Lucian Freud at the Royal Academy

A trip to a London gallery is always overwhelming – world famous art in iconic spaces. Hence we had a one day trip to see Lucian Freud: The self portraits at the Royal Academy. Freud was a very private man who seldom gave interviews which adds to the mystery around the man. He had an […]

Living exhibition, Leeds

I managed to get up to Leeds for the Living Exhibition into which I’d entered one of my photographs. The exhibition stipulated that submissions should summarise what it meant to be alive in 2019, in black and white. A difficult brief but I chose the image below which was taken at a festival in Spain […]

Looser sketching style

I’ve been sketching people and objects in cafes and bars for about 3 years now and have seen a significant improvement but like many artists out there I still long for a looser style that is less about replicating real life and more about capturing the essence of a moment. The more I learn about […]

Emulsion transfer workshop

I recently ran my first art workshop up in Sheffield. I’ve run many IT training courses in the past but this was a different type of challenge. The workshop arose through a contact I made at the Wirksworth festival back in September. One of the visitors, Jo, was involved with a printing group up in […]

Sketching progress

It’s fascinating to put together a timeline of your work in one medium to give a sense of how you are progressing. This is particularly useful if you’re experiencing a creative block or negative thoughts about your ability. Below I’ve put together a timeline of my ‘cafe sketches’ over the past two years (oldest to […]

Abstracting the natural world

For my final set of emulsion prints for Wirksworth Festival this year I was looking for something a little more abstract than the existing set. Much as I’ve enjoyed slightly manipulating my own photographs in terms of colour and perspective it was now time to push things a little further. So in the triptych below […]

A Victorian find in Dovedale

I had a long run around Dovedale, Derbyshire last weekend. It’s a route I often do early in the morning and it keeps mostly to the hill tops and more remote valleys and gullies. It was a hot day and I was fairly dazed as I climbed up one of the last hills which is […]

THiNK submission

I had a good talk with the curator at the fantastic creative space THiNK in Nottingham a few months ago and she asked me to consider putting in for the summer open exhibition. It sounded like a great opportunity as the gallery gets good foot fall due to them hiring out their rooms for corporate […]

Emulsion transfer – a learning curve

I took it upon myself to perfect emulsion transfer of photocopied images onto canvas a few weeks ago. This is a technique we learnt at college and it immediately struck me as having great potential. I particularly like the way that the results are unpredictable, individual and have a nice retro aesthetic. However, previous attempts […]

Sheffield brutalism

We had a day trip to Sheffield which is easily accessible given the new station at Ilkeston. The weather was grey and overcast but as we were in search of urban decay and brutalism this enhanced the opportunities. Sheffield has not benefited from the level of regeneration of other northern cities but there does seem […]

Loughborough University degree show

We made the short hop to see the Fine Art degree show at Loughborough University and were not disappointed. Some of the work was quite breathtaking, particularly the painting and monotone mark making. Some of the pieces were huge in scale and it was easy to appreciate the time taken to produce them. I do […]

Trip to Galway and the Burren

A short break to Galway, Ireland was planned with a further foray on to the Burren. The Irish weather was kind and the contrast between the city and nature was stark. The challenge with urban photography in a place full of tourists is finding those shots that get underneath the skin of human existence. I […]

Long Eaton photoshoot

My son is a big fan of brutalist architecture so we spent an afternoon in Long Eaton trying to capture some shots of the urban environment in the fascinating back streets. Long Eaton has suffered economically but there is a rich history of manufacture and many of the buildings still reference the prosperous past. We […]

Format Festival 2019

The Format Festival that showcases international photography in and around Derby is always a fascinating event – not just the photographic work but also the venues which are used to host the various artists. This year new venues were on the trail, including the historical Tram Shed which had recently been renovated and is about […]

Hockney on the art of looking

I listened to a short interview with David Hockney on the tram in to college today (https://youtu.be/P2vPPviP9B8). As usual his analysis of art and our appreciation of the world around us was delivered with Yorkshire frankness and a wry smile. The quote that stuck with me is this one: Most people don’t look. They scan […]