Have a peaceful holiday.
Apologies if you weren’t a Great British Bake Off viewer this year and you don’t know the running joke.
Have a peaceful holiday.
Apologies if you weren’t a Great British Bake Off viewer this year and you don’t know the running joke.
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!).
Twelve artists (including me) have provided work for a pop up shop in the Triangle precinct in the centre of Clevedon.
If you turn up on Saturday (15th) afternoon there’ll be a jazz band and a chance to meet some of the artists.
I’ve tried to include all of the Clevedon related work I’ve got including this one that I painted a couple of weeks ago. I think it was the last day the sun shone! The show is hung from a selection of work, but I hope it’ll make it to the wall, I’ve seven pictures on show.
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?”.
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.
Living on the Severn estuary I’m beginning to accept that perhaps greys are my strong point, probably repeated practice. I’ve always been drawn to a muted palette and love understated painters such as Gwen John and Kyffin Williams. I’ve just had six days of painting with Andrew James and had a great time but his heightened colour palette can be a stretch, but the point of it was to use it as a chance to experiment and improve.
After a bit of warming up with charcoal sketches we dived in with the first painting.
The background was a bit messy so I blocked in the ugly kitchen area roughly then turned the painting upside down and painted the entire background using the shapes only as a loose guide and just went with what looked good.I think it was worthwhile and helped create a less literal and more attractive painting.
I thought my first portrait was a bit conservative in colour and texture. This was partly due to painting over a very turpsy underpainting which was a bit slippy. So with the second painting I sketched in pencil first which kept a drier surface and enabled me to add more definitive, chunky brush marks.
As I know the sitter well I was pleased to get a forceful likeness quickly (but did pass through a Hitler moustache phase). When it came to blocking in the background I thought I’d get a rough idea with a thin layer but basically got carried away with the turps. I think the effect worked well with the loosely painted hair so I went with it and strengthened the areas such as the shoulder with dark turpsy pigment.
This all came together very suddenly and I didn’t want to ruin the loose effect, so after a night to sleep on it and some very minor fiddling in the morning I was ready to start another painting.
Rather than repeating the same pose I thought back to a memory of a Gwen John portrait I’d admired and began work on a full figure in muted colours. The light dropped towards the end of the day after the clocks changing so I thought the treatment wouldn’t be adversely affected by any dimness either.
I am pleased with the outcome, I think it achieved what I’d set out to do. Once again I turned the painting upside-down to abstract the background. Also if you look closely you can see black dots where it fell over onto a charcoal covered floor when I was tidying up, hopefully it’ll just brush off when it’s dry!
Here’s the Gwen John portrait from the National Gallery that I had in mind when I set out. I wanted to rip it off the wall when I visited this year. Don’t compare too closely, it’s just a thought I had in mind! I didn’t look at it before starting the painting so it’s interesting to see them side by side after the event. Stronger textures, a bolder cut off composition and obviously talent make it a fabulous painting but nevertheless a useful exercise to compare.
If you’d be interested in joining the portrait course next year you can find out more and register interest here https://ianpriceart.co.uk/andrew-james-course/
I’ve just had a great week painting with the great Andrew James RP.
He came to Portishead (just outside Bristol) again to teach portraiture on a three day course that I organise. Everyone had a great time once more, I survived consecutive courses and you can see some examples of the student’s work and register your interest for an anticipated 2015 course on the course page if I’ve not got your details yet.
Thanks to Andrew and all the students and models for making it such a great success and Helen for behind the scenes support including critical cake making.
Here are slideshows of the demos from the two courses last week. I’ll be posting my own work from it in a later post.
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.
I 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!
Thanks 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.
Here’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.
I took my watercolours on hols to an excellent campsite in Brittany, Camping Milin Kerhe. I decided that oil paints would be too problematic to take (and especially bring back) on a camping trip in a packed car.
I’ve barely touched watercolours for five years so don’t judge too harshly, they don’t react well to a spot of drizzle so it won’t be a permanent change for plain air painting from oils.
The campsite are considering running a painting course from there later in the year too so look them up if you like the thought of it, it’ll be great. Good luck to Jonathan in his venture, he’s a very talented painter himself who shared an art teacher with Banksy.
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.
I had a great sneak preview of the Clifton Arts Club exhibition while helping hang it yesterday. You get a really close look while your attaching them to the wall!
There’s some great work on show and a real variety too. Less variety from me this time, I’ve got lots of seascapes in of all shapes and sizes including these. Thank you selectors! I needn’t have been worried about having only entered seascapes after all.
I’ve got to mention that there are some lovely little paintings in the reject room too. I know the frustration!
Private view Friday and opens Saturday for two weeks. It’s at Bristol School of Art right next door to the RWA in Bristol (same building).
Why haven’t more people been talking about this? A really interesting insight into the man and his patronage of artists especially around WW2. I had decided to just pop into the Tate on the way to the RA Summer show but never made it back out. It’s got a masterpiece by Cezanne and some little sketches including one of his son he bought in a bundle in Paris “for the price of a modest motor car. I also loved his collection of work by Victor Pasmore.
I’m ashamed to say it’s my first visit to Tate Britain but there was a clear highlight to the permanent collection for me, The Convalescent by Gwen John.
Making Augustus the second best painter in his family by some margin.
Hopefully the next outing for this one will be at Clifton Arts Club
It’s in St Stephen’s church in the old city, details of the group show
The exhibition is on the theme of the environment and I’ll be showing local urban scenes and seascapes including this one, “Winter Lido”. Come and say hello.
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!
Here’s a charcoal portrait of Maureen from the last Clifton Arts Club Saturday morning portrait & still-life session before the Summer.
I had a couple of comments about what I was going to do to it after the break and the look of relief on their faces when I said “perhaps nothing” removed any doubt about it.
“It takes two to paint. One to paint, the other to stand by with an axe to kill him before he spoils it.” (William Merritt Chase)
I’d never heard of him either but he was an accomplished American impressionist and painter of this “truthful” portrait of Dorothy.
The Andrew James Expressive Portraits course I ran in Portishead last year was a great success. Due to the popularity of the course there are two separate dates to choose from this year.
The course is filling quickly, there aren’t many places left on the weekend one.
Feedback from last year’s course…
“He’s so tuned in to each individual artist, and pushes or coaxes everyone in the right direction…”
“I thought Andrew was superb – intelligent, open, honest, articulate, funny,
patient, tactful yet challenging and extremely supportive – providing us all
with ways forward that suited our abilities and levels of expression – which
is a rare capability in many art tutors let alone well-known artists.”
“I have been on one or two courses previously.This was the best
by some distance.”
“I felt like I learned more in 3 days than I did in 3 years at college”
“Andy was such an inspiration and such a nice guy with it. The group was also brill to work with, so so much talent!!”
“liked the venue a lot, partly because of it’s location by the estuary and the curlew accompaniment”
“cakes were stunning even though I shouldn’t eat cake”
I’m asking for a £50 deposit and the full price is £210. Further information and booking details are included here. There are some great videos of demos by him on YouTube too.
I was struck by the darkness of the ironwork making a bold zed. But sooo many lines to describe it.
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.
Well actually my 3rd, 4th and 5th attempts but I won’t show you those.
Total cost of the wood is about £3, I can’t remember the cost of the new mitre saw I bought, ahem…
The main thing is that I’ve still got all my fingers left.
I’ve got a thin, normal and wider width of tray frame, general feedback so far is that the thinner frames look better around these little paintings although the difference is subtle.
Did some little plein air landscapes over Easter showing the sun glinting on the Severn Estuary in the evening. They make a change from my usual fog/rain themes. Apologies for the sun glinting off the photographs too!
I’ve shied away from painting the Black Nore lighthouse for a while, I wasn’t sure about how to incorporate the white lighthouse into the landscape. It’s the first time I’ve tried a contre jour approach, I think it worked well enough to try on a larger scale, all are A5 size.
Other pics still available to see in the Tinca gallery in Portishead for the next week or so.
I’ll be exhibiting upstairs at the Tinca gallery in Portishead for the remainder of April.
Take a look if you get a chance. I’ll be exhibiting with many local painters.
Let me know if you have any comments, suggestions, there are any problems with any of the links or you spot any typos.
Thanks for looking!
Both on Arches oil paper in 45 minutes using the zorn palette (red, yell ochre, red and BLACK).
There are still spaces on the Bristol Drawing School Anatomy Course at the RWA which starts on Thurs 3rd April. See you there, for flayed body fun.
A couple of head studies of the same model from this term that I thought it was interesting to compare.
I was really pleased with the likeness of the first one in charcoal and just got carried away with the coloured crayons in the second, so perhaps not the most flattering tones. Good fun though, sorry Hilary.
15 mins plus 10 minutes colouring in. (Ignore advice about not fiddling, sometimes it helps!)
I went to see the Peter Brown exhibition in Bath last week.
What a draughtsman he his, amazing control while remaining loose. I’d love to see him painting live. I’ve even tried using the painting medium he uses but just end up with a muddier painting than normal. Here’s a sneaked close-up from the exhibition…
If you go make sure you have a listen to the free audio guide. I normally steer clear of them but the artist narrates it in a friendly style and gives great insights into his practice and how much he enjoys Bath and painting plein air e.g. enjoying chatting to people during painting and finding it so sociable compared with the typical studio artist. There’s a talk by him at the gallery tomorrow (Mon 9th).
For me I was a bit Bath stoned by the end of it and I’d have loved to see a wider variety of subject. He’s painted a variety of other places and I’ll be looking out for his next show. However in presenting a year in the life of Bath I’ve never seen so many red dots in my life before; mission accomplished, hopefully that’ll keep his home fires burning for a while.
Strange as it may seem I painted this cruise liner on a dog walk along the coast path last weekend. I took the painting kit on the off-chance that something would grab me, I was pondering a fisherman when I saw what was on the horizon.
It was moving at a rate of knots, literally, so I painted the ship first and then painted the rest around it.
It’s the MV Discovery which offers cruises from Avonmouth to places like the Hebrides, Iceland, Norway and erm … Liverpool.
After looking at it when I got home I thought I’d overdone the prow and nearly shortened it. I was relieved that I hadn’t fiddled when I looked at the MV Discovery site for a link for this post I was pleased to see it looking quite long nosed (I’m pretty sure that’s the correct nautical term).
Beware of fiddling.
Pleased with the likeness on this one. 15 mins. Charcoal with a spot of Wolfe Carbon pencil.
This week a couple of models posed in a really complementary way, this was the second of the paired poses. 15 mins again but for the both of them so was pleased to have got so much down. Surprisingly perhaps I was pleased with the likeness on the model that’s lying down, less can be more. Drawing two overlapping people seems to be a bigger challenge than two separate drawings.
Both were from the Horfield version of Will’s Bristol Grammar Life Class
Here’s my favourite and I’m pleased that it sold. It’s by Emma Broughton.
It looks dark in subject and tone but it’s a large sketch about 3 feet wide and has beautiful marks. I don’t think the photo does it justice, you probably need to see it in the flesh to appreciate it or perhaps I’m just very odd. She’s a sculptor, see more of her work here including a stunning bronze turkey.
Mine’s not sold but I’ll be pleased to get it back, anyone know what the pick up arrangements are?
No lobbying allowed but go and take a look…
It’s a must read blog for anyone interested in the art scene, especially if you visit UK exhibitions, the reviews are always worth a read.
Votes close by the New Year, have a good one.
Happiness all around as I handed over this portrait today as well as quite a bit of relief from me. Thanks to William and Elizabeth for making it a painless process. I was pleased to hand over before Christmas which was especially challenging as I had to fix 10 fence panels that blew down in the wind during the finishing off period! Now I can crack open the port and rest my namby-pampy hands.
I’m pleased with the composition which joined up the darks for strength and the end result retained painterly marks despite rework to get the likeness correct. Thank you to Andrew James for suggesting the blue background that Holbein used in many of his portraits.
Last weekend Andrew James R.P. to came to Portishead to tutor a portrait course that I’d organised and had been on my mind for about 8 months.
Why did I get involved? I met Andrew at his exhibition in London and queried why he taught portraiture in Umbria but not in Britain. He said if you organise it I’ll turn up so I picked up his gauntlet.
Thankfully eight other students also preferred Portishead to Umbria (was cost a factor? I’ll never know) and all enjoyed it, many thanks to you all for a great weekend.
I’ve included a slideshow of the Saturday demo by Andrew on the course page, I’ve put the fab student feedback on the page too. There was only fab feedback, (apart from not getting the heating on early enough! Lesson learned).
I’ve included my own output from the weekend below. I’m pleased with my first hour and a half portrait but you wouldn’t believe how frustrated I was with the second (in profile) which took two whole days, day two was almost entirely scraping off, repainting, swearing, scraping off, repainti… you get the picture.
Its 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.
I met some lovely artists with some great work when I picked up my rejected large “Kilkenny Bay” seascape from the RWA this Monday. Commiserations to all of them, it really is a brutal process and a bit of a lottery. The panel must have had to view 700+ pictures in a day and wall space for the larger work is at a premium with the number of RWA academicians exhibiting. I feel very lucky to have got one in.
The RWA exhibition opens on Nov 24th and runs until the 26th of Jan.
Oil paint granulates beautifully on Aches Huile paper and a quick study in the life class turned into a 40 minute exercise in prodding and dripping turps into the paint. I was also interested in balancing how much I had to do to paint to keep it figurative versus letting the paint do its stuff.
Weirdly I’ll have work in two places a stones throw from each other in the centre…
I’ve got three paintings hanging for all of October in the Bristol Art Prize exhibition at the Guildhall Arts Centre, Small Street.
The prize evening was last Friday and special congratulations to Roger Conlon for winning two prizes with his fantastic plein air work. I was pleased with my work until I saw his uploaded on the site! He’s also very friendly and supportive and his site even offers painting advice, take a look.
Here’s one of my pieces anyhow, “Water under Pero’s Bridge”, I’ve a couple of plein air paintings in the exhibition too, I painted this one back at home.
I thought about the colours before beginning the painting which isn’t always the case for me, and settled on a limited palette of a blue primary and the two adjacent secondary colours of green and violet but painted over a complementary orange base colour.
See my last post for details of the CRUSE Heartfelt Art Exhibition which is also running in Bristol this week.
Weirdly I’ll have work in two places a stones throw from each other in the centre this week never having had anything in that area before.
I’m supporting the CRUSE Heartfelt Art Exhibition which is launching Tuesday evening and will include work by local artists like Dawn Sidoli RWA and Tom Hughes. It’s running until next Saturday. I’ll be submitting some work for the auction including “Orchids in Pink and Black” below. There’s an anonymous A5 art sale too so you’ll be able to play spot the artist and perhaps pick up a bargain.
It would be great if some of you could come along and support this auction in support of the local CRUSE group. There’s still time left to donate some art too, yo’ve got until Saturday.
It will kick off with a wine reception in the Philadelphia St (Antlers) Gallery in the centre of Bristol near Harvey Nicks on Tuesday 1st of October.
I didn’t go to the Summer term and had forgotten how much I enjoy the Bristol grammar school life class.
Just drawing or painting in whatever style takes your fancy and about 80 other people all doing the same whose work you can nose at in the break.
Here are my efforts from this week, all 15 mins, not that it matters.
And for further inspiration I went to the RWA 100 years exhibition and sneaked a photo of this Bernard Dunstan nude, beautiful greens in the skin. Well worth a visit and you can marvel at the Gromit queues at the same time.
Might try painting next week.
Here’s a plein air painting I did in Broad St in Bristol that I’ve entered into the Bristol Art Prize. You can see all the entries on-line, some of the plein air work is jaw dropping. I think it took around two hours when I had to stop as a was getting cold and hungry after being sat in the shade for so long. It’s got a slightly streaky paint quality, the board I painted on had a quite slippery w&n oil primer so the paint slid around a bit. The exhibition will be at the Guildhall, which is just behind where the painting was painted from and will be on during October, it’s a judged show so hopefully I’ll get a couple in. The clock is hanging outside the former Leeds and Holbeck Building Society.
I enjoyed the process and got a few encouraging comments from some of Bristol’s harder drinking street residents, I’d not painted anywhere quite that public before. With hindsight I wish I’d been brave enough to ask one of them to sit for a portrait in situ, it would certainly stand out in the online gallery and put my discomfort to shame. If it runs again in Bristol next year I resolve to ask if the opportunity arises and see what happens.
It’s 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.
I’ve just submitted this to the RWA yesterday after it getting a selector’s choice in Clevedon. Fingers crossed, I have to wait around six weeks to find out despite the online submission though.
Last Friday I went to the Clifton Arts Club exhibition where I got a range of little pictures in, my first full house, taking no chances I cycled! It’s next door to the RWA at Bristol Drawing School so why not combine it with a trip to the Harbour Festival this weekend? It’s on until the 20th and you’ll also see a painting by Laura Robertson who has a self-portrait hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in the BP portrait prize. It was great to bump into her, recognise her face from the BP and have a chance to congratulate her. Well done again.
If you have been put off the BP by it being focused on photo-realistic portraits recently then give it another visit this year as there’s a much wider range of styles this time around.
I particularly liked this one too by Stanislav Buban.
Watch that parking out there.
I had a great time at the Bath Society of Artists preview evening a few weeks ago and had a chance to speak to some other artists I’d not seen since the Holburne as well as the very talented Tom Hughes.
I unwittingly ended up talking to one of the judges too and getting some top framing feedback too.
All this made up for the parking fine I got for accidentally parking in the hotel part of a public car park which was capped off by a further fine in the post a few days later for spending 3 seconds in a bus lane in my hot, Bath one-way addled state!
The exhibition is in the Victoria Art gallery in Bath all Summer and is crammed full of inspirational work.
It’s pretty high up but at least it shows up well from the other end of the room!
Enjoy if you visit, watch your driving though.
It’s going to be on show in the Victoria Art gallery in the centre of Bath for two whole months from Friday so that’s pretty massive exposure relative to other exhibitions I’ve been in so far. I’m very chuffed.
It’s called “Steep holm” and was based on a plein air painting I’d previously done.
It’s been too long since I’ve done anything arty, does painting the bumpers on my camper ready for selling count or filling and painting the many arts week nail holes left in my walls?
Here’s a sketch of a young girl called Emma from a Clevedon Art Club session last night. I never would have believed the head moved so much while reading a book!
I’m also pleased to also have “The Patriarch” (banner picture) exhibited there; Helen’s grandfather was a Somerset farm manager so he’s in familiar surroundings. I’ve never been to the Bath and West show previously (Royal Welsh show many times yes!) so will be excited to see it. I won’t see them until picking up day so let me know how they look there. From 29th May to 1st of June.
The three works were displayed at Artsweek but perhaps you needed a cooling off period?
The Tithe barn is here…
The meagre cake leftovers… really that was it. Cue belly rumble.
Oh yes and thanks for all the painting and card sales too as well as commission enquiries!