Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ouseburn Open Studios 2013

This weekend sees the return of the much anticipated Ouseburn Open Studios. The event offers a rare opportunity to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the regions most creative artists and designers. It's also a great chance to talk about commissions, and there's always a wide variety of work on offer to buy.

Once again, I'll be opening my studio doors on Level 5, at 36 Lime Street Studios, right in the heart of the Ouseburn valley. There's a fair few steps to make it up to my floor, but I'll make it worth your while. I would love it if you could come along and see my recent selection of paintings and prints.

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November, 10am - 5pm
Admission is free
Level 5, 36 Lime Street Studios, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PQ.

30 / 36
Thirty Years of Making It In The Ouseburn Valley - An exhibition celebrating thirty years of 36 Lime Street Studios.

During this weekends Ouseburn Open Studios, 36 Lime Street will also be celebrating its 30th year. As the oldest and largest studio group in the North East, 36 Lime Street have planned a special 30 year exhibition, telling the story of the building and our developments. The theme of the exhibition is 30, and all past and present tenants of the building have been invited to produce work measuring 30 x 30cm. You may even spot a couple of my paintings amongst them all. The exhibition will run from Saturday 23rd - Sunday 1st December.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Festival of the North East

Bridges of the Ouseburn

The festival of the North East celebrates the regions innovations and creativity with a programme of events throughout June 2013, involving arts, heritage, creative industries, museums and engineering. As well as showcasing the North East, the festival also heralds the arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels, which begin a 3 month residency at Durham University.
During the 4th weekend in June, I'll be giving a demonstration of my working practice, alongside other 36 Lime Street artists in the 36 Lime Street Gallery. I've been working on a thumbnail biro sketch of the many Bridges of the Ouseburn, which I plan to paint during the gallery opening. Painting the Ouseburn Valley and it's distinctive bridges lends itself perfectly to the Festival, with its heavily industrial past, giving way to the creative industries in the present. I also wanted to celebrate the Glasshouse and Byker Bridges, both of which have spanned the Ouseburn for 135 years.

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June

Biscuit Factory Spring Exhibition

This month sees a welcome return of my paintings and prints to the Biscuit factory. Hard to believe it's been 10 years since the Biscuit factory first opened and I first started exhibiting with them, giving me a well needed platform, just as I was starting off as an artist.
The new collection of paintings, of both acrylic and oil, are also a mix of landscape and cityscape. Although I'm best known for my cityscapes, a brief spell living and working in Northumberland, inspired a more rural direction in my painting. And like my cityscapes, the landscapes focus on manmade structures in the open landscape, of isolated farmhouses and the network of geometric walls stretched over hillsides. If you would like to see headland II plus the other exhibited pieces, do pop into the gallery.

26th April - 12th July

The Late Shows 2013

Starry Tyne - Jim Edwards

The legendary culture crawl returns to Newcastle Gateshead in May. This years Late Shows is even bigger and better than before, with record numbers of venues opening their doors after hours.
Once again I'll be opening my studio from the top floor of 36 Lime Street. The studio has changed considerably since last years Late Shows. I had only been in studio for a week, and it was extremely dilapidated. I've made huge changes to the space over the year, helping to create a better functioning space to paint in.
I hope you can come along to see how the studio has changed. It's a great opportunity to come and watch me paint a cityscape, whilst discussing my working practice over a glass of wine. There will also be plenty of original paintings and prints on the walls, along with the new limited edition giclee print of Starry Tyne.

Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2013
7pm until late. Free Entry

The Art Tour 2013

Summer Road to Bamburgh

I first took part in The Art Tour 2 years ago, when I was based up in Northumberland. It was a great opportunity to have an open studio event with other rural artists across Northumberland and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, I missed last years event, as I had moved back to Newcastle, and I didn't think a city location could take part. But I was corrected, and I shall be opening my studio doors at 36 Lime Street. I would love it if you could come along and view my work, and even catch me painting a few new pieces.

36 Lime Street Studios
Newcastle upon Tyne

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Ouseburn Open Studios

There's just a few days left till the start of this years Ouseburn Open Studios. Beginning this Saturday 24th November, the creative venues of the Ouseburn open their doors to the public. The event offers a unique chance to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the regions most creative artists. This year will be my first from 36 Lime Street, where I've been based for past 6 months. I took on an unworkable space on Level 5 in May, and set to work making huge structural repairs, removing and replacing mezzanines. Creating a functioning space thats inspiring to work in, and large enough to display my paintings and prints. I would love it if you could come down this weekend and take a look at my new studio, and see my recent paintings and prints. My work will also be featured in the gallery, as part of the 'New Blood' exhibition, which will showcase the newest members to 36 Lime Street. Other artists in the exhibition also include Sarah Blood, Laura lancaster, Stevie Ronnie, Laura Johnson, Theresa Easton,and Rachel Lancaster. I will be exhibiting You Were Here, a series of painted crab claws. Hope to see you this weekend. Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th, 10 - 6pm, free admission.

New paintings

I've been working on lots of new cityscapes and landscapes, inbetween working on on going commissions. I've just finished 2 Edinburgh cityscapes, which were meant for the Edinburgh Art Fair, but weren't finished in time. The first is From Arthurs Seat, the other of the Grassmarket. With Quayside Night, I've revisited some of my classic takes of the River Tyne at night. Other Road to Bamburgh is the second in a series of paintings, capturing the journey towards the coastal castle. Last month I also began working on a series of small oil paintings. A challenge, as I'd never worked in oil before, but an interesting departure from the all too familiar acrylic paint. I will be showcasing 18 of these small oils, of cityscapes and landscapes, at this weekends Open Studios. Other work will also be available.

New prints

I have several new limited edition giclee prints to add to my portfolio. I've battled with the composition of 4 Newcastle Bridges for years, in sketch form. Always challenged to get the composition just right, to show the Swing Bridge without being hidden by the High level bridge (in the foreground) . I'm finally happy with the result. The original painting is now in Australia. My latest print, (being printed right now), is Summer Road to Bamburgh. I sold it at last years Ouseburn Open Studios, when I was exhibiting with Mushroom Works, but only recently got it back to get a good print of it. It's one of my favourite paintings, and much thanks to Steve and Shirley for letting me borrow it. Other recent prints include Ouseburn Dusk, Revisited and 2 Newcastle Bridges, where I wanted to return to some of my early, favourite views of Newcastle. The originals paintings can be found at the Balman @ Discovery Museum exhibition.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ouseburn Open Studios

24th & 25th November. The last weekend in November see the creative venues of the Ouseburn open their doors to the public. The Ouseburn Open Studios offers a unique chance to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the regions most creative artists. This will be my 7th year taking part in the Ouseburn Open Studios. previously I've been based at the Mushroom Works, but this will be my first from 36 Lime Street. 36 Lime Street is the oldest and largest studio group in the North East, housing over 40 artists, makers and designers. I look forward to being a part of this years event, and hope you can make it. It would be great if you can come down to my new studio, and see my recent paintings and prints. My work will also be featured in the Gallery, as part of the 'New Blood exhibition, which will showcase the new members to 36 Lime Street. I'll be taking part alongside Sarah Blood, Stevie Ronnie and Laura Johnston. Saturday & Sunday, 10 - 6pm. Free admission.

Studio @ 36 Lime Street

I moved my studio to 36 Lime Street five months ago, just in time for the Late Shows (the late night cultural event around Newcastle). The space needed a ton of work doing to it, and within the first month, I had already stripped it back. Stage 1 involved removing an unsafe mezzanine floor, fixing plasterboards to walls and ceiling, and replacing all the electrics. The studio's much more spacious now, since removing a whole floor and knocked four rooms into one, but it still doesn't function as well as it could. So in a couple of weeks, I'm commencing Stage 2, which involves constructing another smaller mezzanine. This change will bring order to the space, and help create a better working environment, aswell as give me plenty more room. There's also the addition of a pool table, which helps when I'm taking a break from painting. It should all be finished in time for this years Ouseburn Open Studios.

To Wooler and Back Again

An Exhibition of Landscapes and Cityscapes by Jim Edwards and Natalie Bell. Mushroom Works Gallery Exhibition from 20th - 28th October 2012. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 - 4pm. By appointment from Monday - Friday. Preview 19th October, 7 - 9pm. Last year, Jim and Natalie returned to Newcastle, after a year spent in Northumberland, which inspired a more rural direction in both their painting. Living on the edge of the Cheviots allowed them to immerse themselves in the landscape, to fully experience and explore the changing environment. "Through the changing seasons, it was the agricultural changes to the landscape that were the most dramatic, and seemed to make my surroundings come alive. I was inspired by the contrast between the flat angular farmlands and the gentle roll of the hills, yet they flowed seemlessly together." Natalie "Being accustomed to the complex structures of a cityscape, it took some time to interpret the open landscape. I became drawn to the man-made structures in the Northumberland landscape, of isolated farmhouses and the network of geometric walls stretched over hillsides." Jim Following their return, they have reconnected with the city, the experiences of last year have inspired them, and allowed them to appreciate both environments from a new perspective. This exhibition is a showcase of their new work, and a visual record of their experiences.

'Northern Artists' Exhibition

Balman gallery @ Discovery Museum.
Opening weekend Saturday 13th October, 10 - 5pm. Meet the Artist between 12 - 2pm. Sunday 14th October, 2 - 5pm. VIP preview 18th October, 6 - 8pm. Balman Gallery is pleased to be opening their new gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, Balman Gallery @ Discovery Museum. The first exhibition , "Northern Artists" features some of the best artists from the North East including Jim Edwards, Mary Ann Rogers,Gavin Penn, Natalie Bell, Sue Moffit and Alistair Lovett. I'll be showcasing my recent paintings and will be discussing my work, during the opening weekends 'Meet the Artist' event. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

New Objects - Crab Claws

Continuing the nautical theme, I've also been painting Crab Claws. The work stems from a series of portraits I did on Snail Shells called You Were Here. I was interested in how the shell represents home and protection, but also identity and a sense of self. The empty shell becomes a marker, a reminder of what was here and what's been left behind. Painting the surface of the shells emphasises the anatomy and structure of the crabs external skeletons, and redefines their purpose as objects for display. They also make for a very satisfying surface to paint on. That is after I've drilled holes in them, and left them outside for a few months, till nature hollows them out.

New Painting

I took a break from painting cityscapes, between working on commissions, and decided to paint some fish. Alot of fish. The novelty soon wore off after painting fish no.25, but stuck with it. It's hard to make out the image from this thumbnail, but the original has more clarity. We all Float Down Here is painted on a 31 x 31'' canvas, and available to buy for £1800. Prints are also available. For those wanting to know, there are: 2628 fish, 1 shark, 14 sea snakes, 1 eel, 6 jelly fish, 3 octopi, a message in a bottle, 1 car tyre, 1 life ring, 2 squid, 2 rays, 24 starfish, 1 fish skeleton, 2 seahorses, 1 fairground fish in a bag, 2 molluscs, 1 turtle and 1 human.

New Prints

I've been working on a new range of limited edition Giclee prints, which include: Towards The Tyne Bridge, We All Float Down Here, Langdale Pikes II and Last Light on Hills Over Windermere. Printed on Breathing Colour Elegance Velvet 300lb archival paper. Print run of 145, image size 16 x 16'', £265 framed. I painted Towards the Tyne Bridge in 2008 and sold it the same year at the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair. It's one of my favourite paintings, and I've been kicking myself for not getting it printed. I recently got in contact with the owners, who kindly let me borrow their painting, to produce the limited edition prints. Thanks to the Hughes family for their help.
The originals of Langdale Pikes II and Last Light on Hills Over Windermere are available from the OCG Gallery in Ambleside. Hopefully I will have more prints over the coming year, including London, Edinburgh, York, Low Newton By the Sea, Alnmouth and New York. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Late Shows

The Late Shows, NewcastleGatesheads legendary free culture crawl, returns for its 6th year on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May 2012. This year I'll be based in my new studio at 36 Lime Street, whereas previous years I had a studio at The Mushroom Works. It's a great opportunity to see my new work space and discuss my work over a glass of wine. There are quite a few flights of stairs to get to my studio on the top floor, but I'll make it worth your while. Perhaps I should run a piggy back service. Collaboration is the theme at 36 Lime Street, as the resident artists invite you to step into their studios, and contribute to some communal work. As part of the event, I'll be working on a large canvas painting of Newcastle. And I'm inviting anyone to come along and help me paint the cityscape. To add there own mark of colour. Who knows, it may help me see Newcastle in a different light, using a different colour palette. Hope you can join me in a painting.

New Studio - 36 Lime Street

Following last years move to Wooler, then back to Newcastle, I'm moving studio once again. Staying in Newcastle, I'm relocating to 36 Lime Street in the heart of the Ouseburn. I've spent 8 good months at Kingsland Church Studios, but ready for a change, and to put some roots down in a new space. It's a great big studio that needs alot of work, from repairing the roof, removing a floor, and eventually putting in a mezzanine, but it's got great potential. I'll be moving in over the next couple of weeks, fixing the place up, and seeing how the studio inspires me to paint some exciting new work.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

NewcastleGateshead Art Fair 2011

                                                                         In a few days, this years NewcastleGateshead Art Fair takes place at the Sage, Gateshead.  I will be representing myself once again, as Jim Edwards Gallery, showcasing my latest paintings and prints.  For this years event I've decided to change my location to Stand P18.  Instead of being at the top of the stairs at the Sage, I have moved further round the first floor, towards the bar.  Could be a risky move.
It would be fantastic if you could come along and see my work.  I have several tickets for the VIP Preview Night, as well as the weekend.  Do get in contact if you would like me to send you some invites.  Hope to see you there.
Opening times
Thursday 29th September, 6 - 9pm (VIP evening)
Friday 30th September, 9.30 - 6pm
Saturday 1st October, 10am - 6pm
Sunday 2nd October, 10am - 5pm

Back to Newcastle

After 8 months living in the wilds of Northumberland, I've finally come to my  senses and decided to return to Newcastle.  It was well worth the experience, and interesting to see my work taking a more rural direction.  But now it's a welcome return to the cityscape.
I'll be moved back next week, but I've already set up my new studio at Kingsland Church Studios.  It's a sister studio to my old place at the Mushroom Work, set in  an old church in the heart of Byker.  If you would like to arrange an appointment to visit my new studio, do get in contact:
Kingsland Church Studios
Priory Green
Newcastle upon Tyne

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New studio

Forgot to mention, I have a new studio up in Wooler.  I think I've already mentioned, I'm no longer at the Mushroom Works.  I tried to work from home, but the children drove me mad.  And I kept finding biscuits, and wanting to play Mariocart on the Wii.
The studio has 2 separate rooms to work with; a nice, tidy space to display work and frame stuff, and the other room to splatter with paint.  If ever you're in the Northumberland area, you're more than welcome to pop in and have a look.  The address for the new studio is:
Studio 25
Glendale Business Park
NE71 6QP

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Budding Artists

I recently got an email from Mrs Thompson, a primary school teacher from Stephenson Memorial Primary School in Wallsend.  She told me all about the enthusiastic and talented 7-8 year old children in her class.  They've been studying my paintings, and produced some amazing work inspired by my style.  She wasn't wrong.  
I received a large envelope at my studio, full of fantastic children's artwork, it absolutely made my day.  Some wonderfully observed views of the Tyne bridges.  Great use of colour using pastels and/or felt tips.  
My paintings are all about working from memory, how I remember the recognisable structures in the city, similar to how I used to paint as a child.  I came across an imagined cityscape I did when I was about 6 yrs old, full of skyscrapers and the sky crowded with planes and parachutes, [mental note: must include more parachutes in future paintings of Newcastle].  I could tell I enjoyed myself, looking at it now, and not worrying about it looking truthful or credible.  I'll add it to the blog later in this week.  When I paint, I try to hold on to that level of childish enjoyment, where I can play with form and colour, and not concern myself too much about accuracy.  And this really comes across in these childrens pictures of Newcastle.  Mistakes and alterations can be the best parts of a painting.  
The compositions were all familiar, and it was interesting to work out which paintings of mine they were based on.  A couple of pictures really caught my eye.

I was particularly impressed by the Great Rorth Run picture by Georgie Teeney, and the amount of work gone into it.  An amazing eye for detail and exceptional line drawing/mark making.  And I know from my version how exhausting it was painting all those runners, so I'm very impressed by the young artist.  Even managed to add Mr bump!  Can't quite tell if Spiderman was also added.  I love the structure captured on the towers of the Tyne Bridge, very abstract with hints of cubism in the angles, loved it!  A really interesting perspective on my own version.

My second favourite has to be the Fishquay by Jack Allenby.  He has thoughtfully captured the boats and buildings.  Interesting angles, and a fabulous use and understanding of colour.
All the Newcastle cityscapes were good, but in particular these two budding artists.  I'll be sending them a couple of limited edition prints for their great work.

Last two commissions of the Tyne Bridges

Managed to finish these two paintings before last weeks deadline, I just forgot to add the finished results to the Blog.  Unimaginatively titled, the paintings 3 Tyne Bridges and 2 Tyne Bridges, were sent to a corporate art company in Liverpool. Ready to supply a new pub in St Marys Place, Newcastle (back and forth!) called The Five Swans, after the sculpture in the Civic Centre gardens. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Two commission before the end of the week

Having a mad flap trying to finish a couple of paintings before the end of the week.  It's a commission for a new bar opening in Newcastle.  The brief, to paint two views of the River Tyne, loosely based on a couple of paintings I did a few years ago.  I've finished the 3 Bridges (on the left), just got to finish the 2 Bridges (on the right).  I'll upload the finished paintings to the blog in a couple of days, fingers crossed. Must paint faster!   

Monday, 21 February 2011

Waters Edge IV

Been based at the Mushroom Works for almost 6 years, but in a weeks time I will have cleared out studio 9 for good.  It's been a great few years there, made some brilliant friends, and had a perfect space to paint in.  Will certainly miss the school bell rung every tea break.  My work certainly benefited from being based there, as well as the numerous solo and group exhibitions, Ouseburn Open Studios and the Late Shows.    

I'm finally getting back into painting, following my move to Wooler.  I finished 3 paintings for the Balman Gallery, a follow up to some work I produced for the 'Scapes' Exhibition.  Though a departure from the recognisable cityscapes, these new paintings still reference mans shaping of the landscape, in this case the rural environment.  these compositions of fields and farmhouses, inspired partly by my early abstract Grid paintings.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Moved to Wooler

Had my fill of the city for a bit, so I've decided to move an hour north of Newcastle, to a little town called Wooler.  The kind of space I've been wanting for the past 10 years, back to the country.  It's taken a week to get settled, slowly trying to get back into painting.  Been working on a three new paintings for the Balman Gallery, based on this painting, 'Waters Edge I', I did last year for the Scapes exhibition.  
Been struggling with internet access since arriving.  BT wont fix the line till March 25th, idiots.  So was relying on  wifi in the local cafes, but there was only so much talk of the weather I could take, from all the old dears sipping tea.  Finally got a mobile dongle sorted, so I have brief internet access.  As long as I can respond to emails, get ontop of the blog, faff around on facebook, and listen to music on Spotify whilst I paint.  Heres the playlist I'm listening to today: 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

London buses I

Latest commission of London buses.  Acrylic on canvas (small, forgotten the exact size, will find out).

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Sydney Harbour

I've been putting the finishing touches to a commissioned painting of Sydney Harbour.  Commissioned by someone who purchased the canvas of Tower Bridge, I painted for the Affordable Art Fair several years ago.  The scale of the London and Sydney paintings are very different, but I think they'll work very well together.
I've been painting a smaller version of the Sydney harbour Bridge for many years, the Tyne Bridge.  Very similar in structure, with slight variations in shape, as well as scale.  The city in the background differs greatly from that of Newcastle.
The painting is finished, apart from a need to varnish it, to give the canvas protection and to reinvigorate the colour and contrast of the acrylic paint.  But there seems to be a shortage of artists varnish, everywhere.  Hopefully one of my sources will track some down, before the commission is due to be picked up any day now.
Following a lot of interest in the painting, I've decided to do a print run of the Sydney Harbour painting.  I've gone for a Giclee print, image size 16 x 16''.  Printed on 300lb archival paper.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

20 x 20's

As usual, I got carried away making 20x20's for this years Ouseburn Open Studios.  A yearly tradition at the Mushroom Works where the artists and designers create works of art, 20x20cm for the humble price of £20.   An absolute Christmas bargain!  It gives me the chance to clear out old work, by mostly chopping it up, whether a cityscape or an abstract painting.  There's quite a selection of themes this year, from fragmented cityscapes (which you might be able to piece back together if the other sections haven't sold):


... to several concrete pieces, based on my abstract "Grid" paintings:


Then there's the return of the skidding toy cars.  This started as a framed piece I made for my brother, as a birthday present, several years ago.  A nice reminder for him, of the times I used to paint his toy cars with emulsion paint.  I thought I was making them look better, I think I did:


I've also put some of  my paint encrusted aprons to good use.  Too heavy in paint to keep using/wearing, they've also been given the chop:

And finally, the framed prints of my thumbnail sketches, which are always a popular favourite.

I think I've got 129 20x20s on display for this years Open Studios.  Hopefully most will sell, fingers crossed.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Ouseburn Open Studios 2010

26th - 28th November, next weekend!
It's come to that time of year again. The last weekend in November, sees the return of the much-anticipated Ouseburn Open Studios and this year’s weekend promises to be bigger and better than any before! The studios in the Ouseburn Valley are home to a wide range of artists and designers. This year there are eight venues opening their doors to the public, located across the breadth of Ouseburn Valley. I have a studio at the Mushroom Works, and I would love it if you could come along and take a look. This weekend gives you the opportunity to talk to me about my work and learn what goes on behind the studio doors. It’s also a great chance to talk about commissions and there is always a wide variety of work on offer to buy, adding some relief to the tedium of Christmas shopping. And don't forget out special 20x20 for £20 offer! 

Original artwork that won’t break the bank! Now considered an Open Studio tradition, Mushroom Works will be offering the fantastic opportunity to purchase artworks (measuring 20cm by 20cm) by leading North East artists for the special price of £20.
Perfect for unique Christmas gifts!

Friday 6pm - 8pm (preview night)
Saturday 10am - 5pm / Sunday 11am - 4pm
Admission is FREE 

one of many 20 x 20's on offer

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

"Scapes" exhibition at the Balman Gallery

   I've busily working on some paintings for the latest exhibition at the Balman gallery in Corbridge.  The exhibition which began last weekend, is showcasing the varied and diverse interpretations of "Scapes", including land, sea and urban.  The artwork on show ranges from traditional to abstract, by leading regional and national artists.
 Whilst I'm probably better known for my cityscape painting, this new body of work will concentrate on imagined, abstracted townscapes.  I'm interested in the relationship between manmade structures within the landscape, whilst removing familiar landmarks that would normally hint at a particular location. 

 The exhibition runs from 23rd October till 24th November.  


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sydney Harbour

Next commission, once the NewcastleGateshead Art fair is out of the way .... and an exhibition at Brighton Road Studios ('In the Beginning')....... and an exhibition at the Balman Gallery ('Scapes').
And for once, it's not the Tyne Bridge, but the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  

Another two commissions

Just putting the finishing touches to a long run of commissions.  Perfect timing, as the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair is next weekend, and I've got some new paintings to complete for the event.  If you would like tickets for the event, let me know, I still have some spares.  The VIP evening is on Thursday 30th September (6-9pm), followed by Friday (11-6pm), Saturday (10-5pm) and Sunday (10-5pm).
Anyhow, this is what I've been working on recently, a recent London commission, acrylic on canvas 107 x 54cm.

Another commission I've been working on lately has been for a new NHS primary care centre in Blaydon, which also incorporates a leisure centre. I was commissioned to paint the Staiths in Dunston, whilst incorporating other Gateshead landmarks (Angel of the North and Scotswood Bridge).  Painted on canvas, 1 x 1m.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Recent commission - Westminster

Been running a bit behind on the blog. Here's what I've been working on recently, a new commission of Westminster, painted on canvas 130 x 70cm. The brief was to include the Houses of Parliament, Westminster bridge plus Battersea Power Station in the background. Painted in the warm hues I do, with the receding light of a warm summers day. I was also requested to paint a black cab below Big Ben. Quite pleased with the result. Now on to my next London Commission of Tower Bridge, more to follow soon ...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Great weekend at the Late Shows

Well, the Late Shows is over for another year, and what a great weekend it was. We had alot of people come down to the Mushroom Works, and thanks to everyone who was able to make it down. It was a perfect excuse to drink far too much wine, two nights in a row, and to drunkenly slur unprofessionally at prospective buyers.
The theme for this years event was 'Weird and Wonderful' and we were asking you to let us know who or what is the most weird or wonderful thing [or person] at Mushroom Works, with 2 stickers. I think the winner of a sticker collection for the weekend had to be the unusual woman in a jar, who was accompanied by a man on stilts. Nick James was also there doing his fire breathing.

I got a few stickers of my own, not just for the pieces in the gallery, but also for work in my studio. I got more 61 Weird sticker to 40 Wonderful stickers, is that a good thing to get more weird ones? Probably. Whilst walking in the Ouseburn yesterday, after picking my daughter up from school, I came across a 'Wonderful' sticker on a drain. It was a wonderful drain, and someone obviously thought so! Interesting to think that a drain was chosen over all the work on show at the Mushroom Works. Great weekend, could've done with one more night.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Weird and Wonderful

Just a few more days till this years Late Shows takes place, and the Mushroom Works once again opens its studio doors for an evening of entertainment and several glasses of wine. I'm looking forward to opening my studio doors, drinking far too much, and attempting to talk (possibly slur) about my work.
The theme of this years event is 'Weird and Wonderful', which should be interesting, or a little strange. Guests will be entertained by fire breathers and a lady in a jar - which I'm very curious to see. The exhibition in the gallery will follow this theme, and the artwork (alongside the lady in the jar) will be judged as to whether its weird or wonderful. I think there are prizes, I hope so. Along with a few of my paintings, I've also included a couple of oddities from my studio.

Firstly there's a huge slab of acrylic paint, that has been building in size for years. Whenever paint becomes too dry on my palette or becomes dirty, I scrape it off and add it to this big slab, rather than it going to in the bin. It's important to think how much paint goes to waste, and try and put it to a better use. Well, at least give it a purpose. Eventually, would be interesting to chop it in half and see the different striations of colour, that have built up over the years. In the meantime, I'm just going to let it grow (very slowly). It seems to take on a form of its own. A very slow sculpture. Surprisingly heavy as well. It's positioned on a plinth alongside my paintings, and they seem to complement each other. Not only from the matching palettes, but it also gives the paintings an origin, linking to the process.

My final bit of weirdness in the exhibition, is my unusual collection of washers. Been obsessively collecting metal rings off the road for years now, like finding treasure! Most of the collection picked up on my route to my studio at the Mushroom Works, down St Lawrence Road. Passing numerous garages on route, who seem to part with alot of spare parts, rubbish and oil on the side of the road. Once again, I might as well give some purpose to the waste on the roads. For a while I was collecting cardboard as well, but managed to break that (slightly autistic!) habit.
Spent years wondering what to do with it, and now its 4 metres long, stacked together. Thought it was about time I revealed it. Simply arranged on the plinth, it comes across quite snake like, as the washers taper from large to small. I thought of it more like money being stacked, which eventually collapsed under its own weight and height. I used to love counting out the loose change from my piggy bank as a boy. Stacking it up, the uniformed bands of metal. Similarly with this, there's something really curious about the different bands of rusty and shiny metals. Occasionally a flash of colour.