Thursday, 31 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Martin Beek, one of the organisers of Saturday’s Oxford JKPP meet-up, provides an insight into himself, his art and his involvement with JKPP.
His Flickr photostream has over 19,000 photos and artworks by him and others – something he feels reflects life as he lives it now. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfordshire_church_photos/
In his profile he notes, “Flickr is a significant part of my creative life. Through Flickr I’ve made contact with so many like-minded people... I have always felt strongly that art should be shared.”
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a practising artist, although I do have a day job too. I studied Fine Art (BA Hons) and have had many public shows over the past 30 years. I live in Oxford, England and currently work in a representational style. I see art as an ongoing
process of change and build on what I have done to explore new ways of expressing the world as I see it.
Tell us a little about your art
As an artist I work in a very wide range of media. Currently I use oil pastel/crayon and also pen and ink for my sketch studies. But I've covered most methods over the years. I believe art should somehow reflect and connect with emotion and, to that extent, I am an expressionistic artist.
I can find a subject in most things around me. I like art that is both contemporary but an art that also connects with the ongoing tradition of art history. I would hope that my art, taken as a whole, does have a meaning and a sense of purpose.
Tell us about your technique
Colour and "mark making" are of vital importance to me as they suggest the subject and the mood I wish to convey. I hope my technique is uncomplicated , but realise that sometimes one needs to push a work to develop as a visual artist.
Tell us about the reaction you have had to your work
On the whole I think reaction to my work has been fair. Although I'm not unafraid of helpful criticism, I’m rarely guided by what others may say about what I do - good or bad. I respect anybody who passes informed criticism and hope I am my own most severe critic.
Tell us about who inspired/inspires you
Impossible to name three artists that I would cite but, if I had to, the Victorian painter John Everett Millais, whose own art underwent huge changes of technique, interests me greatly - not just his Pre Raphaelite work, which was short lived, but his later landscapes and portraits. His visual acuity and brilliance should not be dismissed or overlooked. I think David Hockney is inspirational for his restless eye and ceaseless production as is Van Gogh, for his transformation of the common life into a new visual language that is so powerful and vital.
I'm also inspired by the new Google art gallery views. It takes me to places I may not see, and experience glimpses of art in far off places. See http://www.googleartproject.com/
Tell us about you and JKPP
The JKPP has been, since the start, an entirely positive group that I find fascinating to participate in. It has enabled good connections with artists from all over the planet, and is inspirational in its simplicity of intent.
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
I came across this video by artist David Kazan by chance last year and it made me realise the possibilities of 'painting' portraits digitally on an ipad or other touch screen. I always like watching the process of a painting or drawing develop and it's interesting to see that the same 'rules' apply here as with pencil and paper - start general with big shapes of light/dark and then move to the specific /detail.
Seeing the early stages of this short piece also encouraged me not to ditch a digital image too soon - just as in any drawing (or painting) I find I often go through a stage where nothing looks like I think it should but if I can hold steady, ignore the little voices and keep going it usually works out better than I thought it might at that early stage (even if it's not how I originally thought!)
Hope you enjoy it!
Sunday, 20 March 2011
The rules of the party are simple, each artist posts a selection of photos of themselves from which all members of the group can draw and paint their portrait. All members of the group are therefore both subjects of portraits and creators of portraits.
The Party was an instant success, 60 artists joined in the first week, drawing more than 200 portraits of each other, including two dozen of Julia Kay. After 6 weeks, we had 150 members from around the world who had posted more than 1400 portraits of each other.
One year on and the party (affectionately known as JKPP) is still in full swing with over 450 members and over 10,000 portraits!
But it's impossible to express the impact of the party in just numbers.
I had always wanted to paint portraits, but it’s not always easy to find the sitters in the ‘real world’. So JKPP opened up a fantastic resource – not only photographic, but also for the inspiration of seeing everyone else's style and technique. It’s a huge motivation to have the encouragement and support of the thriving group of diverse artists that is JKPP!