Pine tree on Milton road.

•March 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Noel’s Blog has moved

•March 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

I haven’t posted anything here for a while for a simple reason – I have been working hard on my new website. Please take a look at:

Cambridge Art Academy

This is where I have been and will be in the future. Thanks for following my WordPress blog. It will continue to exist but my main efforts will not be here in the future. I can do so much more on the new site and I hope you will enjoy what’s there.



Bottisham Lock pumping station – 2

•February 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Oil 12"x8"

I finished this off  in the studio today. I struggled with the water and had several shots at scumbling it over where it had got too detailed and then worked into it again. Overall OK I think. The people and the dog make a difference.

I wanted the sky to look a bit chunky and the water more soft and this aspect worked well.

Pumping station at Bottisham Lock

•February 10, 2011 • 1 Comment

Oil 12"x8"

Feeling a bit more confident, I walked back towards Bottisham Lock, and stopped here to paint the pumping station that drains the land going up towards Lode. The land round here really is very low lying. In fact a quick check on Google Earth shows that although this is 40 miles from the sea, the fields here are only 1 metre above sea level. That’s right ONE metre above sea level!

I added Chrome orange to my palette. You may ask why I use such a weird colour as chrome orange. The answer is that it is the last of some tubes of oil paint I inherited from my dad who tried painting not long before he died 28 years ago.  Is the colour any good? Not really. It’s just that I have a sort of emotional attachment to it, and use just  a little bit now and again. That’s life! That’s memories.

I really feel that painting on days like this is the best of art and the best of life. Very simple.  A river, winter sun, swans flying overhead, a local boatman stopping to look and engage in conversation about the weather, his boat, how his trees are growing up…..

I’ll continue with the painting in the studio. Don’t know how it’ll progress, but I’ll post again to show you.

Below Bottisham Lock on the River Cam

•February 9, 2011 • 2 Comments

3"x5" Watersolube crayon

A brief sketch to get myself into the mood, before doing an even smaller oil using white, black , phthalo blue and chrome yellow:

Oil 3"x4"

My rule for painting right now is – face into the sun to keep warm!


Birds at Welney wetlands – 2 Coots

•February 6, 2011 • 1 Comment

4"x6" Water-soluble crayon

Birds at Welney wetlands, Cambridgeshire – 1

•February 5, 2011 • 4 Comments

3"x4" Pencil and watercolour

Last Wednesday went to this bird reserve with my friend Dave Chandler who is ace on birds and has written several books. He seems to be able to identify anything with wings. He wanted to start drawing and I am always ready to learn about birds. This is the head of a Whooper swan, one of the three British swans. There are thousands at Welney at the moment, so it wasn’t too difficult to find a model in the right position. Still a challenge though since they’re moving around in the feeding area, and close up they’re actually all slightly different.

If you want to learn about painting birds simply Google “John Busby”. He’s the tops