Intelligent flight

Intelligent flight

art, painting
Somewhat depressingly, it's been more than four years since I last did a painting - a symptom of the pressures on my time, no doubt. Anyway, I treated myself to a self-indulgent chunk of time to do this painting. For quite a while now I've had an idea in my mind for a series of pictures based on birds of the crow family and so now I've made a start. I find the crow family fascinating, not least because they are deemed to be highly intelligent, especially carrion crows and ravens. I did this image of a raven with the aim of trying to convey something of its intelligence - hence the painting's title of 'Intelligent Flight'. The slightly cocked head and the direct stare combine to give a sense…
Read More
George Benson

George Benson

art, painting
Another legend I painted at a time when I was exploring a range of musical themes. Beyond creating a straight representation, at the timeI was using a reduced palette of four colours; cadmium red, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and titanium white, which I settled on to see how far I could push their creative potential. While this and other paintings I did at the same time are blue themed, others I did do not necessarily reflect the blue tones seen here.
Read More
Old man and fiddle

Old man and fiddle

art, painting
Not only is this the earliest painting I ever did on a musical theme, this also happens to be one of the earliest surviving paintings I ever did, full stop. As is obvious, it was based on a photograph (black and white if I recall correctly) though now I couldn't say where I found it, but I did it as a challenge as I was trying to teach myself how to paint at the time. It was done in acrylics on a canvas-textured paper. I liked working with acrylics because it suited my need to work fast and is very forgiving of mistakes. I do remember trying to get a bit of a dramatic lighting aspect into the picture as I was struck by the old boy's joyful smile and…
Read More

So little time

art, painting
If ever there was a symbolic illustration of how little free time I have in my life these days, this painting is it. In total it probably took around 8 hours or so to paint.  Sadly, those eight hours were spread across nearly a month. What with TMA marking, day schools, work commitments, family life, domestic emergencies and the ordinary hustle and bustle of everyday life I began to feel I'd never finish this picture. When I started it I was clean shaven. Over the time it took me to complete it I grew a beard (which I started to paint in) and then a few days ago I shaved the beard off which necessitated the painting out of the beard and getting things back to more or less where…
Read More

Starry starry night

art, creativity, painting
Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo. Occasionally one comes across a piece of work, whether in the world of atoms or the digital realm of bits and bytes that represents a quantum shift of imaginative and creative endeavour; the kind of work that makes one feel very humble indeed. And Petros Vrellis's sublime, gentle, visionary wonder is such a work. His starting point is Vincent van Gogh's, The Starry Night. The painting itself, as anyone who's even remotely familiar with it, is a night scene looking out over Arles with the blue mountains on the far horizon underneath which a swirling maelstrom of stars dance and whirl in a sky that fills two-thirds of the scene and bears down on the town and fields huddled below. One…
Read More

When the lights go out

art, creativity, painting
Anyone with any sensitivity to art could not look upon this image and remain unaffected by it.  Painted in 1998, it's a self-portrait by American born artist, William Utermohlen, and was created at a time when the ravages inflicted upon his brain by Alzheimer's disease were already such that his work tangibly manifests his dwindling capacity to externally reflect upon and render his sense of self. The paintings and drawings stop in 2000. “He died in 2007, but really he was dead long before that," explains the bright-eyed woman to a room full of sympathetic listeners. "Bill died in 2000, when the disease meant he was no longer able to draw.” This painting was one of a series presented by Utermohlen's widow, Patricia Utermohlen, and Dr Shelley James at an…
Read More