New Northumberland: A joint exhibition

Runs from 28th April - 9th June 2017
The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth, Northumberland

Born and raised in Dorset, I never thought another county could come to mean more to me than my own, 
until I first visited Northumberland in the mid nineties staying with Paula's family in Warkworth.
We've been back every year since.

In 2013 I painted this 12" landscape of the nearby barley fields. It was the first plain air painting
I created where I saw the glimpse of a style I wanted to develop.

Field, Northumberland 2013

Field, Northumberland 2013

Since that time Northumberland has become my main source of inspiration - I find the I find the huge spaces, incredible skies (as the winds of the North Sea clash with the rolling hills of the Cheviots along the Anglo-Scottish border) and the rugged, hewn landscape is overwhelmingly inspirational.

In the local town of Alnmouth there is our "go to" The Old School Gallery we visit each time we're here.
The standard of work is always excellent, with talented painters, printmakers and illustrators on show. I was contacted by Dale and Penny from the gallery quite out of the blue late last year, asking if I'd like to take part in a joint exhibition with fellow artist Gillian Lee Smith an opportunity I jumped at - and as I write I'm finishing off paintings and looking to
get them framed next week to ship to the gallery for the 25th.

I'm incredibly excited to be participating, the fact I'm exhibiting in one of my favourite areas in the UK feels like the joining
of a circle that started almost 20 years ago with the first visit.

I hope you'll visit the show.

The Other Art Fair

30 March - 2 April 2017, Victoria House, Holborn WC1A.

I exhibited at an excellent TOAF last week. Met fantastically talented artists and really interested and interesting art buyers.
I managed to sell a total of nine etchings from the Silent Voices series, seven paintings and two framed etchings.

One of the reasons exhibiting at art fairs is such an important experience is the feedback you get from public.
The response to my charcoal work in particular was really positive so guess what I'm going to be getting on with after my next show
('New Northumberland' at The Old School Gallery running from April 28 till June 9 2017).

Very much hope to see you at TOAF this October.

Instagram video - colour works

Instagram video - colour works

Instagram video - mono works

Instagram video - mono works

Spaces - a commission for British Airways

I was contacted by Cedar Communications in October '16, asking if I would be interested in working on a magazine cover for British Airways First Magazine issue 6 - a new magazine for First class passengers. Each issue offers readers an in-depth exploration of a single concept, this issue being Spaces.

Paul West BA First.small.jpg

I was sent examples of my works that the team liked, and I was given a free reign to create a cover interpreting the idea of 'spaces' which had to be eye-catching, original and bold.

I created the painting during a week in Wales, surrounded by the beautiful layered countryside. Wherever I looked I was very much aware of the physical depth of the landscape from background to foreground which inspired the painting I created for the issue.

PaulWestWales.jpg

Ahh, those tractor trails...

Incredible vibrancy of red clay soil

Incredible vibrancy of red clay soil

Paula, rocking a "You Shall Not Pass" groove on Arthur's Stone, a Neolithic chambered tomb, 3,700 BC

Paula, rocking a "You Shall Not Pass" groove on Arthur's Stone, a Neolithic chambered tomb, 3,700 BC

Thanks very much to Henry at Cedar for the opportunity to create this cover. Enjoy the video interview and content below.

Soaking up the colours of the countryside

Soaking up the colours of the countryside

Prelim sketch

Prelim sketch

Brief interview for the magazine

Brief interview for the magazine

Byam Shaw Art Summer Show. 30 July - 2 Aug '16

Really happy to be exhibiting as one of four artists at the Byam Shaw Summer Show 2016 (Old Brompton Gallery, 238 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0DE). The exhibition runs from 30 July till 2 August. 9am - 6pm.

I'm exhibiting alongside talented artists Kerr Ashmore, Rose Arbuthnott and Arthur Laidlaw. Please pop down if you are near. The exhibition was even recommended by Harpers Bazaar in its "What to do in London this week".

The private view on Friday 29th July was great fun!

Exhibition cover 1 / 4 (we all had our own covers - nice idea) and invitation

Exhibition cover 1 / 4 (we all had our own covers - nice idea) and invitation

For sales enquiries please contact Byam Shaw here: http://byamshawart.com/contact/

Standing Stones and Viking Runes in Sweden

In March I went to Sweden for a weeks break. Part of my stay involved visiting some enigmatic standing stones while walking the Lyckåleden (lyckeby trail) on a beautiful sunny winters day.

Three standing stones on the bank of the Lyckebyån

Three standing stones on the bank of the Lyckebyån

The area was incredibly atmospheric - I assume the three stones by the Lyckebyån (stream) had to have an association with a water deity, and stopped to draw them.

Elsewhere clusters of forest (and long deserted house ruins) gave way to individual stones, standing silent and powerful in the landscape.

Paul-West-Lyckeby8.jpg

Two days later we drove to Hästhallen ("Horse Hall"), to see the a rock carving area, hidden in the pine forest. Hästhallen consists of over 140 carvings divided into seven groups. The petroglyphs consist of people, ships, horses and riders, deer, soles and sun wheels, dating around 1000BC (Bronze Age).

Once again, the surrounding area only added to a sense of awe that you could feel about the place.

The sheer number of figures carved into the rock shows that the place must have been an important gathering spot for worship in the first millennia.

Boats (voyaging to the underworld) the 'soles' of a gods feet (top right)

Boats (voyaging to the underworld) the 'soles' of a gods feet (top right)

The horses have given their name to the rock. Their extended bodies and stretched necks are typical and believed to have been used in religious ceremonies

The horses have given their name to the rock. Their extended bodies and stretched necks are typical and believed to have been used in religious ceremonies

This looks like a boat being supported by some supernatural deity - carrying the travellers safely to new lands

This looks like a boat being supported by some supernatural deity - carrying the travellers safely to new lands

The final stop of the day was to the stone at the island of Sturkö (on the archipelago of Blekinge).

"Gude's skipper raised stone"

"Gude's skipper raised stone"

The runic stone dates back to the Viking Age, at the end of the 11th Century, when the County of Blekinge belonged to Denmark. The inscription translates "Gude's skipper raised stone". Gude was a server to the king. The text is shorter than the typical rune inscriptions.