Fragment

I have just completed a new piece of work based on a derelict World War 2 pillbox I discovered in Northumberland. The collapsed concrete structure is quite striking and caught my eye immediately as I approached the beach. A large piece of it, featured in the drawing, balances from where it once stood onto the rocks below appearing like a jagged bridge. People have scratched in their names onto the surface like they sometimes do on trees. The history of the original structure mixes with the recent history of visitors to the area. In addition, this area had the quiet atmosphere often associated with derelict buildings and like my recent tree paintings combined natural with human made elements.

The drawing, entitled ‘Fragment’, was created using ink pens and ink washes and can be found in the Abandoned Spaces section of this website.

New Year, New Art

After a relatively quiet December i will be back to my busy creative life working on a number of different projects. Firstly i have an ongoing sketchbook project sharing drawings and ideas with Jo Walton and Karen Wicks which aims to capture the atmosphere of quiet spaces. This may result in an exhibition or further collaborations.

I also have a number of Open Exhibitions that i intend to enter. I did well last year getting work in the New English Art Club (London), RWA Bristol and the Three Counties show in Stoke-on-Trent.

I am also building up a new collection of work based on abandonment and dereliction which will combine both urban and natural landscapes in different media. I’m currently working a lot in ink which i’m enjoying. This work will result in an exhibition with Jemma Gunning, a Bristol based artist and urban explorer.

I will also be busy with my art classes and workshops, details of which are on this website. Lots to do!

The Woodlands

Today I completed my latest commission, “The Woodlands’. This is the largest painting I have done for a while and i’ve enjoyed working on a different scale. My tree paintings are usually set in the Autumn or Winter and so the summer setting was also something a bit unusual for me. The client was very happy and felt that I had captured the spirit of the place. An image of the painting can be found in the Commissions section of this website. Do get in touch if you would be interested in requesting a commission.

I recently provided workshops at Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle for year 11. I taught the pupils how to work with acrylic paint to create urban landscapes. Everyone worked hard and produced some great work. The school was a pleasure to work with and I hope to visit again in the near future. I am happy to take requests from other schools who would like to me to visit.

I am about to start on some new work for an exhibition I have planned for next year. More information on that soon.

Commission and new work

2018 has been a productive year with lots of new work produced and lots of art classes and workshops delivered.

I am currently on the final stages of my latest commission for a client. It is a large acrylic painting featuring a circle of tall trees during the summer. It has been refreshing working on a larger scaled (4 foot by 3) and I feel that during the process my painting technique has become more sophisticated and varied.

After this is completed I have several ideas to pursue. I have a number of images of a collapsed Pill Box found on a beach in Northumberland during Spring this year. This concrete structure stood out starkly against the beach and provided me with a number of interesting compositions. More recently I discovered a derelict World War 2 Airbase not far from Whitchurch. I took a number of photos of the area and have several strong ideas for new work as a result.

The beach images and the airbase images will fit in nicely with the theme I have been developing over the last year which show abandoned spaces with evidence of human intervention.

I will be working on a couple of projects with other artists next year who are also interested in the theme.

RWA Open Exhibition - Success!

I have just found out that my recent painting, ‘XA II’ has made it through the final round of the RWA Open Exhibition. This is the first time I have exhibited there and in fact anywhere in Bristol so it’s nice to be branching out. I’m really pleased with the painting and am looking forward to seeing the other work and meeting the artists.

The RWA Open runs from the 7th October to the 25th November 2018.

I am currently finishing off my current commission and will then be working towards my show next year.

RWA Open Exhibition

I was pleased to find out that my painting, 'XA II' has been pre-selected for the RWA Open Exhibition in Bristol.  Fingers crossed it makes it into the show!  

I'm currently working on a large commission for a private collector which is going well.  It is more than double the size of the last painting so it's quite a change.  It's looking good so far.

Following this I will be working towards an exhibition I have planned for next year.  More news on this soon.

Opening

I have just completed a new ink drawing entitled, 'Opening'.  This piece is based on a quiet and slightly desolate looking area of Cannock Chase.  The dead tree in the foreground is contrasted by the healthy tree just behind it.  I like looking at both sides of nature and including both within a scene.  The piece was made using fine liner pens and brushed ink.

I plan to use the ink and wash technique with some urban landscape imagery next.  I have a few ideas planned for an exhibition next year.

Clearcut II and Three Counties Open Art

I have a lot more time to work on my art this year and as a result I have been able to produce more pictures than before.  I have been working on an ink drawing and have plans to start working with lino printing.

Today I completed another painting in the current woodland series.  This one is 'Clearcut II' which continues on from the previous piece.  The series together looks at the relationship between people and nature and the imagery shows natural elements contrasting with the unnatural which creates an interesting narrative.  The pieces work individually and also as a set.

I found out this week that my painting, 'The Shack', has been accepted into the Three Counties Open Art' exhibition which is held at The Burslem School of Art.  This painting had recently returned from London after it featured in the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition.

Clearcut

I have just completed another woodland painting which I have called 'Clearcut'.  This is part of series of work that looks at the interaction between people and nature.  Changes in the urban environment are usually quite apparent but in nature change is not so apparent.  Yet in my recent woodland series you can see a direct and dramatic change to the landscape made by people.  Upon finding these changes it is noticeable how quiet the forest has become once again with only traces of the interaction left behind.  'Clearcut' can be found in the woodland section this painting.

Last Thursday I enjoyed looking at the current New English Art Club annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  I was pleased to have my painting, 'The Shack' included this year which is a piece that has proved popular with quite a few people.

Entrance

I have just completed a new ink drawing which is part of the new Woodland series that i am working on.  It is called 'Entrance' and was created using fine liner pens and water soluble ink.  I have worked in this medium in the past but not for some time and have enjoyed the process.  The idea was to create an atmospheric drawing that was expressive and also descriptive.

The title refers to being on the edge of the forest but also describes the feeling of moving from one place into another.  It's about change, new beginnings and new experiences.

XA II

I have just completed another painting in the new woodland series which is titled 'XA 2'.  This is the companion piece to the previous piece although it exists in it's own right.  This work looks at the relationship between people and nature and how we leave traces of ourselves behind.  Often in nature it is easy to forget that changes are happening but the markings on the tree give evidence of a recent event.

I feel like my new woodland series is amongst my strongest work and look forward to producing a few more.  I'm also working on an ink drawing on the theme.

XA

I have just completed another painting which is part of the new woodland collection.  This series differs from the previous work in that it looks at the interaction between people and nature.  The new painting, 'XA', shows a scene with a spray painted tree indicating a recent interaction. I recently visited a beach in Northumberland where a similar interaction had taken place.  

As with my other work this piece also looks at silence and stillness - there is something beyond words that is felt and not spoken and the painting is my way of expressing that.

The Shack Accepted into the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition

I am pleased to announce that my recent painting, 'The Shack', has been accepted into the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition.  London shows are always very competitive so I'm really pleased to have got in.  The show runs from the 15th to the 23rd June.  Visit the NEAC website for details.

In other news my current painting is going very well and I feel that it displays a development in my technique.  The current collection is based around the interaction between people and nature.

Renewal

I have recently started looking at the forest once again for inspiration.  I enjoyed creating the woodland series three years ago and felt that there was more i could explore.  This time around i became interested in the traces people leave behind - cut branches, litter, paint marks etc  I found areas where people had recently left their mark - no longer present but traces remain.  As well as the man made trails there was also the more natural causes of change - trees broken by wind and storms, creating unusual forms and textures.  The forest never stays the same.

Aside from this surface visual level of interest, the new work will also look at themes of stillness and presence - being in the moment without thought, absorbed in the surroundings.  The idea is that the paintings capture this feeling as well as documenting the changes of time on a visual level.

The first painting in this series, "Renewal" has just been completed and i am really pleased with how it worked out.  I feel it has captured the essence of what i want to convey.  This can be viewed in the Woodland section of my website.

Grounded

I’ve just completed a new painting entitled ‘Grounded’.  This is based on a derelict World War 2 airbase in Staffordshire and looks at themes of abandonment and solitude.  The painting has a softer and more subtle technique which I think helps to create the right mood - one of stillness, calm and introspection.  This is a retreat from the overactive mind and the busy routine of daily life.  With this view, everything becomes beautiful, interesting or both.

Exhibitions and New Work

I am currently a good way into a new painting based on an partly collapsed abandoned airbase that was used during World War 2.  The mood of the piece is very quiet and the painting technique is more subtle than before.  I'm trying to create a picture that has perfect balance and so far it looks like it is working.

I have also been taking more pictures of Cannock Chase.  I produced work on this area a few years ago and have started to become inspired by it once again.  I feel like I have progressed as a painter and could produce even stronger work on the theme now.  As always my aim would be to show nature as it is rather than to make it a decorative exercise.

My Whitesands paintings (1 and 2) can be seen at The Guildhall Gallery in the current exhibition featuring work from artists across Staffordshire.  My 'Aonach Mor' paintings are now on display at The Goat Street Gallery in St Davids (Pembrokeshire).  

The Shack

Happy New Year!

I have just completed a new painting called 'The Shack' which depicts an old but still active car wash on the edge of Stafford town.  This is part of a series of work that looks at overlooked places on the edge of towns and cities.  It is also another piece of work that looks at themes of stillness and solitude.  The subject matter in my work is always less important to me than the what lies beyond the surface.  There is always something else there that is hard to put onto words but can be felt.  It is this feeling that I try to capture in the paintings - finding something beautiful or fascinating in everyday things, even subjects that are normally seen to be unpleasant or ugly.  An image of this painting can be seen in the urban landscape section of this website.

My art classes have been going well so far and I'm starting a new one at Burntwood Library from next week.  I teach people of all abilities from beginner to advanced and can cover a range of drawing and painting techniques.  A full list of classes can be found in the teaching section of this website.  New students welcome any time - contact me for details.

Christmas Exhibition

My recent urban landscapes are currently on show at the Christmas Exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art.  This includes my 'Universal' painting on display for the first time.

I am currently working on a new piece which is already looking very strong and could possibly be one of my best.  This is based on a slightly run down looking  car wash in Stafford but it is also a continuation of my my interest in stillness, empty spaces and abandonment.

Next year I am starting another art class at Burntwood Library.  Full listing of my art classes can be seen on this website.  All abilities are welcome and new members can join any time.  I am also booking more workshops which are also listed on this website. 

 

 

Universal

I have just completed a new painting which i have called "Universal".  This piece depicts a factory in Stafford which most local people refer to as "the old universal" from the days when it was the Universal Grinding Company.  These days the factory is still running but as a different company. 

What struck me more than the history was the atmosphere of the space and how quiet it was (it was a Sunday when i visited the area).  For many people this road is just a means to get to town or to go to Doxey - in other words a place that people don't pay too much attention to.

The idea behind the work was to take a look at something that isn't normally considered nice to look and to find a beauty or wonder by taking a deeper look at the space.  By clearing the mind of preconceptions and just observing with a clear mind you can begin to appreciate life on a deeper level.  The textures of the walls, the dash of yellow against the tarmac, the weeds growing through the concrete, the rhythms of lamp posts....  This can be felt almost anywhere by anyone - it is universal.  So the title has more than one meaning.

Exhibitions and New Work

My Aonach Mor paintings are now on show in the latest exhibition at the new Guildhall Pop Up Art Gallery in Stafford.  The gallery show Staffordshire based artists and craftspeople and it's well worth a visit.

My recent "Signing Off" painting is currently part of the Autumn Exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art.  This is a mixed show featuring some of the artists represented by the gallery.  Again, very much worth a visit.

I am currently working on another urban landscape which is developing nicely.