Just for the pleasure of Art

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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. Β 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.

 

Two women running on a beach: (after Picasso) 100cm x 100cm: 2011. Acrylic on canvas

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.

 

Winnie became very excited when he finally saw the honeypot: 100cm x 100cm: 2012. Acrylic on canvas

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.

The Mistral or Eve and Eve: (after Michaelangelo) 100cm x 100cm: 2012. Acrylic on canvas

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

Dreaming of Van Gogh: 100cm x 100cm: 2011. Acrylic on canvas

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.

The Kiss (after Rodin) 100cm x100cm: 2013. Acrylic on canvas

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.

Thank God it’s Friday: 100cm x 100cm: 2011. Acrylic on canvas

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.

Still life with Fruit: 50cm x 30cm: 2008. Oil on canvas

Searching for Matisse: 120cm x 100cm: 2009. Oil on canvas

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.

Church at Senechas (Cevennes) 80cm x 50cm: 1995. Watercolour

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 Β£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!

20 thoughts on “Just for the pleasure of Art

  1. NB
    You are a very talented chap. You must be living the life of Riley in a beautiful place and making a good living…..finding inspiration wherever your gaze may come to rest for a while must be such a satisfying trait……I known a few people who could never be happy because they aspired to the unachievable….one said she would never be happy if she didn’t become a Hollywood star….

    I’m trying to get into photography and already I observe my environment in a different way. I try to find inspiration in things I ignored in the past, for example, tree trunks and branches…..

    I’ve , thoroughly enjoyed your works this morning. Now off to support my daughter who is campaigning against distraction of ancient woodlands here in old blighty….

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  2. ha ha , I’ve found you, just discovered the difficulties of running two blogs. I thought you had commented on GunnersoreArse LOL πŸ™‚

    Many of my paintings now are based on life experience. πŸ™‚

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  3. Love your quirky work. Sorry if I lack arty terms.
    Your bear, did you see the film Ted, I think you would enjoy it.

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  4. NorthBank, is it possible to get a catalogue of your work? I like your work, will probably not be able to afford anything, but still would love to have a look. πŸ™‚

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  5. Where`s the Wenger one ?. hahaha
    Right `69er…..this is what I want from now on !…..something hidden in your paintings ( for all I know, you may already do that…seen a few fag boxes ! ) and you`ve guessed it……something to do with Arsenal !, it could be a programme on the table, Arsene`s wallet !, the clock end clock !, Girouds cock ! ( is the canvas big enough ? )….anything !, I demand it !. hahaha ………you can tell I`m no art critic, but I like what I see !. πŸ˜€

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  6. arnie

    The problem these days I use my laptop with all my paintings. Send copies to galleries and if I visit a gallery I just take my laptop and show them my work on that. So no need for catalogues these days.

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  7. Welcome Gaz and thanks….. I must admit, I never ever thought I would meet a Manc who could appreciate Art πŸ˜€

    btw…. smileys aren’t banned on this site…. πŸ™‚

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