Archive for January, 2008

Current exhibitions

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Artists Process – National Portrait Gallery, 4th Dec 2007 -1st June 2008 (rooms 37 + 37a)

is an exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery showing how artists put a painting together, including roughs, photographs, preliminary drawings and paintings, diaries, design notes and ideas, final compositions etc… They are showing my painting of Neil and Glenys Kinnock together with all of the support work and material.


2. Labour Intensive – The New Art Gallery, Walsall – (12th Jan – 11th May 2008)

Group exhibition featuring work inspired by Black Country industry. There are a few of my very early paintings from my MA project back in 1991 when I did a big project based around the de-industrialisation of the West Midlands Steel Industry and its affects on the community. I visited may of the old hot press rolling mills, foundries and chain makers and focused on the people. You will see a distinct change in style from those days to the work that I do now but the human figure still predominates.

3. Paintings and drawings – Andreeva gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. (until 1st March 2008)

A selection of paintings and drawings will be on display until 1st March which are predominantly portraiture based.

4. The Wales Portrait Award 2008 – (2 year touring exhibition of Wales). 

Triptych portrait of the late Ronald James, also the subject of a recent , larger painting.


5. Bandanna will be on display at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at The Mall Gallery from 24th April – 11th May 2008.

January 17th, 2008

The Completed portrait of Ronald. (42″x32″ acrylic on canvas)


I finally completed the portrait of Ronald shortly before Christmas Eve. It was a wonderful painting to do, just the kind of subject matter that I like but also because Ronald and his son were so nice too. Unfortunately though Ronald never got to see the final painting because he died 3 weeks after our initial sitting so the the whole commission is tinged with sadness.

Often in my portraits I am interested in peoples objects and posessions within their spaces and the way that they reflect and reinforce the sitters identity, (see Tony Benn and The Kinnock’s) but here it is a simpler , more direct composition, less cluttered and arranged and I think it has a more natural feel to it and it is really “about the man”. Perhaps the more we just reflect on the figure, without any of the dressings the closer we get to the actual depiction/reflection  of the “the man”. Kind of like the the purity of an old blues recording by Skip James or the final albums of Johnny Cash where it’s just stripped down to the man and a guitar and the purity and fragility  just rings through the under-production.

If you want to take a closer look just click on the image and it’ll come up a bit bigger.

January 2nd, 2008