Thursday, 22 November 2012

Totterdown Arts trail

Spent a couple of hours last weekend on the Totterdown Arts trail here in Bristol  This is the longest running event of it's kind in the area and was well attended.
I always think the trick is to view the website beforehand and select the artists you want to visit, as with so many people participating you could have cultural overload!
One artist whose work I particularly liked was Valerie Bowes www. always interesting talking to the artist and discovering her working methods, especially the use of symbols or icons.
The variety of work on show was great and I think next year I shall arrange to participate with some of my own work.  

Monday, 19 November 2012

William Turnbull

I've just read the obituary for William "Bill" Turnbull the artist/sculptor who died last week. It's interesting looking at work he produced in the Fifties and Sixties how contemporary the work looks and could have been produced now.
You can see examples of his work at the website

Sunday, 21 October 2012

New paintings

 Here's a couple of new paintings, the first was produced from sketches made in Cornwall earlier in the year from the clifftop looking towards St. Ives.

The Island St. Ives
Landscape seen from a train window

Friday, 12 October 2012

Sussex weekend

Spent the weekend in Sussex to visit Farley Farm House, the former home of the Surrealist painter Roland Penrose and his American wife, the photographer, Lee Miller. I met their son Anthony, himself a sculptor/writer who maintains the house and Miller's archived work.
He told me about their life and their friendships with  artists such as Miro,Ernst and especially Picasso.
The house contains numerous works of art, but in true Surrealist style they're mixed with everyday found objects.

Farley Farm House

 The gardens contain sculptures by various artists who regularly visited.
Sculpture by Anthony Penrose from a design by Roland.

The following day we visited Charlestone near Lewes. This was the home of the Bloomsbury group,Duncan Grant ,Vanessa Bell etc.The gardens and interiors (no photography allowed here), were kept in their original state as members of the group lived here from 1916 until Grant's death in 1978.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mexico Towans

These are the first two in a series of paintings resulting from the trip to Cornwall earlier this year.
Mexico Towans is the area of St. Ives bay............great name!

Mexico Towans 1

Mexico Towans 2

Friday, 21 September 2012

Abstract images

Whilst travelling I've come across lots of abstract images - examples of "found art".

"Distressed" door - Corfu Old Town

Peeling poster - Corfu Old Town

Herringbone wall - North Cornwall

Shop window - Cape Cod

Crabs - Cape Cod

Harbour ropes - Portugal

Shop window - Ystad Sweden

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Greek island

Beach at Roda
 Recently got back from a trip to the Greek island of Corfu (Krkyra). Staying in the village of Acharavi in the North of the island. The hot sun and azure seas were an inspiration, as was the faded grandeur and peeling paint on some of the old buildings in Corfu Town.

The beach at Acharavi

Some buildings in the old part of Corfu Town.

I made notes and did some watercolours sketches in a tiny book
and will use them for reference to produce some paintings

The coast of Albania is only three kilometres away                       

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Secret of the black canvas

I was in Prague a couple of years ago and came upon the Galerie Jakubska that showed the work of the Ukranian artist Alexndr Onishenko who has now settled in the Czech Republic.
Onishenko's style is palette knife work applied to a black canvas and the "Secret of the Black Canvas" is the title of the book about his life and work.
My recent night paintings of coastal scenes have all been produced on a black canvas, here are a couple of samples.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Small paintings

In a number of recent exhibitions I've noticed how there seems to be an increase in small paintings. This was especially true of the International Art Fair held at the Royal College of Art in London a couple of months back and it was interesting to see just how much a small painting ,7"x 5"or so,captured the imagination as much as a large 3 or 4 foot canvas. Maybe it's the restricted size that focuses the artist to "tell everything" on a smaller scale, I've just started a series of small acrylics and found this to be the case. Let me know what you think.

Lavender fields - Acrylic on canvas 7"x 5"

Thursday, 5 July 2012

New York

Our apartment in Midtown Manhattan

I'm just back from a few days in New York. We stayed in a "brownstone" apartment on West 47th Street. The city is just as manic as ever and with 35degrees heat, air -conditioning is essential.
Sampling the delights of Central Park, the Staten Island ferry and Washington Square, I made notes and sketches along with photographs to produce some "Manhattan" images.

Cruising in the yellow cab.......

Skyscraper reflections

Leaving Manhattan for Staten Island

Sketches and notes
 I made a visit to the Guggenheim. When I was in New York previously it was closed for renovation, so only having seen the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice I was keen to see the iconic building.
The current exhibition is "Art of Another Kind"abstract art from 1949- 1960 featuring all the big names in both American and European art - highly recommended!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Last chance to see.....

There's just a few days left to catch this exhibition at the Grant Bradley gallery in Bristol.

Vyv Hope - Scott at the preview evening for his exhibition
 Hope- Scott is a local musician /composer / artist and has this exhibition running until the end of June.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

"Out of the Life Room" Preview evening

A few pictures from the preview evening at the Grant Bradley gallery, a well attended event with two other exhibitions running at the same time.My work consisted of pencil and wash framed drawings seen here at the top of the picture.

Fellow artist Brian Fowler

Monday, 18 June 2012

Out of the Life Room

The joint exhibition "Out of the Life Room", that I'm participating in, is currently on at the Grant Bradley gallery in Bristol. This is an exhibition of work produced by the life drawing group and will continue until the end of June. I'll post some pictures of my work and of the private view as soon as I can.
Meanwhile I'm off to New York for a few days - more later. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lawrence Durrell

I've been reading/researching the life and work of the novelist,essayist and poet, Lawrence Durrell who lived , in the 1930's on the Greek island of Corfu.As I'll be visiting Corfu later in the year it was interesting to read Durrell's account of his simple way of life brought vividly to life in his book "Prospero's Cell".
Durrell writes in a beautiful descriptive way about the island and it's inhabitants and the life enjoyed by himself and his then wife Nancy.

"And now the stars are shining down frostblown and taut upon this pure Euclidian surface.It is so still that we have dinner under the cypress tree to the light of a candle.And after it,while we are drinking coffee and eating grapes on the edge of the mirror a wind comes:and the whole of heaven stirs and trembles- a great branch of blossoms melting and swaying. Then as the candle draws breath and steadies everything hardens slowly back into the image of a world in water, so that Theodore can point into the water at our feet and show us the Pleiades burning."

Monday, 4 June 2012

North Cornwall

Whilst putting together my last post about St.Ives I thought I'd put something together about the North Cornish coast. I used to spend a lot of time here , around the area of Trebarwith and the Camel estuary down to Padstow.
These are a couple of paintings that I produced based on sketches and notes made by the more wild, North Cornish coast.