Archive for August, 2009

New painting – ISAO SUZUKI – acrylic on canvas – 32″ x 28″


I met Isao Suzuki in an underground jazz club in Tokyo -(underground both physically and musically). My friend from my old foundation course, Anthony lives in Tokyo, though has since returned, and we met up and he took us to the club and arranged a sitting with Isao.

 He’s in his 70’s now but is still “rockin’ out ” and very generously playing with a young band, taking a back seat, who I think keep him feeling young. He lived in New York towards the end of the golden age of American Jazz in the Late 60’s and early 70’s and played with such giants as Ella Fitzgerald, Theolonius Monk, Charlie Mingus and was one of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers for many years, Art being the person who initially invited Isao to America to play in his band.

 I wanted to capture “in the moment” as he was playing, again using the dark background to focus full attention on him.

(click on the images to enlarge, the last one of the finished image should come up biggest )

August 6th, 2009

Tsukiji Fish Market Drawing – (charcoal, graphite,carbon,ink on paper)


Here is a new picture of a trader that I met a Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, one of my favourite places ever. It’s got the sketcy background which I find incredibly liberating to do set against the photorealistic portrait. I particularly liked his beard and of course his bandana, any kind of head adornment in a portrait and I’m there. I think this was around 28″ long.

(click on the image for a bigger picture)

August 6th, 2009

New Portrait


Here is a very recent portrait commission of a lovely lady from my home town, Walsall.  It is acrylic on canvas and is aproximately 36″ x 32″.

We took a huge number of photographs looking at about 23 different compositional possibilities and for quite some time they didn’t seem to be working just how I had intended. Then the final series of shots that I took just seemed to work perfectly, the pose was just right, expression, mood all came together. I’m so glad that I pushed it right to the end in the photography stage because we could easily have gone for something that didn’t quite work.  I like to use space in my portraits because there is often so much detail in the portrait that it needs the space to resonate against and rest and it focuses the attention more on the figure with no distractions. It’s nice to be working in colour again too because I’ve done a lot of B/W paintings and drawings lately. This is the first of a pair of portraits. I will also be painting Christine’s husband who is a Reverend in his church with all the decorative and ornate possibilities of the space.

(click on the image to enlarge)

August 6th, 2009


August 2009
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