WOA December Exhibition

I have just finished hanging my work at WOA (WestcliffOnArt) gallery for their December show. I did enjoy the fact that it’s only five minutes walk from my house, so I didn’t have to struggle on trains and underground to get my work to it’s destination. I’m pleased with how the arrangement has worked out. I don’t often get a chance to exhibit my portraits, and I thought it quite apt that the portraits I have on show are of the three models who have worked with me on most of my recent paintings.

Jon adding labels to my work at WOA gallery
Jon adding labels to my work at WOA gallery

I’m looking forward to the “Opening” for the show, which will be on Saturday the 6th December. Their Facebook event page says:
Cordially requesting your esteemed attendance for a night of artistic appreciation – more than seven new artists to the gallery showing work – violin, guitar of varying qualities, and some wine.”
Not sure if I should be more alarmed by the “guitar of varying qualities” or the mention of “some wine”. The gallery owners/curators, Jon and Carra, seem nice people to do business with. Their business model seems very fair and reasonable to the artist; quite unlike so many of the “opportunities for artists” out there, which are no more than schemes to exploit and fleece artists.

Gallery information:

28 Hamlet Court Rd
Westcliff-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Essex, UK
SS0 7LX
info@westcliffonart.com

Opening Hours:
Mon: By Appointment
Tue: 10am – 7.30pm
Wed: 10am – 7.30pm
Thu: 10am – 7.30pm
Fri: 10am – 7.30pm
Sat: 10am – 7.30pm
Sun: 10am – 7.30pm

Westcliff on Art, December Exhibition

I have just arranged to have one of the walls in my local gallery, WestcliffOnArt, for their December show. The gallery hasn’t been open for long. It looks like a nice, inviting space, and I’m happy with the wall I have been allocated. They also use the gallery for workshops, which I always think is a nice idea. Art galleries have a terrible  reputation for being elitist, uninviting places, so It’s nice when you come across galleries that are opening their doors to the public.

WestcliffOnArt, Hamlet Court Road
WestcliffOnArt, Hamlet Court Road

The gallery website can be found here, and their Facebook page is here.

Sweet’Art Guilty Pleasures

I have just received notification that my piece “Relationships Series – Kirsty and Beth” has been accepted for the Sweet’Art show “Guilty Pleasures”, to be held at Juno, in Shoreditch, from the 6th November.

Relationships Series - Kirsty and Beth, selected for the Sweet'Art show Guilty Pleasures, held at popular bar and gallery venue Juno, in Shoeditch
Relationships Series – Kirsty and Beth

It poses an interesting dilemma, as the private view happens to be on the 6th November – the same night as the official opening of Street Corner Gallery (edit: re-named Project Space). Well, it’s a nice problem to have.

SweetArt_Scroll_BGWH_email

Founded in 2012, Sweet ’Art’s mission is dedicated to the promotion of artists at all levels of their career through the delivery of thought provoking, engaging and fun site specific exhibitions and live art events with a difference.

Alongside the planned program of events, artists are invited to join Sweet ’Art and be part of a growing network of artists enabling them to showcase work online and be in touch with other members of Sweet ‘Art.

Sweet ‘Art is dedicated to the promotion of art that is thought provoking, intelligent and challenging in its consideration of both aesthetic and concept.

Sweet ‘Art embraces all disciplines of work and encourages artists in a process of exploration, challenge and debate when considering their own practice and that of others.

Sold a painting on New Blood Art

I recently sold this piece on New Blood Art. It was painted in 2007, but I have only shown it once briefly, in a recent group show (Stomach#2, at Hoxton Arches). It’s a favourite of mine, and it’s nice to know that it will finally be on display somewhere.

Relationships Series No. 1
Relationships Series No. 1

Newbloodart.com was founded in in 2004, and is an online contemporary art gallery that sells original work by selected emerging artists. I have only had my work on there for a short while, and any difficulties I have had with this site are, funnily enough, a direct result of it’s main strength. Although new artists are advised to “take ownership” of their portfolio page, and keep their bios and statements up to date; actually trying to do this can turn into a frustrating process. Every aspect of the site is curated by the owner, Sarah Ryan. She has to approve every addition or amendment to your portfolio details, and selects which of the work submitted is shown.
A quick look at the website will demonstrate why this is a good thing. The artwork on offer is generally of a good standard, and artist’s details are presented clearly, and in a consistent manner, making it easier to browse through the portfolios. I might have found it difficult adapting to no longer having full control over how my work is presented, but that will be the case with any artist/gallery relationship, and the same applies to my relationship with The South Galleries, a bricks-and-mortar gallery. New Blood Art has a proven track record, and clearly has more experience and expertise than myself at finding buyers for Art……. Still, it is hard not being in control.

 

Mood Boards, New Muse and New Inspiration

sketches from yesterday's life drawing sitting
sketches from yesterday’s life drawing sitting

I had my first sitting with a new model yesterday. The whole process, from finding a suitable model amongst the multitude of faces on various model networking sites; to making first contact, and explaining my work and current projects; to when the model finally arrives in the studio.., well, it can be difficult.
I am quite particular about selecting models to work with. Apart from looking for an interesting face and features, I also expect a professional approach to work, and preferably some experience in life modelling. Probably the most important requirement is a pleasant personality. My life drawing sessions will last between three and four hours, and may be repeated any number of times, as I try to develop poses for my compositions.  They will be physically demanding of the model, and will require great concentration on both our parts. Working in a small studio with someone under such conditions would be quite tedious if the model wasn’t good natured and easy to talk to.
Yesterday went very well. The model arrived on time, was extremely professional and excellent at their job, maintaining poses well. This particular model has a fascinating, expressive face, which is what compelled me to contact her in the first place.

moodboard. sketches from life drawing session
moodboard. sketches from life drawing session

I’ve been in the doldrums with my work recently. I’m finishing off paintings that are based on sittings from months ago, but I’ve been bereft of ideas for new compositions. For quite some time I’ve been searching for a new model, with a distinctive, compelling look, that would add something to my compositions. I didn’t know what “look” I was after, and just thought that I’d know when I saw it. This new model had just such a look, and I was absolutely delighted when she agreed to work with me.
The first sitting with a new model is a process of learning how they look under different lighting and in different poses. Each body is different. I prepare beforehand by making small sketches of the poses I want to work through, but until the model is actually lying or standing there in the studio, I don’t know how they will look in each different pose.
During yesterday’s sitting I worked through eight short poses, which are now forming a mood board on my studio wall. They are just the beginning of the process. The next stage will be to develop some of the poses further, doing more detailed drawings. Making changes where the poses aren’t quite working: creating more interesting, dynamic shapes; avoiding boring straight lines. All the time I will leave the “moodboard” there, to offer inspiration for my next compositions. It’s working already, and I’m looking forward to my next sitting. Artistically, I’m in a very different place today than I was yesterday, before I met my new muse.

Sick and Evil

relationships series - beth and nina. oil on linen, 80cmx80cm, study of two female nudes
Just completed in time for Cultivate Evolved

Well, that’s how one of my paintings has been described. Sean Worrall, gallerist and artist at Cultivate Evolved, had to endure an early morning tirade by an angry visitor as he opened up shop on Thursday. This is what Sean posted on his Facebook page:

Well it would appear that Peter’s fine painting up there is “sick” and “evil” painting I (for it was me, Sean, who had to listen to the rather forceful abuse when I opened the gallery this morning) am an “evil sick satanic bringer of bad things” and I should be ashamed to bringing such unchristian lesbian sickness to the eyes of good people etc etc…. Do like a reaction, but he’s not really been paying attention if that one offends him so much….

As an artist who specialises in painting the human figure, I have occasionally encountered some conservatism towards the subject of the nude, and it has limited my opportunities to show my work at some venues. I have also encountered the odd wry smile or grin when I’ve observed people viewing my work, but I have never encountered an angry reaction to my work. In an age when the mass media is filled with sexualised imagery, I find it genuinely surprising that this painting could provoke such a response. Just glad I wasn’t there.