This week Art2Arts held a good old fashioned Christmas catch up in London for all the artists who feature on the site. With an evening of good conversation and good wine planned, it was no wonder we saw such a good turnout.
“It is so important for us to hold regular events like these because Art2Arts is so much more than just an online gallery, it is a community of artists,” explains organiser and site director Michelle Gibbs. “I know too well that art can be a lonely occupation so it is nice to be able to meet up with other artists to share stories and trade techniques. Plus it’s nice for me be able to see in person all the people that I talk to regularly on the phone or by email.”
The drink and chatter flowed well into the evening with artists debating everything from exhibitions to Christmas present ideas.
“Whilst London isn’t a central location for all the artist featured on Art2Arts many of those located on the South Coast made the trip to the big city to support our site and strengthen our community. Hopefully in the future as Art2Arts continues to grow we’ll be able to hold these events regularly and at venues up and down the country,” concludes Michelle.
Allegedly it is actually summer at the moment. Whether you’re getting some sunshine or not, these summer-themed original paintings are sure to create a sunshiney mood in your home or office.
Nirvana by Simon Kenny
Reach a divine state with Simon Kenny’s Nirvana, which brings Turner’s seascapes to mind. Simon is a multi-award winning artist who aims to balance materialism and spiritualism through lyrical abstraction. He uses his artistic process to better understand his experience of the human condition and has sold to multiple public and private clients around the world.
Surf’s Up with Cresting by Denise Allen. Denise’s travels in Menorca and Bermuda have informed her fresh and inspiring seascapes. She teaches watercolour painting, including regular watercolour painting holidays in Menorca.
Alice P Jenkins’ painting immediately evokes the English countryside. Fresh, bright colours and a whimsical style make this a good choice for a quirky contemporary interior, perhaps displayed in salon style with other works. Alice loves to paint from life, en plein air.
Virginian by Irina Rumyantseva is a fabulously textured painting with strong colours that compliment each other beautifully. As a contemporary abstract painting, suggestive of landscape, it would work perfectly in a corporate interior or modern home. Irina says “When I paint I pour my emotions out onto the canvas and convey the beauty that I see in everyday life in a way that others can see it to. When I finish a piece I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and integrity. ”
Jackson Pollock is infamous for his abstract expressionist drip and splatter paintings, which sell for millions to international collectors. This amazing video, filmed all the way back in 1951 ( and in color! – of a sort) is a rare insight into his practical process.
Time off over Christmas? I hope so. The time between Christmas and New Year is the ideal chance to get out and about and see a few of the many exhibitions that London’s art galleries have to offer. We’ll start with…
Alex Hartley Clearing, 2011. Constructed mixed media on C-type photograph 90 x 72 x 7 cm 35 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 2 3/4 in
This is an exhibition of Hartley’s large-scale photos with scale-models of architectural structures painstakingly build into the surfaces of the prints. Somewhere between a steam punk inventor, an early 20th Century mustachioed explorer, and a tree-house dwelling earth child, Hartley creates images dystopian architectural pieces – scale models of super-villan hideaways in remode desert landscapes. True to the explorer archetype, Hartely has gone on intrepid expeditions into the high arctic, and the gallery show includes objects and artefacts from his expeditions.
Coca-Cola vase, Ai Weiwei, 1997, Neolithic vase (5000-3000 BC) and paint. Courtesy of André Stockamp & Christopher Tsai collection, Ancram, New York
Ai WeiWei is a conceptual artist who I can really get excited about. He creates pieces that are truly thought-provoking, and does so with a light touch. His works are often almost visual jokes, but in a way which is subtle and doesn’t shout its message. “Dropping the Urn” includes the use of Neolithic and Han Dynasty Ceramics transformed and reinterpreted. For example, the Coca-Cola urn above has been repainted, and the exhibition features an original Han Dynasty figurine contained in a Johnnie Walkey whiskey bottle.
Hokusai’s Great Wave is one of the most recognisable, reproduced and popular images in the whole of international art history. It’s even been reinterpreted as a mural on a house in Camberwell, South London. This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to learn about the history and context behind this iconic piece.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Under the Wave off Kanagawa (detail). Colour woodblock print. Japan, Edo period, c. 1831. Acquired with the assistance of The Art Fund.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracts amateur and professional entrants of all ages from around the world. The best entrants are chosen for exhibition, and this is a show that will astound and amaze, and give you a fresh perspective on animals and the natural world. Photographers go to extraordinary lengths to get these images – for “Pester Power”, pictured below, Mateusz Piesiak wrapped his camera in a plastic sack, lay down on his front and dragged himself across the wet sand to get these detailed shots of oystercatchers feeding on Long Island, New York.
The library might not be the first place you think of when you want to see an art exhibition, but the British Library’s latest exhibition is well worth drawing attention to. It’s a chance to see the Library’s collection of illuminated manuscripts – illustration from the medieval period, many of which are in amazing condition and are executed in stunning colour. According to the Library, the manuscripts are
our most vivid source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith artistic trends and the international politics of the period.
The Shrewsbury Book
British Library, Royal 15 E. vi, ff. 2v
From me and everyone at Art2Arts, have a fabulous festive season and a colourful New Year!
Alice P Jenkins recently completed a pet portrait commission of two lovely Yorkshire terriers. She’s kindly shared with us images of her progress over the days she spent creating the portraits. A great insight into the artistic process.
After a balmy Indian summer that continued well into November, winter is finally here, and we even have snow predicted for this weekend. Here are my top picks from amongst the wintry scenes at Art2Arts.
First Snowfall by Ruth McCabe
Ruth McCabe’s “First Snowfall” uses a traditional and oil technique, with a strong, almost impasto-esque texture, to strong and moody effect. A bold piece with real gravitas, “First Snowfall” would work well in either a white minimalist interior, or a traditional-contemporary setting.
Cityscapes are a favourite of mine, and Hester Coetzee uses the genre to evocative effect with this snowy view of the city from distant fields. “On a Distant Horizon” is painted on a deep box canvas, so is ready to hang and will look stunning in a contemporary interior.
Off Piste by Tony Kenwright
An ideal gift for any keen skiier, Tony Kenwright’s “Off Piste” uses an acute perspective view to capture the thrill of zooming downhill over fresh snow, off the beaten track.
The Moors by Irina Rumyantseva
Irina Rumyantseva takes a fresh approach to the snowscape with her impressionist-influenced piece, “The Moors.” With its light colous contrasted against spindly black trees, this painting has a great sense of tension between the fresh, bright snowscape and the moodier elements of the winter scene.
And finally, Paula Oakley’s Snow on the Hill shows us a glimpse of a rural winter wonderland, with snow falling through the sky on to a barn and sloping field.
Hope you enjoyed my top picks, and have fun in the snow if we do get any!