Archive for October, 2011

NEW DRAWING

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Here’s a recent drawing of the Birmingham based jazz saxaphone player Andy Hamilton CBE. it’s in mixed monochrome and is on A3 paper. During the sitting he was also playing. I’ve used a framing device on the drawing to give it a sense of spontaneity.

I’m currently working on a double portrait commission drawing which I’m really pleased with, as soon as its done I’ll just make sure that it’s ok to publish and post it up.

October 24th, 2011

ERIC SYKES

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I had a sitting with the comic writer and actor Eric Sykes a few weeks ago which was fantastic. He is very much the last in his generation of comics stretching back to Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper, and I guess right back to the music hall days of Max Miller, he’s worked with everybody. I would take a few photographs and then he asked me to sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat. He was a very sweet and charming old gentleman and it was a real privilege for me. When you phone his office it is still referred to as “hello, Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes’ office” The British comedy history that had paraded through that beautiful Bayswater office

October 24th, 2011

NPG commission

I’ve been having a series of sittings with my sitter throughout the summer and I’ve finalised the composition now so I’ll be starting the painting next year. Unfortunately I can’t disclose who it is until the picture’s unveiled so this post is not much good to anybody.

October 24th, 2011

FREUD

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Hello, sorry its been a while since my last post, busy at the easel. It’s been some time since Freud died so it’s not very current but I couldn’t quite believe it when Anne shouted down stairs that he had died, I expected him to go on into his 90’s as he was such an active and spritely figure, I heard that he used to run up the stairs to his home studio in Holland park. Rather like Titian and Rembrandt who went on to live incredibly long lives considering the periods in which they lived I always felt that Freud would a) live to their old age and b) stood comparison as a modern master to these two mountains of art history though I’m sure that many would disagree with me. I remember the fist time that I went to a Freud show at the Whitechapel gallery as a recent graduate in , I think 1993? Anyway, I was completely blown away by his new work in the early¬† 90’s and I think it is perhaps some of his finest. The huge portraits of Leigh Bowery uncompromisingly draped around Queen Anne chairs were magnificent, huge in both size and ambition and were a real inspiration for me and many figurative painters at the time. The thing that I also admired about Freud was that he stuck to his guns all the way through his career, through Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conseptualism he continued to do figurative painting. A weaker artist would have jumped on the band wagon but he bucked every trend and did what he believed in and that always results in the purest work. Towards the end of his career his work was fetching millions, I think one was in the region of ¬£17m which is obscene but in comparison to the factories of Koons and Hirst who also command similar prices, Freuds work almost seems worth it. From conversations with his first wife, Kitty he certainly wasn’t the easiest of people to live with which I think is well documented and he certainly caused her a lot of emotional pain. The National Portrait Gallery are putting on a retrospective of his work in February which I know Sarah Howgate has been working on for some years and I suspect it will have some of his final paintings in too. This will be a real blockbuster for the NPG, I would guess that there’s not a museum around the world that wouldn’t want to put on this show so I think it will be quite magnificent.

October 24th, 2011


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