Tag Archives: painting

Jesmond Dene Painting

Jesmond Dene in Winter

Jesmond Dene in Winter Painting

My 30th Anniversary Christmas Party starts on the weekend of 15th-16th November. It’s one of several events we’re organising over the following year to celebrate my 30 years as a full time artist.

The featured painting on my invitation is Jesmond Dene in Winter. The original watercolour has already been sold, however I’ve decided to publish the painting as a limited edition giclee print with only 30 prints in the edition.

I’ve also reproduced the Jesmond Dene Painting as a Christmas Card which is available online in packs of 5 and at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

The Jesmond Dene Painting was inspired by an afternoons sledging with my grandchildren one winter in Jesmond Dene. I managed a small sketchbook watercolour before the light faded and took a number of photographs which I used to compose the painting. Already, I’ve had a number of customers contacting me saying that the painting reminds them of times they have spent sledging with their own children.

The exhibition which runs until 24th December includes a number of new paintings including scenes of Newcastle, Northumberland, Scotland, Italy and the Middle East.

As a special thank you to the customers who have supported Alan Reed Art over the last 30 years, there will a Christmas present for the party guests attending the weekend preview. There will also be a Christmas Bran Tub along with festive refreshments!

If you are unable to attend the Christmas Exhibition Party but would like to be informed of future events please subscribe to our newsletter which we usually send out once a month.

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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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Sargent – A Daily sketch

Charcoal Sketches

Studies of John Singer Sargent Drawings

Every so often I like to set some kind of painting/drawing discipline to keep on top of my game. Good habits are hard to form and easy to break and sadly the converse of that statement is also true!

I tend to find that my regular sketching habit falls by the wayside, particularly if I’m busy with commissions or working towards an exhibition. However, despite being very busy at the moment working on a series of portraits in oils of City Church, Newcastle members, I’ve decide to set myself the goal of doing some kind of sketchbook study every day for about 10-30 minutes.

The two charcoal sketches above were drawn in my Moleskine Sketchbook and are studies of John Singer Sargent’s Portrait drawings. Making studies of this kind is a great way to develop your own drawing technique, particularly if you are unable to find a willing model to sit for you.

To see my daily (hopefully) sketches, you can follow my twitter accounts @artistalanreed and @adailysketch

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St George’s Day

Watercolour of Old Eldon Square

Peace, Old Eldon Square, Newcastle

23rd April is St George’s Day. One of my more unusual paintings of Newcastle is this one of the War Memorial in Old Eldon Square which depicts St George slaying the dragon. The painting is set against the backdrop of a winter sky, indicating the bleakness of war. The inscription of “Peace” is a sign of the hope of peace which we ought to seek amongst our fellow human beings.

There have been numerous times when folk have looked at the painting and thought it was somewhere like Prague, not realising that it was their home town.

The background buildings are the rooftops of Emerson Chambers, one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the UK. One can also see Grey’s Monument, a further clue that the scene is Newcastle upon Tyne.

The painting is available in three sizes and can be seen and purchased from alanreed.com

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Royal Watercolour Society

Painting of Jebel Akhdar, Oman

Original Watercolour of Jebel Akhdar, Oman

I was delighted to discover that my painting of “Jebel Akhdar, Oman” was recently selected by the Royal Watercolour Society for their Competition 2013 and even more thrilled that it won “The Artist’s Prize”. The Artist’s Magazine has asked me to be one of their featured artists later on in the year when I will be answering questions about my painting career.

The painting formed part of the Royal Watercolour Society competition exhibition at the Bankside gallery, London and will be on display at my Studio and Gallery in Ponteland from noon on 9th March.

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A History of Art in Three Colours

Sur, Oman, famous for Dhow Building

Sur, Oman

I’ve been watching with some interest “A History of Art in Three Colours” on BBC 4 on Saturday evenings. The first episode, narrated by Dr James Fox, looked at the way gold has been used in art over the centuries. Last Saturday it was the turn of the colour Blue.

The programme began on the Venetian Lagoon and told the story of how the precious stone Lapis Lazuli was brought 3500 miles across the Mediterranean from a land that is now Afghanistan, to the edge of Europe. The Lapis Lazuli was ground to dust and the precious powder was then purified into a pigment which could be painted with. The colour blue was to transform the world of art.

It’s a colour which I’ve used extensively throughout my 32 years as an artist but none more so in the last 5 years when I have been painting on location in Oman. In 2007 I visited Sur for the first time, a coastal town renowned for its building of dhows. From that trip I produced this small original watercolour which I’ve reproduced as a limited edition print. I remember the day as being incredibly hot and the sky being a very intense blue as I sketched the dhows not far from the  spot where I’ve painted the old watch tower in the painting above.

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Beadnell Harbour

Beadnell Harbour-Watercolour Painting

Beadnell Harbour-Painted on Location

On Friday evening Susan and I set off for a weekend break with two of our grandchildren at Breakwater Cottage in Seahouses. The weather was fantastic the whole time and I was able to snatch a couple of hours painting on location at Beadnell Harbour. What made the experience of painting “plein air” even more pleasurable was seeing a shoal of dolphins feeding remarkably close to the shoreline.

I had already primed a 14″ x 10″ watercolour block with a wash of cadmium lemon before arriving to the scene which saved me a good thirty minutes of drying time. This enabled me to crash on with the sky and sea as the sun was starting to set quite quickly. Once that had dried I could knock in the boats and the harbour wall just before the sun went down. I returned the following evening to add a few more extra details to the wall and boats. This study will prove to be an excellent source of inspiration for future paintings I may tackle of Beadnell Harbour.

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Painting of Florence

Firenze painting on location

Via Spirito Santo, Firenze on Drawing Board

To do a Painting of Florence is always a joy and delight. Last September I was working in Florence on a number of painting projects, one of which was painting several street scenes on the spot in my hand-made watercolour sketchbook. In the photograph of what’s on the drawing board you will see the sketchbook depicting my watercolour study of Via di Spirito Santo painted standing up with my small box of paints balanced in one hand with the sketchbook, the other holding my traveling paint brush.

I wanted to capture the dark, narrow street which had snatches of the early evening light catching the tops of some of the buildings and so I used a very limited palate of Raw Sienna, purple and Payne’s Grey for much of the sketch. I’m wanting to retain the freshness of this sketch in my studio production which I’m intending to work on over the next few days. Watch this space for the finished result.

 

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Commission a Painting

 

Watercolour commission of Rockcliffe, Dumfries

Original Watercolour of Rockcliffe, Dumfries

I regularly have customers contact me to Commission a Painting. I was recently commissioned to paint an original watercolour by a client for her husbands 50th birthday present of Rockcliffe in Dumfriesshire. It’s a place that holds particularly fond memories for them as a family. Fortunately I had been to exactly the same spot last year with my wife, daughter and grandchildren and I had actually painted a small sketchbook study of the bay and taken some suitable photographs which I could work from.

It made me realise just how easy it is to Commission a Painting, so to re-enforce the process on how to go about the initial discussions I’ve had a short video filmed by Gavin Dowd of Word Out Media. Follow the link to watch the video.

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Lit & Phil Exhibition

Lit & Phil Exhibition Alan Reed

Lit & Phil Exhibition

The Private View for the Lit & Phil Exhibition starts 5th July. The exhibition will be open to the public until 21st July during the library’s usual opening hours Monday-Saturday starting at 9:30am. Closing times do vary so best to check their website www.litandphil.org.uk

If you have not been to the Literary & Philosophical Society before then it really is worth taking a look at one of the finest libraries in the country. It’s less than 5 minutes walk from Newcastle’s Central Station and Metro and there is plenty of parking nearby too.

I’m exhibiting a number of watercolours and oils including my new painting of the Lit & Phil which has been published as a limited edition print and some new original paintings of Italy. You can see some of the paintings online.

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