Contemporary Art Fairs are a great way to see art Whatever stage you’re at from the complete novice to art expert they are an effective way to immerse yourself in a vast array of different styles and abilities. From Graduate artwork, to established artists. From the daring to the traditional, there is enough variety to suit most tastes. Different Art Fairs attract different groups of art enthusiast, depending on their focus. Some specialise in galleries and others in individual artists, Depending on their selection criteria, styles can vary from the traditionalist to the more avant guarde and outright shocking. Whatever your level of interest there is always something to spark off conversations. Recently I went to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea. The Fair is well established and features a wide variety of galleries from the local, who could have carried their paintings to the fair, to galleries from west and east coast America, Japan and the Far East. Ithought I’d share some tips on how I made the most of my visit. 1. Take a notebook and pen with you. The first thing that strikes you is there’s a lot of art! When you first walk in it’s overwhelming […]
Yesterday I left you with my “finished” Landscape Artist of the Year Painting I felt I’d done well in the circumstances, although I would have preferred to do more on it. I’d achieved my goal of finishing in the time. By now, I’d seen where the Wildcards were placed and their location is more suited to my style. We were allocated slots so given no choice in our location. Personally, I’d have chosen one of these two. Having finished the paintings we were encouraged to look at the work of our fellow competitors. I managed to see the people either side of me before we were whisked away to the Island. This was to allow the judges to make their decision and to film the comments. We were not permitted to hear what they were saying. To keep us busy they did more filming. Throughout the day we’d been doing “Vox pops” – interviews where you talk to the camera. A production assistant asks you a question which you then answer, including the question but not looking at the camera, Sometimes it was hard to keep a straight face as various sound engineers and lighting men tried to hold their […]
Last night I made my TV debut on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the year. Filming it was a surreal experience, so I thought I’d share what happened. After all the preparation was done and I was finally in Kent. The day began early. We had to be at Scotney castle by 7am. It was grey and drizzly, we were all prepared for a cold soggy day. I was met by a production assistant and we were taken down down the hill to the pods so we could see where we’d be painting.I was relieved to find architecture dominated but the view was dull. After racing back uphill, we were then told to grab some breakfast while we were being briefed. Miking up was next, and that stayed on ALL day. I quickly found the “off” switch so I could have some privacy. We were chaperoned everywhere. I initially thought it weird but quickly realised it was so they could find us and not hold up production. Filming then began. Walking past the paintings, Here’s the piece that I submitted and features in the first part. Then more filming Walking to the pods with our equipment, Setting up, looking at […]
Landscape Painting often involves plein air sketching. That translates as “painting outside” to the average person. I have done landscape paintings and sketched outside in the past and will do so in the future. But there’s nothing quite like painting in the studio. Especially when you work in watercolour and it’s wet and windy outside. I’m often asked whetherI paint in situ, and yes I do. In fact I’ll be sharing my last excursion to the House of Commons with you quite soon. But mine is not a technique that lends itself to outside work. I can do the drawing part at an easel fine. It’s when I start the painting I have issues. First, I have to paint flat. Many effects my work relies on would be lost if I inclined the surface. I’m not averse to drips, but I want the ink to move in many directions. You can see in this landscape painting of London in progress. Notice how the ink goes up? gravity wouldn’t let me do that. Then there’s the salt and blooms I use to create effects. These take time to form. Jostling them around, to take them home, would disrupt the process. Besides […]
Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year is in it's second year. A finished painting in 4 hours, when I normally take 15+, no pressure there then!
This is how I prepared after being selected to take a place in one of the pods. Although what happened is still pretty hush, hush so you'll need to watch it it you want to find out if it worked.!
Distinctive style can start in the most insignificant of ways. You never know when a small action can be the start of something great. There are moments in everyone’s life that are catalysts resulting in massive change. Sometimes, we’re aware of their existence and potential. Other times we just go through the motions of the day, oblivious to the impact the actions of the day will have.Only when a lengthy period of time has passed do we realise the significance. For many of us, there may be more than one such event. Let me share one of mine. A Eureka moment that only became clear some weeks/months later A painting called Abstract Flowers I have no photographs of this as a work in progress. It was done as an experiment. It is one of the first paintings I did where I used masking fluid to any extent. It was the beginning of something, a small action that snowballed into something big. So, how did it come about? I wanted to experiment with texture, and knew that masking was the best way forward. I’d used masking fluid before, wrecked brushes in the process. So I decided to try some other bits […]