I’ve been busy over the cold winter months, but it hasn’t been all painting…
To start, I moved to a new space in October, from my studio of the past 3 years at Arthub in Deptford Bridge to Scena in Camberwell. The space is larger and brighter, and a bit closer to home. I made the move with fellow artist James Allen who also worked for the past few years at Arthub, so we’ve formed a small collective and enjoy having spaces next door to one another where we can test ideas, critique, and advise on the best type of white oil paint for the situation in question. Maybe a new artist group complete with manifesto on the horizon? If that happens I’ll post it. James is a very talented portrait and landscape artist, you can check out his work here.
Studio in Camberwell, London
I spent a few months during the latter part of 2013 working on illustrations for a very important project, a children’s book called The Daddy Haircut. You can see a number of illustrations from the book on my illustrations page.
The book was written by my sister Nicole Cable Scoubes, a two-time cancer survivor, to help young children understand what is happening with parents who are dealing with cancer. The book was published and released in January 2014 and is available in both hard and soft cover through many online retailers. If you’d like to buy a copy, you can find it here.
The Daddy Haircut
I have started experimenting with creating digital art on the iPad. I’m still getting used to some of the techniques and controlling the various apps for digital painting and drawing. Here is one of my initial attempts, Melissa NYC, created using Procreate for iPad.
I also took on a commission for another piece aimed at a young audience. I was asked to do a painting incorporating as many animals as possible to be used in a baby’s nursery. I considered many approaches to this piece, some very childlike with bright colours and cartoon-like qualities aimed at engaging and entertaining a baby, but in the end I decided to try and make it something that a child could enjoy for its colour and content while in infancy, and then for other reasons as they matured and could appreciate it as hand painted artwork. With this in mind, I tried out a few visual ideas before arriving at a composition of mainly African and jungle animals (plus a tiger), influenced by my appreciation for Mucha’s use of design elements, line work and muted, yet still colourful palette. The piece progressed through late 2013 and was delivered in time for Christmas.
Creatures Great and Small
In January, I started teaching art to a select group of 14-15 year olds through an organisation called Act On It who help engage their students in education and encourage progression in school through the arts. Until I was asked to run this series of sessions on visual arts, the organisation has traditionally focused on acting, dance and the performance arts, as well as a range of functional skills and transferable life skills, so I was very happy to be able to add to the repertoire of choices on offer to these students. The art sessions are once a week in Eastbourne at the Saffrons Sports Club and will finish in May 2014.
This was my first experience with teaching, and I was nervous at first not knowing what to expect, but I quickly established a rapport with the students, and immediately realised the reward of teaching. The students show a real enthusiasm for learning about art and have produced some great work, growing quickly in skill and confidence. We have worked with many different media and techniques, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and collage. We have also spent a good deal of time discussing the work of other artists, collecting reference material around Eastbourne, and sketching from life in local public areas.
Art classes in Eastbourne through Act On It
My good friend Rob Hale, founder and owner of the growing chain of gourmet grilled cheese restaurants Melty Way, has given one of my paintings a place of honour in his newest location in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City, Utah. The painting, Warm Winter Night, portrays the very spot in Sugarhouse that the new Melty Way now occupies, before the area was redeveloped over the past number of years. Thanks to Rob and Melty Way for this, and if you find yourself in Salt Lake City, make sure the Sugarhouse Melty Way is one of your stops, to support the local art, and more importantly for the delectable grilled cheese experience!
Melty Way restaurant – Salt Lake City, Utah – with ‘Warm Winter Night’
Warm Winter Night, 2005
Currently, I am nearing completion of a commissioned oil paining of Blenheim Palace, Oxford, that I will post shortly. Following that, I’ll start a series of commissions of the Barbican Centre in central London. I’ve done the research for these paintings and the photographs alone have got me excited to start work on them.
Flats in the Barbican Centre, London
I continue to work on other paintings between commissions and my full-time work in education, managing the delivery and assessment of GCE and GCSE Art and Design for Pearson UK (Edexcel), with the aim of completing enough work to hold another exhibition towards the end of 2014…we’ll see how things pan out.
As always, thank you for checking in. Feel free to contact me directly if you have anything you want to share, comment or discuss.
Limited edition prints are now available, produced from 3 of my original tattoo designs. Each one is are printed on heavy weight archival paper, signed and numbered from an edition of 10 per image.
Each print is £50 (approx. $75) which includes postage and packing costs. Prints are rolled and packed in cardboard tubing, shipping to anywhere in the world.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase one.
This painting was commissioned by Liberty & Co. of London to promote their ‘National Treasures’ campaign, which launches this week. The image will run on Wednesday October 19th in Stylist magazine, and then again on Sunday October 23rd in the Telegraph’s ‘Stella’ magazine and The Sunday Times’ ‘Style’ magazine.
The piece is currently featuring on the Liberty homepage at www.liberty.co.uk and a short video promo showing the work in progress has been put together for Liberty’s youtube channel.
The painting itself will hang in the store throughout the promotion from Tuesday October 25th, so if you’re in London, please stop into Liberty to see the painting, along with all the amazing limited edition products designed by the celebrities featured in the campaign.
The painting was completed over about three and a half weeks, and a total of 250 hours of painting time. Needless to say, some nights were spent on a mattress in the studio, and a few with no sleep at all.
From the initial composition and lineup of celebrities to the final outcome, the painting went through some major changes, but the print ad required even further alteration, so if you look closely, you will see that some of the celebs have moved around, or walked off altogether.
This week, I also removed a few of the original lineup from the painting and painted in Sir Peter Blake in preparation for delivery of the final painting to Liberty.