The Fundamentals of Painting: Artesoflo, Phoenix Fry, Annette Marchini & Jo Mitchell - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

The Fundamentals of Painting: Artesoflo, Phoenix Fry, Annette Marchini & Jo Mitchell

mar, 09/07/2021 to lun, 02/07/2022

curated by:

Over the last year Sophia has developed an unworldly style, by combining seemingly disparate subject matter and by using unexpected compositions, to produce bold paintings. She works largely in oil paint on canvas or paper.
Sophia began to paint regularly while living in Australia for a year, where she produced a series of seascapes in watercolour. Prior to this, her artistic attention was centred upon life drawing and portraiture in London, where she has largely been based since studying History at Ucl.
Practical knowledge of colour, of painting techniques and her keen desire to observe and to convey particular qualities of her subject matter, have led Sophia to create more dynamic artworks of a scale she had not worked at before.

She is a keen surfer.

For quite a while now I have been particularly fascinated by mandarin peelings and orange skins. Seeing my son peeling mandarin skins in one go, thus creating very beautiful waste objects was one of my surprising serendipitous finds. These skins are perplexing in many ways: they are the perfect protection of the fruit ‘when in use’ and when taken off; becoming ‘useless’ they have first a very interesting 2D shape which then changes into 3D over time. They change in shape, colour, texture and smell and once hard become very brittle and break very easily. These mandarin skins embody at the moment all I am currently interested in.

These overarching ‘mandarin’ themes weave throughout my art and I am trying out different techniques working with the topic. In the past I have built small sculptures using them to paint from. More recently I have painted mandarin skins either in their early stages of flatness, where the shapes become an abstract shape or painting them together with other objects in the compost caddy.

I trained and have worked several decades as an architect before immersing myself in making art. I started out with urban sketching, moved then on to watercolour as the watery, non-changeable way of working fascinated me (and still does). Since then, I have branched out to try out new experimental methods of making art. I am not interested in depicting any of this realistically but creating abstract shapes, textures and colour being in correspondence with each other. When creating sculptures, I like to use pre-used, discarded materials and construct something new.

Phoenix grew up in a series of dreadful towns, and now spends time thumbing fruitlessly through Facebook. He began painting again last year, nearly 30 years after doing ‘A’ level art in Luton. At the heart of his work is a fascination with colour and layering that invites the viewer to dive through to something altogether more powerful below.

Often inspired by found photos of solitary figures, this series of paintings captures the contemporary White English male in-action. Outwardly tame, vulnerable and suburban, amidst mid-priced sofas and overcast playing fields. Yet inwardly heroic; striding wild and pitiless across imaginary landscapes. Guiding him between the two states of being are a company of spirit animals: birds, cats, chinchillas and tigers.

The paintings follow in the tradition of the Wild Man, a mythical figure who appears as the Green Man, the faun, the headless man, the Grimm Brothers’ Iron John – and Phoenix’s 2019 participatory art project, Parade of Friendly Monsters. Here we all are, as animals, adapted incompletely to this infinite scroll of birthday cakes, retail parks, amazing holiday memories and tiny plastic sports trophies.

Yes I have painted other subjects in the last year - but these beautiful beech trees and the South Downs landscape which surrounds me, have sustained me through the highs and lows of lockdown ….so here they are.

These works are a response to being isolated where I live surrounded by woodland …. a tiny dot on google maps with the tall straight trees standing guard around us - insignificant yet safe, steadfast and ever changing.

I paint quite quickly in oil with confident lines and strong colours. I often under paint and usually work on 2 or 3 paintings at one time. Most of these paintings are on left over plywood or MDF found in a barn.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PAINTING YEAR The Fundamentals of Painting Year is a practical course which aims to immerse the student in all aspects of painting, learning a broad range of painting materials, methods and ideas, taught by tutors: Guy Allott and Jennifer Campbell. This year the course is now called Painting Year 1 and is being taught by Guy Allott, Johanna Melvin and Archie Franks

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