Doug Eaton is a British landscape painter based in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. His work is incredibly colourful, and the way he captures the light shows influences from the Impressionist movement. His work often shows trees, which stretch across the whole canvas, dividing the landscape. In this painting, he is contending with the reflections in the water, and I think the mirror effect is quite ambiguous and could even be an extension of the ground.
I think I’ve always been interested in what paint does and hopefully have applied it in as many different ways as my imagination will allow. I have always been aware of a “painterly look” over and above a clinical rendition of anything. I don’t mind the odd dribble here or there if only to remind the onlooker that it is paint at the end of the day.
What I particularly like about this painting, is the colour palette. The reds and yellows are so warming, we can almost feel the sunlight hitting our skin as it comes through the trees. There is enough blue and purple to give the depth to the horizon without taking away from the warm colours. Eaton’s use of colours are unusual for a landscape, making it quite abstract. I can become quite absorbed in his brushstrokes and mark-making, especially the bright twig branches which strike across the rest of the painting.
More of his work can be seen here, and he has work for sale on Etsy.
Chloe Cheese is an artist born in London. Since graduating from The Royal College Of Art, she has worked as an artist and freelance illustrator. Her practice is described on her website:
Chloëʼs personal work always concerns her view of the world around her which she interprets according to her own observation and sensibility. Sometimes the first use or intention of buildings and objects has been lost or altered. She tries to retain a sense of that history and how it subtly infiltrates our visual landscape.
What I love about this piece in particular is how our eyes and attention are caught by the figure in the foreground, and follow up the dark stairs to the door. The figure has quite a confused, almost patronising expression which makes me feel like my voyuerism is being judged. The figure’s coat is the brightest and strongest colour, and is completely opposite to the drawn outline of the second figure at the foot of the stairs. It actually took me a while to see the second figure.
I believe this piece is mixed media, with paint and charcoal being two materials I think I can identify. There is a charming freeness to her mark making, with the drawing being loose, capturing an impression of the scene. I could believe that this drawing was made from direct observation.
Jenny Morgan lives and works in New York, USA. Her paintings are a combination of hyper-realism and abstract, with her figures sometimes being blurred or a hand is painted a bold, solid colour. It gives an interesting element to figurative and portrait painting.
‘Let Go 2010’ shows a portrait with a blurred out face. It looks although the face, which had once been painted, has been wiped away in a vertical action. I wonder if it’s symbolic of some form of identity censorship. Morgan has kept the very fine hairs which creep across the figures face. It is just the facial features which are obstructed.
There are hands framing the face, delicately touching the cheek and under the chin. These hands are painted with a dark skin tone, taking a redness from the solid red background. Do the hands belong to the figure? Or to someone else? The hands appear as if collaged in place, not fitting correctly with the rest of the painting, and yet it still works.
Morgan’s work is extensive, with multiple exhibitions and opportunities to see her work in person. I find her work to be really exciting and interesting; an organic development in the field of figurative work without staying completely true to the model’s form.
Whilst in Birmingham earlier this week, I picked up a catalogue for the New Art West Midlands. This is where I saw this piece, by a recently graduated artist, Georgia Henn. The installation is described as 74 documentary photographs, Perspex tubes and photographic display mounts.
The piece originally reminded me of David Hockney’s photographic work, where he photographs a subject from multiple angles to build a cubist inspired impression of the subject. Henn has used documentary style photographs of her grandfather whilst in hospital. Where the photographs are suspended on different heights, the piece gives a fresh perception on its depth, and explores the combination of photography and sculpture as an artistic medium.
The catalogue describes the work as:
Its aesthetic, materials and subject give the work a clinical feel; when seen as one image, it appears to both isolate and rupture the body, making it dissolve into the walls and into the ether. The effect is curious and melancholic, at odds with what we might expect of a portrait of a cherished family member.
From my own experience, when visiting a loved one in hospital I find it hard to focus on the body in the bed, and often observe the different objects and surfaces of the room. Henn’s piece still allows me to do so, even with the portrait being the focal point. It looks like a fascinating installation, which I wish I could see in person.
More of her work is available on her website here.
Spencer Tunick is an American Photograph who is known for his nude photography, often containing a mass of people. Although the medium used is technically photography, the pieces are actually a documentation of an installation. Tunick uses the nude bodies to occupy and fill a space, changing its meaning and then documents the event through a well compositioned photograph.
His work certainly makes a statement. Nudity has been used throughout art for almost as long as art has been around, but Tunick’s photographs help to normalise the naked human body through repetition. It is more common to see the naked body associated with sex than anything else. Especially using photography and nudity, Tunick ran the risk of his work being potentially viewed as pornographic – which it certainly isn’t. Nudity and sexuality is everywhere in Western culture, through advertising and TV, and so it is refreshing for an artist to take the literal nude form and reclaim it as something which is not sexual.
Tunick’s installations use a variety of landscapes and locations, some familiar and some not. Perhaps his reasoning is to inject the natural human body back into the world, and remind us that we are part of it.
He has been known to grade his models by age, gender, hair length or skin tone, to achieve different looks within his work. It’s possible to sign up to take part in one of his photographs using this form on his website.
I first came across this whilst visiting the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 at The Wilson Gallery in Cheltenham. From what I have seen of Crawshaw’s work since seeing this piece I have come to realise that ‘Moonshine’ is an anomaly, not that it should be taken any less seriously. There is something very special about the simplicity behind it.
The majority of his work which is available to view online is landscape based; oil paintings which are realistic to the dramatic photographs of his journeys around North Wales, with ethereal and moody tones and imagery.
‘Moonshine’ is evidently more playful. Crawshaw has created an idealistic vision of our closest celestial body on an ordinary household object.
This piece stood out to me because of the unusual choice of surface material to be drawn into, described as ‘Nail on Found Object’. I can imagine him doubled over his desk scratching away into the base of the frying-pan, possibly not realising what image he was creating. Creating an uncomfortable sound as he worked.
From a distance in the gallery, it looked like it could have been sprinkled with flour, and was only until much closer inspection that the detail of mark-making can be truly appreciated.
It is refreshing to see such a familiar found object transformed in such a successful way, going from a disused functional object to a visual experience.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 catalogue reads:
The idea for this drawing really came out of nowhere. A pan, hanging in my studio for years having survived numerous camping trips and inattentive fry-ups, presented itself as a surface for something else. It’s accumulated scuffs and scratches lured my eye into an imagined space.
It’s the kind of drawing which pushes the boundary of the conventional understanding of what makes a drawing, with no paper or pencils in sight.
It’s also the kind of drawing which will stay with me whilst I’m cooking at home, and I’m concerned that now I will always see space in my pans.