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Feeling motivated to paint some scenery depicting a typical weekend where my gallery unit is based, I took some photos on Sunday and captured some great characters which will make an amusing little painting (I hope). Working on a 20×16″ stretched canvas.

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20/08/19: first hour…
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So I finally feel motivated to paint again and I’m feeling “experimental”. It’s been long overdue but I’m at last dipping my toe into oil painting (not literally!) and I’m painting over the abandoned ‘Pulp Twisting’ piece I started earlier in the year.

This should be a very interesting learning curve…

The abandoned piece…
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25/07/19: 10mins…
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Coming up to an hour so far and I’m already learning that you can’t paint over blacks with white anywhere near as quickly as with acrylics. It’s nice that the paint flows into each other but how that will affect the later, more detailed stages is going to be interesting…

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26/07/19: 2hrs (the paint was still wet from last night so not much progress)…
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EXPERIMENT OVER – the paint was still slightly wet midway through August, so it just isn’t going to be practical for my style. ANOTHER abandoned painting!

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It’s fantastic that, after Saturday’s Champions League final win, I finally get to paint and add a new Liverpool manager to my existing ‘Trophy Winners’ artwork!

4/6/19:
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45mins…
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2hrs30…
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3hrs45…
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5/6/19: completed after roughly 6hrs…
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I decided to scrap the second song-lyric-inspired painting, ‘Valerie’, as it had become too much of a chore rather than a passionate project.

It has worked out nicely though, for the piece I’m painting over those first 15mins of waterfront base colours fits really well.

This piece is being done for a light night exhibition hosted by Liverpool Horror Club in May, this years theme being “ritual”.

Combining one of my favourite films, ‘Donnie Darko’, with features from the horror film which is being shown in the cinema scene (‘Evil Dead’), I’m using this to assume the ritual of getting up every day (‘Frank’ always telling ‘Donnie’ to “wake up”)…

 

15mins already done previously…

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29/04/19: 45mins…
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2hrs30…
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3hrs45…
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30/04/19: 6hrs…
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01/05/19: 8hrs30…
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02/05/19: completed after roughly 10hrs…
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a little 12×9″ piece to keep me busy whilst at Suede Galerie during the quiet days…

 

26/04/19: 30mins…

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1hr30…

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16/05/19: absolutely no passion or interest in doing this piece so I’m scrapping it!

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This will be the second in a planned series of four paintings inspired by the first line/verse of song lyrics (‘Lua’ was of course the first back in January).

Some images taken by myself and my friends to work from…
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25/04/19: first 15mins…

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29/04/19: PAINTING ABANDONED – it was a nice concept to paint a set of four pieces inspired by the first lines/verses of song lyrics but the passion I felt whilst creating the first one (‘Lua’) couldn’t be recreated. ‘Valerie’ and the other two I had in mind were not songs that meant as much to me as ‘Lua’ does, so it all began to feel a bit artificial and forced.

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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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18/02/19: 30mins…

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19/02/19: 2hrs30…

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22/02/19: ‘Ross’ 2hrs30…

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01/03/19: ‘Rachel’ 2hrs15…

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04/03/19: ‘Chandler’ 2hrs…

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08/03/19: ‘Monica’ 2hrs30…

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11/03/19: ‘Joey’ 2hrs…

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13/03/19: ‘Phoebe’ 2hrs…

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13rs30…

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27/03/19: ‘Ross’ completed after 5hrs30 overall…

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28/03/19: ‘Rachel’ completed after 5hrs30 overall…

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01/04/19: ‘Chandler’ completed after 4hrs30…

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02/04/19: ‘Monica’ completed after 5hrs30…

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08/04/19: ‘Joey’ completed after 4hrs45…

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10/04/19: ‘Phoebe’ completed after 5hrs…

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Together in sequence…
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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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07/01/19: 45mins…
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09/01/19: 2hrs45…
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14/01/19: 5hrs…
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7hrs…
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15/01/19: 9hrs30…
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16/01/19: completed after roughly 12hrs overall…
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I’ve been eager to start this one, which I’m calling ‘Bright Eyes’ (edit: decided on ‘Lua’ in the end) 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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