Category Archives: Plein Air Studies

New Painting – Walking the dogs at Greatstone

I  completed this en plein air painting a while back now, with a good friend of mine walking her two lovely dogs on the beach at Greatstone.

The beach was completely deserted, apart from my friend and myself, and the huge skies over the sea really gives a sense of the emptiness of the beach in late autumn, so different from the crowds of summer.

I love the soft, cool blue of the sky as it contrasts with the warm tones of the sun reflecting off of the clouds, I feel it really gives the painting a harmonious whole.

The painting is for sale at £450.

Photo is a little soft apologies

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New en plein air paintings

Summer is now and full swing and, this year, we’ve had good weather (so far!).  It’s great to have the long evenings, I can paint until the light fades at around 9-9.30pm and there’s been some amazing sunsets to capture on canvas!

I’ve been taking full advantage of the long sunny days and getting out as much as I can to paint en plein air.

On Monday, I was out in Folkestone painting all day. I love Folkestone’s mix of holidaymakers, historic quarter and commercial harbour.

Here are some of my latest paintings I do hope you like them!

On the Sands at Folkestone by Paul Apps U.A.  (Oil en plein air)

Little Mermaid at Folkestone by Paul Apps U.A. (Oil en plein air)

Towards the Cliffs at Folkestone by Paul Apps U.A. (Oil en plein air)

Once fully dry, these paintings will be available to purchase at the gallery.

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Cornish Painting Trip


My very first painting adventure in Cornwall.

15 paintings and several sketches made in 5 days.

Its taken a few weeks since my first trip into the South-West to put together all the paintings,  to photograph, frame and hang them. Not to mention add them to my online shop as products for sale, finally adding them to this new post, the first for a little while.

The 10th of October saw me drop my youngest son Barnaby off to university in Falmouth to study underwater and conservation photography . It gave me a fantastic opportunity to realise a long time ambition to paint in the wonderful county of Cornwall. Its wild landscape and rugged coastline has inspired me for many years without the opportunity to record it along with my thoughts in oil. So I decided to spend five days out from my gallery in Hythe to do just that.

Here are the paintings


Porthleven Sunset

Plein air oil on panel 7″ x 16″

This is the first image of my trip, after I set up my tent on a hill high above Porthleven ,I went exploring and found this exciting first glimpse of the dramatic coastlines in store for me to see.

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Lizard Point

Plein air oil on panel 10″ x 8″

This is the first of three images on the Lizard peninsula that i made on the Sunday. I hate heights so it took a lot for me to paint this image to begin with.

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Lizard Harbour

Plein air oil on panel 7″ x 16″

This is the second painting from the Lizard, this time at the waters edge and the tiny harbour for the small fishing boats. I was also inspected by a large Atlantic Grey Seal whilst painting.

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Keyence Cove

Plein air oil on panel 10″ x 8″

The final painting made on my first day a mile or two from the Lizard. Keyence cove I am told, is reputed as one of the prettiest coves in Cornwall. I so enjoyed this painting despite the great height again.

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St Michaels Mount from Marazion ( Windy Evening)

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

This was the first of three images of this iconic landmark. The wind was full on and I used one hand to hold onto my pochade setup, not an easy painting to make.

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St Michaels Mount from Marazion ( Stormy Afternoon)

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

This work was made in two parts along the seafront at Marazion. As a huge thunder storm made its presence felt in the middle of it. with little shelter and my coat draped over the pochade box and painting giving them protection, I got increasingly wet. I later rushed to pack and returned an hour later to complete this study.

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Sennen Cove

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

I went here to paint Sennen Cove one afternoon. It was a delight and the only issue is painting upon the rocks. I got a good soaking from a wave and it knocked over my pochade causing some damage.

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st-michaels-mount-from-perrennuthnoe-pa-12-9-16001St Michaels Mount from Perranuthnoe.

 Plein air oil on panel 7″ x 16″

This painting was made from the other side of the mount and roughly where the great Fred Cuming RA stood to paint it for his video in 2010. It was a cloudy day that would eventually turn out to be very unpleasant in the afternoon, evening and night This was due to heavy storms, and I spend the night in my car…..

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Porthleven Harbour

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

This is an evening painting of Porthleven harbour, and these two fishing boats beached on the ebbing tide. I was a peaceful end to the day.

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Mousehole Harbour

Plein air oil on panel 7″ x 16″

The first one in Mousehole harbour, a destination I’d long wanted to paint.

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 Mousehole Key

Plein air oil on panel 7″ x 16″

The second on this day at Mousehole harbour enjoying the tidal ebb on the Key side

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Botallack Mines

Plein air oil on panel 10″ x 8″

The first of two on my last day in West Cornwall, the famous Botallack Mines deep into Poldark country. High on the cliff top, but an experience  I had to enjoy and a scene that I had to paint.

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Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

The last of my paintings of Mousehole on this trip, a second visit on this sunlit morning. followed by a cuppa and catch up with Ken Howard RA and his lovely wife Dora Bertollutti in Ken’s studio in Mousehole.

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Botallack Sunset

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

This was a fast work as the last of the light ebbed away and left me in a quiet place on top of the cliff. The sunset was just beautiful to behold.

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Porthcurnick Beach

Plein air oil on panel 8″ x 10″

This painting was made just before I left Cornwall for the 7.5 hour drive home. I loved this little cove, stunning and so peaceful, near to Portscatho.

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Below are some thumbnails of a few of my works now in frames, just to give you an idea of how well they look framed. Each in a handmade and painted frame. Very individual and personal to each image. The prices include these frames, and free shipping within the UK. Please email me for overseas shipping costs. Remember if you like one of my painting and wish to own it, don’t delay as there is only one of them. Just hit the link and you’ll be taken to my online shop where you can buy the work.

I do offer    interest free payments over 6 months on my work i.e. 20% deposit and the balance divide for five further payments. All recorded and you get the work when the last payment is received.

p1030509 p1030500 p1030497 p1030495 p1030493 p1030488  


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Two from Tuesday evening

Hi everyone….Lower Sands  PA 5.7.16001

Just wanted to post two images that I rushed over to the beach to make on Tuesday evening. I know that they have been on Instagram, but both images, well the painting of them gave me such a buzz that I really wanted to blog about them.

Lower Sands 2  PA 5.7.16001

The time was 8pm and my wife ran into my office to let me know that that sun was looking great as it was setting. I took one quick  look and then jumped into my car, drove to the beach and excitedly set up to work. The two images are shown in order as they were made. I turned toward the very last of the available light just after 9.15 and worked furiously.


The light was going so fast. This was the time that I really appreciated something that I try to drum into all my students, and that is keeping an ordered approach to setting out my palette. I knew exactly where to find the colour I needed even though I could hardly see it. The hard part was the tones that I needed.

IMG_7709 In the end I had to hope that the mixes I had been making were indeed the correct ones for the passages I was laying down on the panel.

I finally finished at 22.15, tired, but so very happy with my efforts. I was so worth getting out at such short notice, and had it not been for Catherine I would certainly have missed the opportunity to create this work. I can’t wait to do it again.

IMG_7712You can see just how difficult it was in the end….. Flash needed to take a picture.

Tomorrow is Sunday and I am planning to be up at 4am to capture the sunrise…. weather permitting.

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A Momentous Day.

Today I had a great day, I ventured out to Rye and painted a nice image of Rye Harbour. It was hot, but 90 minutes in and I think I had nailed this lovely harbour scene.


Then this… I finally met with someone who I have admired for many, many years.

Mr Fred Cuming R.A.Fred Cuming 2 promo Then I fulfilled a long overdue ambition, dream, call it what you will. I have been a longtime huge fan of Fred Cuming R.A. Today he invited me to his home near Rye in East Sussex where we spent a treasured hour and a half chatting in the great company of Audrey, his wife. What a lovely gentleman he is. Indeed what a wonderful couple they both are. I should have met him years ago, but that is the way it goes. I am so pleased that another year has not passed me by without talking with this great artist of our time, a man who is responsible for creating magic in paintings. exploring a vision of my Native Romney Marshes that I can only aspire to attaining.

I came away with signed copies of his long awaited new book

” Another Figure in the Landscape” Simply a must have. All landscape painters and plein air artists grab a copy quickly.  There are only a 1000 copies available and they are going fast……

Go to Fred’s Website to obtain your copy. Fred Cuming

Fred and I in his new studio at his home… A sensational space full of books, paintings and found objects that Fred enjoys. I was just amazed at being surrounded by so much beautiful art. There are some images that go back to Freds’ student days, including a nude that he showed me


Fred Cuming Promo


Rye !! 4.7.16This is my effort before meeting Fred. Rye Harbour, a 90 minute effort in the hot sunshine this Monday Afternoon.

PS Wishing all my friends in the USA a happy fourth of July…. may it be peaceful….

Don’t forget my next Plein air Workshop on Sunday 17th July on the Romney Marshes.  Book Now

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Dungeness Plein Air Workshop on Sunday

This last Sunday I had five students with me for a great days plein air painting in the wilderness expanse of Dungeness on the Southeast tip of the UK in Kent.


None of my students had ever ventured outside to paint in the Plein Air manner before, but each copied very well. The wind was as it always is most evident, causing us to seek sheltered viewpoints wherever possible.


This was the first demonstration that I completed for them all, the lighthouse is an amazing landmark this is a 7″ x 16″ panel.


Then it was their turn, spreading themselves around the shingle each chose the viewpoint that most excited them.


Even if i had some walking to do over that shingle beach…… Though in June the wildflowers are out in abundance and beautify the Ness in spectacular colour. It was a treat to include and suggest their presence in our work.

All too soon it was time for lunch…. A pint and a natter in the well known Britannia P.H, located just a few feet away. Then we relocated near to where all the old net sheds are located and I made a second demo of the day shown below.

After my students had painted once more we ended the day back inside the Britannia for a drink and a wind down… They all left satisfied, tired and i hope looking forward to doing more plein air studies.



The very next Plein Air Workshop is planned upon the Romney Marshes, near to Botolphs Bridge P.H. ( See the pattern emerging?) on Sunday 17th July 2016

Spaces are available, though booking in advance is essential       BOOK NOW only £65.00 for the days tuition including two demonstrations.


Folkestone Harbour on Sunday 4th September 2016      BOOK NOW     (Details as above.)


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Plein air on Sunday 5th June — Greatstone Dunes

Greatstone PA 5.6.16001

The was my painting from Sunday afternoon at Greatstone in Kent, A beautiful stretch of beach with wonderful open vistas and dunes. Dunes that are not unlike those Camber and few miles along the coast. I counted in excess of sixty kite surfers along the tide lines and their kites gave an unusual site in there’re  infinite array of colours. The day was hot and I got a little burned but the scene infant of me was magic and had to be painted.

I am happy to say that already this wonderful image will be winging its way to one of my collectors as soon as it is dry. Oil 7 x 16 on panel.

More work can be seen upon my website at

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Mid week local Plein air studies – On the Romney Marshes

The evenings are now drawing out and as we rapidly approach mid summers eve. I have had more time to shut the gallery door and head out somewhere local to create a small study before my evening meal ( Albeit a late meal).

So the first of these images was an image of sheep and Hawthorn Blossom at Donkey street, Romney Marsh.P1280662

8 x 16 oil on panel, The hills of the North downs were covered with abundant groupings of white blossom, it is a beautiful sight to see, the sheep were a little uncooperative, but hey can’t have it all. As the evening progressed I was getting very cold quickly, so I was so happy to bring the work to conclusion.


This was also using my new adapted plein air kit for the second time.

The next week saw me out twice I will show the next image and save the last one for my next post.

My Gallery is no more than a couple of hundred yards away from here, just off the high street in Hythe. This is an idyllic spot along the famous Royal Military Canal, one of our countries largest man made military fortifications. Created by Wellington in anticipated defence against Napoleon’s potential invasion. ( Hey happy, it never came into use) Now it divides the Romney marsh in two from Hythe to Rye. It is a beautiful river and enjoyed by so many.


This is my take on this wonderful scene, an 8 x 10 oil on panel in my new box. It is working well so I am happy with this cheap little converted kit. The small pleasure dinghies are moored for the end of the day, even the little electric boat is amongst them.


The last of the spring evening sun was dipping fast and the air was chilling so i had to pack up. The image was fun to make and is now framed up for sale in my gallery for sale at Marine Walk Street. Along with all my other plein air studies.


Email me below if any of my works interest you, I also offer staged payments on my work, so you can spread the load, and own my artwork original very easily and very safely.

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Plein Air in Rye Harbour

A few weeks back the Marsh lookers met up at Rye Harbour to paint. It was a motif that I had attempted so may times and failed to achieve in the past. An image that so wanted to do justice to.

The first image was at the extreme low tide of the day and the view I wanted to meet head on. so I painted this 8 x 10. Still not sure if I pulled it off. It was fun trying though, so I went for a second version.


The second image was this 8 x 16 panel, the tide was coming in fast and the extra length of panel allowed me to include the lights on the right. This was great, allowing a useful lead into the scene. As I was finishing a yacht began making its way out to sea, so I quickly added it into my painting.


Last one of the day was after a great meal with my buddies,  was this, the famous ‘Red Hut’. it sits along the causeway in Rye Harbour. It was begging to be painted and Dave Jackson and i did just that. I know absolutely nothing about this hut, except it has always been around and the area is defined by this building.

There were only three paintings made as the rains took over and we had to call it a day. I had enjoyed it so much and try as I did, still not sure if I managed to nail that view, still I will keep trying.

All these paintings are available for sale though not as yet on my website. So please email me if you wish to own one of my paintings.

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Recent Plein Air Adventures – Camber Sands


Camber Sands Plein Air Study

This is one of eight paintings that I made on a recent trip to Camber Sands in East Sussex. The Marsh Lookers are a small group of plan air buddies from the Romney Marsh area, we meet every three weeks for a paint out. This day was one such occasion.

The day was meant to be rain filled, but quite the opposite the day was exciting to say the least.


Another of the eight images not shown in sequence , the skies remained constantly exciting as they changed continually throughout. We started the day at and we finished close to sunset at 7.30pm, Apart from a good lunch break at the local pub, we painted.



Two more thats four so will not bore you all with all eight. We also met Chris Daynes and his friend who also chose this day to paint at Camber.

Some of these paintings will appear on my website for sale soon, but not all. Unframed they are £375.00 each, framed £450.00. Please email me if you wish to own one and cannot see it for sale on my online shop.


I shall be putting more blogs your way very soon and add more content as I figure out how to. So stay in contact and add your details for my newsletter list

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