Rob Adams a Painter's Blog painter's progress

April 23, 2016

Taking a Break

Filed under: Dorset,Drawing,Painting,Uncategorized,Watercolour — Tags: , , , , , , — Rob Adams @ 5:16 pm

First post in a very long while. I am at present rebuilding my house and studio which has alas consumed all of my energies. At first I tried to keep the paintings coming but had to give up as there were just too many calls on my time. As I am cursed with a fair degree of practical know how I am designing it all and doing much of the work myself. Oddly I find building a brick wall almost as satisfying as painting. There is a definite link in all making activities, there is the same planning and problem solving going on and the same satisfaction in looking at the final result after a day’s work. Presumably this is the feeling that a stone age person felt upon looking at a hand axe he or she had just napped from a chunk of flint.

Looking back I think this is the longest period I have gone without painting or drawing anything for three or four decades. I do wonder if it will bring any change. I am very much looking forward to restarting and wonder how it will feel. Will I be rusty? Full of new inspiration and drive? We will find out in due course. My instinct tells me that it will be hard to get the flow going but also that the break will have done me good. In some ways I haven’t stopped. I have thought of things to paint and have been planning new work in my head. I’m not sure I am in any way able to turn off that part of my brain!

One of the reasons for the big rebuild is to be able to exhibit work in my home and have open studio days. The first of these is coming up soon and here is the link to Dorset Arts Week which happens every 2 years. Fortunately I have plenty of work framed so I don’t need to frantically prepare content, though I do have to get cards printed. The date does at least give me a deadline on the building works that I cannot avoid!

Here are a few watercolours I painted before my constructional sabbatical began.

Golden Cap, Dorset, watercolour, painting, plein air

This is Golden Cap, I have been here a few times to paint but never been very lucky with the light. This day was no exception! Very breezy and hard to paint but I enjoyed it anyhow.


Melbury Hill, Dorset, Watercolour, Plein air, painting

This is Melbury Hill one of the highest hills in Dorset, it was done just after Christmas on a wet and windy day. It was hard work just holding on to everything! I was lucky though as it rained on just about everything but me. Very dramatic and I wished I had brought my oils.


Melbury Hill, Dorset, watercolour, painting

Once home out of the weather I tried my hand at a half sheet, but not quite right, I will have another go as I like the subject.


Stour, River, Dorset, plein air, painting

This is the River Stour near my house. The river was swollen due to storms and looked great in the early morning light.


crematorium, Manston, dorset, watercolour

This is in the village of Manston near St Nicholas’ church which is the site of one of the first cremations in recent times. Needs a figure maybe.


Hammoon, Stour, River, hambledon hill, watercolour, plein air

This is the Stour again but near Hammoon. A great view but I am going to have to get up really early to catch it at its best.


Fiddleford, river stour, Dorset, watercolour, plein air

Finally here is the River Stour yet again this time at the lovely Fiddleford Manor and the last time I put brush to paper. The third watercolour of the day and easily the best.

I was then busy with organising the Wapping show at the Mall Galleries. I only sold one, but was delighted that it was one of my pen drawings that I had exhibited to test the water as it were. Drawings are hard to sell as they sit somewhere between prints and paintings.


  1. Yes, I found your absence from Fb conspicuous. You are right of course that work on the house is just as beguiling a creative outlet as anything else. All the best, then, with the Dorset open studio.

    I too have been taking a sabbatical – from laziness, a vice with which I have struggled all my life.

    But the devil finds work for idle hands, and accordingly threw my wife down a flight of stairs, so I now devote my otherwise vacant hours to caring. Not that I care. The whole poignant episode is detailed on my Facebook pages.

    Meanwhile the likes of Karl Terry decorate cyberspace with masterpieces of painterly percipience, so why should I bother? I have resumed occasional searching scribbles, which seem to be the way forward, and watch with interest.

    Comment by John N Pearce — April 23, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

  2. Lovely to see your work again Rob. Hope you get that studio finished soon and be out on the road again.

    Comment by Doug Elliot — April 24, 2016 @ 8:35 am

  3. Hi Rob

    I always look forward to your postings – not only for the terrific images but for your unique take on this strange old art-world! The most recent – in which you talk about the satisfactions of building and painting etc being very similar – is very much how I also feel about the business of art, diy, writing, cooking etc (all of which seem to occupy me at various times with similar personal outcomes). It reminded me of a book I read some years ago “The Craftsman” by Richard Sennett. I wonder if you’ve come across it? he explores the idea of craftsmanship and argues that the desire to do a job well for its own sake (and the desire to improve things) is what distinguishes us from other species.

    Keep up the good work. You’re so much more diligent about posting than I’ll ever be!

    With kind regards,


    Comment by Malcolm Cudmore — April 24, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

  4. Hi Rob,
    Blimey, you’re back! Jolly good show! It was a pleasure to speak to you very briefly at the Mall Galleries / the last Wapping exhibition. My wallet didn’t stretch to buying any paintings, but I did purchase a couple of your fine cards. I look forward to your future posts and wish you well with your new studio venture. Sounds very exciting. ?
    Best wishes
    Jason Reakes

    Comment by Jason Reakes — May 2, 2016 @ 7:06 am

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