I have been spending a lot of time recently on photoshop whilst grinding through my anatomy studies. I find that my study is solidified if I make a drawing from memory at the end of my session. The result is not always anatomically accurate but it seems to steepen the learning curve if I try to draw something without any reference. (I did have to check a couple of pictures for the elephant though)
I took a commission from a gentleman I met in my line of work as a legal advisor. I noticed someone had already attempted his portrait and thought it was an opportune moment to offer my services. He gladly obliged and has now happily received the completed article.
I managed to win £250 last night at the Open Portrait Exhibition for my painting of Helen which I was very pleased about.
It was a great night too. How Steve Rawlings managed to perform his act in that heat I have no idea. I had to retreat to the shade and peer at the show through several panes of glass to stem the flow of sweat down my back and I was only holding a pint, Steve was bouncing around and throwing, balancing and juggling multiple pieces of furniture for a good hour.
I managed to brave the heat to collect my jumbo sized cheque though!
I’m sure I am not alone among artists when I say that I would rather hide away behind my art and never go to an event where there is a risk my name might get called and my picture taken. Its a strange experience if you are not at all good at social events.
So as it happens my name did get called and typically I am stood at the back hoping to applaud other winners and then slip away unnoticed, now I have to weave my way through tables and chairs whose lively occupants are now enthusiastically clapping and smiling kindly in my direction. Time slows down and each footstep requires careful planning to avoid tripping and headbutting a welcoming face or crushing an innocent child or a similar act of dishonour that would invoke immediate Seppuku.
My vision becomes a misty porthole in an unsteady vessel as I plot my route to the front. Large smiling heads seem to wind past me as I approach the judges whose unfamiliar faces suddenly appear as if through the peephole of my front door. In my self absorption and terror I completely ignore the Mayor Gordon Oliver and the Triton sponsors to my left. Everything in my peripheral had morphed into a Jackson Pollock and instead of composing myself I hastily retreat like a startled gazelle to the back of the room where I am more at ease.
Of course all of this probably passes unnoticed to normal people. At worst I probably appear slightly aloof but at least I can set the record straight here as if anyone gives a toss anyway.
Riviera Fringe Festival organised by Jay Fortune and sponsored by Triton Galleries of Torquay is taking place throughout the Fringe from Monday 7th July at 2pm through to Saturday 12th July.
The finalists gala evening is on Friday 11th July 6:00-8:30pm which includes live entertainment, judging and winner presentation. Further details can be found here.
Please come along and see the work and the results from the judging panel.
My two pieces below have been selected to be part of the Open Portrait Exhibition taking place at Living Coasts, Torquay harbour from 7th-12th July as part of the Riviera Fringe Festival.
Your work, A Tramp Along the English Riviera. is on the Redbubble homepage today. One of our homepage curators picked your image because they thought it was brilliant. Every day we add a handpicked selection of works to the homepage and a number of other prominent places around the site – we call these works “Found by RB”.
So, tell the world you’re famous! Today’s the day to tell Facebook, Twitter, your mom, and anyone who will listen that Redbubble thinks you’re pretty awesome – and you have a primo spot on our homepage to prove it!
Here is the story behind the name A Tramp Along the English Riviera
Painting Plein air is always a challenge and finding a place to set up and paint is the first obstacle.
I can sometimes traipse around for hours not ever finding a suitable vista. On occasion this can result in sauntering home sweaty and dejected without ever unscrewing a paint tube.
I often travel around with my brother who paints but we don’t always agree on where to stop and he is less tolerant of my ‘’lets just take a look over this next hill’’ approach.
The thing I am trying to find initially is a strong Notan which is a Japanese term for light dark pattern, this helps to set up the composition and if successful can on its own read as a pleasing arrangement before any colour or tone variation is added.
Strong Notan is not always available so sometimes things have to be moved and exaggerated to accomplish something of a painting that reads nicely. Or you just have to paint what your given and make the most of it.
This particular scene was in fact busier with other small boats and unnecessary details. One boat is enough to deal with in the short time that I have. Even a boat that has been beached which is much more tolerable since it won’t pivot round on its anchor point and constantly change axis. This sort of thing can put the sanity of any artist in jeopardy or at the very least send a small canvas or board angrily spinning through the air toward the water.
The tide was making its way back toward the boat so time, as always with Plein air painting, was even more of the essence. I don’t really need extra challenges, it is enough to contend with the constant changes in light and weather or the threat of my already battered umbrella taking off in a sudden coastal breeze and becoming the world’s crappiest kite, soaring into the air and then lurching to the ground in a clumsy voyage out to sea, never to be seen again. This obviously has happened before.
Then there is the rain: despite it being quite sunny at the time we Britons know that if it isn’t raining it’s going to. The added pressure of the tide proved a useful time piece as 2 to 3 hours is about my lot before the light completely changes and I’m left with just a memory of the scene and a few dry sandwich crusts.