This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Vampire of Rio de la Veste - stage 1

This will be the last Vampires of Venice painting for a while as I need to get back to my The Big Sky series of American landscapes. I thought that I would try a different monochrome colour this time ; it's a mix of Indanthrene Blue, Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag and brush. I'm still looking for that old movie still look with the Vampire a bit closer in the doorway at right. Hopefully when/if I come back to this series I will have a slightly different way of doing them as I like to move on and not repeat myself...
Rio de la Veste is in the San Marco Sestiere of Venice but a lot quieter here than the area near St Mark's Square etc.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Monday, 17 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto

Following on from "Santa Croce" where the figure on the bridge would have been too small to work with I decided to try it coming closer in to another bridge (named Ponte Storto) this time. I have placed the figure centrally and at the apex of the bridge but everything else is asymmetrical to balance this out - even though the Vampire is small he is given more prominence by where he's positioned.
Although the bridge of Ponte Storto is real I have moved things around and changed it quite a lot for compositional reasons. I want these Vampires to be only half materialised as though they come from another world, this one has just noticed you.... run for it!
All these paintings in the Vampires Of Venice series are influenced by black and white photography from the 1930s and the German Expressionist films like Nosferatu although I am trying to be a bit subtle about it as well. I might indeed try later on a scene more like Nosferatu with the buildings etc at crazy angles... or is that being a bit obvious?
The whole picture was painted using a single mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and applied in a series of transparent glazes, the transparent paint gives it a quality that I don't think you can get by using opaque paint as the white of the canvas shows through it all I guess giving it a quality nearer to a film still which is kind of appropriate.
Oil on linen 20" x 16".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto - stage 2

Basically just adding more layers of the Burnt Sienna/Winsor Violet mix with a rag and brush. I reckon it's time for the Vampire to go in tomorrow...
That vertical line of light was going to be a distant light on background buildings but I might keep it as something weird going on in the distance - I'll have another look at it tomorrow morning to decide.

Magic Night and The Lost Cathedral sold

Magic Night
A good friend and his wife have bought two paintings, "Magic Night" and "The Lost Cathedral". 
"Magic Night" started life as plein air painting on mdf board the location being near Isfield in Sussex UK. Originally a daytime painting when I got back to the studio I thought that I would change it to a night time picture so I darkened areas and put in a full moon in the sky. Then a few years later I decided to give it a more magical feeling so I darkened it a bit more and added a trail of tiny green lights in the middle distance field hoping to suggest the possibility that there could be fairy folk around.
"The Lost Cathedral" is a nod to Caspar David Friedrich, the title being a nod to a piece similarly named by Debussy called "The Engulfed Cathedral".

The Lost Cathedral

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Santa Croce

This was originally intended to be another "Vampires Of Venice" painting but I realised that the figure of the vampire that was going to be on the bridge was going to be too small to work with so I decided that it would be nice just to do it as a moody Venice painting. Anybody that has walked the back streets of Venice at night will recognise this kind of scene, quiet and still no lights in the windows and the bridge lit by a single light, looking in fact like all of Venice at night, like a stage set.
I have just realised that it also looks like an old canal in a run down Northern UK town at night, somewhere I would not be walking around at night by myself as opposed to Venice where I feel pretty safe... if it wasn't for these damned Vampires!
Santa Croce is a Sestiere of Venice where this is located.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto - stage 1

While "Santa Croce" dries I am getting on with another Vampire of Venice painting, this one actually follows on from the previous one in that I was going to have the Vampire on the bridge but realised that it was too small and far away to be able to get in a Vampire so this time I've come in closer to the bridge. The location is Ponte Storto but anybody that knows this area will see that I have changed a few things for compositional reasons particularly at the left of the picture. I want the Vampire to be kind of spectral and only partly there as I think it's creepier that way, just trying to decide at the moment if the figure is at the right size to the bridge... This was actually quite tricky to draw up and will look more logical when I paint in the posts and balustrades at the far side of the bridge although I was thinking of composing it like a still from a German Expressionist film like "Nosferatu"in which case the angles would be crazier - maybe do that for another one.
This was first "drawn " up with a small bristle brush using my usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 20" x 16"

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Santa Croce - stage 3

A couple more glazes have been added of the same colour mix as before, maybe two more layers of glaze should get it to the level of darkness and contrast that I am looking for. The next Venice painting will have a vampire in it again!

Dewi Sri sold

I have just sold "Dewi Sri" through Asgard Arts. It was originally painted for inclusion in The Fantasy Illustration Library Volume 2 "Gods and Goddesses"published by Michael Publishing in 2016. I chose to paint the Balinese Rice Goddess Dewi Sri as I have had a long-held fascination for the Island of Bali in Indonesia and have visited it many times over the years.
Oil on linen 21" x 15".

Friday, 7 February 2020

Santa Croce - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
This was originally intended to be another Vampire of Venice painting but I decided that the figure which was originally going to be on the bridge would be too small to work with so I thought that it would be nice just to do it as a moody Venice painting. Anybody who has walked around the back streets of Venice at night will recognise this kind of scene, quiet and still, no lights in the windows and the bridge just lit by single light. Stage 1 shows it when I was leaving space for the vampire on the bridge and stage 2 shows it after deciding to leave it out. It will be much darker than this before it's finished!
I'm using the usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Stage 2

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Cold Constantinople sold

Well it took five years but "Cold Constantinople" has finally sold after being shown at IX and Abend Gallery Colorado in the USA and being published in the Art Renewal Center's International Salon catalogue and Infected By Art... it's funny, sometimes a painting that I think is one of my better ones still doesn't sell. Ya just never know.
A nice guy who works in the City of London bought it which I personally delivered to him this morning. He actually tried to buy it before but it was promised to the gallery show at the Abend and I didn't want to mess them around, luckily he came back to me a week ago enquiring if it was still available.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The Vampire of Campo Mosca

While I was waiting for some paint to dry on the next "The Big Sky" painting I decided to get on with another monochrome. It is potentially the first in an occasional series called "Vampires of Venice", this one being set in a small Campo in Venice called Campo Mosca. Incidentally I think the name translates to "Square of Flies" so god knows what used to be there many years ago! I have been to Venice a number of times and was captivated by how it looked at night, I'm not talking about San Marco but all the back streets as it were and wandered around for hours taking photos. Venice has this reputation for being a romantic city but to me it's always been about the sense of mystery that it has particularly at night. Because there are no cars and many Venetians can't afford to live in their city any more it is eerily quiet and deserted as you walk around, little wonder that there have been a number of moody films set in Venice notably Don't Look Now.
This series came about because I had noticed the unexpected photographic quality some earlier landscape monochromes had and it set off a train of thought about painting something that looked photographically real but had something impossible in it. Initially I was thinking about surreal juxtaposition but then in the bath (!) one evening I got the idea for using Venice as a backdrop for something menacing and settled on vampires. This is not a new idea there was a Klaus Kinski film called Vampire of Venice (I think) and much to my dismay an episode of Doctor Who called something very similar which I discovered when Googling the title.
The idea is to paint the vampires soft and indistinct, even only partly there as I want them to look elemental and not wholly of this world as though they materialise and dematerialise at will haunting the hushed deserted alleys and squares.
It was all painted using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag and brush.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a brief step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

IX Gallery Solo Show

I have a solo show with the IX Gallery this month, I will try and have a link to it at the end of this post. It's an online show only and will run until the 29th of this month, The title, Mark Harrison: Two Sides literally has two separate sections: one has a good number of my book jacket illustrations mainly from the 80s and 90s and the second part has about thirty more recent personal oil paintings most of which have been shown at IX over the years.
I have priced them TO SELL!  Four have sold already....

http://www.ixgallery.com/artbyexhibition.asp?eId=1000

Vampire Of Campo Mosca - stage 2

Another layer of glazes made up of a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin was painted on today. As it progressed I decided to make the figure even more subtle and have started to lose more edges than I originally intended - I want the Vampire to be as creepy as possible.... 
I will make the background a bit softer tomorrow with the next coat of glaze, the new American Landscape painting will have to wait a bit although I did manage to "draw" in the basic shapes ready for when I do start on it.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Vampire Of Campo Mosca - stage 1

While I wait for some paint to dry on a new The Big Sky painting I though that I would get on with another monochrome. It is potentially the first in an occasional series called Vampires Of Venice this one being "Vampire Of Campo Mosca". This series (if it becomes that) came out of noticing the photographic quality that the earlier monochrome American landscapes had and in the back of my mind had set off the train of thought about painting something that looked kind of photographically real but had something impossible in it. At first I toyed with the idea of surreal juxtaposition and then put it on the back burner while I got on with some American landscapes and it was only when I was going to be fiddling with my thumbs waiting for the paint to dry on the other painting that I have on the go at the moment that I thought of starting  this as in the meantime (actually in the bath!) I had come up with some ideas about vampires in Venice. The figure will be painted soft and indistinct against the Venetian square at night lit by one lamp on the wall.
I used the usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin. Oil on linen 16" x 12".