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Artist Spotlight : Peter Clossick NEAC

Peter Clossick NEAC takes us on a tour of his current work as we discuss the artist's upbringing, inspiration, and artistic practice.


Browse work by Peter Clossick NEAC


Did you grow up around art?  No, I grew up in a post-war, working class family. We lived near Kings Cross in a cramped two-bedroom council flat. My mother worked as a cleaner and my father spray-painted taxi cabs. The smell of Cellulose Thinners, when he got home at night, was the nearest I got to the “arts”. It was a difficult childhood, but through no fault of my parents.

The Hat by Peter Clossick NEAC, Oil, 40.5 x 40.5 cm - £1,700

'The Hat' is a self portrait - I was channelling Al Capone. 

How did you become a professional artist? After being expelled from Grammar School at the age of fourteen, I started attending evening life-classes at the Working Men's’ College. I realised I could draw and be creative, and that was the trigger.

How did you arrive at the style for which you're now known? I arrived at my way of working through a lot of study of painting and perception, and through an inward journey to discover myself. I’ve been influenced by the analytic style of measuring seen in William Coldstream’s work, as well as the all-over working of figures like David Bomberg, all welded together with integrity.

Joan Yardley Mills by Peter Clossick NEAC, Oil, 78 x 78 cm - £7,600

Joan Yardley Mills was Frank Auerbach's model, who sat for me for many years - a true star

Why impasto and why oils? With oils, there’s both tradition and endless malleability. The impasto brings the surface facture up to the viewer’s space while providing tension against implied depth. Painting with more material than you can deal with puts you outside the area of pictorial illustration.

What is your process for translating a sitter into a work of art? The point of transition is when the mark, coloured area or textual contrast becomes both self-referential and refers to the subject outside of itself. I never analyse this while working because I’m immersed in the physical activity; it’s only after the event that I see it.

Inside Out by Peter Clossick NEAC, Oil, 131 x 131 cm - £9,630

As it says on the tin, ‘Inside Out’ is a view from inside my studio, looking out onto the garden.

Do you have a personal philosophy about painting, and is it inspired by the philosophy of other artists? All Art is inspired by other artists; as King Lear says, ‘nothing comes from nothing’. My philosophy is to try and make a painting that speaks to me.

You work quickly but paintings can take a long time, and your painting style necessitates long periods for drying – could you talk us through that tension between speed and slowness and how it moulds your practice? To enjoy the malleability of paint, you must work wet into wet. But the true perception of results can take time. I might pick up a work that’s 10-15 years old and completely repaint it. I’ll resort to tonking, scrapping, and I’ve even used a sanding machine once or twice. TS Elliot said that true time is to be out of time, meaning that a minute can seem like an hour, or an hour like a minute. To me, painting is a fluid act, detached from time - although I sometimes surprise myself with how long I’ve taken!

Arch Farm, Cornwall by Peter Clossick NEAC, Oil, 56 x 46 cm - £2,600

For Arch Farm, I had been staying with long-term friends in Cornwall when I was seized by the urge to paint. 

How much oil paint do you get through? A lot! It’s industrial oil paint purchased in two and a half or five-litre tins. The cost per year can run into thousands.

Could you tell us about the NEAC and being a member? It’s good to be part of a larger body of artists, many of whose work I admire and can learn from. I have met many artists through the NEAC, and of course, Mall Galleries is a great central venue in which to exhibit.

Inner City Deptford by Peter Clossick NEAC, Oil, 157 x 119.5 cm - £9,630

Inner City Deptford is painted from my then Acme studio in Childers Street

Find these works and more by Peter Clossick NEAC on Mall Galleries Buy Art | Buy Now, the online home of original affordable artwork. Plus, sign up to our newsletter to receive 10% off your first purchase. If you're an interior designer, get in touch for our exclusive designer's discount. 



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Mellow Yellow

"Falcone" Watercolour by Stephen J Bragg

Browse our Mellow Yellow Selection


Whilst visiting the South of France in 1888, the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister: "now we are having beautiful warm, windless weather. The sun is a light that for lack of a better word I can only call yellow, bright sulphur yellow, pale lemon gold. How beautiful yellow is!"

Little Copse, Yellow Sky by Annie Boisseau RBA

‘Lemon gold’ is a wonderful description of the colour ‘yellow’, whose official name derives from the Old English terms for both ‘gold’ and ‘yellowish’. Like ‘lemon-gold’ and ‘gold-yellowish’, there’s a sense that this colour is understood by compounding disparate ideas which, not themselves ‘yellow’, become something closer to yellow when placed together.

Perhaps part of the reason for this is that many of our best-loved yellow objects are not (strictly speaking) yellow. Van Gogh’s ‘sulphur yellow’ sun only appears so because of the incredibly high surface temperature of the sun. Casting the net wider in the natural world, things like lemons, bananas, egg yolks, daffodils and buttercups sometimes appear yellow because of a plant pigment called carotenoid.

Lemons and Grapefruit by Andrew Hitchcock

Carotenoids absorb light energy for photosynthesis and protect the green chlorophyll from photo-damage. These yellow pigments are often present in growing things, but their colour only becomes visible after photosynthesis has stopped and the amount of green chlorophyll has depleted. When a banana is picked, it will ripen and turn yellow. When the hours of daylight shorten in autumn, leaves lose their greenness and turn yellow. This transformation isn’t the addition of yellow, but the subtraction of another element which had been competing with it.

Yellow by Bernadett Timko

Recent surveys carried out in Europe, Canada, and the United States found that the colour yellow is most often associated with amusement, gentleness, humour and spontaneity. In many Asian countries, it symbolises happiness, harmony and wisdom; bright yellow was once the colour of the Middle Kingdom in China, worn only by the Emperor and his household. The ancient Egyptians reserved yellow ochre for tomb paintings of the gods, who they believed possessed skin and bones of yellow gold.

St Ives Rooftops by Stephen Parkinson

In a change of tack, Post-Classical Europe linked the colour yellow with Judas Iscariot, using it to mark and oppress non-Christians, such as ‘heretics’ during the Spanish Inquisition and Jews during Nazi Germany. With such a complex history, and a somewhat confusing presence in the natural world, it’s unsurprising that our sense of the colour yellow is often associative.

Fishing, Late Afternoon by Delia Tournay-Godfrey

The idea of yellow is strongly linked to other ideas, such as the sand on a beach; the vibrancy of a fisherman’s raincoat; the colour of corn growing in a field, or the yellow stone used to build Bethlehem.

Peak Fields by Michael Jules Lang

Discover yellow for yourself, and see what feelings and ideas each shade conjures up for you, in Mellow Yellow, our new selection on Buy Art | Buy Now.  

Bethlehem Evening by Lachlan Goudie ROI

Browse our Mellow Yellow Selection


Reception Selection : Beatrice Forshall

"Scarlet Malachite Beetle" Hand-painted drypoint engraving by Beatrice Forshall

Our new Reception Selection features work by conservationist printmaker, Beatrice Forshall, whose practice in hand-painted drypoint engraving raises awareness about endangered species, and the dangers of animal trafficking and habitat loss around the world. Beatrice's work features in conservation projects, publications, and in fine art prints such as those on Buy Art | Buy Now. Join us as we explore the stunning species in our new Reception Selection. 


Browse Beatrice Forshall's Reception Selection


Javan Green Magpie : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 75 x 75 cm (85.5 x 84.5 cm) - £1,020

The Javan Green Magpie is a song bird native to Western Java and Indonesia. It’s a member of the crow family and inhabits dense mountain forests. Born blue, it becomes green due to the yellow carotenoids in its diet of lizards, insects and frogs.

In captivity, its feathers turn blue as carotenoids are destroyed by light. Loss of habitat and illegal poaching have made this bird one of the most endangered in the world, with fewer than fifty remaining in the wild.

Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. Bird singing competitions have become so popular that thirteen species of song bird, including the Javan Gree are now on the brink of extinction.

African Grey and Timneh Grey Parrots : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 102 x 65 cm (120 x 84.5 cm)- £1,080

The Grey Parrot is one of the largest parrots in Africa, famous for its intelligence & ability to mimic human speech. It’s the world’s most traded wild bird, and is particularly susceptible to death in captivity. It’s estimated that up to 65 % of greys die before reaching export markets. 

Now recognised as a separate species, the smaller Timneh Parrot is also threatened by deforestation and illegal trafficking. 

Hyacinth Macaws : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 85.7 x 75 cm (95.5 x 84.5 cm) - £1,080

Measuring up to 1m in length, the Hyacinth Macaw is the world’s largest parrot and is able to fly speeds of 35 miles per hour. It’s found in Brazil and feeds off native palms, such as the bocaiuva and acuri. The latter is so hard that it cannot be eaten until pre-digested by cattle.

The Hyacinth Mavaw can eat poisonous seeds and unripe fruit inedible to other species. This is thought to be possible because it swallows chunks of clay from river banks which help absorb the poisons. It is a messy eater and plays an important role as seed disperser. It mates for life and nests in holes in the mondavi tree, which it fills with sawdust. It only selects trees which are over 70 years old.  It’s a sociable bird, and widow and widower macaws will seek the company of another pair.

The Hyacinth Macaw is endangered because of poaching and habitat loss. The forests in which it lives are being cleared for mechanised agriculture and cattle ranching.  In the 1980’s, 10,000 were taken from the wild.

Scarlet Malachite Beetle : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 54 x 54 cm (69.5 x 70.7 cm) - £850

The Scarlet Malachite Beetle is one of the UK's rarest insects. It is found in just eight sites. Its decline is thought to be due to habitat loss and the intensification of agriculture. It feeds on flowers in meadows and overgrown hedgerows. Buttercup pollen is one of its favourite foods.

Black-winged Starling and Bali Myna : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 92.5 x 75 cm (114 x 84.5 cm) - £1,080

The Black-winged Starling is the national bird of Bali. Both the Starling and the Bali Myna are native to the islands of Bali, and are two of the world’s rarest birds. Both species feed on insects, nectar and fruit, and can be found nesting together.

They are highly prized for their song by collectors, and because they’re now so rare and valuable, traffickers even rob local captive breeding centres which have been set up to preserve the species.

Japanese Cranes : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 87 x 117 cm (95.5 x 130.5) - £1,630

In the Orient, the Japanese crane is sacred and seen as a symbol of fidelity, love and longevity. Its wingspan measures up to 2.5 metres. Foraging in deep water, it is the most aquatic species of crane and pairs for life, performing a synchronised courtship dance. It’s found in north-eastern China, Russia, Mongolia, Korea and on the Island of Hokkaido in Northern Japan. The chicks leave their nest after only a couple of days to follow their parents on foraging trips. Due to the intensification of agriculture, industrial development, habitat loss and hunting, this species is now endangered.


Browse Beatrice Forshall's Reception Selection


These works are available to view in our reception space at 17 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5BD. They can also be viewed and purchased online at Buy Art | Buy Now. For more information about how we can stop wildlife trafficking, go to www.traffic.org. For more information on how we can help save Japanese Cranes, go to www.savingcranes.org. For information on how we can help save the scarlet malachite beetle, go to www.buglife.org.uk.

Scenes of Cornwall

"The Tunnel- Porthgwarra" Watercolour & bodycolour on paper by Colin Allbrook

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Artists have been drawn to the landscapes of Cornwall for hundreds of years. J.M.W. Turner toured the region in 1811, producing a series of watercolours depicting both picturesque coastlines, and sociological portraits of the Cornish mining industry and merchant fleet. After Turner came American artist J.A.M. Whistler, who visited Cornwall in 1884 with Walter Sickert, an influential member of the Camden Town Group. The Twentieth Century then saw key figures such as Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, and Patrick Heron settle in Cornwall to live and work.

The Tunnel - Porthgwarra by Colin Allbrook RSMA RI

The creative community that emerged was dynamic and world-leading, and its spirit continues today. Colin Allbrook RSMA RI emulates Turner’s twin interest in the romantic and the anthropological with his Cornish cliff scenes, in which natural beauty mingles with traces of Cornwall’s mining past. At first sight, The Tunnel - Porthgwarra appears to be an homage in watercolour to the dramatic geology of the region; the contours of the rock face, which dominate the composition, stretch and twist like a monumental muscle. Yet in the heart of the rock we see a tunnel, visible only at low tide, forged by the miners who once worked here, whose mark is indelibly left upon the landscape.

Tin Mines - Botallack by Colin Allbrook RSMA RI

Allbrook produces a similar effect in Tin Mines - Botallack, where square stippling brush strokes in greens, browns and mauve cause the verdant cliffs to merge with the miners’ huts perched above. It is not immediately evident that this remote spot has been touched by heavy industry, and on discerning these structures, Allbrook reassures us through his colour palette that there is harmony here between the manmade and the natural.

Cornwall by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC

Cornwall by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC shares this sense of peaceful co-existence, with waves lapping gently at the feet of surfers strolling along Travone beach, a scattering of clouds like so much pink candyfloss in the background. Peter Clossick NEAC portrays the environment tamed yet further in Arch Farm, Cornwall, where bright splashes of yellow and red, on the tree in the foreground and the vehicle in the background, evoke a sense of vibrant fertility in this cultivated space.

Arch Farm, Cornwall by Peter Clossick NEAC

In contrast, Lucinda Storm’s coastal skyscapes leave no question as to the supremacy of the natural world. Vast and brooding skies are reflected in the mirror of the sea below, creating a fearsome reciprocity of elemental power, which leaves the viewer little room for self-aggrandisement. One must instead share the artist’s sense of awe, and her appreciation for the refraction of light upon water that gives these Cornish scenes a spellbinding quality.

Storm on its Way by Lucinda Storm

Whether hostile and awe-inspiring or picturesque and romantic, peopled, uninhabitable, or bearing the marks of historic use, this selection of Cornish scenes by contemporary artists gestures to the manifold responses which have inspired so many works of art, and art movements, whose origins lie in this often-overlooked region of the UK.


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In the studio with Eve Pettitt

"Colourfield" Oil on Canvas by Eve Pettitt

Mall Galleries steps into the creative world of artist, Eve Pettitt, to discuss colour, the beauty of the female form, and the joy of painting.

Find work by Eve Pettitt at Mall Galleries Buy Art | Buy Now

Seeing Red

'Red' oil painting by Bernadett Timko

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“When looking to create an image with as much energy and impact as possible, I find the power of the colour red cannot be beaten,” says artist Ian Rawling, whose photorealist works Toffee Apple and Tomato Ketchup Bottle feature in Seeing Red, the latest selection on Buy Art | Buy Now. This talented food artist was recently awarded the West Design – Faber Castell Award and the Visitor’s Choice Award at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2018.

Tomato Ketchup Bottle by Ian Rawling

The sense of vigour evoked by the colour red has been recognised since ancient times, with festivals in the Roman Empire marked by the wearing of red costumes. Due to the iron oxide on its surface, Mars appears to be red. This planet was aligned with the Roman god of war, and through association, redness and vigour came to be associated with aggression and violence; gladiators were daubed with red paint before combat, and the Roman army wore red tunics.

In addition to energy and violence, popular connotations of the colour red have included everything from love and prosperity to revolution and danger. While love is often associated with red roses and hearts, red is also the colour of the universal stop sign, warning onlookers of danger. In a closer contradiction, the Catholic church employs red to signify both the blood of Christ and his martyrs, and the devil. From this cursory examination, two things become clear; firstly, red is a highly symbolic and emotionally-charged colour; secondly, that this symbolism is manifold and often antithetical and ill-defined.

The Author by Eve Pettitt

“The colour of blood, love and revolution!” says Buy Art | Buy Now artist, Eve Pettitt. “Red is bold, immersive and full of emotion; it plays a pivotal role in my work. All my paintings begin with a loose sketch in pure cadmium red, and these preliminary marks can often be seen in the final finished work.” In Pettitt’s semi-abstract painting The Author, a red wall merges with the red hair of the writing figure, suggesting an osmotic porosity between the figure’s internal and external landscapes.

Red Room by Roxana Halls

Roxana Halls also uses red to explore emotional ideas in her work; “In my painting Red Room, the intense red formally divides the composition and disconnects my suspended woman from her familiar domestic space. While this figure may be caught in stasis, there is no stillness to be found in red.” From the visual effect of perpetual motion in Eleanor Lines’ op art print Loop to the dissipating ruby ripples in Stephen J Bragg’s Burano 2, the works in Seeing Red affirm Halls’ conviction that ‘there is no stillness to be found in red’.

Loop by Eleanor Lines
Burano 2 by Stephen J Bragg

You can browse and buy works from the selection online, and while you’re browsing, why not listen along with our Seeing Red playlist on Spotify?


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Why We Paint Ourselves


Browse Me, Myself & I now


Sixteenth Century philosopher Michel de Montaigne claimed that he would rather understand himself than Cicero.

Montaigne begins his famous essay collection with the statement: ‘I desire to be viewed as I appear, without study or artifice, for it is myself I paint’. Self-analysis has been an essential practice of artists across all periods, backgrounds and disciplines. Though not all are as faithful to the facts as Montaigne, what unites many is the image of the painted self-portrait; consider James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dylan Thomas’ parody, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

Self Portrait 2 by Andrew Farmer

But why is self-portraiture such a powerful genre? A self-portrait might showcase an artist’s skill or increase their celebrity, but a more profound reason for the genre’s popularity can be found in Montaigne’s initial claim. To privilege understanding of self above understanding of Cicero is to argue that self-knowledge is of paramount importance; the desire to paint oneself can then be aligned with the desire to know oneself. An interesting example of this is Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath. Famous for painting himself into his works, here is a rare double self-portrait, in which both David and Goliath are modelled on the artist, contrasting associations which must have prompted self-reflection.

Self Portrait, age 37 by Benjamin Hope PS

Though an artist may not share the revelations they experience during a self-portrait, the finished work often reveals intimate facets of their character, and herein lies the appeal of self-portraiture for the viewer. To view an artist through the lens by which they view themselves is to become familiar not only with their appearance but with their sensibility. While many portrait painters would challenge Oscar Wilde’s notion that ‘every portrait painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist’, in the case of self-portraiture, the mode of representation is seen to be as direct an expression of self as the content.

Self Portrait with Lonsdale Sweatshirt by Marco Ventura

To coincide with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2018, Mall Galleries has created Me, Myself & I, a capsule selection of self-portraits showcasing work by some of the finest contemporary portrait painters. Among the contributors are Miriam Escofet and Ania Hobson, both shortlisted artists for the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2018. Having begun her career as a landscape and wildlife painter, Hobson was drawn to portraiture by a fascination with the human form. From painting family members, the artist moved to self-portraits, one of which is now shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award.

Miriam Escofet’s Vanitas – Self Portrait is characteristic of the artist’s striking style, which often expresses gothic elements and features symbolic objects. “My paintings arrive at a kind of hyper real expression of the subject matter”, says Escofet; “the likeness and character of the sitter come first, but I am as interested in the work’s spatial and psychological depth”. To discover the works in Me, Myself & I is to gain precious insights into the characters of the artists, and into the historic tradition of self-portraiture.

Browse the collection here, and find out more about the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition here (May 10-25th).  


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Blue Notes: A Celebration of Colour

'A Turquoise Sea' by Lesley Birch


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American artist Georgia O’Keeffe spoke of ‘the blue that will always be there, as it is now, after all man's destruction is finished’. Certainly, the history of the colour blue is complex and inseparable from the history of mankind.

In the Ancient World, blue came from crushed lapis lazuli, mined in Afghanistan and exported across the globe. Because it was incredibly expensive, lapis lazuli was often used to adorn jewellery, as a way of publicising the wearer’s wealth. To create a cheaper alternative, the Ancient Egyptians developed the world’s first artificial pigment called Egyptian blue, which was reserved for funereal art and to colour the material used to wrap mummies, due to a popular belief that blue would ward off evil. The belief remains widespread today, with nazar charms (depicting the evil eye) often being made from blue glass.

Bernadett Timko, Lana

Having become associated with protection, the colour became synonymous with royalty and affluence in the Thirteenth Century, thanks in part to King Louis IX of France, who regularly dressed in blue – a habit promptly copied by his nobles. It was under Louis’ reign that the royal crest became an azure shield with golden fleur-de-lis.

The Renaissance saw another evolution in the symbolism of blue. Scientific developments made it possible to purify lapis lazuli to create ultramarine, a pigment so expensive that Italian artists reserved its use for painting the robes of the Virgin Mary. As a result, blue developed an association with holiness, humility and virtue. Far from the pomp and luxury of King Louis IX’s court, this new blue became a signifier of Christian meekness.

Alexander Goudie, Pieta

As colour production grew steadily cheaper, the popular use of blue for stained glass windows and the wall tiles of mosques strengthened a traditional connection between the colour and sacred practice. Yet when blue dyes became synthetic and truly affordable for everyone, the colour’s meaning changed again, as blue started to be used for military and school uniforms, and for workman’s jeans.

Georgia O’Keeffe may have been on to something when she spoke of the enduring quality of blue, but her claim that it ‘will always be there, as it is now’ overlooks continuous transformations in the manufacture, application and significance of this compelling colour.

Brian Robinson, Blue Shutters

‘Blue’ does not signify a unitary idea but a vast array of hues and tones, a virtue which artists have recognised and celebrated for centuries. In painting, blue can depict anything from the sea and sky to the pallor of skin and the violet hue of a shadow. Here at Buy Art | Buy Now, we wanted to recognise this diversity with a new selection. Its title, Blue Notes, refers to a technique in jazz where notes are unusually pitched to evoke heightened emotion. Similarly, in each work from our Blue Notes selection, the artist has chosen variants of blue to accent a particular feature or feeling in their composition.

“Blue is a really important colour in my work, particularly ultramarine & cerulean”, says featured artist, Sarah Jane Moon. “It has many positive associations for me, and makes vivid my upbringing in New Zealand, where vast summer skies met large rivers, lakes and oceans. I think it's a very spiritual and profound colour which also retains its mystery.”

Sarah Jane Moon, Nude with Orchid

Where Sarah Jane employs rich blue tones to depict ruched fabric, conferring a sense of warmth and tactile opulence, Debbie Ayles uses blue to affect a calming harmonisation in her art. “Paintings never begin blue”, she says; “I tumble through reds, oranges, yellows and greens, and then finally I introduce blues to pull everything together. Somehow the composition becomes calmer and more restful, ready for the architectural image I overlay.” 

Blue Notes features countless shades of blue across many mediums, from navy, azure, cerulean, aquamarine and teal to turquoise, cornflower, cyan, indigo, sapphire and cobalt. The subject-matter is as diverse, with the crucifixion, the female nude, architecture, maritime, still life, and abstract art all represented. This rich spectrum is designed to echo the enduring and ever-changing legacy of Blue Notes, in both art and life.

Anne-Marie Butlin, Delphiniums

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Painting the Holy Land with Lachlan and Alexander Goudie

'Nativity' acrylic and chalk painting by Alexander Goudie

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Alexander Goudie, Nativity

This year, BBC One marks Easter with a two-part documentary series about painting the Holy Land, presented by Scottish artist and broadcaster, Lachlan Goudie. Biblical stories and settings have been commonplace in global visual culture, and they continue to be popular subject for artists, including Lachlan’s father (the renowned artist Alexander Goudie) who created a crucifixion series inspired by the Holy Land. While Alexander Goudie visited the sacred spot only in imagination, this weekend BBC One will shadow Lachlan as he discovers the Holy Land for himself, sketching and painting the people and landscapes that he sees.

The first episode will screen at 9am on Good Friday, and follows the last chapter of Jesus’ life on earth; the second episode will screen at the same time on Easter Sunday, and traces the story and cultural influence of the Virgin Mary. After tracing Jesus’ movements before his crucifixion, Lachlan will consider the discrepancy between Mary’s relative absence in the Bible and her ubiquitous representation in visual art, as he visits key locations in the story of Christ’s conception and birth.

Alexander Goudie, Virgin Mary

Coinciding with the documentary, Mall Galleries has created a new selection of biblical and Easter themed works by Lachlan and his late father on Buy Art | Buy Now. Alexander Goudie worked across a range of mediums including clay sculpture, gouache, chalk, and acrylic paint, to create a body of striking works depicting biblical scenes. From familiar motifs such as the Mater Dolorosa (the sorrowful mother), the Pieta and the Crucifixion, to original compositions like Carrying the Crucifix, Alexander Goudie used blocks of muted colour and stylised monochromatic figures to produce iconic interpretations of religious narratives.

Alexander Goudie attained global fame with a painting series inspired by Robert Burns’ narrative poem, Tam o’ Shanter. As with these paintings, Goudie’s biblical works bear testament to the artist’s unique ability to translate literary into visual narrative, inflecting artistic expression whilst retaining all the essence and drama of his source texts.

Alexander Goudie, Carrying the Crucifix

Alexander’s son, Lachlan Goudie, also employs confident swathes of colour in his paintings of the Holy Land. Lachlan’s first work depicts the sea of Galilee, famous in art history as the setting of Rembrandt’s only seascape, ‘The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’, which was stolen in 1990 during the biggest art theft in US history. Where Rembrandt’s lost work is an epic image of Christ sailing upon storm-tossed seas, Lachlan’s painting is a much quieter portrayal of a modern-day fisherman, stretching out his net in a small dinghy. As a foil to the region’s grand narratives about the ‘fisher of men’, Lachlan’s fisherman reminds us that ordinary local people have always lived and worked in the Holy Land, creating their own narratives and experiences of place; Sea of Galilee quietly celebrates these individuals, and the gentle thrum of everyday life in this modern-ancient setting.

Lachlan Goudie, Sea of Galilee

Lachlan’s panoramic painting, The Walls of Jerusalem, also presents a combination of tradition and modernity. Since ancient times, the city has been surrounded by walls which have been periodically ruined, rebuilt, and extended. The complex and often conflict-ridden history of the region is written into the patchwork of these defences. Yet Lachlan Goudie treats this subject with the dynamism and vibrancy of contemporary impressionism, using block colour and loose strokes to evoke the city as a living and amorphous organism. Through these works, as with his upcoming documentary, Goudie the Younger situates the Holy Land of the imagination in the contemporary everyday reality of place and people.

Lachlan Goudie, The Walls of Jerusalem

Browse the Holy Land Selection now



Curator's Choice: Richard Fitzwilliams

'Ghost Dance' oil painting by Rachel Arif

Royal commentator and film critic, Richard Fitzwilliams, has long been a passionate promoter of figurative art. Fitzwilliams contributes to CNN, BBC, Sky News, and Al Jazeera, and has given over 700 television interviews as well as numerous lectures. Now, this acclaimed critic takes us through his top picks from Buy Art | Buy Now. 



Browse Richard Fitzwilliams' choices now

 

Rachel Arif

Ghost Dance

Here the landscape seems convulsed by powerful, unseen forces, and the trees resemble spectres which give the scene an eerie ambience: weird and wonderful.

Rachel Arif, Ghost Dance

Ben Eden

Carnations 

This flower piece has a depth and texture reminiscent of those by Henri Fantin-Latour. The almost luminous beauty of its subject set against a dark background is particularly appealing.

Ben Eden, Carnations

Sarah Jane Moon

Nude with Orchid 

There is a carefree abandon about this sitter’s pose. The colours are dazzling and it has a sybaritic quality, which casts a spell like Circe and draws you in.

Sarah Jane Moon, Nude with Orchid

Susan Ryder

Grand Salon with Red Roses 

Sue arranges these interiors, and I feel I am a privileged observer of the ornate grandeur of this spacious room, which is enhanced by the floral arrangements; it is wonderfully atmospheric.

Susan Ryder, Grand Salon with Red Roses

Bernadett Timko

Wren 

This really intrigues me, especially since half of the sitter’s face is bathed in shadow - a sensitive study of an introvert which I find fascinating.

Bernadett Timko, Wren

Robbie Wraith

Clementines, Silver Bowl 

The tones of this work are inspired by the old masters, and Robbie is a noted pupil of Pietro Annigoni. Aesthetically, it is extremely pleasing; the fruits tantalise us, their succulence seeming almost within reach.

Robbie Wraith, Clementines, Silver Bowl

Browse Richard Fitzwilliams' choices now