One of my submissions for the Royal Ulster Academy this year is "Man in a hat", which is a painting completed in oils on canvas sized at 50cm x 50cm. It's a self portrait painted in side profile. This is a practise that artists throughout the centuries have done throughout their careers and lifetimes. When you have no one else as a study, then use yourself as the basis of a painting. I have only done a few self portraits in my lifetime and I think I caught a likeness in this one. Its always interesting to see the progress that each new piece brings and looking at previous completed paintings how your skills develop in regards of mixing paint and technical ability. I try to keep my palette to a minimum and used 6 colours only throughout this piece using the zorn pallete as the basis of my paintings.
I find working on self portraits a bit tougher as in my minds eye I always thought I looked like Brad Pitt or Patrick Swayze:) I have been informed that I look absolutely nothing like that at all so in regards of how you perceive yourself and when drawing or studying a subject its important to always remember to draw what you see and not paint or draw what you want to see or think looks better in order to get a true likeness or resemblance whether this be a portrait/Still life or landscape.
My second submission for the Royal Ulster Academy this year is entitled,"Gerry".This is a drawing of my father in law who tortured me endlessly to paint or draw him. Just to make him smile which he clearly isnt doing so in this drawing I finally got round to doing something and thought I would submit it for entry into the 2018 Royal Ulster Academy exhibition in the Ulster museum. Very fortunate to get pre selected where we now await the outcome of the judging panel.
The drawing was completed in compressed charcoal on white cartridge paper. Again I have to say Im always happier painting someone else rather than myself in the form of a self portrait. I do believe I caught Gerry's likeness in this piece and he actually smiled when he seen it which is something that rarely happens with this man so I'll assume he was happy with the finished drawing.
My third submission for the Royal Ulster Academy this year is entitled,"Portrait of a Modern family". This is my portrayal of modern living family life in 2018. With demanding work roles, the daily school run, appointments on all sides meeting punctual timelines, trying to maintain order within a family can feel impossible at times. Digital technology has taken over with social media infecting all of us in one form or another and there is a lack of interaction and connection within the family. My painting shows a true reflection of what our house looks like most days at dinner time trying to maintain order in what looks like a chaotic scene.
Everyone is focusing their attention in opposite directions looking elsewhere where they should be facing each other sitting round a dinner table. The mother is unwinding from looking after kid’s all day as well as other chores while reading a newspaper eating dinner. The boy in the red shirt is focused on his tablet while eating his dinner, completely disconnected from everyone in the room. The youngest child is focusing on the television waiting on his favourite children's channel coming on whom the father is trying to please while at the same time, trying to sit down to his own evening meal just returning home.
Although this painting was pre-selected for the Royal Ulster Academy I have had to regretfully withdraw this piece asking permission from the RUA if it was okay to no longer submit it for exhibition in the Ulster Museum. Although extremely hesitant having to make this request to the Royal Ulster Academy, I am very grateful for them being so understanding under the special circumstances leading to another opportunity so hoping my other 2 pieces qualify for submission. Fingers crossed. I have other exciting news in regards to where this painting will be exhibited which I have yet to announce in the next coming weeks.