Open Studio weekends coming up in May

I’ll be opening my studio for North Somerset arts week again 11.00am to 6.00pm over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (including BH Monday) and the following weekend, 4th, 5th, 6th and 11th and 12th of May. If you can’t make these dates and are local we’ll be opening up on Weds evening 8th May 5.30 to 8.00pm.

This time I’ll be sharing the venue with incredibly talented local printmaker Ruth Ander. Ruth layers unique prints on Japanese paper, she’ll be presenting a range of work including new work evoking the estuary location.

Hopefully there is something for everyone to enjoy, come along to browse, chat, listen, eat, drink or explore…

As in previous year’s Black Nore lighthouse will be open for visitors to climb inside during the afternoon while I’m open. This is accessible via the garden and I’ll be selling tea and cakes in support of its upkeep.

I’ll have a large number of new plein air oil paintings of the local area and from further afield on show for the first time as well as new studio paintings, apologies for not sharing more on the blog recently. Much of my new work is exploring the fast changing light at dawn and dusk.
I’ll also be showing some examples of my portraiture and life class work.

Also I’ll have Raku pottery by Brian and “Nibs” Fowler at the venue, they’ll be exhibiting a range of vessels, bowls and figures that show this exciting medium off to the maximum. If you’ve never seen the Raku process before it’s fiery and unpredictable, there will be a couple of Raku burnings in the garden on the final Sunday when you’ll have an opportunity to scrub off the carbon yourself and reveal what the process has created.

Finally I’ll be showcasing some estuary soundscapes by a local producer Dave Howell to add to the atmosphere. When that’s not on I’ll be playing a bit of vinyl on my turntable, or LPs if you are my age.

So something for everyone, hope to see you there.

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

Thanks,

Ian

Where are you going to go this weekend?

This weekend (9th and 10th of June) I’m at the BS9 and the inaugural Portishead Around the House art trails at the same time!

Just likes buses that all come at once but the Portishead painting bus takes you around Portishead and it’s estuarine environs while the BS9 one takes you around Clifton and on into Cornwall. Where are you going to go this weekend?

Venue 10 at the BS9 Arts Trail is Elmlea school in Henleaze, BS9 3UF. It’s a great venue in the centre of the trail in Henleaze and full of Bristol talent.

Venue 8 at the Portishead Around the Houses Art trail is at 20 Woodhill Road (not my own NSA venue). I’m exhibiting with some fabulous local artists so it’s well worth a visit.

If you want to come and say hi I’m afraid you’ll have to come to BS9 in Bristol as I’m the venue organiser.

Some surprising recent news, I took part in the UK’s first ever ArtBattle. The challenge is to paint something in 20 minutes and the audience votes, there’s a final round and a winner is announced. The winner goes on to further regional heats and there’s a national and even a world champion! My family were mortified that I was going to compete with graffiti artists and worst still the venue was a nightclub frequented by my kids – the shame of it. To cut a long story short and to embarrass everyone further I won it.

It was really good fun and there’s another Bristol round next month, also a Facebook event. Why not give it a go or go and have a look? There’s some film of it somewhere you might be able to find on YouTube.

Over the hump in 2018

This morning I got set up for the NSA #65 show in Nailsea, this evening I looked around the venue for the BS9 art trail at Elmlea school and lunchtime I found out I’ve had a painting selected for the New English Art Club for the first time EVER.

Come and celebrate the post hump 2018 with me at the private view of the NSA exhibition #65 on Friday (13th April). Ignore the fact it’s Friday the 13th and get out from under your duvet, it’s all downhill from here, see you there.

My wall at the NSA #65 show

I’m particularly excited about finally getting a piece into the NEAC show at the Mall Galleries. One of the first “proper” artist’s I met was the marvellous Dawn Sidoli NEAC RWA who has always been overwhelmingly supportive of my efforts over quite a large number of years of no NEAC luck, so I’m relieved to feel I’ve rewarded her faith.

To quote from the press release, ahem…

“Work by a local artist has been selected from over 1,600 entries to appear alongside paintings by some of Britain’s leading figurative artists. The New English Art Club’s annual exhibition is on display at Mall Galleries in central London between 15 and 23 June 2018.

Continuing to build on its tradition of painting and drawing from observation, the New English is a vibrant and diverse group of visual artists whose work is highly collectible and widely admired.

Its Annual Exhibition is a showcase for members and gives aspiring artists an opportunity to exhibit alongside some of the best figurative artists working today in painting, drawing and printmaking.

Many diverse styles of art have developed since its founding in 1886, adding richness and variety. The New English aims to foster excellence in all its activities and continues to assist and encourage the art of painting to develop even more expressive possibilities.”

Some of the “richness and variety” in my selected work was added by it being blown off the easel and rolling down the slope leaving all sorts of exciting vertical marks which I embraced.

The show in Bath is still on until Mid-May, get along if you can, it’s a cracker.

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.

On view in Clifton, Bath Society of Artists and the Mall Galleries this weekend

A good week, when I got back from the private view of the Royal Society of British Artists I checked my email and found I’d had a painting selected for the Bath Society of Artists exhibition. I’d also braved the snow last weekend for the “meet the artists” at the Clifton Arts Club Exhibition at the Clifton Suspension Bridge visitor centre. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to paint some more snow so I drew in the punters by painting the snowy gorge.

So I’ve got work in three diverse, exciting venues currently.

The RBA private view was rammed and it was a pleasure to meet some new plein air painters I’d not had the chance to talk to before, Neil Pitcher, Karl Terry and others. It runs at the Mall Galleries in London until the 31st of March.

Some paintings from #beastfromtheeast2 at Clifton Suspension Bridge. The “views of the South West” exhibition at the bridge visitor centre runs until the 25th of March (open 10-5).

 

And a few chilly paintings of the Portishead coast from #beastfromtheeast1 a few weeks ago.

Beast from the East 1

The Bath Society of Artists is a prestigious regional exhibition and I’m delighted to be selected after not having the opportunity to submit last year. My recent painting of Botallack which was painted on the spot got selected. The exhibition is at the beautiful Victoria Art Gallery in the centre of Bath and runs until the 12th of May (check out the excellent permanent collection upstairs too).

Bottalack

You’ll also have a chance to see my work more locally in April at the North Somerset Arts pop up shop in Nailsea. 11-22nd April, 65 High Street, Nailsea, BS48 1AW.

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.

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.

Lido Cafe Exhibition Opens Friday

After a successful outing at the Cambridge Art Fair I’ll be showing work at the Portishead Lido Cafe this weekend. It opens on Friday 24th and will be open until 9.00pm, there’s a bar!

Here’s some recent work all of which will be hanging in the Lido. Come along and say Hi, I’ll be there all weekend.

Some familiar Portishead scenes like the banner above.

Some from further afield, Cornwall.

Some very local, Clapton Moor.

Opportunities to see my paintings near and far

Well relatively far anyhow. Some of my work will be showing with Farmer Fine Arts at the Cambridge art fair this coming weekend. Andrew Farmer is a fine and ridiculously prolific painter himself and he invited me to exhibit with his gallery along with some real up and coming painting talent. Take a look at his site and even better if you can make to that part of the country take a look at the fair. Look out especially for Tom Stevenson and Maria Rose who are ones to watch for the future. I really ought to get some painting swaps sorted while I still can!

As well as some larger work I’ve packaged up some of my life class studies for the fair too.

HJ Ink and Brush

Closer to home I’ll be exhibiting with the Portishead Arts painters at the Portishead Lido Cafe again at the end of this month.

I’ll be showing some dinky little ship paintings that I’ve enjoyed creating over the last few weeks along with some recent plein air painting work fresh off the easel, yesterday in fact. I’m really enjoying this low winter sun.

P.s. if anyone has the Sky Arts channel then you might be able to spot me in the background of the recent episode of Landscape Artist of the Year. It was on last week but it should be on catch up. I’ve not seen it but I’ve seen some shared screen shots. I’m the one wearing an apron that looks like it’s been involved in some kind of dirty protest.

I was one of 50 wildcard entries painting Worm’s Head on the Gower, this was in addition to the 6 artists selected for that heat. It was a really enjoyable experience being in a group of artists who were all excited to be there. It was great to meet so many artists face to face and I hope our paths will keep on crossing. As a bonus we were able to park up the campervan in the crew field which had a spectacular view of Worm’s Head.

It was really interesting to see the programme being made and it was great to meet *spoiler alert* the heat winner Alice Boggis-Rolfe Art who I’ve followed on social media for a few years and knew my work too. But even better I got to speak to and shake the hand of Tai-Shen Schierenberg, one of the judges, I love his work. Unfortunately my painting didn’t work out so well, my foreground turned to non drying gravy, I painted over some of the brown mess when I got home, too late for the programme though. There’s always next year…

Worm’s Head, with repainted foreground!

The application process is open for next year already if you fancy giving it a go. I can really recommend it if you are able to make any of the heat locations.

RWA Open Exhibition and back to Cornwall

I’m really pleased to shared that I have a painting exhibited in the RWA Open Exhibition which opened last weekend. It’s the most prestigious open exhibition in the region and I felt very privileged to have attended the varnishing lunch on Saturday. So many fantastic paintings on show, really exciting but with a a good chance of the artist being in the room and not knowing what they look it was a bit frustrating, badges of the paintings pinned to the artists next year!  The exhibition runs until the 3rd of December.

I’ve also had a recent trip to Cornwall doing some more plein air painting, enjoying some turps dribbles in the sunshine.

In contrast to the turps dribbles I also did some palette knife painting with Newlyn School of Art while I was down there, watch this space for more local palette knife work over the Winter, if my future experiments succeed.

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.

Marina Painting this Weekend (5-6th Aug) and my Summer Painting Tour of Britain

This weekend I’m really excited to be taking part in the Marina Arts Trial in Portishead, I’ve had a small part in organising it along with the other Portishead Arts people and will be doing a demo on Saturday, wish me luck. Saturday is all about people coming along and joining in to do something arty. We’ll be supplying acrylic paint, boards and brushes, there’ll also be felting workshops and a pastel demo by Michelle Lucking. We’ll be hanging all the work around the Marina ready for Sunday which will be a day of celebration and relaxation for me as I won’t have to do a demo. I’m really looking forward to Paris, a renowned graffiti artist, painting a 25 foot yacht! I might do a painting of him painting. There’ll also be some skateboard trickery, the whole weekend is also raising money for youth projects in Portishead, you can pledge to buy one of the created art works online here, get in quick to bag a bargain, there are a limited number left.

Here’s a Marina painting from June.

Sunset catching Marina

Apologies for it being such a long time since the last post. I’ve been doing plenty of outdoor air painting all around the country, I only realised how much while writing this.

I had a quick trip in June to Lyme Regis on the South coast to paint with the very talented painters Maria Rose and Tom Stevenson.

Pink Flamingo, Lyme Regis

 

I’ve long heard about the Buxton Spa Prize competition and this year I had an opportunity to take part. I spent a warm, sunny day painting outside in the most gorgeous market town. The visit coincided with a farmers market that kept me well fed for the next few days too.

Buxton

 

I spent a weekend at Priddy folk festival at the start of July, a chance to paint and sketch some performers as well as the crowds.

I went from there to a one day course with artist Richard Pikesley NEAC and by contrast painted some arable farm scenes in Wiltshire and picked up some tips too, mostly look harder!

Farmyard and Barley

 

I then had an opportunity to paint on the Gower with a load of other artists. The weather was so changeable I was oblivious to a red sunburnt neck until it was too late, the drizzle was deceptive. Apparently it’s not enough to have sun-tan lotion in your bag at your feet, you need to put it on your skin.

Worm’s Head, Gower

 

Last weekend I took part in Pintar Rapido, Europe’s largest outdoor painting event that runs annually in the Chelsea area of London. I did a little painting of the Albert Bridge in Chelsea on the day before that I was pleased with despite having left my turps at home.

 

Albert Bridge Chelsea

The prize ceremony on Sunday was a great opportunity to meet up with artists that I’ve previously only known through social media, one of whom Adam Ralston I’ve admired for a long while and I was very pleased when he was announced as the ultimate winner. Congratulations Adam.

More painting trips are coming up, look out for a bit of Cornwall followed by a bit more Wales. I can’t wait and I hope to see some of you this weekend.

Also don’t forget the Clevedon Art Club Open exhibition which opens and I’ll hopefully get some work selected for, perhaps some of these.

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

Final weekend of my Open Studio

Don’t forget it’s the final weekend of my open studio.

I’ll be open from 11 to 6 on Sat 6th and Sun 7th.

I’ve got this pair back for it.

It’s been a pleasure having the work of Lois Pryce in my dining room all week and spending time with it.

Paintings by Lois Pryce (close up)


Finally don’t forget the beautiful ceramics of Brian Fowler. There will even be a Raku firing demonstration on Sunday afternoon.

You’ll be able to watch the process and scrub the carbon off to find the beauty underneath.  

Brian Fowler ceramics

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ianpriceart 

Clifton Suspension Bridge and More

I’m exhibiting work at the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre with Clifton Arts Club, it’s a great space and it runs until Sunday the 1st of April. I’ll be there Sunday afternoon if you want to say hi, it’s open from 10 to 5pm and is free.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I have been out painting over the Winter and to prove it I’ve just updated my Landscape gallery, take a look here. I’ve also broken it down by area, Wales, West etc. Any comments welcome, I’ll be updating the lifeless and portrait galleries in the next few days too.

I’ve got lots of new work to show at the North Somerset Arts week which is coming up in the next month. The paper brochure is already out and it should be downloadable from the NSA site shortly. I am exhibiting from my home “studio” in Portishead again on the Sat 29th, 30th April, 1st May (Bank how Monday) and the following weekend 6th, 7th May.  I’m easy to find as I’m last in the brochure! I’ll be exhibiting with painter Lois Pryce and Brian Fowler who creates beautiful raku and pit fired pottery, More news on this shortly.

Thanks

Don’t forget you can also follow me on twitter and on Instagram @ianpriceart as well as Facebook @ianpriceart.

Another Lido show last weekend of November

Thanks for all your support during the last Lido show.

I can reveal that the Portishead Arts group are running another pop up show at the Portishead Lido cafe for three days in November , Friday 25th, Sat 26th and Sun 27th, 10am – 5.30pm, with a late night opening with a bar on the Friday until 9pm.

Take a look at the Portishead Arts group website for more details of the other artists taking part.

I’ll be displaying a wider range of work than last time including some work from Cornwall and the Peak District so if you didn’t make it last time or want to see some paintings from further afield come along.

Here’s a little plein air (well inside the cafe) painting I completed during an afternoon cake induced lull. If you look closely you’ll see it’s a drier, more blocky technique than usual. This was mainly due to it being solvent free to allow the visitors to enjoy their triple decker coffee and walnut sponge without being in a turps haze. I’ll take low odour solvents next time!

Group Show at the Lido Cafe in Portishead & more

I’m excited to be taking part in the inaugural show of a new groups of artists and painters in Portishead that go under the banner Portishead Arts. We  have a
website where you can find details of the other artists involved.

Portishead Lido flyer

There’ll be a great range of work on show including painting, photography, jewellery and illustration so come along and enjoy a slice of cake and perhaps even have a dip in the Lido.

The show will be on for over a week from Thurs 22nd to Friday 30th of September the lido is open 9.30 to 6.30 every day (later on Monday mornings I think), I’m planning on stewarding on both the Fridays, I might take my painting kit along to paint the estuary in any quiet periods, so come and say hello.

For this show I’m focussing on local scenes, pretty much all painted within a mile of the Lido. My painting of the lido is the top right image on the flyer above.

Here’s a recent one painted after a last minute decision to walk down and catch the last light at Black Nore lighthouse. I’m so pleased I did, once again I was painting over a failed painting so it was doubly therapeutic, I’m so lucky to have this on my doorstep.

Last Light Black Nore

Last Light Black Nore 10 x 12 inches

As well as these outdoor paintings I’ll have a couple  of larger works that were painted back in the studio, such as Winter Wave.

IMG_2873

Ian Price Winter Wave 24 x 24 inches

The Autumn is always an exciting period with so many shows on, I’m lucky enough to have had a painting selected for the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London which is coming up in November. More news in the next post!

I hope to see you at the show. Don’t forget you can also follow me on twitter and now Instagram @ianpriceart as well as Facebook.

Somerset Levels

I expanded my horizons into the Somerset Levels (and the Quantocks) during the spring. I’m very pleased to say that you’ll be able to see some of my efforts in the A2 Gallery in Wells during August.

I’ve had three paintings accepted for their summer show running 4th to the 31st August 2016 

A2’s biennial open submission exhibition shows work from national and international artists practising contemporary and conceptual art and mine.

Here’s a detail from one of my entries.

Everything has gone green

I’ve previously favoured a muted palette so at this time of year with all this lush, verdant growth wherever you look I feel a bit intimidated.

My theory is that evolutionarily we are programmed to discern differences in the many shades of green to help guide our ancestors to sources of food and water. Also green in Spring is especially acid. How many works of art can you think of that accommodate the true strength of these greens? It’s very easy to foul up a painting that includes green.

Many artists today (myself included) and throughout history have worked around this by downplaying the true strength of green to ensure a harmonious picture. Even Constable browned down his greens.

Gone Fishing, Usk Reservoir

Gone fishing. Avoiding green at Usk reservoir in the Brecon Beacons.

I decided to try to focus on this weakness, tackle it head on and paint more green, more strongly.

I sought some advice from artists about how they made such strong and believable greens. Mix your own greens from warm and cool blues and yellows, avoid viridian, practice with sap and hookers green and use premixed light green moderated with earth colours came the conflicting advice.

Here are more of my recent plain air paintings, my main finding is that the right green can be arrived at by many different routes but the important thing is to maintain the true variety of greens across the painting by careful observation. Sadly its easier said than done, I’ve not found a silver bullet and more practice needed.

There’s no better way to practice your greens than to paint outside at this time of year.


A bit more green, Liberty leading the trees, also at Usk reservoir.
I also had a green disaster at Carreg Cennen castle. Total rework needed, no image to protect your eyeballs!

 

Friesans, Catcott


An improvement, Friesans on the Somerset levels. Also some camera glare, may crop this one.

Some views around the Hope Valley in the Peak District including Castleton castle. There’s plenty of variation in green between these paintings but plenty more to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. You an also follow me on twitter and now Instagram @ianpriceart

Currently Exhibiting in Bristol and Bath

I had a great evening at the private view of the Bath Society of Artists open exhibition at the Victoria art gallery on Friday.

I was great so see so many familiar faces in the throng as well as meeting some artists for the first time. I was lucky enough to have had my painting “Sunrise over Perranuthnoe” selected, I wrote about it in my last post, describing how I painted it before breakfast on my last trip to Cornwall. If you get a chance make a day of it by going to the Impressionists exhibition at the Holburne on the same day. (Also enjoyed the work of Kristan Baggaley and Ellen Watson  Voyage exhibition at Bath Contemporary but it’s only on until 2nd May)

IMG_4669

‘Sunrise over Perranuthnoe” (centre above red dot) and friends

I’m also exhibiting with Clifton Arts Club at the Steak of the Art restaurant on Bristol’s harbourside. These are also paintings from Cornwall.

IMG_4679

This is another pre-breakfast dawn painting that I talked about in my last post.

IMG_4641

Brisons at Dawn

IMG_4640

Kernel Viridian

I called this one “Kernow Viridian” which I appreciate makes it sound like a racehorse but I thought it fitted. It’s one of the more abstract ones I made and includes wax medium, stand oil and lots of rolling and scraping, fun to make.

IMG_4697

Close up of “Kernow Viridian”

Not such fun to make was the frames but I was pleased with the outcomes, I’m beginning to get the knack for doing it in a straightforward way that looks professional (enough!).

 

All exhibitions are running into June so you’ve plenty of time to get along.

Some images from the  Impressionists exhibition at the Holborn, George Clausen and Berthe Morisot

 

 

To Hail and Back, a painting trip to Cornwall

Much to the frustration of my long suffering wife, I only get up early on holiday. This wasn’t hard the first morning of my trip as I’d pulled the van over in a lay-by on the A30 near Penzance sometime after midnight, after a fitful night woke to the sound of manoeuvring juggernauts. I was in Cornwall for an indoor course at Newlyn following on from an outdoor painting course last year. I’d decided to top and tail it with a few days of painting on the coast.

I was near to St Michael’s Mount so I turned onto the Marazion road, squinting into the dawn,  seeing glimpses of the mount to my right. I pulled in at Perranuthnoe which I thought might be a likely painting spot, gathered my things and set off. Along the path I realised what a stunning dawn I was missing behind me so decided to turn my back on the mount.

I used a pink board and the painting session stopped abruptly when I had my first hail shower of the weekend. I have to thank the hail for causing more of the pink ground to show through, I think this sketchiness improves it.

The shower passed and I moved on to the Mount, I used a smaller board expecting the showers to return and wasn’t disappointed, they did. One feature of hailstones is that they land in your thinners and you don’t notice until you find a large globule of water lurking at the bottom.

Back at the van I had a late breakfast and coffee in some satisfaction having completed two paintings. I drove across the Cornish peninsula to the North coast and headed towards Pendeen. It was on the schedule last year but was too foggy to use;  I was keen to see what I’d missed. Pendeen lighthouse was a spectacular but very exposed spot but I found a little nook with enough shelter from the fierce wind.

I used a larger board, 1ft by 2ft, and thought the view along the coast would work on this elongated format. I wasn’t quite sure if the weather was going to hold so I was as free and splashy as a I could with the initial dark painting hoping that much of it could stay to add interest and save time. I’ve included a close-up showing the thinners giving a rocky effect towards the bottom. Once again the hail struck but I was able to retreat to the van to block in the sea and sky before returning to the cliff to capture the frothiness and patterns of the waves.

The next day I moved to Porth Nanven facing The Brisons, it was wonderfully sheltered from the wind. The dawn was a beautiful peachy orange as I attempted to capture it.

The effect was fleeting and I realised in the process that I ought to be prioritising painting the more transient bits at the outset and not painting the rocks! I’m happily still learning.

Next was breakfast and off to Newlyn for an abstracts in oils course I’d booked myself on. My gloopy efforts from the course are still dripping and un-photographable but I may share them at some point.

After the course I ended up at Carn Groose near St Just which has panoramic views of the North coast. Once again a pre-breakfast dawn painting, this time looking back over St Just and a mine chimney.

I tried to grab the dawn much more quickly in this one, hence the heavier brushwork.

After some food I settled down on the headland at Carn Groose, looking towards Land’s End, a favourite painting spot from last year.

I really wiped, scraped and splatted the surface on this one, I’ve included a close-up.The board was only 1 foot square, I think I would have benefitted from a larger canvas for this session and got even looser.

I was prepared for more hail but I ended up  worrying about having not packed sun cream and sat next to a very large pile of my discarded coats and jumpers. The only disappointment of the day was afterwards when talking to some people who had been sat above me. They had been watching humpback whales (now long gone) breeching on the horizon to the right Land’s End. I was oblivious. Next time.

A fun and educational experience all around, perhaps an annual one at the very least and am already looking forward to returning.

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Clifton Arts Club Open

I’m shocked to announce that I’ve won the main “Prize for Excellence” at the Clifton Arts Club open exhibition.

Ignoring this go and see the exhibition over the next two weeks. There’s some great stuff there and the venue is incredible.

redcliffe bay, portishead, sunny showers

I wasn’t trying to look smug, sorry



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


Winter Wave, Redcliffe Bay, Portishead

Sorry, I also got a critics choice for this. Thanks Ione.



Art Challenge Wales Plein Air Portcawl

I took part in the inaugural Art Challenge Wales event in Porthcawl yesterday. It was really good fun and the weather was great after a gusty start. There are many artists who get distracted and upset by people that chat to them, my advice to them is don’t go near Porthcawl, I’ve never met a more open, friendly and chatty bunch of people. They were all very supportive and encouraging. 

The challenge was to paint something that captured the spirit of Porthcawl in a day, so first thing I drove there to suss out good spots before taking a couple of canvases to the registration point to get stamped. It’s a bit like the Pintar Rapido event in London (that I’ve never been able to go to!).

It was a windy start to the day so I set up on the leeward side of an amusement arcade where I could capture some of the natural beauty of the bay and some colourful seaside atmosphere in the same frame. And not forgetting the wonky lamppost! I was also drawn to the dark shadow shapes on the left and bottom which supported the shape of the bay. I started sketching  the composition on a light red primed 16 by 20 inch canvas and realised by pure fluke I could use sight size measurement which made the drawing and measuring of the structure of the painting much faster.



At this point I overheard a comment that they weren’t on keen on the colour I’d painted the sky, some other onlookers leapt to my defence to tell them I’d not started it yet, like I said everyone was very supportive.



The kiosk in the painting was owned by Myra (pictured and very smartly turned out) who came out of the amusement arcade behind me for a few chats as well as the offer of a cup of tea. With hindsight standing next to the entrance to an amusement arcade was bound to attract attention but in my defence it was closed when I started.



Here’s the finished painting, “Myra’s Kiosk”. I had used quick drying white and quick drying mediums to accelerate drying to allow the painting to be safely left for judging. However this made the paint on the canvas and on the palette tacky very quickly, I’ve got so used to moving the paint around and smearing it that I found it a bit more limiting than normal but I’m pleased with it overall. It’s preframed to allow it to be handled wet and you can see the masking tape covering the frame to keep it clean. I got this idea from the fantastic Roos Schuring Blog. 

After taking the painting back to the car and having a bite to eat I contemplated what to paint on my other registered canvas. I hadn’t much time to roam around and I was admiring the abstract shape the lifeguard lookout made on the horizon so I thought why not?

 This time I was backed right up against my car to avoid the wind but it didn’t put people off from coming up for a look and a chat, the best one being three burly likely lads from the North East who were very encouraging and after a while one said he took his watercolour kit wherever he went. Never judge a book by its cover.



Here’s the finished painting “Lifeguard Lookout”.

All of the paintings are online ready for a people’s choice vote (from Sun 7th evening) and announcement of the prize-winners later in the week. Ahem, did I mention there was a people’s choice vote?

It was a really great event made by the friendly organisers and locals. Thank you. Hopefully it’ll be back again next year with even more people so get practising. 

Bank Holiday visit to Wales

Over the BH weekend I went to Wales timed partly to catch the BP Portrait award exhibition which is in Aberystwyth and is highly recommended. It finishes soon before moving on elsewhere. I particularly liked the Paul Benney “pig” painting as well as the prize winners which all looked totally justified in the flesh.

On the way I walked up to Llyn y Fan Fach in the western Brecon Beacons above Myddfai. It’s a stunning spot and famous for its Lady of the lake legend. I was prepared for everything apart from the heat so carried a mountain of pessimistic clothing as well as my painting kit to the top. Here are some photos complete with gnats which found the paintings irresistible. I hope they’ll come off when they dry.





I also managed to grab a quick sketch of Mam too on my rush around South Wales.



The Sea Can Be Turquoise?

I’ve spent quite a few days down in Cornwall over the last few weeks on a family holiday closely followed by a course with Paul Lewin at the Newlyn School of Art. I’ve never had much success with sketching out of doors so I thought some exposure to some new ideas on his Coastal Painting mixed media course could help.

I did a few plein air oil paintings around Mousehole where I stayed and also in Newlyn. Because these were fitted in around other things they came out a bit tight but it was good to get into the swing of things before the course started. Did you know the sea could be turquoise? Mousehole is a great place for an arty break. Ken Howard even has a studio there.

Despite the turquoise sea it was pretty chilly and fogbound when the course started. The woolly hat I found in my pocket got used. Thanks to Sarah for the arty photo (note beard has gone for the Summer).

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On the course we were encouraged to make multiple sketches initially of various compositions and to get a good tonal range using water soluble graphite pencils. I’ve tried these before without much success as mentioned but they seemed to work better in Cornwall. Not worrying about where the dog has wandered to or is eating or barking at or chasing helps to improve sketch quality I think.
Here are the inital paintings from Porthgwarra, getting to grips with gouache.
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After a few days painting and sketching at Porthgwarra the final day was at Carn Groose on the north coast near Land’s end where I found a 2m by 3m ledge at the end of the headland which had spectacular views in every direction and was unnaturally sheltered.
Being at he end of the headland I wasn’t interrupted by anyone passing, even Paul struggled to find me.  The sea fog eventually lifted and I was eventually able to take off my hat and coat that hat been welded to my body for three days and apply some sun block. I was able to get into the techniques I’d picked up and completed these three paintings looking in varying directions from that single point. A real treat.
The Brisons from Carn Groose

The Brisons from Carn Groose

Lands' End from Carn Groose

Lands’ End from Carn Groose (I’ll straighten the horizon line).

Cape Cornwall from Carn Groose

Cape Cornwall from Carn Groose

Carn Groose to Land’s End (still wearing waterproof trousers!)

The course gave me a prod to persevere with outdoor sketches and also reignited my previous enthusiasm for water-colour. I found adding gouache to extend the range of effects and paint over any messes and define things without the slow death of using masking fluid to be really liberating. The most surprising thing was that is allowed me to play with paint splashing and dribbling outdoors in front of the subject which I’d previously only done (very enjoyably) using oils indoors. Getting oil too splashy outside would generally result in your efforts dribbling to the bottom of the painting on the walk home.
Overall a great use of a few days at the course and lovely to spend time in a beautiful cottage in Mousehole too, thanks to Adam and Helen for their cottage. My next step is to apply some of the things learnt to the greys and browns of the Severn Estuary.
Most of these paintings will be on view during North Somerset arts week, Mayday BH and the following weekend, 2-4th and  9-10th. My venue details are included in the North Somerset Arts Week Brochure entry.

Chilly #pleinair #painting from #batterypoint #portishead

Apologies for the double post, accidentally published a draft, here’s what I meant to say…

My painting of a Buoy Maintenance vessel, which obligingly sat still actually maintaining a buoy while I painted. Thanks to Norman for the photo and his friend for the ship info. Despite the care my favourite part is the turps drips in the bottom right.   IMG_0330.JPG
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Here’s one of Battery Point, Portishead from later the same day showing a fisherman sat at the base of the lighthouse. He caught around five cod while I painted. It was much colder than it looked and my hand was a frozen boxing glove by the time I’d finished but I was pleased I stuck with it. 

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Clevedon pop up gallery is going well and a new spot in Bristol

The Clevedon pop up gallery is going really well, many thanks to the volunteers manning the shop for their efforts. I called past over the weekend and was chuffed that my “Steep Holm” painting was in the window after a few weeks in the store room. It all looks great and the North Somerset Arts week committee are considering how to take advantage of the venue following the planned end just before Xmas.
I’ve also got a painting in the Bristol Harbourside exhibition at the Harbourside Gallery near Millennium Square in Bristol which is also running until Christmas. It’s a great spread of work with established painters alongside some lovely work by lesser known people but every bit as good.
My painting is called “Welcome to the S.S. Great Britain” (it’s what you can’t read on the banner in the middle!). It started as a rainy view of Cabot tower but I couldn’t resist adding in a primary school trip walking past to the S.S. G.B. with it’s accompanying contrasting hi-vis jackets. Excuse the glare, it’s facing the window (which is good!).

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I’ve been selected for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. Opens tomorrow.

It’s at the Mall Galleries, i.e. on the pink street the Queen lives on, not the Bristol out-of-town shopping complex. Yes I know, it seems unlikely to me too.

The ING Discerning Eye is a show of small works selected by prominent figures from the art world. Each selector is responsible for their own section giving the impression of six exhibitions in one. I’m expecting mine to be in a dark and moody corner.

The exhibition opens tomorrow (Thursday the 13th of November) and runs until the 23rd. I’m really looking forward to attending the private view tomorrow and meeting up with some exhibiting artists I know and meeting others for the first time. I’m sure I’ll come back inspired.

The painting selected is “Have We Enjoyed Ourselves Enough Yet?”.

Have We Enjoyed Ourselves Enough Yet, 10 x 12 inches (ING Discerning Eye and RWA Open selected, Clevedon Selector's choice).

Have We Enjoyed Ourselves Enough Yet, 10 x 12 inches (ING Discerning Eye and RWA Open selected, Clevedon Selector’s choice).

The title is a saying of someone my wife used to ride horses with, while getting soaked to the skin and freezing on a hack she’d ask “Have we enjoyed ourselves enough yet?”. I thought the same applied to the trudging dog walker.

It was painted using the left over paint on the palette after finishing a much tighter plein air painting. I painted the memory of the dog walker I had just seen walking back to his car, he was gone by the time I started to paint him; I was sat in the warmth of my car with the wipers on intermittent. Those that know Portishead will know the backdrop of Battery Point.

Thanks for reading, do follow if you want to keep up to date with future news and paintings.

 

A #Clevedon #pleinair #painting round-up

After a blogging hiatus brought on by decorating I eventually switched back to the smaller brushes, here’s a round up of some painting I did in Clevedon a few weeks back.

IMG_1911.JPGJust a quick 30 mins warm up. A bit wobbly.

IMG_0260.JPGI opportunistically painted the crane over the Royal Pier Hotel development at a very early stage, which was great as it drove off five minutes later. The scaffolding and pier was painted from the Clevedon Sailing Club which had a great view of the pier and followed a demonstration by Ian Cryer ROI.

The following day I took part in Art on the Railings, also in Clevedon and parked my painting kit facing the bandstand… I was starting to feel piered off, very fiddly ironwork to paint!
IMG_1907.JPGThanks to all those that stopped for a chat or took a card at the Marlens/Tides festival in Clevedon. I really enjoyed it and the weather stayed steady for the painting, sometimes overcast is good! I know some artists get wound up by people stopping for a chat but I had a great time and hope to see some of you again at the North Somerset Arts week open studio in May.
IMG_1928.JPGHere’s the end result. Those that did spot the difference as a kid will notice some painting corrections on the bandstand, I blame a lunchtime cider.

I’ve got a couple exhibition opportunities in Clevedon coming up so you’ll get a chance to see them in the flesh. Firstly the Clevedon Art Club members’ exhibition at the Sixth Form Centre Clevedon Community School, Valley Road, Clevedon from Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November. Also North Somerset Arts in planning a pop up shop in Clevedon in November, details when I know them.

Severn Bridges from Portbury Wharf, Portishead.

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A bit of a barren period painting-wise between DIY and work so good to get out and paint a bonus picture.

I’ve realised the ground makes a great difference to the painting. This board was painted in quite a slippery orange acrylic paint that was easy to let through in areas like the grass. The board had been knocking around for a while, I always chose another board as it always seemed too orange and too shiny.

Last day of Clifton Arts Club exhibition Sat 26th if you’ve not seen it yet.

Forgot to post this photo of #pleinair #seascape #painting in situ last week

The palette is probably a bit misleading as most of the colours around the edge weren’t used.
From memory I probably used white, burnt umber, raw umber, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, viridian and yes a touch of black!
Interestingly, perhaps, I’d left my palette knife at home, which I would have expected to have used in that fiddly iron-work and scratched about with it in the foreground rocks. Who knows if it would have improved it?
Those with a nautical bent can tell me how long it took to paint by judging the change in the tide line!
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Severn tide receding through Clevedon Pier #art #pleinair #painting

I was struck by the darkness of the ironwork making a bold zed. But sooo many lines to describe it.

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That was 12 by 10. Here’s a little A5 lunchtime sketch that encouraged me to try again later with a deeper format; painted holding an ice cream in one hand. I don’t think there was very much cadmium paint in so I should live to paint another day.

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