Last Sunday I took part in “Brush with Fame” It was the launch of Bucks Open Studios and participating artists were asked to take part. I volunteered as I felt I needed a challenge. Painting a portrait in 4 hours. For a landscape painter who normally takes days, it was not going to be easy. I did some practicing, not a lot though. This one felt like the best. Sunday morning I arrived in Milton Keynes at the allotted time. Setting up was quick, even had time to wait at the already busy coffee shop. The celebrities arrived close to the 11am start time and after some pleasantries we were off. I had the pleasure of painting Gary Wilmot and my initial drawing went well, some moving around and redrawing but overall I was pleased with the result. And all in good time. Then the masking fluid went on, all seemed to be progressing nicely. Lots of curious looks and questions but I’m used to that. Finally started the painting around 12:30, always a scary point. I played it safe around the face so didn’t use cling film on it. The inks started well but then I hit my usual […]
Manchester is often on my mind. All month I’ve been working on paintings inspired by the city. Focusing on my home city already, it’s impossible for me not to say something about the atrocious attack on Monday. My thoughts and prayers are obviously with those directly involved. No words I can say will ever be enough. I cannot begin to comprehend what they must be feeling and going through. May you be surrounded by love and supported in your grief. I hope that you receive all you need to recover from injuries and adjust to new circumstances. I’ve never been more proud of Manchester and my fellow Mancunians. They have responded with such dignity and love. Evident in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and beyond. It’s impossible to think of the Monday assault without feeling personally attacked. Those are the streets I first wandered. The shops where I expanded my record collection and bought my clothes. Trivial things, perhaps, but normal life. My education was there, my family and friends are still there. My ancestors helped build the city. That innocent people, especially children, were hurt in my home city would be as unthinkable to them as it is to […]
Will be taking part in Brush with Fame event on Sunday 28th May. Come along and see artists have a brush with fame and work under timed conditions. So, no pressure there then? Part of the Bucks Open Studios promotions, here are the details. I haven’t done any portraits for a while so more that a bit nervous, but it should be a fun event. Do join us!
Painting Piccadilly Circus took a while. Complicated paintings aren’t the work of a few moments. They take many hours, over a period of days. The beauty of Time lapse photography is its ability to capture this process. Belying the time taken from white page to finished art. Like this painting of Piccadilly Circus. Many stages of the painting process are lost with subsequent layers. I take photographs as I work to capture these moments. Art can be very transient The way the liquid ink sits on top of the paper and catches the light, before sinking into the paper. The sudden movement of paint as it first touches the wet paper. All these moments are over and done in an instant. It literally is a case of blink and you miss it. As you will see at the beginning of the video below. Some stage might hang around a bit longer, until they are built upon in subsequent layers. But these too are lost. Which is why I love Time Lapse photography. You can go back and relive moments over again, even though that part of the painting is now lost forever. If you enjoyed the video, you can see […]
To some, painting colour and Manchester don’t combine. They see Manchester as a grey and wet place and, like most English cities, it can be. Graphite images reflect that perception. But if you look carefully you’ll find colour, even on dull days. Recently I’ve been taking risks with painting colours. With inks that can get a bit extreme. Like the moment I added magenta to this painting of Manchester Central Library. Here’s the masked image before all dull and tame. Then I added the magenta along with a few other colours. Painting colours can seem extremely bright, when first applied. Especially when viewed next to white paper. But, they don’t stay that way though. Colours darken as they dry. They tone down when you add other colours either next to them or to balance them out. They also mix with existing colours and spread around with the water on the page. So what seemed like scary bright can be pulled back, but not too much. With my paintings the removal of the masking fluid helps to bring balance and some of the paint is lost in the process. So a painting with colours that began like this one above Ends […]
Finding Art inspiration is a constant challenge. Wherever I go I’m always looking for new things to paint and draw. I’ve learnt that finding art inspiration is not a case of sitting and waiting for it to appear. It’s capturing the ideas when they come. Art inspiration is elusive. Which is why I always have my phone ready to take pictures and make notes. On a day out in London, the taxi passed this bicycle. Chained up against the railings and looking very neglected. It’s lost its saddle, has a flat tyre and was covered in rust. Everything about it speaks of abandonment. I was inspired and… Snapped this photograph in passing. It’s not the first time I’ve found inspiration from an abandoned bike. I’m fascinated by abandoned bicycles in general It’s not unusual to see neglected bikes in cities or in rural areas, although this one in a tree is particularly unusual. I often wonder what happened to them? Why leave a bike chained to railings? Did the owners decide they no longer needed them? Too lazy to dispose of them properly, they just leave them locked up. Chained to a railing on a lamppost somewhere. Or perhaps it […]