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In March I was asked to paint a picture for a 50th birthday party. The subject of the painting was venue for the party, namely The Carpenters Arms pub in Fitzrovia, London. I was exhibiting at The Mall Galleries so I had an opportunity to get the initial visual just before a Private View on a mild March afternoon.

From the Carpenters Arms website

‘Combining the best in British pub hospitality with individuality, character and quirky charm, The Carpenters Arms is located at the heart of Fitzrovia, with its generous peppering of independent boutique shops and close proximity to lively Tottenham Court Road and Soho.

Well-connected by Warren Street, Goodge Street and Euston stations, The Carpenters Arms is the perfect setting for a laid-back yet distinctly memorable drinking and dining experience. Whether you’re looking for a lazy lunch, family dinner or social eats and treats with friends, The Carpenters Arms offers tempting and flavoursome food, an explorative drinks menu and a genuine, welcoming atmosphere to suit all occasions.

With traditional wood-panelling, sumptuous furnishings and contemporary touches, The Carpenters Arms is dog-friendly and has a private function room for hire, but its best-kept secret is its rooftop beer garden – a rare treat for London pub-goers and perfect for lazy afternoons, al-fresco dining or just a glass of something special on a sunny afternoon.’

The Carpenters Arms Website

Where is Fitzrovia, London?

As mentioned the pub is in the area commonly known as Fitzrovia, the area occupying a block of streets jammed in between Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, Cleveland Street, and Euston Road to the north.

The name probably derives from the Fitzroy pub which is close by. Interestingly for such an old part of London the name was only coined in 1940, lord knows what it was called prior to that.

The area was made famous in the interwar years by London’s bohemian, and literary set such as George Orwell and Dylan Thomas.

They would hang around the local pubs swapping tales and stories. Naturally they soon disappeared once the Hoi polloi caught up and started to gawp. Off they went to Soho leaving just a bunch of Blue Plaques in their wake.

Painting of The Carpenters Arms, Fitzrovia

As I worked on my initial watercolour I mused that a Dylan Thomas may well have visited The Carpenters Arms at some point, it being an early 30’s structure sat on a crossroads. I am assuming that it was attached to an older block at one time though i expect that it was done over by Hitler, or worse, the local London council’s post-war vandalism.

Today it looks a mite out of place in among all the modern blocks which reach above it. Thinking on it, when looking both ways on the crossroads, I couldn’t see a single other building that had roof tiles. They were all faceless blocks.

Moving on, the client wanted her, and her husband outside the pub, so on my initial painting I worked them in and made a note to place them more accurately on the final piece. Once I had finished the tree on the left, it started getting cold and I was losing the light, so I moved onto The Mall Galleries to the Lynn Painter, and Stainers exhibition.

When I got back to the studio, I had enough in my notes to complete the final painting in the warm! Thankfully I had a happy client too.

Epilogue

Walking up to the Mall Gallery I got a fine treat, one of my other paintings was chosen to advertise the Lynn Painter, and Stainers exhibition. You can see more about that exhibition here.

 

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

 

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The Sipsmith Gin company contacted me during the last days of winter to work on a summer campaign for their new Gin & Tonic in a can.

The Sipsmith Gin & Tonic concept

The initial idea was to create a scene which encompassed a number outdoor activities we may undertake during the Summer months and which might involve a few Gin & Tonics. A few examples given up front were Tennis, Cricket, festivals, Picnics, airshows, and so on.

‘It’s never been easier to take Sipsmith—and our sensationally sippable tipples—with you on the go. Here’s everything you need to know about our brand-new, Ready-to-Drink Gin & Tonics.
The return of warm weather also means the return of festivals and barbecues, picnics and pub gardens, holidays and adventure. Whether you’re soaking up the sun in one of London’s secret gardens, taking a train with friends, or toasting to a weekend away at Wilderness or Glastonbury, there’s nothing like a delicious and refreshing G&T to accompany the festivities. Now, it’s easier than ever to bring our handcrafted gin with you—no matter the occasion.’

Creating The Sipsmith Gin and Tonic illustrations

All these separate activities not only needed to work as a single image – which was a challenge in itself – but also needed to to work as separate files so Sipsmith could create an animation. This animation shows the activities viewed from a train window as it passed through the countryside. You can see the animation working below in the Sipsmith Instagram feed.

Play the Sipsmith Gin animation below

The Sipsmith Gin & Tonic media usage

The campaign was launched around the mainline London train stations including Victoria, Waterloo, and Clapham. There is also a social media campaign which I am told is performing well.

In conclusion

I’m rather partial to a Gin & Tonic so I was pleased to work on this project despite its technical challenges. I especially enjoyed working on it in the late winter, it gave me a feeling of the warmer months to come. As I type this I have all the windows pushed open, and the summer sun is blazing down but No Gin & Tonic yet, however.

Testimonial

‘Working with Liam has been an absolute pleasure. From briefing to final execution, everything went smoothly and we are extremely pleased with the results.’

Alessandro Perottoni – Senior Brand Manager @ Sipsmith London

 

 

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

 

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

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Sign up to my newsletter and you will be able to enter the free draw to win this original painting of A vintage Volkswagen Bus , worth £90.

This watercolour study of this Vintage Volkswagen Bus is 19cm x 14cm, signed, and mounted on acid-free card.

The newsletter will be sent out on the 18th July 2019. I look forward to your sign up in the box on this page.

I give away free paintings, drawings, exhibition tickets and prints with my newsletters. Please note, you are also automatically entered for all future draws as long as you are still signed up.

This was painted whilst on a trip to the Isle of Wight a few years back. I would say a bit about the bus though I have absolutely no knowledge of such things, and  I know if I make any error I would be instantly pilloried by the worlds Volkswagen aficionados.

See my privacy policy here.  

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Last year I was asked to paint a double commission of Lymington in Hampshire. I had an enjoyable visit and it all seemed to go well, so I was more than happy to receive an email from another client asking me to paint The Ship Inn on the quayside.

The Ship Inn is a lovely pub with fine views and decent food and beers. I don’t know much about its history though it looks as though it has been added to over the years. The newest part looks to be the seating area by the quayside. A fine place for alfresco eating, as long as the rather temperamental winds from The Solent are behaving themselves.

I decided I wanted to show a bit of hustle and bustle, depicting both the visitors, the local fisherman pulling in the crab and the lobster pots in front of The Ship Inn.

A bit about Lymington

A settlement has been here, tucked away on the banks of the river Lymington, since the 6th Century and inhabited ever since. It was listed as “Lentune” in the Doomsday book of 1086, and the village has survived through fishing, ship building, salt making and even, at one point, as an army garrison . It seems Lymington has responded to the changing times rather well over the last 1,400 hundred years.

Lymington has slowly grown into a small town of 9,300, and these days it’s one of the south coast’s yachting centres, so also very popular with tourists. During the summer months it’s packed, with those that aren’t sailing watching those that are, while often catching crabs from the quay with bits of bacon and string.

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

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I was really pleased to hear that my painting of The Tate & Lyle Sugar refinery in East London will be exhibited at The New English Art Club annual exhibition at The Mall Galleries in June.

I have already painted this scene a few times in watercolour but this is the first time in oils. The painting is over a metre wide and posed a significant challenge, so it was a real bonus to be accepted for this exhibition, especially as there is only a 4% chance, or thereabouts, of acceptance.

You can buy a limited edition print of The Tate & Lyle Sugar refinery here

Mall Galleries 
The Mall, London SW1
From the 14 June 2019 to 22 June 2019

Annual Exhibition 2019 – Preview Online here

‘Our Annual Exhibition held at Mall Galleries is now firmly established as a fixture of the London Summer Season, exhibiting painting and drawing informed by the visual world and personal interpretation.

It is a showcase not only for our members but also for aspiring artists selected from an open submission. With a history going back more than a hundred years, it is an opportunity for work to be seen alongside some of the best artists painting today. It also features several major prizes.’

More details here A bit about The Tate & Lyle Sugar Refinery

The painting shows the Thames Refinery in Silvertown established in 1878 by the famous Victorian sugar merchant and philanthropist, Sir Henry Tate. He’s most noted for bringing the sugar cube to the UK and establishing the Tate Gallery.

The Thames Refinery was his original site and has been in continuous operation for over 140 years – producing sugars, syrups and sweeteners to satisfy Great Britain’s sweet tooth. Raw cane sugar is still brought by ships up the Thames to the refinery’s jetty from countries as far afield as Fiji, Belize and Mozambique. At peak operating capacity, the refinery can turn this raw sugar into the equivalent of over 1 billion, 1kg bags of white sugar a year to supply 50% of the UK’s sugar market.

In 1921, Henry Tate’s grandchildren along with Abram Lyle’s grandchildren decided to merge their companies. Abram Lyle was another famous Silvertown sugar merchant with a similar site a mile west, where the iconic Lyle’s Golden Syrup was invented. The merger gave the company the famous Tate and Lyle name seen on the factory (and millions of packets of sugar) today.

It is one of the last true industrial landscapes in London with many of the buildings dating from the 19th Century. The building dominates much of the skyline in Silvertown. The area was once the centre of East London’s once thriving docks but is experiencing rapid redevelopment. At its peak in the 1950s and 60s the company employed over 5000 people, many of whom would have lived in terraced houses in the local area similar to those in the painting. The community in Silvertown remains tight-knit, with many ex-employees still living in houses near the factory. Workers old and new are fiercely proud of the shared history between Silvertown and the company.

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

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Sign up to my newsletter, and you can enter the free draw to win this original painting worth £110 of Manchester Piccadilly.

This watercolour preparation study of Manchester Piccadilly 28cm x 19cm, signed, and mounted on acid-free card.

The newsletter will be sent out on the 6th June 2019. I look forward to your sign up in the box on this page.

I give away free paintings, drawings, exhibition tickets and prints with my newsletters. Just to note, you are also automatically entered for all future draws as long as you are still signed up. Once you are signed up, you are automatically entered for all draws as long as you are subscribed.

See my privacy policy here.

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

Save

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Recently, I was commissioned to illustrate the Augusta National Golf Club and course in Augusta, Georgia for Golf Monthly magazine. I really enjoy producing maps. It appeals the “detail nut” inside me and I rather looked forward to it.

A bit about Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club was opened in 1933 and is one of the world’s premier golf courses. The club plays host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf and the only major played each year at the same course.

The membership list is pretty secret, although Pete Coors (beer magnate), Bill Gates (computer magnate), and Warren Buffett (everything magnate), are known members. These top dogs are given the coveted green jackets to wear if they choose. With that list alone one can only guess at the membership fees.

Interesting to note is that the site, due to its over-manicured nature, is pretty low on wildlife, so to make life more pleasant for its prestigious membership, bird noises are piped out of the trees.

Illustrating Augusta National Golf Club

The challenge with a golf map is the need to illustrate architecture and landscape, while ensuring all the holes are in the right places. Golfing is a real nerdy sport so one flag out of place, and I’d get a beating.

As i know absolutely nothing about golf, I needed to rely on the client to check my work and feedback as I went along. That was not the main tricky issue, however. The main problem was that there is very little current reference for me to go on. Naturally, I would’ve liked to be flown to Augusta to work on site but, unfortunately, those Madison Avenue budgets are   long gone and the rapid turnaround required for the print deadline meant time was tight.

I had to reach for as many online images as I could and used Google Maps too to help me build a jigsaw puzzle of the current arrangement. Google maps is fine for the basic structure, though you don’t really get the deeper detail of the fairways, greens and bunkers. For this I gathered dozens of online images of each hole.

One couldn’t take anything for granted either. Hole 12 is positioned on a small river and looks pretty smooth but on closer inspection you can see there is tiny nick out of the riverbank just in front of the hole, it’s so easily missed (as I’m sure Donald Trump has discovered on more than one occasion) and It was only the detailed images that showed this but I caught it and was able to ensure it went in.

As I worked I kept in mind that this is an illustration not a piece of art. This meant keeping the colours flat and simple so the whole scene is easy to read.

The client and I slowly worked through the structure and built the course from scratch until we had something we were both happy with. Illustrating Augusta was quite a challenge but it was good to learn a bit about the course too.

Testimonial

“We commissioned Liam to produce an illustration of the course at Augusta National as there are no photos available that do it justice. We needed to show all the holes with details such as greens, bunkers, tee boxes, and mark several famous spots on the course. Everyone has seen these many times before on television but it’s hard to piece it all together. It was important to get all the details spot on but make it simple enough to be visually appealing. Liam did a great job on this. He turned it around quickly and was very responsive to things when a couple of small but important features needed changing. We’d definitely use him again.”

David Taylor

Content Editor
golf-monthly.co.uk

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

Save

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You will find Barnes in the far west of London, nestled into one of the quieter curves of the River Thames. On arrival at the station, it doesn’t feel like London at all, more like a small rural town in the home counties. On exiting the station you’ll find it to be wholly rural, with forest in all directions – all rather confusing as there is no obvious indication of how to get ‘into town’.

I eventually oriented myself and made my way toward Barnes Common where forest soon became town. It was a bit of a walk, so as I was very early for my meeting, I took the opportunity to get a feel for the place.

Forty odd years ago the average middle class couple of say, a mid ranking civil servant or a teacher could easily afford a pretty substantial house in Barnes. Just as in Hackney’s East end, a decent terraced house could be bought by a postal worker, and his secretary wife.

Not so today. To buy a house in Barnes today you have to be earning some very serious money indeed for even a modest property. And as I walk into Barnes, the high Estate Agent coefficient confirms this.

I can certainly see its attraction. In the centre of Barnes I came across the spacious Barnes Green, containing a well stocked pond, and the OSO Arts Centre. There is a pretty decent pub which leads to Barnes High Street which contains some pleasant shops and the aforementioned Estate Agents. In just a few yards the street opens out to the River Thames offering fine views to the wooded bank opposite. Surely this can’t really be ‘London’? Here we find more pubs, and galleries, though no estate agents.

After more wandering about I visited The Coach and Horses on Barnes High Street for lunch. Thankfully The Coach and Horses still knows it’s a pub. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else which is often a worry in affluent areas. It has friendly staff and a well maintained dark wood interior and proper upholstered pub benches with comfy chairs, all set off nicely by the original leaded windows.

At the bar there are cask conditioned real ales and an impressive pub food menu. Anyone that sells Pork belly cubes has my vote although I eventually settled for a Classic hamburger with Curly Fries. Whilst waiting, I thought I would learn a bit more about Barnes.

A bit about Barnes

I have to confess now that I thought Barnes would be bit prosaic and therefore I would struggle to write about it. I often initially think that about the places I visit, and I am always wrong.

What surprised me the most about Barnes is its links with the music industry. Not only did Gustav Holst and George Frederick Handel live in Barnes, but so did Freddy Mercury(Queen), Roger Taylor(Queen), Brian May (Queen), Yes, the whole of Queen lived in Barnes aside from John Deacon. You can add to that Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Pete Tong the DJ and Welsh songbird, Duffy, of all people.

Olympic Studios (1966-2008) Now a cinema.

arnes was also home to one of the world’s leading recording studios at 117 Church Road. There was a vast array of albums, film scores and singles recorded in this quiet backwater of London. The list includes:

  • The Rolling Stones recording six of their albums there between 1966 and 1972
  • The Beatles recoded “All You Need Is Love”, and “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”.
  • Jimi Hendrix recorded ‘Are You Experienced’ , ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ and ‘Electric Ladyland’
  • The Who recorded ‘ Who’s Next’ and ‘Who Are You’.
  • Led Zeppelin, who recorded tracks there for all of their studio albums up to and including ‘Physical Graffiti’
  • Queen (local lads) recoded ‘A Night at the Opera’
  • David Bowie
  • Oasis
  • The Kaiser Chiefs
  • The Arctic Monkeys

Other recording artists include:

  • The Faces
  • Traffic
  • Blind Faith
  • Hawkwind
  • The Seekers
  • The Moody Blues
  • Deep Purple,
  • Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’.

On a sadder note the 70’s Glam Rock artist Marc Bolan died in a car crash in Barnes. He hit a tree quite near the railway station. There is now a memorial at the site which devotees visit. The tree itself appears to be no longer there, slowly pilfered by pilgrims after relics, no doubt. It has been replaced by a large beer barrel of all things. How odd…

The London Wetlands Centre

Opened in 2002 and covering almost 30 Hectares you will find The London Wetlands Centre. It was built on top of four disused Victorian reservoirs and was the brain child of Peter Scott.

Peter Scott was a fascinating character, and to me achieved far more than his more well known father, the Arctic explorer Captain Scott whose, let’s face it, most famous act was to come second in the race to the South Pole and then freeze to death.

That said, in Captain Scott’s final diary entry he wrote to Peters mother saying “make the boy interested in natural history”. Peter took this to heart and became a notable wild life painter (when he wasn’t winning Olympic medals for sailing) and went on to present the BBC’s first wildlife programs. He was also the founding chair of The World Wildlife Fund, even designing their famous Panda logo.

Peter Scott was one of the first truly modern conservationists, knowing how to use modern media to inspire families and especially young people to value wildlife conservation and preservation.

The London Wetlands Centre is vast and contains many rare species both wild and captive all just a short journey from Hammersmith. It’s well worth a day out.

Painting the house in Barnes

After lunch I met my client and began my preparation watercolour of the house.

The house I was asked to paint is a rather fine early 20th Century semi-detached, gable-front house tucked away in the knot of streets behind Barnes Green. I really love to see red brick houses. Many are painted over these days or worse, butchered during the pebbledash lunacy of the 1970’s.

Not here, it hasn’t been touched at all, just softly glowing in the sunshine.

I love the original wooden arch above the door, many of the houses in the street appear to have kept this feature, just as the architects intended, and all the better for it. The final touch is a small balcony from the upper room above the front door. I hope the doors are thrown open on bright afternoons and a chair dragged out to read a trashy paperback with a glass of what you fancy. I suspect they are rarely used however. I can imagine the residents may feel a mite silly, or worse, ‘vulgar’, being perched up there in front of the neighbours.

As I worked up the preparation piece I got an opportunity to see how thoughtfully the building was put together. It will be here for another 100 years to be sure.

Barnes was an enjoyable place to visit and paint, and I really must come back one day to visit The Barnes Fair which takes place on the green.

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

Save

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Sign up to my newsletter, and you can enter the free draw to win this original painting worth £140 of The Ship Inn, Lymington, Hampshire.

This watercolour preparation study of The ship Inn, Lymington, Hampshire 25cm x 14cm, signed, and mounted on acid-free card.

The newsletter will be sent out on the 2nd May 2019. I look forward to your sign up in the box on this page.

I give away free paintings, drawings, exhibition tickets and prints with my newsletters. Just to note, you are also automatically entered for all future draws as long as you are still signed up. Once you are signed up, you are automatically entered for all draws as long as you are subscribed.

See my privacy policy here.

About Lymington

A settlement has been here, tucked away on the banks of the river Lymington since the 6th Century, and has been inhabited ever since with a listing as “Lentune” in the Doomsday book in 1086. The village has survived through fishing, ship building, salt making, and even as an army garrison at one point. It seems Lymington has responded to the changing times rather well over 1,400 hundred years.

Lymington has slowly grown into a small town (9,300), and these days, is one of the south coast’s centres of yachting so is very popular with tourists. During the summer months, it’s packed out, and those that aren’t sailing about, are watching those who are, whilst catching crabs from the quay with bits of bacon and string.

The post Win a Painting of The Ship Inn, Lymington, in my next newsletter on 2nd-May-2019 appeared first on .

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I was pleased to have my painting ‘Denmark Street (Tin pan Alley) was chosen to be in The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019.

Buy A print of Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley) here
Buy the painting of Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley) here

I was pleased to have my painting ‘Denmark Street (Tin pan Alley) was chosen to be in The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019.

This annual exhibition is held at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1. Approximately 100 paintings were selected for exhibition. I was most pleased to be selected as it is less that 5% chance of being chosen.

Although I didn’t win a prize I has fortunate enough to have the added bonus of featuring on the exhibition poster.

More about The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize welcomes outstanding creative examples of representational painting from both amateur and professional artists in the UK. Created in 2005 by The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and The Lynn Foundation, the open competition continues to champion the skill of draughtsmanship and figurative painting. The exhibition aims to reflect the breadth of approaches and materials from across the artistic spectrum.

The Judges for 2019 are:
Christopher Green, artist and former prize winner
Tom Hewlett, Portland Gallery
Robin Lee-Hall PPRP, artist
Jennifer Scott, Dulwich Picture Gallery
Ben Sulivan RP, NEAC, artist

Prizes include an increased First Prize of £20,000; Second Prize of £4,000; Young Artist Prize of £4,000; The Daphne Todd Prize of £2,000; and the Brian Botting Prize of £5,000.

The Exhibition

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize was created in 2005 by the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and the Lynn Foundation to encourage the very best creative representational painting and promote the skill of draftsmanship. With prize money of £35,000 the Prize is one of the most prestigious awards to artists in the UK.

With grateful thanks to the sponsors:
Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
The  Lynn Foundation
4C Hotel Group

If you are Interested in buying a painting or considering a commission of art or illustration then just mail me or give me a call.

You can download my simple commission process here (PDF)

Why not sign up?

If you enjoyed my site and, painting stories why not sign up for my newsletter? I send one out about once a month, and ONLY when I have something to say. Better than having to go to the site direct. I also give away free drawings, exhibition tickets, and prints  See my privacy policy

See my Client Testimonials here

Save

The post Exhibiting at the The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019 appeared first on .

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