Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Arrived in London!

My paintings have arrived safely in London - hurrah!

The first selection will be on display at the LONDON ART FAIR, which runs from 21st - 25th January at the Business and Design Centre in Islington.  My paintings will be on Stand 52 with Duncan R Miller Fine Arts.  

Here is one of them, painted on the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland in August this year.  It's at Rinagree, between Portrush and Portstewart, and you can see the faint shape of southern Ireland in the distance.

White Flowers on the Clifftop, Rinagree (Oil on linen, 20 x 30)

The next group will be in my solo show in February.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sacred Heart Primary School Paintings

I thought you might like to see some of the paintings done by pupils of Sacred Heart Primary School in Dungannon in County Tyrone.

As part of a farming topic, they painted pictures in a variety of materials including paints and pastels, using my picture Farm Cottage with Harebells near Cushendun.  My painting is of a scene in Northern Ireland about 65 miles away to the north of where the school is in Co Tyrone, on the road to Torr Head from Cushendun on the Causeway Coast.  But obviously it must look like a pretty familiar scene to the children at the school.

Here's my original painting..

Farm Cottage with Harebells, Northern Ireland (Oil on linen, 32 x 32)

And here's the children's paintings.  

It's striking just how very different and individual they are, even though they're painting exactly the same thing.  Which just goes to show you how much a painting reflects the character of the artist.

This one has a lovely sense of pattern and composition and order.  It's very calm.

This one has beautiful, bold brushwork.  Just look at that amazing yellowy-green mark wiggling across the top golden section.  Howard Hodgkin, eat your heart out!

Summer - Howard Hodgkin

This one is really accomplished and lively, with a beautiful sense of animation and colour.

Howard Hodgkin -In Tangier
(1991, Silkscreen)

This one is great as well, because it not only has a really interesting, more subtle colour sense, but it has that amazing bold swipe straight across the middle.

Howard Hodgkin - Red Sky at Night (2001-11)
© Howard Hodgkin, courtesy Gagosian Gallery
photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

This one has turned out very differently because it is made using crayons, and has paid painstaking attention to the pattern-making two-dimensional elements of the original.

This child has also picked up on the pattern-making, but to quite different effect.  The final picture is beautifully abstract.

This one looks as if it has been made by printing or sponging, and is all house with some abstract landscape elements.

This one is all about careful control and order.

Another one using pastels, which emphasises the coloured line, but also has a joyous, bounding, energetic feel about it.

This looks as if the picture has been made using pastels, and then the paper has been soaked, so that the colours have softened and run.

I'd just like to say very well done to everyone, I'm so impressed!  Thank you for choosing to look at my painting in your lesson.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Goodbye Paintings!

Much wrapping in bubble wrap and labelling of paintings today, plus yards and yards of sticky tape...

My consignment of work for the London Art Fair in January and my February solo show 'Journeys Through Landscape' at Duncan Miller's was parcelled up today!  Phew....

Here's all the parcels lined up, waiting for the van from Aardvark the art carriers to take them down south.

I hope they have a safe journey.  They'll be arriving in the gallery there next week - what a relief!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Auction Frenzy!!

Sunday 14th December sees a positive frenzy of Bridgland activity at McTears Auctions in Glasgow.

Up for sale are four - four!! - paintings of mine, all in the Scottish Contemporary Art Auction.

One you'll have seen before - 
- but the next three were all sold at McTears back in 2008, and presumably purchased by the same person.  Lovely to see them again, and all looking as good as new.

So we have this rather nice oil on linen painting of Poppies in a field in Suffolk near Walberswick, which sold back in 2008 for £1200.  Now, as Lot 1886 (and the first one in the sale), its estimate is £1500-2500.  Here it is in its original hand-gilded silver frame, and is oil on a linen canvas, not on panel as described in the auction catalogue.

 Poppies and Nettles, Sudbourne, Suffolk (Oil on linen, 24 x 26)

Next is Lot 1985, Study, Lochan the Campsies, which sold in 2008 for £360 (estimate now £400-600).  The frame is also hand-gilded, but is in a colour called 'plum and moon'.

Study, Lochan the Campsies (Oil on board, 6 x 6)

Lot 1988 is the same size, but the cream gesso frame meant that it sold for only £300 in 2008, and now has an estimate of £350-550.

Study, Late Afternoon Sky over Farm, Perthshire (Oil on board, 6 x 6)

You know the routine - bids are available online, and you can follow the auction live on your computer as it happens.

It just goes to show - you can buy a painting, get the pleasure of it for many years, and then sell it on and possibly make some money at the same time.  

Hang on - where did I go wrong...?

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Last of the Solo Show Paintings

I've just been finishing off the last of my solo show paintings this week, plus submissions for next year's RSW (Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour) exhibition.  

It has been, as usual, an epic journey.  When I start to wrap all the framed paintings, ready to send down to London, I realise what a marathon it's been, as the rows of parcels mount up in the studio.

However, I'm pretty pleased at the work I've got together for the show, which opens on Friday 13th February 2015 at Duncan R Miller Fine Arts, St James's, London.

Here's the final couple of paintings in the collection.

 Moon over the Sea, Cromer (Oil on linen, 16 x 16)

Westminster at Night (Oil on linen, 12 x 12)

Catalogues will be available for the show, so if you'd like one or an invite to the preview on Thursday 12th February, then drop me a line at the usual contact email address.

Monday, 24 November 2014

International Artist

A strange parcel arrived on Saturday, delivered by Postie (as he signs himself on his cards).

Well, it wasn't a parcel, more of a sack.  An international sack from America.

Inside the sack was a box of these.

It's the December/January 2015 100th edition of International Artist magazine.  Where they go 'INSIDE THE STUDIOS OF THE WORLD'S BEST ARTISTS.'

And turning to page 82, I found this - me!  In Scotland!!

In fact, I was on pages 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90 and 91.  Ten pages!!

There are three different workshops demonstrations involving composition, texture and patterns in my landscape paintings, resulting in three different paintings - Avenue with Trees, Hampstead Heath, The Sea, and the RGI prizewinning painting Eastbourne Pier.  The entire article is possibly longer than my undergraduate dissertation!

However, I'm really chuffed with the result.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Big Daisy Painting Sells for Surprising Amount Considering It's By A Woman

A new world record auction price for a painting by a woman was set yesterday.  

£28.8 million was paid for this top-notch floral piece by Georgia O'Keeffe.  Originally estimated to fetch around £9.5 million, two keen bidders fought it out, smashing her previous record of a mere £3.9 million set in 2001.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 (1932)

You may think this is a lot of money for a painting - and it is, although Jimson Weed has been to market twice before, achieving nowhere near the new record price – it sold for £620,000 in 1987 and £625,000 in 1994.

But in the art market, being a woman artist is bad news - the plain fact is men sell for more.  The art auction record is £90.8m for a Francis Bacon piece.   

Now, there are simply more artists who are male.  Lots of competition.  You could argue that that might make women's art more desirable, being rarer.  But no.  So why the discrepancy?  Is it sexism, and the market just values female art less?  Or that women don't have enough relevant things to say?  Or they say them in ways that male purchasers (because it's mainly men buying) can't identify with, ie. big daisies?  Women's art tends to be smaller, more emotional, less  in-your-face.  That would tend to suggest that market forces are telling women that their sort of art is less appealing, less marketable, less sellable.  Women - know your place.  Or is it that women just don't make good art?  Daisies are just a bit rubbish.

Anyway, the interesting thing about this painting is that it's being flogged off not by a private seller, but by the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The 17-year-old museum decided to sell three paintings from its collection of 1,149 works by the artist. Before the sale, its director, Robert A Kret, told the New York Times: “The museum holds half the artist’s output throughout her life. But still there are gaps that need to be filled.”

Selling your best exhibits when there's a finite supply is a bit odd.  O'Keeffe died aged 98, but a lifetimes output of around 2,500 artworks over such a long career isn't that much.  Artists don't retire, so I make that around 30 paintings a year.  What on earth was she doing the rest of the time??

But by selling three of their stock, the museum is not only trading up, but is increasing the profile and kudos of O'Keeffe in the art market.  Smart.

Or maybe they've decided to invest in some decent stuff by men...?

Read more on women painters in my blog HERE.