Samson and the city gates

Oil Painting
Samson trapped by the Philistines inside their fortified city, removes the city gates and escapes and carries the heavy gates to the top of a high hill where the philistines could never hope to retrieve them


Two further changes need to be considered to this painting: he eluded the assassins by leaving in the night; he had seven locks of long hair.

The hair cannot be resolved easily because is hard to add the detail to the actual size of the figure. The figure of a small Samson in a big landscape is an interesting contrast to how Samson is usually depicted. The cartoon nature is also a contrast to the usual realistic way of picturing him.

I have tried to depict an early morning scene looking west as the horizon gets brighter. My Samson is perhaps more of a circus strongman than an Israelite. But is better understood these days. I imagine the term “to gird up your loins” would apply here as Samson tucked his gown into his belt in order to move better, but I like the Circus strongman image better than the probable ancient clothing. But who knows?





The Ukelele Player

Heather McCelland of the Sugar Sisters
The Ukulele Player

This is from a photo of Heather McCelland playing her Ukulele at her songwriting class at the Mary Ward Centre. The title refers to a song I wrote in her evening class. The oil painting is 95 x 125 centimetres.  There are other posts that also refer to the song and the beginning of the painting somewhere, a search the categories will probably reveal them, thankyou.

Painting: The Two Brothers


I was about ten years old when my brother was born in 1961. I was glad to have a brother of course but the difference in years meant we never really got to talk to each other much. Here in this picture I have the expression of tiredness shyness, and happiness as I was given my baby brother to hold for the first time. We went on to have completely different lives.