Chanctonbury Rain selected for RBA Annual Exhibition 2015
Chanctonbury Rain, part of an ongoing series of work completed on the South Downs Way has been selected by The Royal Society of British Artists for inclusion in its annual show.
Running from 11 – 21 March 2015 at the Mall Galleries in London, the show will present the best of contemporary painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing sourced from member artists and through open submission. Most works will be for sale.
There will also be a series of artist demonstrations and workshops. Read more about the exhibition and events during the show at the Mall Galleries exhibition page.
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
Admission £3, £2.50 concessions.
Dunstanburgh Castle accepted for Pastel Society Annual Show
Christopher’s graphite drawing of Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland is to be shown in the Pastel Society’s annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London from 24 February to 7 March 2015.
The 2015 Annual exhibition will be opened by John Russell Taylor, English critic and author. He is the author of critical studies of British theatre; of critical biographies of figures in Anglo-American film; and several books on art.
The show opens with a private view on 23 February – download an e-invite to the private view – and is then open from 10.00am to 5.00pm each day (3pm closing on the final day) until 7 March. The exhibition is at:
The Mall Galleries
Free entry with an e-invite
Stormlight private view attracts 120 visitors
More than 120 art buyers, private collectors and members of the public visited the opening night of Stormlight, Chris’ first solo show at the Hop Gallery in Lewes on Saturday.
Showing more than 40 new drawings, etchings and gravures, Chris opened the show with a talk on his influences and processes before discussing his techniques throughout the evening with individual visitors. Chris described the response to the exhibition and his work as “breathtaking” and “absolutely fantastic”.
Chris featured in Biscuit Factory’s Autumn Collection
The Biscuit Factory is the UK’s largest art, craft and design gallery, hosting four major exhibitions a year and representing the work of around 250 artists each season. Having work showcased in his home town is a significant achievement – one Chris hopes to build on with his ongoing work on the Northumbrian coast.
The Biscuit Factory is located in Byker, five minutes from the centre of Newcastle at:
The Biscuit Factory
Newcastle upon Tyne
0191 261 1103
Open: Monday to Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-6 & Sunday 11-5
Stormlight: New solo show at the Hop
From , in Stormlight, his first solo exhibition at the Hop Gallery in Lewes, Christopher will exhibit 40 new works that include drawings, intaglio prints and photopolymer gravures.
Featuring exclusively British landscapes, the show will have a dual focus — half on locations in East Sussex and half influenced by the wilds of the Northumbrian coast. It will feature not only the finished pieces, but will also give visitors an insight into Chris’ process as he displays original sketches, prep work and transparencies together with a model lightbox to demonstrate his techniques.
As Chris says, “Most people like to see sketches and plates so I’ve been working with a local model builder, Dave Thirlwell to build a model to help me to demonstrate my process. Because of the way I use an ultraviolet lightbox, we’ve really gone over the top for this exhibition, building a case to hold a light source with a transparency which will help to explain the projection.
There are quite a few people in and around Lewes who are from the north east originally — in fact they’re 6th or 7th generation which I was surprised about. So, I’m pleased to be showing work locally at this, my first one–man show, from the two locations that have inspired me so much.”
Castle Ditch Lane
off Fisher Street
Open: Monday to Saturday 10:30am – 5pm | Sunday 12:00 – 5pm
Phone: 01273 487744
Preview and meet the artist
Saturday 18 October 2014 6:30pm – 8.30pm
Saturday 18 October 2014 to Sunday 26 October 2014
My process: Intaglio, influences & inspiration
Based on an interview with Christopher in May 2014. Having just been accepted as a guest artist at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, and about to have work publicly displayed in the Royal Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Christopher was preparing for his first solo show.
Buyers often ask me about the various processes and techniques I use to produce my prints and gravures. Most often I’m asked about my influences, my non–toxic approach and the specific steps I take to create new editions. I hope this gives a good insight into the methods I use and how I run my studio.
Several times a year, I relocate for a few days to what I like to call my ‘man-cottage’ on the island of Lindisfarne which is off the wild coast of Northumberland. This former fisherman’s cottage is the base for all my Northumbrian work. I choose all my locations before I start my trip by using Google Maps to pinpoint specific viewpoints to maximise my time there.
I get up early each morning and once at my chosen location I use sketch books, photography and sometimes film to record as much information as possible.
At the studio in East Sussex
Once back at my studio in East Sussex, I assess all my prep work from on location and then start the final graphite drawings. An A3 drawing will take a week to complete. I decide once the final drawings are complete whether it will become an etching or be sold as an original drawing.
For the etchings I scan the original drawing onto my Mac and output the image on to acetate to create a transparency. The polymer etching plate is first exposed with an aquatint screen and then exposed with the transparency with UV light. This etches the drawing on to the plate. The plate is then developed in water, dried and is then ready for the printing process. The plates are then inked, wiped and, along with dampened handmade printmaking paper, pulled through my intaglio press to produce the handmade etchings. Once I am happy with the first artists proof I will start the limited edition print run.
I’ve actually had to teach myself how to draw again and especially in terms of skies, I had to quickly develop some advanced skills. I always laugh about the fact that as a kid I used to do drawings of Yorkshire and Northumberland villages and sell them at local fayres, but as I wasn’t confident in those days with drawing skies I always left them blank. Fast forward 40 years, and for all my skies, I draw, building up the layers of graphite pencil and using blending tools and erasers to create each sky. I buy all of my drawing materials from L.?Cornelissen and Sons in London which has been supplying artists since 1855.
The artists that have had the most influences on my work were the drawings and mezzotints of John Constable, the watercolours of Thomas Girtin and most of the work by William Turner. My photographic heroes were the fine art photographers Steichen, Stieglitz and Sudek.
The two printmakers I admire are Norman Ackroyd RA and Emma Stibbon RA. They both work mainly in black and white as I do.
For me, the most inspirational places are to be found on the romantic Northumbrian coast — especially from Craster up to Berwick–Upon–Tweed. I fell in love with this area as a child, spending family holidays and weekends there. It has been a massive influence because it’s got everything — ruined castles, the sea, wild moorland, wild coastline and of course the ever–changing weather. I see beauty wherever I go in the British Isles, and especially when the weather is stormy. Most people would be heading for cover, but I love it. I find it so much more interesting as a landscape artist when the weather is at its worst.
The importance of branding
My background is in advertising so it’s really helped to have a knowledge of branding. I’ve promoted the brands of the two companies I’ve started successfully, so as a printmaker it’s important to realise that you have to build a brand. I use a logo, and take care to choose beautiful paper for wrapping prints, decorating them with labels. I wrap each print beautifully in black envelopes as I want people to feel that they’re getting something special in the same way as if they bought a handmade book.
The white butterfly motif
I use a white butterfly as a motif. Not all the prints include one, but you’ll find one in every drawing. Everybody knows about it now and collectors enjoy the whole thing about trying to find them. I’ve been obsessed with white butterflies for decades and I suppose it signifies a remembrance of my Dad who was a great artist, but who unfortunately didn’t fulfil his promise.
The Biscuit Factory
I signed a contract with the Biscuit Factory for 12 months in March 2014 and it’s great to have a presence in a cool Newcastle gallery. It has three floors of the work of local artists. I’ve got six prints up there. It feels like a landmark to get into a gallery in my hometown. The Biscuit is an upcoming place for art and it’s run by lots of young people. They have a good cross–section of work including painting, printmaking, sculpture and pottery. It’s in Byker which used to be very run down when I was a kid, but now, along with the Ouseburn Valley, is a great example of good urban renewal with small independent galleries, businesses and affordable housing
After preparing 45 pieces of work for my first solo show in October my next big project will be a whole new series of work which includes drawings, etchings and photogravures from the shoreline of the River Thames from Rochester in Kent right through London to Richmond–Upon–Thames. It will include lots of iconic buildings and bridges from the last three hundred years.
Artist’s Proof: Society of Graphic Fine Art
Having been elected as an associate member to the SGFA last year, Chris’ prints have been featured in the Artist’s Proof series in The Journal, the Society’s blog.
Founded in 1919, the Society promotes fine drawing skills in both traditional and contemporary media. Today there are more than 120 elected members of the Society across the UK. Read the full article.
Private view: Third year running at the RBA
Chris is delighted to have had work accepted for the 297th Royal Society of British Artists’ Annual Exhibition where he will show two recent landscape etchings — Bosham Summer Storm and Bamburgh — at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 from 5 to 15 March 2014.
Exhibiting the best of contemporary representational painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing, sourced from member artists and open submission, this year’s show will be officially opened by journalist and presenter Andrew Marr at a private view on Tuesday 4 March.
During the exhibition, there will be a series of free talks and demonstrations including a printmaking demonstration by Mick Davies and Melvyn Petterson RE. View full details, a timetable of talks and all exhibition works.