Monday, 19 September 2016

Upcoming Workshop in Kent: 'Still - Life' 21-22 October

This 2-day workshop at Creek Creative will tackle the enduring subject of the Still-Life but as always there will be twists and challenges along the way. 

I have found in my still-life work that I seem to be able to tell what objects are important to me by what tends to stay in the painting as it develops'  Richard Diebenkorn

In my own practice, 'Still-Life' is rare -  I was probably traumatised by having to paint my first ever still-life on my art college interview!  In the early nineties though I painted collections/arrangements of pebbles,stones and shells, fused with landscape. Appropriately, with the workshop in Faversham, these paintings from the early nineties, are about nearby Whitstable, a favourite place where I lived during my time at Canterbury College of Art. 

'Tankerton'  40x50cms

'Tankerton' depicts standing on 'The Street', the strange shingle strip that is revealed at low-tide, looking back towards a pink-beach and green slopes of Tankerton.  

'Whitstable'    120x60cms    oil on wood

Looking towards the Isle of Sheppey, carved out of the paint, my favourite objects grouped in the foreground. 

detail - 'Whitstable'

'Black-Beach'   80x80cms   oil on wood

I feel 'Black-Beach' is the most successful of the series, taking the ideas further and more spatially interesting, escaping the 'tabletop'. This painting won second prize in the Observer Hunting Art Prizes in 1993. I think there is a compliment about the painting here:

Brian Sewell writes in the Observer Magazine 10 Feb 1991:

Of Ashley Hanson’s ‘Black Beach’, winner of the second prize, one of the grander judges complained that the idiom eluded him and that in it he could see nothing better than the tarred surface of a London street – to which the response of the real grandee of the occasion, ‘It is a compliment to the painting that it leaves you critically disarmed’

'Pebble/Shell/Stone'  20x60cms  oil on wood

I remember sculptor John Gibbons liking these....

'Beach'  180x60cms  oil on paper

The 1st year painting that kept me in art-college, when i finally let go of photographic imagery. I think I have this rolled up somewhere- maybe... it's oil on paper!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

New painting - 'Crane'

'Crane'  40x30cms  oil on canvas
My 'demonstration' painting from the Polruan course. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they are a beginning....I had to wait a few days for the paint to settle down - to avoid it sliding off- before I could have a proper look on the wall..

It's done: love the paint, colour and the space. There is both a flat-space and a hierarchy of receding space. The pink shape establishes 'foreground'. The small purple marks at the top of the canvas, and the layers of paint tucked behind each other, together (accidentally) establish 'distance'. It says Polruan to me.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Freedom in Painting in Polruan, Sept 16 Course - Report

Gill Corden

We have just held our second Freedom in Painting course in Polruan, Cornwall - congratulations to the artists for responding to the challenges that were set and producing such a striking collection of paintings.


Polruan - Drawing the Chapel on St.Saviours Hill

The course started with drawing- in Polruan from multi viewpoints, moving through the landscape, and in Fowey, a short ferry-ride across the river. 

The artists were asked to follow a discipline in their drawings to provoke ideas about composition and design and of course possibilities for their painting. 


In the studio the artists explored colour-mixing, colour-theory and the process of abstraction, with reference to many of the painters of the St.Ives School, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Alfred Wallis etc. Over the next few days,the paintings emerged, the artists sourcing ideas from the analytical and the emotional response to the landscape, the drawings, the studies and the exercises transformed with imagination and invention. 

The painting-course was a great success - the landscape was inspirational, the artists worked extremely hard and bonded well, often continuing in the evening with a pint and a meal after work.  Now we have some new members in the Freedom in Painting Group


Gill Corden

Kathleen Alberter

Kathleen Alberter

John Robson

Cathy Hilser

Cathy Hilser

Christina Scawin

Christina Scawin

Georgie Hadley

Georgie Hadley

Julie Morrish 

Ashley Hanson


'Horizons in painting are getting broader'   John Robson

'Ashley gave us so much - energy, knowledge and passion for art'    Christina Scawin

'Enjoyed all - good demos - good everything!'   Julie Morrish