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Once again, I’ve had a dream that has inspired me. This is kinda spooky though! The dream consisted of me being with a group of friends somewhere and a girl dressed as a hotel chambermaid was talking to a couple of friends about getting a painting done. They called me over and I looked at the photo she wanted painting and I gave her a ridiculously cheap quote, so it was definitely a dream! Who was in the photo? It was …Jennifer Aniston!!? She was dressed in black lingerie and looking damn fine!

Now, there is no reason in the world I can think of why Jennifer Aniston would be in my head. I’ve not watched anything with her in for a long time and she’s not one of my celebrity crushes so I woke up baffled. However, knowing how my dreams have influenced me in previous years (for instance, the ‘Beatlejuice’ idea came from a dream), I decided to consider painting ol’Jen and began to google a few images. And what did I discover? It turns out that ‘Friends’ was first aired 25 years ago in September! What are the chances?! Quarter of a century ago, one of the greatest US sitcoms of all time was born! So, there it is. My next piece will be a celebration of all six main characters, to commemorate this anniversary. And all this coming from the most random of dreams. Crazy!

 

12/02/19: background painted in 5-10 mins…

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So, after trading in the Red Brick Hangar behind ‘The Higson Gallery’ identity, it’s time to move on. Slightly. No longer in partnership with Poto Studios, I’ve been going it alone in January. Now is the time to completely start afresh, so I’m moving units within the hangar and I’m going to be focusing predominantly on original paintings and acquiring commissions.

25/01/19: the new unit, recently painted white (by a new tenant who didn’t last long at all) so a nice clean undercoat ready for me!…

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Simple paint job done in a few hours…

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30/01/19: Carpet fitted, gallery rail fitted and a few canvases and small magnet shelf put up for now. Lights next…

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02/02: Starting to populate the walls with original artwork now, and attached the lights and shelving in its proper place now…

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04/02: Finally managed to get hinges drilled into the fridge door and mounted it to the wall! Also painted an mdf board and drilled it to the back wall, ready to attach the new sign (which will hopefully arrive before Friday)…

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05/02: More originals hung today and added a table lamp, for that cosy living-room feel…

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06/02: More b&w originals hung today, another shelf put up next to the fridge door, and a pallette and paintbrush screwed to the back wall…

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07/02: One of the signs put up but the main one came damaged beyond use so will have to wait for the replacement to get here – moved the light to less dominant place and now the ‘Scouse Superhero Scandal Series’ command attention again…

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09/02: almost finished, with a couple more originals hung on the white wall and a nice red stand bought from next door for the lamp…

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11/02: sign up! …

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14/02: More originals and more shelving put up…

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15/02: Suede Galerie finished and fully stocked…

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I’ve been eager to start this one, which I’m calling ‘Bright Eyes’, since the concept of my new direction popped into my head towards the end of October last year.

The idea is to still create work that has some form of reference to an ‘icon’ of some sort, but in a far more subtle way than just a simple painting of a famous figure, movie scene etc.
I want to inject some personal passion into this new work and create an almost cryptic painting where, if you get it then you get it but if you don’t then it’s ok – there should be enough depth in the piece where the viewer can attach their own meaning or feelings or memories to it and, ultimately, enjoy the artwork (I’ll not publish the meaning or reason behind the piece to allow this).

Of course, I may be heading down a road where the work I create is much more unappealing compared to the relatively “safe” paintings I’ve been doing for the majority of my brief art career so far. That’s fine. This new direction is most definitely being taken to seek more personal, creative satisfaction rather than financial reward.

Here are a few photos I’ll be working from, the first set taken by myself on 16/11/18 and the second set taken on 24/11/18 by the lovely Fran (@franded81 on Instagram) who had a fashion shop unit inside Red Brick Hangar, opposite The Higson Gallery, which I run. She kindly gave up some of her time to help in this project, as did the beautiful model Heather, who also has a fashion brand operating out of the Hangar (@heatherseenthis on Instagram)…

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07/01/19: first 15mins…
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45mins…
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08/01/19: 2hrs15…
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09/01/19: 3hrs…
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21/01/19: 5hrs30…
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6hrs30…
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22/01/19: 8hrs30…
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23/01/19: probably around 13hrs now (so hard to get likenesses that small!)…
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28/01/19: close to completion after 15hrs30…
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30/01/19: ‘Lua’ completed after 17hrs approximately. I’m really pleased…

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An 18×14″ commission in black and white for a Christmas present…

27/11/18: 10mins…
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45 mins…
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1hr30…
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28/11/18: 2hrs45…
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04/12/18: 4hrs…
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11/12/18: completed after roughly 6hrs overall…
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12×9″ stretched canvas in black and white acrylics…

10/10/18: 15 mins…
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1hr…
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11/10/18: 2hrs…
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22/10/18: 3hrs15…
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31/10/18: 4hrs30…
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08/11/18: completed after 9hrs30…
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Another beautiful pet portrait linked to the Galgos rescue centre in Spain…

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13/09/18: 30 mins…
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2hrs30…
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19/09/18: 4hrs…
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25/09/18: 6hrs30…
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27/09/18: completed after roughly 12hrs…
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18×14″ commission in b&w acrylics

10/08/18: first hour…

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1hr30…
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13/08: 4hrs30…
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16/08: 6hrs30…
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20/08: 9hrs30…
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21/08: 11hrs…
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22/08: 12hrs30…
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23/08: 14hrs30…
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30/08: 15hrs30…
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03/09: 18hrs…
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10/09: completed after roughly 23hrs…
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Inspired by the new venture as part of The Higson Gallery in Cains Brewery Village, it is time to add to the ‘Scouse Superhero Scandal Series’ of work…

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26/06/18: 1hr…
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27/06/18: 3hrs30…
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09/07/18: 5hrs…
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30/07/18: 6hrs…
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12/09/18: completed after roughly 10hrs…
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I Con Art and Poto Studios (where I often do my painting and where I get my printing done) will be working together on a new permanent retail unit inside the Red Brick Vintage Warehouse at the Cains Brewery site, situated on Stanhope Street in Liverpool. Hopefully, we will be fully operational by Tuesday 22nd May at the latest. Here are some images of the development:

14/05/18: the shell – this is the double unit of which we will be occupying half of the space (the tape measure roughly indicating where the dividing wall between ourselves and a fortune teller will be)…
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16/05/18: After I had wood-filled all the screw holes…
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Me putting the paint on…
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The carpet tiles being fitted by Charlie…
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17/05/18: We couldn’t do much today after the carpet tape went missing but the paint has taken well…
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18/05/18: carpet tiles laid right to the back of the unit now, with just one more strip to do (after the wall goes in this Sunday). Hanging rail also erected on the back wall for panoramic canvas display…
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20/05/18: trading began yesterday and today the wall was partly installed…
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21/05/18: wall completed…
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22/05/18: makeshift display on the new wall…
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23/05/18: new wall now wallpapered so things swapped round temporarily…
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25/05/18: We now have a name and a sign!…
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08/07/18: Almost 2 months of trading and things are good!…
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