Welcome to my canal art and blog. My tale of buying a boat and starting to paint began in 2016 after a career as a university lecturer and historian. Now I earn my living selling my hand painted canal art, as a Canal and River Trust licensed roving trader. Until 2022 I traded from my 32ft narrow boat, Pea Green, but as space was tight I have now expanded and have an additional push-butty Little Pea Green. Little Pea Green is both a shop and workshop. However, with customers around the globe I realise not everyone can reach the boat shop. As a result I happily post items. Just send me an email or message me through Facebook or Instagram. On the boat I can accept contactless or cash payments. If you are buying remotely I prefer payment by BACS transfer.
My canal art
I paint a wide variety of items with traditional East Midlands canal art. This includes everything from traditional Buckby style water cans to piggy banks. As an historian I recognise the fascinating backstory of this English waterways folk-art. Of course, I understand my 21st Century customers want useful and beautiful items. As a result, many of my painted pieces are up-cycled, for instance teapots and gin bottles. Alongside the old I also paint new too – for example wooden spoons and hand painted slates .
Commissions & ‘bring me your stuff’
Additionally, I regularly paint bespoke commissions for my lovely customers. For instance, I am happy to paint your own items – as long as they are clean! Just ‘bring me your stuff’ to paint, this has included everything from a train driver’s lamp to a tambourine, not to mention barrels and boat doors. If you need a personalised piece I usually have a supply of ‘Buckby’ watercans and horseshoes ready to paint. To get the ball rolling just message or email me to discuss options and prices.
Media and speaker bookings
As a former lecturer and researcher I am happy to be interviewed or give historically accurate and reflective talks about canal history. Please message or email me. Additionally, a number of waterway’s publications have interviewed me about my work including Waterways World and the IWA magazine. As well as print, you can also see me interviewed by Joanna and Victor from Holly, The Cafe Boat at Great Haywood in 2021. Additionally, Andrew from Tales from the Swan’s Neck filmed me me at Braunston in 2021. In January 2023 David aka Cruising the Cut filmed me painting aboard Pea Green. Finally, you can see some of my painted work onboard Fran and Rich’s lovely boat on their Floating Our Boat channel. A big thank you to all the vloggers for including me in their video. My business was also mentioned in the Westminster Hall debate on the Future of the Waterways in 2022.
The Pea Green boat and her first mate
My motor boat is a 1973 Braunston ‘Barney’ Boat named Pea Green after the Edward Lear poem, ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’. Moored close to the historic Welford Wharf on the Grand Union canal on the Leicestershire/ Northamptonshire border, here in the UK. When not at Welford I take Pea Green on adventures around the English canals.
Many followers enjoyed the stories of my boat companion Monte, the reticent boat cat (aka Montefiore-Montague). It is with great sadness that I must report Monte’s death in October 2023, and thank everyone for their kind words.
To find out more
If you would like to know more, please browse my website and view the galleries on each page. Additionally, my Instagram feed, which appears here on my homepage, has a new picture every day. Of course, I welcome people making contact and asking questions, and I will do my best to help. To contact me send an email, or a message via Facebook or Instagram . Postage costs are kept as low as possible, many items can be sent as small parcels for £3.90
Want to learn to paint?
Inspired to have a go at painting canal art? I offer small group classes of 1-3 people in my house in Northamptonshire during the winter months. Contact me if you are interested.