As yet another year rapidly draws to a close its that time once again when I begin to reflect on the last few months, while looking ahead to projects and exhibitions planned for 2014.
Much of this year has been devoted to a series of portraits of friends and fellow artists. This series is ongoing with two portraits of artist friends currently in progress and plenty of ideas and willing sitters to take me well into the new year. While working on these portraits I wrote a series about portrait painting for Artists & Illustrators magazine which was published during the summer. Also on the writing front work has continued on Painting the Nude – a deadline which has worrying become rather too imminent!
A number of the portraits painted earlier this year are to be included in an exhibition of contemporary portraiture Portrait Painters Today which opens in London mid January. I am very pleased to showing alongside a fabulous group of portrait painters, including two winners of the BP Portrait Award, many BP exhibitors and members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
It’s been a fairly quiet year on the exhibition front. Exhibitions have included group shows in London and Guildford while a solo exhibition of my musician pieces took place at West Dean College during the summer alongside the Chillingirian Quartet Summer School. This was a collection of drawings and oil studies of musicians in rehearsal, of both small chamber ensembles and symphony orchestra.
I continued to paint during rehearsals of the Rehearsal Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival and also continuing to work with the Chillingirian and Archos Quartets as well as my local quartet who happily let me work during their rehearsals a little closer to home.
I am pleased to announce that an exhibition of drawings and paintings entitled The Rehearsal will be taking place in May and June at St. John’s Church Waterloo. This exhibition will bring together works made with the Rehearsal Orchestra and chamber ensembles in a venue with strong connections with the music world. St. John’s hosts a number of orchestral concerts throughout the year, including Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra with whom I play. This makes this exhibition particularly exciting for me.
During the year there have been so many exhibitions to inspire and at times exhausting trying to keep up with them all. Of all the things I’ve seen this year, (and that’s rather a lot), the highlights for me without a doubt were the beautifully quiet and contemplative frescoes of Fra Angelico in the Museo di San Marco Florence, the stunning Roman portraits in the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum. The exhibition which excited me more than any other was the absolutely astounding Ice Age Art Arrival of the Modern Mind also at the British Museum. I just couldn’t get enough of this exhibition, visiting and drawing there many times.
Along with these beautiful art works, I found this autumns 2013 Reith Lectures given by artist Grayson Perry (which I wrote about in a post last month) to be both thought-provoking and refreshingly honest. His series of lectures were inspiring and a breath of fresh air when compared to current trends within the art world.
2014 will bring with it new challenges and some exciting projects, which will include for me some teaching in Germany and in Italy which I am greatly looking forward to. I am also currently working on a portrait to be included in the 50 Artists/50 Children project which is organised by the charity Miracles. This is a very exciting project to be part of, the exhibition will be taking place in 2014 with a prestigious group of artists taking part. More on this project and exhibition to follow…
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my many models for all the hours they have patiently given and for the continued support of so many of you during the year.