Monday, May 16, 2011

Highlights of Peter Browns Solo Exhibition, "Bath Between the Snows"

Pete working on "Beginning of a sunny October day, George Street, 2010

I have been very busy recently preparing for a group exhibition in June at Enid Lawson Gallery- it will be an exhibition of PAINTINGS OF LONDON, 8 - 22 June, 2011
by Chris Daynes, Michael Richardson, Karl Terry and me
. Hence I have had a backlog of posts that are over due.

Pete making his humorous opening speech

This post is one I have been longing to put up and here it is. As you must know I am a great fan of Peter Brown. There are so many painters that inspire me out there and once in a while I love to highlight their work on my blog for readers to see some of the artists that inspire me and why they inspire me. Whatever you do in life, there are always some people you have the blessing to look up to. People who give you belief, encouragement, inspiration and motivation. Peter Brown falls into this category. I love drawing, in fact, if drawings sold as much as paintings, I would only draw, and that's one of the many reasons I got hooked on Peter Brown.

Another great height of the night was meeting Valerie at the exhibition, we've been connecting as painter-bloggers but we had never met until the night of the PV.

About 7 years ago when I happened to see his exhibition at Messums titled, "From Town path to Embankment" -it was all paintings, 55 of them, but then, I could see through the paintings that he loved to draw-it was obvious. Then I later discovered from one passer by during my Bath Marathon that he never painted at first, but only drew for almost 3 years or so. That's what I feel made this guy what he is today. Plein air painting is becoming very popular today but then, no matter how moved one might be at the moment of capturing light in plein air-if it's going to worth the time spent, it must be anchored on good drawing. I end up getting sick of my own work when the drawing is off, so I constantly work on this-hence you see the constant sketching on this blog. When I look at Pete's work I see him drawing every thing with paint and brush- it's almost second nature and the way the paint is laid, is spontaneous and sporadic in flow, that you feel the boiling blood of drawing, drawing, drawing- running through his veins. I am not saying it has to be all technical and firmly meaured by meticulous mark making. But Pete's work reminds me of how Herman Du Toit, PH.D described Burton Silverman's drawings in The Intimate Eye, he said, "Consequently Burton's work never stoops to decorative effects or seductive mark making. The honesty of his portrayal sets his work apart as a sincere exploration of the human condition, model by model and subject by subject-by one who is human and intrinsically invested in the process"

Pete and Adebanji

Pete personally sent me by post a catalogue of the works for this exhibition and you can imagine how honoured I felt to receive it and also to be invited for the Private View of the exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath. So what I have done here is to give those of you who can't get to Bath a taste of what was on show and also for those of you who can make it, to do so before the 2nd of June.

Cross Section of the exhibition on the Private View Night

Hope you enjoy the remaining pictures below-they are self explanatory and speak louder than words.

The snow in this scene, I heard from one of the onlookers at the PV, could be something from the 1800's if Pete didn't put the traffic light in!

Snow scenes captured at thier best, I went to this corner of the gallery and I felt cold! BELIEVE ME!

MY BEST PAINTING OF THE SHOW-in the catalogue Pete recorded, "I am not a great letter writer. The post to me is bills and, if I am lucky the odd cheque. I'd love to know what the elderly lady was posting, risking her neck in the frozen snow"
I love this piece so much because it is too true to life, yet without much detail but a faithfulness to the scene, he produced the exact way the sunlight scores across the snow surface on a sunny day in winter! Refreshing and amazing!

A down to earth confession of an experience that many an artist has had to taste at one time or another.

I once painted from this spot for a lady who gave the painting to her husband as a birthday gift-it's a wonderful scene from Belvedere and Pete makes me "Bathsick" when I see this piece. This one has tremendous quality to the light.

I have been to this scene many times myself but how Pete has managed time and time again to capture the light and beauty of such a common place remains a mystery.

He says here, "In 1993-94 I bought a sketchpad, and charcoal and started drawing. I did not care whether it was "Art" or not-my only reason and drive was from my heart"

These two paintings are from exactly the same spot, but the goal of the plein air painter is all about capturing the light. One was captured at mid afternoon and the other at 4pm. What a difference the change in light makes to a scene.

Watch out for my next post which was watching a demonstration by Simon Davis at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

Special Quote
"You will come in contact with a lot of people who can impact your efforts as you work on achieving your dreams-some in a negative way.
Here are five types of people you are likely to encounter:
REFRESHERS-They inspire your dreams and energize your talents
REFINERS- They sharpen your ideas and clarify your vision
REFLECTORS- They mirror your energy, neither adding nor subtracting from it
REDUCERS-They try to reduce your vision and efforts to their comfort level
REJECTERS- They deny your talent, hinder your efforts, and impede your vision"
-John C Maxwell from his book, "Talent is not Enough"

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The 400 year old Mulberry Tree, Lenses Abbey, mixed media, 8" x 10", 2011

There's something that fascinates me about trees and sometimes I can't really explain what makes me love them. Maybe one of the reasons could be the animated features of the trunks and branches, especially the ones of those that are very old and have stood the storms and winds of life.

This particular tree stands in front of the Lenses Abbey in Abbey Wood and some photographers reckon it was planted 400 years ago by King James I, men. You can't really appreciate this tree in the summer but in the winter it's leaves are all gone and it's grand old beauty shows.

The 400 year old Mulberry Tree, Lenses Abbey, 10" x 8", Mixed Media, 2011

This piece was done mainly with gouache with additions of watercolour and coloured pencils.

Special Quote
"Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson