoal on board

44cm x 29cm artwork
Unframed

£395 Contact me  here

Drifting by

Near Marnhull beneath the River Stour looking up to ivy-clad trees

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Unframed

£995 contact me  here

Look up to the trees

Looking up from beneath the Sturkel, one of the 48 tributaries of the River Stour

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper

Image: 68cm x 50cm
Unframed

£995 contact me  here

West Melbury oak (1856)

2,300 species, from birds to beetles, fungi to lichens are dependent on oak trees. This acorn was sown around 1856

Ink, charcoal and watercolour on paper framed in FSC wood: 

88cm x 73cm

£1295 Contact me  here

Behind the scenes

The idea for the Behind The Scenes studio visit came from numerous comments by curious art lovers at my public exhibitions. I realised that many people are interested in the process behind the paintings, not only the where and how but also the stories that inspired individual pieces. There usually isn't time during an exhibition to go into detail and so I decided to open my studio for private visits.

My studio is in the garden of my country cottage on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and I often paint the woods that surround from my home. You might even recognise a tree or two en route to a visit. I designed the studio myself, using environmentally friendly materials and featuring the precise window shape that I need to create the perfect light for painting. Fortunately, it also has the bonus of beautiful views across sheep-filled fields up to the sturdy tower of the 14th-century church at the top of Shaftesbury's famous Gold Hill.

I hope you'll find the views inside the studio just as uplifting and that you connect with a painting during your visit. Before a viewing a price list of the works currently on show is available. These pieces are only for sale to Behind The Scenes visitors and are not shown at public exhibitions.

A studio visit gives me the opportunity to answer your questions about the paintings, to discuss various techniques, point out subtle images and messages hidden in my paintings that are often hard to see online and explain their meaning. I have been painting about the importance of trees for the human soul as well as the planet's survival for many years and I am still constantly surprised by the fascinating facts I unearth during my research. Nature is absolutely incredible.

If you would like a look Behind The Scenes email me at gary@cookthepainter.com for a price list and dates

Shaftesbury sketches

Scribbles of the local patch from the sketchbook

Framed in FSC ash

Artwork: 20x13cm
Framed: 25x20cm

£135  from  Folde Dorset