ARTWORK

The paintings below featured in my first solo exhibition, Hot Diggity! (read about it here)

Wondering Sailor

Indian ink, watercolour and gouache on board

41.8 x 29.6 cm

The mystical atmosphere in this piece is created by the light casting shadows on the balcony railing contrasted with the indoor space on the left of the image which is framed by a heavy red curtain. The sailor seems to be caught in the middle, wondering about something he is not currently taking part in which is taking place 'out there' in the right hand side of the painting. He might be remembering something or perhaps looking to the future and wondering whether something is possible. Whatever it is, in this image he is in an 'in-between' state of involved contemplation signalled by the intense black hatching that frame his figure. The setting is distorted and mixed up and the colours are heavy and rich - whatever it is he is thinking about, it is weighing heavy on him, which he tries to offset with his nonchalant pose and beer-drinking. 

(with hand-painted, upcycled custom frame) £645.00

to buy this painting, click here or email samderbysmith@gmail.com

Man & Beast

Indian ink and dye

18.5 x 27 cm

In the foreground, a man sits contemplating the beast. Perhaps it is our shadow-self - our capacity for chaos and evil; the light giving hope to his chances of acting for the good in spite of the beast. There is a 'beginning of time' atmosphere to the piece - the intense orange light illuminating the man's face symbolising mankind's keen survival instinct and intellect as well as the presence of hope. It is a depiction of an internal struggle to balance dark and light. The soft pinks and blues in the scene suggest moments of balance, contrasted by the intense orange, which jar and pose a problem. It is a contemplative depiction of the balancing act of orientating oneself in life, sometimes doing so successfully and struggling at others.

£sold
Fields of Athenry

Acrylic on board

29.6 x 41.9 cm

This painting was inspired by thoughts on the solitary process of painting; the constant and often unglamorous work that happens continually out of sight. In the painting, a man goes diligently searching in the night for something to nourish him and his dog. Where I knew that the painting was inspired by thoughts on the hard work of painting and the search for inspiration, I also felt that there was something more to the image. I knew the idea had come from somewhere defined or related to something specific, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. For three days it remained a mystery until it clicked: There was a song I was learning at the time called ‘Fields of Athenry’ by The Dubliners. It’s a sad song about a man who is sent to prison for stealing someone’s corn to keep his children alive and there is one particular line which struck me: ‘You stole Trevelyn’s corn, so the young might see the morn, now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay’. I had been thinking that line through over and over and I think the image of this man going off into the night is based on that line. The man’s face posture acknowledge that there is a risk involved. The pursuit of one’s own ideas requires courage - the journey, taking place at the threshold of the unknown is one without security or defined results. The encounter with the self is not always pleasant and sharing work leaves you exposed to others’ judgement. Despite all this, we know what we have to do and we must do it, otherwise something starves. 

 

(with hand-painted, upcycled custom frame) £279.00
to buy this painting, click here or email samderbysmith@gmail.com
Atelier

Indian Ink & Watercolour on board

38 x 33 cm

This is a fun painting of an early 20th century scene of an artist working away in his studio overlooking an exotic beach as fantasised through the eyes of a 21st century artist. It is a mix expressive ink style with bold colours reminiscent of Asterix and Obelix. The proportions of the subject matter are not harmonious, the different scales creating a dancing effect on the viewer's eye as it struggles to make sense of the scene. The studio is one where lots of action is taking place; the artist poised enthusiastically mid-way through a painting of a reclining nude. We are being shown into the mind of the protagonist painter; the kinetic delivery of the brushwork and vibrancy of the painting which seems to be in movement inviting the viewer to experience the infinite possibilties of the creative process. The dog sleeps in a basket while outside a cruise ship sails off somewhere mystical.

£sold
Pushing a Horse ii

Indian Ink, watercolour and gouache on 300 gsm paper

16.4 x 12.6 cm

The nude man struggles to get the horse to move, while the horse looks back at the man, apparently oblivious to the idea of moving. The horse came up in my paintings quite a lot and over time I began to understand it as a symbol representing something that can be ridden but also has an independence of its own: the act of painting or something taking place in my mind out my control. At the time of painting, I was fixated by the question of what to paint, believing that if I find the invisible thread and follow it, it will lead me to all things great. At times, I would push the horse but it would not yield ideas or even take a step forwards, the thread was not there... As I started to become aware that I was forcing something, an observer appeared, making me aware that I didn't have to push so hard: the nonchalant sailor looking-on, his demeanour exuding the attitude: 'don't bother, mate'. Here I am slogging away, and all the while, in spite of my anxieties and efforts, the wrong force never moved it forward. 

(with hand-painted, upcycled custom frame) £279.00
to buy this painting, click here or email samderbysmith@gmail.com
Night Search

Indian Ink & Watercolour on board

25.5 x 18.5 cm

Abstract blue and black shapes mark out the space in this mysterious painting showing a sequence of a man on a search or a journey with his dog and spade. The spade indicates that there is digging to do and the setting that is merged for the different stages in the sequence. It is a strange space which doesn't obey the normal rules of time and space: the internal space of the mind and in particular the mind at night / out of the view of consciousness. The image to me is a depiction of the process of the mind at work during non-time (eg. sleep) when ideas that are below the surface can be dug out and brought to light. The search is one that never ends, nor does it follow the traditional trajectory: the sequence in the top row reads from left to right (traditional) but in the bottom row, the direction is reversed - indicative of a space where the normal rules do not apply. 

£sold
Portrait of a Young Man

Indian ink and watercolour on 300 gsm watercolour paper

14.6 x 21.5 cm

I tried to paint a fantasy portrait of a romantic young boy (perhaps an artist) and I executed it very quickly. When I stepped back, there was something of it that felt a look like I was looking back at myself. It wasn't an intentional self-portrait but it ended up that way! The attire is a deliberate reference to the Dutch masters and the painting draws on the traditional inspirations to my work. 

£sold
Magic Bird

Acrylic on board

40.2 x 50.4 cm

The bird is taking flight through a world where things sparkles and the imagination can roam infinitely. This free, intuitively painted image is an expression of the magical feeling of freedom that I find in painting.

(with hand-painted, upcycled custom frame) £279.00
to buy this painting, click here or email samderbysmith@gmail.com