I will be showing five paintings at the forthcoming “The Nude” exhibition, at Candid Arts Trust. Amongst them will be my “Feast of Venus – A Re-imagining”, for its first excursion outside of my studio. It will be interesting to get some feedback on this particular piece, having worked on it for so long.
I’m looking forward to seeing them all on display together. Four of these paintings are the major works that I have been working on over the past year. Hanging them together, in a gallery environment, will help give me a clearer view of how my work has evolved.
Candid Arts have their gallery at 3 Torrens Street, London EC1V 1NQ. Preview night is on Thursday 29th September, 6-9pm. The exhibition is on from 30th September-9th October, open every day from 12-6pm.
Well, that was an experience. In the end, 900 people had visited Britannia Works, and most of them made their way up to our studio. Space Studios came good in the end, providing us with everything we needed to make the event happen. From what I heard from visitors, Britannia Works were judged to have put on a good show.
I made a mistake on Saturday, by trying to continue working on my Feast of Venus painting, and having it turned away from visitors. With no place to store it, I was reluctant to show it to people while far from complete. I changed my mind on Sunday, and it worked out well. It gave me an opportunity to discuss the meaning behind the painting, and why I’d spent so much time and money on this particular project.
Although it was a lot of hard work, the weekend was thoroughly enjoyable. It provided a great opportunity to discuss my work, and get feedback on my paintings. I learned a lot. I would like to thank everyone who visited our studio and made the event a success, and a special thank you to all those people who took the time to talk to us.
I shall be showing a couple of paintings at the forthcoming 24WA Studio Show in Southend on Sea, which opens at the end of May. Being an Estuary Fringe event, it will be free, and there is sure to be some live entertainment for the opening night.
Since moving into my London studio, I’ve mainly been using the studios at 24WA for my life drawing sittings, as it’s more comfortable for the models than a draughty Fish Island warehouse. But I worked on these two paintings there over the Christmas period, when I first moved in. They were started over a year ago, and I think they mark a defining moment in my art, when I set out to explore different ideas in my compositions, and introduced some classical elements into a few of them. The photos below just show details.
The 24WA Studio Show is an Estuary Fringe event.
“The Estuary Fringe was created with the aim of taking art back from the pretentious art elites who have somehow insinuated themselves into the borough, and hand it back to the local community, to everyone, where it belongs.
The first festival in June 2013 was incredibly successful. Organised in just 7 weeks with no money and no idea what we were letting ourselves in for, we were blown away by just how well it all went, so we have decided to keep doing it.”
So, I’ve been working with glazes this morning on one of my current paintings. When I finished, I thought that, instead of throwing away the leftover glaze and cleaning my palette, I would use it to try and finish this painting that has been lying around the studio for a long time now (I think I had the original sittings with the models in July 2013).
I do have a problem working on these older pieces. The sittings are usually from so long ago, that I can’t recall exactly what I had in mind as I directed the model. But most importantly, this painting belongs to a body of work that I was working on over a year ago. It’s only natural that my compositions and also my technique will have changed during this time.
At the moment, I have in my studio a collection of unfinished paintings; some of them started well over a year ago. Although anxious to resume work on my “Feast of Venus” project, I shall try and finish some of these pieces first. They are all important to me, and are only unfinished because of the wretched time I’ve had this past year in finding a suitable studio.
I will be showing my painting “Maxine – The Three Graces” at the upcoming exhibition “Hand Maid”, which will be held at Hoxton Arches, London E2 8HD, from 5th-9th March. This exhibition has been organised by Sweet ‘Art, and is in aid of International Women’s Day.
‘Hand Maid’ will take place at the Hoxton Arches Gallery in Shoreditch and will showcase the work of local and international artists exploring the themes of femininity, feminine identity and women’s day. Works will celebrate, critique and reflect notions of femininity in our society and internationally, created by artists identifying as any gender.
For the past few weeks I have been working almost exclusively on my interpretation of The Feast of Venus. I am getting to the stage where I can define the figures, and set them in space. I’ve made some adjustments along the way, and am happy with all the poses, bar one. The third figure from the left – the figure bending over and looking back over their shoulder – has been a nightmare. My last two sittings ended with the life models getting quite fed up with my instructions to “bend forward and curve your back!” Human anatomy being what it is, their backs just would not bend so, which leaves me with a compositional problem. That curve is essential for the composition, and at the same time the pose has to look mildly erotic. I think I may need to hire a contortionist.
I have just finished a third sitting with life models in preparation for my “Feast of Venus”. It went quite well, and I think I have finalised most of the poses. There’s one pose that has presented some problems, and I may still need to organise another sitting just for this one figure. I imagine it’s a problem that Rubens often had, where actual human anatomy did not conform with his designs. I’m sure he also heard his models complain that their backs wouldn’t bend like that, or they couldn’t twist their bodies so.
I had my first sitting in preparation for my “Feast of Venus” piece. I have ten female figures in total in this painting. I’ve reserved the “erotic” poses on the left of the painting for a model who’s more experienced at glamour work. Today I worked through the poses for the central three figures (with Venus in the middle), and the two figures in the top right, which were the least defined of all the poses.
I’m very happy with how the sitting went, and quickly defined the poses for the top right figures. I’m undecided about whether I need to hire an additional model for any of these poses. I’m happy with how all these poses have turned out, but it might make for a more interesting painting if there was more variety in body-shape.