Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Artist Network Exhibition at the RWA

Running from Saturday 23 April - Sunday 15 May 2016 is the Artist Network Exhibition at the RWA. I will be showing a small painting: 'Towards Killerton'. On the night of the Private View I will be in London readying myself for the marathon. 

Whilst delivering my work I came across a painting by Henry Cliffe (1913-1983). During my Art Foundation year he was a tutor at Bath Academy of Art. Whilst he hardly taught me I have a vague recollection of spending some moments learning from him. Sometimes the essence of a memory is much stronger than the detail and I seem to think that he made a positive impression on me.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


This work in progress is the second image in a suite of sport related pictures. Campionissimi, or Champions, is an Italian idiom used here to reference cycling's finest. I don't ride but love reading books on great cyclists and cycling events. My dad as a youngster recalls seeing the Champion of Champions, Fausto Coppi, ride in some race along the Ligurian coast (Milan–San Remo I wonder?). Watching the racing on steep mountain climbs is the inspiration for this image.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Tutela Africa and running

I'm unashamedly promoting a worthy charity (not me). Days of covering the ground in preparation for the London marathon will include a half marathon 'training run' (never thought I would say that). In truth, training is hard but running itself has become something of a deep pleasure. It's those moments when everything 'floats' – the effort, the sounds of your breathing or footfalls, the sounds around that capture your imagination, a heightened aroma, colour in your eyeline, patterns of thought and prayer…

I'm attempting to keep an informal visual diary through an instagram account.

From the archive: Branscombe Beach

Acrylic on card.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Marathon Man

Out go the brushes and on go the trainers (at least for a moment). In truth I have 'become' a runner and though no olympian I'm partaking in the upcoming London Marathon. It will be the furthest I will have run but all done in aid of Tutela AfricaTutela is a not-for-profit organisation who have a vision for the children of Mozambique. With little or no foster-care available there, Tutela aim to provide children who are orphaned and vulnerable with Mozambican foster parents who will provide a caring and safe environment within which to grow up. I know those involved and their commitment to getting this done. My small commitment to raise some money on their behalf helps energise my running on cold, damp days. My last running event was in September 2015 but I've kept up the training. Press the sponsor button to the right to get to my fundraising page. Any amount is gratefully received.

Chippenham Half, September 2015. Spot me wearing the yellow headband!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Six views of Pulteney Bridge, Bath

A little fun (as Christmas approaches) and a short history lesson. As a Bath resident I have painted/drawn the iconic Pulteney Bridge several times. Here are some of the results. No. 1: As a younger artist I was commissioned to paint it in watercolour. This was both novel for me in terms of medium and the stylistic requirements. Early on in my painting life I completed five commissions in this style (it was one of those 'one thing leads to another' scenarios) and then closed the door completely on this approach. No. 2: Another commission for some Swedish friends. No. 3: Yet another commission. No. 4: The reductive and colour saturated response. This painting no longer exists. Nos. 2-4 were painted in the late 90's. No. 5: As a student I loved etching and this is a first proof of a work in progress No. 6: The backside of Pulteney Bridge – The one tourists rarely see. This is a sketchbook drawing and was shown as part of the 'Sketch 2013' touring exhibition.

No. 1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

No. 6

Monday, 16 November 2015

Don't stress, just paint

Some painters (and the work they produce) radiate a carefree ease that may well belie the rigorous practice that lies behind everything they do. Sometimes the outcome of a work, or a body of work will give little away with regard to the dynamic that went into producing it. Matisse is one such artist. His intensity of vision, his single-mindedness and pursuit of 'light' can leave you marvelling at the wonder of his work without any sense of its agony of production. It seems that is the way he wanted it. 

Jason Berger, is a painter of pure delight. He died as recently as 2010 and though I know little about him, save a few things accessible on the web, he appeared to enjoy himself. This can sometimes be seen as a creative cardinal sin. Can anything worthwhile be born of enjoyment! I think that his boldness to create without walking the tightrope of fear – the fear of failure – is what makes his best paintings satisfy. They appear unworried, unburdened from having to match a list of criteria beyond the joy of making. This of course may lay them open to accusations of being lightweight, of not being properly realised and amateurish (it appears he has little time for revision). I like them because they have a skip to their step. I like them because they are what they are. Jason Berger knew his stuff – as his CV will tell you – he just never seems overwhelmed by it.