Portraiture with Andy James

Andy James is a remarkable portrait painter and it has been a very special experience to paint under his tutilage. Here is portrait I did of a model called Fola, who is well known at the Art Academy.Fola

The bluebell wood

This was painted several years ago, and the lady who purchesd it has recently been in contact to buy “the lookout”. She sent me a photo to make sure the frame matches reasonably well. I decided to post a copy for you to see. The grey partridge painting called the lookout is an oil about 16″x12″.

The bluebell wood

English Partridges

My friend Brian rears English Grey Partridges in the hope that they may be released into the wild. These birds have become very scarce as a result of changes to agricultural pratice. I have done several paintings of them. here is the most recent one.

The “lookout”

The Portsoken Volunteers again

This is the most recent tonal drawing I have made of my model for final year show. See CO of Portsoken Volunteers.

It is getting there, but not quite right yet.

Subtle Christian insights in Art

Although Rembrandt was a child of reformation Holland in the 17th Century, and despite the fact that he painted literally hundreds of pictures with biblical themes, there is much dispute about whether he was a Christian or not.

In the attached essay, I have explored the question of whether he really understood the deep psychological insights that Christianity offer to the world, through one of his paintings, made near the end of his life. The Return of the Prodigal Son

More on abstraction and nature art

The search for an underlying abstract quality to my work is coming easier for nature based paintings, based on years of sketchbooks, than portraiture, where I am very dominated by the need to get it right.

So it is quite therapeutic (for a neurotic artist that is) to do both in tandem.

So this week I took up an old painting idea based on blackbirds feasitng in a crab apple tree, to try to express the frenzy, and the atomosphere of a windy, and sunny autumn day.

The crab apple raiders

CO of the Portsoken Volunteers

The Portsoken Volunteers is part of the City of London  Home Guard formed in the late 18th Century to defend London against a Napoleonic invasion. This Company still exists today and the Uniform is the same as that used in the time of King George III, though they are now

CO of the Portsoken Volunteers

only deployed for ceremonial duties.

The CO asked me to do a portrait of him for part of my final year’s work, which is rather fun, but will be a long, multi-stage job.

Here is a  drawing I did of him relaxing, in his splendid uniform.

Jean is Interested – the value of critical appraisal

It is a priviledge to have very very talented tutors to look at one’s work. Here is the latest modification to Jean’s portrait.

Underlying abstraction

In the quest to get to grips with how important abstraction is to true expressiveness in my art, I experimented with a painting based on some sketchbook images I made of goldfinches feeding on thistles in my garden on a bright windy Autumn day. In the process, I think I have started to really understand just how brilliantly innovative JMW Turner really was. Not that I am setting myself up as a rival you understand. I have called it “the Charm” after the Victorian collective noun for these birds.

KPMG Exhibition at Canary Wharf

In the summer, I was asked to submit for the above exhibition for Alumni, Staff and Students of the Academy. It is always rewarding to learn when your work attracts some attention, and an impressionistic picture of a trout seems to have found favour with a purchaser. Here is a similar picture I have done recently. I am looking to describe an impression in brilliant sunshine.