Colour, tone and division: thinking visually about painting with Matthew Collings

West Dean Studio 1

I’ve had an excellent week at West Dean College on Matthew Collings’ course ‘Colour, tone and division: thinking visually about painting’
I felt quite challenged to be working with the figure, which is not my usual territory. Making the exercises 3 minute or 6 minute drawings was helpful because you have to grab the essence of the person visually and find a fast way of expressing it.

3 minute drawing Judy

3 minute drawing Judy

3 minute drawing Judy

Restraint was very much the mood of the week, with only line being allowed for some drawings and then only a rubber on pre-charcoaled paper, for example. When it came to paintings, we were only allowed 3 colours and white. I chose yellow ochre for one of my first colours as I find the colour difficult to work with. It seemed like a good opportunity to try it out again, with the knowledge that help was around.
This was my final painting, expressing how alone the artist actually is in front of their work amidst the mess that surrounds the making process.

‘Janus Light’ at the Stride Open Competition 2016

This is the Private View for the Stride Open Competition 2016. the bottom painting is my oil painting ‘Janus Light’.

Janus Light at the Stride Open exhibition 2016

Janus Light at the Stride Open exhibition 2016

Janus Light at the Private View of Stride Open Exhibition at the Oxmarket, Chichester

Janus Light at the Private View of Stride Open Exhibition at the Oxmarket, Chichester

. This is the second time that I have been shortlisted for this competition.
Congratulations to friends Gemma Green, who had a drawing on display and Krysia Drury, who won second prize for painting.
Gemma Green's drawing of teasels

Gemma Green’s drawing of teasels

JMH Stallard, Crawley, Exhibition of Paintings

Some of my paintings on display in the reception area at JMH Stallard, expertly curated by June Frickleton.
Paintings at JMH Stallard
It was really impressive to see the paintings in a large airy space, alongside the paintings of Min Maude and Marc Greco.

A Different Drum (Magenta) at DMH Stallard, Crawley

A Different Drum (Magenta)
at DMH Stallard, Crawley

The paintings remain in Crawley until mid-March

Minerva Exhibition

Minerva exhibition
Minerva Theatre Exhibition
The MA is now complete, the degree show has finished, all stewarding is finished and the work has come down. For me, I still have paintings on display in an exhibition, which has been so expertly mounted by Sophie Shaw and Harriet Rose in the foyer of the Minerva. I have two drawings and five paintings on display, showing some of the work completed during my residency, focusing on the production, The Rehearsal.
Minerva exhibition
One of the paintings on display is the one which I started in the Foyer of the main theatre, and shows the place which Luna had described to me as being a special place for her. You can find this painting immediately to the left of the Minerva Box Office.
Minerva exhibition
I am very proud to have my work shown in this prestigious location and I am endebted to the theatre and my MA tutor Dr Shirley Chubb, for their support and encouragement.
Come and see some Chekhov at the Minerva and see the exhibition for yourself.

MA Degree Show and CFT Residency exhibition

MA FINE ART invitation (FI). jpeg

Two years of study are coming to fruition in The Imaginary and the Real exhibition in artOne. The show is fantastic and not to be missed. I am very proud to be part of this cohort of MA students.

For me, I also have my body of directly theatre-inspired work on display at the Minerva from Thursday 10 September until 14 November. Come and see how this collaboration between the theatre and the university has resulted in an entirely new body of work.

Way Upstream – Press Night

Attending Press Night for Way Upstream did not disappoint. The stage transformation to the River Orb was magnificent. I was so impressed by the physical capabilities of the cast, working in the confined space of the boat and teetering precariously over the water for much of the play. I particularly liked the ‘speeded up’ sections of the action, demonstrating again the skill of the actors and the vision for the play. Creating illusion is the stuff of theatre and this was supremely well achieved in all aspects of the production, not least the technical achievements achieved by the Technical team.

The night before Press Night I had attended the pre-show talk with Nadia Fall and Alan Ayckbourn. Ayckbourn discussed the creation of a character who was at first attractive and then totally abhorrent by the end of the play and this was admirably met in Jason Durr’s portrayal of Vince. Ayckbourn was also asked about the final quarter of the play – was it a meant to be a dream sequence? He ducked the question and perhaps with good reason. Several of the critics of Way Upstream seemed less than convinced about this part of the play (Theatre Cat;Telegraph; Chichester Observer)

Pre-show talk with Alan Ayckbourn and Nadia fall

Pre-show talk with Alan Ayckbourn and Nadia fall

Here’s the image I put on the front of the card for Press Night for Nadia, the cast and the creative team:

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CFT Residency Way Upstream

I was invited to watch the building of the stage for Way Upstream which is going to be opening the Festival season at CFT this year. The design is a triumph and one which was equally met by the capabilities of the technical crew at CFT. Entire, fully grown trees were waiting outside the Stage Door as I arrived. The boat, originally called Avocet, had been delivered earlier in the week. Inside the auditorium the stage had been pared back to allow for the installation of the boat and the river, in which it will cruise.
For me, to arrive in the auditorium with drawing materials was quite overwhelming. The auditorium alone offers so much visual material for an artist like me, who is intrigued by spaces and light. I wasn’t going to ignore this, but the building of this stunning set was not going to be repeated. I was wondering “how on earth are they going to do that?” …but they did and it is fantastic.



A second drawing visit allowed me to make some sketches of the boat whilst it was moving – yes, the boat actually travels along the riverbank. This allowed me to do the free kind of drawing and multiple viewpoints (from a cubist perspective) that I like to get into my work, without me having to create this by, for example, turning the canvas through 90 degrees, which I quite often do.

Way Upstream and auditorium

Way Upstream and auditorium

Building the riverbank

Building the riverbank

Avocet 'on the move'

Avocet ‘on the move’

I shall welcome some studio time now to develop some of these sketches for future use.