This Mother’s Day Weekend, Why Not Try Something a Little Different

If you fancy a bit of culture this Mother’s Day weekend, I recommend heading along to The National Gallery where there is a new and exciting portrait on show. Gareth Reid’s commission of Graham Norton has arrived and is hanging in the Millennium wing.

It show’s a different side to our favourite TV show host. A more relaxed, casual, pensive side quite far removed from his highly polished tv persona.

Gareth won the commission as the prize on Sky’s Portrait Artists of the Year 2017, available to watch on Sky Go. Over the course of 8 episodes we see artists battle it out to win the coveted prize: a £10,000 commission to paint a portrait of Graham Norton.

Perhaps the real prize for any artist is this painting is now part of the permanent portrait collection in the National Gallery of Ireland. So we are lucky to have this piece here in Dublin and free to the public to visit.

While you are there why not pop in to see the finalists and winner of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2016. You need not have a four year degree in Art History from Trinity to enjoy these pieces. Both hold fantastic examples of contemporary portraiture that are accessible and appeal to all.

My favourite part about viewing Gareth’s commission on the final Episode 9 Season 3 of the show, is we get to see his process.

* * *

Here we see the artist change his composition several times before settling on a final one. He paints and repaints over and over sketching using the brush and red and black oil paint. We get a real insight into how he works as an artist.

**  * *

*Image credits: Still from the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2017 Ep9 S3 available to watch on Sky Go

Gareth had three sittings with Graham ahead of painting the portrait. They met in Cork and got to know each other. Eventually it was revealed through their conversations that they are actually distant relatives. Gareth made several sketches and took photographs of Graham and the surrounding area.

* *

Gareth Reid at work in his studio, still from the show.

I would recommend watching the show (or at least the final episode if not the series) and then popping in to see it in person. It’s amazing to see art in real life as opposed to a representation on your tv/ media player.

Image credit: photo taken while visiting the National Gallery.

The portrait in reality is larger than I anticipated. The National Gallery is located around the corner from Merrion Square and the perfect located for lunch and a Sunday stroll afterwards.

A very happy Mother’s Day to all the wonder women this weekend.

Alginate fun on a Tuesday in Harold’s Cross

We had such a blast at Art Academy on Tuesday excavating the plaster hand casts from their alginate housing. Having created the casts in last weeks class everyone was ready for the big reveal. So cautiously the seaweed based gel like mould was cut away from the plaster. It’s inevitable a finger will be lost at some point but luckily it’s easily fixed. Any bumps are sanded and fine dental tools are used to mend any imperfections or remove alginate from small grooves. Have a look at some pics from the evening posted below.

I have also included pictures of a personal cast I took of my parents at the weekend. They submerged a hand each together in a bucket to cast both of their hands in one art piece.

Next week we will begin the exciting cast drawing process under controlled lighting. We will keep you posted on the progress. Check back for updates. Anyone wishing to join the class can get in touch for details.

 

      

My mam and daddy’s couples cast.

Upcoming Oil Painting Workshop in Dublin City Centre with Artist Will Nathans

On the 15th of April next, artist William Nathans is opening up his art studio above Kennedys art supply shop  to host a life painting oil workshop. I have twice attended previous workshops and found them wonderful.

A small group of artists gather in William’s art studio on Harcourt Street. There is a live model, posed on a stage of drapery and considered, controlled lighting. You arrive with your canvas primed with a medium grey ground. Chose a view point that suits you and prop your canvas on an easel.

Will gives a demonstration on marking out your painting, using the brush and paint as drawing tools. Each artist makes a start. This is a one day workshop, so it is quite a fast pace to work at and you can’t expect any great polish on your piece, just the“Premier-Coup” approach so to speak.

There is a break for lunch,  you clean your pallet before and return to begin anew. Will gives another demonstration at this point and lots of pointers throughout the day. It is helpful and interesting to see the other artists approach to the same subject matter and an enjoyable day of painting.

Kennedy’s offer a discount on materials purchased on the day of the workshop. You need to bring your own paints and materials, outside of the easel and they will email you a list ahead of the event.

Saturday 15th April: Will Nathans – Painting the Nude Figure from Life

A Warm Welcome to Art Academy Bookclub

Art Academy run an art themed bookclub once a month on the second Wednesday of the month. We meet at 6pm – 9pm in the lovely Coppa Cafe at the front of the RHA located just off St. Stephen’s Green. 

Each month we choose a different art themed book to read for the next month. It’s quite an informal get together, so don’t worry if you don’t finish (or even start) the book you are still welcome along.

Some of the books we have read so far are:

There is no charge of admission or subscription to the bookclub, it’s a fun, free, friendly art event. Each month the new book is posted on Meetup. I will link below. And (if I think of it) I will also post here on the website.

Also if you have read a great art themed novel, please let me know, always on the lookout for a new arty read.

Art Academy Bookclub

Dublin, IE
393 Art Academy Bookclub

Informal get together for all who enjoy art, wine, coffee and a good read. The art themed novel for the March meet up is “The Art of Rivilary” by Sebastian Smee. Read the book…

Next Meetup

RHA’s Hennessy Lost Friday with Art Academy Bookclub

Friday, Mar 3, 2017, 7:00 PM
9 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Fun Art Exhibition with a Twist and all for a Good Cause.

I have just popped my donation of a tiny oil painting in the post to Jack and Jill for their “Incognito” fundraiser. However I can’t share an image of it just yet because as the exhibition name suggests, the artists identities remain anonymous until after they are sold.

This fun art initiative, will see 1500 postcard-size pieces of art exhibited at the Solomon Gallery in Dublin on April 2016 and also online. Each piece will sell of fifty euro, with the artists signature revealed after purchase. Have fun guessing who painted which piece. You never know you may pick up a piece by a very well known artist if you have a sharp eye.

All of the proceed are going to Jack & Jill. They have just collected all the art but I’ll leave a link below so you can have a peek when they go online.

Jack & Jill is calling for artists to participate in its newest arts initiative entitled ‘Incognito’