Painting People and Portraits: Helen Bishop, Peter Perro & Quentin Martin - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

Painting People and Portraits: Helen Bishop, Peter Perro & Quentin Martin

Fr, 08/14/2020So, 01/31/2021

curated by:

Painting people: the figure and portrait taught by Alison Harper and guest artists explores the elements of portraiture and figure painting and drawing in both systematic and creative ways. During the course students work from a combination of the live model and other sources including photographs, film stills, drawings, memory and imagination exploring traditional and experimental approaches to making images of the human form and presence.

I didn’t do art at school nor attend art school but in my twenties I started to do p/t adult education classes. For several decades, I would do a class, then think I was no good so what was the point, so I would stop, then start again a while later. Now in my 70s, ESOP is different from any other art school I have been to, Alison has worked hard to divest me of negative responses and has really got me painting. I am not an embryo professional painter, I am just doing it for myself, and enjoying being pushed to be more adventurous. Thanks ESOP.

Peter Perro has been painting for several years. His sensitive and beautiful paintings gleam and vibrate with life, concentration and beauty. Peter’s background in philosophy can almost be felt in the work as his searching and unrelenting curiosity turns towards the seen world.
Alison Harper

QUENTIN MARTIN Instagram: @quentinmartinartist
Quentin Martin, 23 is one of our ESOP Newman Young Artists Scholarship holders. He is a painter who most commonly explores a range of subject matter - landscape, still life and portraiture - across a selection of different media. Typically, Quentin works in oils, however, draws frequently in graphite and charcoal mostly whilst employing collage as a tool for testing ideas of context and space. Having a background in architecture, Quentin has an inherent interest in landscape, the spaces we inhabit and an architectural means of observation. It is within these relationships that portraiture presented itself as a space yet to be explored more rigorously and as the driving force to study at TheESOP.
Having been drawing all his life, Quentin has always found the production of art to be his strongest mode of communication. The subject matter of the landscape and consecutively, the sky-scape, has long been of great interest; manifesting itself as large-scale charcoal drawings, concisely observed oil paintings or quick compositional pencil sketches, perhaps later to be used as a study for a larger work.
In recent years, Quentin has spent much of his time driving around the landscapes of the South of England, drawing upon themes of the rural condition, observation and relationships with the land. Being concerned with the difference between seeing and looking, Quentin’s work aims to expose that difference through its highly observed nature - something Quentin enjoys to explore in his portraiture too. Be it the play of light describing form or the temperature and structure of colours in the subject matter, changing environmental conditions are of great interest to Quentin as they are inherent to how one experiences the world.
The subject of change and how one experiences it - either through observation or participation - has been an underlying theme for Quentin’s work preceding and throughout his time at TheESOP. A sitter is never existing in a fixed set of environmental conditions, neither is the landscape which is constantly subject to changes both natural and man-made.
Collage, for Quentin, has been a useful mechanism for exploring this narrative about change as it is a medium which can be much more instantaneous than painting for example. Simply through the placement of a select few completely incongruous ‘characters’ can a conversation about development, agriculture, urban/rural conditions be instigated immediately.
Change brings about such things as pandemics too and vice versa. During the recent lockdown period, Quentin has been intrigued by the self-portrait and how it can be used to depict subtle but particular examples of change. For example, the specific angle and light one’s computer camera observes you with or the exposure of different spaces in one’s home which might not have been previously included in the work.
Quentin is interested in what can be suggested, as opposed to handed, to the viewer so that they may draw their own conclusions from a perhaps ambiguous setting or simple subject matter. He continues to explore this world of particular instances and relationships.

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