The artwork of Yorkshire Artist Tony Dexter

Get the full picture…

While ‘online’ images provide a reasonable copy of art work they do, inevitably, lose a lot of colour, distinction and subtle nuances. Equally web/email painting copies are often viewed out of context in relation to their size being smaller and with less visual impact than the original larger work.

What’s more while much of my work is acrylic the paint is frequently laid on thickly in layers creating an ‘impasto’ effect. Again something lost on ‘compressed’ internet images.

So seeing a work of art ‘live’ in a studio, a gallery or at a contemporary art fair clearly gives you the full picture

The Beached Crab £245.00The Filey Crab

Noticing Things

In his book “Playing the Gallery” Grayson Perry quotes a child who when asked “What do you think a contemporary artist does?” gave the reply “They notice things.” I like that.

Noticing things is something I can relate to. Being aware of something and painting it seems to be just what I do. I also like it because I’ve often found it not easy to wear the badge ‘artist’. After art school I went into the commercial world and therefore left the art world behind. I’ve never regretted it and starting to paint later in life and only for the last few years, has reinvigorated me creatively.

My work reflects the things I notice and often from a specific and different angle or viewpoint. My pictures have the attributes of works of art – paint, canvas, varnish, and subject. They also sell so I assume that it’s because people like them.

In the higher echelons of the art world where money, fashion and vested interest are predominant and are assumed to imply superiority perhaps there is a tendency for people to look down on the simple but important emotional reaction of ‘liking’ something.

So for me being partial to a work of art and liking it is reason enough to buy it and perhaps I should now recognise that as an artist I’m doing something I like.


So what’s right?

I’ve currently around 21-22 paintings for sale. Since starting painting a few years ago I’ve created over 100 canvases. Clearly there have been many sales mainly through just a few exhibitions and the website.

Part of the overall number of 100 or so paintings include several that started life as one subject only to be rejected. These ‘reject’ canvases get ‘scrubbed’, re-primed and new pictures are created.

So why were they abandoned in the first place?

For me, as I paint, I get a sense of how ‘things’ are going.  But what is that ’thing’?

I suppose it’s a point, a factor or a stage where I believe a particular painting isn’t working. A point where I become more and more aware that no matter what I do, how I change it, revise it and modify it ‘things’ don’t improve. And so it’s consigned to the ‘over-paint’ bin to become a new painting.

Yet conversely, sometimes astonishingly, on the brink of rejecting a painting I do something that completely, almost by accident, changes it and it becomes ‘all right’.

Of course that’s my interpretation of what’s ‘all right’ – whatever that means.

Embracing the concept of turning a muddle into an acceptable work of art by accident seems to me to be a wonderful part of the creative experience.  There’s an opportunity to learn new methods, embrace different finishes and make changes that were never part of the initial concept. For me that’s all part of creativity and ingenuity not confined by a specific technique or a predictable outcome.

Are artists arrogant, self important and over confident?  Perhaps they need to be as initially they are their own self critic.

On the other hand rejecting work that doesn’t work or making major changes as a work progresses makes me more self-effacing and down to earth. I like that.

At the Fair…

Some good comments about my work at Art in the Pen which massages the ego and also painting sales which massages the ‘must buy more paints and brushes’ fund.

As usual the fair gives space to a wide range of artists covering a variety of ‘medium’ including paintings, drawings, weaving, pottery, jewellery, furniture, sculpture and much more. So the choice is great, the competition is stiff and when your work sells – which is the whole point – then that’s fantastic.

Selling paintings that usually have a higher price that many other items in the fair is never easy and this year was no exception. So typically some exhibitors will have had a more successful fair than others.

Perhaps this year those smaller value items have done well? Certainly I’ve seen artists who ‘transfer’ their painting images onto other items – like cards, coasters and mugs – sell these BUT… perhaps at the cost of not selling their paintings?

This year, like last year, my smaller value items – the wooden Christmas trees – sold out. So with these and the painting sales – particularly of my boats (one of which is off to sunny Portugal) then for me it’s been well worthwhile


The Last Filey Coble Boat £165TILES 2

Diary Date…

See me at…Art in the Pen (Pen number 111)  Skipton,  Sat 13th & Sun 14th August 2016.

After exhibiting for the first time at Art in the Pen in 2015 I’m looking forward to this selling Contemporary Art Fair this year

I’ve new paintings; new greeting cards and Christmas trees (yes little handmade wooden Christmas trees!)

Pop in…


The Last Filey Coble Boat £165

In the Net £160P1040629Broken Stern No2 £165

Love the Isle of Lewis

A mid April highlight was a second visit to the Isle of Lewis.

This year we toured the whole island returning to a delightful cottage within a short distance of the great Reef (Riof) Beach.

Otter watching, eagle spotting, whisky drinking and the occasional slice of salmon topped the week. The weather was ‘kind’ after initially travelling through snow storms on our way upwards to the ferry at Ullapool.

Now starting a whole new series of paintings based on the Island and some of the boats. ‘Broken Stern’ is the first (sold). So will have a new selection of work to exhibit at Art in the Pen in Skipton on 13th & 14 August.


Mad March

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and I’ve felt like a Mad March Hare
Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining it’s great to be busy.
• On 6th March – Mother’s Day – a couple visited the studio and bought two ‘fish’ paintings.
• On Wednesday 9th March it was off to Neil’s Gallery in Filey to deliver pictures each with a Filey connection – boats, seaside and fish
• On Thursday 10th March confirmation of selection to exhibit at Art In The Pen in Skipton 13th & 14th August 2016
• On Monday 14th March it was to a new Café nr Leeds to deliver and hang my paintings ready for their official opening.
And around these dates and ongoing there’s also been the call to create new work – currently including boat and fish images.
I started painting a few years ago after a commercial career and though I originally had an art school training (sculpture) I had never painted until I retired.
I’ve sold and continue to sell work at exhibitions and on-line although initially it wasn’t easy. This wasn’t a case of the pictures not selling; they do, but having spent time and effort creating something I still have a tinge of regret to see them go. But when you pick up a brush and start a new painting that initial sadness soon fades.
There are of course consolations. Yes receiving a fee is great because it naturally helps fund more work, more materials and allows me to paint the things that specifically interest me. More importantly for me it’s wonderful and very satisfying that people like my work enough to hang it on their walls.
It’s been a mad but eventful early March – long may it continue


Heading to Whitby £120Trawler WY.77 Whitby

The conflict of delicacy and power

Trying to achieve a reasonable likeness full of all the subtle colours of paintings using low resolution images for your website really detracts from their impact. But what can you do?
Of course actually seeing pictures live, in the flesh (so to speak) is the answer giving you a real feeling of their delicacy and their power.
Much of my work tries to convey that ‘conflict’ of delicacy and power – between those crisp lines and that rough confusion. Between, for example, the beautiful lines of a boat’s hull contrasted with the weather and water battered irregularity of the paintwork just below the surface.
This tension also continues between aspects of the paintings that are clearly referenced to their subject matter – boats, fish etc. Yet there is a distinct abstraction within the paintings that significantly moves them away from direct photographic depiction allowing the viewer to use their own imagination.
Naturally my paintings reflect the themes that specifically interest me and my experiences. I also hope they mirror and are an echo of something you know, you’ve experienced, you like.

Filey coble boat Rusting on the Landing £165.00

Five pictures chosen for exhibition at 2013 Great North Art Show


Showcasing artwork in a fantastic venue

An annual event held at Ripon Cathedral the Great North Art Show is a fantastic exhibition that supports long standing and new artists to display their work.

As a new artist and one that had recently taken up painting, I was delighted to have five pictures selected to appear in the 2013 exhibition. The Cathedral is naturally open to the public for worship and visitors alike and my joy increased when, before the exhibition had officially opened, one of my pictures sold. Another followed.

Exhibiting for the first time, as this was for me, brings mixed feelings. Being selected was terrific. Seeing the work displayed out of my studio and in a gallery setting was marvellous. To sell work for the first time was the icing on the cake!

Site by Simon Battersby Consulting Ltd