Posts filed under 'New Work'

Unveiled – Portrait of Alan Garner OBE

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Here is the result of the past 4 months of work. It’s Alan sitting in what I named “The Writers Room”. He sits in this room to write all of his books and always spends most of the time sitting in his lovely old rocking chair which was his Grandmothers. It’s a great room , full of all his stuff and little narrative objects which reflect and reinforce his identity. I was particularly concious not to set anything up in this portrait. I wanted it to be absolutely natural and exactly as it was. There’s an old 80’s Hi-Fi which I really didn’t want to paint because it’s such an ugly object and I hinted at Alan to remove it ( this would have ben the only concession) – but he said there’s too much wire at the back , it’s staying  , and in many ways I’m glad it did because it’s as much a part of the room as everything else. I loved painting the cauldron , beautiful sculptural shapeand the glove looks like there is somebody trying to crawl thrir way out. The landscape and local archaeology is extremely important to Alan’s books so the window was very significant. I was interested about the grid structure that archaeologists use which is similar to my roughs. I loved painting the old tiles too, they really gave the space a shape. I wanted the angles of the room to be a bit crazy because it was such an anchient old cottage that they lived in called “Toad Hall” that it was moving and subsiding all over the place. He was a great sitter for me because he had no vanity at all, an similarly to the unveiling of Tony Benn’s portrait he was only really interested in the objects and the litle stories that they held and really didn’t give a dam about his depiction. Attached to Toad Hall is an old timber framed building called “The Medicine House” which was destined for demolitian in the early 70’s but Alan saved it and had it moved timber by timber and erected next to Toad Hall. It’s got a wonderful huge chimney right in the middle and really is the obvious setting for a portrait because of the drama or th space but I found the writers room to be infinitely more interesting and apt for Alan.

For a larger view of the portrait click on the image and it should enlarge.

For more information about Alan see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Garner

Thanks to the V&A for funding this project.

 

May 4th, 2010

Alan Garner portrait – ( Alan’s left foot)

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The unveiling of my portrait of Alan Garner will be towards the end of April. I can’t show it in full yet but here’s another little taster. I’ll post the full image on 30th April.

April 6th, 2010

Alan Garner – Portrait Commission – taster

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Here’s a little taster of my portrait of Alan Garner. I can’t reveal it yet until the unveiling in April but it gives a litle fel for the portrait. It is a full length portrait of Alan in colour , acrylic on canvas and he is set in is wonderful room  , which I call “the writers room” and he’s sitting on the chair which he sits on to write all of his books. Alan, his wife and the curator from the Grosvenor Museum in Chester came up last wek and semed to really like it. I’ve also made a video diary throughout the painting. I’ll be posyinf the finished portrait in late April.

March 1st, 2010

Ben

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Here’s a recent portrait coimmission that I did of a lovely guy caled Ben. He’s been travelling around South America for the past 10 months or so and getting into a series of scrapes en route . We had the sittings before he went and I paintied the portrait while he was away. The composition is influenced by the wonderful photographer Richard Avedon who I have always admired. I wanted the weight of the composition to be to the right of the painting and he’s almost leaning on the edge of the picture.

 

 

March 1st, 2010

PARTY – 12Feb – 18th April -( The New Art Gallery – Walsall

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 It’s been 10 years since Te New Art Gallery, Walsall opened its doors to the public and they’re having a party exhibition to celebrate. Should be a pretty cool series of events I think and an accompanying exhibition with some pretty big name artits in like Peter Blake, Martin Creed, Gilbert and George, Chris Ofili, Paula Rego, Sam Taylor Wood, Juergen Teller and Gavin Turk. I’ve got a piece in the show too and they’ve asked all the artists to do a birthday card for the gallery which will also be exhibited alongside the rest of the Party themed work. Here is my card which is a “Party Tape”, the kind of thing we used to take to house parties back in the student days or give to people you really liked. I think there is quite a growing nostalgia for party tapes in the digital age.

  ( Click on the image for a closer look at the track listing)

December 29th, 2009

New Commission – Author Alan Garner OBE for the Grosvenor Museum in Chester

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I’m currently working on a portrait commission of the fantacy fiction author Alan Garner OBE for the Grosvenor Museum in Chester which has come about thanks to a grant from the Victoria and Albert museum in London. I’ve been up to visit Alan and his wife at their wonderful old cottage near to Jodderal Bank – (is that how you spell it?) He’s famous for many books like The Wierdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath and som o his works have been turned into TV shows. There’s more information on Alan at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Garner and http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/alan-garner/

  Their cottage is just fantastic, almost like a Hobbits house with log burners, broken tiled floors, anchient furniture , old doors and books and lots of archaeological findings from the grounds of the cottage. There’s huge potemntial in this portrait so I’m really enjoying it. I’m not sure about revealing updates , I’ll haveto check when it’s ok to post a few , but this is my current project. ( the photo is just a photo, not my portrait of him)

December 29th, 2009

Final picture for exhibition – Times Square – acrylic on board – 24″ diameter.

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Here’s the last picture that I did for the show. It’s a portrait of somebody that I met in Times Square about 5 years ago. I wanted to try the loose background technique to give the portrait a context and I think city scenes work particularly well so I combined the two. This one is in acrylic and it’s painted on MDF board which I cut into a circle with a jigsaw. Portraits can work extremely well in a circular format or can also look a little kitsch but hopefully it captures something of the meeting 5 years ago. I was particularly pleased with the clapped out NY cab to the right of the image. This piece is also in the show at Plus One Gallery which runs until Saturday 7th November.

 

 

 

November 5th, 2009

HARAJUKU PUNK #4

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Following on from the series of Harajuku Punks that I did before , way back in 1995 here is a more recent description. The coat she was wearing was everywhere amongst Tokyo’s youth culture late last year but knowing how transient  and disposable Japanese society is they are probably all in the bin now.

It’s acrylic on canvas

 click on the image for a larger view

September 16th, 2009

“ISAO AT AKETA’S JAZZ CLUB” – acrylic on canvas – 30″ x 20″

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  Here is my latest , another portrait of Isao Suzuki in Tokyo, (see previous posts). This time in profile with a compositional bias towards the right hand side. It was an incredibly dingy jazz club, just a small black room with posters pealing off the wall and junk pilled up on the bar with about 20 seats positioned infront of the stage. I wanted to get a bit more of the atmosphere of the space so I included the back wall of the stairs.

(click on the image for a larger version)

September 6th, 2009

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

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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

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