Posts Tagged Art
After months of work, I’ve finally finished a second painting of Jimi Hendrix. Unlike the first, this one is for sale. Painted in oils on canvas, it measures roughly 600 mm x 500 mm. Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If Jimi isn’t your favourite, I’m happy to accept commissions for other rock stars, screen goddesses and even your dear old uncle Fred!
The painting is based on a famous photograph by Gered Mankowitz, the British photographer who has chronicled the rock music scene for the last forty years. He photographed Hendrix in 1967 at his studio in Picadilly. He found him to be a “quiet, humble and modest man. He wasn’t remotely the sort of wild man of rock n’ roll that people have come to think of him as.”
I think this comes across in this picture, as does Hendrix’s sense of humour. Some of Gered Mankowitz’s portraits are now part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.
I painted this portrait of Jimi Hendrix back in 2006. It’s based on a photo from the album sleeve of Electric Ladyland. I could have sold it several times over but I had already made a present of it to my partner Maggie. Accurately rendering the colours and textures of the outfit Hendrix was wearing proved to be the hardest part for me. The outfit consists of what appears to be a velvet jacket, worn over a black, leather waistcoat and shirt of many colours which subtly blend into one another. It took many hours of work to get it right.
Artwork copyright Chris Niblock 2006
‘The Clock Struck Twelve’
My four-year old grand-daughter loves animated films, which gives me a great excuse to watch them too. Amongst her favourites are the Disney versions of popular fairy tales. I was inspired to paint ‘The Clock Struck Twelve’ after watching Cinderella.
Original painting in oils on canvas: copyright Chris Niblock 2012
Size: 790 mm x 1000 mm £450.00
My original intention when I started this painting was to produce an abstract piece. After working on it for a while however, I decided that the idea wasn’t going anywhere. The vertical blue and whites stripes were suggestive of the ultra violet emitting flourescent tubes used in sunbeds, so I added the figure of a guy wearing sunglasses. I had employed a colour palette from the cooler end of the spectrum and this provided me with a title for the work.
Cool Shades is currently on show along with Cosmic Collision (previously featured on this blog) until 3rd February at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms gallery, Mill Street, Ludlow SY8 1AZ. Both Paintings are for sale. Cool Shades is priced at £250 and Cosmic Collision at £350. The artworks are painted in oils on good quality, deep profile canvas 60 x 76 cms in size.
Original artworks copyright Chris Niblock
This painting was inspired by a still from the movie The Right Stuff. Based on the book of the same name by Tom Wolfe, it tells the story of test pilot Chuck Yeager‘s attempts to break the sound barrier in a rocket powered plane and of the seven astronauts of NASA’s Project Mercury. The Cold War was at it’s height and America and Russia were locked in the Space Race, the original impetus for which was the desire to build bigger and more powerful intercontinental missiles to carry the atomic warheads they were both stockpiling.
Project Mercury was something of a stop-gap. The Americans had talked of building a small winged vehicle along the lines of what would eventually become the much larger space shuttle, however the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Russians in October 1957 convinced the Americans that the soviets were way ahead of them in terms of lifting power. If they were to put a man into space before the Russians they would have to rely on their existing rocketry. The Mercury spacecraft was basically ‘a man in a can’ which would be shot into space atop a Redstone missile. The original design called for the craft to be ‘flown by wire’ from the team on the ground, but the Mercury astronauts – all test pilots – baulked at this and the capsule was fitted with a manual override.
In the event, the Russians beat them to it when on the 12th April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth. Ten months later John Glen would become the first American to do the same in the Mercury capsule ‘Freedom 7’.
Original oil painting on canvas copyright Chris Niblock
This recently completed painting is based on a photograph of Taylor Swift, the American country pop singer/songwriter, musician and actress. In order to give it a ‘bluesy’ feel I changed the colour palette, substituting the colder shades of blue and purple for the original’s much warmer tones.
Original oil on canvas copyright Chris Niblock 2011
In all the controversy over the availability or lack of it, of tickets for the London Olympics, the cultural festival that runs alongside it, seems to have been largely overlooked by the media. This could be set to change with the announcement that Tracey Emin, of ‘My Bed’ fame, has recently been named as one of twelve artists who are to design posters for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Miss Emin has a way with words certainly but judging by her artworks at least, has a somewhat limited vocabulary. When it comes to posters four letter words do have one advantage in so far as they are short and to the point, but unless the organisers want to add to the controversy which already surrounds the games, she’ll have to come up with some longer words. She also misspelled Picasso on one of them which doesn’t bode well.
For many of us, modern art is a bit like marmite– you either love it or you hate it. And the work of Britart artists in particular, has in recent years aroused a great deal of heated debate about the nature of art. Can a dead shark suspended in formaldehyde or a rumpled bed be art? I get out of bed every morning and leave the bed-clothes in a state of disarray: have I just created a piece of art or am I simply being a lazy slob? When I go back later to remake it, I often find myself agonising over the destruction of this masterwork of mine.
French playwright Yasmina Retza wrote a very clever and wonderfully funny play about modern art. Entitled ‘Art’, its plot is a deceptively simple one: three friends, Serge, Marc, and Yvan, are forced to reassess the nature of their long running friendship when Serge pays a huge sum for an abstract painting which consists of barely visible white lines on a white canvas. Serge and Marc fall out in a big way when Marc describes the painting as a ‘piece of sh*t’. Yvan’s attempt to reconcile his two friends succeeds only in widening the chasm that has opened up between them. It could be argued that the play is more about the nature of friendship than about art, but it provides plenty to chew over on both subjects.
Perhaps in the end, it comes down to this: it’s not what you see when you look at a work of art that makes it art for you, but what you think you see.
We were one man down this Tuesday in Housmans; Derek having taken the night train to Turin. No, it’s not another euphemism like; ‘he’s fallen off his perch’ or ‘he’s pushing up the daisies’ – he really had gone to Turin. He was on holiday.
Ordering our beers, we enquired if our absent friend had left money behind the bar for his round before departing for Italy. The barman has heard this ‘joke’ before; every time in fact one of us goes AWOL, and is immune to our pathetic attempts to obtain free beer and food. To his credit, he still managed an indulgent smile, though he was probably wondering why these old gits keep repeating the same old stuff. The answer is of course, that it’s the only way we remember anything!
Not that any of us is in our dotage or anywhere near it, you understand. No, being an ‘old git’ is more of an attitude than an age thing. We’re not angry old men exactly, just rather forthright in our views at times and yes, I admit it, a bit grumpy. This was brought home to me recently, when my daughter pointed out that – horror of horrors – I was sounding more like my father every day. All men have this charge levelled at them eventually, either by their wives or their children: my son lives in mortal fear of the day he finds himself plumping up the sofa cushions like his old man, but I still found it hard to accept. Not that my father was a bad man or anything, quite the opposite in fact, but in old age he could be very forthright in his views and well, how can I put it, just occasionally, I mean hardly ever really, just a wee bit grumpy.