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

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Another successful Portrait Course

Another couple of portrait courses done with Andrew James and smiles all around. Most importantly Andrew is looking forward to it again next year. If you’re interested register on the course page and I’ll let you know the timings when the venue schedule is available in the Spring.

This is now the fifth course I’ve attended (and organised) and I think progress is being made, portraiture is still the most maddening strand of art though.

Here’s a run through of what happened on the courses…

Course 1

We started off with some charcoal sketching followed by a quick demo by Andrew. Here’s his sketch.



Here’s my longer sketch, 1 hour I think.



Day 1 was completed with a monochrome oil painting. This was probably my least satisfying painting, I underpainted using a turpsy wash that didn’t dry before trying to apply the thicker paint on top.

Day 2 started with a demo oil painting by Andrew.



We spent some time sketching and working out compositions in charcoal before blocking in. 

Here’s my work at the end of day 2.



I found the 3rd day frustrating, battling with likeness but ended up with this at the end of the course.



The following week I tweaked the portrait, very little time was spent and very little paint was applied but the tweaks brought out the likeness more by modelling the chin more simply. Oh and I tried Joanna in a fancy frame! (Excuse the carpet).



Here’s a shot of other people’s work in progress on day 3.





Course 2

I (and another attendee) were lucky enough to do two back to back courses complete with new models.

Here are my sketches from the first day.



As I’d done the monochrome painting earlier in the week, I did a limited palette exercise using the zorn palette (only red, yell ochre, black and white).



Again day 2 started with a demo. This time Andrew tried a more conventional planned approach instead of his usual magic. The results was a more prosaic portrait but as a bonus we saw the pain he went to to complete an eye, it wasn’t just bravura brush marks. He doesn’t seem this bald usually, apologies for the angle Andrew.



Here’s some of the student work in progress.



Here’s mine after the 3rd day



I’d used large brushes for the initial block in and tried to work with them for as long as possible. Andrew made a good point that the machined finish of the board isn’t as pleasing as a canvas would have been.



When I got home. I did some further tweaking to the eyes and lips which I think brought out the likeness and removed the unflattering and untrue goggle eyed effect.



I hope you found this interesting and if you feel up to the challenge next year let me know.

Recent Oil Portrait Sketches

Some recent portrait sketches, all 45 mins to 2 hours.

All oil on Arches oil paper apart from the lady in a hat which was on a cereal packet that was sized with rabbit skin glue. I quite liked mid-grey tone of the cardboard.

The sitters were either at Clifton Arts club who have a Saturday morning portrait model/still life session once a month or at the weekly life class sessions in Ashley Down.

Recent #oilportraits – everythings gone grey

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

 

Sadly the Andrew James #oilpainting #portrait #course is over for another year. #bristol #portishead

I’ve just had a great week painting with the great Andrew James RP.
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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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Not posted a #portrait #drawing for a while

Here’s a charcoal portrait of Maureen from the last Clifton Arts Club Saturday morning portrait & still-life session before the Summer.

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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.

#portrait #oilpainting #course with Andrew James RP October 2014 filling fast

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Andrew James Self Portrait

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.

  • Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 21st – 23rd October 2014
  • Friday, Sat & Sun, 24th – 26th of October 2014

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.

A couple of life class head studies #lifeclass #portrait

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.

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15 mins

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15 mins plus 10 minutes colouring in. (Ignore advice about not fiddling, sometimes it helps!)

Couple of charcoal sketches from the Bristol #lifeclass

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Pleased with the likeness on this one. 15 mins. Charcoal with a spot of Wolfe Carbon pencil.

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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

My portrait, William, has been shortlisted for the Making a Mark best artwork on a blog 2013. #art #painting #portrait

No lobbying allowed but go and take a look…
http://makingamark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/vote-for-best-artwork-on-art-blog-2013.html
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.
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Portrait completed just in time for a Happy Christmas #art #painting #portrait

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.

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The Andrew James portrait course last weekend was a success. Relief! Now breathe…

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.

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Portrait drawing with Laurence Kell

I spent last weekend at the RWA doing portrait drawings at the Laurence Kell course.

It started off fairly conventionally, although I think it was the first time I’ve drawn someone sat in front of me with a pencil since I was fourteen when I dropped art and took physics at school.

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We moved onto cartoons to draw out the unique features of people. I think this was the most fun I’ve had while pretending to take art seriously. I think I may have taken the exercise too far?!

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Then some tonal drawings, altogether more LaurenceKell-like. Would have loved more time to get them to that Florence art school finish.

An unexpected bonus was that the selection for the RWA Drawn exhibition was the same day so could peep at some of it. It was a pretty brutal and rapid process, the final selection looked great in the gallery though so it’ll be worth a visit. It made me feel better about not getting into the RP exhibition this week!

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2hr Oil sketch portrait on Arches Huile paper #art #painting

I completed this oil sketch yesterday morning. Thanks to Derek for being such a good model. I didn’t do any preliminary sketches this time and was pleased how far I got in the 1st hour leaving time for judging small marks in the 2nd hour. This was another Zorn palette sketch but I was sorely tempted to get more blues and greens in this time, it’s been a good exercise to learn to push red, ochre and black though.

It was the first time I’ve painted on Arches Huile paper. It’s similar to their watercolour paper but sized to support oil paint. My initial sketch marks were a bit of a shock; I couldn’t paint more than an inch without all of the solvent being sucked out of the brush. I had to revert to a more scrubbing dry-brush style to build up the under drawing tonally instead of a more linear sketch. I’ve got a whole sheet to use up though so I’ll be trying again.

I was pleased with the result though and particularly happy that the model thought it was a good effort.

Following the session I tidied up the hat to remove a satin look it had but decided to leave the background unpainted and un-tidied up, bare paper with the odd sketchy mark. I like the sketchy feel especially the turps dribble, not sure about the background, hard to sketch a swift loose background on this paper though. What do you think?

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Showing at the Cornucopia Exhibition at the Grant Bradley Bedminster in Feb

I’m really looking forward to showing with some other people from the Bristol Grammar Life Class next month from Feb 9th. I’ll be exhibiting portraits as well as life class sketches. There’s some great talent in the class and I’m looking forward to seeing their other work, it’s a mixed exhibition hence the name, here’s a preview page. Details of the gallery here.

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What have Bristol Drawing Club, Adebanji Alade, Zorn, me and Kate Middleton got in common? #painting #portrait #palette #kate

I was lucky enough to get to see the ROI exhibition in the Mall Galleries last month, the painting that stood out for me was a painting of a homeless person by Adebanji Alade. The most remarkable thing about the portrait was that it used the Zorn palette only Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, White and Black!
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http://adebanjialade.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-face-of-homelessness-earls-court.html

The link shows a demo of him making the painting. I was impressed by the range of colours from such a limited palette.
 
This palette is name after the Swedish artist Zorn who specialised in paintings of Scandinavian ladies on the way to have a bit of a goosepimply wash in a fjord, brrr.

 

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This spurred me on to have a go and find a subject to try out the Zorn palette on. I’m a big fan of Bristol Drawing Club (http://bristoldrawingclub.blogspot.co.uk) where pub and sketching people meet seamlessly. What’s not to like? At one of these get togethers I sat opposite Jim for 60 seconds, sketching each other before we shuffled along to the next person, a bit like speed dating with pencils.
I ended up with this sketch, thank you Jim!

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 I thought I’d captured Jim as far as I could tell from our 60 second meeting, so I thought it was a good candidate to work up into a little painting.

 
First thing I did was to see what range of colours I could get out of this palette so started mixing. This is what I got…
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I thought that was plenty of colours and set about painting using the sketch and some imagination to fill in the blanks in the sketch. I wanted to keep the colours separate and patchy and after an hour or two ended up with this…

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OK, not a BP portrait award winner but a useful lesson For me on how useful and harmonised a limited palette can be and also a good reason to ignore anyone that is dogmatic about not using black in paintings, black and yellow ochre gave some beautiful olive greens.
 
Encouraged by this I had another crack, this time with a model called Ella who was darker skinned, I think the palette worked here too. Thanks Ella. It’s also pleasingly different to the Jim one.
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When I was looking into limited palettes and in particular using black I stumbled across this article. http://willkempartschool.com/the-3-myths-of-black-in-mixing-paint-colours/  I was staggered to find a painter I was familiar with that painted large portraits using only Mars Violet (a dull red with a purple twinge), Blue-black and a bit of white.
 
 Here’s one of his works…

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Pretty amazing for such a limited palette eh? It shows that accurate tone trumps hue every time. I must have a go with this palette next time out.

 
The artist is Paul Elmsley, he’s considerably better known today than he was when I first thought about writing this a few days ago, now what else is he famous for?
 
Oh yes…

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I think he admitted himself that he was more cautious than he would have been with any other commission. Understandable I think and a pity if his career suffers. Thought this was a bit harsh ….

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