I was delighted to learn that my painting ‘A bee in a country allotment’ (yes, there is a bee in there) has been selected for The New English Art Club’s (NEAC) Annual Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in Central London between 23 June to 2 July 2022.
A fine, summer surprise for me. Many thanks!
New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition
The Mall (near Trafalgar Square), London SW1
Tel: 020 7930 6844
23 June to 9 July 2022, 10am – 5pm
£5, Free for Friends of NEAC, Friends of Mall Galleries and under 25s. Concessions available. Booking is not required
The New English Art Club (NEAC)
The New English Art Club is an elected society of contemporary painters whose ethos resides in art informed by the visual world and personal interpretation.
The Annual Exhibition is a showcase not only for its members but also for aspiring artists: with a history going back more than a hundred years, it is an opportunity for work to be seen alongside some of the best artists painting today, held at Mall Galleries in London.
Founded by a group of artists dissatisfied with the entrenched attitudes of the Royal Academy, the group mounted their first show in 1886 and work included paintings by Clausen, Sickert and Stanhope Forbes. The New English increasingly attracted younger artists, bringing with them the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
A bee in a country allotment
When the lockdowns happened, I decided to embark on a large project based in my home village of Pilton, Somerset. I mused upon a few ideas, finally settling on the village allotment.
Over the years I have painted many allotments, some real locations though many manufactured from a collection of sketches and ideas.
With the Pilton allotment I had already drawn in and painted it several times, so I was familiar with the landscape.
My approach to painting the allotment
Like all my work, it wouldn’t be a traditional, accurate depiction as most artists do but an idea of the allotment. As I say in my ‘About me’ section:
“Accurate perspective however is all well and good, although in creative terms it can only deliver so much. I tend to adjust and push things about until it feels right. If that means geometric perspective is abandoned, then that’s fine. It’s all about the overall impression.”
Essentially, I take a medieval and Early Modern approach to creating a painting. If a part is interesting to me then make it bigger. If it is not interesting to me, then make it smaller or just leave it out completely.
I will also take liberties with time, seasons, plants and crops – here you will see spring Dandelions in with Autumn Pumpkins.
I do this because when we think of an allotment or garden our minds leap to the parts that interest us the most so, Roses will be right next to Snowdrops. In essence we condense time in our minds. In response I condense time in my paintings. I also took the opportunity to condence scale too. I took in a whole landscape and added a bee in amongst it all. It may take a while to spot. This inspired the title ‘A bee in a country allotment’.
I really enjoyed painting our allotment and the project helped me keep a mite saner throughout the lockdowns and ever-changing regulations.