This is probably the understatement of the decade, but it’s been a strange couple of months. If you’re reading this, I hope that you and your family are safe and well, and that this worrying time will soon over be over.
In early March I decided to suspend the art lessons that I usually run here in the studio. We’re now looking towards a reopening date, and my wife is busy with virus risk assessments and all of the other plans we need to put in place.
I must admit that even though I’d never wish a pandemic on the world, it’s been good to have a few months to do nothing but concentrate on painting. I walk to my studio every day, and spend six hours or so at the easel. There’s examples below of some of the sketches produced during this time. I’ve been reasonably prolific, and it’s given me the opportunity to explore new directions.
In the last few weeks I’ve had several enquiries asking whether there are any prints of Into the Day left. Apologies, but they’ve all gone. There will be more prints of other works available soon though and I’ll post about them here.
In the meantime, take care and thanks for visiting my site.
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 got an exhibition coming up from Saturday 2nd March to Sunday 31st March at Artifex gallery, Sutton Coldfield (open 10am to 5pm daily).
I’ll be showing 15 completely new works that make up a snapshot of my life over the last few months. The works will be up on the artifex website soon, but here’s a preview.
I’ll be there for the opening on 2nd March from 12 noon till 4pm.
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.