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Eating too much and painting nothing

I was thinking I ought to write a final post for 2019, before the year peters out.

It’s just a couple of days since Christmas and as usual I’ve been eating way too much. I need to get my diet under control (spoiler alert – New Year resolution coming up)! And, what with all the socialising I’ve done over the past week or two, I haven’t painted anything lately. But, now that things seem to be returning to normal, I’m hoping to put my paints and brushes back into use soon.

Consequently, the pic above is an old painting of mine. The title is Shore Mooring.

Splash 20

Most Christmases, my lovely wife Peggie kindly gives me the latest release in the Splash series of watercolour books. This Christmas was no different, the 2019 edition being Splash 20. I can boast of owning the entire series, 1-20; nowadays, they come out annually. The first one I ever bought, back in 1993, was Splash 2 – a superior-quality, hardcover book published in the USA by North Light Books and featuring 125 superb watercolour paintings by 90 artists. Each painting was accompanied by a helpful description by the artist. I hadn’t seen anything like it before and I fell in love with the thing. In fact, I spent weeks poring over it.

Applying my mighty powers of deduction, I figured out that if there was a Splash 2, there might be a Splash 1 someplace. I sought it out. Actually, it was one of my first online purchases. I could only get a paperback copy, sadly, but all the others I’ve collected are hardcover.

Splash 20
Ken Young Splash 20

Ken Young Splash 20 Sample Pages
Ken Young Splash 20, Sample Pages


North Light Books is a brand which was owned by an American company, F + W Media Inc., till quite recently. Among other things, F + W published all sorts of art books, magazines, DVDs, digital downloads, etc. However, having just searched online, I’ve discovered that F + W seems to have sold its art-related assets to another company, Golden Peak Media. The situation isn’t 100% clear, at least not to me.

Back to Splash

The Splash series has evolved a bit over the years – for example, it features more non-American artists these days. However, I’d say it remains close to the original format. Splash 20 has (I believe) 128 featured paintings.

A criticism of the Splash series that I’ve seen is that it sticks closely to realistic/representational work. I guess that’s true, but it doesn’t bother me; I like that genre of art.

Another criticism is that some books are noticeably better than others. I’d go along with that, to some extent. Two or three issues of Splash have disappointed me – but Splash 20 isn’t one of them.

At the time of writing, Amazon UK is offering Splash 20 for £26.64. Other suppliers are available, I would guess.


I’d like to wish everyone all the best for 2020. Happy New Year!

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