More small things

I Worn My Elbows
I Worn My Elbows, Acrylic & Oil on Linen, each 10 x 10cm. 2013

Still struggling to shake off this damn cold – I just keep coughing and spluttering – and feeling under par so its hard to motivate oneself to get on with bigger work.  So I’ve been tidying up and updating the “I” series.  These have been knocking around my studio for years now.  I  sent two of the early ones off to Sweden back in 2012 for the ‘Supermarket’ fair and as luck would have it sold one (below) to an art dealer from Umea.

I Predict A Riot, Acrylic & Oil on Linen, each 10 x 10 cm., 2011

Given the way they are arrived at one has to be careful not to ‘force’ the process or it all loses whatever freshness they might have…as it is they tend to slip out off the back of protracted working periods.  Not least as they seem to work out best when oil and acrylic get mixed up on them.  So as I’ve been working exclusively with acrylics (apart from a brief spell last summer in Italy) for over eighteen months there are several sitting around just waiting for the right slick of oil to see them off.

I Want You to Want Me
I Want You To Want Me, Oil & Acrylic on Linen, each 10 x 10 cm., 2014

As it happens for quite ‘other’ reasons I’ve been contemplating just such a move (back to oils) with what I’m hoping will be the next large series of pictures that I’m still working out at the moment.  Though its unlikely that I’ll be getting these properly underway until later in the year, with several other projects dominating my event horizons before then.  Coming up immediately is Salon 6 curated by Rachael Pinks…be nice to see you there if you can make it!


Moving along…


So despite all the patronising blather the Westminster elite can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to their core business of placating and sustaining the international financiers and no doubt ignore the Scots and the rest of us… Moving right along I’m looking forward to being a part of Salon 6 in a couple weeks time…and although I know a fair few of the artists showing there will be new pieces that will surprise and delight.  Coincidently the selection of works that Rachael made of mine comprised the Full Metal Jacket series…though we both acknowledged that she couldn’t show all eight…and it is one of the images from that series that I took my detail for (detail) that opens tonight at Transition Gallery in London.


I’d have been there but for the really nasty cold that has settled on my chest and, since my heart bypass seven years back, I tend to take these things quite carefully nowadays.  So at home for me I’m afraid.  It’s a triple blow really as I had hoped that my wife and myself could have taken in Late Turner and also showed up if only for a few minutes at the last ever Lion + Lamb opening.



The loss of any gallery is sad of course but for us painters the Lion + Lamb is particularly devastating…it has been a beacon of light for painting over the past two years and the curation (and I use the term advisedly unlike as is often the case nowadays) has been of the highest order.  It will be very sorely missed.

So…moving on again…with Salon 6 and (detail) my wife Sarah R Key and myself will have shown together twice recently.  Now its Sarah’s turn to have another solo show – at the New Court Gallery at Repton.


This opens in October so we are full on with preparations for this now.  The New Court is a smashing space so it should prove to be quite a show. Also coming up fast is Beeston’s Carnival of Monsters…where I’m hoping to show several of the large Conversation pieces…though I haven’t as yet managed to resolve all of them (note to self best get my finger out!). And of course following on not so far ahead from all this will be the Happy Little Fat Man show featuring the work of Kevin Coyne.  As I type this I’m also thinking that I’m feeling a little better today…and when I think of all the foregoing its probably just as well!



The Cornish Coast

Priests Cove
Priests Cove, Acrylic on Linen, 10 x 10 cm., 2014

This series is suspended for the moment, but this is one that hasn’t been posted yet. I need to ‘top up’ my exposure to the necessary coastline…lucky then that my wife has just announced an end of year trip to Mousehole!  This is ideally located only a few miles from where I started, just to the south of Lands End.  There are sure to be opportunities to  get across to locations such as Porthchapel and, one of my all time favourites, Minack.  And good news too that, courtesy of Matthew Macauley, Martin Beck, from my Black North series is being sent to Coventry shortly…and to top it up Rachael Pinks has invited me to show in Salon 6 up in Derbyshire at the end of September.  It’s such a pleasure to have such good friends and colleagues.  Details of both shows will follow!

Black North series, installed at Lakeside, Nottingham, Nov. 2013 to Feb. 2014…Martin Beck in the centre.