The stages of completing a commission10.12.19 #Art Thought 12
Most people imagine that when I get a commission, the only thing I have to do is paint - But there’s so much more to it than that. To complete a commission, I have to approach painting differently. Usually I paint what I’ve seen on my own travels, where inspiration strikes first hand and the artwork follows. When a client approaches me with an idea, the artwork has already been produced in their head. It’s my job as an artist to match that vision, and breathe life into it.
The brief that I get given at the start of the commission develops into a finished piece of art, and that process has a lifespan of its own. When I’m creating a new piece, I have to have some kind of experience with the subject that I’m painting. If it’s a place, I try to visit it. If it’s a family pet, I try to meet the animal. From the time I start a project to its completion, I spend hours discussing the artwork with the client - from what it means to them, to what kind of artwork they envisage on their wall.
One of my collectors has ordered a painting for his son who attended Durham University, and comes home this Christmas. I visited Durham recently to get a sense for the place. I spent a few hours exploring, and walked across the main bridge next to the campus to try and capture life in Durham as my clients son does. Now “all” that is left is to put that inspiration onto a canvas.
I thoroughly enjoy doing paintings that have been commissioned by my clients. Even despite doubts and nerves that it won’t live up to their expectations, it is all very rewarding when it comes together and puts a smile of the face of the buyer.
Van Gogh Commission06.12.19 Art Thought #11I recently got another commission from a repeat collector. This time I’ve been asked to do a piece originally painted by Van Gogh, but in my own style. I’m a huge fan of the founding fathers of impressionistic art, and to say I’m excited to get started on this is an understatement. Last year, I travelled across Italy and France exploring the homes and works of Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. I’m looking forward to taking on more commissions inspired by the work of these great artists.I have 6 commission art pieces I plan to finish before Christmas, and after that i'm ready to try my hand at the same pieces painted by Gogh/Monet/Picasso. If there's an artwork you admire, then feel free to call/message/email with a no obligation enquiry.
Little Angels Charity Event26.11.19 Art Thought #10
On 24.11.19 I attended a charity fundraiser at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, raising money for ‘Little Angels’ – A great cause to support orphans in Southeast Asia with education, special needs, medical costs and more. I was very humbled to see how many people had come together to offer their support.
I had donated an original acrylic on canvas painting from my Kite series to be auctioned, with the money raised going directly to the charity. I’ve had a lot of success with the kite series – it even got me noticed by Paul Smith Design (who now represents me, along with Saatchi.) Regardless, I was still so nervous that nobody would bid! The auction itself was very exciting. The bidding started at £500, and after a few tense minutes it closed at £1750!
The piece was bought by a very generous physicist - Dr Shahid Sandhu. The charity was founded by his sister. He has also asked me to do a few commission pieces for his home. I loved the event, and I’m definitely going to be doing it again next year.
My Art Travels (3/3)24.11.19 Art Thought #9
On the way back to Paris, I stopped in Arles where Van Gogh used to live. I sat outside the yellow café that inspired him to paint Café Terrace at Night, in mid-September 1888. I also visited the asylum in Saint-Rémy de Provence where Van Gogh voluntarily confined himself, after cutting off part of his left ear.
On returning to Paris, I visited the Musée de l'Orangerie – an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings from artists such as Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Rousseau. The museum is most famous however as the permanent home to eight large Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet. I even got a chance to see some pieces from his private collection, and it was magical.
I then travelled to Giverny to visit the beautifully restored home of Claude Monet, the founder of French impressionistic painting. Whilst exploring his famous gardens, I realised that he never painted his pond in autumn. So, I did my own series in the same impressionist style as Monet. I made 5 paintings inspired by the same water lilies and pond that inspired him, and they have all been sold.
Musée de l'Orangerie: https://www.musee-orangerie.fr/
Monet house: https://fondation-monet.com/en/giverny/monets-house/
My Art Travels (2/3)22.11.19 Art Thought #8
My family caught a plane from Nice, France whilst I continued my art pilgrimage in search of the places that inspired the greatest artists.
Whilst in the South of France I visited the coast and was inspired to paint the Antibes seascape (perhaps the same inspiration that struck Picasso when he painted the Antibes coast.) I went to the Picasso Museum (The Musée Picasso, formerly the Château Grimaldi) which was built upon the foundations of the ancient Greek town of Antipolis. The collection of art there was amazing.
I also stopped at the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur. Pierre Auguste Renoir bought the pale stone farmhouse house in 1907, after being inspired by the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Like others, he had fallen in love with the clear colours and the quality of light of the south of France. There are 14 paintings by Renoir on the walls. A landscape sits in his son Claude’s room, placed beside the window with the same view that inspired Renoir to paint all those years ago.
I then drove on to the Rosary Chapel (La Chapelle du Rosaire) renovated by Henri Matisse. He began the project when he was 77, and spent more than four years working on the chapel, its architecture, stained glass windows, interior furnishings, murals, and the priests' vestments. It was fascinating to see his work, and his use of just three colours: an intense yellow for the sun, an intense green for vegetation and cactus forms, and a vivid blue for the Mediterranean Sea, the Riviera sky and the Madonna.
Picasso Museum: http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en/
My Art Travels (1/3)21.11.19 Art Thought #7
It’s an amazing feeling to be able to combine my passions – art, travel and family. The three together leave me with a never-ending reel of inspiration. I’ve travelled to many places, exploring both the land and the culture. They say that if you want to find the most beautiful destinations, follow an artist’s inspiration. The influence of the places I’ve travelled to can be seen in a lot of my paintings, especially the landscapes and seascapes. I plan to document my travels in the future, to help guide those searching for the same beauty that I’ve found.
I’ve visited many places in the UK, from the Isle of Skye in Scotland to the Lizard, Cornwall on the South Coast. We’re blessed in the UK to have such a vast range of forestry, seascapes and natural beauty.
Last year I ended up travelling to places in France that previously I’d only read about or seen on television. We did a road trip through three countries starting from Dover all the way to Venice. We travelled via Giverny, Paris, Geneva, Milan (and a quick detour to Lake Como which inspired a landscape painting) Venice, Florence, the Italian Riviera, and the French Riviera.
On the border of the two Riviera’s is Dolceacqua, a small town famous for its castle (Castello di Dolceacqua) and medieval stone bridge. We walked along this bridge, the very same bridge that inspired Monet to paint it in 1884 after spending a winter here.
Isle of Skye: https://www.isleofskye.com/
The Lizard: https://www.visitcornwall.com/places/the-lizard
Chester Art Fair20.11.19 Art Thought #6
I was nervous for my exhibition at Chester, but I needn’t have been. I sold more limited edition prints here than at any other exhibition. I met a wonderful Irish family, and art enthusiasts from Amsterdam and Hastings, amongst other places. We all talked about our shared passion, and I came away from the art fair feeling like it had been a huge success. I can’t wait to exhibit there again next year!
Recently I donated a painting from my Kite series to an auction at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, raising money for the wonderful charity 'Helping Little Angels.' I mentioned this to a couple at Chester Art Fair, who invited me to donate a painting to another event that will be held in the coming months. I'm so thankful that my art is helping to raise money for such important causes.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Black Tie Event13.11.19 Art Thought #5
After a busy few months of exhibiting, I’m excited to be doing something a little different - in 2 weeks I’ll be attending a black tie fundraising event for a wonderful charity called ‘Helping Little Angels’ (raising money for orphans and underprivileged children.)
There’s a variety of entertainment lined up for the night, including a charity auction. I’ve donated an original acrylic canvas from my Kite series, with all of the proceeds going to the charity. This series is currently on sale through Paul Smith Design, Saatchi and my website.
The event is being held at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The organisers have been kind enough to reserve a space for me to exhibit throughout the evening. I’ve never attended a charity event, and I’m looking forward to the change of pace.
Windsor Contemporary Art Fair Preperations08.11.19 Art Thought #4
I’ve done many exhibitions this year, both in the U.K. and abroad. But this one holds a different significance - my first installation. For those of you that don’t know, an installation is a 3D piece of art, as opposed to a standard 2D painting or drawing.
And this installation, ‘quirks’ is a testament to my son who has autism. Every night, he takes his cars to bed with him. It amazes me how we all find fascination in such different things. His reasons are his own, but it brings him comfort. This story within a frame captures the art that is his unique personality.
My comfort and passion is painting. The Windsor contemporary art fair is yet another testament to that - each of my paintings represents a story, and each painting has a different personality.
Birkenhead Park, Wirral04.11.19
Birkenhead Park was a major influence on Frederick Law Olmsted's design of Central Park, New York. The two parks are closely linked and during a visit to Birkenhead Park, Doug Blonsky (CEO of Central Park Conservancy) referred to it as the ‘father park' to the famous Manhattan green space. I was there last week to prepare some studies for a series of paintings, and this is the first of that series.
01.11.19 Art Thought 3The magic of autumnAutumn is the season with the most beautiful pallet. On every walk that I go on, I'm taking in the colours around me - pictures that haven't been painted yet. If I could, I would travel the world staying wherever it's autumn. When i'm not painting water and seascapes, my pallet is full of oranges and browns. There is so much inspiration in nature.When I visited Claude Monet’s house in France last September, I realised he never painted his pond in autumn. Since then, I have done a series of Monet like work of his pond in autumn. Every single painting that I’ve painted on that subject has already been sold. I am going to exhibit a couple of pieces in Windsor and a few pieces in Chester Art Fair, based on the Monetesqe theme.
Following the Manchester Art Fair, I met 3 art collectors who all wanted to commission me to do some pieces for them. What I love most about getting a commission, is hearing the stories that are attached to the art that the client has in mind. They all have a purpose - to capture a memory.
One gentleman for example, has asked me to paint a lane in a field identical to the one his wife used to walk in as a child. He plans to give this to her as a gift at Christmas. The images to the right show the art at different stages in the process.
Another man has asked me to do paintings of Durham and Oxford university as gifts for his two sons, who will be returning home to visit family at Christmas. This way, they'll always be able to look back on their uni experiences.
I've been very busy working to meet all the deadlines and create the perfect piece of art for each client. I plan to have everything completed by mid-December.
Manchester Art Fair 201911 - 13 October
This was my first time exhibiting locally at the Manchester Art Fair. It was a great event. I sold a couple of original paintings, and got 3 commissions through meeting art lovers at the event. The venue was lovely too, and I look forward to exhibiting here again next year.
26.09.19 Art Thought #2Salvador Dali
While we were in Santa Monica, myself and my art agent Leon Jeffrey were lucky enough to meet some amazing people from all walks of life. I was blown away by a story from one such gentleman, Luciano.
He used to live next door to Salvador Dali – the (now) well-known Spanish surrealist painter. However at that time, Dali wasn’t a famous painter, and would often bother Luciano for food etc. On one particular day, he took an expensive tie from Luciano and proudly signed his name across it – Salvador Dali. Although he meant it to be a thoughtful gesture and an investment, Luciano was not at all happy and when Dali left he binned the tie!
Decades later, we could laugh over coffee together at Luciano’s hasty mistake. The moral being: Never throw away something an artist has signed for you – It may just become worth something!
25.09.19 Art Thought #1The Lizard
I recently visited The Lizard in St Ives, Cornwall and was blown away by the clarity of the water. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world - I even prefer the sights here to those in the south of France.
The turquoise waters have inspired me to start a new series focusing on the seascape in Cornwall.
Santa Monica TOAF (5-8 Sep)The Other Art Fair 2019
My most recent exhibition at the TOAF 2019 was a wonderful success. I sold 8 paintings and 2 limited edition prints from my charcoal bull series.
I also had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life that had one common interest – art. I feel like the people in America have a special appreciation for artwork in general. Councils are looking to spend money on public art and *fingers crossed* I’ll be part of it!
- Abstract Blue seascapes on canvas
- Charcoal bull drawings
- Impressionist landscapes
- Colourfull kites
Why Do I Paint ?
It is an urge. A strong impulse to draw and do a visual dialogue. Expressing how I feel at the time about a subject that would have been on my mind for days, weeks, months, even years. And suddenly after a lot of soliloquy and procrastination I would pour my intuition on to the canvas or paper with a lot of energy in short bursts. I can't stop till I am drained of the energy burst that was bubbling. I have to identify with the subject, feel it and in some cases, I have to have touched, felt or visited the landscape or been around the animal. There is always an emotion or feeling that lingers on, even if the experience was years ago.
For example, the bulls and bisons series took birth from early childhood memories. The impressionist works were done after a pilgrimage to claud monet's house in Giverny, France last year
Even the kites series - As a kid, I loved flying kites. You feel a sense of achievement working against the wind manoeuvrIng the direction height etc . I still fly kites with my kids now, more often on the beaches of north west England. Indian kites are fascinating . The paper they are made of, the bright happy colours . It is an art form in itself - the making of the kites , the design . Yes I have read and seen the kite runner too ha. I am fascinated with the shape, form and colours and the feeling that goes with it. I have started a series on kites . Paul smith Interior Design London has recently started selling my works and the first few paintings they have chosen are kites.
Let me share with you the way a painting takes birth. On my morning walks in Wetherby near river Wharfe is where this inspirational picture was taken. I have always been fascinated by water and reflections of nature in water. Claud Monet used to have a floating studio (a boat on a river in Giverny, France ). I intend to paint this river scene on a canvas with acrylics in impressionistic style and it will be exhibited in Santa Monica California USA at The Other Art Fair by Saatchi . I do some times take pictures and then work from a picture .i find it easy to work inside rather then outdoors.
I shall keep you posted of the development of this series on rivers and reflections series #wetherby #yorkshire #uk #england #painting #instaartist #paintingoftheday #saatchiart #picture #nature #artist #prints