UK edition issue # 7
magazine for Art, Artists and Art Galleries
and the panache
cover painting by Colin Halliday
inside... new articles, gallery features and much more...
a very warm welcome to the first dedicated
UK issue of painters Tubes magazine, first
a few words from our Editor, Denis Taylor.
photograph: Denis Taylor. Artist and Editor of Tubes.
Background “stepping stones” from second nature series ©Tubes 2017.of work by
“...2017 was a wonderful year for painting in general. Tubes have been privileged to bring to the
attention of our readers some excellent artists, both well known and some not so well known.
In the coming year Tubes will interview more artists and source Art from all around the UK. To
help with this undertaking the magazine welcomes two new artist-contributors, Laurence Causse-
Parsley, who will be covering the South of England and Dave Traves who will bring to our readers
articles on artists from his travels. Both are accomplished artists in their own right. And both
artists-contributors will be appearing in the forth coming issues, with a full introduction our website
www.painterstubes.com In this all new UK edition Tubes also present exclusive interviews
with four painters, who represent the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting
in their own very individual styles...
...this year, I was honoured to open a special exhibition (The Ten of Us) featuring the ex-pupils of
the Manchester High School of Art (an Art School for children from eleven years old, where I also
enrolled as a student, in 1962).
The exhibition was mounted at the Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery (2oth January).
...not only was it an honour for me to open the show, but it was an opportunity to talk about the
Art School, and about children and Art education in general. A discussion, I believe, needs reenvigorating.
To that end the ‘talk’ I gave has been reproduced (in this edition) in full.
The Tubes team hope you enjoy this first edition for 2018.”
four excellent Artists representing the pleasure, the
passion, the power and the panache of paintings.
page four...’the pleasure’....Colin Halliday.
page twelve...’the passion’...Richard Fitton.
page twenty....’the power’...Patrick Blower.
page twenty six...’the panache’...Ian Norris.
articles and reviews, gallery announcements and a speech
from the editor
page thirty two...’Spike’ has a go at vanity galleries
page thirty five...55 years...Colin Jellicoe Gallery
page thirty eight...”the Ten of Us” exhibition speech
page forty two...Contemporary Six. New exhibition
page forty four...Colony Gallery...Review.
painters Tubes magazine
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the pleasure of painting...
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting”
in conversation with Colin Halliday...
...the first time I met Colin was in one of those Artist’s corners during an exhibition in autumn of 2017. The
informal meeting was at a showing of another Artist, one who we all knew and admired [Dave Coulter]. It was
a warm September evening and after I had completed my viewing of the show and chats with guests about
the exhibition [“70 years in the making” Cheshire Art Gallery, Bramhall, Cheshire] I joined a couple of the
artists in the corner they had made their own, one or two who I knew, quite well. One of them (Dean Entwistle)
introduced me to Colin. I was already aware of his work, but had never met him in person.
As we sat outside, we all joked about who’s round it was to supply ‘the beers’ that was a joke because the
Gallery had generously loaded the bar and all drinks were free. A younger painter of the group volunteered to
go the bar whilst, we older ones, continued to chew the fat about all things connected with Art and it’s creation.
During the conversation Colin’s view of his own Art and how it stood in the eyes of the contemporary gallery
scene, sounded like almost a ‘fait accompli.’
”I keep doing what I am doing,
my way of painting, and that’s it...”
...this was in reference to his ‘plein air’ work, a
genre or way of painting, which
I had made some critic of over the years, not
necessarily to deride plein air painting as
such, but to question the validity of artists
who continue to do nothing else but plein air,
which to my way of thinking, always seemed
to restrict an artist from creating or trying out
My critic was aimed at not just ‘plein air’
painting per sé, but artists who continue
to paint the same subject, the same way,
seemingly forever and a day.
As a painter, I could never fully understand
why they didn’t get bored of producing
‘images’ and not enjoy creating an Art which
is exciting and new, even for themselves,
let alone the viewer.
I decided there and then that at the turn of the
year I would make an appointment to visit
Colin on his home turf in Derbyshire and
explore his bank of work first hand. He was
obviously a gifted painter with a natural talent
and intellectually a deep thinker about Art in
general and painting in particular.
All paintings are oil on canvas or board ©Colin Halliday
The train journey from Manchester to Derby
seemed to take forever, which enabled me to
clarify my thoughts about painting nature as a
subject. It’s one every painter tackles and often
leans back on when other artistic paths dry up,
or have become staid.
Taking another look at the broad theme of
nature as a main subject is something I have
reverted to myself, over these last 30 odd
years of painting. Today, it seems, artists are
‘going back to nature’ wholesale. I guess the
environmental concerns of our planet, one we
all share, may have something to do with that
Colin’s decision to paint nature, I was to
discover, had a more fundamental and artistic
ethical reasoning behind it.
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting”
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting”
“These works were surely created in a studio
and could not possibly have created made plein air...”
The train rolled into Derby where Colin had kindly said he would pick me up and take me to his home a few miles
to the south of the City. I’d been to Derby in the early part of 2017 on a family celebration and was surprised how
quickly the regeneration and investment program for the North of England had progressed [that far] from the major
‘Northern Cities’ of the UK (sic: Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle etc).
As usual the old dilapidated buildings were being knocked down and new 21st century spaces were being created
with emphasis on culture and commerce in the centre of Derby, an observation that I would be remember during
my conversation with Colin later in the day.
The walls of his home were, as you may expect for a painter, graced by his own large oil paintings, which showed
the full glory of his process. These works of nature were painted with an impasto application holding the energy of
a sure hand and full of painterly confidence.
“These works were surely created in a studio could not possibly have been made plein air.” [For which Colin is
renown for], I thought to myself. He told me later that he did indeed have a studio, but had to give it up when he
landlord wanted to double the rent, which he couldn’t afford, certainly not along with his financial obligations for
his home. My only complaint about the work on the wall was that I wished I could have viewed them in a larger
space, if only to fully appreciate their beauty. However, being able to get up close to them confirmed my belief that
Colin was indeed an excellent and an accomplished painter.
His method is not revolutionary, nor does he employ textural tricks by using texture aides or other contingencies.
Such as applying plaster of paris on the canvas before painting over in oil or acrylic pigments.
“I had to fight really hard to gain my art degree...”
He works the canvas and re-works it with vigour until he feels the painting has reached it’s
conclusion - which seems to end in a flurry of paint almost thrown onto the work and completed with
a final swipe of his palette knife.
The resulting image created by the artist propels it into being more than a painting, the work is more
of an object in itself with an extremely attractive tactile quality.
I really wanted to touch the painting, but resisted that urge and was quite happy to simply allow my
eyes and my mind to appreciate and digest the Art in front of me.
After metaphorically satisfying my hunger with Art, Colin invited me to join him for lunch. He had
prepared a home made quiche, which I gratefully accepted.
As he dished out the food I thumbed through the first parts of a sort of scrapbook file. It held various
cutting from newspapers with stories about Colin as a young artist.
He was born in the City of Carlisle in Cumbria (1964). “I had to fight really hard to gain my art
degree.” (BA Hons Fine Art Exeter University).
He told me as I flipped the sleeves of the file, and quantified that statement by telling me how he
worked to earn money (to pay his way through Art university) by taking any menial job whatsoever,
like stacking supermarket shelves or other low skill work, jobs that few artists
would readily agree to do.
The struggle proved to be one of many reasons for a major decision by Colin to move to London and
join the avant garde and live a 20th century bohemian style of life, i.e. ‘living in a squat.’
He did, however, eventually find a way to being accepted as an Artist by commercial galleries and he
was commissioned to paint portraits, one or two of which was a former MP and a leading politician.
His first public show was at the Fresh Art Group at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London
(1992) followed by participation in a group show at Dulwich Picture Gallery having been selected
by Tom Phillips RA and a Group show at Quantum Contemporary Art, London, (both exhibitions in
By 1999 Colin was painting landscapes as a preferred subject and shown the resulting work in a solo
shows, first at Grey College in Durham College (near Sunderland) and then at the Knapp Gallery,
Regents College, London. These were followed exhibitions from 2000 onwards by a host of shows
through to 2012, mounted mainly in London in private high street Galleries.
At this stage in his painting life he already began to question the purposes of cutting edge art and
what it had set out to achieve in its dogma. And he also began to consider the whole concept of
contemporary leanings towards anti-Art in general. Art against art, one that gives pleasure. Art
against Art that displayed beauty.
Art against Art that displayed any sort of skill or talent. That late 20th century ‘cutting edge’ art
that seemed determined to re-educate art students to accept banality, insincerity, inauthenticity and
plagiarism as art styles in themselves.
“what’s so bad about creating Art
that is beautiful?”
As an art process to admire and employ as the main artistic aim. Painting, as an artistic choice for
expression, was labelled ‘old and useless’ and the artists that did choose painting, as a preferred
medium, would find themselves derided or at best ignored by art institutions and academics. Colin,
made a conscious decision to go against the grain of 20th century contemporary art theory and wanted
to create paintings that were brimming with beauty, emotion and sensory pleasure.
Colin asks that question often, not only to himself, but also to other artists, knowing full well that it is a rhetorical
question, because it is hard to present a logical reason against it.
His belief in ‘spreading’ the creation of beautiful Art is one of his artistic missions, it seemed to me, and one I could
not help but admire him for, waving that particular art flag.
OK, I do understand art negative messages are sometimes necessary in our modern society, if only to ‘shine-alight’
on the worst traits of humanity, say like greed, power lusting or selfishness etc, but the ‘negation’ of Art
became unconcerned with this objective and manifested itself as simply ‘Art’ for itself and the self concerned art
intellectual. The scales of public art exhibitions have been tipped in that direction for some time and I do agree with
Colin, that ‘a rebalancing’ of negation and affirmation Art is still required. Although I do believe that ‘balance’ has
improved greatly over these last few years. None the less, more work is still required and the only way to gain a
rebalance is to get beautiful Art out into the public domain. Which leads me to my final paragraph or two about the
Art of Colin Halliday.
Colin invited me to walk up the garden to his ‘drying shed’ where racks were fully laden with paintings - “these
are recent.” He said with a smile. “I’ll take you round to my store if you’d like.” Of course I agreed. We walked
for a while through a field to what looked like a dumping ground of rubbish. At the end of the field a large makeshift
building of two floors. Up the rickety steps, almost hidden by odds of sods of this and that, was a dark and
expansive room that was stacked floor to ceiling with his paintings. The sheer quantity and quality of each work
was not surprising but definitely astounding. It was then that I became, not angry but spoke excitedly. “Colin, you
need to get these out there to the public.” I said with conviction.
He looked at me and smiled. “Yes, but where? Derby? In a museum?”
He lamented on his understanding that wasn’t any space ‘big enough’ to exhibit the large bank of work he had, in
one show. It was then that I remembered the re-development of Derby, one I had witnessed from my ‘family gettogether’
of early 2017.
“I’m sure that there are now new spaces available, even
if not in a Gallery context.” I was sure there must be,
somewhere in Derby.”
We carried on that conversation over a beer in a rather pleasant local pub and where
I offered my unconditional help to gain a space of suitable size and volunteer painters Tubes
magazine to help promote an exhibition, should it come to fruition. To be honest,
I did realise that Colin, not unlike many other artists I know, simply may not cope with the
pressures and stress of being a curator and an Artist at the same time.
A position I appreciate and I do understand the reluctance to take ones Art out into the
public arena within a large exhibition and be responsibility for not only the costs involved,
but the risks of personal financial disaster that any exercise of that magnitude implies.
I decided not to push the concept of alternate exhibition space on him, knowing full well
that his work does have some outlet in a few quality galleries. The pity is that the public
shall only ever see Colin’s work peace-meal and not as one glorious display of Art that has
beauty, skill, talent, authenticity and sheer pleasure that is imbued within it.
We parted at the Derby train station where I began my long journey back to Manchester and
new thoughts running around my mind. “...perhaps, I should create a painters Tubes annual public
exhibition showing work by Artists who create work for the sheer pleasure that beautiful paintings
give...now that’s a good idea, isn’t it?”
Denis Taylor was in conversation with Colin Halliday, January 23rd 2018
Here is what Trent Gallery had to say about Colin and his work...
“Geography plays a huge part in what a gallery has to offer. In our location (North Staffordshire)
we have a rich vein of cultural heritage to call on and highly skilled artists both past and present to
populate the gallery with. But were we to be exclusive to this location, as a gallery we would miss
the opportunity to support artistic talent more broadly and we have always been keen to expose our
customers more widely to names that, we consider, deliver quality art into the market.
Colin Halliday is one such artist. For the gallery he brings a palette that’s explosively rich on
colour and he brings a subject matter whose honesty people relate to instantly. Our customers easily
identify with the subject matter that has become synonymous with Colin’s work.
Colin’s work makes a valid contribution to the gallery. It is on constant display and we very pleased
to be able to carry his work and support his very genuine artistic talent.”
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
the passion of painting...
painting: “small head of Caleb” 30cm x 30cm
Looking at painting from another angle and more than once...
...visit(s) to the Studio of Richard Fitton.
My recent visit to Richard’s studio was in fact my third time there. The first time was October in 2017. On that
occasion he was in the middle of physically revamping the large building he occupies from an automobile repair
shop into a gallery, a framing work room and a painting studio. You would be right in thinking that sounds like an
awful lot of work for one person to undertake.
Richard however has an enormous amount of energy, both for his painting and new projects, that he embraces with
astounding vigour and enthusiasm. The artist is relatively young, 27 years old, so his energy is not that surprising,
but his painting reflects a more mature artistic mind working together with a deep sense of a personal ambition to
become the very best painter that he can possibly be. That ambition is almost palpable when talking with him and
it was demonstrated by his excited speech when discussing his work, an excited verbal delivery, one that is both
endearing, passionate and infectious.
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
It was refreshing for me to share mutually
agreed views and thoughts on art and painting
in particular, whilst we sipped cups of tea
inside the kitchen area of the building. I’d
arrived on a grey Sunday mid-morning that
November, wind swept and partially soaked
from the drizzle that seems to constantly hover
of the area the studio, which is located in
Rochdale, (Lancashire). And the offer of more
than one cup of hot tea was readily accepted
and much needed.
After I had warmed and dried off, Richard took
me on a tour of the building explaining in great
detail what the various rooms would function
as, and what they would look like, when
completed. We eventually walked into his
painting studio, which he insisted to repeatedly
apologise for the
state’ it was in.
“I haven’t had the time
to clean up...”
...he said more than once, being a painter
myself he need not of worried.
I know myself and from personal experience,
that there are many occasions when an artist
gets so ‘into’ what he or she is creating, that
the space around them becomes an invisible
backdrop that simply accepts whatever is
thrown at it.
painting: “Kerrine Nude” 76cm x 51cm
Richard and the editor of Tubes
discussing an oil sketch,
during the studio visit.
I’m sure everyone has seen the photographs of the studio
of Francis Bacon, is a perfect example of this state of
mind when creating. It was clear to me how Richard
paints. The application of layer upon layer of thick oil
paint (impasto) consisting of various mixed colours and
tones, sometimes towards blue, sometimes towards reds,
are preconceived and the speed in which the gestural
marks are gouged into the canvas afterwards, to create
the image of the main subject are again pre-conceived,
and the main ‘idea’ behind the painting. These works
could only be produced by, what would look like to
an onlooker, as an artist possessed by a strange and
dangerous force of nature, a hurricane at it’s wildest
moment, or perhaps, a maniac wielding an axe, intent
on the total destruction of his or her environment. In
Richard’s case, the absolute opposite is the truth, and in
actuality, authentic creation was and is his aim, which he
invariably succeeds in acheiving.
After taking a few photographs of the studio (with this article in my mind) we decided to carry our
conversation further... in the comfort of a rather lovely public house, not far from the studio. Here we
could sit and enjoy not only the beer, but also a warm and cordial atmosphere and discuss his artistic
ambitions further, especially the ambitions and ethos for the new gallery, which he had founded with
his good friend Anthony Cosgrove.
Richard told me about his surprise how ‘quick’ things have developed, from a commercial gallery
viewpoint, and how his Art became quickly established and snapped up by art collectors. An exhibition
at Castlegate House Gallery, Castlegate, Cockermouth, Cumbria, had been the catalyst for that interest
in his work, and his ‘street-cred’ as a gifted (serious) artist had multiplied four fold. It is perhaps
not that surprising, when one considers that his ‘style’ of work, one that shows definite nods in the
direction of Auerbach and Kossoff, in the main, has been, over the last few years, taken up by a
few artists both in the South and the North of the UK, some perhaps emulating that era of figurative
abstraction, especially by these two major abstract expressionist artists.
Kossoff and Auerbach had been highlighted by the influential art institutions, in recent times. Richard
however, may have been unaware of that fact, as his very real love of (and in particular) Kossoff, was
the leading ‘master’ for him, and had been for some time.
“reclining head of Adam” 30cm x 30cm
I did get the feeling that Richard was in a rush to advance himself as an artist, but not from a negative standpoint. He
wanted, it seemed to me, to explore Art and redefine it to himself. This self-set goal, inevitably, would result in a number
of failed canvases, but also in quite brilliant works of art too.
That ambition and that artistic way of thinking is one, that as Editor of Tubes and as an Artist myself, often find in only
the most original and authentic painters. Sometimes failed paintings give more to a painter than successful ones. It’s this
way of viewing artistic creation that I relate and identify with the most. And so it will not come as a surprise to the reader,
of this article, to understand that I left Richard with the promise to return, not only to see the finished Gallery, but also to
catch up with his own artistic progression and possibly new thought processes about his work.
The second visit to Rochdale was unannounced. My obligation and objective was to deliver pre-ordered copies of the
recent editions of Tubes in time for the opening night of the new Colony Gallery.
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
An issue that featured not only the opening details
and date of the show, but with a brief outline of
the Galleries aims, stated by Anthony and Richard.
On that occasion, Richard and I missed each other
and I managed to post the magazines, individually
wrapped in envelopes, through the Galleries
I’d promised Richard that I would return a month or
so later to see both the Gallery and have another talk
with him about his Art.
On my third visit to the Gallery, thankfully, Richard
and Anthony were both present and enabled an indepth
talk about the Galleries ambitions and how it
had been received within the artistic community and
the public of the North West of England.After the
Gallery discussion, Anthony left us, Richard and I
could venture into his studio to talk about his work
for another type of discussion.
He showed me the quite recent work of studies that
were set up on his easel. Richard has, preferred to
paint figurative (portraiture type paintings of people
he knew or had known) and ‘interiors,’ another
subject that is attracting painters of late.
“head of Kerrine”
He explained to me how he wanted to upscale these
works to large paintings, bigger than he had so
done before. Typically, Richard was heightening his
artistic bar in order to explore the greater possibilities
or limitations of the motives or discover a new level
for his work.
We talked for a short time about scaling up work
from small oil sketches and the way in which a
painter can retain the immediacy of the application
of paint. It is not uncommon for the upscaled
finished painting to become a little sterile or bland,
when any artists attempts a direct transfer from an
oil study to large canvas, it’s one of the dangers of
choosing to use that method.
I mentioned that a ‘direct’ approach may well prove
to be more successful. Another aspect of Richards
work that had come to light to him was the ‘drawing’
of form. He felt he had overlooked that important
ingredient for perhaps a little too long when
developing his energised canvases.
68cm x 49 cm
He pointed out a reasonably large pastel drawing
he had made recently, this demonstrated his surety
of line and the level of draughtsmanship. He told
me that he wanted to continue the drawing side of
his art which I am sure will increase his power and
confidence when he moves upto a large canvas size.
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
“head of Leigh Gregson” 60cm x 48cm
top left “Lee”
‘head of a girl’
“Amy” Pastel and Charcoal
“head of Adam”
Once again, after all the serious art discussion, we decided it was a good idea to have a social chat in the same pub that we
visited the first time I had come to visit Richards studio. It turned out to be a very good social hour or two for all. Richard
has returned recently to creating some excllent charcoal studies. A very informative social hour or so, which turned out to
be enlightening and filled in some of the personal parts of Richards life, some new to me new and some that were not so
new. It was clear to that, he had began to mature as a painter and grow as a person. A natural process of life that seems to
be always linked to a new partner, who not only understands eccentricities, but also caring about each other does improve
ones own understanding of self through acts of unselfishness, I think.
Richard Fitton is a very fine artist and it’s my belief that given some space and time he will continue to drive himself
to improve his art to greater levels of artistic uniqueness, no matter how much others may shower him with praise or
compliments at the present time. His art can only be measured by his own yardstick and it’s a measure of ‘the self’ that
he makes often. He is critical of his own work as much as his proud of many of the pieces he has already made to date. I
personally, find that a good position to adopt and do feel that looking at ones work, from many different angles, is better
than being blinded by the amount of paintings that is sold at an exhibition. My own favourite artists motto is: Money
always follows good Art and it should never be the other way round.”
I really do look forward to viewing Richards work again, perhaps next time in an exhibition where the space is big enough
to accommodate his future large scaled work and do it the justice and respect, that I am absolutely sure, it will justly
Richard Fitton - “Looking at painting from another angle, and more than once...”
written by Denis Taylor (October 2017 to January 2018)
above: Self Portrait, 50cm x 50cm -enamel on canvas
Politicians get drowned..
...by the wonderful seascapes of
“the power of painting.”
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
above: large studio painting of the Sea, in the process
of helping to ‘drown out politicians’, inside Partrick head...
As the Editor of Tubes I often make trips to visit artists studios, sometimes unannounced, and very occasionally I am
lucky to view some fantastic paintings, ones that are totally unexpected. This was the case in my recent visit to London
and the Make Space Studios in Lambeth. I’d gone there to catch up with Laurence Causse Parsley, a gifted artist who was
featured in issue #5 (Landscape..from Poussin to today). After we chatted for a while about her recent work, she gave me
a guided tour of the large building which housed up to twenty artists or so.
Laurence escorted me round the labyrinth of corridors, gently tapping on various doors to introduce me to those artists
that were behind them. It was one of those days wintery days in London, the kind that, if you need not venture out then it
was better to stay in and watch You Tube videos.
The skin-penetrating drizzle was driven by a biting wind, which was enough to put off most of the artists from journeying
to Lambeth. However one of the artists that made the journey daily, rain or shine, was Patrick Blower. Laurence tapped
on his door, and a voice shouted “come-in:”
As I walked into his studio his out-stretched hand was married with a broad smile, which immediately endeared me to
him. I spoke a few a words to introduce myself, he reacted to my short personal introduction with “You’re a Manc.” (sic:
someone born in the City of Manchester, North West England, ‘Manc’ being a specific term to identify place of birth and
specific culture). Patrick’s accent was soft, with a definite southern twang. His quick witted, almost caustic humour was
however totally natural and inoffensive.
It came as a surprise to me, to learn later, he was actually born in Brussels (1959) to a Belgian Mother and a British
Father. He says...
“...his head is in London, his heart is in Europe and his balls
are somewhere over the North Sea.”
“after Gericault” 2015 180cm x 140cm. acrylic on canvas
“world Political leaders and UK MP’s - they are always in my bloody head,
I need and have to paint to get rid them.”
When I walked into his studio he was working on a cartoon on his desktop.“I draw three of these cartoons
a week.” He showed me the drawing which was about two very topical subjects, Brexit and the death of the
founder of IKEA (Ingvar Kamprad). It is typical of Patrick’s humour and pulls on the cartoonist’s trick of tying
two stories together to convey with laughter, and very critical, but relevant point On a more serious note he told
that...“world Political leaders and UK MP’s - they are always in my bloody head, I need and have to paint to get
Propped up against the walls were a few large paintings; it took less than a minute or so for me to concentrate
on Patrick’s paintings, rather than his cartoon work - not that that specialised art form is uninteresting or
unimportant, far from it, Patrick makes his living from cartoons and he is one of the best in the UK, especially at
creating original and really super artwork to illustrate witty and ‘ironic’ political images of world leaders and the
antics and tom foolery that they get up to. The paintings stacked against the wall however, were very impressive.
“The scale of these ‘sea’ paintings
are big... and bigger.”
As usual I placed myself within millimetres of the canvas to gain an
idea of how the painting was created. The work, a painting of the sea
had a small detail, placed slightly off-centre.
I recognised the detail as one taken from Gericault’s ‘Medusa’
painting. The surface of the work was broken down into perfectly
squared modules, which gave the sensation of an ‘organised
structure’ - This was Patrick’s process of working, one which I
discovered was consistent in most of his large paintings. He had
however strayed from that system when it came to painting the sky
of one of the works.
“I practised for ages to try and master a spray application for the
sky, it was difficult to achieve, but I think it eventually paid off in
this painting.” He said as I was just about to ask him why the sky
had changed to a smoother finish from the rest of the paintings
surface. The actual painting of which was meticulous, almost
photographic, but not quite.
The hand of the artist is visible, which removes the work from being
labelled as an ‘Hyper-Realist. work of art.’
It may be the ‘grid squares’ creation process that stop the connection
with the hyper-realism genre tag. The scale of these ‘sea’ paintings
are big and bigger.
One large seascape is entitled “The ground beneath my feet,” and
measures 2000mm x 800mm, whereas the ‘Medusa’ seascape
painting comes in at 1800mm x 1400mm - (both acrylic on polyester
panels). And these are not the first paintings that he has created that
are of that scale.
I suspect that by choosing a large format,
Patrick issues himself the challenge of ‘sticking’ with the work until
he feels it is complete - which I believe takes a very long time.
“the ground beneath my feet” 2014 200cm x 80cm . acrylic on polyester
“...those who know him best, know his
depth of talent.”
I guess the ‘time and space’ that he affords
himself to paint in this way, does indeed
help clear is mind of all those Politicians that
swim about his head on a daily basis, ones
that manifest themselves as the cartoons he
produces for the Daily Telegraph and other
Patrick is a fine and talented draughtsman,
obviously drawing forming a large part of his
artistic DNA - This was clearly displayed in
the work in his studio. And outside his door
on the wall, where there was a really great
black and white drawing.
One that I just had to linger at for while to
take a good look at it. More’s the pity the
space was restrictive so I couldn’t appreciate
it from a distance, but it whet my appetite to
discover more work of Patrick’s for myself.
As an artist and an Editor of painting
magazine, you’d think I would know, or have
the obligation, to know, every Artist on the
planet, or at the very least every artist in the
UK, but obviously that is impossible.
In London alone there are approaching
30,000 artists, so finding and selecting one or
three artists that deserve some
exposure is an obligation
I take seriously.
In Patrick’s case, those who know him best,
know his depth of talent and his paintings
gift. For the man or woman in the street,
I guess he may be known for his cartoons
that they may have seen in the media in the
London Evening Standard,
or the BBC or Daily Telegraph - few of the
wider UK general public, I suspect, have
seen his ‘real-work.’
‘Hopefully this article will help correct that
above: “we built this City” 2011.
200cm x 115cm
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
From an historical viewpoint, Patrick has been
exhibiting his paintings since 1983 (‘Terminal
New York’ - Brooklyn Army Terminal, exhibition
being the first). This show came about when he
lived in NYC. He was living off the few dollars
he could scrape by on, earned from any odd jobs
he could find. He painted when he could and
as always, drawing was a big part of his art. He
managed to sell a few cartoons to a magazine in
NYC, which got him noticed.
And it was cartoons that gave him a consistent
amount of money to live off, when he returned to
London. After a very short time Political Cartoons
became his speciality. Painting remained his
passion but was firmly on the back burner, as far
as producing it was concerned.
It was at this point that he sidelined painting
in pursuit of drawing and earning a living and
supporting his family, it wasn’t until 2007 that he
began the process of painting on a regular basis
This gathered space slowly, from 2008 to 2012,
until in 2013 when his work was included in
the Threadneedle prize, and 2016 in the Lynne
‘the Artist with portraits of his Sons, Titus. 200cm x 140cm
Acylic on canvas. 2014
Since then he has exhibited on a number of
occasions in various venues in London in 2016,
2017 and very recently in February 2018.
All to the good that may be, but Patrick sees his
painting as more of a vocation than a
career as such.
one of the ‘sea’
‘Shard’ Diptych.2017, 230cm x 230cm enamel on canvas
His interest in art and communication is deep, seeing things differently seems to be his gift. Or maybe showing what is obvious,
yet hidden by the very nature of its commonality is, I think, what lies underneath the essence of Patrick’s art. He has talked
about painting using the square as a building block. He relates this to the images we all see today - pixels are square - they make
up everything we see on our digital devices - they hold our memories of loved ones - And they record those moments in life
that can be both tragic and joyous. The pixel has enabled both global images and images of the whole universe to be transmitted
anywhere, any time into the palm of our hands, the hand that holds the ubiquitous smart phone.
An example of this thought process is Patrick’s painting of Rembrandt. It depicts the Master with images of his Son (Titus)
whom Rembrandt used as a model often. Sadly, the father outlived the Son and Patrick created a painting that deals with this as
a time aberration.
The structure of the painting is once again based on the square and the finished painting is seen as a pixelated image - again
meticulously painted. His concerns lay not in the formal or usual abstraction of form but in the abstraction of creating an image
that is recognisable, yet obviously man made with a hint of obscurity thrown in for good measure.
When leaving Patrick’s studio, with a promise to contact him once I returned to my studio in Sweden, I suggested that maybe
it would be an idea for the article I wanted to write, if he could create a ‘cartoon’ of himself to replace what I would normally
include, a photograph of the artist in his studio. On reflection, I wished I had asked him for a self portrait, done in his own style.
There again, could he possibly make the time for that?
©Denis Taylor. February 2018
in the studio with...
..after one year later.
“the panache of painting...”
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting.”
“what a great space...”
In the first issue of Tubes (January 2017- reproduced
in the annual review issue #6 December) regular
readers will have read the article from the first visit
I made to the studio of Ian Norris. At the end of the
article I suggested it would be a good idea to re-visit
him again to see how Ian’s work had developed or
changed, considering that he was about to move into a
much larger studio space.
The studio he moved into was very different from his
smaller studio, it was on the second floor of a classical
styled building with high ceilings and large windows,
perfect, I believed, for painting larger canvases.
True to my word, this January (2018) I again made my
way to Preston (Lancashire) where, as the last time,
Ian was waiting for me at the railway station carpark
in his mobile studio (his van).
With what seemed like just a handful of minutes, we
arrived at his studio building and climbed the stairs to
his new space.
My first impression was how the natural light
completely lit up the room. It’s high ceiling
accentuated the feeling of openness and freedom.
“what a great space.” was my opening remark. He
smiled and said to that it was amazing how quick he
became accustomed to the studio and how he almost
felt that now, even after only one year, that the studio
was starting feeling too small, then he laughed. Hardly
surprising as the room was full of large paintings ‘on
My allotted time with Ian was shorter than last years
visit, as my scheduled UK visit was packed with
appointments and other public obligations. Not that
the self imposed time limitation mattered so much.
Ian and I have kept in touch over the year and I felt
we both sort of ‘knew’ each others view of Art and
especially our shared opinions on a belief in the
‘progression’ and ‘direction’ of Art was going as we
move further into the 21st century.
This visit was all about his new work and how he
felt his own painting process had progressed or had
changed since last we met face to face.
The room was full canvases and a host of small
paintings which he said were the ‘grounding’ for the
The Table by Edouard Vuillard. 1902
Ian, an accomplished draughtsman, kept to his system of careful charcoal studies of a chosen subject,
before he moved to oil on canvas. These drawing, which to my mind, were works of art in themselves, were
scattered about the studio tables, clearly showing his interest in both ‘interiors’ and the natural environment. I was
also very aware of Ian’s interest of Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), an interest I shared, ever since I saw that French
post impressionist work in the ‘Nabis’ room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC (way back in 1989).
We both agreed that Vuillard early work was more vital, experimental and dynamic and far more interesting than
his later interior paintings, which tended to lean towards the decorative with detailing of the interiors he painted.
These later Vuillard paintings were also populated by his close friends (note: and women that he admired, but
always from a distance). Ian had also made space and transferred his large library of Art books to his new studio
from the onset of taking up residence in his new space. Which was to be expected considering his passion of
continuing with his studies of painters from the past, a good indication of a serious artist, one who thinks and sees
Art as a progression with lessons learnt from the past and as a vehicle for constant future discovery.
“I feel more and more that my work is an evolving set of experiments, all
of which are leading me to towards new-abstraction, actually more so
than ever before...”
..that comment did confirm my own thinking, as I was able to get up really close to the recent large canvases he had
been working on. The amount of work he put into these pieces was evident. Working and re-working the surface
until the original imagery was totally absorbed with subtle colour changes and energetic brush strokes that were
loaded with colour and confidently placed in new areas of oil paint, and put in just the right place.
Despite all this input of energy, the overall painting was deliciously delicate in appearance, with colour lines and
tones that clearly shown to me the intimate relationship that Ian has developed with his colour palette over the last
year. To me was closer than ever before, I thought, to myself.
Over the last year, Ian has had a number of successful exhibitions in both the North West and London, and his
work is becoming appreciated not only by art collectors, but his fellow artists, of which I am one. His dedication
to original drawing (studies) and direct oil painting is to be admired and stands as a shining example for other
painters to emulate.
In the digital world of today, I fear that many young artists confuse or do not appreciate, the very real difference
between using iPads and/or smart phones as a photographic reference directly, sort of digital sketch books, as
opposed to the intimate and deeper understanding of the subject matter, to be painted, one that is achievable by
actual ‘eye’ to ‘object’ observation (and interpretation) and physically drawing the chosen subject on location. In
the case of Ian, this natural inspired gathered knowledge is initially utilised totally until the canvas develops with
“I would love to paint that..! ”
time and becomes an autonomous work of art.
We sat in the studio and drank a cup
of coffee whilst chatting about Art and
artists we both knew of and how the
environment affects the painter in general.
His love of nature has always been a
thread that has run through Ian’s work,
with occasional diversions now and then,
like his city series of paintings or another
series inspired by literature. However,
nature still held the strongest hold on Ian’s
psyche and his output of work. He
confessed to me that he felt a need for a
change of ‘place’ to stimulate and increase
his painterly approach, perhaps in a fresh
and different way. A change maybe being
as good as a rest, you could say.
He had reacted to a social media post
I had made a month or so ago. It was a
photograph of the surroundings of Studio
5 (in Sweden) my home ground. It was
here that I had made a firm decision to
take regular daily walks in the forests last
And quite naturally took snap shots of
the forest occasionally (mainly of my
neighbours dog, Benny, who not only
accompanied me every day, but provided
the obligation I needed to ensure it
became a regular exercise. Ian had spotted
one of these posts and commented that he
would love to paint it [the forest].
It came as a surprise to me that he asked, in a serious way, if that would be possible. Of course I responded positively
and said that he would be very welcome to stay at my home and use my studio, if he wished. I then realised that I, like
most humans, forgot where I live and what the local environment offered me. I’d become blind to what was right there
on my own doorstep, and especially considering that I too was a painter, that came as a surprise too.
Ian stimulated me to consider not only that point, but also the scale of work I usually work with. I had always
encouraged fellow painters to go onto ‘bigger canvases’ truly believing that the bigger the canvas, the greater the
challenge of the physical and the emotional input the work would demand and need for the work to hold the power of
capturing the viewer of it i.e to stay in front of a painting for more than the accepted period of twenty seconds, (not
untypical for the casual viewer). I then thought how I would handle a smaller canvas?
“Perhaps, trying smaller canvases would be my challenge,
And I do believe that all painters should relish a challenge....”
Ian took me back to Preston railway station and we talked about making his visit to Sweden a reality,
something I look forward to. My return ‘visit’ to Ian’s studio not only gave me an insight into the tremendous
work he has done since 2017, but it also presented me with a serious challenge and wet my appetite to paint
where I live. Which was something totally unexpected, but eagerly anticipated, as is Ian’s visit.
...in the studio with Ian Norris, one year later article, turned out to be another future journey of discovery,
maybe for both of us....And I can’t wait for next year.
“in the studio Ian Norris..after one year later.”
Preston, Lancashire, UK, January 26th 2018
“the pleasure, the passion, the power and the panache of painting... more to come.”
where and how do you
exhibit your work?
It is not unnatural for any Artist, especially painters, to want
to show their work in public.
The high street Galleries are the most desired spaces of
course, however, the sheer number of artists wanting to break
into the small world of high street representation is not easy.
Most times ‘getting a show’ is a case of knowing the right
person to recommend ones work
to a specific gallery. In fact a few artists go out
of their way to ‘snuggle-up’ to other
Artists who are already represented
by a gallery, just to gain
a foothold or at the
very least, have their ‘new friend’
put in a good word in the right
Hence the mass use of social
media- making friends on Face
Book is easy quick and
Of course the Art needs to be good,
or different, or even perhaps commercial, for a gallery
to even consider giving you a shot, especially if you are
unknown, or haven’t a glowing reference or certification
from an Art institution or a recognised art academy.
The other problem artists (painters) face today is similarity
of work. A good example is the thousands of Landscape
Paintings, most created in a contemporary style, this genre of
art is among the most created by painters in the UK, as are
Abstract Paintings - Not surprisingly, only
a few of these works will ever see the light of
day within a high street gallery, who,
generally try to build a ‘stable’ of artists that have
work which doesn’t compete with each other.
For them it’s good business sense to spread
the type of work they hold, to enable them
to satisfy the different tastes of their collectors,
ones that they have on their mailing list.
“...do you want to live off your Art, or do you want to
live for Art?
vanity galleries, (pay for exhibiting space)...
...are they worth it?
Another problem painters have to deal with is the quite eccentric habit of high street galleries accepting the
same artists that are already being represented in a number of other galleries - This situation only exacerbates
the difficulties for the newbie and reduces the possibilities of a ‘fresh’ artist to be offered the opportunity of an
exhibition to introduce their work to the buying public.
So, what is an alternative to the favoured High Street galleries for the artists who cannot break the cycle of
rejection, however reluctant that rejection by Galleries maybe. The so called ‘Vanity’ galleries have been
around for decades and over the last two decades they have sprouted up everywhere (globally), in one form or
another. It is rarely they that are bothered or (overly) concerned about the quality of the artists work, the ones
who wish to pay them for their space.
This type of gallery is in the business of renting ‘the space only,’ usually in a well located high street shop,
for a profit. They use a branded banner on the outside and send out invitations of ‘applications,’ usually from
commercially acquired mass emailing lists of artists, ones that are gleaned from, you guessed it, social media
platforms. Some advertise directly on Face Book, or Twitter or others, with attractive wording that will entice
the Artist to go one step further and start a conversation with their ‘curator’ (read Salesman). It’s only when
you actually read the ‘deal’ that you discover that it will cost a ‘shit-load’ of your own money, that you begin to
temper the ego and dreams of exhibiting in a gallery, with that of temper the ego and dreams of exhibiting in a
gallery, with that of your own financial reality. (note: Paid for Fairs are similar in cost construction, except you
are, sort of, *guaranteed an audience - *unlike vanity gallery exhibitions).
Those who are brave and drown out the ‘money’ objection being screamed at them for all corners, convince
themselves that they will ‘break even’ financially- if only given the chance, but usually they have either,
miscalculated the cost, or are unaware of what it takes to ensure a reasonably successful ‘selling’ exhibition.
Or they simply cannot get past the artistic ‘blue-sky’ thinking syndrome. Not so long a go I did a cost
analysis of exhibiting in a ‘pay-for-space’ gallery.
This was based on out of City centre locations with reasonably accurate costs for space, marketing,
transportation and so on. The final figure came out at a cost (to each artist in the case of a shared space)
for a 5 to 6 day exhibition of around £3500. (Large City centre space was nearer double that price, when I
looked further into it). That’s a lot of painting to sell, based at the market average price for a half decent
sized canvas for an unknown painter, at the lower (attractive) ‘stip-end’ market price level of around £350
each. An alternative is to apply to join a co-operative group of fairly established artists. For a relatively small
annual fee (around £250) the problem here is finding a co-operative that doesn’t have hundreds of members.
As the rotation of exhibitions, (within a fixed space), can mean that the reality is you actually only ever
attain one solo show, at best, once every other year. And the visitors are usually made up of the rest of the
‘artist’ members, who rarely buy each others work.
However, it is a social network and probably worth the money, if nothing else you can name the ‘Gallery’ on the
‘exhibited’ tab on your website. And secure a plethora of artists friends who are in the same boat as you, and could
conceivably help to get your work, and name, around the general art world scene.
...how about selling on the internet and creating a virtual reality set of
exhibitions on your own website?
Sure, but I would suggest for that to be really successful, (i.e. selling on a regular basis for a consistent period of time)
the artist will need a very good e-commerce enabled website (i.e. one that is not cheap to acquire and maintain) - And
spend a great deal of time making strategic posts on social media - Or hire someone to do that specific task, and with a
regular advertising budget. In this case I would suggest an annual budget for Marketing and PR of in excess £3000 per
annum, for doing it all yourself, or £5000 to £8,000 annually, to hand this ‘job’ over to a professional full time SEO and
art marketeer to do it for you. Who will no doubt, not give you any guarantee of a return for your money. Or, enter a
compettion and get noticed by winning it?
And why not, that’s if you can live with the rejection element, nine out of ten times of entering them, that according
to their pre-publicity, ‘give You the chance of lifetime’ to be internationally famous. Let’s be honest here, it’s a bit of
lottery. The important thing to remember is, who are the judges? Usually there is an academic, a curator, another well
known person who knows (not a lot) about art and the winner from the previous years competition. So the winning
entries are somewhat vacuous in their preferences because of their own bias to one form of art or another.
There again, if you actually ‘win’ or come second or third, what does it bring you? Well, if it’s a National
Competition,’ then about 15 minutes of fame and a commission from the sponsors of the Competition, and loads of
Facebook likes and messages of congratulations. Plus, maybe 3 minutes on a You Tube video interview or a feature in
your local newspaper. The rest of the smaller comp’s are really a bit like Vanity Galleries, except they don’t make so
much money. It can cost around £30 to enter three paintings to an ‘average’ competition - And if you are short listed
you have to physically take your paintings to a central point - for ‘further judging’ and then schlep them back again
(when rejected), which can cost you up to ‘whatever’- depending how far away you live form the nominated place of
‘drop-off’. The on line ‘competitions, to my mind, are simply a money gathering exercise, full stop. And in my opinion,
are really not worth bothering with (unless they are free to enter of course). If my experience(s) of ‘unknown’ Artists
exhibiting endeavours, ones that I have come to discover or hear of, over these last 40 years in the Art world, sounds
to be full of negative thinking and perhaps a little depressing, well that may well be true, but I have tried to be down
to earth, and look at the whole arts selling ‘ball game’ realistically. To balance that train of negativity and on a more
positive note, there is another and I think I know a way of exhibiting your
Art at a reasonable cost, a far better way than vanitiy galleries or competitions....
. . .I’ll tell you all about it, in the next issue of Tubes................. Spike’ © painters Tubes. 2017
55 years in an artists run Art Gallery
the story of the Artist and Gallerist Colin Jellicoe
Five years ago (2013) the Colin Jellicoe Gallery held an exhibition celebrating its
50th anniversary. If you don’t know the Gallery that well, it is located in the centre of
Manchester on Portland Street. You would be forgiven for walking past the gallery as
it doesn’t have a obvious large frontage and the building is quite narrow. It is tucked
in between a public house and another retailer. The entrance is down steps, which
feels almost like you are entering a cellar, it’s not that large Gallery either, but despite
those attributes, which today many professional Gallerists would see as a distinct
disadvantage, the gallery has seen many hundreds of artists who have exhibited in it
over the last 55 years. All have benefited from their showing.
The Colin Jellicoe Gallery, had a very different beginning however, it was in 1963
when Colin and Geoffrey Key (now a well known Artist, Nationally) talked about
opening a gallery whilst they painted together. Colin found a space in a two storey
building in Rusholme (a district of Manchester) in Claremont Road. Aided by his
and their support Colin and Geoff decorated the room and
opened it as an Art Gallery. in April 1963.
...Ned Owens and his first wife Margot Ingham (both artists) had set up an artists
Colin painting plein air when he
was young man
a fortunate meeting of minds, or how
the Gallery came into being formed...
gallery also, but twenty odd years before Colin opened his, their’s was called Mid Day Studios and was also in the
basement of building opposite the Manchester City Art Gallery in Moseley Street. It was the Mid-Day Studios that
gave Lowry his first solo exhibition in 1948. Colin got know Margot quite well, as she bought a number of Colin’s
paintings. One her many contacts in the Manchester art scene was Alan Behar, who had told her privately, that he
wanted to start an Art Gallery himself one day, Margot pointed Alan in the direction of Colin. They met and after a few
informal talks, formed a business partnership and moved the Rusholme Gallery to become the Colin Jellicoe Gallery, at
it’s present address in Portland Street in 1968.
So began the journey of exhibiting paintings from known and not so known Artists of the North West. Today many
readers will know the work of Geoff Key, Reg Gardner, Trevor Grimshaw, Alan Thompson and of course, Colin
Jellicoe. These were, in the early 1970’s, the young artists who were only just starting to make names for themselves.
The Gallery quickly started to become known for original fine art of quality and also for other the young artists who to
‘watch out’ for in the future.
...Colin remembers the day, in the early 1970’s, that L.S.Lowry (1887-1976) visited the gallery. Colin and Lowry discussed painting
and art for over twenty minutes, until another visitor walked into the Gallery. And typical of Lowry and his dislike of mixing
socially, he jumped out from his chair saying - “I must go.” He quickly ran up the small flight of stairs and out of the doors in a
flash. Lowry was in his early eighties at that time, but still quite sprightly it seems. Another high point of the Gallery was in 1973.
The Gallery had agreed to lend Granada Television a few drawing of Trevor Grimshaw, ones that depicted the industrial environment
of the North West. This was for a TV programme about the annual Conservative Political Part Conference held in Manchester. The
then Prime Minister, (now the late) Sir Edward Heath (1916- 2005) rather liked the drawings and invited the artist, Colin and his
partner, Alan to 10 Downing street. The Prime minster actually bought two drawings of Trevor’s, which by the very nature of the
subject matter (one more associated with the Labour Party) created a stir on Fleet Street.
The subsequent publicity helped the artist (and the Gallery) to sell over £1000 of Alan Grimshaw’s work, helping
both the artist and the Gallery.
It was in 1977 that Margo Ingham called round to the Gallery to advise Colin that he would be named as an
executor in her last will and testament. Margo passed away in 1978 and it became the responsibility of Colin’s
(and the Gallery) to ensure that two oils and four drawings by L.S.lowry were sold in benefit to the Margo Ingham
estate. The Gallery mounted that special exhibition in 1979.
Colin Jellicoe Gallery also exhibited outside of Manchester during the late seventies and early eighties - these
shows included venues the likes of, the National Theatre, The Lyric Theatre, The Royal Festival Hall, and
International Art Fairs, held in London. The Gallery also shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Over the years
Colin welcomed and made friends with stars of television and stage and in particular (now) Sir Ian McKellen
(b.1939) who opened the National Theatre exhibition for the Gallery in 1979. Colin, now in his 76th year,
remembers and is very thankful to the many people who have supported and helped the Colin Jellicoe Gallery
through the 55 years of its trading. Here is a shortened version of the list of them that Colin personally thanked on
that 50th anniversary exhibition in 2013. ‘Brenda Procter, Joy Kelly, Paul Star, Arto, John Bratby, Martin Dobson,
Granville, Reg Gardner, Clive Head, Geoff Key, Jackie Mitchell, John Picking and Larry Wakefied - just a few of
the many individuals and artists who came to know and befriend both Colin as an individual, as a fellow artist and
as a Gallerist over the last five and half decades. painters Tubes magazine are quite sure there are many many more
artists who are thankful for the opportunity given to them by Colin and the Gallery to break onto the Manchester
art scene through that small, friendly, basement Gallery, on Portland Street. Colin’s own work has been exhibited in
solo exhibitions, these include:- 1970- Monks Hall. 1974- ‘Ten Work’ Colin Jellicoe Gallery, 1981 Stockport Art
Gallery, 1981 Salford Art Gallery, Colin Jellicoe Gallery, 1985 - 2015. 1997, Buxton Museum Art Gallery. Colin
has also been part of numerous group exhibitions from 1967 through to 2017. Open exhibitions from 1965 to 2017
and Open mixed exhibitions from 1964 to 1998.
Colin Jellicoe’s most recent paintings can be seen by visiting the Gallery from around late
March or early April onwards. visit: http://www.colinjellicoe.co.uk/gallery.html
appointments ring: 0161 236 2716. Post: The Colin Jellicoe Gallery, 82 Portland Street
Manchester M1 4QX.
Art & Education.
speech from the opening of the “Ten of Us” exhibition
Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery
20th January 2018
introduced to the exhibition invited guests by John McCombs
Artist and Editor of painters Tubes magazine
“…It was not only a great honour for me [to be asked] to officially open this exhibition, but it was also a rare opportunity to
vocalise my own thoughts about the Manchester High School of Art.
The School has affected the lives of many artists, both directly or indirectly, in one form or another. I am one of those artists.
I was enrolled in 1962 just as the Ten Artists in this exhibition were leaving - Like me, they will have carried the schools ethos
with them for most of their lives.
The ‘Ten of Us’ exhibition is more than a show of Art, it’s a representation, or should I say more accurately, visual proof, of the
effect that the School of Art has had on Artists for well over six decades. A powerful influence that has endured and continues to
effect Artists, by way of the many ex-students who chose to become excellent Art Teachers, which the School was the catalyst
for. Education and Art is a subject which has been discussed in the corridors of power, in art institutions, academic circles and
among Artists alike. It’s a controversial subject, with many holding diametric opinions of how, or indeed if, Art should be taught
to young children at all, especially within specialised art schools.
Perhaps this exhibition will not only reignite that much needed conversation, but expand and enlighten it. Many of you here
today already know how the MSoA came into being - And how it was organised and who devised the curriculum, one that
encompassed the ‘arts’ as the main driving force behind the broad education of children from the tender age of eleven to
eighteen years old. Many of You may also be aware of how the students who left the School went on to attend further Art
Education at renown Art Schools in London and Art Colleges throughout the UK .
Having been a former student of the School it seems it was a guarantee of admittance to these institutions. An almost, automatic
inclusion that was mainly due to the schools pedigree and it’s well known and highly regarded experimental Art programs.
What many do not know is ‘‘why’ these programs were embraced so whole heartedly by all the pupils, those attended the school
from it’s concept, way back in or around 1948 and up to 1974, prior to enforced non-arts specialised education policy for all.
So, how could an Art School possibly imbue that sort of arts philosophical way of ‘Thinking’ into young artists minds?
And not only visual artists, but writers, poets, architects, graphic and textile designers, stage and television actors and
actresses, playwrights, composers and musicians, the list seems endless.
Yes, the Art School produced all those various types of gifted individuals. Some students becoming extremely well known
through television and stage as well as the ex-students whose visual art was shown within Contemporary Art institutions and
High Street Galleries. Firstly, the School taught every student, how to write in a calligraphic way, which is an Art of clarity,
for making written communication. Secondly, the School enabled a kind of self imposed-working-discipline’ by stimulating
engagement with ‘different and interesting-art-projects’ - whilst allowing total freedom and constant encouragement for
experimentation - without judging the outcome of the Art that was created. In other words, it allowed the student to “thinkdifferent”
- “to be authentic”- and above all to be - “Original” three artistic attributes that today, seem to be increasingly,
thin on the ground .
The Manchester High School of Art was a classic case of ‘Nature and Nurture’ which was combined perfectly within a
unified small body of teachers and students. A sort of artistic symbiosis. Each of them benefitting from each other with
youthful ideas and experienced hands - coupled without any form of artistic dogma or a biased way of thinking about that
age old question:“What is Art?”
Ted Bates, Reg Calvert, Steve Capper, Neil Cochrane, David Edwards,
Phil Hughes John McCombs, Ron McSweeney, David Ralston and Harry Robertson, are just ‘Ten’ of those
ex- students, Ten of the many who received that advanced level of art education and way of creative thinking.
There of many more with a similar art process that are well worth discovering for yourself.....but today, ‘the Ten’ of them
and their Art’ will be all that is required to show you the Art that embraced the ethos of the school, the one that I have briefly
outlined. This exhibition is also a sort of visual reunion with a symphony of paintings by these Manchester High School of
Art ex-students, the Ten of them and their work together once more... exhibited in this lovely Gallery. On behalf of these
artists I encourage you to discuss not only their work, but the Artists memories of the Manchester High School of Art.
I would now like to pronounce the ‘Ten of Us’ exhibition - officially open...”
Speech delivered by Denis Taylor MSoA class of 1962
Ellis and Mary Markendale.”
above: painting of Ellis and Mary Markendale before restoration. ©Ordsall Hall.
written by Caroline Stoor
Heritage Development Manager
Ordsall Hall & Salford Museum and Art Gallery
‘Never been seen before’ historic portraits return to the home they left over 130 years ago.
Ordsall Hall is the one of the oldest surviving houses in the UK. From the 1100s up until the 1970s, it has always been
lived in. One of its fascinating characteristics is that is has had so many different inhabitants - from medieval Lords of
the Manor, to Tudor Knights of the Realm, “dangerous temporisers” of the Catholic faith to protestant priests in training,
Victorian mill owners to the pre-Raphaelite artist Frederic Shields.
One family that lived at the Hall, and who ran its surrounding farm, from 1815 to 1871 were the Markendales. Originally
from Skipton, Yorkshire, the Markendales were famed in the Manchester and Salford area for being prominent and
prosperous butchers, tanners and skinners.
This story centres around 2 main characters: Ellis and Mary. On August 3, 1813, Ellis Markendale (1790-1853) married
Mary Shiers (1790-1864.) Together, Ellis and Mary raised a family of three sons and six daughters
at Ordsall Hall. In 2011, two portraits were discovered in an out-building of a farm in Cumbria, literally rotting away,
having not seeing the light of day for decades. With torn canvases, the pictures were covered in bird excrement, black
with dirt and surrounded by crumbling, gilded frames. The portraits spoke of a wealth gone by, and a story untold. The
Cumbrian farmer, a direct descendant of the Markendales, contacted the curator at Ordsall Hall as he thought that the
portraits may have a connection with the Hall. The farmer donated the portraits to the Hall in 2012.
When the Markendales first moved into Ordsall Hall, they only lived in part of it. It was not until 1850 that they took on the
tenancy of the whole Hall and became the sole residents of the manor house.
It is likely that the two portraits were a direct response to the Markendales’ new found status and were commissioned to reflect
their prominence in local society at that time. We know that Ellis was painted in 1851 by the artist William Scott. William Scott
(1797-1862) was a portrait painter born near Leicester, England. He came from a humble background and painted portraits of
those with enough money to sit for him mainly in Leicestershire, Manchester and Liverpool. He exhibited in The Ro salforyal
Academy, London, and at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. An article written by “Country Life” in the 1860s describes the
portrait of Ellis
as a “superb piece of work.” Ordsall Hall and Salford Museum and Art Gallery do not own any other works by the artist
William Scott. Being a Royal
Academician, Ordsall Hall is keen
to include the restored portrait of
Ellis in its major exhibition in 2018,
which will be delivered in partnership
with The Royal Academy as part of
its two hundred and fiftieth birthday
The portraits of Ellis and Mary
Markendale are significant historical
works of art in that they represent
unique examples of a surviving
physical link to a very prominent
Salford family who once lived and
worked at Ordsall Hall. In Ordsall
Hall’s ownership, there are no
surviving, original paintings of any
of the past residents of the Hall – and
it has had many inhabitants since the
The portraits give us so many visual
clues as to the status of the Markendale
family, as Scott painted the Hall in
the background of the portraits, the
pictures also reveal much about the
condition of the Tudor mansion house in the mid-nineteenth century. The paintings are of historical value because of their
unique Ordsall provenance and they tell a story that no other pieces in the Hall’s collection can. Thanks to generous funding from
The Charles Hayward Foundation, The Skinners’ Company Lady Neville Charity, The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and
the Friends of Salford Museums Association, Ordsall Hall was able to commission talented conservators from the Lancashire
Conservation Studios to conserve the portrait of Ellis Markendale. They secured the flaking paint, removed the dirt and bird
droppings, repaired the torn canvas fibres and filled the paint losses by in-painting with fine ground pigments. The carved,
gold leafed frames that surround both portraits have been restored thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Unsigned,
the painting is believed to be the work of the same artist – William Scott In the portrait, Mary is seated in the Oriel Window
in the Great Hall of Ordsall Hall. The paintings will be unveiled at a special event to be held in Ordsall Hall’s Great Hall on
Thursday March 15 6pm - 7.30pm. The ceremonial Mayor of Salford will be in attendance, as will figures from the Salford and
Manchester art fraternity and surviving members of the Markendale family.
Speeches from Denis Taylor, Editor of painters Tubes magazine, and Stefanie Trow, a known contemporary artist. The event will
be a fantastic occasion to see the ‘never been seen before’ portraits and to kick start the fundraising to fully restore the portrait of
Mary Markendale. Please come to the grand unveiling on March 15 .
We would love to see as many people there as possible. For more information, please contact Ordsall Hall on 0161 872 0251 or
Ordsall Hall is managed by Salford Community Leisure, a non-for-profit charitable Trust.
“the Industrial Revolution and the Art that it inspired.”
The Art created by painters at the sharp end of the industrial revolution, was
full of honest social comment which directly related to the imbalance of in
It shown in graphic detail the brutal facts of life of workers made more
poignant by the sheer artistic genius of those artists they created these genuine
These artists finally overcame the prejudice of the art establishment and
triumphed to become respected and renown artists in their own country. In
this three part series of articles, the comprehensive detailed story is about
how these Artists, born and raised in Northern England, chose to represent
the environment and the people created by the most important revolution in
This series was originally written and published in 2016 for an international
magazine, (Copyright of DenisTaylor 2015/16 ), few in the UK were able to
obtain that particular magazine and read the published articles. The Editor
has decided to expand the depth of the articles, especially for painters Tubes
magazine UK. These will run for three issues beginning in issue #8 (2018).
photograph: Ancoatss, Manchester
original b/w ©Manchester Libraries
Gallery exhibition announcement
When artist Chris Cyprus first tried to capture
the magical colours of twilight in his beloved
Mossley, little did he know he was painting the
first of a series that would span over a decade,
run to 250 images and see him featured on prime
That series, called Northern Lights - instantly
recognisable for its palette of striking blues,
oranges and yellows - is now at an end. And
an exhibition at Contemporary Six near
Manchester’s Albert Square, will showcase 36
paintings, including the final composition.
The premise of the series is simple: scenes
of everyday northern life illuminated by both
the setting sun and the distinctive warm glow
of sodium street lighting. The subject matter
is down to earth and instantly relatable, from
pubs and chippies to bus stops, garages and
back alleyways And it quickly became apparent
that many others besides Chris – a former selfemployed
builder - were fascinated by the play
of natural and artificial light as the street lamps
first come on at the end of the day.
People loved the Gorton-born artist’s
unsentimental blend of northern grit and cosy warmth and prices started to rise from just £200 a painting at the start of the series to
the £450-£5K plus he now commands. One local patron has 15 of his tableaux dotted around their home (“It looks like a gallery,”
quips Chris), whilst a fan in Germany tops this
with 18 in their collection. The self-taught painter
has aficionados as far afield as the United States
and Australia - a combination of expats and
starry-eyed holidaymakers who wanted to take a
slice of the UK home with them.
Since 2005, Chris has captured the beginnings of
nightfall at settings around Greater Manchester,
including Saddleworth, Duckinfield, Oldham,
Ramsbottom, Mossley and Stockport, where he
lived for a time as a child. Further east, paintings
feature corners of Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay,
Holmfirth and Huddersfield in Yorkshire. “One
of the luxuries of being based in Pennine country
is my close proximity to a wide range of striking
locations,” he said. “The UK is truly beautiful
in parts and the diversity of its landscape keeps
pulling me back”. But in 2015, his relationship
with his Northern Lights series took on a new
Chris Cyprus, Northern Lights
Sat 10 March - Sun 1 April 2018 Preview Sat 10 and Sun 11 March 11am-5p
Contemporary Six, 37 Princess Street, Manchester M2 4FN
Chris discovered that a UK-wide Government programme to replace the evocative orange sodium bulb in street lighting
with more environmentally friendly LEDs was already under way.
His labour of love now became a race against time and Chris vowed to complete 250 pictures against the clock. “My
painting took on a new significance,” he said. “I felt like I was chronicling the end of an era. I’m fully supportive of the
green credentials of the new lighting – and the cost saving for cash strapped councils across the forgotten north – but I
won’t half miss those magical moments when the orange street lamps crank up at dusk.”
It was during this period
that researchers from the
BBC1 programme ‘The
One Show’ got in touch.
The producer’s idea was
to capture a street scene
before and after the
change-over of the bulbs.
Their chosen location
was a hilly avenue of
neat terraced houses in
Ramsbottom . After the
broadcast went out last
October, Chris’s fanbase
went through the roof
and he sold almost all the
remaining pictures in the
“It was really hard
to say to people they
were almost gone,” he
said. “I’ve never known anything like it. It was both a blessing and a curse.” But despite the new wave of interest in
the series, Chris is still certain it’s time to move on...“...“I’m evolving as an artist all the time and needed to seek new
ventures,” he said. My biggest fear has always been becoming complacent. I couldn’t live with myself if I became a
pastiche painter of a bygone age. I don’t know what’s next. I’m always experimenting. I like to paint seasonally, so
maybe my inspiration will come in the spring.”
The final painting, a scene which depicts the outside of his millbased
studio in Mossley, is one of the 36
in his closing exhibition.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 10 March
at Contemporary Six, Manchester, M2 4FN
The gallery will also be selling 250
numbered and signed limited edition books
based on the series of paintings.
Gallery feature.... COLONY in Rochdale
This new gallery, situated in Rochdale, on the outskirts of Manchester, opened its doors only in late
2017. The showcase opening exhibition shown paintings and ceramics by known and unknown artists.
The Gallery owners, Anthony Cosgrove and Richard Fitton have had a working relationship for some
time as an Agent and Painter. Anthony is a long time and avid Art collector and something of an expert
on Art from the North West of England. Richard is a young dynamic artist who has experienced much
acclaim since his first major show at Castlegatehouse Gallery in Cumbria.
‘painters Tubes magazine’ first visited the Gallery as it was being converted from its previous use
(automotive repair building) to a very well designed two story exhibition and studio premises. Today the
visitor is greeted by paintings in the entry hall which has warm subdued lighting and paintings on the wall
illuminated with spotlights. As you walk up a few steps the gallery opens into a number of rooms where
ones attention is grabbed by the excellent original artwork placed sympathetically around the walls.
The vsitor can wander around the two rooms for some time before venturing up another flight of stairs, again with paintings
positioned strategically on the wall, inviting the visitor to take a leisurely pace, before entering the large bright with a ‘ceramic-art
installation.’ The ceramics are cleverly placed on a central multi-level platform shown within a brightly lit large space. Colony
gallery is a place where the art lover can spend an hour of two viewing, enjoying and talking about the Art and the Artists in detail
with Anthony, and Richard, and as you would expect, both have extensive background knowledge on the
Artists that the Gallery represents.
The ambition of the Gallery is to bring to the publics attention to Artists that may otherwise not had the opportunity to be
represented by a Gallery of this statute before. Along with Art which is drawn not only Anthony’s collection, but also from
selected original paintings by Richard Fitton, many of which are his past work paintings, but there is no doubt he also plans to
show some of his future work within group exhibitions from new and exiting artists.
Colony is a gallery, that because of it’s location and the gallery owners ethos, makes it unique in the Rochdale area. And no doubt
local artists view this new space as a much needed addition to the local culture and art scene in the Rochdale area. Colony will
be adding new artists work to their current stable of artists which include, Richard Fitton, Michael Kelly Colin Beckett John
McCombs, Russel Howarth,Shirley Fletcher Lanty Ball (Ceramics) and Timothy Copsey (Ceramics). They also offer the Colony
Collection of Art which includes work from, Miles Richmond, Peter Prendergast, Arthur Berry, Kenneth Lawson, Dame Laura
Knight and Gyorgy Gordon.
The next major exhibition at Colony is currently being planned, Anthony has indicated to painters Tubes that this will be towards
the middle or the end of April the exact dates will be announced in late March.
Colony Gallery, Rugby Road, Rochdale, OL12 0DZ.
www.colonyart.co.uk - facebook.com/TheColonyArt - Contact for private views or other enquiries by
emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org - mobile: 007740 625635 or,
email@example.com mobile- 07841 483708
48UK edition issue # 7
magazine for Art, Artists and Art Galleries
the panache of painting.”
cover painting by Richard Fitton
inside... new articles, gallery features and much more....