Studio in Freehaus, Llandudno

July 2nd, 2016

Very excited to be involved in Culture Action Llandudno’s Freehaus Art School this summer, working with students and colleagues, and producing new paintings. The building is a huge, four-storey townhouse, largely stripped down to bare brickwork and exposed joists, and divided up into a dozen or so makeshift studios and two large communal areas. Delivered easels and other equipment this weekend, and will start residency in about a fortnight.

The art school will be open-access and run from July 21st until August 20th, with workshops run by artists with a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. I’ll be an associate with the project, and plan to continue developing the themes and techniques of my recent work with dancers, working with local people.

An exhibition of students’ work will take place from August 26th to 29th, and fellows and associates will show their work from Sept 23rd to 25th.

For further details, please see here.

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Lala

May 5th, 2016

Great to work with Lala (one of my regular models from 2008 to 2011) for a few hours when she was back in Cardiff recently. The kimono was the Japanophile sitter’s idea, and the black background part of a continuing experiment, following on from (still in progress) portraits of Lisa Jones.

Most of my earlier pictures of Lala are nudes, with just a few paintings from the period when I transitioned into working in portraiture, so it was interesting to return to such a familiar sitter a few years on and with more experience in the genre. The result was a quick painting (see Laura 37 in Artworks – Works on panel), which I’m happy is probably a more successful portrait than those I made previously.

Many thanks to Lala.

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Painting Beth Powlesland

April 21st, 2016

Great afternoon of experimentation with Beth Powlesland of the dance company Earthfall. Lots of extraordinary poses, quick charcoal and oil sketches, and fresh ideas for canvases.

Also did some filming, and plan to experiment with painting from those images. Looking forward to developing this work further.

Big thanks to Beth.

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Ballet Cymru

April 15th, 2016

Fascinating to spend yesterday with Ballet Cymru dancers in rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet and Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood. Beautiful and inspiring.

It’s far removed from my usual practice of working with motionless models, though I managed to make some rapid charcoal sketches – mostly little more than notations of line, form and movement, though here’s an example of one of the more coherent images.

Very grateful to all at the company, and looking forward to returning soon.

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Painting Lisa Heledd Jones

February 21st, 2016

Lisa wanted some significant objects to feature in her portrait, so brought a favourite lamp and her grandmother’s woollen blanket to be included in the picture.

Aspects of the colouring in this scene differ from my usual palette, which will be interesting to work with, I think. Similarly, although the composition itself is fairly simple and quiet, arranging furniture in the studio to represent a kind of domestic setting is something I’ve rarely done before, and further adds to the experimental feel of the process.

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