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!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - "Masterclass" in current issue

Summer 2012 issue
The Summer 2012 issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine containing my four-page "Masterclass" is now in the shops. It is a ten stage step-by-step demonstration of an Hopperesque cityscape oil painting that tries to show how to depict strong sunlight in an urban environment.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Horizons New - First painting

First Day
Here is the first I hope, in a series of small paintings that are as much about the setting as the figure itself. I want my fascination with mood and atmosphere to apply to this series of figurative paintings. I am looking to use rich colour, strong design and more textured surfaces to give them impact and hopefully a recognisable contemporary style - OK I am probably trying to run before I can walk but I feel that now is the time to try this out. I have been thinking for some time about doing some figurative paintings as a figure offers so more compositional possibilities than a landscape for instance and I have quite a few ideas in the locker that I want to try out.

"Orange Light"

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Featured Artist on Artists & Illustrators website

I have just discovered that I am the featured artist on the current website of the Artists & Illustrators magazine. Any publicity is good publicity!

New Directions - First of a series?

First Day
Following on from my experiments at The Sussex County Arts Club I am embarking on a series of small paintings, all involving a figure to a greater or lesser extent that will be painted from minimal preliminary drawing. I want these to be a "painting" that looks "painted" and not as in my previous work that still to me looks too "photographic". I have long admired painters that have that "painterly" look, that don't get too caught up in detail yet somehow get everything across with attractive brushwork and good sense of colour. This first painting was just an exercise in trying out thicker paint on a different ground that was recommended to me by a very good painter, Darvish Fakhr. Instead of priming the mdf with acrylic gesso, he recommended me to try a preliminary coat of shellac followed by two coats of oil primer. This produces a surface that the oil paint "sits on" instead of the oil in the paint being quickly absorbed by the much more porous acrylic gesso. I want, as with this one, to spend a maximum of two days on each painting so that I don't get too caught up in old habits of tightness of paint handling or inclusion of needless detail.

Second Day

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 18 June

The model, Octavian, brought along his bike as a prop which in the time of 50 minutes to get a painting done proved to be a challenge as it is such a complicated shape. So complex that I did'nt have time to notice the disparity in scale between the two wheels! Having simple colour backgrounds is proving to be a good idea as it gives more time on the figure and a more interesting composition too.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 11 June

Well I'm learning. This time I am realising that I need to simplify areas and not to try and get in everything in front of me, particularly if I want to get the figure properly painted in. I also need to keep my shadow colours free of contamination by white etc, I will now keep a brush set by purely for shadows. I like areas of this painting like the mirror and wall behind but the figure is obviously rubbish - the model (Frankie) was holding sprigs of red and green flowers. I should have got the figure in first and then put in the flowers. Still at least I'm learning from every painting.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"Midnight Drawing" - 9 June

This was an event organised by a group of models who call themselves "Artists, Models, iNK". It took place at the Sussex County Arts Club in Brighton starting at 10.00pm and finishing at 1.00am and consisted of a group pose for three hours by the six models during which every half an hour one of them would do a series of short poses in case anybody wanted a quick drawing as well as for the model to have a bit of a break. There was a break for nibbles and a drink (absinthe being one on offer) kindly provided by the models at 12.00 before the final hour of painting/drawing. In addition to all this they had provided an interesting background as a setting for the pose of white and black satin - I decided to try and get all the models and the background painted in over the three hour period, somewhat ambitious as it turned out! 

       My underlying intention in all of these figure paintings that I am currently doing is that I want to produce a painting in as finished a state as I can manage in the time allowed of the figure and background together. In other words a painting with a figure in it as opposed to just a painting of a you see what I mean? Anyway as usual I spent a good part of the time getting in the setting of the contrasting black and white satin lit from the side by a blue light (I wish I had not painted in the lamp!) before proceeding with the figures. Needless to say I ran out of time with only the figure of Kate Shields being brought to any recognisable conclusion. I am learning from these sessions that I need to start thinking about paring down the elements that I am painting and just paint the ones that need to be there for the painting to work. Thank you Kate, Emma, Frankie, Johanna, Anna and Lucy!

Five of the models

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Private View Medici Gallery 7 June

Rich Newman and I went to the private view of "People and Places" at the Medici Gallery in Cork Street, London which has nine of my landscape (and cityscape) paintings on show. A pleasant evening was had by all, I met an interesting lady from Sweden who is an art critic and collector and a lovely lady I have known for a long, long time. No sales to report yet regrettably, but the gallery tells me they make their sales over the run of the exhibition and do not rely on the private view night for sales. I hope that they are right as I really need to sell, this has been an extremely poor 12 months for sales and one cannot go on forever throwing ones' efforts into the The Black Hole of Indifference that seems to be the state of the market at the moment.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Oil Painting Demonstration, Rugby 6 June

Coventry Cathedral Glass
Kindly driven up by a friend, Tim, I went to Rugby via Coventry to give an oil painting demonstration to the Rugby and District Art Society at a village hall in Dunchurch, just outside Rugby. First though a word about Coventry - the stained glass in the new Cathedral is absolutely stunning and recommend anyone and everyone to go and see it. The demonstration in front of about 80 people seemed to go well with lots of questions coming from the floor. The club is very well organised with a video link to a screen and a mobile microphone for me so that everyone in the room could see and hear what is going on. Sorry about fuzzy photo's!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 4 June

The model brought along a large floppy animal mask (not sure what of) as a prop, she is also holding lipstick to the mask's face. This was the first session, the second was'nt very good at all! I am happy with the colours and composition and bits of the figure - a step forwards I think.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Monday Afternoon Life Session - 28 May

The model, Frankie, brought her knitting along as a prop but as ever, I did'nt have time to get everything in. To be honest I am more interested in getting a painting finished that has some sort of worthwhile quality than I am in getting the figure right although I am hoping in time that the figures get better as well! To that end I am continuing going to the Tuesday evening life drawing sessions at the Sussex County Arts Club. These are not great but are being posted in the spirit of the original intention that they (hopefully!) show progress as time goes on.......

"People and Places" exhibition opens on Thursday 7 June

Cuckmere Meanders to Seaford Head
Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke
I have nine paintings on show in a three-man exhibition called "People and Places" at the Medici Gallery, 5 Cork Street, London W1S 3LQ. The private view is 18.00 Thursday 7 June with the exhibition running to July 5. The "people" paintings are by Noel Bensted and Amnon David Ar, the "places" paintings are mine! Please try and see the show if you are in London over that period, Green Park is the nearest tube station and Cork Street is basically behind the Royal Academy.

Give Me Shelter
The Lost Garden
Under The El
Easy Street
Florence From Giardino Bardini
Full Moon, High and Over
Out Of The Blue