Portrait of artist…as an older man

Apologies to James Joyce for the heading here but it does work well for this blog!

 I asked for feedback following the recent relaunching of my website.  It has generally been very constructive as well as, fortunately, positive!  Thanks very much to those who took up their precious time to do it.  One point which came up more than once is that there should be an image of me as an artist on the ‘About Me’ page.  Of course that could mean a painted portrait, maybe even a self- portrait.    I have drawn myself a few times over the years. But never really taken the time to do myself as a proper painting.   And of course drawings I did of myself 10 years ago, or longer, don’t reflect the ‘me now’ either.  Maybe that is a future project.  So, this time it was going to be a photo.  There was a good photo of me once as an artist painting one of my murals in the East Anglian Daily Times.  It was part of their ‘Meet the Boss’ series.  At the time I was managing partner of Kerseys solicitors.  But, again, that photo shows me 11 years ago!

So instead I contacted fine fellow artist and friend Jenny George who is also an excellent photographer: the images on my Staging Posts of Life exhibition Gallery page were taken by her.

I was at first unsure when speaking to Jenny how the photo would work.  I imagined it would be one taken in my studio.   But at this very moment I am not in the midst of a major work in progress she could use as the back drop. I didn’t really want to fake it that I am.   But that was not how Jenny was thinking.  She came up with the much better idea of me at my easel in our garden.  So the artist would not only be painting ‘en plein air’, he himself would be photographed ‘en plein air’!    Brilliant.  I often paint and draw my garden too, so the idea was entirely authentic to me.   Jenny as ever took great care with the assignment. She took some great shots. I felt this one was the best for https://antartist.co.uk/about-me/ on my website as it shows me actually at work. 

Hope my readers like it – please let me know below in Comments.

I first met Jenny as a fellow artist when we both in a show at Ian Moss’s Freudian Sheep Gallery in 2016.  I remember seeing all the works of many good artists laid out of hanging and for me her painting of the Ipswich Winerack was a stand-out work.  Such a brilliant twist in showing the wine bottles too! 

In late 2017 when working in my studio I had a whim that I would like to exhibit with one fellow artist. Jenny was immediately the one I felt I would have the most synergy to show with.  That’s in large part because we are distinctive from each other in media and style but share an interest in trying to convey deep meaning, even philosophical ideas, in our work.    I messaged her there and then I recall, even though we didn’t then know each other well. So I was a bit nervous about how she would respond.   Fortunately she agreed pretty much straightaway.  We had a great show entitled Every Picture Tells a Story in 2018.    One of Jenny’s paintings, The Guardian, sold at a charity auction where all the proceeds went to Suffolk Lowlands Search and Rescue (SULSAR): https://www.kerseys.co.uk/every-picture-kerseys-charity-auction-exhibition/

 She continues to produce excellent work in different styles. I hope at some stage to exhibit with her again, but for the time being this photo and the others which I will use as media elsewhere represent our continuing collaboration.

May 2022

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  1. Ant, a heartfelt, eloquent piece, and many sincere thanks for the mentions — I am humbled to be part of your art journey.
    Congratulations on your new website, and all the very best wishes for you and your work. I’ll look forward to seeing more images of your art, hopefully in the not too distant future.
    Chin chin!

  2. Great work and what a beautiful setting. It’s nice to see you promoting your art again. I remember your workplace being fall of art and meeting you for the first time at an open house art event with Mandeep Birdy.

  3. Looks good. I rather like the two bamboo painting in the Chinese section. Something simple yet effective about it.

    Interesting that time moves from years to decades with the move through life in some of the paintings. That time horizon flowing towards the present as a faster rate and greater use of the rear view mirror needed. Those memories never quite seem linear and always feel rather lumpy, some times are more important than others.

    I note the representation of the artist as an outdoor painting type, replete with an office chair. The wicker chair of our time. The painter must be seen to be in the landscape not merely doing the work of representation.

  4. Pleased to hear about the positive influence of your website relaunch. It really is in a far greater position now, and looks wholly professional!

    Lovely place for a photo Ant. Having had a greater connection to nature recently, both through photography of flowers, sunrises, landscapes, and long early morning coastal hikes across my hometown area, I can appreciate your authentic comments about the beauty of a garden and the ability to find so much material to interpret just amongst the plant life, sky, and scape.

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