dog with stick in dark water,   
Oil on paper 57x76cm

‘dog with stick in dark water’

 Oil on paper 57x76cm

The Panter and Hall Gallery, located in Pall Mall, London, SW1, have just received an additional painting of a Dog swimming by Andrew Holmes . 

It’s now Mid December and dog in dark water will be probably be the last piece to be delivered to the Galleries this side of the New Year. Andrew’s looking forward to the break, to spending more time in development of the new ideas he has on the extensive ‘to do’ list.

Hopefully he’ll find time to relax a little with his sketchbook exploring these further.

  Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!

 For more information regarding this work, please see:

For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved.


A bathing, oil on panel,

ROI – Annual Exhibition – 2014

A Bathing -oil on panel – 50x60cm

Two quite different subjects.

Two pieces Andrew submitted to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Society (ROI) have been accepted for their annual exhibition, the subjects cover his still life work and a more recent study of a bather. Although these pieces differ in theme, the painted style is clearly in Andrew’s hand, demonstrating the simpler clean palette he favours.

A bathing – shown above, was originally a partner to the B bathing painting – below – which is currently exhibiting with the Panter and Hall Gallery, located in Pall Mall, just behind the Mall Galleries, where the ROI exhibition will be previewing on December 9th, 2014.

B bathing- oil on panel - 50 x 60 cms

B bathing- oil on panel – 50 x 60 cms


Andrew spent some time revisiting the larger still life piece – Cake or Death, shown below, and discussed in an earlier post.

Cake or Death , oil on canvas, 40" x 32"

Cake or Death , oil on canvas, 40″ x 32″ SOLD

The Mall Galleries has been run by the Federation of British Artists, (FBA), for many years and consists of eight British art societies.

The ROI is one of the older of these societies, founded in 1882 and granted its Royal status by King Edward VII in 1909. They host a variety of workshops and one exhibition in December each year, a mixed event celebrating several members archive pieces and more recent work, alongside selected non member submissions. 

We love making the trip to the Mall and now Christmas wouldn’t be the same without visiting the annual show which will be open from the 10th Dec and running to 21st Dec 2014.

The website catalogue for the 2014 ROI selected work is available at:

For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved. 

dog carrying stick, oil on panel, 40 x 40cm

Studies of Water – Painted in Oils

The more recent series of Andrew Holmes’s studies of “water with dog swimming” are nearing completion.

These paintings make up part of a larger body of work which Andrew has been focusing on over the past few months, covering the subject of ‘water and swimmers’ in a variety of spaces and locations.


dog turning with stick, oil on panel, 60 x 80cm

When Andrew approaches each painting, a different challenge is presented. In particular, this is true when abstracting the darker water in the image (above), dog turning, where he seeks to summarise the amount of painted information that is needed.


dog swimming with stick, oil on panel, 60 x 80cm

In choosing a wider composition for the painting, dog swimming with stick, (seen above), the foreground greenery was introduced, which offered additional detail and hues; this has provided Andrew a valuable opportunity to further develop the more simplified style that he’s currently exploring.

In his work, Andrew hopes to employ a depth and simple expression to describe a sense of place, and undertaking these paintings demanded that he question and examine the relevance of the extra contextual element, for example, how much of this would he acknowledge, whilst maintaining the quiet, reflective nature of the overall piece.

dog retrieving stick - Oil on Panel - 50 x 60cm

dog retrieving stick – Oil on Panel – 50 x 60cm

These four paintings were received by the Panter and Hall Gallery in Central London yesterday, and are to be included in their 2014 Mixed Christmas Exhibition.


 For more information regarding this work, please see:

For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved.


Still life at Frivoli

Over the following months the Frivoli Gallery is showing a selection of Andrew Holmes’s still life paintings of which the subject matter is food. cherryVelvet_81x81-1

So far, we gather that the large painting of Chips became quite a conversation piece during it’s short time in the window.  The Frivoli Gallery owner, Hazel, is inspired by her early love of sculpture and ceramics and as such, she has a keen understanding of shape and form garnered from many years designing and dressing film sets. Hazel used beautiful handmade ceramic lamps to light the Chips from below and the entire window glowed.

ROI 2009

Andrew only painted four large studies of Chips, this is the last piece in the subject and having met the collector, we are delighted that this painting has found a lovely home. 

The choice of subject Andrew selects to paint is varied. He focuses on particular features within an image and is interested to explore the way the tones and light in those specific elements can be expressed. The “eating” studies are observations of everyday food, in which he sees and hopes to evoke a potentially previously unconsidered, albeit familiar memory. 

The dialogue between art and food, much like art and literature or music for example, arguably exists. On the simplest level, we refer to the “palette” in an aesthetic appreciation of presentation and every piece of art is, naturally, subjective to individual “taste”.

Although controversial, it can be an argued that if a piece of art is an arresting image, in part, the artist has at least engaged the viewer and prompted discussion. These paintings are not designed or intended to achieve such a heightened narrative however, Andrew nevertheless enjoys hearing about the conversation and thoughts the paintings initiate and hopes that in the process, they raise an occasional smile.

beans on toast - oil on canvas - 40cm sq

beans on toast – oil on canvas – 40cm sq

Selected gallery details are available on the page marked Links.

For more information regarding any of Andrew Holmes work which Hazel currently holds, please follow the link to the Frivoli Gallery :

For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved.



Cake or Death, 40" x 32". SOLD

A fresh eye

Revisiting a painting.

Andrew’s aim is to impart the simplest visual information. His enquiry is as much about the abstract element in the paint, to provide just enough detail and to avoid unnecessary distractions.

cake or death  -  Oil on Canvas

cake or death – Original version

In an earlier painting, Cake or Death, Andrew reviewed the original background. With a fresh eye he repainted this and by removing the more textured background, he hopes this painting now has better clarity and more impact.


For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved.


Paints – Less can be more

Experimental abstracted painting can develop into stand alone works.

Behind many finished artworks lies a number of preparatory pieces made prior to commencing a body of work, to practice and study how paint moves using new or different techniques and procedures.

Developing as a painter is an ongoing process and an important part of the journey is to challenge and experiment with how paint can be applied and manipulated onto a surface. Before commencing a new group of paintings Andrew will often work on abstract studies and paintings in preparation for the finished representational pieces.


ABHolmes, oil on paper, untitled-14, 41 x 51cm


ABHolmes, oil on paper, alchemist, 50 x 65cm

As discussed previously, Andrew frequently explores any number of mediums and surfaces to gain a better understanding of the possibilities these have to offer. This exercise has two benefits. Firstly, to ‘get his head into the right space’ – particularly useful after completing a commercial project – and secondly, it supports his core interest of expanding his techniques to communicate ideas and aesthetics.


ABHolmes, untitled-06, 30 x 42cm

By using a limited palette the process can focus simply on mark making, and using black and white tonal painting has been Andrew’s traditional choice. While he tends to avoid the added considerations that colour brings, this study made in red not only shows a refreshing break in the monotone sketches but highlights how effective and powerful the use of colour can be.

ABHolmes, oil on paper, untitled-04, 57 x 76cm

ABHolmes, oil on paper, untitled-04, 57 x 76cm

During this period of experimentation the studio can resemble more of a laboratory with so many pots, brushes, tools and materials scattered and piled up on worktops, floor and shelves – and cleaning up afterwards can be a daunting task!


ABHolmes, oil on paper, untitled-10, 30 x 42cm


oil on paper, untitled-07, 57 x 76cm

The experimental pieces shown here were made directly before Andrew produced a small series of figurative paintings. In this piece below, a dog on paper, the use of some of these abstract techniques provided a route into achieving the background textures and brushwork.


Dog with stick, oil on paper, 56 x76cm SOLD

 Andrew works with a view to developing simple marks in his painting, to articulate a natural expression. His aim is for these now to become less complex and more fluent stand alone pieces.


ABHolmes, oil on paper, untitled-11, 30 x 42cm


For further information, please see:

 contact Andrew at:

© AB Holmes 2014, All rights reserved. 

Links and Press

For further information, a new page has been added;

Links and Press.