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Painting Plein Air at Windsor Castle
In this special year of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, royal consent was granted to allow a Plein Air competition to be staged within the walls of Windsor Castle.
I had the privilege of joining 90 artists on Saturday 16 July to soak up the magnificent architecture of Windsor Castle and compete to create a painting in just six and a half hours. More than 8,000 visitors watched on as I painted the Round Tower - built by Henry II and remodelled in the 19th century - from my viewpoint in the Lower Ward.
Windsor Castle Superintendent Col Duncan Dewar said " We were delighted to host the event and it was really enjoyable seeing the artists at working with the castle".
The Queen's Birthday Cake Finalist
I have reached the final five of a nationwide competition to design a cake to celebrate The Queen's 90th.
Beating hundreds of entries I have been selected as a finalist in a nationwide competition to design a special birthday cake to celebrate the Queen's 90th. Budding designers were asked by Waitrose to create and design the retailer's official cake to celebrate the historic occasion, with hundreds of entrants narrowed down to just five finalists from accross the UK.
The five finalists were invited along to meet the judges at the final stage of the competition at the Waitrose Cookery School in King's Cross. The cake designs were judged by a panel which included; celebrated cake maker Fiona Cairns, Bake Off finalist Martha Collison and organisers of The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations in May.
My illustration incorporate the red arrows, a corgi dog and a Scots Guard. My cousin was in the RAF, and now works for the RAF Museum, so the Red Arrows instantly came to mind when I thought about my design.
The winning deisgn will be recreated by Fiona Cairns and will top a delicious Waitrose fruit cake, made by Scottish bakery, Walkers.
Arts Forum Painting Competition
Entries for The Royal Marsden's Arts Forum competition close on 30 November 2013.
Respected artists Susan Ryder and Diana Calvert will judge a painting competition for The Royal Marsden's Arts Forum. Also on the judging panel will be Dr Jacqueline Filshie, who is the founder member of the forum. The four winning paintings will be exhibited and then kept permanently at the hospital, while a shortlist of 30 paintings will be hung in an exhibition at the hospital in February 2014, and available to purchase. Thanks to a benefactor, the first prize will be £2,000, second £1,500, third £1,000 and £500 for fourth. You can enter up to two paintings per person. The maximum size, including frame, is 1m x 1m, and all work must be varnished or under Perspex for cleaning purposes. Entries are now closed.
Prince's Trust Donation
My donation to the Prince's Trust at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair in November 2013 was the first painting to be snapped up at the private view.
Exhibiting artists at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair were asked to donate one 20x20cm canvas painting each to help raise money for The Prince's Trust. A charity that gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. They work with 14 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or been in trouble with the law.
Since 1976, the Prince's Trust has helped more than 700,000 young people in the UK and support over 100 more each working day. All the funds at the Art Fair go towards the Development Awards across the Thames Valley, and last year helped 300 young people to change their lives for the better.
Riverside Gallery Exhibition
I will be exhibiting at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond upon Thames as part of a collaborative exhibition of local artists taking part in ARThouse 2013, the borough's open studios festival.
ARThouse 2013 is a celebration of the vast creative talent that exists within the borough of Richmond upon Thames. Over the last two weekends in June, up to 500 artists will open the doors to their homes, studios, gardens, classrooms and businesses to showcase a wide range of artwork created in the local area. This exhibition at the Riverside Gallery kicks off the activity and provides an opportunity to see the array of artistic flair that the borough has to offer in one place.
HMS Belfast celebrates 75th Anniversary
HMS Belfast celebrates the 75th anniversary of her launch this weekend (17 March 2013).
The battle cruiser has been moored in its present location between London Bridge and Tower Bridge since 1971, following retirement on 24th August 1963 and half a million miles of service for her country. She now welcomes visitors aboard to tour her nine decks as part of a museum experience operated by the Imperial War Museum, and also hosts the occasional corporate event and wedding.
HMS Belfast was ordered by the British Admiralty in 1936 alongside HMS Edinburgh. Named after the city where she was built (by shipyard Harland and Wolff who also built the infamous Titanic), she was the heaviest ever cruiser, and went on to sail a 32 year career at sea during the Second World War and then the Far East and Korea.
A symbol of British naval history that will always remain as a reminder to those commuters crossing London Bridge each morning in their droves of the hardships our forefathers had to bear.
The subject of my latest commission is a truly inspiring role model from the world of sport.
Wendy Read started competing in triathlon's in 1993, soon becoming a regular representative for Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships. In 2005 she faced her biggest ever challenge battling against a serious illness that would have stopped most triathletes in their tracks, but she was determined to continue training as much as she could during her treatment and amazingly made the start line at the World Triathlon Championship in Hawaii. Commissioned by her proud family, the painting depicts her competing in her first World Triathlon Championship in Cleveland Ohio.
"The painting is eye catching and perfectly captures a poignant memory - it made an ideal present for a special birthday and is always admired by visitors." James Read
Over £4.5K raised
I helped to raise more than £4.5K with the Lloyd's Art Group at a Silent Auction on Thursday 17 May 2012.
Hosted in the drinks reception of the Live@Lloyd's gala concert, the auction to which I donated my Olympic cycling themed painting 'Pedal Power', was the first ever major charity concert to take place within the Underwriting Room at Lloyd's. I joined fellow art group members Susannah Hubert and Linda Jenson to help encourage guests to part with their cash and bid for the paintings generously donated by Lloyd's Art Group artists. With just one hour to secure bids, we succeeded in selling 15 of the 18 paintings. My 'Pedal Power' painting was among a number of paintings that generated a bidding war among patrons adding to the excitement of the evening. All proceeds went to local children's charities: Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, Chance to Shine, Get Kids Going and HamiHelp.
Lloyd's Art Group
I have been welcomed into the Lloyd's Art Group.
Established in 1963, the Lloyd's Art Group is a group of visual artists - painters, printmakers, sculptors, photographers, mixed media and digital artists - who all have a connection to Lloyd's and the London Insurance market. As well as organising exhibitions together, the group also meet to share their love of art. I joined them on Tuesday 20 July for a social outing to the Tate Modern where they viewed the photography exhibition 'Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera'. followed by drinks at The Sterling bar beneath the Gherkin. The group's main activity is an annual exhibition held in the iconic Lloyd's building in the heart of the City of London, where 15% of art sales are donated to the group's charity, the Coombe Trust.
My art work is now featured on the Lloyd's Art Group website www.lloydsartgroup.co.uk.
Hogan Lovells PV
The Private View of my exhibition at Hogan Lovells took place on Tuesday 22 June.
After one day of the exhibition, my large bright canvases had already caught the attention of a number of Hogan Lovells employees who turned up to meet me and purchase works. I am extremely pleased with the exhibition and am thankful to both Hogan Lovells and Islington Exhibits for providing me with this opportunity.
Award Winning Painting
I took home third prize at the 2009 London City Airport Annual Art Awards, for my artwork Pedal Power.
Now in its tenth year, the annual Art Awards sponsored by the London Borough of Newham and West Ham United Football Club is a competition for artists and photographers who live locally to the airport. Artists were asked to theme their work around health, sport and fitness in line with the airport Community Relations Team's focus on health and wellbeing. The seventeen shorted artworks were exhibited in the passenger terminal. Finalists were then invited to an awards ceremony at the airport on 28 April, hosted by Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport and Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales, where the winners were announced. Sir Robin Wales said "I am delighted by the depth of artist talent in the local area, matched with the keen sense of competition". Richard Gooding said "I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the London City Airport Art Awards 2009. This year we received a very high standard of entries and with the support of the London Borough of Newham and West Ham United Football PLC we were able to award equally brilliant prizes."
Published in GRAYA - No 118, 2005
One of my Art History degree papers has been published in GRAYA, the magazine for the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn.
The paper explores Sir John Soane's Museum and Soane's fascination with collecting art and the Age of Enlightenment. Click here to read.