Sunday, 21 October 2012

Exhibition News

You're probably wondering where I've been the last 10 days.....feet up on some Caribbean beach?, actually I've been framing all my pictures for my upcoming one-man-show at the John Noott Gallery in Broadway, starting on Saturday 3rd November.  You can see the entire exhibition on-line by clicking on this link:

All the paintings are for sale now and if any of you who haven't yet received an Invitation would like one, please contact the Gallery direct, thank you:

John Noott Gallery
14 Cotswold Court
WR12 7AA
Tel: 01386 854971

By sheer coincidence, my revered friend and brilliant painter, David Curtis, also has his own one-man-show starting on the same day at the Richard Hagan Gallery, also in Broadway, just 200 yards from mine!  Broadway is a beautiful Cotswold village, well worth the visit for the day anyway, but with the added draw of not one, but, count them....TWO major exhibitions of art on the same day!  Come and look at David's work, arguably the finest living landscape painter around today, then pop along and buy mine!  It would be folly to pass up this rare opportunity, so I hope to see some of you on the 3rd! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Harvest Sunset

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches

I like painting harvest scenes with the modern day Swissroll bales of straw. This is a view just half a mile from my studio, looking down over the Chater Valley in late August.  Using a little artistic license I moved the setting sun a little to the right for the sake of the composition and used the radiating lines of stubble effectively to take the eye down to the right and around to the left.

I thought I might also submit this one for the ROI (Royal Institute of Oil Painters) Exhibition, although a friend said they weren't so keen on it as my riverine paintings, so I'm not sure.  If any of you really like this as much as my river scenes, I'd be grateful if you would either just click next to the 'Cool' button in the blue bar at the bottom of this post (nothing to fill in, just a click), or make a comment to that effect, otherwise I shall assume that my friend is right and this lacks the impact I'm looking for.  Thanks in anticipation!

Flimsy Grey Top

Oil on Linen Canvas, 20 x 12 inches

Here's another one from the model, the last one for a while, but I thought I would try this for the ROI Exhibition too, just for the sake of variety to show I'm not a one-trick pony.

I really enjoyed this one and it came together very quickly.  With light sources from two windows (the one the model is looking out of and another one from the left), her garment was receiving a weaker highlight on her back than on her front and this made for close observation of the subtle variations of tone on the grey top.  

I couldn't think of a snappy title, so, for now, I've settled on 'Flimsy Grey Top' to draw attention to the wonderful folds of the material.  I had no preconception as to how I wanted the model to pose, but rather let her try a few poses until I said "woh, that's it!"  I liked the way her right hand pressed into the small of her back, puckering the thin material of the top, forming interesting folds and stretches over the torso. I particularly liked the bit of skin colour showing through the grey just above the fingers of the right hand.

Fresh Snow By The Welland

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

I painted this one as a demonstration piece to Breaston Art Group in Derbyshire a couple of weeks ago, only getting round to finishing it off yesterday.

It was largely an exercise in painting cool blues and greys, punctuated with a little warmth in the sky and the dead grasses.  I'm going to submit it for the ROI Annual Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London, together with 4 or 5 others.  It's entirely dependant on what the selection committee are looking for and it is obviously subjective, but I'm hopeful of getting something accepted.  I only got one in last year after getting two awards in '09, so we'll see if anything slips under the razor wire........

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Oil on Linen Canvas, 20 x 14 inches

I know what you're thinking...where have I been for 11 days?  Well, with a lot of renovations going on around me, it's been rather difficult, and will be for a good while yet, but I managed to get a long-awaited commissioned painting done in the meantime, and have just completed this one from the model again.

Human flesh, or at least skin, is extraordinarily  challenging to paint - more so in Oils than in Pastels I find.  The incredibly subtle tones of our translucent skin change with every square inch of the surface, making the job of a realist painter like me unbelievably difficult.

Again, this painting was all about comparison - every single tone you put on the canvas changes when the one next to it is placed, and especially so in this piece.  The eyes (mine) have to constantly compare, colour to colour, tone to tone, keeping the whole painting going at once, something I always impress in my demos.  It's pointless getting bogged down in one place, painting a lot of detail and making it look dead good in isolation, only to find that as soon as you place the adjacent tone down, you find the previously painted passage is too dull, or too bright.  Take the model's gown here.  Our eyes tell us it is white, but look where it hangs down against the corner of the basket she is sitting on - it appears a slightly yellowy-mauve, much darker than the lit front of the basket, but lighter than the shadowed side of it - interesting eh?  And there are lots more incidental lights against darks and vice versa throughout the composition; the lit white edge of the gown against the darker back wall, the darker shadowed back of the gown against the lit side wall, the dark of the model's right heel against the lit carpet and the lighter toes against the shadowed, darker carpet, etc..  It's these observed counterchanges that make the painting lively and interesting...hopefully.  I also employed the use of the mirror which I thought gave an interesting pattern, showing the legs crossed the other way round.

I'm submitting this one for the annual Royal Institute of Oil Painter's  (ROI) exhibition in London.  It's very subjective of course and depends entirely upon who is on the panel of selectors, but I'm hopeful that this might make it to the exhibition as something different from my default subjects.

I'm going to do one more from the model, then more landscapes in case you're all getting restless, thinking I've gone off the rails.........