Archive for June, 2010

What I’m working on at the moment

I’ve done quite a lot of drawings over past 4 years or so which I have absolutely loved doing because of their relative immediacy compared to paintings, but I’ll be  developing some new paintings over the rest of the year. At the moment I’m working on a portrait of Father Michael -( I’ll not be too specific before I’ve checked it out with him) which will be quite a large portrait and hopefully I’ll be able to post some development images.

I think I’ve mentioned previously that I’ll be showing some portrait based work in a group show at Plus One Gallery with Philip Harris, Graig Wylie and Simon Hennessey next March so I’m working on some personal work for that too. I’ve always wanted to paint the excellent Birmingham based saxaphone player Andy Hamilton CBE who was recently 90. I had a sitting with him about 3 weeks ago which couldn’t have gone better and I got some gold there. 

I’ll shortly be unveiling a portrait of our friend Sam so don’t go changin’. 

June 26th, 2010

NPG / BP outings


Anne and me went to the Directors annual reception a few weeks ago at the NPG. Andrew Marr off the telly made a speech and I snapped him here with Anne. The Irving Penn exhibition was also on at the NPG that night, I wasn’t too familiar with his photographs until I saw them and recognised quite a lot. I love B/W photography so much and it very often feeds into my own work. Stand out portraits for me were Truman Capote, Giacometti, Yves Saint Laurent and Tennessee Williams – what portrait artist wouldn’t want to capture  those guys.

We were also invted to The Royal Opera House to see Carmen by BP which was a great evening because I’d never been before and it was such a beautiful building. It was so baroque and swirling and gold which kind of also gave it a strangely kitsch feel too and the stage surround reminded me of the old clips of Max Miller in the  music halls of the 1950’s . Sorry if if it sounds like an exercise in bragging , (I can assure you that day to day life in the Black country is very different) but we were in the Royal Box reception area, super posh, and just off there is the Queens toilet which was quite a sight to behold.

June 26th, 2010

Last Christmas – Doppelganger painting


Although I work in portraiture I am slightly obsessed with objects too and often combine the two in one portrait, see The Kinnocks or my recent portrait od Alan Garner. I’m also a big muso and I love doing these little paintings of old records which have their own character and the disciplined objectivity which I’m working towards.

I would add that I’m not a Whan fan, this was a commission – although I do have a soft spot / guilty pleasure  for this particular song. I particularly like the way fashion defines decades , which is often evident in portraiture.  The cover photo of “George and Andrew” looks like the photographs you used to get in the windows and on the walls  barber shops in the 1980’s  and it reminds me of the days when I used to have hair and visited the barbers in the Black Country with my Dad and brother as a school boy.

Click on the image to enlarge

June 26th, 2010

Bandana #5 (drawing)


Here is another portrait of Bandana who, to me, is endlessly fascinating. This was from the final stages of the sitting which I had with him and as the evening went on in the pub he / we had a few beers and I think you can see that in his expression in this depiction. Cheers Bandana .

June 26th, 2010

Kabaconichi Sushi Bar scene


Here’s a picture of a scene in a sushi bar in Tokyo. It’s in the Kabaconichi district which is similar to Soho in London and has as very dodgy feel to it in the same way that soho has, although it is run by the Yakusa ( mafia). I did another version last year in the same sushi bar but this is from a different angle and you can actually see the figures faces.

It’s in the rather more immediate drawing style which I have been developing , basically just giving the figures or portraits a context or feel of an environment while focusing most interest on the figures

June 26th, 2010


June 2010
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