May 3rd, 2017
Some years ago, Emma Butler, one of the directors of the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, had a splendid idea and suggested I run a drawing workshop as part of the festival programme – which I’ve been doing so ever since.
Modelled by comedians, the event began as a life drawing class – with Tom Parry sitting – though since 2014 has focused on portraiture and involved an array of other wonderful sitters, including Mark Olver, Josie Long, Joe Lycett, Henry Widdecombe, Alexis Dubus (as Marcel Lucont), Bec Hill and Holly Burn. This year Ed Aczel and Beth Vyse sat, which, as ever, resulted in some beautiful work.
The workshop is for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners – which always creates a lovely dynamic in the class – and the sitters, who’ve often never sat for a portrait before, always approach it with enthusiasm and do a brilliant job. It’s a highpoint of the festival for me, and represents a few hours of calm in the midst of an otherwise very lively weekend. It also invariably teaches me something new about charcoal drawing and portraiture, or reminds me of something I need to pay more attention to in my own work.
Big thanks to Emma and the wider festival team, the Tabernacle Gallery (whose beautiful studio we use), and to everyone else who’s been involved over the years.
For further information about the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, please see here.
April 16th, 2017
Great to be back with Ballet Cymru in Newport as they work on their new programme for 2017, including productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Light Princess – the latter being the company’s original adaptation of George MacDonald’s 19th century fairy tale, scored by Catrin Finch.
It’s fascinating to see the creative process of dancers and directors experimenting and playing out ideas in the development of new choreography – which, in the case of The Light Princess, is largely informed by the principle character being literally weightless throughout much of the story. Very excited to see this extraordinary piece evolve, and inspired by the energy and inventiveness of everyone involved. It’s looking wonderful.
At the moment my plan is to focus on making small, fairly rapid charcoal drawings on cardboard – primarily looking to capture simple shapes and movement – though I shall probably return to oil painting over the coming month or so.
The shows open in May – The Light Princess on the 19th at the Riverfront, Newport, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the 24th at the Blackwood Miners’ Institute. For further UK tour dates, please see here.
April 10th, 2017
Very happy to be sending out the final round of prints to backers of my Kickstarter project, Painting dance. I still have three portraiture workshops to deliver, which I’m looking forward to, and a couple of canvases I hope one day to finish, but otherwise the project is now over.
It’s been a great experience in lots of ways, and has given me much to think about as I plan the next phase of my work – including continuing collaboration with Ballet Cymru. Huge thanks to everyone involved.
For my final project update, please see here.
March 27th, 2017
Excited to now be represented by Ffin y Parc – a beautiful gallery on the edge of Snowdonia, North Wales – and looking forward to working with them on future exhibitions.
The first will run from May 28th to June 21st this year, and feature a selection of paintings dating from 2007 to the present. I’m currently in the process of taking older pieces out of storage and preparing to show them again, which is a curious experience. Intrigued to see such a range of work hanging side by side.
Please find further details here.
February 26th, 2017
Getting into the final couple of weeks of my Kickstarter-funded project Painting dance, and reflecting on the remaining canvases I want to produce for the series.
The project has involved a great deal of experimentation – both technically, in terms of creative processes, materials and so on, and with regards to poses, picture composition and scale. I’ve run into a lot of problems, but have learned a great deal and developed a much clearer idea about the direction my work will take in the future – which will certainly involve further collaborations with dancers.
Looking forward to producing the final pieces, and to making up the second set of prints to be sent out to Kickstarter backers. Planning to have done this by mid-March.
Photo is from last week, during work on Gwenllian Davies and Krystal Lowe 12.