This morning I received news that I'd been selected along with nine other artists to attend a four night residency in the Brittany area of France. The event, full board and catering, is courtesy of a philanthropic financier via Artfinder. Over the years, in spite of getting myself out there, and applying for things, I have won very little, so this comes as a welcome boost to my artistic career. I'm looking forward to painting plein air in the late spring warmth (fingers crossed) of the French countryside and to be sharing the experience with other artists. Thank you Artfinder.
Earlier this Month the Mall Galleries, courtesy of Parker Harris (sponsor of ST watercolour comp and others) was offering a free figure masterclass hosted by Henry Gibbons Guy, a tutor at the Royal Drawing School. I hadn't sketched a figure in a formal situation for over two decades and couldn't resist the offer. Paper, charcoal and easels were provided, along with excellent, top class tuition from Henry. I managed to produce three almost passable drawings which suggested I need to do more figure drawing.
Last month I was contacted by a French based gallery asking me to preset a few paintings for their monthly selection committee, with a view to producing some work for sale in their brick & mortar outlets around the world. The set up is a something of a production line, creating a number of works at a fixed size for a fixed price, but might bring in a bit to line the HJ coffers, and with little to loose and something to gain ... why not? These are three of the paintings I sent, there''s one more of Trafalgar Square, 13cm, 18cm and 21cm sq. I enjoyed working in the square format, and shall be doing some more.
This morning I spent an enjoyable couple of hours with a group of fellow artists who sell work on Artfinder, along with the team behind this successful enterprise. Created in 2012 by Jonas Almgren, soft-spoken, engaging and enviably good at business, Arfinder has succeeded where other have failed, most notably as a conduit able to sell my work on a regular basis. No mean feat. Artists are often seen as self-absorbed and elitist, and I'm sure some are, but my experience with most is of a self-affacing and gregarious individual, contented in their own creative challenges. Artists and those in creative enterprises are, on the whole, a friendly lot.
On Tuesday last week I received confirmation that one of my paintings had been accepted for inclusion in the 205th Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries. With my return to painting in 2013 after a gap of nearly 20 years, this is a pleasing achievement. In three and a bit years of painting watercolour I've learned from a number of workshops and demonstrations hosted by artists I admire, useful new techniques and efficient use of the my modest skill. Of the many open exhibitions entered, most without success, the few which have chosen my work for show have made the process worthwhile. There is a long way to go from the initial inspiration seeing a small watercolour in the window of a gallery in Wells where I thought "I want to do that, to create that other world in paint, in that most unforgiving medium: watercolour." It now presents my most satisfying challenges with the occasional prize result.
MAJOR NATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
The painting was selected from a record number of entries to appear alongside paintings by some of Britain’s leading watercolour painters. This year 1,000 works were submitted to the exhibition. The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours exhibition will be on display at Mall Galleries between 6 and 22 April 2017.
The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) hold an open submission exhibition in central London each year. Founded in 1831, the RI was established to exhibit the best of progressive watercolours, showing a diversity of styles and techniques, from traditional uses of the medium to the more experimental and innovative paintings.
Last week I attended my second painting workshop with Chris Forsey RI. The first one was watercolour and the most recent, attempting the subject of dramatic coastlines in acrylic and mixed media. This is unknown territory for me, having done little work with acrylic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chris, like the other professional RI painters I've met at workshops, is an excellent tutor, instilling energy and confidence in all the attendees. Looking forward to more.
This morning I recieved a parcel containing a selection of Stillman and Birn sketchbooks, samples to try sent by a generous individual. These sketchbooks are top quality, and my experience with then has been excellent. Strong, resiliant paper (check the specs here) which gives confidence to tha artist when using washes, inks, pens and anything else you might want to apply to it. I like these books very much, and the new soft cover makes a perfect lighter weight travel companion (travel being whenever I leave the house). I'll be posting images of my progress through these books, both here and on my Twitter and Instagram accounts, so keep watching.
After a busy but relaxing and enjoyable Christmas holiday, I'm back in the studio. My plan is to develop a certain atmosphere in the paintings, something which appeared by accident in a couple I painted last year; the effect which occurs when a hard light shines through mist or cloud, it's getting there but still requires work, and more painting ... and even more painting. Here are a couple of examples, based on the Calais Tracks series I painted last year. I employ a hard top light - an unapolegetic cinematic favourite used bt Ken Adam to create a sense of vast size - and high contrast. The subject matter is also changing to something a little less bucolic. I shan't overthink this, better to just get stuck into the painting.
Clapham Tracks v3. 22"x15"
Clapham Tracks v4
Note use of asking fluid to define tracks and signal lamps.
London Tracks. Same technique as above.
Henry Jones Artist
Working predominantly in watercolour and associated media, from life, and in my studio from sketches. This site displays a small selection of work, some is for sale, others already sold. If you'd like to enquire about a sale or commission, please contact me here for a quick reply.
Gallery 17, Beckenham
A small selection of my work can be seen at Gallery 17, Beckenham. As well as selling original art and prints, they offer a first class framing service.
A2 Gallery, Wells
If you're visiting Wells, couple of my paintings can be seen at the A2 Gallery. www.a2gallery.co.uk