Monday, 27 July 2015

Papier Mache Three Dimensional Artwork - The Lovers

Well, I have done some more work on my papier mache figures this week. I have decided that both figures will make the one artwork (called The Lovers). My ideas are starting to crystallize about the theme / concept of the piece and I am quite happy with the way they are coming along. I hope to submit this three dimensional artwork to 'Outside In's' next national exhibition, which will showcase UK creativity by artists facing barriers to the art world. Submissions to this exhibition should centre around craft processes, so I am hoping that papier mache will include me in that criteria. I have to add hair, some of my hand rolled paper beads, maybe wings - yes, wings and crowns too. I will post more photos as I do more work on the figures.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Billy Merson Mural Finished!

Phew ...... after 4 sessions in all, the mural I have been painting of music hall entertainer, Billy Merson mural is finished at last! You will find it downstairs, on the landing at The Malt Cross, St James Street, Nottingham. You can actually see the scale now, with me standing next to it - it's pretty large. I am so pleased the way it has turned out. It is better than I ever imagined it would be. It was really challenging though; it's a different kettle of fish working vertical straight on to a wall, than on a flat canvas or piece of paper. I would like to think that Billy, who was from Nottingham, would be happy with his portrait. There's several videos of him on Youtube if you feel like checking him out.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Cardboard Is Great For Artwork!

I am very lucky, as my landlord is a builder, and he always provides me with plenty of cardboard to use for packing my artwork when I send it out. However this week he has given me a brilliant flat box which came around those large shower cubicle panels. It's in such pristine condition and of such good quality card, that I cannot bear to use the box just for packing material.

Therefore I have cut it into various sized panels from 9 x 12 inches to 12 x 15 inches, and I got all the above, a whopping 22 panels, from the one box! All I need to do now, is either simply prime, or put a layer of paper over (papier mache style, with PVA glue) for superb grounds to work on.

I do quite a few works on cardboard - see photos below - as I really enjoy the authentic, raw look you get. Also, obviously, you can work quite thick on cardboard with paint and collage etc, more successfully than on ordinary paper often. Anyway, thanks Steve ..... you know where I am if you want to offload any more of these amazing boxes!


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Mural - Billy Merson Music Hall Entertainer At The Malt Cross, Nottingham

I started on a mural of music hall entertainer Billy Merson yesterday at The Malt Cross, Notingham. The Malt Cross is a former Victorian music hall which, these days, is a magnificent café bar and creative space right in the heart of Nottingham.

In October 2014 the Malt Cross reopened after an extensive refurbishment including a complete transformation of two basement levels, which have been transformed into workshop space, which offers an exciting program of arts and crafts workshops, a new gallery and a rehearsal room for use by local bands and musicians.

Billy Merson began his show business career while working in a lace-making factory and performing shows as an acrobat and comedian in the evening at the Nottingham Theatre Royal. He wrote many songs including 'The Photo of the Girl I Left Behind', 'Desdemona' and possibly his best known song 'The Spaniard That Blighted My Life' which was made popular by Al Jolson.

I painted about a third of the mural yesterday, but as the work is on the lower level, the walls seem to have a bit of a dampness about then, being below ground, so the paint was taking quite a long time to dry, which is unusual for acrylic. As you can see I have the face still to do. Billy is also holding a ukulele in his right hand, which has to be put in also. I think I will also be putting his name in big fancy lettering to add a bit more colour to the mural. I am going back on Friday to do some more, so I will post an update then.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

New Exhibition Nottingham Contemporary

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the new exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, Pablo Bronstein And The Treasures Of Chatsworth. This new exhibition shows up 62 works of fine and decorative art from the Chatsworth collection including works by Rembrandt, Innigo Jones and Franz Hals. These are shown with contemporary architetural drawings by Pablo Bronstein.

The opening was very well attended ....... lets be honest, it was packed! Therefore I will more than likely go back at a later date to get nearer to the exhibits. And a great time seemed to be had by all (with the free drinks, disco and barbecue).

Read more about this exhibition on the Nottingham Contemporary website.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Dreams - Hurt, Hope & Happiness Exhibition, Nottingham

I was lucky enough to get a piece of my artwork accepted this year for the 'Dreams: Hurt, Hope & Happiness' exhibition at the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health. This is the seventh open exhibition that arts charity, City Arts Nottingham, has run in partnership with Institute of Mental Health. The thought-provoking artworks featured in the exhibition explore the relationship between dreams and mental illness.

The exhibition is open for viewings on weekdays from 10am to 4pm at the Jubilee Campus in Basford and runs until the 25th September 2015. Here is my entry in the top photo. The second photo is of myself and another artist at the exhibition opening.