Painting the Haymarket I love iconic architecture, but some places are iconic in different ways. The Gherkin, Lloyds and the Shard are buildings that are distinctive in shape. They are relatively simple and easy to find a “classic view” and show the whole of the architecture. Somewhere like London’s Haymarket demands a different approach. When painting the Haymarket, I struggled because There’s no single classic view! With so much to choose from, where do you start? Where do you stand? Which buildings do you include? Which buildings should you omit? What’s the centre of attention, out of the many interesting details? The expression “Like a kid in a Sweetie Shop” comes to mind. My final choice included Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Theatre Royal. This is the complete view as a Work in Progress I found details such as the theatre signs gave me scope to experiment. So I did. Love the look of the ink trail over the base layer. Somewhere like the Haymarket needs to be busy to really give a sense of the place, I take a few photos of a scene and my choice depends on where the people and cars are. I like to leave […]
Back to the studio with some new painting. It’s been a crazy old month. I’ve been creating art but I have not been doing much in the way of blogging. I’m playing catch up after Oxford art weeks, Bucks Open Studios, a visit to Manchester… and another event last week which I can’t share at the moment but will when I can. In the meanwhile you can have fun speculating. Onto the new paintings, this one has a distinctly abstract feel. So I thought we could play a game. All masked and with a cling film layer. See if you can figure out what it is. It is abstract but it’s based on reality. This one should make it easier for you… Loving the bright colours. Still struggling, or have you guessed it? Here we have the masking being removed And a wide view. Yes, it’s a piece of wall. Did you spot the car? I have no idea what model it is. In my mind it’s something expensive. No doubt someone will correct me if I’m wrong. The photo was taken on one of the backstreets off Piccadilly in London. I forgot to note where. And finally a cropped […]
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 […]