Union

I have just completed a new painting entitled ‘Union’ which is based on the remains of RAF Tilstock. I discovered the site last year on my way to Wales and was very much fascinated by what I discovered. It combines my interest of history, dereliction and woodland and explores the relationship between nature and people. The area was deserted and still and I was able to take a number of photographs during my visit. I may produce further works based on the theme.

An image of the painting can be found in the Abandoned Spaces section of this website. It will feature in the Fragments exhibition in September.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

 

 

Aonach Mor (no.2)

Today i completed a second painting based on my recent trip to Scotland, "Aonach Mor (no.2)".  For me this piece works on two levels.  Firstly it depicts the incredible scenery and atmosphere of the place but it is also another piece of work that looks at the sense of stillness and quietness that such a place inspires.  For a while now this theme has been running through most of my work and is a reflection of my own desire to reduce the mental chatter and overthinking that has become habitual to me.

I have many other ideas based on the scenery of Scotland and plan to produce more on the theme.   Aonach Mor (no.2) is a natural companion to the first painting but both work on their own merits.  An image of these pieces can be found in the Natural Landscapes section of this website.

Aonach Mor

I have just completed my new painting, "Aonach Mor", which depicts one of the mountains in Scotland near Ben Nevis.  The scene shows the view near the top which was very atmospheric and inspiring.  The intention is for this to be the first in a series of paintings of this nature.

David Bowie once said that when looking at the work of Frank Auerbach "I want to sound like that looks".  For me it has often been music that has inspired my paintings.  I would like my paintings to convey a similar feeling to the music of Stars of the Lid (who are in turn inspired by film)!

As with all my work the surface image is just the basic element of the painting.  Behind that is the intention of the work or what has brought it into existence.  In recent times, in an attempt to deal with stress or anxiety i have found being out in nature to be quite soothing no matter what the weather.  It enables me to switch off my compulsive thinking and just enjoy being in the moment.  When painting "Aonach Mor" those moments of clarity, space and stillness were relived and I feel that this is reflected in the work.

Mountains, pubs and more mountains

I am currently quite far through a new painting depicting Aonach Mor, a mountain in Scotland near Ben Nevis.  It's a large ambitious piece and a subject i have never attempted before in my art.  Having recently visited the Highlands i felt like i wanted to respond to the stunning views and the feelings it evoked when i traveled there.  Aside from the obvious beauty of the place I wanted to continue working on a theme that has been in my work for the last couple of years.

Before i even started on this new body of work i knew that i wanted to express a sense of space and stillness.  I wanted no figures, no distractions and to capture nature as i saw it.  The first painting is going well and I look forward to completing it.

My recent painting of The New Navigation pub has been on my mind of late and i may make a few adjustments before it is exhibited.  Most painters i know face the difficulty of knowing when a piece is finished and something has not felt right about the piece for a while.  Just a few little changes i think.

New Navigation

Today i finally finished my painting of an old derelict pub i found in Birmingham, "The New Navigation".  This pub is on Lewisham Road near the BCN Old Main Line Canal.  When i last saw it the place was abandoned and in poor state but it caught my eye as i wandered on the outskirts of the city.  I have painted abandoned buildings many times but this scene is well lit with a bright sky which contrasts with my usual subdued palette.  An image of "The New Navigation" can be found in the Abandoned Spaces section of this website.

I recently came back from Scotland after visiting the Highlands.  There i was inspired by the stunning landscape and loved travelling around the area.  The mountains were incredible and i shall be starting a series of paintings based on my research.

Woodland

The Woodland exhibition is now on at Reuben Colley Fine Art gallery in Birmingham.  It features my drawings and paintings of Cannock Chase.  I am very happy with how the show looks and am delighted that a few pieces have sold quite quickly - the response has been very positive.  This work has been a pleasure to make and it taps into my love of nature and connection to the forest which i have visited all my life.

The exhibition also features work by Reuben Colley who has produced drawings and paintings of Sutton Park and a few pieces by Mark Godwin and Mircea Teleaga.

I am currently working on a commission off the back of the exhibition as well as finishing off a painting of a Birmingham pub.

I'm planning on a trip to Scotland later this year to gain inspiration for a new body of work.  Possibly mountains......

Paintings and teaching

I have a painting and two drawings included in the Brampton Museum Open Art exhibition at Newcastle Staffordshire.  It's a very mixed show and the gallery is nice.  One of my students from my art class, Emily Bradshaw, also had one of her paintings accepted which is well deserved.

I am currently working on my painting of the New Navigation Inn, a derelict pub near the canals of Birmingham.  This piece is interesting because it is full of contrasting elements.  Strong colour next to dark shadows, textured areas next to flat blocks of paint, detailed areas near open space and so on.   I will be following this up with another, quite unusual painting which is based on a striking photo that i took in Birmingham near the canals.

I am currently doing slightly less teaching over the Easter period but will be back with my college courses as well as my own regular class at Gainsborough Artworks soon.  The Gainsborough class is getting quite full but there are spaces on my college courses should you wish to join.  See my art classes page for details.

I am getting excited about the forthcoming "Woodland" exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art gallery in Birmingham.  This show features my Cannock Chase drawings and paintings and will be one of my largest and strongest exhibitions to date.  This work has a lot of depth and meaning to me but also will resonate with anyone who appreciates nature.