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Posts Tagged ‘painter’

I’m please to announce that artist Caroline Ashwood will be joining us at the Buy Art Fair in Manchester this year. Her collection of stunning original paintings will be on show from 26th – 29th September.

Original artwork by artist Caroline Ashwood

To view her full collection visit: Caroline Ashwood Artwork Gallery



5 August

An Interview with Maia Nikolov

Did you always know that you would be an artist?

I’ve always wanted to be involved with art. There was a time when I was not sure whether it should be applied arts or fine arts, but now I know exactly what I want to do namely, the fine arts.

Where did your involvement in art stem from?

I graduated from university with a degree in “Engineering Design.” After the I got married and gave birth to my daughter, because I had to stop work for some time, I started painting more seriously and exhibiting my art in various galleries. That’s when painting became my permanent job.


Original artwork by Art2Arts Artist Maia Nikolov

Where do you get your inspirations from?

I draw inspiration from different places. Sometimes from nature, from music or just an element or form impresses me and in my imagination a whole picture is formed from it.

And that is why I have pictures with so many different themes.

What artists past and present are you influenced by or inspired by?

I draw my inspiration from many artists, some of which are quite known, while others not yet. And sometimes I even get inspiration from my daughters little drawings. That is why I don’t mention specific names.


Stunning painting by artist Maia Nikolov

How do you start a painting?

Well, let’s say that much depends on what it is that I will be painting. For example if it is landscapes then I can be quite spontaneous. Whereas with portraits I like to sketch them first.

View Maia Nikolov Art Gallery


31 July

Artist in Residence Victoria Brown

Have you ever felt disconnected from nature? Do you only capture its beauty fleetingly, rushing through your daily life?

I have a one-word suggestion for you…


The wonder of the bud and the explosion of thousands of unfurling petals creating a cacophony and mass majesty of blooms. Nature trumpeting spring, life and infinite possibilities!

We lose so much connection of humanness when we forget the seasons apart from the disruptive side of its nature.

Sometimes we can feel like we’re grating against it rather than basking with it in harmony, sharing the seasons joy.

To me there are few greater weighted displays of nature’s celebration than the fresh fizz of ‘Blossom’ the subject and title of my new exciting project, kindly supported by the Arts Council England, The National Lottery and Arts Derbyshire. The blossoms are transient, urgent for their life, then they’re gone.

Come with me in awe, see the blossoms and my work in progress or bring your brushes and enjoy, capture a place in time and reconnect- if only for that moment, maybe that moment yearly?

If they were not here on our planet, if they didn’t bloom, what would we miss?

What if we were separated from nature and lived only remotely in an electrified wire filled world and lost connection to nature completely? What if we forgot we were any part of it?

For me my life would ache with the loss, nature is as grounding to me as it is uplifting!

Join me?



Victoria Brown


CK Wood’s glorious poppy paintings are well-loved at Art2Arts. Though she’s a professionally trained artist with bags of talent, CK worked various jobs as she made her way to becoming a full-time painter. Here she reveals all about her process, inspirations, and artistic journey.

Damson Triptych by CK Wood

What were your experiences like at Leeds and Stockport colleges of art?

My time at college was essential for me – giving me time to experiment with different techniques, subjects and mediums. Studying surface pattern rather than fine art was a good choice for me too, as I loved the idea of texture in art and the experimentation involved in creating new techniques.

How did your interest in painting develop?

From a young age I always enjoyed drawing and painting – and excelling in art at school made me realise I did have a talent and I was encouraged by school to take it further.

How did you become interested in florals?

At college really. Previously I had enjoyed mainly drawing landscape and animals – but at college I had more mediums at hand and would experiment with water colours, acrylics and oils. And flowers were always available for us to paint, and I found I had a flair to paint them and loved the vibrancy of their colours and form.

Serenity Triptych Poppies by CK Wood

How do you choose your subjects?

Quite often, it is based on how I am feeling that day, from what I have experienced around me – the colours and flowers I have seen and the feelings stirred in me. I do like to spend time within the peacefulness of nature, in a quite garden full of flowers, rolling hillsides or just a peaceful meadow or lake – watching nature and tuning into the beauty of it all.

Could you describe the process you go through in imagining, planning, and creating a painting?

I have a feeling or mood that I want to put to canvas – If I plan or think too much about what I want to create, then I lose the feeling, so I just go with the flow of the feeling that I have at that time and the painting develops that way. Though I guess I must follow some process, they are subconscious.

What are your favourite types of paints to use?

I mainly use acrylics – but I do have other mediums at hand which I also use to create the effects I want. Acrylics can be quite flat, so mixing them with texture mediums or gloss mediums can add vibrancy and depth. Oils, which I sometimes work with are great at blending colours.

Who and what are your main inspirations?

I love the moods and the romance created by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Impressionists. Though my inspiration is the natural environment around me.

Enlighten Landscape by CK Wood

What other jobs have you had?

Before making a living as a full time artist, as a single mum I had to keep working whilst trying to establish myself as an artist. I have had many jobs, mainly administrative work, but also call centre, debt collection, warehouse work and cleaning.

Do you every get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?

Occasionally I do yes – I get days when I have no inspiration or desire to paint what so ever. I sit down to paint and I am just at a loss to were to start and my heart isn’t in it. I have found the only way to overcome this, is to have a break from it. Otherwise its futile trying. Thankfully the desire and inspiration always does come back. If it didn’t then I would have to stop.

What advice do you have to young artists just starting out?

I think the best advice would be to keep trying and to keep establishing your style, keep true to yourself and your work and don’t let any knock backs effect you too much. If you work hard enough and keep at it you will eventually succeed.

See more of CK Wood’s popular poppies at her Art2Arts profile page.


“Boring back views” – the scourge of the life drawing class – or are they? For anyone who’s not quite sure what I’m banging on about – in life drawing classes, everyone tends to crowd around the front of the model, so that they can get an obvious, portrait-esque, face view. I recently heard someone at a class complaining about  “boring back views”. But actually, back views can be enigmatic and very beautiful. Here are 5 of my favourites from art history.

1. Naked Man, Back View by Lucien Freud (1991-1992)

Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1993.71

2. Seated Woman in Underwear, by Egon Schiele (1917)

Source: http://egonschiele.tumblr.com/

3. Grand Odalisque, by Ingres(1814)

Source: http://art-quarter.com/beck/joe/aj/1/3/ingres-odalisque.html

4. Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez(1647-51)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RokebyVenus.jpg

5. Not to be Reproduced, by Rene Magritte(1937)

Source: http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/rene-magritte/not-to-be-reproduced-1937

See what I mean about back views? Now have a look at a couple great ones from the Art2Arts catalogue:

Red Hair by Carmen Tyrell

Sensual and hot blooded, there’s nothing boring about Carmen Tyrells’ back view.

Rebecca II, by Kris Hardy

Kris Hardy’s Rebecca has, as they say, “got back”.

Have a look at lots more back views, front views, top views, and even bottom views in the Art2Arts figurative section.

Julia Everett artist
Julia Everett
, August Artist of the Month, is a firm favourite with Art2Arts customers. Her abstract landscape paintings, with their song reference titles, easily evoke nostalgia and emotion. Academically trained, Julia knew she wanted to be an artist from a very young age. She’s kindly agreed to talk me through her process and inspirations.
What was your experience at art college in Brighton like?

I was very lucky to study Fine Art in Brighton. It was an amazing place to be, not only for its fabulous seaside location, but also for the quality of the degree course. We were all given generous sized studios to paint in and our tutors were all professional artists. We also had famous artists such as Bridget Riley and Patrick Hughes visiting for guest lectures and tutorials. It taught me how to work independently as a painter as well as all the skills needed for integrating in the art world.How did your interest in painting develop?

I’ve always wanted to paint. When I was a child my dream was to go to art school, mainly because I liked school and loved art! I grew up as an only child and spent a lot of time on my own drawing and painting and making things. I left school at 16 and went straight to the local art college, which enforced my belief that art was what I was meant to be doing. I suppose I was always the weird kid so I fitted in perfectly! From there I did a foundation art course and then a degree in fine art.

Ashes and Fire by Julia Everett

How do you maintain a connection with rural landscape while working from London?

I grew up in Wolverhampton, probably the least rural place in England! But I spent a lot of my childhood escaping to Wales and Shropshire and I love the contrast between the city and the countryside. For me West London is quite rural, there are lots of trees and parks and my studio on the Thames Path in Hammersmith has its own river terrace. When the doors of my studio are open I can see the river while I paint. I also love to travel and spend lots of time in Wiltshire and Cornwall. I paint from memory rather than real life so I draw upon my experiences of nature when I work.

Could you describe the process you go through in imagining, planning, and creating a painting?

Sometimes I have a fresh blank canvas in front of me and have no idea what will happen, often this is when I make my favourite paintings! Other times I have a place in mind and the colours I want to use ready to go and I start thinking where I’ve been and how it felt. Usually it’s somewhere by the sea and often at twilight or sunset. Then I start listening to something on my ipod, lately I’ve been enjoying my Neil Young back catalogue. Other painting favourites are John Martyn, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake.

California Dreaming by Julia Everett

What are your favourite types of paints to use?

I love colour and mainly use oil paint in vivid colours on un-primed canvas. I dilute the paint with a glaze medium and linseed oil to improve the flow and I build up the picture in layers, letting it dry in between. I like the way the paint can soak into the canvas and often take a path of its own. I use sponges rather than brushes and blend the paint together. Sometimes I splash paint around to give a looser feel. Lately I have been adding a layer of fluorescent acrylic to intensify the colours in my recent series of abstract sunsets.

Who and what are your main inspirations?

I am inspired by the sea and the sky and light on water and the feeling of being in a wild landscape. I have been really into the horizon lately. The eulogy at a funeral I went to recently described the horizon as a metaphor for life and death and the uncertainty of the future. I particularly identified with this as it made sense of my obsession with horizons, especially the dark horizon on the sea at night with the magical feel of otherworldliness that it has.
I always listen to music when painting and feel that this has a strong influence on the finished work too.

Wide Blue Open II by Julia Everett

What other jobs have you had?

As an avid music fan most of my other jobs have involved it in some way, I used to work in a record shop and then as a bookkeeper for a music shop. I’ve also worked for Illuminate Productions, a not for profit art organisation who stage art and music events in unusual locations. I worked for them on Drift and the Merge Festival.

Do you every get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?

When I find myself a bit stuck I think its best to take some time out, maybe travel somewhere inspiring or just have a break from painting. Usually it doesn’t take me long to want to get back to my studio. Another thing I find helpful is some random action painting to see what happens and where the mark making will take me. Its good fun to splash some colour around!

Full Moon Fever by Julia Everett

What advice do you have to young artists just starting out?

Raise your internet presence, do as much as you can to promote yourself online and connect with other artists.
Facebook and Twitter are great places to meet artists and to find out about art opportunities.

See more luscious landscapes at Julia’s Art2Arts page.


Irina Rumyantseva is one of Art2Arts’ most popular painters. She talks us through her process, from her strict artistic training in St Petersburg, to her advice for young artists just starting out.

Inspicere by Irina Rumyantseva

Did you go to art college? If so, where, and what was your experience like?
I went to St Petersburg University in Russia. I studied art and graphic design. My teacher was very inspirational and very strict. I learn’t so many different techniques, it was completely different to the way artists are taught here.
How did your interest in painting develop?
I was always interested in painting from a very early age. I was painting when I was in kindergarten! It developed into a keen hobby at home and then into studies of fine art. Then I was encouraged to take it up professionally after University.

How do you choose your subjects?

The subjects I choose completely depend on the experiences I have had recently and how I feel at that particular moment.

What are your favourite types of paints to use.
I use acrylics and sometimes watercolours on canvas or watercolour paper. But mostly acrylic on canvas.

Serious Cow by Irina Rumyantseva

What other jobs have you had?
I made pottery and other ceramics after University and then I was a graphic designer for a sportswear company in St Petersburg.

Do you ever get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?
If I get a block I stop until it comes back to me. It often doesn’t take very long.

What advice do you have to young artists just starting out?
I would tell them to not give up even when it seems like nothing will go in your favour. Push yourself and you need to make yourself seen by shouting from the roof tops.


Thanks Irina!

See more of Irina Rumyantseva’s dynamic paintings at her Art2Arts profile page.

Red Poppies 3 by Irina Rumyantseva


30 July

Dreamlike Skyscapes by Simon Kenny

Simon Kenny’s dreamlike semi-abstract skyscapes and landscapes bring Turner’s use of light firmly to mind. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Simon, and he shares with us the details of his inspirations and artistic career, from his invitation to study at Canterbury art college aged just 11, to his formative years in the south of France.

revelation painting by Simon Kenny

Revelation by Simon Kenny

Did you go to art college? If so, where, and what was your experience like?
I was offered a place at Canterbury art college at the age of just 11 years old, which I was told a very rare offer. It would have meant taking my GCSEs early and although I was told I was talented the additional workload scared me off so I didn’t accept. In my early years I saw art as just a hobby and found I only wanted to be creative when the mood took me so 5 days a week or more seemed like a lot of pressure. Silly really but things worked out in the end.

How did your interest in painting develop?
I have a very artistic family and I used to go and stay with my grandparents every summer in the South of France at a lovely little seaside town called St Jean De Luz. It was the ideal break away from life back home which was sometimes a little rocky. My granddad was an artist himself and he was also a good friend and collector of the late famous Spanish painter Uria Monzon.On many of our outings my granddad used to take me around the local towns pencil and pastel sketching these amazing landscapes and old buildings. On a handful of occasions we’d swing by Uria’s Gallery and check out his latest works. Between my family and the amazing artistic holiday locations I don’t think I could have asked for more encouragement.

Summer Rain by Simon Kenny

Summer Rain by Simon Kenny

How do you choose your subjects?
My work is very emotional based so the ideas tend to form with my mind set rather than just choosing a subject. I do sometimes use landscape, seascape and skyscape photos give me a shape or choose colours but that’s about it as I want to keep the paintings as directly linked to my creative vibe as possible.

Could you describe the process you go through in imagining, planning, and creating a painting?
The process really begins with a simple idea, sometimes just a name, or my music will get me moving forward in a certain direction. Then once I have the creative spark I’ll think shape, not just of the image I want to paint but of how it will fit in to what shape canvas. Then I’ll think textures and areas of interest. I don’t lay down colour until I have my shape right, then I may add a few bold colours and start to build the painting up. I always try to leave an area of light in the canvas, sometimes more than one, this kind of draws the eye in and I very gently pull the light areas around creating cloud like effects. This will all normally culminate in an emotionally charged swipe with various palette knives bringing out the 3 dimensional viewpoints I usually try to finish on. Then I sit and stare at the painting for many minutes, sometimes very long minutes, at times even taking photographs to see how things look on camera just to get another perspective. If I’m not happy I’ll highlight or lowlight until things standout as I want.

What are your favourite types of paints to use?
I like oils because of the softness and light blending ability. I use acrylics simply for the vibrancy and fast drying rates. Both are versatile and I often build an under painting quickly in acrylics then finish it in oils softening it down.

Who and what are your main inspirations?
I’m fascinated by people, our emotional responses, our belief systems and the world we live in. I love all the nature and science stuff, and find myself glued to the Discovery channels or normally have my head in a book full of information about the natural world or outer space, so the inspiration is everywhere.  I love weather, especially the moody British weather and often use images of storms to help me create my painting shapes. All that said music also plays a huge part in my inspiration and some songs can really pull my emotions forward getting me creatively flowing.

What other jobs have you had?
For nearly six years I was a director and designer at a bespoke furniture manufacturing company which I started from scratch. Before that I was in the building trade managing a renovations company. Art was more of spare time thing back then but I would still paint on weekends and in the evenings, selling works as and when I could and was actually commissioned twice before I turned professional.


Flux by Simon Kenny

Flux by Simon Kenny

Do you every get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?
I don’t really get creative blocks before I start I painting, it tends to happen more when I’m in the middle of one, which is really more like losing direction and it can be incredibly frustrating. I used to try to force the work through but this rarely worked out for me and I can always see in the finished piece where things started going wrong. Now a day’s I kind of feel  the anxiety building, and when I know I’ve lost my way a little I’ll take a step back, put the canvas on the wall and walk away from it. I try not to look at it for at least half an hour, then, when I re-enter the room I’ll stand back, as far back as I can and then I can usually I see my way forward or least see where to start up from.

What advice do you have to young artists just starting out?
It’s like I advise my kids, practise, practise, practise. Understanding paint is key to how I work so I invested a lot of time and effort into  learning about glazes, textures, maintain light, building colour and so on. I don’t believe you have to be brilliant with a pencil to make a great artist you just have to be confident in what you do and that comes with a full understanding of your tools and how you apply them. I was very good a sketching from a young age but my early paintings were less than desirable so once I wanted to develop this area of my creative ability I simply invested in myself until I was confident enough to move to the next level and I’m still learning today. My artistic journey has so far been a bit of a personal rollercoaster but I can say every second has been worth it.