8 August 2014

Everyday Tweeter

When I took on a full-time studio space, I had hoped to re-commence this Wednesday Painting journal. But the business of yr actual painting was far too pressing to allow myself to get tied up again in the fripperies of analysing and deliberating each and every brush-stroke...

But at last, your dormant Wednesday Painter has been awoken. Or perhaps re-booted.

What I'm trying to say is that I've been posting occasional #workinprogress reports on my twitter account @neonpainter, and you can follow it in the feed just over there in the column to the right >>

13 May 2014

Wells Art Contemporary 2013 winner Solo Exhibition, 45 Park Lane

I was so very busy with the practicalities of finishing paintings and the opening night, that I neglected to post about this: my first solo exhibition in London! 

There is still time to see it though...

45 Park Lane and The Dorchester Collection present:
A Solo Exhibition of neon lights in oil paint by Dominic Bradnum, winner of the Wells Art Contemporary 2013 First Prize.

Wednesday 7th May – Saturday 31st May 2014
45 Park Lane, Dorchester Collection, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN

5 December 2013

Christmas Artists Open Houses

I probably should have mentioned this. There is info over at my website www.dominicbradnum.co.uk. We are open again this Saturday (7th Dec) and the following Saturday (14th Dec), 11am-5pm.

I won't be in residence this Saturday, but you will find me (hopefully) being productive in Studio 6 on the 14th.

Open Houses and Guilty Feelings

I guess I was probably kidding myself that I would actually get a day's work done on the first day of the Christmas Open Houses. In reality it was more like an hour, and that's being optimistic!

However, I did get to meet all the other lovely artists with whom I can now call BLANK Studios home. And I welcomed quite a few visitors to my space and chatted to them about my work - something that I'd never done before.

Feeling guilty about my non-productive Saturday, I headed back early Sunday morning to get a couple of hours' painting under my belt.

I clocked in at 09.30 hours to find the half-hearted fruits of yesterday. And after a pass across half the canvas working on the immediate glow of the letters, I left it like this at 11.30 hours:

I also left a note to myself:

New stu-stu-studio

I spent the morning collecting together vital equipment and items in my grimey garrett/loft-studio. Progress was hampered when a curious robin came in to look around - yep, before I'd even left, a new prospective tenant with an eye on my place

This is the mess I left behind after all my churning and rooting around.

Goodbye window-less, ventilation-less loft, we've had some heady times - mainly due to the solvent fumes having nowhere to go...

By evening I had signed the contract and dumped everything at my new space at Blank Studios which occupies a converted end-of-terrace house in one of those, rapidly vanishing, liminal zones on the edge of Brighton and Hove.

In the afternoon I organised my belongings and made my new space my own - I sense this will be an ongoing and changing thing for the first month or so.

I also found time to do a spot of your actual painting, returning to that elongated '...RUGS&...' canvas (or 'neon for a wig shop' as I referred to it later) - my first dalliance with brush and canvas since December 2012. It was a relief. And it felt good.

31 October 2013

Negative Space

I had an hour to spare this week after finishing my paid work, so I painted in the negative space around what will soon become one of my phosphorescent neon drips.

I realise this is going to make for painfully plodding progress if I continue werking at such a slow and irregular rate, which is why I am currently seeking a studio space in my native Brighton (or Hove to be exact). If anyone happens to read this that knows of such a holy grail being available in the near future, I'd like to hear from you.

16 October 2013

Wednesday Painter: Slight Return

I have returned. Slightly.

After paid work, I had 15 minutes to spare, and an itching* to get started with something new.

I lugged a canvas I had made some time ago out to the studio, and set about desecrating its pure white surface with a decorators brush and black ink.

And now I don't need to worry about 'blank canvas syndrome' when I return next time.

*the itching is related to the fact that I have won a painting prize and have been offered a solo exhibition in London. This has galvanised me to get back to the easel (I have barely painted since the commission I finished at Christmas). I feel a strange mixture of chomping at the bit, whilst simultaneously feeling a slight crises in confidence. But two things are clear: I must seize this opportunity; and I must find a studio space closer to home, to fit better with family life.

8 October 2013

Wells Art Contemporary 2013

Yes, I know it is Tuesday, and I know I don't very often grace this corner of the internet these days, but there is news: One of my neon paintings has been selected for the Wells Art Contemporary 2013 exhibition.

Wells Art Contemporary 2013
11th – 19th October (open 10am-5pm)
Wells Museum,
8 Cathedral Green,
Wells, Somerset

Dominic Bradnum - Cry For Help 2

I've not been idle by the way. You can read of my current non-painting exploits here: www.dominicbradnum.co.uk

24 August 2012

where have you been Wednesday Painter?

Owing to various events and occurrences I've not been able to get to the studio over the past few weeks, and this looks likely to continue for a bit longer...

What I did find some time for was to photograph 3 canvases which have been selected for a forthcoming exhibition in Macclesfield (more on the exhibition here).

25 July 2012

the taste of solvents

Greetings dear readers, today is the hottest day of the year so far (now that mister sun has finally showed his face he really does mean business).  The heat in the loft has been rising and has now become almost unbearable - a still, stifling HOT heat.

I was out and painting with great purpose this morning continuing progress with the '...RUGS&...' canvas: adding more rich, bright red, deep crimson and blackness, and daubing some verdant green into the background. Another step on the long road to completion.

Now that I've cleared the deck of 2 paintings, I feel I can crack on with some of those canvases that have lain around neglected for the past couple of months.  Does anyone remember this behemoth seascape I sketched out? It's up on the wall and is getting some much needed attention. It's good to have something new to sink my teeth into.

...And so, on the hottest day of the year, I sat in my sweat-box of a loft with absolutely no ventilation and decided to do something quite rash. This, ladies and gentlemen is how to bugger up a painting in one quick and easy lesson.

And in a bid to rectify it, I concluded the only course of action would be to pour half a bottle of white spirit down it and scrub it all off. I spent the rest of the sweltering afternoon with a sweaty mask clamped over my face to stop me getting drunk on the fumes, and giving myself cross eyes painting all the tiny flowers back in.

It utterly reeks in there and it made my head swim as soon as I took that mask off. Out in the still, slightly fresher air, the taste of solvents lingers on the tip of my tongue.

18 July 2012

the keen eye of the Wednesday Painter

I had a couple of hours' paid work to fulfil this morning, but with this out of the way I set upon my first task: re-taking those photographs I took last week.  The sky overhead is a blanket of silvery grey, so the light was right for some photos.

I am pleased to report that 'Home Sweet Home' still meets with my satisfaction, which gives me a number of choices of which canvas to werk on today.  I've opted for the '...RUGS&...' deep red neon painting, which is in its early stages and will give me something to set my mind to. Just as soon as I have eaten lunch.

It is 2pm. Let the painting commence!

3 hours later, and to the untrained eye not much has changed. But to the keen eye of the Wednesday Painter the last traces of the original pencil sketch have been more or less covered over.

And now I must go, only 3 hours painting is better then 0 hours painting. And I will fit in a much longer session next week.

11 July 2012

a spring in my step

I spent much of this morning cursing the sunshine for visiting on the one day of this grey, wet and dreary summer on which I had decided to take some photographs. In the rare moments when a cloud drifted overhead I snapped off a few shots with varying degrees of success.

The photographs are for a batch of slides I plan to make in preparation for some new non-neon paintings.

Job more or less done, I returned to add (what will hopefully be) the finishing touches to 'Home Sweet Home': just a little extra deep red glow to counter the diminishing green effervescence and a lick of purest white to brighten key points to both colours of neon tube, and I think I am just about happy with it.

I walk with a spring in my step for the rest of the day and toil away at the big Le Corbusier canvas, darkening all the little windows and alcoves with some dirty, inky water, and wondering how I should go about speeding up and finishing construction werk.

5 July 2012

existential ponderings

I've swapped shifts this week with the Thursday Painter.  The Thursday Painter is a man of few words. He keeps a blog somewhere in a parallel cyberspace, and his confessions usually amount to very little. It would be nice to be able leave him to carry on with my paintings the day after I have done my Wednesday Painting shift, but every time I return a week later I see very little sign of progress. Sometimes I wonder if he's taking my werk a step backwards, or undoing all the hard graft I have achieved the day before...

Sometimes I wonder if it is healthy to mull all this over inside my head and then spill it out into this weekly journal. But I tell myself that it gives me an aim each week and some kind of benchmark of progress with my creative endeavours, so I continue.

I set out today to bring 'Home Sweet Home' a big step towards completion.  The green neon rendering is still not to my satisfaction.  All morning I was there, painting away, knocking back the extended glow and bringing in the darkness. I werked on every area of the green bordering and finished for lunch.

On my return I realise that all my werk has been in vain. I scrub out the morning's travails...

This time I'll get it right, I tell myself.

Hours later, I leave more or less satisfied, and hoping this will still be the case when I return next Wednesday.

27 June 2012

the challenge

I woke up this morning and I told myself "I will finish the morse code canvas today".  This is my intention, and this is my challenge.  I have a deadline to submit the painting for a competition this Sunday.

I begin in the loft, but very soon move the canvas outside, propped up on paint tins again.  I flood the blackness with Phthalo blue straight from the tube, then lighten the glow where it should bounce back off the craggy crevice, using a soft brush to gently blend.  I touch up the very edges of the crack with white to show the light glinting back off the rock. I dry brush a mid-to-light blue spilling out of the crack and leaking out onto the vertical rock surface. I take it too far on the top of the crack.  I curse myself and take a break.

By the afternoon, threatened by rain, I have moved inside to the spare bedroom with the canvas stood on a box. I am in crisis. I have taken photos and looked at them on a computer to get a slightly different perspective. I find myself thinking I am not good enough to paint, that I should just give up. None of that thrill that I get when things are going well and the neon is singing to me. No, none of that. I sit and stare. I feel feverish with nervous energy, knowing that I need to get this finished today, and to my satisfaction.  I drink a beer. Quickly... A decision: I turn the canvas upside down and knock back some of the over-exaggerated spilling glow with oil paint, charcoal, indian ink and water. Flip it back round and take another photo. It goes on like this until I feel I can do no more. Am I happy with it? I look back at the tiny dots and dashes of light: how about re-instating those little flares of light from each of them?

At some time just around 5pm I down tools. I cannot tell if it is good, but I need to take photos before the light goes. Maybe when I look at them tomorrow I will be happy with what I see, but for now I feel empty and just a little bereft.  It has been a long day, and I leave the morse code canvas which shall henceforth be known as Cry For Help 2.