'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.

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

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.

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.