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.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Wedding Gift

The Meeting:
Back last summer, whilst painting in the Bath Priory Hotel Gardens, a familiar face peered over my shoulder. Alistair. And, he was not alone but with Harriet. A year later and that day marked the beginning moments of their journey towards marriage.

The Artist:
A pastel painting of the ornamental pool at Bath Priory Hotel. Still water. A place of depth, rest and reflection – literal and eternal.

The Pool:
There are two who wander by the pool. Its myriad reflections ripple as wavelets of intense emotion. Barely contained and so rich in hue.

The Wedding:
Alistair and Harriet, I honour you.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

From the archive

Seasons come and go. Times change. I am moving my working base which has provoked the beginning ructions of sorting…How can so much stuff be accumulated! It feels like a good time to clear some space, emotionally, creatively, physically. But, it is only a start. The move is coinciding with a creatively introverted period. Inward gestation. I want to purpose some change in what I do. Meantime, a painting sold from a gallery back in 2009. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

RWA Secret Postcard Auction

The RWA Secret Postcard auction took place last night and I no longer need to be discreet. I contributed the following painting–'Paradise Garden'. The title came whilst listening to a radio drama on the early 20th century, British composer William Baines. He wrote a piece for the piano called 'Paradise Gardens'. The painting is not based on his music but, whilst searching for a title, it came to mind and seemed appropriate. The additional gouache and watercolour image, painted in situ at Bath Priory Hotel Kitchen Gardens, was completed in the same week and was another 'option' for the same RWA event. Though both paintings are landscapes they are demonstrably different. I like to think of them as two sides of the same coin. One is referential (though not accurate), the other transformational utilising sketchbook references, memory and imagination. The act of painting always asks the artist to consider the order and weight of colour, shape and mark–what to leave in and what to leave out. The final piece is the summation of intent through those choices.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Bridgeman Studio Featured Artist

This June 2015 I am being featured as the Bridgeman Studio Artist of the month. Some images under rights management sit alongside my answers to a few questions.