Portrush Strand

Having recognised recently  that I was merely passing time more often than I liked, I began to look at ways to fill it more creatively and constructively.
I had made a number of attempts in the past to learn how to draw – with some degree of success.
But I could never find the motivation to persevere.

So when I saw what David Hockney was doing with an iPad and the Brushes app I became intrigued. (Brushes is an app which allows you to paint with your fingers)
I spent some time investigating the potential and decided that buying drawing paper and pencils (I have got drawing paper and pencils) did not represent commitment. If I invested the amount of money required to buy an iPad that would constitute commitment. And because of that commitment I would feel obliged to put in the effort to make it work!!

The rational/sensible part of my brain hates logic like that and chuntered incessantly whilst I was making my mind up. But I have not got where I am today without learning how to ignore that particular voice.  🙂

So the decision was made!!  And I do find that I am prepared to put the effort in.

Hockney is a supreme talent and a superb draftsman and I am neither. But that is not the point!!
This is about a challenge for me, about learning and about a different way of being creative.
I do suspect that it is part of a journey I am already on, in that –
Poetry taught me to look,
Photography taught me to look harder.
Painting I imagine will teach me to really look. 🙂

I intend to post paintings on WordPress from time to time as that will give me added incentive to improve. So bear with me. 🙂

The medium term aim is to become competent enough to be able to paint the tree outside my window and then be able to re-paint it as the seasons change and it changes.
The dream is, of course, is to be able to sit on a bench looking over Whitby harbour towards the Abbey and to paint what I see. But that is a long way off.  🙂



36 Responses to “Portrush Strand”

  1. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    Congratulations to your decision! – and of course the brand new iPad (wow!) 🙂
    and welcome to another world of creativity!
    I am so happy you joined on this journey!

    – and very confident, that you will much enjoy it — apart from frustration which is bound to chafe, because it just doesn’t look right – but the beauty of technology is, that you can just take a step back (undo or create another layer) and try again, – and when it works – I will cheer with you! 🙂
    Much looking forward to your first effort, when you are ready!

    with much Love
    Vera with Karley

    • Thank you Vera,

      I am excited by this new venture. Painting does occupy a different place than poetry and is certainly more all-absorbing. So I find myself having to re-structure my time so that I have space in which only the painting exists.
      I am still very much at a learning stage as to what the technology will allow me to do. But ‘Undo’ and layers are both things which make, for me, this technology easier to use than pencil and paper 🙂

      And perhaps I should have made it clear – the picture at the top of this blog is a painting – my “first effort”. Or, more correctly. the first effort which I am willing to let people see. 🙂

      With much love

  2. Hi David,

    The app and the real paint, both seem good ways to express yourself in. I am glad you are going through with the painting 🙂 as I think it will be very satisfying to make images that way. I can see you assembling with those other artists on the quay in Whitby, sheltering their work from vertical droppings 🙂

    I had a great uncle who started painting in his older age and he was very good after a while. Life’s experience is needed for true art I think 🙂 My daughter in law is really good too. She uses acryl paint, I think oil is nicer though but I suppose you will have to try out what works best for you 🙂

    I am convinced you will be a good painter too, as painting and drawing can be learned by practise and patience. You have patience!

    It is true, by drawing and painting you are forced to look harder, see colours in more ways than you imagined possible and reality has more shades than the obvious first glimpse. I love pictures with a good perspective in them, and nice variation in light and dark. So much can be done by subtle strokes of a pencil!

    If I could afford real paint lol I would give it a go too, but I will settle for drawing for the moment 🙂 well you saw my sea gulls 🙂 they are not that good. Yet!

    It is funny how we both seem to walk the same route!
    I do hope you will keep writing as well. To combine your poetry and painting would make an awesome book (about Whitby?)

    Your days will be filled with creative hours. I am glad to know you have made possitive decisions!

    Good luck! 🙂 And I can’t wait to see your painting of that herring gull!

    Arohanui 🙂

    • ps Portrush Strand already looks fantastic! 🙂 Now how was this made?

    • Hi Ina,

      The way the app works is to mimic the affect of using a brush on canvas.
      So you select your colour and brush type and size. Then move your finger across the screen to paint. 🙂

      So effectively you are painting but without getting yourself covered in paint!! 🙂

      So this painting exists, for the moment, only in electronic format.
      When I improve somewhat I want to explore the possibilities of printing the paintings using a high quality printer and high quality paper. (I will have to pay to get that done) Then I can see what they would look like in postcard size format.

      Certainly painting in this way absorbs me in the same sort of way that drawing did when I was learning how to do that.

      So yes, some day I will be on the cliff top in Whitby painting 🙂

      And I will do a painting of that seagull 🙂


      • Hi again
        it sounds a bit like the Paint program on my laptop. I tried to do images but using a mouse is not ideal. And I am too clumsy.
        Fingers! That’s a lot better lol. Will you do abstract work as well as landscapes?
        I already liked your christmas card made from the picture, I can imagine you will have your own paintings as cards in future. 🙂

        Arohanui 🙂 and I hope you have a nice bun ! 😉

      • Big 🙂

        Yes, one of the thoughts I have is for cards with my paintings on – need to improve a bit before that!! 🙂

        For the moment I will stick with landscapes I think – abstracts don’t appeal to me in the same way 🙂

        There is nothing quite like bacon and egg in a bun – particularly when eaten outside the Battery Parade cafe in Whitby 🙂



      • …i 🙂

  3. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Creativity is always enhanced by a new media…have fun!

  4. I love your picture; the colouring is beautiful and there is real movement and life in it.

  5. I actually mistook it for a photograph, the first time. But then I came back and saw the lovely touches you added to make it even lovelier that it must be in person. Keep it up!

    • Thank you Judith,

      Painting allows me to see things rather differently than if I am photographing them.
      It is one of the aspects of this which excites me.


  6. That’s lovely! I wish I could do something like that,but don’t have a creative bone in my body! I am sure that you will surpass your own expectations,because I feel you can do anything!! You are very special David!! Big Hugs!!

    • Oh now Sandy, how can you possibly say you “don’t have a creative bone in your body” given the beautiful pictures you create with words.

      Your last poem, as I recall, was like viewing a slide show as I read it.

      One of the positive things I find about getting older is that I am no longer afraid of failing, with the result that I am prepared to try new things and see where they take me.
      As someone much wiser than me probably said – ‘The only failure is in not trying’

      (((Big Irish Hugs))) to you my friend


  7. Very nice David and good luck.

    We were on Portrush strand last summer for a walk.

  8. Good luck with your new project, David!

  9. How exciting, David!! I hope you find much pleasure in this new creative endeavor. And have fun experimenting with it! 🙂

  10. David, I can feel the sand and the water under my feet and the light on my shoulders and the backs of my hands when I look at this painting, so it must have achieved something, right?

  11. Katherine Says:

    fascinating and a lovely work! Amazing what s done now!

  12. Hi David,

    As you know I’m very happy for you that you’ve found this creative outlet. I’m still very enchanted by this first painting of yours. 🙂

    I think it’s marvellous the technology available to use now! I’m still very tempted by that undo function *lol*.
    I wish you much pleasure and contentment as you continue to learn the finer points and discover where the brushes apps can you.

    I’m looking forward to seeing many more paintings!! 😀

    It’s the start of a whole new journey and I think this painting is a most wonderful way to start!!

    I hope you’ve had a good week. 🙂

    and K’sOTC 🙂

    • Thank you Tikarma,

      Your support and encouragement mean a very great deal to me.

      Your painting has always been a source of inspiration to me.
      As too was that of a friend of ours from a previous existence – Dave Rindahl. He told me long time ago that I needed to practise, practise, practise and then practise some more!! 🙂
      What makes this a pleasure is that I am enjoying practising!! 🙂

      You take good care of yourself

      and K’sOTC 🙂

      • 🙂 ((hugs))

        Dave was right. 🙂 and a wonderful aritst! I think that’s where you know you have found what’s right for you, when you enjoy the “homework” and learning and growing your skills are a pleasure. 🙂

        You take good care of yourself too!

        and K’sOTC 🙂

  13. i use the wacom digital pen…..that way can use it on any computer. they have the pro ones really expensive that just get drooled-over. digital art makes nice not to have expense for new paints….never run out so take creativity as far as can go. 🙂

    • I do use a stylus Eileen, rather than my fingers, because it enables me to be more precise I think.

      And this particular technology is allowing me to explore visual art in a way I would never have done otherwise 🙂

      Thank you


  14. Ethel says that I am to tell you that she is impressed by your painting. Although she is not sure she is ready to trade her pastels in for an IPad, she liked your drawing.
    I say, “Good for David Agnew!” I would never dare try my hand at visual art in my household. There seems to be highly trained artists around every corner in every room of every house. Ethel has all the kids and grandkids pretty skilled, although their mediums and interests are different, as it should be.
    I decided long ago that there are many different kinds of intelligences. Ethel’s visual intelligence extends through her art to her poetry. Some people are highly intuitive. I tend to have a little too much logic for my own good, although it lets me make a living in the world of higher education. All of us mix our intelligences inside ourselves in unique ways, of course.
    And now Belfast David is going to work at building on his innate visual intelligence. As the students at Navajo Technical College would say, “Cool.”

    • Tom,

      Tell Ethel thank you very much. And I do hope she does not trade in her pastels – she makes wonderful pictures.
      And I agree with you – her visual intelligence shines through in her poetry.

      I have always regarded myself as more like you with logic having the upper hand. After all I made my living for years programming computers!!
      And I have always regarded myself as low on the visual side.
      Both those things might still be true but who knows? Perhaps there is something latent in there waiting to come out 🙂
      And perhaps not!! But whatever I am enjoying the journey which is really what this is all about 🙂

      “Cool” is good. Big 🙂

      Thank you


  15. Francina Says:

    gorgeous one, David..

    good for you 🙂

    Ciao, Francina

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