Thanks for your support in 2017

Thanks for a great 2017, hopefully plenty more to come in 2018 for us all.

Here’s my best 9 from Instagram #2017best nine

Instagram offical best 9

And my unofficial best 9 from 2017 that didn’t make the cut.

Unofficial 2017 best 9

Don’t forget you can also follow me on twitter and on Instagram @ianpriceart as well as Facebook @ianpriceart for more recent news or just browse the updated galleries on my website.

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Mother and Welsh Dresser / Mam a’r Seld

I spent some of the Christmas break painting a portrait of my mother and have spent some more time tweaking since. Sadly she died last Summer after years of deteriorating health. Over the past five or so years I spent my time with her sketching and painting. 



She is pictured  in the bungalow she moved into after leaving the family home and is in front of the dresser holding the family china. She also has her fall alarm around her neck.





The sketch was ready many years ago! So I was relieved to make some time to start painting.



I dug out my precious lead white, I thought she deserved it. Also good evidence that all portraits go through an ugly phase. This was after the first painting session.



The second painting session showing an improvement and one discarded background.



Another of the many background iterations and showing one of the iPad images I used. This background framed her head too closely.



A close up showing the texture of the lead white paint and the way the gingham fabric was painted. I was pleased with the end result and the fabric was the least or my problems once I’d worked out how to approach it.

I’m relieved I’ve completed it as well as being pleased with the result. I’m not too upset that she didn’t get to see the finished, she did see many of the sketches and paintings over the years and she was really pleased when I gave her a painting of the cat she left behind at her family home.



I’ve another larger image sketched out, also from years ago. Hopefully that will get finished at some point.

Painting-wise something I found very useful during the process was taking a photo and making it black and white. The small size and the monochrome image really helped with identifying drawing and tonal problems, of which there were many.

2015 round up

I’m not a great fan of those round robin Christmas letters so I’m writing this with some trepidation. However 2015 has been a year of some progress so I thought it would be worth reminding you of news and any earlier posts you might want to look back on by clicking the links.

It was a year of two (unequal) halves a flurry of painting followed by a cycle of exhibiting.

I began the year by doing quite a bit of plein air painting and went on a course at Newlyn School Of Art with Paul Lewin. The course as well as being enjoyable was also an encouragement to loosen up with mixed media. With hindsight I haven’t taken this as far as I anticipated but it was certainly an inspiration to be looser when painting outside.

This flurry of activity was mostly to get things to hang on the wall for North Somersets Arts Week. Once again it was great fun to have people coming through the house and I managed to raise £200 for Black Nore lighthouse by selling cards and Helen’s marvellous cakes.

The other main painting event of the year was the Andrew james portrait course which I’ve organised for a few years now and was a great success again fuelled by more of Helen’s cakes. I get a free course out of it and am still pretty pleased with my portrait of Viv.

I spent the rest of the year (well apart from life classes) punting these paintings around various juried exhibitions the highlights being the RWA in Bristol and the ING and rubbing shoulders with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters for the first time in London.

Dusk Tanker

Dusk Tanker, exhibited at the RWA

I’m especially grateful to the judges of the Clifton Arts Club Open for awarding me the prize of excellence (which also doubled as my entry for the ROI).

Clifton Arts Club Prize of Excellence

Thanks to Trevor Haddrell RWA, Ione Parkin RWA and Ros Cuthbert RWA, what. a discerning trio.

People ask about my organisation and preparation but it all boiled down to this little scrap of paper I used for shepherding my meagre resources and time, so it’s all smoke and mirrors really. If you can read my handwriting you’ll see there are some misses among the hits so still plenty to aim for in 2016.

The Masterplan! (the only plan).

The Masterplan! (the only plan).

I mentioned not freeing up as much as I wanted and I am looking forward to a return trip to Newlyn for a course focussed squarely on abstract painting in March. I’m obviously hoping that 2016 will bring as much pleasure as 2015 but to be honest if it brings as much I’ll be surprised and very happy.

Thank you very much for taking an interest and I hope 2016 is a successful year for us all.

ROI and the Taylor Wessing Exhibitions

I feel so lucky to have got into the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and be back at the Mall Galleries so soon after the ING exhibition. I went to the private view yesterday and it felt very grown up.The ING was a real range of ages and styles, here at the ROI were serious, established oil painters, faces familiar from all those painting DVDs, painters of serious oil paintings, no playful modernism here.

It was a  great chance to meet some Twitter acquaintances in real life too including Andrew Farmer who was the runner up for the W&N Young Artist prize, surely being young enough to be categorised as a young painter is reward enough?

The selected painting was the prizewinner from the Clifton Arts Club exhibition from the Summer. Here it is (and me) hanging out with (under) a Lachlan Goudie painting (off of the telly).

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Here are a couple of paintings from the work on show that caught my eye by David WalkerClive Burnell and Michael Ashcroft  as well as work by Mo Teeuw which I didn’t snap, given the terrible photos below this is no bad thing.

It runs until the 13th of December 2015 and admission is £3. If you get a chance to go then do take advantage of the great location by visiting the National Galleries off Trafalgar Square as well. On a random wander I found a painter called Boltraffio  near some humbling Moronis. The snap doesn’t do the quality of the modelling and colour justice. 

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Boltraffio at the National Gallery

Also go and visit the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery.

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Amongst the refugees and bleak locations this portrait “Norma” caught my eye, there as a counterbalance to the negative representation of older people in the media.

If you get a chance go and enjoy any or all of it.