VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 5/3/2011
American Girl 69cm x 94 cm oil on panel An American girl passing through Derbyshire called looking for modelling work. A professional model, her natural tendency was to assume a classic pose which was not what really interested me. I resorted to one of my favourite positions for the female form which is foetal, defensive and private. This painting is also about composition and rich surface texture. She disappeared before I finished the background… Anna 102cm x 76cm oil on canvas Anna is a fantastic model, physically strong and yet quiet. The pose is unusual and very similar to an etching by Degas which I have always loved. Cellist Amy Langley 180cm x 120cm oil on canvas Amy was an A level Art student who went on to study music at the Royal Academy in London. As a cellist her study piece at university was Elgar’s Cello concerto and the painting was done about that time. I did a series of paintings and drawings of musicians because I felt that there is something special about the face and demeanour about someone who has the sensitivity and feelings required to play at this level. The painting also purposely challenges conventional viewpoints in the depiction of the figure ie. painted from above and then viewed on a vertical surface at eye level as the convention demands. Jana 66cm x 91.5 cm oil on panel A rework of an old painting using a different model. As my eyes begin to fail I find it increasingly difficult to paint likenesses from life but I am still obsessed with the face and the figure. Based on a new face of a Czech girl with striking characteristics, this is purposely painted mainly from memory. Believing that necessity is often the mother of invention, I feel that this could actually be a liberating experience. I also like the formality of medieval portraiture; the unnatural precision and rather surreal depiction of the subject this generates. Recently I have chosen to rely much more on the memory working in conjunction with the subconscious and a more intuitive process of selection. The painting is too fresh at the moment and probably still needs to build up a bit more history. Jenny 91.5cm x 60 cm oil on canvas I have a passion for running dogs. At the end of a portrait commission I was eager within minutes to start some thing else which was more loose. Jenny is a whippet cross greyhound and one of the most beautiful, elegant, psychopathic hunting dogs I have ever known. She always slept behind me in the studio in this position in my mum’s old chair so it was simply a matter of turning the easel round and starting a new canvas. It was one of the most fluent pieces of work I have done in my mature years! I suppose the time was right and I love this dog to bits. It is the sort of painting you never want to sell…. That is until the most beautiful young Irish lady you have ever seen who has an almost identical dog gently persuades you to part with it….. I can hear her voice now. Just like the man, a bit like the dog and an imaginary hare 91.5cm x 76cm oil on canvas Duncan has an excellent head which I had an idea to paint. He did not have much time to spare so the head was painted quickly from direct observation in less than three hours. I also sketched the body quickly. His shape is very similar to my own so I used myself as a model to finish the body. He was horrified that his identity had been defiled with my torso. My dog Bill was very pleased because I romanticized and made him look much better than he actually does. Hares are usually passing at speed when I see them so this one was painted from memory. From the outset I was fascinated with the fact that painted images are on a sliding scale from accurate, objective observations to romanticised memories and I wanted to combine the extremes in one painting. Lady in Black dress 76cm x 60cm oil on panel Andrea, a librarian has a great face with wonderful dark eyes. Louise 91.5 x 120 cms oil on panel Louise is a solicitor, adventurer and long term friend. She is unassuming yet beautiful; a fascinating mix of gentleness and sheer ability and I have tried to use opposites of colour and contrasts to suggest these contradictions. Nehanda 102cm x 76cm oil on canvas This lady is a professional model with a fantastic superior presence. I have painted her three times now with shaking brush. Nude dance 180cm x 107cm oil on canvas Part of the series of paintings painted from above challenging the conventions of how we view images. The carpet and the model were laid on a slightly sloping board and I was somewhere up a ladder so as you can imagine it was a painting fraught with technical problems as both model and carpet were constantly on the move. I eventually fixed the carpet with nails…. Nude Study 120cm x 91.5cm oil on canvas Part of the series of paintings painted from above challenging the conventions of how we view images. For me I can rarely paint a model simply as an academic exercise in figure observation. I always see the model as a real person in a real situation. This lady is a private person and I like the discretion of this sort of pose which somehow pays respect to her. It also importantly touches on the child like vulnerability of any individual by using such a fundamental position. Reclining nude 120cm x 60cm oil on canvas An unashamedly romantic classic image which gives me so much pleasure to paint. Rosie 91.5cm x 60cm oil on canvas A student who is half Filipino and very beautiful but often sad. Running dog 91.5cm x 76cm oil on canvas The first of the series of paintings painted from above challenging the conventions of how we view images. Jenny is a beautiful whippet, grey hound cross who would often sleep on this rug in front of the fire. She would run in her dreams and also assume the position creating a rather confusing image; is she running or is she sleeping. Then faced with the problem, ‘How do you paint this?’ led to some interesting answers. Violinist on a Persian carpet 168cm x 107cm oil on canvas Gita Langley is an ex student of mine and is also the sister of Amy the cellist. She is a superb violinist and like her sister went to the royal Academy of music in London. Again viewed from above and laying on a Persian carpet depicting the Tree of life. A special artist lying on a special carpet….. decorative and romantic but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
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