The Discerning Eye Exhibition – 2017

The selection process for this year’s Discerning Eye Exhibition is now complete and Andrew is delighted that he will have three new paintings included in the show. Sponsored by ING, this is a show of small works in various mediums and is always very exciting.

All three pieces to be included in this year’s hanging represent more of Andrew’s figurative work; an area within which he is keen to further develop fresh ideas and techniques.

Taya sketch- Oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm

It is always a daunting prospect for an artist to offer up their paintings for judgement in the public sphere. However, as mentioned in previous posts, submitting work into a show can, in fact, be a useful tool for an artist to gauge reaction, and where this exhibition differs is that the broad variety of curators also put together their own individual selections further contributing to the  show’s vibrancy and variation.

sketch 01A – Oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm

Andrew wanted these new works to be muted and uncomplicated. The more monochromatic approach of these images simplifies the decision-making process; where he can focus on the application of the paint, the marks and the tone and by using a limited palette, Andrew is able to concentrate more on the physical aspect of painting.

The Exhibition takes place in November at the Mall Galleries in Central London.

On their website, Discerning Eye says:

“The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. […]

The selectors choose both publicly submitted works and works by personally invited artists. Each selector’s section is hung separately to give each its own distinctive identity. The impression emerges of six small exhibitions within the whole. […]

The open submission provides an unusual opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be hung alongside contributions from internationally recognised names. Each selector is solely responsible for their own selection, not by committee and are required to select at least 25% of their section from the open submission.”

Auba – oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm

This year’s selectors are:

Artists: Elmo Hood and Anne Magill, Collectors: Ellen Bertrams and Miranda Richardson and Critics: Nicola Coleby and Simon Tait.

The 2017 Discerning Eye Exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 16 November until Sunday 26 November, between 10am and 5pm daily, at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1. Admission will be free and all the works will be for sale.

We now have to wait for the show to open in November to find out who has selected Andrew’s work for their wall in this year’s exhibition.

For more information regarding the Discerning Eye Exhibition,

please see:

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2017. All Rights Reserved.






The Pose: Recent Life Sketches

Over the past few months, Andrew Holmes has been further developing his figure drawings.

Andrew B Holmes – Life sketch – 01_4

When possible, Andrew enjoys joining a life drawing group as this provides an opportunity to share the same space and ideas with other artists.

Based in West London, the sessions attract an eclectic and multinational group of people from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds. All have varied styles and skills and nobody is there to cast judgement.


Short five or ten minute poses start the evening off, allowing the artists to focus.  Andrew says it is helpful initially to look for the basic shapes when time is limited. These are very useful short studies and frequently this time restriction can produce livelier work than the longer thirty-minute sessions.


In addition, models can adopt more challenging poses over a short period without drifting from their initial position; holding a physical shape over a half hour requires a sitter to have considerable stamina and the artists appreciate this.


Some models are students or budding actors who use the sessions to help build confidence, but others choose to sit for drawing purely because they share an interest in art.




Andrew’s practice is centred on an interest in painting and a curiosity in how contextualisation influences our perception and intellectual judgement of art.

      These sketches form part of the preparatory work he hopes to discuss in more depth soon.

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see :


© Andrew B Holmes 2017. All Rights Reserved.

A Tarte and some Cherries at the Frivoli Gallery

A new series of cherry paintings by Andrew Holmes together with tarte au fraise completed earlier in the year helped to set this years festive scene.

In the busy rush up to Christmas, the window at the Frivoli Gallery, located in the popular Devonshire Terrace area of Chiswick, West London – mentioned in earlier posts – was decorated with a seasonal theme of rich reds, golds and burgundy hues. We were very happy to supply a selection of Andrew’s still life paintings to help create this years theme.

morning cherries - 33 x 46cm - oil on canvas (Sold)
morning cherries – 33 x 46cm – oil on canvas (Sold)
cherries row - 33 x 46cm - oil on canvas (sold)
cherries row – 33 x 46cm – oil on canvas (sold)
cherries 02 - oil on canvas - 40 x 40cm
cherries 02 – oil on canvas – 40 x 40cm

The cherry subjects were drawn from a variety of compositions, and include studies on both canvas and paper – framed behind glass. As a small body of works, these paintings provide an opportunity to create partner pieces and to explore more individual studies within the collection as a whole.

tarte au fraise - 40 x 50cm - oil on Canvas
tarte au fraise – 40 x 50cm – oil on Canvas

Tarte au fraise set a vibrant coloured focal point which certainly drew the eye.

To see Andrew’s work displayed in a gallery window is always a huge complement and we understand that the paintings have been well received.

cherries 01 - 40 x 40cm - oil on canvas
cherries 01 – 40 x 40cm – oil on canvas

For more information regarding any of Andrew Holmes work currently showing with the Gallery, please follow the link to the Frivoli Gallery :

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© AB Holmes 2017, All rights reserved.




ING Discerning Eye 2016

This exhibition attracts some of the most interesting and varied artworks each year because the selectors are drawn from so many different areas of the art world. The works submitted cover a diverse range and styles, inclusive of the traditional approach but with a strong focus on contemporary pieces.

Andrew was very happy to have been introduced to and invited to exhibit a painting there last year by Steve Pill, Artists and Illustration magazine Editor. Steve was one of the six Discerning Eye judges for 2015 and Andrew’s painting Em Bathing was hung in his selection.

As the deadline drew nearer for the 2016 submissions, Andrew was keen to submit some work to see if these would stand up to the selection process. This can be an extremely useful way to test new ideas and concepts in the ever moving contemporary art world and to gauge how your work is received by a larger audience. Although, some artists are often reluctant to apply, not only due to the costs but because their work can be a very personal reflection and we remind ourselves that whilst it is an honour to be included, a great many excellent paintings, sculptures and photographs can slip past the judges when they have only a short time to make a decision. One key area which holds Andrew’s interest is in the aesthetic, within context, so he finds submitting works is an extremely helpful way to explore this further.

By limiting the size of works for this particular exhibition however, more works can be displayed and with the variety of selectors in many ways it becomes far more inclusive. The result is a show which offers the audience great energy.

This year’s selectors were made up from two established artists; Dan Coombs and Chris Orr RA. The collectors are both well known and very accomplished: actress, Celia Imrie and Ian Mayes QC, alongside Michael Glover and Sacha Craddock, representing the art critics .

Andrew B Holmes Untiltled - oil on paper - 41 x 31cm
Andrew B Holmes Untiltled – oil on paper – 41 x 31cm
AB Holmes - Untitled 02 - Oil on Paper - 41cm x 31cm
AB Holmes – Untitled 02 – Oil on Paper – 41cm x 31cm SOLD

Andrew submitted two paintings in oil on paper which we were very pleased to hear have been successful and will be included in the 2016 exhibition this autumn.

These studies of Girls – which have been discussed briefly earlier this year in his post Andrew B Holmes recent work – make up a larger body of studies and paintings currently being explored in the studio.

Andrew says: “I’m interested in how contextualising any form of art influences our perception of it and, using a formal and uncomplicated approach to place them into an ambiguous context, the paintings of generic young women are my oblique  and generic view of beauty. In working with both figurative and non-representational content, my practice is centred on an interest in the human condition and an inquiry into aesthetic appreciation.”

The link between the more abstract paintings and the detailed works, employing elements of traditional practice, is connecting more as these develop.

We are excited to know who has selected Andrew’s work for their wall but will have to wait to hear further news.

The 2016 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition will be the 25th show and it will open to the public at the Mall Galleries on Thursday 17 November and run until Sunday 27 November 2016. Admission will be free and all works will be for sale.

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2016. All Rights Reserved.


What’s in a name

I am a doughnut –

Food and cake paintings provide a rich source of inspiration and this subject is where Andrew Holmes is perhaps better known.

Whilst Andrew plans a series of paintings under an initial group title, it is  during the process where he then determines how this will be reflected and when individual titles are attributed.

a rose is a rose is a doughnut -122 x 152 cm - Oil on canvas
a rose is a rose is a doughnut -122 x 152 cm – Oil on canvas

Continue reading What’s in a name

Art Basel – Miami

Some of Andrew Holmes – ‘Eating Pieces’

The first week in December saw the start of Art Basel, the largest annual Art event in Miami.


‘Songs of Innocence’  – AB Holmes – Oil on Canvas, 122cm x 152cm

 In late 2012, the Unix Gallery, based in the lively Wynwood Arts District, approached Andrew and asked if they could commission a group of larger paintings of pastries.  Over several months he produced a selection of Andrew Holmes –‘Eating Pieces’ and a consignment was flown out to Unix for a solo show in May 2013.

These will remain with the gallery until June 2014, when they return to the UK.



We visited the Gallery and met the Unix Gallery’s Miami based Curator, last summer.

The Urban area where the Gallery is positioned exhibits a huge range of artworks and Andrew’s paintings hung at Unix alongside the works of Marcello Lo Giudice, Ingrid Dee Magidson, Alexi Torres and Desire Obtain Cherish, (DOC).


‘the promise of things to come’ –122 x 152cm and a smaller painting ‘tart’ – 41 x 51cm

We were told that Miami fills up with very interesting  people during Art Basel and the Wynwood Arts District attracts visitors from a diverse community of artists and collectors.


Unix relocated their main Gallery space to Chelsea, New York in late 2013.


‘it didn’t have to be like this’ – AB Holmes –  Oil on Canvas, 122cm x 152cm

In early 2014, The Unix Gallery profiled Andrew Holmes work on their Artsy pages, alongside the 3 dimensional pieces by Peter Anton and DOC, in an editorial post named ‘Art to satisfy your Sweet Tooth’ where they discuss the Unix Gallery’s interest in contemporary views of food and art.

This is an exert from this Unix Artsy post together with a link below to their full editorial listings:

“Inspired by human nature and the sensory experience of consuming sweets, Andrew Holmes paints images of doughnuts, cakes, and strawberry-topped pastries with skilled hyperrealism. Through dexterous brushstrokes and an adept handling of paint, he transforms decadent food items into objects of desire, intrigue, and nostalgia. In a work where he depicts a stack of doughnuts oozing jelly, the implied associations with gluttony and decadence are forgotten due to his inspired treatment of color, light, and negative space.”

Editorial by Alex Cesaria.

Cake or Death‘ * – Oil on Canvas 81cm x 102cm  
* The title, ‘Cake or Death’ was inspired from a sketch by the comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, please see:

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:



© AB Holmes 2014.  All Rights Reserved.



Learning to look – Life sketches

Some of Andrew’s Sketches


Every week in West London, a life drawing group meet in a room above a pub to draw together.

The people who attend are from varied walks of life, spanning all ages, using whatever medium they prefer, to practice their life drawing and sharing this common interest. There is no judging of ability or style.



The group of sketchers includes artists, a handful of architects, actors, students building up portfolios, and in particular, one elderly lady who always makes the journey whatever the weather. No matter how knowledgable or experienced each sketcher is, sharing their interest and simply accessing this inclusive group is invaluable.

Continue reading Learning to look – Life sketches