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Art2Arts Online Magazine

Featured Artwork, Art News, Artists & Exhibitions.

  • June – Across the UK in Art Exhibitions

    art exhibits in June 2017

    The world of art is always buzzing with new events and exhibits popping up throughout Britain. With so many venues hosting all kinds of events, planning your calendar can be difficult. In order to help you get the most out of your month, we’ve picked some of the must-see exhibits opening up throughout June.

    America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

    Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

    June 1-4

    This exhibit looks at American paintings by a variety of different artists from the 1930s, an era of industrialisation and financial drought. Featuring 46 pieces, the exhibit illustrates the condition of life in the US after the Wall Street crash in 1929.The centrepiece of the exhibition is Grant Wood’s famous painting American Gothic.

    Art of Power: Masterpieces from the Bute Collection

    Mount Stuart, Ilse of Bute


    Hosted at the magnificent Mount Stuart building, this exhibit is a must-see. The Bute collection is Scotland’s finest collection of classic art, including 18th century portraits from painters such as Ramsay, Reynolds and Gainsborough. The building is a piece of art in itself, housing beautiful classical furniture and architecture. The exhibit is open all throughout June and is simultaneously showing at the University of Glasgow.


    British Art: Ancient Landscapes

    The Salisbury Museum


    Despite the erratic and often gloomy weather, Britain has some beautiful scenery if you know where to look. This exhibit, which is running throughout June, displays work inspired by the UKs best landscapes. Featuring some of the finest British art from the last 250 years, from artists such as Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Richard Long.


    Edo Pop

    Lady Lever Art Gallery


    Japanese history is rich with culture and artistic work that’s among the finest in the world. This exhibit features art that celebrates the Edo period, focusing on the unique visual style of Japanese woodblock printing. Any fans of Japanese art, or looking to learn about its long history, are sure to enjoy this exciting event.

    Queer British Art

    Tate Britain

    5 April – 1 October 2017

    This exhibit is a celebration of Britain’s LGBT community and the contributions it has made to the world of art. Since the decriminalising of homosexuality 50 years ago, there have been a number of progressive movements helping to improve equality in the UK. The exhibit is a showcase of work from artists whose self-expression was previously suppressed.

    If you’re heading to an exhibition this month, check out our online art gallery magazine before you go to make sure you’re up to date with all the latest news and faces.

  • Art’s famous landscapes and the locations that inspired them

    One of the first things that comes to mind when looking at a painting or piece of art, aside from admiration of its style, is the question of where it came from. It’s fascinating thinking about the mind-set of the artist, and trying to figure out where they were or what they were thinking about during the inception of the piece. Inspiration can come in many forms and is manifested in different ways depending on the artist. Here we take a look at some famous landscape paintings and the real locations that inspired their creation.

    Christina’s World - Andrew Wyeth

    Created by American artist Andrew Wyeth, this is one of the most well-known paintings of the 20th century. The piece, which features a woman lying in the grass down field from two buildings, is actually a depiction of the Olson House in Cushing, Maine, United States. Years after the painting was conceived, the owner of the pictured house had it refurbished to match the depiction in the painting.

    Christina’s World - Andrew WyethChristina’s World - Andrew Wyeth2

    Chalk Cliffs on Rügen - Caspar David Friedrich

    This oil painting by Caspar David Friedrich portrays the white chalk cliffs of the Stubbenkammer on the island of Rügen. The painting was conceived while painter Friedrich was on honeymoon with his new bride, Christiane Caroline Bommer. Created in 1818, the piece now resides in Museum Oskar Reinhart in Switzerland.

    Chalk Cliffs on Rügen - Caspar David Friedrich Chalk Cliffs on Rügen - Caspar David Friedrich2

    Looking Down Yosemite Valley - Albert Bierstadt

    This beautifully detailed piece by German-American painter, Albert Bierstadt portrays one of California's most iconic sights. Bierstadt produced several landscape portrayals of the Yosemite Valley but this was his first full large-scale painting. It was created in 1865 and is currently being displayed at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

    Looking Down Yosemite Valley - Albert BierstadtLooking Down Yosemite Valley - Albert Bierstadt2


    Along the River during the Qingming Festival - Zhang Zeduan

    Created during the Song Dynasty, this incredibly intricate handscroll painting was completed by artist Zhang Zeduan over a period of 60 years. The canvas stretches over 17 feet, illustrating the daily lives of people in China as well as celebrations during the Qingming Festival.

    Along the River during the Qingming Festival - Zhang ZeduanAlong the River during the Qingming Festival - Zhang Zeduan2

    Cass - Rita Angus

    As one of the leading creator of New Zealand art, Rita Angus was well known for her landscapes and her portrait pieces. This iconic piece of imagery is a portrayal of Cass in Canterbury, New Zealand. Angus’s approach to this piece involved meticulous planning and observation before finishing the painting in the studio.

    Cass - Rita AngusCass - Rita Angus2

    Browse our landscapes art here.

  • Selfie-Worthy Art, With A Difference

    The Saatchi Gallery’s current exhibition, ‘From Selfie to Self Expression’ is on everyone’s lips and we’re not surprised! This ground-breaking contemporary art show is the first of its kind to celebrate the selfie as a new and notable way of making art. We explored this subject further in our recent blog post, ‘From Self-Portrait to Selfie: ‘The Evolution of Artistic Self-expression’.

    In the run up to its opening, a #saatchiselfie competition was launched, encouraging the public to submit their most daring and innovative selfie. The results can be seen in this post from Dazed Digital and they take the standard selfie format to new, creative heights.

    Now, as the exhibition has been open to the public for a few weeks, we thought we’d turn our attention to the work hosted here at Art2Arts that fit into this new, updated selfie category to pay homage to this incredible exhibit.

    If you’ve been to the Saatchi’s exhibition or if you’re dying to go, here is some more selfie-worthy art to admire, with a difference.

    Blue – Katka Kudashik

    Blue – Katka Kudashik

    Now, thanks to filters and digital effects, the selfie can take on new and fantastical forms like those seen in this canvas. If taken by the hands of an artistic subject, we could imagine a similar looking futuristic image being posted on Instagram, receiving many ‘double tap’ likes in admiration.

    Nasty Girl 002 – Naomi Vona

    Nasty Girl 002 – Naomi Vona

    This collaged ‘selfie’ uses many layers to create its final result, much like those adopted by image conscious artists behind the front facing camera lens. While these layers may often take on the form of costume, makeup and careful framing, the layers in this collage are more literal, making an equally as anarchic statement.

    Expresstionist Cubist Selfie-Obsession 854 – Eraclis Artistdou

    Expresstionist Cubist Selfie-Obsession 854 – Eraclis Artistdou

    We couldn’t curate our most selfie-worth art without mentioning this piece by Eraclis Artistidou.As the name suggests, the words ‘selfie obsession’ take centre stage in this mixed-media collage, perhaps making a statement about this cultural trend. Regardless of how you interpret this message, it is presented in a wonderful, colourful cubist form, with the theme of music also remaining prominent.

    What are your thoughts on the selfie entering the world of art?

    How does it differ from the self-portrait style? Would you buy a selfie, digital or painted, to hang in your house? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or let us know via our social media channels.

  • Art To Suit The ‘All Black Everything’ Lifestyle: Black 2.0 Hits The Market

    If the 60s was all about psychedelic swirls and the 80s is summed up by garish designs, the 2010s could only be defined by a much more serious aesthetic. ‘All Black Everything’ is the trend seen in stylish wardrobes and in the home. And with the release of Black 2.0, the blackest black on the market, the world won’t be hanging up its gothic shoes any time soon. Leading online art gallery, Art2Arts highlights its affordable art for sale that pays homage to this moody style.

    Black 2.0, created by artist, Stuart Semple, was released three years after Vantablack was first launched. While this incredible artist’s tool absorbed up to 99.6 percent of light, other creatives were banned from using it after artist Anish Kapoor bought exclusive rights to the product. Semple’s Black 2.0 is available for anyone to purchase (except Kapoor), paving the way for more delightfully dark creations to come.

    Wendy Hyde’s ‘Abstraction in Monochrome’ series is just the type of dramatic work that this new black pigment was made for, only letting small sections of white light through its bold, brave and black brush strokes. Fitting the monochrome trend perfectly, the colourful character of the sky is represented using sophisticated dark shades.

    Alternatively, in rare occasions the All Black Everything lifestyle can sometimes be accented by carefully curated bursts of colour. The cosmic-inspired round canvas of ‘Blissful Dance 3’ by Irina Rumyantseva would work well in any dark room, with its subtle splash of deep turquoise offsetting the black canvas, adding interest, depth and texture.

    Michelle Gibbs, Director at Art2Arts revealed, “The world is certainly enamoured by the colour black right now, and quite rightly so! There is no other shade as synonymous with class, style and sophistication than this iconic hue. Now that Black 2.0 has been released, we’re bound to see the art reflecting this trend slip further and further into darkness – and the results are bound to be simply spectacular!”

    Those adhering to an all-black colour palette in their clothes and home accessories often do so to make a strong impression. While light, colourful characters may be represented by sunshine and spring, there is no other weather condition more appropriate for ‘black’ than Dawn Roger’s Approaching Storm. Brave, bold and with undoubtedly black undertones, this gloomy landscape may be small but its impact can transform the feel of any room.

  • Online Art Gallery With Decade of Experience Welcomes .art Digital Domain

    Last December .art, an internet domain just for creatives, was launched. However, this rejection of the .com, .co.uk and .org has received renewed attention in March after it was adopted by London’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), a sign of the domain’s infiltration of the digital world. Art2Arts, a leading online art gallery that was launched in 2006, welcomes this move, and what it could mean for the artistic online community.

    Early adopters of this innovative internet suffix include industry publication, The Art Newspaper, curator, director and consultant, Love Watts and the Pissarro Gallery. Following on the ICA also swapping its org.uk domain for the catchier .art address this year, it is rumoured that institutions such as the Tate and the Guggenheim will follow.

    Michelle Gibbs, Director at Art2Arts revealed, “The widespread use of the internet has transformed the art industry as we know it, and the launch of .art recognises this. With a few simple letters, any website using the term is part of an instantly recognisable community, with its credentials immediately validated. Just as an .ac.uk web address helps users recognise trustworthy academic and research organisations, .art will help browsers distinguish between the most innovative, informative, inspiring and of course, authentic art based websites.

    “Launched in December, it is still in its early days but the possibilities it could bring are incredible. Online art galleries, such as my own, are just one example of how the artistic world is benefiting from digital platforms. In reality, it is helping to fuel not only a new interest in the creative arts, but to enable more to get involved - .art will only help to push this discovery and opportunity further.”

    E-flux, an artistic publishing platform, is acting as an advisor to UKCI, the British business responsible for administering the .art domain. Only artistic professionals and businesses will be given the opportunity to register at the domain for a period of three months, before it is more openly accessible.


    Art2Arts first came online over a decade ago, giving artists and art buyers a safe, reliable, one-of-a-kind online hub to securely sell and purchase original art.

  • Richard Young – The Figurative Master

    The world of art is fantastic in that its practitioners can enter the industry at almost any age (something which we are tackling in our blog next month). Many artists, no matter how talented, often abandon their skill for fear of being unable to make a true career in the world – something which we aim to help tackle with our online art gallery platform!

    Richard Young is one of these artists. Although his skill was apparent from an early age, it wasn’t until after pursuing a career in engineering that he decided to explore his talent once more. And the team at Art2Arts, as well as our customers, are very happy he did!

    Here we talked to Richard to learn more about his personal journey into the world of art once more:

    ‘Sultry Dancer’

    ‘Sultry Dancer’- View it online.

    You have practiced art from a young age, gaining success and media publicity. Yet, you chose to study engineering. Why did you make this decision?

    I was financially driven at the time when I decided to study engineering. I had no career advice or guidance in school or college so did not believe that I could earn a living as an artist. Working for myself and selling directly to the public, or via a gallery, didn’t even cross my mind. It’s one of only a few decisions that I seriously regret.

    Do you think a formal training in art is necessary to become a professional artist?

    No. I didn't have any formal art training. I had guidance, but with practice and self-teaching, I succeeded in developing my own style, technique and niche market.

    With your engineering degree and while working as a design consultant, you spent time working in the Middle East. Did these experiences influence your artistic creations today?

    Yes, tremendously. I think that working within engineering in the Middle East gave me the time to develop my own style and allowed me to practice. Especially to produce intricate art using a knife. I didn't need to generate revenue when I started painting as it was purely a hobby. The subject matter, style and technique I have has changed a lot and sort of evolved. It's a modern type of realism. It took me a couple of years and a lot of effort to develop that.

    Then there is the engineer side of me that wants my art to be anatomically correct and accurate as I pay attention to the finest detail. Also, being a manager in a company, I know how to administer the business side of my work, representing myself as a company rather than an artist. When I started painting I did a few Middle East inspired paintings such as belly dancers, falcons and camels in desert scenes.

    ‘Arabian Coffee Awakes’

    ‘Arabian Coffee Awakes’ – View it online.

    Once passionate about art, as you were when you are young, did this passion continue through adulthood? Did you ever stop painting while you pursued another career?

    I stopped painting from aged 21 until I was 41. I had a long break and took up painting when I had to give up playing competitive squash.

    Although you studied engineering, did you ever feel as if you would one day work within the world of art?

    No. Never. I actually forgot about art when I walked away from it! Starting again was never planned and a last minute knee jerk decision.

    Your work is mainly focussed around dynamic dancers now – what other subjects have you been fascinated by throughout your artistic career?

    Subjects that I find fascinating are horses, birds, musicians, and portraits; that's in terms of what I like to create. For viewing I have an extremely broad spectrum, as I also like landscapes, seascapes and still life.

    ‘Solo Flamenco Dancer’

    ‘Solo Flamenco Dancer’ – View it online

    And when did the dancers become the main subject?

    In 2006. Passion of Dance was my first dancer. I often call it my ‘one hit wonder’, as it’s still my lost popular in terms of merchandising.

    Do you ever feel drawn to painting landscapes or abstract pieces?


    You also say you are enamoured by light, and this shows through in your work. Why do you love dramatic lighting?

    Dramatic lighting adds atmosphere and extra dimension to the subject. It gives you more to think about and makes the painting deeper and more dramatic. It enhances the passion in the subject also… Most photographers use fill in lighting on the opposite side to the main light source and I find it so distracting!

    ‘Bellydance of the Pyramids’

    ‘Bellydance of the Pyramids’ – View it online.

    Your impressive work is created using a knife – when did you start using this technique and why?

    It was 2005 when I first started painting with a knife. It took me about 2 years to get to a stage where I can show my art work. My first pieces of art with a knife were, let's say, fun!

    I also used to wear out 2 sable brushes for per painting. And I estimated a saving of 20% of the painting time just by using a knife that cleans easily between slight colour and shade variations. I was very driven by need to work within a timescale if I was to achieve commercial success.

    Do you also collect art yourself? Is your personal preference the same as your style, or do you appreciate other kinds of art?

    Yes I do collect art in a very small way. The spectrum is broader when I collect, however, my favourites are still figurative and in particular William Bouguereau's. Oh to have an original. I wish…

    Richard Young’s portfolio continues to amaze us, fascinated by the drama and details that each piece provides. View the rest of his work on his dedicated gallery section here.

  • April – Across the UK in Art Exhibitions

    Although we like to sell our work online, we love nothing more than experiencing art in real life. There is endless inspiration to be found after a day spent visiting art exhibitions, opening your mind while also enabling you to discover the work of new and talented artists.

    Here we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting ‘must-visit’ exhibitions around the country this month:

    London – ‘David Hockney’, Tate Britain

    Running until the end of May, this exhibition offers a unique chance to see an extensive collection of this influential British artist’s work and is certainly not to be missed. This exhibition showcases his work through the years, highlighting his ability to seamlessly adapt and embrace the latest technologies. A truly inspiring trip for both the artist and the appreciator of art.

    Nottingham – ‘The Place is Here’, Nottingham Contemporary

    Although the Nottingham Contemporary is small, its exhibitions are certainly impressive and this April is no different. Inspired by the social, cultural and political landscape of the1980s, this multimedia exhibition includes painting, film, sculpture and photography, addressing the age-old subject of identity in this era.

    Nottingham Contemporary

    Figure 1- Lubaina Himid, A Fashionable Marriage, 1986. Courtesy artist & Hollybush Gardens. Photo Matthew Birchall & Tao Lashley-Burnley

    Manchester - ‘To Be Human’, Manchester Art Gallery

    The free exhibition runs until the end of September. It explores the portrait in the 20th century. Rather than focussing purely on features and physical characteristics, this exhibition tries to understand the effect that emotion and the relationship between artist and model can have on the painting. Seeing a portrait as a way to investigate human relationships rather than to represent a figure, this is surely interesting for anyone intrigued by art’s connection to perception.

    Birmingham – ‘Oliver Beer’, Ikon Gallery

    The Ikon Gallery in Birmingham is hosting a comprehensive collection of work from British multi-media contemporary artist, Oliver Beer. If you love sensory pieces then we highly recommend making a visit, with sound featuring strongly in his work. Addressing issues such as humanity’s obsession with objects, it is sure to make the viewer re-consider their own relationship with possessions.

    Newcastle – ‘Wrot’ , BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art

    A true gem in the north east, the BALTIC is a fabulous gallery, located on the bank of the River Tyne. It is currently showing artist Holly Hendry’s latest collection, ‘Wrot’, acting as her first solo exhibition in a UK arts institution. It features many tactile sculptures, taking on irresistible goo-like forms. With her work previously featuring in exciting environments such as music festivals and more, this fun element to her work is instantly apparent in every piece.

    Where will you be heading this April?  Are there any essential exhibitions you think we have missed? Share your news with our readers on social media or in the comments below.

  • Self-Funded British Online Art Gallery Helps Put Pennies in Artists’ Pockets

    Independent online art gallery, Art2Arts is putting an end to the ‘struggling artist’ stereotype, using a simple but effective ecommerce platform to ensure painters are paid properly for their work. Since launching in 2006, the virtual art gallery businesses has generated over £1,000,000 in sales of each contemporary artist’s work, acting as a combined marketing and sales hub to help relevant artwork be seen by artwork fans  that are ready to buy.

    Unlike the physical art gallery environment, as well as other digital art businesses, artists that are a member of the Art2Arts community are not charged a joining or membership fee, with no contracts or exclusivity to limit their career. A small commission is taken from each sale of less than 40%, providing a fair platform for creative painters and other artists to earn a living from their craft.

    Michelle Gibbs, a passionate painter and daughter of a business owner, founded Art2Arts while searching for a way to sell her work online. With this understanding of the challenges faced by practicing artists as well as the realities of the business world, she manages to balance creating a profit while maintaining creative integrity as she manages her leading online art gallery.

    Michelle Gibbs, founder at Art2Arts revealed, “Creative people are often wary of the corporate, business world, with a similar attitude felt in reversal – they are often motivated by very different things! However, in order to be rewarded for their work and to make a living at their craft then an artist must dabble in the professional environment, no matter how daunting it may be.

    “That is why I started Art2Arts, using my creative and corporate knowledge to help the two worlds work in harmony.”

    Michelle learned her business credentials while assisting her father in her youth, enlisting her with an underlying understanding of the professional environment. This training saw her setting up ‘businesses’ from an early age, making and selling accessories at school. Now, this combination of creativity and commerce is apparent in Art2Arts, using these skills to put pennies in artists’ pockets, supporting and strengthening the industry.

    Art2Arts is a diverse art retail platform, hosting artwork from hundreds of carefully selected contemporary artists. With over a decade in business, it has become a trusted name with a loyal customer base, enjoying a five star rating on TrustPilot.

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