Friday, 21 September 2012

The Bath Prize 2012!

Yesterday was the prize ceremony of the Bath Prize show in Bath and I'm terribly excited to announce I have won the Plein Air Prize!!!! It was such an honour as it has been won by talented painters such as Adebanji Alade and David Pilgrim the previous years. There was a tough competition with beautiful work from very different styles. The prize I won is a week holiday painting in Porthleven, Cornwall in May next year with two other painters. Fantastic!

Here is my selection of paintings for the show. I entered 6 paintings in total:

Sun between the clouds, Queen Square, Bath   10"x12"  oil on board

George Street - Friday evening in August   12"x20"  oil on board

Laura Place in wet July   10"x8"  oil on board

Sydney Gardens bridge on a summer afternoon   10"x12"  oil on board

Number 1, The Circus, Bath   10"x8"  oil on board

Time Out Café at the Guildhall, Bath, in the afternoon   12"x10" oil on board

The room was packed with artists on the prize night:

That is me below posing in front of my paintings and I can't erase the smile off my face as I'm holding the prize envelope:

five of my paintings together

Talented painters Andrew Taylor and Bob Child - who I did the show with in June - were also present for the evening and had great work on show:

On the picture below at the top you can see Andrew Taylor's lovely painting of the Guildhall market who won a special prize. Congrats to him!

I was very pleased to meet the talented painter Wayne Attwood who received a well deserved "highly commended" mention for his work and even managed to sell one of his painting before the show even started. That surely must be the fastest seller of paintings in the West...

Wayne Attwood with his lovely Pulteney Bridge painting behind him

An other grinning girl in front of her painting:

And below - this is the moment I received the prize. I didn't get the chance to actually climb on the podium as it seems there was only room for one person, although it was tempting to do so and would give a nice reminder of those great Olympic games moments we had in the summer, I would just need to find my own hands sign like Usain Bolt or Mo Farrah :-)

Click here to go on the official Bath Prize website for more info. All my paintings are for sale at the show. The exhibition will run until the 29th of September so make sure you have a look in the next few days if you are around. The exhibition centre is at 34 Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1QG, just opposite the exit of the Roman Baths.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Time Out Café at the Guildhall, Bath, in the afternoon

Here is my last entry for the Bath Prize. It's the market inside the Guildhall in Bath. To ensure a good diversity of subjects, everybody that enters the Bath Prize is given a compulsory specific place to paint for their first entry, and I got given this one. I was pretty pleased with that as I really like this little market. It's full of colours, flags, lights, and has got beautiful big ceiling windows. There is always a lot of people there and it's full of life. Here is the result (click on the image for full size):

Time Out Café at the Guildhall, Bath, in the afternoon   12"x10" oil on board

I couldn't face painting this one on location as the place is pretty small and rather crowded so I did it in my quiet studio instead from a series of photographs I took. It was quite a long process before I could start using the paint as I first selected a few pictures of the elements I wanted to paint, then I did a sort of photoshop collage to get everything I wanted to include on the same shot. Here are some of my photographs of the place:

I then did I drawing of the scene to test my composition and squared it up with a grid that I reproduced on the canvas to be able to replicate the same drawing.

Once the drawing was done on my canvas, I finally could have fun with the paint. I really enjoyed painting this one and it was actually easy and effortless to do, which is not always the case, so you have to enjoy it when it happens! In fact I don't really remember painting this. I was what you call "in the zone", time flew by and after a few hours I kind of woke up in front of a finished painting! Nice one!

Here below are a few close up of parts of the painting.

As usual, the main point of interest  for me in the painting is the light. I love the lights in the shop in the distance and I made this my focal point, contrasting with the dark tones in the the Café in the foreground. The head position of the man in the middle is also directing to this point:


The windows in the ceiling are also a very important part of the painting. They bring space and light to the piece and make it "breathe". They manage to exist without "stealing the show" because their colour is a bit cooler than the warm yellow/orange lights of the shops. The flags add some movement to the piece and make the eyes travel across the painting:


I loved painting those lights in the Café against the dark background. Light can only exist and stand out if there is dark. Without the dark background, those lights would be just pale invisible dots. Although this painting was made in the studio, I made sure I kept it fresh and spontaneous as if it was painted on the spot. You can see the people and objects are suggested with just a few brushstrokes:


I'm looking forward to seeing my work at the Bath Prize and find out what other painters have come up with. The exhibition starts at the end of the week. I will do a post about the show in the next few days and give you full details about it.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

George Street - Friday evening in August

Here is my latest Bath painting that I will enter just in time for the Bath Prize. This is George Street on a summer evening (click on the image to see a bigger picture)

George Street - Friday evening in August   12"x20"  oil on board

Here is a close up of a section of the painting, probably my favourite part, as I love the contrast of the light on the distant buildings with the darker buildings in the foreground:

I made the painting in my studio based on a series of pictures I took a few weeks ago as I was going for a drink on friday night. I was on my way to the pub when I got struck by this beautiful scene and thought it would be a great painting subject. I managed to take a few pictures just seconds before the sun disappeared for good behind the clouds:

One of the photo references

Here are a couple of close up of the painting:



I will post soon my last painting for the Bath Prize and more details about the show. Looking forward to it already!