Tixall Gatehouse, Tixall, Stafford.

Tixall Gatehouse, Tixall, Stafford.

Very bold and confident work Alan, has a sort of etching feel to it.

You have caught the splendour of the place in great shape

You have given the building a mysterious feel to it Alan. Wonderful colours as always.

Your paintings are incredible Alan! They are always so colourful in a very positive way, like this house, who would dare to use bright red and orange for the walls!? Only you! I love it.

As Satu said, not the normal palette for a subject such as this....but it works so well! Blue grass, red/orange masonary, green windows and black squiggles in the sky.......it's so full of life and energy...make that another 'incredible'. And more than a little 'Piper-ish', love it!


I shall echo Satu, and Fiona!!! Bold and wild and why not.

Interesting and vibrant work Alan, the colours work brilliantly. Are you familiar with the work of Ed Kluz? Your style is very similar.

Love that red Alan, a wonderful colourful building and the sky is fantastic. What is plaka?

Thank you all for some wonderful comments, very encouraging indeed. I do love experimenting with colour and pushing the boundaries, sometimes too far of course, but that&#39;s me, I can&#39;t stop it.<br /><br />Christine, no, but I&#39;ll check up on him, thanks.<br /><br />Carole, PLAKA... I&#39;ve been using it for almost 30 years, it&#39;s available at a few places, google it. Made by Pelikan, it is a waterproof casein paint, non fade and has a flat finish when dry, unlike say acrylic. A very limited colour range though. Can be used thinned down with water but I use it for &#39;body colour&#39;, I coudn&#39;t work without it. Rowland Hilder introduced it to me when I was on his masterclass in 1985.<br /><br />I would expect Robert Jones will have some technical info on this casein base, I&#39;m not technical but I hope that clarifies things for you.

I agree with Sarah, WOW.

Bold, vibrant and replete with atmosphere. Superb piece, Alan!

Casein is widely used in the USA, but here it&#39;s always been a poor relation - supplanted by acrylic. It&#39;s actually a milk-derived paint - the colour range available to painters in the US is much wider than you can find here; why it&#39;s never really caught on, I don&#39;t know: there&#39;s a lot to be said for it. As indeed Alan demonstrates, in another strong painting.

I have often driven past this building Alan and thought that it might have ghosts, I think you have captured the atmosphere perfectly whilst adding colour for interest and excitement. It makes my journey past this gatehouse a lot more interesting now, thanks.

Hang on Studio Wall

Mixed media, ink and Plaka on watercolour paper. 11 x 15''. Tixall Gatehouse stands just a couple of miles away from my home, and I have drawn it on many ocassions. The majority of this was done 'plein air' this morning and completed after in the studio. Built in 1580 it was six years later that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here for a short time. It has four turrets and as teenagers we used to climb up the stone winding staircases to the top and look out over the countryside, it was abandoned then of course.

About the Artist
Alan Bickley

Having studied fine art and graphics at both Stafford and Derby college, my career working as a graphic artist and latterly as editorial artist with Northcliffe Media Ltd, has kept me constantly in touch with all aspects of art and design. Painting mainly in oils, acrylics and watercolour, my…

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