Tuesday, 14 July 2015

'Black Beach' 1991

'Black Beach'    60x60cms   oil on wood   1991

It's about time I put a painting up - 'Black Beach' won Second Prize at the Hunting Art Prizes, back in 1991, presented by Sister Wendy.  The painting went to Australia shortly afterwards, one of the girls who worked in the Mall Galleries where the exhibition was shown.  If you are out there please get in touch.  Still looks strong, one of my best pieces, I worked on it for nearly a year. Every mark belongs, a still centre, almost a still-life in a landscape. Beautiful blacks, all made. Innovative - I remember cutting and rolling/removing paint around the edges to make the frame- obviously influenced by Howard Hodgkin.   In the Observer, critic Brian Sewell commented that the painting  'looked like the tarred surface of a London street'. Still not sure if that's a compliment!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

'2 Figures' - June, Freedom in Painting Workshop

Sue Cavanagh's painting

We were delighted with the response to Ashley's latest Freedom in Painting workshop at the Sculpture Studio, Canterbury Christchurch University, with another full house. As always there were new ideas to explore and this time, using two different life-models, on alternate days, each drawing and painting had to contain -  '2 Figures', with all its possibilities of narrative.The challenge was to create a strong composition in each piece, with a variety of standing, lying and sitting poses.

The first morning was spent drawing our first model Sharon. With a mixture of traditional life poses and inventive exercises the challenge for the artists was to go beyond analytical life studies and look for ideas for painting. After lunch it was time to get down to painting with some longer poses and referencing the drawings from the morning session. 

Well worth  a photo David Carnegie!

The possibilities for painting were further explored on day two with the introduction of our second model Louise. After an intense group drawing session, each artist had the opportunity to work individually with Louise, repeating  a particular pose they needed for their painting. The artists were free to compose their composition of '2 Figures', using identical or different poses with one or both of the models.

The final session was spent refining the paintings without the model, followed by an invaluable, in depth critique of the paintings. The work made over the two days was very exciting and as always  there was a striking diversity between each artists interpretation of  '2 Figures' . Below is a small selection of some of the work made - before Ashley's IPhone ran out of battery!

Penny Watts Painting

Deborah Pugh's Painting

Jo Eden's Painting

David Carnegie's painting

We really hope that those of you who attended, found the concept interesting and worthwhile. Thank you for signing up and a big thank you also to our two models Sharon Smithers and Louise Hughes, whom Ashley really enjoyed working with. 

Look out for our next, Freedom in Painting workshop at Canterbury in December - 'Red'.

Here are a few comments about the workshop:

It was very helpful. Jumped me way out of my comfort zone, lots of inspiring exercises, great models, interesting, pacey, exploratory, got lots of new ideas. Thank-you very much Ashley.
Jo Eden

I wanted a course that encouraged freedom of ideas/colours/paint- technique and was very happy with Ashley's approach. I will definitely continue to use his ideas and feel much braver about taking risks!
Susie Rotberg

It gave me the confidence to make composition with more than one figure and creating narrative. Thank-you for the very constructive feedback; each person was treated as an individual.
Margarita Hanlon