Tag Archives: North East

Springtime

Alan Reed

Bamburgh Castle Watercolour

It’s springtime! As I’m writing this blog post the weather outside feels distinctly more like winter but that’s not untypical for April in the north east of England. Despite the weather, springtime is the theme for my exhibition currently on show at my gallery in Ponteland throughout the month of April.

Because we can experience such variable weather, sometimes in a single day, my springtime exhibition is as equally varied. There’s an eclectic mix of places and subjects to see for springtime like some of the very picturesque fishing villages on the East Neuk of Fife, cityscapes of Edinburgh and the Alps, including my painting “Mont Blanc and Manganese Blue” which was selected for the Royal Watercolour Society Exhibition earlier this year.

Other subjects include some classic views of Newcastle’s Grey Street, the Roman Forum in Italy both of which have been captured in springtime. I also have some figurative paintings on display too.

Springtime is often a period where we take a fresh look at our homes and gardens to create a new look and feel to the environment we spend so much time in. What better place to start than to add to your art collection.

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City Church Portraits

Sight Size Painting

Oil Painting Portrait of Sola Idowu

Over the last 12 months I have been working on a painting project for City Church Newcastle which meets at the CastleGate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle.

In the summer of 2013 I was approached by Ed Morrow (who manages the CastleGate) asking my advice about what kind of artwork would look good in the new atrium which would reflect the vision of the church.

My wife Susan and I have been members of City Church since it’s beginning. Our vision is that we will be a church of thousands, a community full of people from every nation. My suggestion was that I painted a number of portraits of church members of different ages, races and stages of life that represented the church family.

I started the first one in October 2013 with several sittings of Adrian Smith. The Portraits have been painted in oils on aluminium panels for Health and Safety reasons. They have to be prepared first with emery paper then primed using an Etch Primer. I then paint several coats of an oil paint primer before tinting each panel to a neutral tint. It’s at that point I can begin a series of sittings, painting from life.

I have used photography as an aid to make sure that the proportions are correct. With the exception of the children I’ve painted 90% of the painting work is from life, painting from observation.

Most of my 30 year professional career has been spent painting landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes in watercolour throughout the North East, Scotland, UK, Italy and the Middle East. I’ve learned many years ago when to finish a painting in watercolour, the danger of overworking it being a real possibility. Once you overdo it, there’s no going back with watercolour!

With oil painting, it’s quite different. You can always see little details to fiddle on with to keep trying to improve the portrait. If you make a mistake, you simply correct it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to painting so I needed a justifiable reason to stop each portrait. All christians are a work in progress, none of us will achieve perfection until the day we are united with Jesus Christ. I’ve deliberately decided to have some of the portraits “unfinished”. This is a random choice and not any reflection on anyone’s spirituality!

The plan at this point in time is to have a launch later on in the autumn when the portraits will be hung in the atrium to coincide with a “Vision Sunday” for the church.

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The Art Tour

Logo for Art Tour 2014

The Art Tour 2014

Network Artist Alan Reed Studio

Artist Alan Reed in Studio

Selection of Alan Reed Sketchbooks

Sketchbooks painted on location

The Network Artists North East annual Art Tour begins this weekend.

This ever popular event, now in its 19th year, gives you the opportunity to meet artists from around the North East who are opening up their studios for The Art Tour.

This year I’ve decided to display many of my sketchbooks which contain numerous watercolours painted on location. These “en plein air” studies document my travels to all kinds of paintable places including the UK, Italy, the USA and Oman.

Customers will be able to browse through the sketchbooks and can commission a painting based on one of these studies.

Also on display will be a selection of original paintings and limited edition prints.

Paintings include views of  Northumberland and Newcastle throughout the seasons. I’ll also have on display some of the watercolours painted in Arches Watercolour Blocks on location from the recent painting holiday in Umbria, Italy.

For those folk interested in the Middle East, there will be paintings and prints of Oman and some copies of my limited edition Sketchbook of Oman.

I’m currently working on a number of portraits in oil paints on aluminium for City Church Newcastle, to hang in the atrium of The CastleGate so some of these paintings will be on display. As part of the Art Tour I will be showing the painting process involved in painting on aluminium, from priming the metal through to tinting the oil paint base.

The Studio and Gallery is near Dobbies Garden Centre on the A696 on the way into Ponteland.

Apart from The Art Tour we are usually open Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-5pm.

One of the links on this post is an affiliate link to a product which I personally use, available from Amazon. If you click on the link and buy this product then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself. 

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My North East by its Famous Sons and Daughters

New Book about the North East

My North East by its Famous Sons and Daughters

“My North East by its Famous Sons and Daughters” is a new coffee-table book packed with in-depth interviews with 65 of the best-known people from the North East. It features celebrities from stage and screen, musical heroes and sporting legends of all ages. It also has a page dedicated to yours truly.

I’m genuinely humbled to be included amongst some of the most famous people from our region. We talk about our special memories and connections, together with personal insights to our favourite views.

I’m the only visual artist featured in the book which includes one of my paintings “Grey Street, Snow Shower” available as a limited edition print.

The book is available for £20 from book stores and also online by clicking on the link above. All proceeds go to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

 

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A Room with a View

Looking towards Prestwick

View from my Studio Window

For most of my career as an artist I’ve had quite small cramped studios to paint in. In 2006 we decided to look into the possibility of building a Studio in the loft space of our home in Ponteland. The plans were passed in 2007 and building commenced later that year. In July 2008 we were finally able to re-located our Studio & Gallery from Ponteland village to our home at 17 Cheviot View. This has provided me with a Room with a View.

The main benefit of this working space is the consistent north light I have over my drawing board but I also have some stunning views from one of the other windows looking north west towards Prestwick Hall, a lovely Georgian building designed by North East Architect John Dobson. I was actually commissioned to do a painting of it a number of years ago by the owners.

Of course much of my painting work these days is on location both in the UK and overseas so I’m able to enjoy the best of both enviroments.

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OWN IT Celebrating 15 years

OWN IT-Invite

OWN IT Celebrating 15 Years

North East Charity OWN IT are celebrating their 15th birthday on Friday 30th November at the CastleGate on Melbourne Street. Alan Reed Art will be joining in with the Charity auction by donating a framed limited edition print to help this North East based charity.

Established in 1997 with the work of Richard Davies MBE at Walbottle Campus OWN IT is a unique work experience programme for 14 – 16 year olds who are recommended to us by senior members of school staff.

We ask each student “If you could leave school on Friday and start work on Monday, what is it more than anything else in the world that you want to do?”

By focusing on the first choice of each student we aim to make their dreams come true and want to take them seriously.

Paralympic Gold Medalist Stephen Miller will be the guest speaker for what promises to be an entertaining evening. If you would like to join me for the evening please call me on 01661 871 800 or 0771 874 1546. Alternatively to can RSVP to 15yearsevent@ownit-limited.org

Further details about the event can be seen on the invitation.

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Longsands Beach, Tynemouth

Watercolour of Longsands Beach, Tynemouth Sketch

Longsands Beach, Tynemouth Sketchbook Study 1

I recently heard from one of my clients that a North East artist has been spreading false rumours that I never paint on location. Here is a blog post to put that nonsense to rest. I often paint “en plein air” and have lots of sketchbooks filled with watercolours painted on the spot. Above is one of two sketchbook watercolour studies painted on location Longsands Beach at Tynemouth, Monday 3rd September.

On my website you can watch a video of me painting Dunstanburgh Castle on location. There is also a video on youtube of me painting the Launceston Place Restaurant on location too. Of course I do paint in my studio and will use my own reference material which will sometimes include photographs, but for over twenty years I have sold lots of watercolours which have been painted from start to finish “plein air”.

 

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Painting of Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle Painting

Painting of Dunstanburgh Castle

I don’t need much of an excuse to paint Dunstanburgh Castle. Northumberland’s Castles are well photographed and painted by amateurs and professionals alike. I’ve often been commissioned to do paintings of castles and I have to say, it’s always a delight. One such project came in 2003 when I was commissioned to do around a dozen large watercolours of the regions castles for a major North East Company for their boardrooms. Dunstanburgh Castle was one of the chosen paintings and I decided to paint it on a summer evening just as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon.

I recently went back to the reference I gathered on that evening to do a watercolour demonstration for a painting class. They asked me to show them how to tackle a seascape in watercolour. The painting above is the result. I’ve painted a similar version of the scene which is available as a limited edition print.

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Food Paintings

Chillies Painting for Print

Chillies Painting

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on some Food Paintings for an interior design company who are doing a re-furbishment for a North East Chinese restaurant. There are 9 Food Paintings required which include various ingredients for the Chinese meals. I’ve chosen to work from life as much as is realistically possible and I’m keeping the paintings small, working in watercolour. They will be reproduced as giclee prints to the bespoke size required.

As part of the service, I will also be working with the interior designer and the restaurant owner to ensure that the prints are framed to match the paintings and the new decor of the restaurant. The original paintings will be available to see on www.alanreed.com once the project is completed. They would actually make attractive paintings for one’s kitchen.

To see the range of frames and mounts that I have available, please visit the Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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The Lit & Phil Library

Lit & Phil Watercolour

Lit & Phil Original Watercolour

The Lit & Phil stands for the Literary and Philosophical Society which was founded in 1793 as a place for the people of the North East to meet, talk and learn. Its members were many of the leading thinkers and innovators of their day and early presidents included Robert Stephenson, Lord Armstrong and Joseph Swan. The present building was opened in 1825 and the magnificent reading rooms remain largely unchanged today. Sadly, many folk in the region are not aware of its existence and are truly missing out on this outstanding resource for learning.

Earlier this year I visited the Lit & Phil in Newcastle for the first time and was introduced to Alma Devine their fundraiser. The building is in desperate need of some tender loving care to maintain its status as a landmark building with an extraordinary library. I have agreed to do a watercolour of the Grade 2 listed building and a limited edition print run with a portion of sales to donate to the fundraising cause. An exhibition of some of my paintings will be open to the public from Friday 6th July and will run throughout the month. Again, a portion of painting sales will go to the Lit & Phil.

I’m also doing a portrait in oils of North East Businessman Bill Midgley, chairman of Leazes Homes who is the Appeal Co-ordinator of the Lit and Phil. Both paintings will be unveiled at a special private viewing on the 5th July to launch the exhibition. Should you wish to receive an invitation to the special preview for the exhibition then please contact me.

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