Joss and I have just this week moved to a new studio on Quonians Lane, Lichfield. It’s a wonderful space, filled with light and beams that still show the chisel marks of the sculptors of Robert Bridgeman and Sons who used this space to create ecclesiastical sculptures in the 19th century. Their works can be seen a stone’s throw away on the front of Lichfield cathedral.
We’re in the historic heart of the city here. The building we’re in was built as a medieval barn in 1520 and housed a girl’s school, the very first in the city I believe. Before that, in the 13th century the site was owned by a house of Cluniac nuns. The water cistern was at the end of the lane, a place where Lichfeldians met to discuss the matters of the day and I can sit in the wide bay window where I paint and still watch the business of the city happening all around – a wonderful thing for a painter fascinated by street-life.
Right now we’re still unpacking, I’ll post some pictures once we’re set up. The studio will be open from 14th March. If you’re passing, feel free to pop in and say hello. We’ll put the kettle on.
I’ve had lots of enquiries about whether I make prints of my work. It’s a new area for me as I’ve always been unsure about the capacity of prints to capture the subtle changes in colour that my work relies on.
Never the less, I went ahead and commissioned a limited (no more than 50) run of prints of my submission painting ‘Into the day’ from a specialist printer who uses the best technology available, and the results are wonderful. I have one on my wall at home.
These signed, numbered prints are 21 inches (54 cms) by 18 inches (46 cms) including mount. They cost £57.12 (including packaging and first class recorded post). If you’d like to purchase one, just drop me an email to [email protected] or call on 07833 735048.
One of the joys of my job is meeting the people and seeing the sights of so many new places. It’s one of the reasons I love commissions, as I get to explore parts of the UK that I may never have seen before.
In addition to commissioned work, I’m putting together a collection of work for an exhibition at Artifex in March next year, and I’m also off to London this week to attend the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year exhibition at the Mayfair Gallery of Clarendon Fine Art on 6th December. I’m looking forward to meeting the other semi-finalists there, and being able to congratulate again the finalists Jen, Allan and Greg.
For someone who loves a street scene a visit to London is a great opportunity to observe street-life.
Two new works arrived with Artifex, a few days ago. The first titled ‘Al fresco’ is off to its new home. The second ‘Daybreak rain’ is still available as a write this.
Finally, I’ve been contacted by an international art magazine who’d like to feature me in an issue next year. They want a full page portrait shot of me so I may have to get Joss to give me a prune as I have more beard than face at the moment! It’s cold and a beard keeps your chin warm when painting in the great outdoors (that’s my excuse anyway).
Yesterday Joss and I drove to Uppingham, Rutland to drop off three new works to Peter Barker Fine Art. If you’ve never visited this gallery it’s genuinely one of the best I’ve ever seen, filled with work of a jaw-dropping standard.
To be represented by Peter is a dream-come-true for me, not only is he a seriously talented painter in his own right, he has an eye for truly beautiful work. It’s a jewel-like space with works that just glow with light and talent.
While we were there we fell in love with a work by Midlands painter Robin Mason, and its now hung on our sitting room wall. It’s a truly beautiful painting by a very talented artist. You can see more of Robin’s work on Peter Barker Fine Art’s website www.peterbarkerfineart.co.uk
My three new works are now available, just follow the link here
My wife Joss tells me that even though she knew the result, it was still nerve wracking watching the show on Tuesday night. I was intrigued to see my face when the result was called out as I was convinced I hadn’t won, and was more than happy to see one of the other shortlisted (and incredibly talented) artists go through. I think I looked as dumbfounded as I felt! Here’s a press release and some images on the win…
Carl Knibb Wins Heat One of Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2018
On Tuesday 16th October at 8pm, Carl Knibb ARBSA appeared on our TV screens in the first heat of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2018. Staffordshire artist Carl Knibb from Lichfield had been chosen from hundreds to compete against eight artists and alongside a further 50 “wildcard” artists in the opening heat of this year’s Landscape Artist of the Year series, produced by award winning production company Storyvault Films.
The programme aired on Tuesday 16th October on Sky Arts at 8pm and this series is hosted by new co-presenter – actor and art-lover Stephen Mangan alongside Joan Bakewell.
Carl is a professional artist, who was born in Birmingham but has been living and working in Lichfield, Staffordshire for nearly a decade. Carl is a long-time fan of this hugely popular TV art competition that has brought the work of some extraordinary artists into the public eye.
Almost 1600 entries were received for the 2018 competition, giving the
judges the difficult task of whittling them down to 48 artists to compete in the six heats, several of which take place at National Trust locations: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal in Yorkshire; Viking Bay, Broadstairs and Inveraray Castle in Scotland. Each heat is open to a further 50 “wildcard” artists who are invited to compete for a potential place in the semi-final.
The winner of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 will receive a life changing opportunity for any artist, a prestigious commission from the Imperial War Museum to create an artwork to tie in with the centenary of the 1918 armistice. He or she will travel along with an IWM historian to Macedonia, to visit one of the most unchanged battlefields of the campaign, the site of a significant defeat where British and Irish soldiers lost their lives. The finished work will be unveiled at the museum’s London HQ and enter the IWM’s collection to be put on display in the museum.
Carl commented: “When I applied to be a competitor I submitted a painting of Bird Street, Lichfield. I really didn’t think I had any chance. Hundreds of fantastic artists send in their work every year, so when I got the call telling me I was through to the competition I was completely bowled over.”
Earlier this year, Carl, supported by his wife Joss, travelled to Rippon in Yorkshire where the very first heat was to take place at Fountains Abbey. Those taking part were challenged to create a piece of art depicting the Abbey – one of the largest and best-preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England.
Entering the famous ‘painting pods’, Carl and his fellow competitors had just four hours to try to capture something of the abbey’s grandeur. On a day that saw both bright blue skies and lowering cloud – this was a fascinating challenge.
The eight competitors all produced beautiful work, in mediums ranging from oils and watercolours to textile and digital art.
Members of the public were also on hand to watch the proceedings.
This is the fourth series of the show, which is produced by London and Glasgow-based independent production company Storyvault Films. “Landscapes” first aired three years ago following the enormous success of Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year (PAOTY), also from Storyvault Films, that has captured public imagination since its launch in 2013. LAOTY boasts the titles of “best-performing, non-scripted series of all time” and second-biggest series ever for Sky Arts, with viewing figures growing over the course of the series.
Sky Art’s Landscape Artist of the Year is hosted by new co-presenter – actor and art-lover Stephen Mangan alongside Joan Bakewell. Joan and Stephen are hugely excited to see what this year will bring and Joan says: “It’s always fascinating to watch the artists grow and evolve their style throughout the programme and witness the incredible creativity in their interpretations of beautiful British landscapes – and to witness the debate amongst both the judges and viewers over which artist they believe to be the most worthy winner.”
The judges are artist Tai Shan Schierenberg and independent curators Kate Bryan and Kathleen Soriano. The show not only highlights the tremendous artistic talent across the country, but also how the beautiful British countryside has inspired past and present generations of artists.
Carl added: “Both the judges and the presenters were very kind and interested in what we were trying to create. It was a great experience.”
During his heat, Carl, painting in acrylics on board, initially created a quick concept sketch before moving on to the final piece.
At the end of Carl’s heat, the competitors were gathered together in-front of the cameras to find out who the three initial shortlisted artists were. The final winner would be picked from this shortlist. Carl was delighted to be picked as one of the shortlisted artists, and astounded when it was announced that he was the winner of his heat!
Carl said: ”I had genuinely decided that, as the quality of the work was so good, I was unlikely to win, and was just happy to have met such wonderful fellow artists. I had not painted en plein air for quite some time so was rather rusty. To be picked as the winner was humbling and wonderful.”
Carl will go through to the Semi-Final at Felixstowe Docks airing on 27th November, and the three chosen artists from there, will then compete in the final in Greenwich Park which airs on 4th December.
Carl sells his paintings to collectors both in the UK and internationally, and his work is available to view in galleries such as Artifex in Sutton Coldfield. Carls work has appeared on magazine covers and he was the winner of 2016’s ‘Capture the Cathedral’ competition, where his painting ‘Pilgrims’ was hung alongside works by J.M.W.Turner within Lichfield Cathedral.
For more information on Carl Knibb and his work go to www.carlknibb.com or follow him on Facebook and Instagram. To see Carl’s works in progress pop in to his studio at No.75, The Arches, Curborough Countryside Centre, Watery Lane, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 8ES.
It’s lashing down today, and I must admit I do like to paint stormy weather. I don’t know if Staffordshire catches a lot of weather but the sky here is never the same two days running. I really must get out of the studio and paint en plein air more, especially as we’re now getting that rich, copper autumn light coming through. Here’s something that’s not a new work, but illustrates that burnished almost metallic light that makes this time of year so great for a painter obsessed by the seasons.
Lichfield is a bustling city. There’s always people out on the streets, shopping, meeting friends, generally going about their day. It’s an old city, with a medieval cathedral and lots of Georgian and earlier buildings lining the streets. This gives a lot of architectural interest and a definite character to every space – from wide marketplaces to tiny medieval alleyways. Capturing these details isn’t what I’m interested in, but it does mean that the backgrounds to these personal interactions are interesting. There’s light and reflection everywhere – and, once again, that’s what I’m trying to capture in this work in progress. Lives lived in a city that’s been here for over 1,000 years.
I like painting street-scenes. The ordinary, everyday stuff of life that could be mundane, but often has so much beauty within it. There’s something about the play of light on plate glass windows, and the sheer undercurrent of ‘oddness’ that you find in so many of our city centres that makes me try again and again to capture it.
Even when we’re surrounded by others, we can still be alone in our own little bubble of reality.
This is a current work in progress. I’ll post the final piece for comparison.