Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2013

Well, the Sky Arts program is about to start broadcasting - the series transmission date is 5th. November on Sky Arts 1. There have been several promos so far, and I have been featured scribbling over my paper...  I won't go into too much detail at this time - but I will do a weekly comment on the shows on this blog as they are transmitted.
Sky Arts promo from a telly!
Photo - thanks Chris Golya

I applied for the competition in order to experience the application process so that I could empathise with students who may be going through various application processes themselves - so I could advise. I am a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at Portsmouth University - for Media Studies and Entertainment Technology. I never believed in a million years that my submission drawing would be selected. The on-line competition form asked for a self portrait - so this is the drawing I uploaded:

'My Menopausal Self' 2013
Compressed charcoal on Fabriano paper.
Photo - thanks Southsea Gallery

I anticipated that all the submissions would be by 'young emerging artists', and submissions would be completed in oil paints or acrylic - which is why I uploaded this one - as I thought it was too much outside their remit (mature woman, drawing)... but apparently I was wrong! I use a very simple and straightforward drawing technique which involves covering the paper/ground in charcoal, and then lifting the content out from it. I don't just use it for portraits - but it can be very effective.
Here's one I made earlier...

Jonty Stern (Big Brother contestant 2007) Museum speaker.
Compressed charcoal on Fabriano 2011 
Photo - thanks Ed Woodroffe

 For a piece of background about my creative practice here's a video made by some University of Portsmouth Film and Television students. I think they did a fantastic job. My partner Ed, Kev and myself did all the music too. (I like drumming and banging my bongos!)

Trudy a Portrait. Alex Sergei (Director) 2011
University of Portsmouth.

So please do keep coming back to this blog once the Sky Arts series starts to be shown..  and I will try and share the absolute terror and pressure of participating in the programme!! (only joking!!! - actually it was pretty tense!)

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