Birmingham Art Circle, exhibitions and new art.

I recently became elected as a member of the Birmingham Art Circle. This is a good opportunity to meet new artists, to share ideas, support one another and to take part in more exhibitions. I’m really happy with the news and am looking forward to working with the group.

My drawing “Springfield Brewery'“ has been delivered to The Guildhall Gallery in Stafford ready for their next exhibition which starts on Friday 3rd May. This is a small but friendly gallery that also provides coffee and cake - well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

I’m currently part way through a new painting and drawing which will be part of the ‘Fragments’ exhibition that I am doing with printmaker Jemma Gunning.

Frozen Earth

I have just completed a new painting entitled “Frozen Earth’. I do not normally work in watercolour but have recently been experimenting in sketchbooks and have enjoyed revisiting the medium. The image is based on a recent unplanned visit to Cannock Chase. As I drove through the forest I was very much taken by the mist, the frosty landscape and the quiet atmosphere.

Open Shows and New Drawing

I have just completed a new ink drawing, ‘Springfield Brewery’, based on an abandoned factory in Wolverhampton. A few years ago I discovered the building as I hunted for subject matter for a derelict building project I was working on. Until now I haven’t responded to my research. I have started to revisit the subject matter as I will be exhibiting with Jemma Gunning later in the year on an abandoned spaces project. Working with ink will complement her printmaking practice.

I have found out today that my painting, ‘Renewal’, has been pre-selected for the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition 2019. Hopefully it will get past the next round and make it to the show!

'Entrance' wins the Barracks Trust Prize

Today I received the Barracks Trust Prize at the Brampton Museum and Art Gallery Open Art and Craft Exhibition 2019 for my ink drawing “Entrance’. This piece is based on an area at the edge of Cannock Chase, a forest in Staffordshire. I think it’s almost impossible to guess how your work will be received and so it is always a pleasant surprise to win an award. I also have two paintings in the same show, ‘Clearcut’ and ‘Clearcut 2’. The exhibition runs until the 12th May.

Open Exhibitions

I recently found out that I have had work accepted into two Open Exhibitions.

Firstly, my paintings ‘The Shack’ and ‘XA’ have been accepted in the annual Open All Media Exhibition at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham. It’s been a while since I entered this show and so I’m looking forward to attending the private view to see the other work and meet the artists.

Secondly my paintings ‘Clearcut’ and ‘Clearcut II’ and my ink drawing ‘Entrance’ have all been accepted into the Open Exhibition at Brampton Museum and Art Gallery. This show has become more popular since the closure of the Shire Hall Gallery and now that the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery no longer run an open competition.

It’s always a pleasure to get into these competitions and it’s impossible to know whether you’ll be successful beforehand. I’m planning on trying the RBA one next.

Fragments II

I have just completed a new painting, ‘Fragments II’, which is based on the same collapsed structure featured in my recent drawing. The work ties in with the other themes that i have been exploring but adds a new environment that is rarely featured in my work - the beach. As with the recent tree paintings natural elements mix with human made - debris and litter with rocks, grass and sand. Text features again with the graffiti adding a record of visits made to the site.

The structure appears to be the remains of a World War 2 pill box but could perhaps be something else. As with my other work the mystery of the space along with the evidence of passing time appeals to me.

Fragments II can be seen in the Abandoned Spaces section of this website.

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.