At the moment I am beginning to work on a piece for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who happened to see my work in a surgery while visiting Bridport. I received an invitation to his house, deep in the Devon countryside. Hugh explained that he normally buys artwork from people he knows and likes, rather from just anyone with a reputation. Good start, I guess! It was lovely to meet his family.
The kitchen was long and big and as you would expect from a chef with a shelf of his own cookery books. Lots of jars and bottles and a lovely old oven, plus plenty of cooking utensils!
Hugh liked the idea of a family portrait looking as natural as possible with the family around the kitchen doing what they usually do – the kitchen being the place where they spend most of their time and where, unsurprisingly, there is plenty of interest in the culinary arts! While I was there, one of his boys began filleting a fish while the other prepared a pesto sauce.
I managed to get some good ideas and get some decent images and I really appreciate the free hand that I have been given to create my own work
The end of last year was such a rush. Especially having to put together four new paintings for The Discerning Eye exhibition. The Exhibition was not a complete success, for me, though I did manage to sell one picture (Head on a Plate). There was such a lot of good work on show – and although I was a little disappointed at the positioning of my pictures (they were scattered high and low) I was very pleased overall to have been part of things.
At the moment I’m working on a couple of private commissions.
This is nearly done. It’s not exactly how I want it. But I’m running out of time.
Working hard for the Discerning Eye exhibition. I have reached a stage with Head on a Plate (as I call it) where I have to put it to one side in order to begin work on a new picture. I have not finished the painting – there is still work to do on the background and one or two other finishing touches. But time is short. I’ve got to press on.
The new picture, much like the one above, came out of an idea I had staring at a bust in an Antiques shop. There is some sense of life even in a marble statue and painting makes it possible to reveal it in an almost magical way. I hope!
Here is the early work on the painting.
I’m pretty sure the bust I am working with is (or more strictly, was) of a Roman emperor. But I’m not sure which one. I want to keep the coldness of the marble but add a lifelike milkiness to the expression. Not sure how it will turn out at the moment. Anyway, it’s coming on.
My new picture is loosely based on the myth of Salome and John the Baptist. I’m thinking of a number of works on this theme. This might become a study for a different, larger picture.
The picture is 20×20 and the main reason I’m working at this size is that I have been invited by Chris Ingram to exhibit at this year’s ING – Discerning Eye exhibition. It feels like a real privilege. (About the ING-Discerning Eye show). I was really pleased to see that Tessa Farmer exhibited at this show. Her work is amazing. (Tessa Farmer’s site.) Take a look if you are not familiar with it.
One of the things that is slightly frustrating about my painting is that I’m having to work on a coarser canvas than i would have liked – the company that supplies my canvas had run out of the good stuff (superfine linen). The picture is coming along well but there are a few things wrong with it, at the moment, things I’ll have to sort out, and quickly. The deadline for the exhibition is early September and I’m not sure how much work I can do by then…especially as I have to fit in with a part-time job, at the same time. That’s life, I guess. And at the same time, it’s good to be busy.