and all that jazz

This week’s Photo Challenge is all about sharing “a photo of things that complement each other”


all that jazz 27.2.17

Two weeks ago we spent a memorable weekend in Seattle where of course we visited the famous Pike Place Market. At the entrance to the market we enjoyed the great jazz of Seattle’s Speakeasy Jazz Cats. If you have some time tap your feet for a few minutes as we did together with a very appreciative crowd.

I thought today’s painting and the jazz were a good match. I hope you agree.

As an addendum we were in Seattle to hear the stunning Yuja Wang, perhaps the most exciting pianist in the world, play in concert with the brilliant violinist Leonidas Kavakos. If you have never heard Ms Wang play visit her website here, fall in love, and be amazed.


genie of the brush: part 2


“When you pick up your brush it should come to life in your hands” writes Tony Smibert at the beginning of Chapter 6 in Painting Landscapes from your Imagination. He continues, “Somehow we have to free the brush so that it will dance across the page as if it were alive in our fingertips rather than trapped by them.”


This second part of Genie of the brush is all about Making Marks, the title of the chapter, using the four simple steps of Dotting, Dabbing, Dragging and Rolling, with my brushes hopefully dancing across the page.


The best part of this exercise was following Tony Smibert’s suggestion to “free movement to a rhythm or a beat.” I took this to heart and dotted, dabbed, dragged and rolled to one of my favourite Jazz pieces, Blue Monk by the great, late Thelonius Monk, the genius of the keys to match the genie of the brush. It was also the perfect opportunity for another “Over my shoulder” video.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.

Over my Shoulder VI – Making Marks



One of yesterday’s landscapes that followed the exercise using a combination of dots, drags, dabs and rolls.  Definitely a good day 🙂

Worldwatercolormonth Day 5

You can find links to all of my other Over My Shoulder videos on
From Yardwork to Artwork: The Photinia Story Part Three

Studio 365: Day 71

Day 71 i

After Day 70 featured The Blue Danube Waltz, blue continues to be the theme for Day 71.

blue iii   blue ii

Catching the waves I & II 12.3.15

Blue Monk

I drew this cartoon when I was still a schoolboy in the early sixties after listening to Thelonius Monk playing Blue Monk for the first time. If you have a few minutes listen to this great Jazz classic from a 1963 recording of the Thelonius Monk Quartet and available on Revolver Music’s Thelonius Monk, Volume 2.  It remains one of my favourite pieces of Jazz to this day.

Day 71 ii

Somehow I feel that today’s blue palette is a good match for the jazz. What do you think?