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Find out more about the art and artists on Buy Art | Buy Now, Mall Galleries' online gallery

Curator's Choice: Peter Clossick NEAC

Nashunmenghe

Peter Clossick NEAC, painter, member of the New English Art Club and shortlisted artist for the Threadneedle Prize 2016, shares his pick of Buy Art | Buy Now with us.

 

Above the Trees by Claire Edge

There is overall directness with Claire’s callographs in their painterly qualities and modest size, incorporating both chance and accident. Created from memory they contain movement and an indication of monumental drama.

Portrait of Paul the Swimmer by Jessica Miller

We have an expressive honesty in Jessica Miller’s sculpture which affirms and implies the existence of a body. A modest realism and sensibility rooted in drawing; with fluidity, energy and feeling of mark. Her figure sculpture brings to mind some portrait works by Jacob Epstein where the human subject is central.

The Loom at Knockando Woolmill by Kate Steenhauer

Kate Steenhauer’s etching works with unusual viewpoints, in this case brought together with a spiral, zooming out onto the picture plane, depicting a workplace from the industrial past in the Spey valley. The drawing appears as if in collaboration with the workers at the loom, the clickety-clack of machinery and the busy noisy activity of a factory.

Before the rain by Nashunmenghe

Watercolour can be a difficult medium, as the concept has to go in a straight route like direct carving. Before the rain is modelled with a beautifully controlled tonal quality and pleasing composition. It has an almost Zen like application in its feeling of wetness.

Swimmer by Sopio Chkhikvadze

The connection with an existential feel of isolation is very active in Sopio’s painting. The figure stands in an interesting visual context on the edge of a swimming pool casting a reflection in the water, set against a dark mysterious surround; the metaphysic association of the pale subject overwhelmed by darkness. Coming from Georgia, Sopio has exhibited in the BP Portrait Award and received the Michael Harding Award in the RSBA exhibition.

Image credit

Paul the Swimmer by Jessica Miller

Curator's Choice: Susan Mumford

Susan Mumford, art world entrepreneur, speaker, author and mentor, highlights three prints and two paintings from Buy Art | Buy Now

A game-changer in the 21st Century art world, Susan’s an entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, moderator and author. Her first foray into supporting industry professionals was in the form of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), which she established while running a gallery in Soho, London. This was followed by the launch of Be Smart About Art, an online-accessible professional development platform that helps creative professionals thrive in a changing world. In late 2015, her first book was published in the name of BSAA’s motto: Art is your life. Make it your living. While based in London, Susan spends notable periods around the UK, USA and Continental Europe, delivering workshops and keynotes, mentoring creative professionals, facilitating panel discussions, judging art prizes and more.

Follow Susan on Instagram and Twitter. See her blog posts and videos on how to make a living in the art world via the Be Smart About Art Blog.

Browse Susan's choices now


 


Claire Gill

Seascape 47 – The Sound of Rust, £345

One’s eyes are quickly drawn towards the centre of the composition and move around time and time again, following the curved outlines of the boats. Intrigue develops upon discovery of the title, for it provokes curiosity as to what is meant, and what might result in, the sound of rust. This print is set to continually fascinate.


Louise McClary

The Crackle of Dawn, £2,400

What at first appears to be an imagined abstraction turns out to be a changing landscape as the waking day begins in ‘The Crackle of Dawn.’ This understanding brings meaning to the movement, colour and intensity on display. Such lively representation of a scene that is well-known to all presents endless opportunities for interpretation, with individual meaning for each observer.


Jack Paffett

Bloom, £280

Struck by the combination of a bold composition and subtle tones, ‘Bloom’ is simple in form yet complex in potential reading. After a moment’s observation, conclusions are drawn as to the differing meanings of the filled and unfilled ovals. The work is beautiful and meaningful alike.


Claire Edge

Above the Trees, £315

The line of pine trees is almost immediately apparent, yet the title suggests the artist is drawing attention to the other half of the composition. Comprised of maker’s marks of gestural white strokes that imitate the abstracted tree forms, the colour implies a cold winter’s day and the three directions of marks around the composition keep the eye circling around the collagraph.


Roxana Halls

A Little Light Reading, £4,680

With the title ‘A Little Light Reading,’ this image at first appears to be whimsical, presenting a floating form. A secondary understanding reveals commentary on the state of women in modern society, impossibly balancing multiple responsibilities with the risk of toppling over everything. Such effective presentation of primary and secondary meanings that suit the interests of differing viewers and settings recalls the philosophy of Pierre Bourdieu, who wrote extensively on works of art in which the creator knowingly presents multiple layers for interpretation.



Browse Susan's Choices Now

Image credit

Claire Edge Above the Trees

Curator's Choice: Nicholas Usherwood

Joan Yardley Mills by Peter Clossick

Nicholas Usherwood, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Federation of British Artists / Mall Galleries and Chairman of its Exhibitions Committee, tells us of four works from Buy Art | Buy Now which stood out for him.


After a variety of careers as a lecturer in art-schools, administration (at the Royal Academy) and exhibition organisation, Nicholas has spent the last 40 years as a freelance writer and consultant, nearly twenty of those as Features Editor of Galleries Magazine, a position he still holds. A particular passion has been 20th Century British Art, in particular, the resurrection, through exhibitions and catalogues, of the reputation of many of its unjustly neglected heroes – Algernon Newton, Tristram Hillier, Richard Eurich, Evelyn Williams and Sir Alfred Munnings among them. That said, supporting the work of still practising artists is still no less important to him, again through writing and exhibitions.

 

Browse Nicholas' Choices Now


Louise McClary

Luminous Wind, £2,330

Contemporary art from Cornwall is going through a remarkable revival currently as a whole new generation of younger artists creates an incredibly vibrant and hugely varied body of work, far removed from the pale imitations of Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and Patrick Heron that have characterised it for so long now. Penzance-born Louise McClary is very much at the forefront of this development, her intensely mysterious and richly coloured semi-abstract canvases filled with references to the paradisical and strange landscape of the Helford River on her studio doorstep. 'Luminous Wind' is a fine example, a visual poem in which elements of the landscape – reed and tree-forms and areas of gleaming water - are brought together in a resonant harmony of pinky-grey-greens, lemony yellows and rusty reds. A felt landscape as well as a closely observed one.


Peter Clossick NEAC

Joan Yardley Mills, £7,600

At first sight Peter Clossick's portraits and single figures, empirically observed and set down in thick impasto paint, would seem to belong firmly in that Bomberg and Euston Road tradition that runs through Auerbach, Kossoff and Lucien Freud even, their almost sculptural use of paint an equivalence of matter set against the physical realities of the people and rooms depicted - “the spirit in the mass” that Bomberg so urgently sought. Clossick then takes the whole thing a stage further, as in this powerful, reflective portrait of Joan Yardley Mills, where he succeeds in giving to her image a powerful sense of the inward as well, so that they come to possess what, as the critic Corinna Lotz has acutely observed, feels like “an otherworldly awareness of the transience of things.”


June Berry NEAC

Tea in the Garden, £3,100

I first came across June Berry's work 10 years or so ago when she wrote to me out of the blue asking me to write a text to accompany a CD of her work that she about to have issued. I went to her Beckenham studio and was immediately entranced by the complete pictorial world that she conjured out of a life lived between South-East London and deep rural France and the real feeling that she was able to convey of people's lives in the landscapes she portrayed. Now in her 90s driving to France is no longer feasible but she still works with an altogether undiminished vigour and feeling, her dense, almost Bonnard-like textures and subtle tonalities, as in 'Tea in the Garden', deployed on an albeit rather smaller scale, convey an evocative sense of the passing seasons. In the process time and place, along with memory, all play crucial roles in June Berry's subtle art.

Osprey

Beatrice Forshall, £980

Natural history illustration has been in my blood since childhood when I first came across books with images by Audubon, Edward Lear and Charles Tunnicliffe in them. Later, in the 1970s I had the privilege to organise an exhibition of Tunnicliffe's measured drawings and notebooks at the Royal Academy and met the artist. So when I saw Beatrice Forshall's beautiful and distinctive work on the BABN site it was, as they say a 'no brainer'. I was particularly struck by her stunning black and white image of 'Osprey', a drawing of wonderful clarity and power, combining a quite remarkable technical skill with  a quiet intensity of feeling. Forshall, who trained in illustration at Falmouth College of Art, combines her activities as artist and book illustrator with her work as a committed environmentalist, particularly for the charity Survival International. She is too one of a talented younger generation of wild-life artists that are, in a sense, re-inventing the genre all over again for 21st Century



Browse Nicholas' Choices Now

Image credit

Peter Clossick NEAC, Joan Yardley Mills

Curator's Choice: Haidee-Jo Summers ROI

Haidee-Jo Summers, a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, tells us of six works from Buy Art | Buy Now which stood out for her.

 

 

Awarded Artist of the Year 2012 by the Society of All Artists and one of the few artists chosen by the BBC to paint the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Millennium bridge, Haidee-Jo is a full-time professional artist known for painting landscapes and seascapes en plein air.

Her work can be seen regularly at the Mall Galleries where she exhibits with the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the New English Art Club and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, of which she is a full member.

Follow Haidee-Jo on Instagram

Browse Haidee-Jo's Choices Now


 

Alexander Goudie

Wildflowers in Vase, £4,850

This exuberant and bold still life has a timeless appeal. The fresh green and grey colour palette and direct marks combine to create a painting at once tranquil and yet filled with vitality.


Tony Williams

Steam Derrick Sun, £2,095

A painting of great drama and design with those strong vertical and horizontal lines softened by the smoky steam and the gentle reflections in the water. The brooding combination of the dark metal bulk of the steamer with the glimmer of sun remaining in the sky and glinting on the funnel make for a compelling and atmospheric scene that serves to remind us of the hope of a brand new day.


Robbie Wraith RP

Small Celebration, £2,950

I love to see paintings of artists studios, they are surely as much a self portrait as a still life or interior scene. This characterful and intimate still life is no exception, the luscious thick paint strokes and subdued colour palette served alongside a hearty dollop of humour.


Peter Brown NEAC RP PS ROI Hon. RBA

Fiinygook Beach from the Gook Cafe, £1,935

It would be hard to resist this little gem of a painting by Pete the street; that dark slab of energetically painted cliff side set off against the sparkling light on the water, with another enticing glimmer of light on the horizon. I adore the figures on the path in the foreground with the kite, heading down to the beach and inviting us to join them.

 

Frances Bell

Chicken at Sunset, £970

I love this soft atmospheric little painting which depicts that golden hour in the evening with the hens having their last scratch around the garden.

Robert E. Wells NEAC

Frozen Field

I love the textures and the grey colour palette of this atmospheric and poetic landscape painting.

Browse Haidee-Jo's Choices Now

Image credit

Tony Williams, Steam Derrick Sun (detail)

Artist Spotlight : Claire Gill

Claire Gill uses photomontage, or digital collage, to construct her intriguing sescapes.  Slightly surreal, yet wholely familar, her work situates itself somewhere between photography and painting. Dominik Slowik talks to the photographer and artist about her processes and inspiration.

 

See Claire Gill's work on Buy Art | Buy Now


What does your process involve?

I create fine art limited edition prints using the technique of digital photomontage. This involves layering, combining and juxtaposing original photographic imagery to create an entirely new scene.  Much of my work is inspired by the coast and the images which at first seem straightforward are surreal and not how they first appear. The images, created in Photoshop are printed onto Hahnemuhle paper using a fine art printer with inks which exceed museum standards for longevity in a print.

How long have you been making photomontages for?

My father is a graphic designer and when he switched from a manual method of design to computers in the early 1990’s I was lucky enough, through him, to have access to Photoshop. I started to teach myself to use the programme and used it to create mood boards for my Textile studies at the time. It was very new then and you could only undo one action, which really helped to refine my use of the tools. Creating mood boards was a very collage based textile approach I used to aid the presentation of my projects, but I had no notion at the time that it could become a way of creating Art.

What inspired you to start making photomontages? 

About eight years ago I had decided that I wanted to take up painting. I didn’t really know how to start, or what to paint so thought I would get some ideas together by combining some pictures from a recent trip to the North Norfolk Coast. I used photoshop because my photographs were taken on a digital camera and this was a way of working, which was familiar. As the pictures came together, I became really excited by this way of working, and started to see possibility. I realised that there would be no purpose in painting these images and that actually I liked them as they were.

Seascape 54 Interwoven, £345

What inspires you?

Inspiration and ideas come from lots of places. In general I feel inspired when I am surrounded by space. It excites me and I start to see things that I want to photograph. I also see possibility in everyday things for example at the moment I am doing some display work in a school and feeling there is a lot of possibility in using off cuts - the bits that you would normally throw away!

How do you choose your colour palette? Is it to evoke a certain mood in the viewer?

Colour is a very powerful thing and as a textile designer I learnt that it is the first thing we see above both pattern and subject matter. Everyone has colours they are drawn to and it is no different for me. I have realised through making the work that on an emotional level, I am looking for a peaceful place within the image and I think that the way I combine colours helps me to create that sense of peace and calm.

What are you plans for the future (art-wise)?

I will create images inspired by a 'sense of place' for as long as I can keep it fresh and interesting, and continue to see things in different ways, but photomontage as an approach offers huge possibility for creating different narratives, with different imagery and I am excited by that. I will keep my mind open and I am sure find a fresh way into a different subject matter at some stage. I love photographing people for example, so who knows.

Seascapes 33 Beyond, £345

Interview by Dominik Slowik

See Claire Gill's work on Buy Art | Buy Now

Image credit

Seascape 33 by Claire Gill

Curator's Choice : Annabel Elton

Sarah Jane Moon

Annabel Elton, Head of Commissions at Mall Galleries and consultant for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, moonlights on Buy Art | Buy Now this month with a 'non-portrait' selection of works.

Browse Annabel's Choices Now


 

Sarah Jane Moon

The Summer House

This is an exuberant painting of natural abundance on a hot summer's day. When looking for an artist as an investment, I look for an artist with a recognisable  'voice'. Every brushstroke in Sarah Jane Moon's work expresses her signature. 

Janine Baldwin

Verge

This gorgeous scratchy painting is a delight for its abstract qualities alone. Janine's mark making is  fascinating.  The subject makes me ponder the struggle between man's order and nature's disorder.


Lachlan Goudie

I stop somewhere waiting for you 

This painting could be a starting point for a story. It seems to say something about the smallness and insignificance of the tiny figure seen from above amongst the vibrant life of trees, whilst at the same time suggesting the intensity of the figure's inner life.


Frances Bell

Cows in the Snow

This painting makes me smile every time I look at it. I would love to take it home to make me smile some more.  The delight of warm light on a cold day, the innocence of cows and the sumptuous texture of the paint conspire to take me to a different place.

View from a Window With Irises 

Ann Wilkinson PS

I can never understand why pastel is so undervalued. People say that is does not last like oil paint, but, I would contend, that cave paintings were in pastel and the drawings of Lautrec and and Degas are as fresh and vibrant as the day they were created. This serene still life brings a sense of peace. It is beautifully resolved and balanced in hue, tone and in composition. Its colours are fresh and delightfully decorative. It would be lovely to live with.

 


 

 

 

Image credit

I stop somewhere waiting for you by Lachlan Goudie ROI

A Guide to Own Art

Have you ever seen a piece of artwork, fallen in love and felt that you had to have it, but were deterred by the price? You’re not alone…

 


Here at Mall Galleries, we believe that everybody should be able to own the art that they love. We are aiming to make that a reality by offering the Own Art scheme during our Federation of British Artists Society Exhibitions and for all works on our Buy Art | Buy Now online gallery. We have offered Own Art to the buying public for a few years now, and the success stories are countless. However, we want more people to seize this amazing opportunity and realise that they too can take home their dream artworks.

Own Art is a brilliant national initiative designed to make art more affordable, accessible and available to all UK residents over the age of 18, subject to status. It is an interest-free loan, through which the buyer can borrow up to £2,000. This allows those who are eligible to buy works of art from any of these exhibitions by spreading the cost over a ten month period at a 0% APR.


How do I go about making a purchase through Own Art at Mall Galleries?

Purchasing a work of art here at Mall Galleries or on Buy Art | Buy Now, through the Own Art scheme, could not be simpler, faster, or more painless.

When purchasing a work at the Gallery Desk, Mall Galleries take a minimum of a 10% deposit at the time of purchase and we will set up a 20-30 minute appointment with yourself and a friendly, trained member of Mall Galleries staff. During this private one-to-one appointment we will run through the Terms and Conditions with you, then enter your information to do a credit check with Hitachi Capital. You will need to bring with you is your proof of identity, your proof of address and your bank details.

Alternatively, when purchasing a work seen on Buy Art | Buy Now, you will need to call Mall Galleries and the above process is executed over the phone. You will need to be in front of a computer with access to email and your bank details. The reception of the work of art is used as a proof of address so make sure the address you give Own Art matches the delivery address.

When your Own Art application is approved, the work is yours to take away once the exhibition has closed or if purchasing from Buy Art | Buy Now it will be automatically dispatched to your given address.

Equal instalments are taken from your bank account for ten months via Direct Debit. However, should you wish to pay off the remaining sum sooner, or have any other queries, you will be supplied with Hitachi Capital’s contact details.

By offering Own Art, we can enable you to kickstart your personal art collection or expand your criteria when thinking about purchasing high-quality contemporary art from us.


For more information on the Own Art Scheme visit their website

Image credit

Annie Boisseau Landscape Evening Light

All about Tagsmart: An Interview with CEO Lawrence Merritt

Lawrence Merritt Tagsmart CEO

Lawrence Merritt is CEO of Tagsmart, the people behind the fantastic Certificates of Authenticity that come with every purchase made on Buy Art | Buy Now

Anna Preston speaks to the CEO of the start-up tackling fakes and forgeries in the art world.


Tagsmart is an invaluable resource for the contemporary art market, assuring trusted providence and authentication. What first attracted you to the Tagsmart ethos?

I’m passionate about solving old problems and creating new experiences through technology; fakes and forgeries have plagued the art world for hundreds of years and on a rational level, this drew me to Tagsmart. It also struck me as odd that such a modest share of the wealth in art accrues to artists; Tagsmart empowers artists by allowing them to legitimise their creations and this drew me to Tagsmart on a more emotional level

Can you briefly explain what Tagsmart involves relating to Mall Galleries’ Buy Art | Buy Now service.

One of the biggest concerns online buyers have about buying art is the lack of standards around Certificates of Authenticity; independent 3rd party research has shown this again and again. Tagsmart aims to solve this problem by establishing a new standard for Certificates and we have partnered with Mall Galleries who now present our Certificate with every online purchase. The Tagsmart Certificate is compelling because it's loaded with anti counterfeiting technology, uniquely signed by the artist and twinned with a digital  version which means it's a great enhancement that helps to position Mall Galleries at the leading edge of e-commerce and better able to meet the needs of its customers

What does being a Tagsmart CEO involve day-to-day, and what do you enjoy most about working with contemporary artists and art businesses?

Being a startup CEO brings many challenges and joy; the key priority is to remain fixed on the vision which is to make fakes and forgeries obsolete but flexible about how we achieve this; there is no playbook given that we are the only company in the world doing this which means it’s important to move quickly, learn fast and stay focussed. But the most exciting thing about my job is meeting contemporary artists and talking to them about their motivations and message; their ambition to continually challenge the status quo is inspiring and infectious. Great art does this and in many ways this is the ideology of Tagsmart

Have you always been in the art world, or passionate about art?

I am new to the art world though I’ve now been a part of it for almost two and half a years; historically I’ve been more passionate about the business of art than the art itself which makes me a philistine I know though recently I have developed a fondness for art with, lets say, a political, social and subversive focus that makes you challenge the mainstream media narrative or what passes as conventional wisdom. On a more casual level, when on holiday with my family in Mallorca over Easter, one of the first things we did was visit the Pilar and Joan Miro Foundation, where we saw Miro’s works, his home and his studio. I loved it.

How are you planning on taking Tagsmart forward and expanding it?

I believe there is a battle raging for the soul of the art market with progressives on the one side fighting for change and modernisation; we stand with them. It’s interesting to note that the global art market hasn't grown in value over the last decade despite a huge rise in the global middle class and the sheer number of millionaires; it's in all our interests to bring more openness and transparency into the art market to encourage more people to buy art for the first time and enhance the overall salience of art within popular culture. Our mission is to help enable this by allowing all artists, from all over the world to seal their works with our tags and offer all buyers 21st century peace of mind

 

Curator's Choice: Anna McNay

Anna McNay

Anna McNay, art writer and editor, tells us of seven works from Buy Art | Buy Now which stood out for her.


Anna McNay is an art writer and editor. She is Assistant Editor at Art Quarterly (Art Fund’s magazine), former Deputy Editor at State Media and former Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to Studio International, Photomonitor and Elephant magazine and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and national newspapers. She has written numerous catalogue essays, including for the Royal Academy of Arts. She regularly hosts panels and in conversation events at galleries and art schools and has judged numerous art prizes, both nationally and internationally. 

Follow Anna on Twitter and see an archive of her writings here.

Browse Anna's Choices Now


Nicholas McLeod

Untitled_1, £385

When I first saw this piece, I thought it must be photography of some kind or other, so was surprised and enthralled to discover it is a pencil and charcoal drawing. The suggestion of light is so dramatic and astounding and it looks as if it were light itself dancing across the page and making the marks.


Gary Ramskill

Winter Sunset on Lake Windermere, £165

The ripples on the lake and the pastel pinks and blues create a sense of cool, evening calm. The influence of Japanese woodblock printing echoes in this very Lake District-y scene.


Andrew Farmer

Manchester Nocturne, £435

The daubs of colour in this impressionistic painting evoke the lights of a bustling city in a gentle and romantic way, precisely as the nocturne of the title demands. There is something absorbing, calming and appealing about this work.


Zena Assi

I don't want to straighten my hair, £1,100

This mixed media work leapt out at me immediately from the website. There is something in the sitter’s eyes and posture that demands attention – her beauty and defiance and silent inner strength.


Karen Read Coley

Harvest Moon, £390

I love the use of brushstrokes and fluid paint to capture the stillness and yet simultaneous transience of the flickering shadows cast by the silhouetted treetops in the light of the harvest moon. I can feel the chill air on my cheeks and a tingle down my spine when I look at this work.


David Allen RSMA

Frosty Morning, Fenns Moss, £1,350

This pastel work gives me hope. The warmth of the light, bursting through the barren trees and thawing the frozen moss to a soft, damp carpet, brings with it the promise of a new day, full of possibility.


Michael Weller

Three Boats, £600

I love the simplicity of this work and how so few marks can evoke such a strong image. Even one colour can transform into both air and water when appropriately juxtaposed with daubs of a white cloud and a grey rock. This work is evidence that less can most definitely be more.


Browse Anna's Choices Now

Image credit

Gary Ramskill, Winter Sunset on Lake Windermere (detail)

Artist Spotlight : Frances Bell

Chestnut in the morning light by Frances Bell Buy Art

Frances Bell is a Northumberland-based, Florence-trained portrait painter who has exhibited regularly at Mall Galleries with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.  Perhaps most well-known for her portraits, it is her painterly landscapes of the Northumberland farmland that have gone down a storm on Buy Art | Buy Now.  Mall Galleries' Anna Preston talks to Frances about animals, portrait painting and capturing her working process in time-lapse films.

 

Browse Frances Bell's work now

 

You have seven oil paintings on Buy Art | Buy Now, comprising a selection of seascapes and animal-inhabited landscapes, four of which have sold. Can you tell us a little more about the works and why you chose them to feature on the site?

My love of landscape and animals stems from a lifelong interest in the countryside and the painters who’ve represented our rural environment. I’ve always lived rurally, so I feel an affinity with farm animals in their created habitats and how they interact with the human world. It’s not that I particularly knew that animals would be appropriate; it’s more that the landscape themes inspire me most currently and I’m pleased that they are appealing to the Mall Galleries’ online audience.

You are also a renowned portrait painter, with works featuring in the upcoming RP exhibition including a self portrait. Your portraits seamlessly tie together traditional and more modern, experimental methods of human portrayal. What is the secret to painting a good portrait?

Portraits are unscripted real-life interactions between painter and sitter lifted onto canvas. I sometimes have an overarching narrative to a painting (I once painted a Primavera that commentated on which side of the easel women have historically occupied) but most commentary creates itself within the mind of the viewer, so I often simply construct real spaces within which the painted figure can dominate. I start with an idea of what light and atmosphere most interests me or my client, and build from there. I look to make a likeness correct and impart as much character as I can, which comes over the course of the sittings from life and conversation. I have an oscillating view of painting self portraits. I am both sitter and painter, and this is an odd position. Portraits of others often seem more dynamic due to the integration of both people, but self portraits are a curious thing to pursue, and I’ve enjoyed my recent attempts.

You trained in the ‘classical tradition’ in Florence at Charles Cecil Studios from 2001 to 2004. What is the ‘classical tradition’ and how has it informed your present technique and aesthetic?

My training was purely figurative, in the style of a classical atelier. We drew casts, busts and the nude intensively for a year before we even used paint. Then we continued in paint with the nude and portrait models for another two years or so. The training borrows from an Old Masters tradition of intense drawing and observation from life. We used the 19th century Sight Size technique, but 17th century masters probably used the same ideas of looking at models from a distance and painting alongside each other. The training equipped me for painting direct from life and using my eye to make measurements, rather than relying on tools. I use my training in every painting I paint, and it’s been an amazing tool box with which to proceed through ideas and phases of my artistic life.

I would ask about your creative process but you have some brilliant time-lapse videos on your website. How do you think these make your works more accessible, and do you have any other technological innovations up your sleeve?

Technology is a great boon to artists, especially the rural painter, to get the word out. I use time-lapse and progress stills to show the painting process. This is helpful to sitters, so they know what to expect, but is also a way of putting your process out there for all to see. I love watching other artists’ videos and social media feeds, as one would never know how other painters work otherwise.

Finally, what is next for you as an artist?

I am a compulsive painter! So as for the future, I will be doing some more portraits and landscapes, and pushing a few ideas around.

 

Image credit

Chesnet in the Morning Mist by Frances Bell