Mall Galleries Gallery Manager, John Deston walks us through five paintings from Buy Art | Buy Now that he would have on his wall.
We are delighted that Jeanette Hayes is our new President of the Pastel Society. Her work perfectly blends the boundary between figurative art and abstraction, none more so than Ridgeway. For me, this piece is almost panoramic. It calls to mind a country walk in autumn, full of earthy colours and leafless trees swaying in the fresh wind. Jeanette can imply these details with a rough line, using the powdery nature of pastels to capture the quintessential landscape.
I have included this Robbie Wraith painting in my selection because we are entering the festive season. The contrast of the plain bowl and background with the brightly wrapped sweets fills me with excitement for all the treats and sweetmeats of the Christmas period. Robbie’s technique never ceases to impress me. He has an alchemical ability to add glimmers of light with a simple dashes pure white paint on the surface of the artwork.
June Berry’s piece, … , is a delight to behold because of her use of colour. What I find so appealing about this rural autumnal scene, is the way the painting starts as a deep earthen purple at soil level, then lightens as your eyes read the work skyward. I enjoy the activity of the farmer planting his crops, balanced with the static scarecrow to the left of the work. The pink and orange trails leading up the hill hint at thousands of happy hikes in this familiar shrubby setting.
I am drawn to this Ben Hope painting primarily because it is of the Strand - an area of London that I have walked down almost every day for years, throughout my time at Mall Galleries. It therefore holds a special place in my heart. Ben is well-known for painting en plein air. I admire his remarkable ability to capture his surroundings as they are, whatever the weather. I also find this work striking because slap bang in the centre of the canvas is a red traffic light, which distracts you from the hustle and bustle of the busy street. It is an unusual place to focus a painting, and really makes you stop and think.
Simon Turvey is one of our most recognised stalwart members of the Society of Wildlife Artists. He is a master of realism, and his images of animals are almost portraits. His work treats wild beasts with such tenderness that they don human qualities and are really rather mesmerising. This lion is a perfect example of Simon’s skill at capturing the nature of an animal in paint. It is calm, noble and meticulously observed.