This is my Art site, my profile page is the same as my Arsenal blog, GunnersoreArse, that’s because I can’t work out how to make a new one more specific to this blog, investigation needed. It may be a discussion blog, it may not. I’m not really sure how it will develop, but please do leave a comment and I will reply. I’m a fairly tough old bugger with regard to my work so can take and accept criticism if it is constructive. The following paintings are my efforts from the last four years plus a couple of earlier works, as and when I make more paintings I will post new pages, but at the moment I’m going through a thinking period.
I’m basically a self-taught artist, I have always been able to draw well, I just needed to learn painting techniques, which I mainly did from books. I originally started with watercolours but have gradually moved to oils, and now predominently acrylic on canvas and paper. I have been exhibiting regularly since 1981. My very first show was at the Islington Public Library gallery, it was a selection of paintings of Islington cityscapes and was a sell out, with Islington Council buying several pieces for display in there public offices.
I then went on to exhibit in several different London galleries including the Markovitch in Maida Vale. My paintings are now in many countries, from the UK to the USA. Then a move to Brighton in 1990 saw my work take on a different perspective. Having mainly painted watercolour landscapes and city scapes, I moved into figurative work, concentrating mainly on the female nude. This subject took off in Brighton, surprisingly many paintings of nude women being bought my gay men. I wasn’t complaining, it was a very productive period and my sales went through the roof.
I started to dabble with acrylics, thinking because in was a water medium it would be an easy transition from watercolour. The reason for the change was an urge to work on a larger scale. Many of my watercolour paintings were a maximum size of 80cm x 60cm, but I wanted bigger, so work on canvas was the only option. However, the move to acrylic wasn’t a success, I was still thinking as a watercolourist. So my urge to work on a larger scale was put on the back shelf.
It wasn’t until I moved to France permanently in 1999 that I finally found the answer to my problems with acrylic. And it came from my move into oils, it was this medium which showed me how to use acrylics. It was quite a revelation, and I haven’t looked back. These days I move between the three mediums, watercolour for when I out and about in France, small landscapes and village scenes, oils when I have the time and patience to wait for the medium to dry between coats and acrylic, the perfect medium for the impatient
I then got interested in doing a series of paintings on the same size canvas, 100cm x 100cm. The square format interested me because perspective is lost with such a format, so it was a challenge to increase perspective in an exagerated way. This then led to doing work ‘after’ famous artists, Picasso, Seurat, Monet, Rodin and Manet. This has been a very productive period which has also incorporated humour into my work, a process I have found extremely satisfying. Exhibitions have continued in the south of France and interest in my work has grown gradually and is now at the point where I am often approached to participate in exhibitions.
Sexuality is often depicted in my work, an ongoing interest in how artists in the past and present depict the subject has been the main motivation, painters such as Egon Schiele and Lucien Freud are of a particular interest to me. Rodin apparently had a whole collection of erotic sketches which he’d produced, some quite pornographic. This is a brief history as to how my creativity has progressed, a journey through the joys and pleasures of putting paint on paper or canvas, a period of learning from trying, making mistakes and learning. A process which has developed along with my personal development, and a process which has also helped me to develop as a person.
I need to crop that last image. Acrylic has become my preferred medium over the last 4 or 5 years. It’s a good combination of the benefits between watercolour and oils. What I really enjoy is the intensity of colour and the ability to over paint and glaze previous colour easily and quickly.
The above painting is part of a series of work I completed whilst staying at a friends on the Cote d’Azur, near St Tropez. I often used to sit at this window, drinking wine or pastis, sketching and painting. For me it was the ideal life of a painter.
The above painting is a typical watercolour that I was producing in the 90’s. I painted it in situ on a lovely sunny summers day in July 1995. I’d produced three or four small watercolour sketches in the morning and then under the shade of a large tree, I’d eaten lunch which consisted of some local goats cheese, ham, rillette and a baguette, washed down with half a bottle of Cotes du Rhone red. I then had a small nap in the shade but was woken up after about 45 minutes by an American couple. “Are you selling those paintings” they asked, I replied that yes, It was possible. And pointing to one they asked how much I would accept, I thought about it for a few seconds and then said, 400 francs. (about £40) The guy immediately reached for his wallet and handed over the 400 francs and took the painting. Now I was awake I decided to do the major painting and the one above is what I produced. It was a lovely day for an artist and the painting shows, I think, how relaxed and creative I was feeling. More to follow!