The selection committee are all top professionals and they have taken time to choose some of the best work in portraiture you can get in the country!
There's 2 days left, so if you happen to be in London get to the Mall Galleries and enjoy the show while it lasts. if you are far away and rely on the internet for reviews on shows like this then enjoy the few I have chosen here. Note that these are just my choices, the one's that struck a chord with me. There are over 210 works but I have only chosen 21-my favourite 21. Hope you enjoy!
1. ANDREW JAMES VPRP Luyiso 40 x 32
| ANDREW JAMES VPRP Luyiso 40 x 32|
I stood there stunned!
This kind of portrait makes me want to risk my mortgage on a bucket load of oil colours and just paint!
When a painter comes into connection with his innermost desires and he is able to conquer the subtle deception of technique, he goes forth triumphantly to the canvas, fully knowing that there's nothing but victory on the way!
Andrew James is such a deft painter with those qualities I love! I would rather watch him paint than watch England play Nigeria in the World Cup finals in Brazil. This is EXPLOSIVE! I think I love art.....
2. NEIL B HELYARD Ali 16 x 16
|2. NEIL B HELYARD Ali 16 x 16|
Neil's drawings are my favourites but I never knew he had those same qualities tucked into his paintings. This piece proves that LESS is MORE!
You don't need to kill the painting, make your statement, make it well, make it comfortably in full confidence and what you get is a result like this. The painting is like mosaic of precious pearls!
I'd have lunch with him, sketch him and tell him to reveal all what goes through his mind while he paints!
A splendid piece!
3. KENNY McKENDRY Art and Reality Portrait of James Simmons 9 x 8
3. KENNY McKENDRY Art and Reality Portrait of James Simmons 9 x 8|
Then this Kenny piece is what you'll be loving to see!
I like the textured-casual-dragging of strokes, mostly transparent to reveal a glazing alla-prima technique that is stunning to say the least. I love it! It's a small piece but it's mighty!
4. JOHN MURPHY-WOOLFORD Age 45 26 x 26
|JOHN MURPHY-WOOLFORD Age 45 26 x 26|
Self Portraits are really not my strongest trait, but when you have to stare at yourself for long, you begin to wonder whether your face is actually yours or not!
John's painting has lovely brushwork, it's his handwriting with paint that I love, you can feel the paint and something tells you this was nailed to the core. It looks so uncompromising and true!
5. KEITH BREEDEN Sketch 1 20 x 16
|5. KEITH BREEDEN Sketch 1 20 x 16|
The picture doesn't do this one justice.
Every stroke is carefully laid in a Cezanne like manner. Wash upon wash, mark upon mark....until the whole face looked upon as a whole is simply a masterpiece!
6. VALERIY GRIDNEV Piotr- Father of my Friend 24 x 40
|6. VALERIY GRIDNEV Piotr- Father of my Friend 24 x 40|
How the main facial features are all in the shade and the way you just can almost hear him thinking so deeply. This is what true painting does......says more than a million words!
7. JEFF STULTIENS Cindi Goodridge (Bajan Portrait Series) 30 x 24
|JEFF STULTIENS Cindi Goodridge (Bajan Portrait Series) 30 x 24|
My Tutor, the man who re-ignited my sketching passion!
I love this work because it's a lesson on drawing more than painting!
He paints so deliberately you think he does it with a knife!
Every colour shape is carefully observed a laid down next to the other- and the whole piece just sings!!!
Can you hear the music! I think I'm going mad!
8. ILARIA ROSELLI DEL TURCO Daniel 22 x 18
|8. ILARIA ROSELLI DEL TURCO Daniel 22 x 18|
This is a painting that evokes some sort of enchantment upon the viewer!
The model looks so apprehensive as if to say," I can't bear your staring at me for any longer."
There is definitely a connection between the model and the artist here. It's always nice to see that connection show up in the finished piece.
But that's another thing about this piece, you are left raking your head whether or not the full story has been told. It's left for you the viewer to fill in!
9. ANNA WIMBLEDON Portrait of The Artist and Her Family 47 x 47
9. ANNA WIMBLEDON Portrait of The Artist and Her Family 47 x 47|
This was one of the portraits that left me looking so close as if I had lost my eye sight. The composition is excellent, every figure is well treated in such a rich, colourful painterly manner!
She is a discovery! I love this piece! I wish I could take it home.
There's so much going on, even in the background, the window reflections and the landscape-everything has been attacked with so much assurance. She knows exactly what she is doing!
10. PHOEBE DICKINSON Pup at EASTER 12 x 14
|10. PHOEBE DICKINSON Pup at EASTER 12 x 14|
This is one of those paintings that you might just miss if you went to the exhibition but surely it's one of those that you really wouldn't want to in the end.
It's a small piece but size doesn't really matter.
What I like is the beautiful composition and the placement of the shapes and everything seems painted in a really great alla prima tempo.
11. PATRICIA CASTELAO COSTA Ana's Cousin 20 x 14
|11. PATRICIA CASTELAO COSTA Ana's Cousin 20 x 14|
You don't get many powerful watercolour portraits nowadays but this is surely someone who has not only mastered the medium but also fallen in love with it.
A great composition with confident bold strokes to keep the painting fresh and sparkling.
12. DAVID R NEWENS Pedita 14 x 10
|12. DAVID R NEWENS Pedita 14 x 10|
I have watched David paint and if there is anyone who is able to get the resemblance of the sitter in a very short space of time, he's the one.
His method is simple, he is very observant and he measures a lot!
Nothing is taken for granted.
I especially like this because of the simplicity of the main shapes and how the interlocking of them all just work to make this a really great painting.
13. ALDO BALDING Self in Mirror 16 x 12
13. ALDO BALDING Self in Mirror 16 x 12|
This painting reeks with CONFIDENCE! Nothing looks serious at all but I tell you don't be deceived. Even though it looks quite straightforward, this speciality must have taken years to cultivate.
The secret here is the drawing, He is a great draughtsman!
14. RAOPF HAGHIGHI Self Portrait 14 x 18
|14. RAOPF HAGHIGHI Self Portrait 14 x 18|
It's vibrant and holds very well as a very successful painting.
15. MICHAEL HYAM Soldier (Study of Bill) 11 x 9
|15. MICHAEL HYAM Soldier (Study of Bill) 11 x 9|
I really miss his work! Always has something spectacular to offer! The whole process is laid bare and he feels no inhibition or fear to stop when he feels the job is done.
His works look very experimental and dynamic, which appeals to me because I love the spontaneity!
16. JOS VAN RISWICK Portrait of Dutch Girl 16 x 11
|16. JOS VAN RISWICK Portrait of Dutch Girl 16 x 11|
This is what I call good old traditional stuff!
Straight to the point-no fussing and huffing.....just good old traditional indirect painting!
I love it!
17. BELINDA CROZIER Fred the Traveller 15 x 11
|17. BELINDA CROZIER Fred the Traveller 15 x 11|
A very interesting face! I like how the artist has used structure planes and colour to exaggerate the main features in this face, bringing it to life in a remarkable way.
I also like the texture, I think it was the texture that really got me hooked. But also it was well drawn.
18. CAROLINE SEILERN- ASPANG Nino 19 x 26
18. CAROLINE SEILERN- ASPANG Nino 19 x 26|
A very good observational drawing-looks very well like a master drawing of the 19th or 20th century!
19. ALEX TZAVARAS Rafael 26 x 22
ALEX TZAVARAS Rafael 26 x 22|
It's always the simplicity of Alex's work that I like. He breaks everything down to almost 2 tones of light and shade.
The simpler the better. This is another clear example of less is more.
20. PETER BROWN Ella & Ned Looking at Pictures on Lisa's Phone with Mad Cat 26 x 31
PETER BROWN Ella & Ned Looking at Pictures on Lisa's Phone with Mad Cat 26 x 31|
It's the composition that wins this one to my heart! To capture the three figures in such a very unique way is worthy of commendation
21 DAVID COBLEY Sir Christopher Hum KCMG 36 x 26
21 DAVID COBLEY Sir Christopher Hum KCMG 36 x 26|
I have always been a great fan of David Cobley/s work. He is a true portrait painter.
He always gets very deep into his subjects and that's why he has this kind of Rembrandt take on the way he handles faces and hands.
I also love the way he uses multiple sources of light to model the figure in this piece!
" The Portrait is the one aspect of art and painting that lies don't work, it's the whole truth and nothing but the truth."- Adebanji Alade
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