November is a busy month for me. I was fortunate to have 3 small art pieces selected for the 2016 ING Discerning Eye exhibition taking place 17 – 27 November at the Mall Galleries in London, SW1. In addition I have been asked to do an artist demonstration at the Friends and Members evening on the 16th November. As there are quite a number of processes involved in my work, I had to think long and hard as how to achieve this and make the most of this opportunity.
I have decided its best I take a ‘Blue Peter’ type approach where I have various pieces ready at different stages to work upon. This takes away the necessity of demonstrating the computer and digital aspects of my work which whilst important to my process would make rather dull viewing. Also at times, as with most artists, my working can become extremely messy. However I don’t think doing this in a smart gallery, with people with drinks milling about would be advisable either.
Hence the necessity to get cracking on my work at different stages. The pieces that were selected for the exhibition were essentially about bits of the urban environment, buildings, trees and weeds coming together in a kind of urban collage, using my mixed media processes. I wanted to carry on with this idea of using my urban and every day surroundings as inspiration.
I recalled this fantastic exhibition at the Royal Academy years ago by a Danish Artist called Vilhelm Hammershoi. Austerity, limited tonal palettes, glimpses of a person from behind or side on sitting or standing looking out a window or walking from one place to another, interiors of houses, more specially bits of a room, simply focusing on the space, light and shadow. The works are understated, quiet, celebrating the banality of the everyday.
I decided to do a modern take on this, using my own home and family, but with a slight twist. Yes, I used a limited palette but rather than the neutral colours that Hammershoi employed, mine are much more vivid. I also included singular people in my works going about their business, but in a contemporary environment, such as using a computer, or wearing headphones. I also focused on bits of my home’s interior such as corners, the walls, landings and hallways, emphasising the space, light and shadows.
This of course I did using my own mixed media processes. Starting with photography as the first instance, then digitally simplifying and playing with the photographs until I roughly get the image that I want to eventually paint and draw upon on canvas or board. I display a couple of the digital images here. My plan for the demo is to have a number of pieces at various stages to give a flavour of what I do. Wish me luck.