The British Motor Museum Exhibition

An exhibition of my paintings of car plant interiors begins at The British Motor Museum next Thursday 16th August and runs until the end of September. I have a particular interest in innovation, technology, our vision of the industrial future and how these facets of modern life are presented in an ever-changing landscape. The car industry is rapidly innovating and presenting exciting new technologies to the world and my work is focused on capturing these new and significant

Jaguar Land Rover live painting

What an amazing opportunity to spend Saturday painting on the manufacturing floor at Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull as part of their weekend festival. The experience of working from my subject matter in situ was so different to working in my studio. The colours and the structures seemed enhanced and the sounds of the machines and the robots added to the intensity of the experience. I’d love to do it again and spend more time there. In the meantime, I’m finishing the painting o

Jaguar Land Rover

Continuing my series of car factory interiors I have been commissioned to undertake a live painting event at Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull this weekend to celebrate their 70th anniversary. I have already visited the body parts manufacturing floor, a fascinating interior of complex horizontal and vertical structures with some imposing robots and eerie Land Rover skeletons. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of trying to capture the essence of the place in just one day

Bucks Artweeks

It’s been a really interesting experience at my Bucks Artweeks exhibition at Greatmoor EfW this week. Visitors have been keen to see my artistic interpretation of Greatmoor but also showed great interest and enthusiasm for Greatmoor itself. Greatmoor energy statistics are impressive. 900 tonnes of waste are processed each day and the facility produces 27 mega watts of power, 24 of which are fed to the grid, enough to power 40,000 homes or 60% of the houses in Oxford. What

Greatmoor Energy from Waste

I’m very excited that my exhibition at Greatmoor EfW in Buckinghamshire will open this Saturday and be running over 2 weeks. My interest in sites such as Greatmoor has been a consistent theme throughout my work from the recycling facilities in Coventry and Oxford to abandoned cement works, Didcot power station and the production lines at BMW Oxford. I like to take complex structures and make them visually interesting to a wide audience. Greatmoor (Energy from Waste) is an imp

America’s cool Modernism at The Ashmolean, Oxford

This is a beautiful show, with incredible paintings by artists such as Edward Hopper, Georgia O’ Keeffe, Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler all on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago. In the Jazz Age of the ‘roaring’ 20s, and the ensuing Great Depression of the 30s, many American artists expressed their uncertainty about the rapid modernisation and urbanisation of their country by producing work that had a coo

MOMA in Machynlleth

I've just spent a wonderful weekend in Wales and whilst there I visited MOMA in Machynlleth. This art gallery and arts centre is in the ancient town of Machynlleth, the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404. It has a superb permanent collection of work by Welsh artists including Sir Kyffin Williams and a revolving programme of temporary exhibitions that offer an extraordinary variety of work by contemporary artists largely working in Wales. How lucky I was that the

Stanford in the Vale Art Group

I enjoyed my evening at Stanford in the Vale Art Group last week. I had been invited by the group to do a workshop on portrait drawing. I'm keen on teaching this as portrait and life drawing can be extremely challenging. It therefore offers great potential for practice and development. We all think we know how a face looks, but if you don't pay attention to some basic proportional rules you might find when drawing that you place the eyes at the top of the head. However, even

Mental Health Exhibition at Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot.

My painting “Prison Yard” is going on show on Thursday 10th May until Sunday 17th June as part of Cornerstone Art Centre’s exhibition entitled “Mental Health”. One of the aspects that motivates me as an artist involves embracing the challenge of making something visually exciting from the bland, harsh and institutional areas of a city and to this end I have painted the secure institutions Broadmoor Hospital and Bullingdon Prison. However, I also painted these last two places

Oxfordshire Artweeks

I'm looking forward to Artweeks this year. I shall be exhibiting at home for 2 weekends and I will be there throughout. For several years I have found galleries and venues to exhibit my work in but I realised I missed out on seeing the visitors coming to look at my work. This seems to be a fundamental principle of Artweeks, an opportunity for people to see artists in their studios and talk to them about their work. This has to be one of the most rewarding parts of an artist’s

Scale

One of the exercises I like to do with my students is to ask them to draw something that is very small on a much larger scale. This is often quite a challenge especially to students who haven't drawn for a long time. A large piece of paper is daunting and we feel quite exposed at the prospect of working so large. But if you continue to work really small you are not able to represent as much as you can see. Take an object such as the simple screw for example. If you draw that

Making a mark

Watching the Big Painting Challenge on BBC 1 this Sunday I was pleased to hear mentor Pascal Anson refer to mark making and asking participants not to make marks for the sake of it but to make marks with the paint that “mean something”. This is a difficult but important concept to grasp. It is easy to give in to a desire to splash the paint on without really considering its impact and asking yourself important questions such as what colour and which brush should I use? and ho

Drawing has meaning

I am enjoying Andrew Marr’s “A short book about Drawing” documenting his love of drawing and how it helped him recover following his stroke. Like Marr I agree that “drawing has meaning, it immerses you freshly in the planet you were born on”. When I teach I feel real satisfaction when my students start returning after a few weeks of classes with me to say “I look at everything differently now”. It is only when we start to think about committing what we see to paper that we re

Outlets for expression

Another moving episode from the Radio 4 series, “The Art of Now, Guantanamo”. The programme focused on the lives of inmates at Guantanamo Bay and the artwork they have produced. Most of them have, or are serving, long periods of detention without having been charged, and with little prospect of that happening any time soon. Some have been subject to torture methods. Despite this, they have had access to making their own art, which has allowed them to both “hold on to somethin

Sharing experiences through art

I have just listened to “The Art of Now: Dangerous places” on Radio 4. An amazing programme about the bravery and work done by artists living and working in conflict zones. The presenter Errollyn Wallen asks why and what does it achieve. She ultimately concludes. “Every artist asks, 'what’s the point of this, what good can it do?'. Very important questions. They help us work out what artists can do that nobody else can. All your training as an artist only matters if you can s

Drawing means everything

When I’m beginning a new project, it’s often a challenge to know where to start. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of being a painter, but I know the best start is to pick up a pencil and get drawing. Reading an interview in The Guardian with Paula Rego, she holds this view and feels ”You learn so much drawing from life, you have to look so carefully. It’s very difficult to actually see what’s there, the more you do it, the better you get at looking and that’s a discipli