Over the past few months, Andrew Holmes has been further developing his figure drawings.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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. Admission will be free and all works will be for sale.
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.
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.
Mary Drummond, owner of the Dornie Schoolhouse Gallery in Scotland, has selected some of Andrew’s work to show over the coming months.
This is a small gallery tucked away in the Highlands of Scotland on the banks of Loch Long, within walking distance of Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most iconic images of the Highlands.
Here are two oil on canvas – canal studies by Andrew, painted after a trip away with friends on their narrowboat. On a cold morning in February, the view of the dawn mist over the water on the Kennet and Avon Canal was stunning.