Menu

The Essential School of Painting

The Essential School of Painting

The Essential School of Painting

The Essential School of Painting

TheESOP is an Art School in London providing long and short courses taught by leading contemporary artists. Small class sizes, one to one and group teaching, in studio and online, UK and worldwide. We teach all levels of experience from foundation to professional.


Collage Arts Space 5, Coburg Rd, Wood Green, London N22 6TZ

3D Ausstellungen

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Bigger Picture: Cassi Hill, Franke Vassell, Nayika Artist & Toni Gallagher

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Bigger Picture is a post graduate course taught by David Mach RA and tutors Dr Sam Ainsley, Liane Lang and Alison Harper. This course presented an opportunity to be mentored in a small group for a year where the artists became a community exploring as a group and as individuals, new territories in their art practice. CASSI HILL The ongoing rhythm of line after line after line. The repetitive motion of the pen, paint, pencil - touching, pressing, flowing, scrapping the surface. Making layers and intersections, criss-crossing boundaries, creating tensions. Moments of clarity. simplicity, harmony, unity. Endless, all else ceases. The peacefulness of pattern trumps, complexity dissolves into infinity. FRANKE VASSELL Franke is a painter who trained at Heatherley’s School of Art in traditional observational painting. He won an ESOP Newman Young Artists Scholarship to study at TheESOP and has developed his work along ideas of identity and the influences of art history on his work and life. NAYIKA ARTIST Instragram: nayika_artist www.rebeccaasgharartist.com My personal story revolves around my identity as a British Asian and the vulnerability of being caught in a juxtaposition between East and West. Though growing up with restrictions in self expression, the gravitational pull towards the freedoms of artistic expression enjoyed in the Indian subcontinent centuries ago is impossible to ignore. I therefore simultaneously confront and hide, conceal and reveal, demonstrate assertiveness and portray vulnerability, in my journey to enforce myself into the world, speak through the eyes, and to capture an undefined gaze to defy prejudice and inpromptu expectation, to hear me, to see me as I really am, even if there is compulsion to repudiate. Too bad. I will not be placed in a culturally appropriate box for convenience. Sorry (not sorry). TONI GALLAGHER ‘I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony but hostility chaos and murder ‘ - Werner Hertzog What does it mean to be human? A question I feel has never been more relevant or in the forefront of our minds. Themes of mortality, being trapped, freedom and escape run though my work. The reality of our defining choices and ultimate fears, magnified by the pandemic we are currently facing. Through material abstraction in sculpture and photography I want to question the value we give the things in life. By changing the material an object is made from it makes us adjust our perception, question its purpose, it’s use, the space we fill, beauty in the unexpected.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Painting Year: Fatemeh Bagherian, Lucy Marston & Gwen Ovshinsky

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Painting Year is for artists looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 students, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities. FATEMEH BAGHERIAN My Practice as a Painter. Since we live practical, rat-racing, busy lives! Since in many cultures this is considered a normal way to spend or look at life… I feel the need of looking inward into myself and the selves of others I was born and grew up in Iran, and in that traditional religious culture philosophy is that in order to understand and experience the ground nature of being you must not make a picture of it. You need to be free from images. you need to stop thinking and start feeling. My painting subjects are rooted in human feelings, emotions, and states of mind. However, I have a long way yet to go before I achieve meaning without representative images. Striving to bring the hidden inner world to the surface, I’ve begun this process by removing domestic space and objects in it, what you might call the common functionality of human domesticity, in order to emphasise and attract attention instead to feelings and emotions. In my painting practice I don’t predetermine the exact length and width of a canvas; just as I mostly paint from imagination, I’m also imaginative with surface rather than conforming to ‘normal’ standards. When painting large, my method is to take time to look at a canvas, then move towards it with a large brush holding thin liquid paint, and begin applying marks with some quick brush strokes. An image appears and colours expands from there, while the dimensions of the work are determined by the story that unfolds under my brush. This is my 3rd year of painting at the Essential School of Painting and I’m still trying new and different paths, simultaneously practicing various different styles, using different media and trying different brush strokes. For me this journey is about exploring the unknown and finding a new voice. GWEN OVSHINSKY I live and work in London. My interest in art history is reflected in the narrative character of my paintings, which draw on a wide range of subject matter, including contemporary life, family history, folklore and fairy tales. I mostly work in oils although I also use acrylic paint. My paintings are expressive, using heightened colour, distortion and a flattening of the picture plane to create imaginary worlds or suffuse the everyday world with emotional colour. Many of my paintings depict imaginary mysterious places often placing figures within a fantastical natural world. Other paintings play on the psychological tensions implicit in relationships or investigate the psychological truths embedded in fairy stories and folk lore. LUCY MARSTON Instagram: lucymarstonpaintings Lucy is an architect and has been studying part time with ESOP over the last three years. Her work is held in the Soho House permanent collection and she is delighted to have her major piece from last year 'Suffolk Field I' recently selected to go through to the final round for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2020. My current paintings are landscape based. In large works I build layers over time which often pulls them into abstraction. In smalls works I have been exploring format and simplification. In all works, my main preoccupation is with colour and its transformative powers.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Contemporary Fine Art Course: Adelaide Doble, Mary Adam & Vaughan Melzer

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Contemporary Fine Art Course is an advanced course taught by Bob Matthews. Liane Lang and for this year Jost Munster. It is aimed at a broad range of artists and seeks to develop a community where practical and theoretical skills can be explored and established with emphases on making, presenting, talking and thinking about art. ADELAIDE DOBLE My fascination with painting has been for most of my life, but it is only in the last ten years that I have been able to act upon it. I choose to paint nature as that allows me to explore light, pattern and meaning. A group of artists that has inspired and influenced me are the American Realists, contemporary and past, such as Vincent Giarrano, Bo Bartlett, Maria Lipkin, Sarah Lamb and Dora Atwater Millikin. Earlier examples are Charles Sheeler and the Ashcan School, the most well known of whom were Edward Hopper and George Bellows. American artists were struggling to find a new way of depicting the modern world both in subject matter and technique. The Puritan aesthetic exploits the sun-drenched light of America while the city-based paintings examine urban life, based heavily on immigrant communities. Unfortunately, there were not many women associated with this school but that is changing. It is the sense of a ‘New World of possibilities’ that I find so compelling. Recently I have discovered the American artist, Ellen Altfest, who paints highly detailed still-lives and I would like to develop my work in this direction. MARY ADAM http://www.maryadam.com Mary Adam was born and grew up in Ireland. She studied Medicine and worked for two years in England before marrying and moving to the Caribbean. Despite turning to painting relatively late in life she has been actively exhibiting her work for several decades. Her first solo show took place at Horizons Gallery in Trinidad in 2004, since then she has had several solo shows and participated in a number of group exhibitions. In 2011, she completed the BA (Hons) Painting at the Open College of the Arts and currently is working from her London-based studio. Painting and printmaking are her core areas of interest, as she continues to explore the properties of light, contrast, and colour. In addition to oils on canvas, she makes watercolours, drawings, and prints. She also works with assemblage and collage as they enable her to find new forms for the ideas that attract her attention. Her recent works, a series called Dualities, are based on differences, individuality, and choice. Inspired by a Robert Rauschenberg show at the Tate Modern in 2017 she is investigating this idea further in the language of line, colour and tone. Her process involves printing flat fields of colour onto archival paper which she then tears or cuts into shapes to be collaged onto paper or canvas. Abstract ink drawings then complete the work. VAUGHAN MELZER On show, are photomontages (27x 42cm) from a series, which Vaughan is making of the experience of the Covid-19 lockdown. Confined to her home estate she takes slow walks around the perimeter deliberately observing the minutiae of the grass & plants, fencing of every sort, shadows and miscellany and using these images to create a story. Vaughan Melzer is a Londoner and worked as a social worker for fourteen years. She returned to college to do a second degree in photography and post-modernist theory and, in 1989, became a free-lance photographer. Personal and Commissioned projects were wide-ranging. They included the people and life on her own council estate in North London where she has lived for 40 years, and Crouch End, her local shopping centre. Commissions took her to Russia, including Chernobyl (1995), and East Berlin (2013) photographing former dissidents for an academic project. Vaughan also ran the Russian photo-library for ten years at Novosti, London until 2005. A lifelong dream to be an artist was realised gradually as first, she experimented with image-making in her darkroom and then, from 1996 in a rented studio in Wood Green, a bespoke space to play with ideas, design ways to express them, and build up skills. Exploring her political and emotionally complicated childhood she made a series of photomontages in the darkroom and later, in her studio she used 2 inch wooden cubes illustrated on all sides with pictures to depict the historic, political and ethnic network of her family. Reflecting her love of natural things, Vaughan made many images in a variety of media with a piece of coral she picked up on a Cuban beach and this culminated in the making of three sculptural books. These projects and her many soft pastel and painted landscapes (27x42cm) have been shown in the annual Collage Arts Open Studios. Enlightening and enriching conversations with several artists - in particular, Bob Matthews, Liane Lang and Jost Muenster – inspired in her new avenues and ideas. Current projects are: * A series of abstract paintings (42x49cm acrylic on paper) depicting places in her childhood * Using curving and rectangular stencils to explore colour, design and atmosphere * Using eggshells and other organic waste materials to make 3-dimensional (30x30cm) abstract collages

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Painting People and Portraits: Helen Bishop, Peter Perro & Quentin Martin

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Painting people: the figure and portrait taught by Alison Harper and guest artists explores the elements of portraiture and figure painting and drawing in both systematic and creative ways. During the course students work from a combination of the live model and other sources including photographs, film stills, drawings, memory and imagination exploring traditional and experimental approaches to making images of the human form and presence. HELEN BISHOP I didn’t do art at school nor attend art school but in my twenties I started to do p/t adult education classes. For several decades, I would do a class, then think I was no good so what was the point, so I would stop, then start again a while later. Now in my 70s, ESOP is different from any other art school I have been to, Alison has worked hard to divest me of negative responses and has really got me painting. I am not an embryo professional painter, I am just doing it for myself, and enjoying being pushed to be more adventurous. Thanks ESOP. PETER PERRO Peter Perro has been painting for several years. His sensitive and beautiful paintings gleam and vibrate with life, concentration and beauty. Peter’s background in philosophy can almost be felt in the work as his searching and unrelenting curiosity turns towards the seen world. Alison Harper QUENTIN MARTIN quentinmartin.com Instagram: @quentinmartinartist Quentin Martin, 23 is one of our ESOP Newman Young Artists Scholarship holders. He is a painter who most commonly explores a range of subject matter - landscape, still life and portraiture - across a selection of different media. Typically, Quentin works in oils, however, draws frequently in graphite and charcoal mostly whilst employing collage as a tool for testing ideas of context and space. Having a background in architecture, Quentin has an inherent interest in landscape, the spaces we inhabit and an architectural means of observation. It is within these relationships that portraiture presented itself as a space yet to be explored more rigorously and as the driving force to study at TheESOP. Having been drawing all his life, Quentin has always found the production of art to be his strongest mode of communication. The subject matter of the landscape and consecutively, the sky-scape, has long been of great interest; manifesting itself as large-scale charcoal drawings, concisely observed oil paintings or quick compositional pencil sketches, perhaps later to be used as a study for a larger work. In recent years, Quentin has spent much of his time driving around the landscapes of the South of England, drawing upon themes of the rural condition, observation and relationships with the land. Being concerned with the difference between seeing and looking, Quentin’s work aims to expose that difference through its highly observed nature - something Quentin enjoys to explore in his portraiture too. Be it the play of light describing form or the temperature and structure of colours in the subject matter, changing environmental conditions are of great interest to Quentin as they are inherent to how one experiences the world. The subject of change and how one experiences it - either through observation or participation - has been an underlying theme for Quentin’s work preceding and throughout his time at TheESOP. A sitter is never existing in a fixed set of environmental conditions, neither is the landscape which is constantly subject to changes both natural and man-made. Collage, for Quentin, has been a useful mechanism for exploring this narrative about change as it is a medium which can be much more instantaneous than painting for example. Simply through the placement of a select few completely incongruous ‘characters’ can a conversation about development, agriculture, urban/rural conditions be instigated immediately. Change brings about such things as pandemics too and vice versa. During the recent lockdown period, Quentin has been intrigued by the self-portrait and how it can be used to depict subtle but particular examples of change. For example, the specific angle and light one’s computer camera observes you with or the exposure of different spaces in one’s home which might not have been previously included in the work. Quentin is interested in what can be suggested, as opposed to handed, to the viewer so that they may draw their own conclusions from a perhaps ambiguous setting or simple subject matter. He continues to explore this world of particular instances and relationships.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Painting Personal Projects: Ella Budgen, Georgia Mallin & Lucy Hensel

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Painting Personal Projects is taught by Dan Coombs. Its aim is to give students an opportunity to develop their own work whilst receiving guidance and mentoring in a supportive community of artists and is intended to increase confidence, creativity and a sense of direction; helping to provide strategies for establishing and growing a body of work. This year Sikelela Owen will be joining Dan in teaching this course. ELLA BUDGEN My work explores the relationship between Beauty and Identity. As I go into my last year of A-levels I will continue this exploration of gender roles and stereotyped behaviour. Often reflecting on my own experiences. GEORGIA MALLIN @georgiamallinartist (Instagram) www.georgiamallin.com I am a figurative artist working mainly in oil painting and drawing. Born and raised in London, I read English & Spanish at the University of Oxford before realising that art needed to be at the centre of my life. After several years of evening, weekend and holiday courses, I took a Diploma in Portraiture at the Heatherley School of Fine Art from 2017-19, where I won the Daphne Todd Portrait Prize in 2018. This past year I have been studying with Alison Harper and Dan Coombs on the ESOP Painting Personal Projects course, thanks to the ESOP Newman Young Artist Scholarships 2019/20. This has been transformative in developing my artistic voice and my ideas: The ESOP has provided a contemporary frame of reference for the traditional painting skills I had spent so long developing. I love painting the figure, often working from direct observation to explore the subtlety and nuance of the human form, as well as the psychological insight that can come from the intense act of looking. As a language and literature graduate, I am also interested in how imagery and narrative intertwine – in painting as a way of storytelling and creating the sense of a complete and believable world. Now under Alison and Dan’s tuition I have been looking at how imagination, memory and feeling can be the springboard for making images. The works in this exhibition show my development over the course of this year. They are intensely personal, as I turn to my own emotion, intuition and experiences, and my own body, as a source of narrative and inspiration. The common thread is change – whether chasing movement in my smaller figure studies, or considering the weight of emotional baggage and the pain of letting go (in ‘Cargoes’), or celebrating the feeling of transformation, hope and exploration that falling in love can bring (in ‘The Garden’). LUCY HENSEL I grew up in Montreal, and except for eight years in Germany and Switzerland, I have always lived in Canada – until ten years ago when I started to split my calendar year between Ottawa and London. My curiosity about the process of painting, and my desire to learn to express myself through painting began in earnest 12 years ago. By accident, I was introduced to the absolute thrill of moving wet smooth acrylic paint across a surface and the surprises that happen moment to moment with each different colour, mark and brush stroke. Determined to see where this eye- and heart-opening discovery might lead, I attended the Ottawa School of Art for two terms. Since then, for the last ten years on a regular basis when I’m not abroad, I have been painting with a small group of women, guided by a local/Ottawa artist, Vanessa Coplan. From 2010-2016 in London, I attended numerous painting and drawing classes all excellent in various ways.For the last four years, I have been a student at ESOP, taking various courses in the autumn and winter terms. This year, after returning to Ottawa in March ‘just in time’ before The Lockdown took effect, I was able to Zoom into the ESOP classes for the third term of classes taught by Alison Harper and Dan Coombs. Surprisingly and interestingly for me, it has been a very positive experience to learn/paint/discuss in a group, online, from afar. When painting, I’m on an adventure. I am happy with a big canvas stapled to the wall and seeing where my imagination takes me, but equally happy and challenged by a live model in front of me and a smaller canvas to work with. Colours and shapes are what excite me most. Attempting to get ‘a likeness’ or sticking to ‘a plan’ can sometimes quell my enthusiasm but I do also welcome those opportunities; there is always a lot to learn! A non-judgmental risk-taking exploration of what my brush with wet paint can reveal and express is my current, albeit enormous and hopefully never-ending, project.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Intuitive Abstraction: Eve Townshend, Kira Behnert, Sue Thompson & MV Goertz,

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Intuitive Abstraction: Process and Narrative is taught by Alexander James Pollard and Johanna Melvin. The course consists of full immersive days incorporating experimentation, playfulness, technical guidance and discussion. The course offered a fortnightly forum in which the artists were encouraged to build their practice and develop their understanding of Intuitive abstract painting. EVE TOWNSHEND The principal motivation for producing my artwork has come from being in outstanding locations such as Lake Como, Orkney Islands, Zambia and Bali. Drawing is fundamental to my practice. From my sketches I develop them further introducing other elements where memory is important. I use some of my own made-up acrylic paints, pastels, gesso ground and oakgall inks. Drawing heightens my observation skills and allows clarity to develop in my work, especially that of the imagination, interrelated shapes and atmosphere. SUE THOMPSON I am a nurse by profession; however, I have always had a strong compulsion to be an artist. Throughout my nursing career I have taken time off to pursue my art. This has included completing an Art Foundation Course at the Camberwell School of Art in 1984, an Art Therapy Postgraduate Diploma at Goldsmiths College in 1990 and more recently, a BA Hons Fine Art Degree at Oxford Brookes University in 2014. I consider the disciplines of nursing and art to be interconnected. The art of nursing is the intentional creative use of oneself, based upon skill and expertise to transmit emotion and meaning to another. The artist attempts to convey a myriad of emotions and experiences through their creations. My approach to painting can be described as intuitive, creating images by following a feeling or knowing, something that cannot be put into words. My starting point for a painting can be playful mark making or an image that I have taken on my mobile phone. I spend a lot of time travelling around London by bus. I find so many stimulating colours, shapes, and objects to photograph as I am sitting at bus stops or stuck in traffic. The objects I photograph are not always the most obviously interesting. For example, a broken umbrella on the ground with the angular metal ribs against the soft folds of the fabric forms fascinating angles and curves. The florescent graffiti on an old door front decorates the neglected surface. I work in acrylics as it allows me to work quickly between layers. The layers vary between thin washes to thick opaque ones. The use of bold colours has always featured in my work. I apply colours randomly sometimes to evoke harmony and other times to clash and fight against each other. I have recently starting using inks on my paintings. The random dripping and spreading of the ink allow me to play and experiment adding a new dimension to the work. I have also recently incorporated linocut prints into my paintings. I have made a collection of random shapes and symbols which I can then use as another way of mark making on the canvas or paper. My artistic influences include Philip Taafe for his use or repetitive motifs and printing techniques, Thomas Nozkowski’s referencing of colours and objects in everyday life and Alma Thomas for her focus on beauty and happiness. VICKY GOERTZ My painting practice is mainly an investigation into Abstract Expressionism. I work very intuitively and initially with no plans or subject matter. But more than work, I play! Initially my approach is experimental and open to any possibility. Colour and gesture are my constant search, using oils or acrylics and sometimes both. Although my work is non-representational there are recurrent themes that appear in my work without intention. Such as weather evocation, imaginary creatures, buildings or houses. And when these appear, I am finding myself handling a visual poetry contrasting these two worlds: the abstract and the figurative. Some of my work at a later can take a more conceptual turn, specially with my mixed media work with photography or my paintings on domestic fabrics. My main interests are around the idea of home, the domestic space, motherhood and childhood, as well as womanhood, capitalism, ecology and how everything is interconnected. KIRA BEHNERT Kira is an international mixed media artist based in London. Her works are contrast-rich, optimistic expressions of her experience of the world: from childhood in Germany, years of study in the US and travels to visually rich cultures such as the Middle East, to her life now in cosmopolitan London. Deeply influenced by the ideology ‘anything is possible’, Kira’s paintings radiate an energetic, positive outlook on life. She constantly pushes her work towards abstraction, leaving the artworks deliberately open-ended and intriguing to the viewer. She builds up complex layers of paint, collage and texture to reflect the richness of her life’s experiences. Kira states: “Colour is a fascination to me. I seek out beautiful harmonies and intriguing contrasts.” In every piece she aims to balance visual depth and complexity with a feeling of hopefulness and spontaneity. Kira started painting at a young age in Germany, taking Art to A-levels. Thereafter, she explored an international business career that allowed her to absorb many different countries and cultures. Eventually, Kira settled in London and started to pursue her art full time in 2017. She completed a 2-year Arts Foundation Diploma course where she experimented and developed techniques in photo/film work, screen printing, sculpture and more. Continuous learning and growing is part of Kira's life. She currently pursues studies at ESOP and an MA at the RA London.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Through the Looking Glass: Painting and the Imagination

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Through the Looking Glass: Painting from the Imagination Often it is quite difficult to find a way in to working from the imagination. How can you create a parallel world in painting, one that expresses the unconscious, the dream, or the hidden parts of the self? Drawing on many devices developed from surrealism and other twentieth century artists, tutor Dan Coombs showed ways to break down the boundaries between the real and the imaginary in artwork. ISSI NASH Isnaini_arts (Instagram) I welcomed the challenge of an online painting course at the beginning of lockdown to get back into painting and as a way to navigate my feelings about this unfamiliar new world. Painting from the Imagination has been an exercise in allowing ideas to come to the surface and to experiment with new techniques. Incorporating collage has allowed me a freedom and pace that excites me. I am looking outwards at the expanse of our universe, our continual discoveries of what is beyond, changes to our physiological and psychological selves brought about by advances in technology and how data dominates our lives. Ultimately I am hopeful. Some scientists believe technology will save humanity, not destroy it. Scholars think that the belief and the pursuit of alien communication will become a new, updated version of religion. Will we live on different planets during our lifetime? Could we travel in time to a particular landscape? Perhaps we will be soothed by more emotionally intelligent AI systems? Subjects to fire up any imagination. History shows that a rupture of this magnitude in the way we organise ourselves will result in a speeding up towards a future that we cannot currently imagine. Jostling positions for World Order, politics given over to corporations and extreme changes in lifestyle on a day to day basis…I am interacting with the uncertainty and possibility of it all. JANET NEWMAN My work is as a result of attending this course: Painting from the Imagination. This is a new path for me as I usually paint portraits. Being guided by Dan on a starting point for each work, always referenced by an artist, a beginning was created. All four paintings were painted in a very small amount of time and I like the quickness this way of working creates. Not too much time to overthink. They are all clearly the beginning of a process and I have lots more to explore. I enjoyed creating them all and nearly all mean something to me. The most fun was "Sultan". Created from just making a marked pattern, I really enjoyed just the feel of putting the paint down and the colours. It was a really great experience and a totally unexpected outcome. "No Idea, just happened" is exactly that. I used flowers and random collage and went where the paint took me. It felt heavy. "Trauma" was started from a memory as a child when I would pick weeds for my mother because I thought they were beautiful. It’s unfinished but the trauma is in the middle when she died when I was 10. "Janet" is who I am - somewhat but not all of me. What life has thrown at me and the scars it has left but the amazing life it has left me with also. I’ve had so much done to my body that I feel no shame in showing it, as it’s just a vessel. A vessel that needs a lot of intervention to work properly. It works pretty good now. LUCY HENSEL I grew up in Montreal, and except for eight years in Germany and Switzerland, I have always lived in Canada – until ten years ago when I started to split my calendar year between Ottawa and London. My curiosity about the process of painting, and my desire to learn to express myself through painting began in earnest 12 years ago. By accident, I was introduced the absolute thrill of moving wet smooth acrylic paint across a surface and the surprises that happen moment to moment with each different colour, mark and brush stroke. Determined to see where this eye- and heart-opening discovery might lead, I attended the Ottawa School of Art for two terms. Since then, for the last ten years on a regular basis when I’m not abroad, I have been painting with a small group of women, guided by a local/Ottawa artist, Vanessa Coplan. From 2010-2016 in London, I attended numerous painting and drawing classes all excellent in various ways. For the last four years, I have been a student at ESOP, taking various courses in the autumn and winter terms. This year, after returning to Ottawa in March ‘just in time’ before The Lockdown took effect, I was able to Zoom into the ESOP classes for the third term of classes taught by Alison Harper and Dan Coombs. Surprisingly and interestingly for me, it has been a very positive experience to learn/paint/discuss in a group, online, from afar. When painting, I’m on an adventure. I am happy with a big canvas stapled to the wall and seeing where my imagination takes me, but equally happy and challenged by a live model in front of me and a smaller canvas to work with. Colours and shapes are what excite me most. Attempting to get ‘a likeness’ or sticking to ‘a plan’ can sometimes quell my enthusiasm but I do also welcome those opportunities; there is always a lot to learn! A non-judgmental risk-taking exploration of what my brush with wet paint can reveal and express is my current, albeit enormous and hopefully never-ending, project. LUCY THRELFALL @lucyjbthrelfall (Instagram) Lucythrelfall.co.uk I am interested in the idea of landscape as a form of self-portrait, or human portrait. The necessary editing process in translating natural forms into paint – what is noticed, how it is manipulated, how forms are suggested and how colour is deployed reveals human nature more poetically than a direct study of ourselves. In trying to express what we are not we can be more inventive and truthful. I do my best work when I draw and paint outside where I can respond freely and unconsciously to nature. The goal is trying to describe what it feels like to see. I try to stay in a playful unconscious mode and switch off the critical brain. The riskier the mark, the closer I feel I get to some kind of truth. The most difficult part is staying connected to that brief moment between seeing and the naming of things where everything is a strange miraculous jumble of interlocking shape and colour. As Cezanne famously put it, ‘to paint from nature is not to paint the subject but to realize sensations’. To me there seems to be a non-verbal, non-human language reverberating through nature – the way that forms relate to each other – that suggests an underlying narrative and I’m interested in conveying this through poetry and through stories from classical history. Sometimes the personalities of trees suggest unfolding dramas and figures will appear as if by magic, as they did in Apollo and Daphne. Layering and overpainting is an important part of my process as the layers give a sense of shifting perception and reveal the evolution of thought. Through working with ESOP recently I have found using collage in paintings incredibly helpful for freeing my imagination and allowing for more invention. MATT MULLINS Instagrsm@mmmmullins www.mattmullinsartist.com My most recent body of work has been interested in the ‘utopian potential’ of spaces. For example, crowds are constructed much like a screen of individual, related ‘pixels’ that, when viewed together, form an entire image. This crowd has an inherently utopian potential, and it is down to the individual elements to deliver on this potential. Clubs & music culture in particular holds such potential and have been a focus of more figurative works whilst working with the Essential School of Painting. I have a foundation in Artist Film; which leads me to approach painting in the same manner as I would a film project, in which individual elements are brought together to create an overarching narrative. This isn’t to say I’m particularly interested in creating ‘cinematic’ paintings, its more that the technical processes of filmmaking that influences my work. An interest in surface sits within a conversation between the ‘digital’ and the ‘analogue’. What I’m hoping to achieve is an exploration of the aesthetic qualities of screens presented through still images. MUNISHA GUPTA @munisha_art (Instagram) www.munishagupta.com munishag11@gmail.com I am a visual artist, and a member of The Holborn Group and The Rookery Artist Collective. Born in Agra, I have lived in India and Nigeria. I am currently based in London. The experience of such diverse places and cultures informs my work. The process of making art is a vehicle for recalling and reflecting on experiences of life. Fragments of everyday life are overlaid with shadows and ambiguities, moods and atmospheres. Ordinary and familiar things stared at long enough become muses ... prompts for delight or doubt ... and brush on canvas conjures up a parallel reality. In my recent series ‘Lockdown Extravaganza’, I have used line drawing, paint and mixed media to deflect the tensions of life this day through very balanced, fluid and yet busy composition. SARAH RUPLIN The works in this selection recall memories growing up on the North Shore of Long Island just outside New York City. The mysterious and expansive ocean beaches, found objects, polished glass, stones, shells, and sea creatures inspire and appear in both figurative and abstract work. A longing idyllic natural world is often confronted by technology, the realities of adulthood, and a physical world that’s become increasingly hostile or unattainable. Sarah Ruplin studied both architecture and fine arts at university. She went on to practice architecture, founding Praxis Studio in New York City in 2005. She has exhibited conceptual fashion shows under the name Noname Collective and exhibited at various galleries in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and New York City, including Fallon McElligott Gallery and Artists Space NYC. In Minneapolis, her work has been shown at the Soap Factory, the University of Minnesota Alumni Gallery, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Alex Hayes

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Alexandra Hayes is a third year BA student of Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School. She has been the assistant for the creation of this online show. ALEXANDRA HAYES I am fascinated by how belief systems come to be significant today and in history. In my work, I draw comparisons between how religion, myth, news etc. use visual imagery to inform or persuade the viewer. We can be bombarded with information now through news and social media in ways that may feel like propaganda and make fact and fiction seem interchangeable. For example, news can be called ‘fake’ and climate change contested. I’ve used articles about jellyfish ‘taking over the world’ as a way to make links to important issues today. I also look at historical art that has the purpose to convince or convert. Initially, I resonated with Christian icons, buildings and altarpieces. Frequently, these have an opulence, confidence and visual complexity that is designed to impress the viewer. Grand structures throughout history are supposed to inspire trust, but can also feel like a front for something false. I use religious iconography, Greek mythology and images of kings and queens as a tribute from the past to our current time when our opinions are no longer limited to being shaped by these authorities which previously had a monopoly on political, religious and moral narratives. Now we have information constantly at our fingertips in the form of the internet, yet here it is not safe from bias or manipulation either.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Foundation Painting Year: Jackie Clarke & Pearl Brown

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Foundation Painting Year is a practical course which aims to immerse the student in all aspects of painting, learning a broad range of painting materials, methods and ideas. Tutors: Guy Allott, Jennifer Campbell and Sikelela Owen JACKIE CLARKE My work consists of a series of mostly watercolour paintings inspired by Paula Rego. Exploring confinement. PEARL BROWN I love creating artwork and have found it to be such a pleasure and so energising. ESOP has been a major player for me here. Why I didn’t do this a long time ago I don’t know. I like figurative and increasingly abstract work and who knows what is next?

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Foundation Painting Year: Athy P, Inna Duckworth, Maya Eidemak & Tanya Goodman Bailey

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Foundation Painting Year is a practical course which aims to immerse the student in all aspects of painting, learning a broad range of painting materials, methods and ideas. Tutors: Guy Allott, Jennifer Campbell and Sikelela Owen ATHY P. I have been drawing and making abstract paintings for a number of years. I heard a number of good things about ESOP and joined to improve my painting presentation, repertoire and technical skills. INNA DUCKWORTH, inna.duckworth@gmail.com Born in Chukotka, Russia. I have never had a formal art education, apart from ESOP. When at school as a child in Russia, having failed the art teacher’s test to draw a realistic specimen of classical Greek pillar clay model, the art was never a consideration for me, until in my early twenties, I found that not only I was interested in learning about visual art, but had something to express myself. From there my journey began, I had learned from many esteemed Russian artists who offered classes for adults, then in London did a 3 months Life Drawing program in Saint Martin’s and attended life drawing sessions. After a long break, my “Foundation Year in Painting” with ESOP was a breath of fresh air. I hope to carry on exploring the dialogue between the paper and the paint. I would like to create enigmatic dreamscapes, with complex geometry and textures, where subject matter - objects and/or subjects are just triggers to unveil the recollection of a dream. Like when you are aware that you had a dream, but totally forgot what it was and then during the day a random word or scene would open the gates to allow the feelings and recollections into the light of consciousness, making you wonder what it was, why did this space exist in the twilight of your dream. MAYA EIDEMAK I am currently experimenting with my artistic style which is why my pieces are quite different from one another. I have found that my favourite medium to use is oil because I like the way it applies and blends. I also like to use a lot of colour especially pinks and purples because I think it makes the work visually more exciting. TANYA GOODMAN BAILEY www.tanyagoodmanbailey.com Tanya is curious as to how ideas, memories and feelings shape paint. There may be an initial sketch or idea, but the painting will shape itself. Less interested in the intellect’s response, her wish is to elicit a more traceable, visceral engagement with her work. There is a satisfaction for having spent time on one’s own sensorial engagement, rather than, or as well as, looking for the story in a picture. Some days (or paintings) this embodied form of art appreciation is easy and other days (or paintings) it may feel like having to train oneself to reconnect. Raised in a house with a print of The Sheep by Franz Marc in her Austrian Jewish grandmother’s bedroom, it is not surprising that her work so far shows nods to the magical realism of German expressionism. A former yoga teacher and biodynamic craniosacral therapist, Tanya stopped work in 2017 and initially began to paint as a form of convalescence. She presently volunteers at the Courtauld Institute on their photographic digitisation project and is looking forward to her 2nd year at The Essential School of Painting in September.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Latifah A Stranack & James Isaacs

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    LATIFAH A STRANACK Within my brush marks, relatives faces, rubbed marks and symbolic boats are often highlighted, repeated and reworked. In pursuit of a fleeting moment, I re contextualise and reframe the presence and absence of family members and belongings, my hazy memories kept close and eternally captured on canvas. Partially revealed, I attempt to collapse my present reality and bring the past to life, forever layered in washes of paint, helping me work through subconscious emotions and fears. My complex cultural identity is mulled upon frequently, through depictions of the sea- a sight of healing and trauma, Kanga cloth patterns and a full moon of hope. I search for a lost time, imagining my ancestors sailing alongside me on mysterious dhows, clay and coffee pots metaphors for family, and the colour blue symbolic to many ancient cultures, becomes my timeless symbol for life, rebirth, heaven and earth. Born to parents from East and West, I have always been fascinated by cultural hybridity. When my father got cancer, I was sent to boarding school speaking basic English. They believed that by forbidding me to converse in Arabic, my assimilation into a proper English girl would be complete. This and other factors, caused me to become further isolated from my Middle Eastern identity, and in my work I try to grab hold of this struggle, depicting my paternal relatives and childhood in Oman, prior to my father’s death. Tales of his family are retold to me through my Welsh mother, and this has had a big impact in the way I make my art, and the subjects that I choose to deal with. Understanding the dynamics of exile and migration, is for me, a direct consequence of my upbringing, and I realise that my mixed heritage has been a rich source of material to work with, though at times it has also created numerous questions within me about my sense of belonging and place in the world. “Identities work only because, once they get their grip on us, they command us, speaking to us as an inner voice; and because others, seeing who they think we are, call on us, too.” – Kwame Anthony Appiah, The lies that bind, rethinking identity Similar to Appiah, I am part of a complex web, a mixed heritage generation that continues to give birth to a never ending layered hybrid race. The work I am compelled to make, enables and empowers me to make sense of who I am, as my identity is contoured, labelled, shaped and redrawn by society JAMES ISAACS www.blackfinchdesign.com During lockdown, the feeling of being disconnected from the people in my life weighed heavy. Seeing their faces via Zoom or Skype was initially a blessing, but the RGB, computer-generated depictions of these people that I love told a terrible story of the actual distance between us. Bad internet, delay, lag, pixellation; they all took a little bit of that human connection away. I wanted to try and inject some of that humanity back into their images so I took terrible screen shots of our chats and created a series of portraits in oil, rough and loose, each one created in under 3 hours to hopefully bring back some energy and character.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Intuitive Abstraction: Iesha Denize Ledeatte & Ivan Tan

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Intuitive Abstraction: Process and Narrative is taught by Alexander James Pollard and Johanna Melvin. The course consists of full immersive days incorporating experimentation, playfulness, technical guidance and discussion designed to develop students as abstract painters. IVAN TAN I was born and grew up in Malaysia with Chinese parentage. I came to UK to further my higher education. Since qualifying as an accountant and working in the City for many years, I only started painting three years ago. My previous employer relocated its administrative operations back to Germany, I seized the opportunity to re assess the direction of my life. I got to know The ESOP through a good friend who encouraged me to enrol in the beginner course in painting run by the school. This first art course I attended has totally changed my way of looking at things and ignited my desire to create. Before the course, I had never painted and had no clue as to how to hold a brush. Through the patient guiding of my art teacher, I have discovered the joy of painting. I have since been to many other art classes and am continuously doing so to learn new techniques to incorporate into my work. Having immersed myself in figurative work for the past two and half years with some success, I was ready to explore and expand my vocabulary of visual language. The abstract painting course I attended recently with ESOP helped to free me from the representational art I was previously in. During the lockdown I have been learning and practising Chinese calligraphy and painting, in doing so I realised that I could incorporate my heritage into my work. Traditional Chinese painting is less about describing the real physical world, and more about illustrating a mental state, a spirit and eternity. It has to do with traditional philosophy: life goes round like a circle, coming and going again and again. Whatever happens in one day doesn’t matter that much. The first two pieces of my work are my attempts to incorporate these elements and meshed them with the western painting techniques. Chinese written language was evolved and developed thousands of years ago through a series of picture grams. My three other works are developed from two Chinese characters - Rule and happiness. The first piece ‘ loop - holes’ has been developed from the Chinese character ‘rule/regulation’. The other two works are developed from the character ‘happiness’ ; by putting the same character facing each other, it depicts the ‘double happiness’ a symbol commonly used at Chinese weddings. There are at least eight thousands characters in use by the Chinese community all around the world and new characters continue to be created and developed, I am really excited about the possibilities and direction of my future work. IESHA DENIZE LEDEATTE @iesha.denize www.peachmangomaverick.com Peach Mango Maverick An artist’s practice- led enquiry, chronicling the artist’s journeying as researcher. Peach Mango Maverick explores the philosophies which underpin our perceptions in the contemporary. As a child, I loved stories and have pursued this passion into adulthood through dance, theatre and film. My earliest stories were West Indian and West African Anansi stories along with tales of my parent’s childhood adventures. Growing up in Britain added Hans Christian Anderson, Ruth Manning Saunders and later Chaucer, weaving a tapestry of rich, different perspectives. Stories conjure imagery from words in any language so thus developed my equal fascination with text and image reflected throughout my earliest work. HiStory to me is the body of narratives which nations choose to tell themselves about who they are, I am continually intrigued about the stories people tell themselves about what they have done and the reasons why. My signature process of Grande Visual Narrative’ germinates theme through semantic excavation and research; this then followed by a period of gestation and finally the visual recording of abstract accouchement into a Fine Art Book as a canvas, using art as storytelling. About the artist Following an absence of 35 years from the Arts, I responded artistically to the myopic Wilberforce Abolition Bicentenary celebration in 2007 out of frustration. The death of my father blew fresh impetus into my work as I recognised the significant link between the two events. A 10 year journey of artistic voice recovery followed, slowly emerging from its cocoon, punctuated by my mother’s recent death which sealed the loss of a generation. My passion for social change and innovation in art is reflected in everything. I have studied at Croydon College of Art and Design, City Lit, Putney School of Art, Kofi Arts and The Essential School of Painting. I am a recipient and alumni of Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network British & European awards for creativity and social change, a British Innovation Society award recipient and a former Fellow of the RSA. My work has been accepted for presentation at a number of academic conferences both in the UK and abroad and I contributed to the final chapter of the Handbook of Postcolonial Politics which was published by Routledge in 2018. Work in progress The Trilogy... Challenged by the manner in which humanity responds to questions of my heritage and history. My present work in progress continues the exploration whilst cultivating the seeds of another language of discussion and reframing, building upon on an existing foundation of artistic expression, cross fertilised by combined African Diasporic lived experiences. ‘The Trilogy’ which is currently exploring the legacy of colonisation, is now nearing conclusion. It includes work in progress; African Violet ...Hybrid of Circumstance the impetus for rebuilding my artistic infrastructure and emergence of my artistic language which culminates in ArtBook as a repository. ‘MayBrex’ and ‘Before the Ships’ as other parts of the Trilogy. Other work in the pipeline is exploring the equation of Human Essence over Human Being.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Bigger Picture - Anna Arbiter and Joseph Dilnot

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Bigger Picture is a post graduate course taught by David Mach RA and tutors Dr Sam Ainsley, Liane Lang and Alison Harper. This course presents an opportunity to be mentored in a small group for a year where the artists became a community exploring as a group and as individuals, new territories in their art practice. ANNA ARBITER The paintings I make evolve slowly, over time. I want them to feel like naturally occurring phenomena, like fossils, like found objects of a kind. The marks I make are gestural and spontaneous, but they are also considered; these paintings are made by someone who thinks carefully – often cautiously – about things, someone who likes to take her time, and I hope they bear the trace of this. I am interested in how a painting – how any work of art – can exist as a record of the person who made it. I see my paintings as a kind of handwriting; a mysterious visual extension of my being. Like handwriting, the way I paint may shift and change, but it is always, indelibly, mine. The images I create often veer in the direction of landscape, but this is unintentional. It seems that I am drawn to depicting places and spaces, to honouring what is natural and ancient in the world, perhaps towards exploring some kind of internal landscape. I am learning to follows these mysteries in my work, to be curious about them, to relinquish control. I find that when I follow, rather than trying to lead, my work takes me somewhere new and teaches me something I didn’t know. I am a self-taught artist based in London. I received an ESOP Newman Young Artist Scholarship in 2019 for a place on the Bigger Picture course with David Mach RA. JOSEPH DILNOT @josephdilnot (instagram) www.josephdilnot.com Set in the remembered Spain of my childhood, this collection explores significant loss and the resultant grief. Memories, observed and felt realities are conveyed by images and objects which hold an emotional charge for me. These are pared back to their essence with no distractions. Placed together like signs and clues, they hold a fleeting moment, memory or thought. Landscapes become homes for imagined or felt but unseen moments. The work is small, like votive paintings, suggesting intimacy and sit easily in the hand, just as they were painted in this way. Bio 2015-16 - Art Foundation at Sussex Downs College Eastbourne Feb - July 2019 - Newman Young Artist Scholarship at the Essential School of Painting 2019 - 2020 - Rose Paul Scholarship at the Essential School of Painting

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Bigger Picture: Nadine Herbst & Stephanie Norris

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Bigger Picture is a post graduate course taught by David Mach RA and tutors Dr Sam Ainsley, Liane Lang and Alison Harper. This course presented an opportunity to be mentored in a small group for a year where the artists became a community exploring as a group and as individuals, new territories in their art practice. STEPHANIE NORRIS I am interested in the humorous, grotesque, and fantastical. Working through drawing and painting, I draw from a variety of sources – memory, modern media, and mythology. By placing myself in these narratives I use my imagination to inhabit different worlds and to draw out commonalities, universal aspects of the human experience. Making marks quickly and instinctively, I attempt to capture my immediate response and to share it with the viewer. I work in the tradition of art making that records experiences informally (cave painting, cartoons, graffiti) as a way of preserving traces of who we are and the lives we lead. NADINE HERBST Nadine Herbst is one of our ESOP Newman scholars for the second year. Nadine makes paintings of observed areas of the body with humour and sensitivity resulting in sensual and quirky images which feel familiar yet surprising.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Painting Personal Projects: Elizabeth Richardson & @Artistinnottinghill

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Painting Personal Projects is taught by Dan Coombs. Its aim is to give students an opportunity to develop their own work whilst receiving guidance and mentoring in a supportive community of artists and is intended to increase confidence, creativity and a sense of direction; helping to provide strategies for establishing and growing a body of work. This year Sikelela Owen will be joining Dan in teaching this course. ELIZABETH RICHARDSON Life Drawing and Portraiture are what I especially enjoy. I tend to begin with little to no plan and simply watch what emerges in the moment. Once I have started, I then get a feeling about the painting/drawing and develop it from there. The interpretation, I leave to the eye of the observer.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Painting People and Portraits: Elizabeth Richardson, Lucy Hensel & Luka Vardiashvili

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Painting people: the figure and portrait taught by Alison Harper and guest artists explores the elements of portraiture and figure painting and drawing in both systematic and creative ways. During the course students work from a combination of the live model and other sources including photographs, film stills, drawings, memory and imagination exploring traditional and experimental approaches to making images of the human form and presence. ELIZABETH RICHARDSON Life Drawing and Portraiture are what I am attracted to. I begin with little to no plan and simply watch what emerges in the moment. Once I have started, I then get a feeling about the painting/drawing and develop it from there. The interpretation, I leave to the eye of the observer. LUCY HENSEL I grew up in Montreal, and except for eight years in Germany and Switzerland, I have always lived in Canada – until ten years ago when I started to split my calendar year between Ottawa and London. My curiosity about the process of painting, and my desire to learn to express myself through painting began in earnest 12 years ago. By accident, I was introduced the absolute thrill of moving wet, smooth acrylic paint across a surface and the surprises that happen moment to moment with each different colour, mark and brush stroke. Determined to see where this eye- and heart-opening discovery might lead, I attended the Ottawa School of Art for two terms. Since then, for the last ten years on a regular basis when I’m not abroad, I have been painting with a small group of women, guided by a local/Ottawa artist, Vanessa Coplan. From 2010-2016 in London, I attended numerous painting and drawing classes in London, all excellent in different ways. For the last four years, I have been a student at ESOP, taking various courses in the autumn and winter terms. This year, after returning to Ottawa in March ‘just in time’ before The Lockdown took effect, I was able to Zoom into the ESOP classes for the third term of classes taught by Alison Harper and Dan Coombs. Surprisingly and interestingly for me, it has been a very positive experience to learn/paint/discuss in a group, online, from afar. When painting, I’m on an adventure. I am happy with a big canvas stapled to the wall and seeing where my imagination takes me, but equally happy and challenged by a live model in front of me and a smaller canvas to work with. Colours and shapes are what excite me most. Attempting to get ‘a likeness’ or sticking to ‘a plan’ can sometimes quell my enthusiasm but I do also welcome those opportunities; there is always a lot to learn! A non-judgmental risk-taking exploration of what my brush with wet paint can reveal and express is my current, albeit enormous and hopefully never-ending, project. LUKA VARDIASHVILI Luka Vardiashvili has been working with the Essential School of Painting for the past 5 years and feels very fortunate to be part of this community of artists, creatives, intellectuals, art therapists, makers and doers, people who catch you when things feel at their utter worst. I explore painting, movement dance, poetry as a way of channeling parts of my inner psyche when faced with either rocky paths or clear waters. I mostly work in oil, pastel with the use of the body, more recently video. I take a lot of joy in observational drawing, painting through movement and physical dance which is directly affected by my environment, even if it is sometimes a rapidly shifting space. After a tumultuous 2 years of feeling the lowest I have ever felt.....I became lost. Reaching the lowest... I emerged from this time and created these paintings without thinking too much. They celebrate life, the mystery of existence and the unknown. When denied freedom, basic rights or possessions a person might be forced to look internally for the more difficult answers to life. If however we gaze too deeply some of the experience that makes us human can be made blurry, however it is always temporary and clarity can return. I think now more than ever conversation, listening and really hearing another's perspective is the only thing that can pull people out of rough times. It's mindful clarity or at least needing to be awake, alert and proactive that can spark really important debate, conversation and expression. For a while I felt I did not have the right to create however I feel this is the wrong approach to take, it is more important to give a person who may be in the depths of a painful experience unconditional positive regard as this is possibly the only thing that can reawaken some form of self-belief and an urge to keep fighting and most importantly failing. I feel that I received this kind of support and understanding and feel humbled for it. if we fall over we have to get up again and try once more. It's admitting to a release of the ego when it can get the worst and an acceptance of the way that things really are. I have a deep sense of gratitude to old friends and new for pointing me towards a path out of hell. Now it's up to me to continue on that journey

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Painting Personal Projects: Adam Dabrowski & Emma Loizides

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    Painting Personal Projects is taught by Dan Coombs. Its aim is to give students an opportunity to develop their own work whilst receiving guidance and mentoring in a supportive community of artists and is intended to increase confidence, creativity and a sense of direction; helping to provide strategies for establishing and growing a body of work. This year Sikelela Owen will be joining Dan in teaching this course. ADAM DABROWSKI @Adamdartist (Instagram) I paint full time in my studio in London after having studied first at Heatherleys completing a portraiture diploma and now enjoy ongoing coaching and mentoring with the ESOP. I paint the figure and human representation applied with colour and shape. People and what separate us from other beings but also unite Colours as emotion, abstract settings as a platform to the lead Draws people in, provides the space for inclusion and reflection, challenges perceptions of what we could be or could do Shows the spiritual as well as the physical, portrays the psyche and uses the space to the full effect with the liberty of story telling I paint for everyone and myself and would wish my work to resonate and cause some reaction to all in so far as possible. I am influenced by those that broke convention and persevered with their own style. I paint not just what people look like but what they feel like and how they might dream. I start with a structure, an armature to get down swiftly and build on - too carefully planned precludes the excitement and difficulty that art should be and becomes a chore of simply copying down an idea. Mix the paint and tell your story boldly. Only then is you work your own, alive and unique and trust your audience to understand what you say and make of it their own. Themes in my work are people as artists, as children enduring their first memories, in school, in war, in life, all capturing how our unconscious might look like. EMMA LOIZIDES https://www.instagram.com/emmafineartist/ www.emmasfineart.com I am a self-taught artist from North London, I create oil paintings of cityscapes and street scenes using a vibrant palette. Having always lived in the city, I’m drawn towards architecture and the subject of my work is often street scenes and the urban landscape. I am fascinated by gazing out over a vast skyline, it makes me curious and thoughtful and I find it a joy to paint. My inspiration draws upon my personal experience and I use my art to deliver the escapism I find in visiting new places and learning about new cultures. I spent a few years living in Las Vegas which has influenced my work. I enjoyed travelling the west coast of America and beaches, sunsets and palm trees also feature in my paintings often. Ideas are usually taken from places I am drawn towards; I feel inspired and want to re-create the atmosphere with paint. Painting is exciting experience for me and often my way of relaxing. I love that the process of creating enables me to be carried away and switches my mind off from everything else. I enjoy experimenting with colour and find it interesting how different colours effect human emotions. I now have a studio in North London and often paint the streets of London and the London skyline. I’ve tried to create happy uplifting works to take people on a journey to some of the places I visited in London and beyond.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Painting Year: Hagar Basis, Mark McConnell & Uran Apak

    16 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Painting Year is for artists looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 participants, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities. HAGAR BASIS hagarbasis_art https://www.instagram.com/hagarbasis_art/ What moves me in painting is that which reflects my own inner journey, a creative vehicle of bringing the ‘inside’ out, my personal expression into the world. Returning back to painting after a 30-year hiatus has been a liberating experience. As a child I was a prolific drawer, and in the late 1980’s I studied Fine Art and Painting at the Sir John Cass School of Art in Whitechapel. My recent paintings reflect an unfolding of a living process to which I have arrived over many years of working on my unconscious. The paintings evolve within the creative process itself, and often reveal a personal spiritual commentary on my experience which is continually unfolding. I have always been drawn to working with the human figure in painting, predominantly these being aspects of myself. More recently I have been merging figures within a primordial landscape setting which I want to explore further. URAN APAK Instagram: @uranapak www.uranapak.com As humans it’s important for us to establish a sense of normality and when we encounter things that don’t neatly fit into our norms we feel unsafe or threatened. Norms have changed throughout history but images such as aliens, gods, animal-like figures, fantastic beasts, robots and hermaphrodites have always stood on the borders of our society and imagination, occupying a space outside of everyday life but with an undeniable power to stir us deeply. I like to think of these figures as hybrids, transitional beings that exist between realms. My painting is a performance space where these ‘other’ bodies are welcomed. The hybrids I paint cause me to reflect on their meaning. I want it to be a strange mirror, reflecting of course some aspect of myself I had not discovered before. MARK McCONNELL My paintings examine everyday observations and experiences [real or imagined] random sights & sounds from the streets, recurring motifs from childhood and dreams, through the unreliable filter of memory and imagination. They reference pied wagtails blown around gritty car parks, a falcon soaring over a tower block, the chimes of a lonely ice cream van. They are sometimes allegorical but always from a personal place. The process begins with drawings from mind and life [the vision clearer without photographic reference]. These are scratchy, unpolished, unfinished. Too resolved and the painting dies prematurely. The drawings are the framework upon which the painting comes to life. Each mark influences the next. I know what I want to paint, how it will feel but not how it will look. Success is elusive but the end result will always contain surprise. Recent paintings have been influenced by world events and the new and difficult place we find ourselves in, both as individuals and as a society.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Painting Year: Jen Chau & Gabrielle Eber

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Painting Year is for artists looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 participants, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities. JEN CHAU As a London based (American-born-Hong Kongese) artist, I have been dissecting and merging my photography and painting skills over the last few years whilst working as an Art Psychotherapist and an Art Director. My artwork is often a reflection of my own psychological journey, using art to challenge and break down both self and societally-imposed limitations. Painting is an internal and self-reflective process that results in a physical object to be viewed, judged and reflected on by others. I find fascinating the power that we imbue into a painting: an object of monetary value, social commentary, an expression of our unconscious, political rebellion etc. Sometimes I try to sit as the painting, being stared at, sometimes ignored, being projected onto, being the cause of disagreement and insight and sometimes even thrown away or stolen: a single painting can hold the idea and psychologies of all those who come into contact with it. My paintings develop their own trajectories over time as I incorporate various emerging influences and themes that resonate from my day-to-day. As my paintings are essentially a transcript of my preoccupations much of my work this year has been reflecting on time and uncertainty. GABRIELLE EBER Gabrielle EBER is a London based artist who studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. IG: ana_cryptic W: www.gabrielleeber.com A Decomposition/ Transformation series, born in Lockdown, referencing: still life memento mori social comment documentation emotion domesticity subjectivity humdrum abstraction expressionism surrealism figuration abjection lifecycles in paint and plywood, paint and paper, paint and linen.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Painting Year: Chris Wilmott & Gillian Harding

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Painting Year is a course for those looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 participants, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities. GILLIAN HARDING We are dependent on plant life, and nature gives us solace. My painting is moving towards abstraction, whilst observing new life to decomposition. Vegetation has many layers and can be transitory. I try to capture this. CHRIS WILMOTT I make work about the impact on Humanity of Nature. The impact of rising sea levels. The touch of Covid-19. Collisions affecting the human condition. My painting surfaces are colourful. I use a restricted palette. To which I add another colour at the end of my process, according to the whim of the surface. I enjoy working in partnerships. Its “not about what humanity does to the planet it’s about what the planet might do to us.” I imagine a possible future for us. Us being humanity. Imagining the impact on us, if the sea were literally or figuratively over our head. As a consequence of rising sea levels. In my paintings can be found symbols for the sea and also for water. In which fish live. By which means I locate metaphors for life. Neither fish nor humanity survive without water. Though for fish, a natural place for life is water. But water is no natural location for us. Humanity’s natural environment for life is air. But air is no place or space for fish survival. To symbols for fish, sea and air I add bubbles. The occurrence of bubbles underwater may signify life. Bubbles of gas, such as oxygen or carbon dioxide related to the functioning of life. On the other hand underwater bubbles maybe reference something inanimate, such as tectonic movement releasing gas. In any event, when symbolised by circular form ambiguity arises since bubbles may be taken as balloons. Or balloons for bubbles. Covid-19 recognises no boundaries of nationhood, society, ethnicity or other such classification. What goes for Covid-19 goes too for changing climate. From these comparisons may or may not emerge new values for society. On which I reflect. "Pictures I curate as vertical collections, such as diptychs. Inviting the viewer to look up. As if under water. A style inviting new approaches to the interior design of stairwells. Assembled as shown the whole is greater than the specific content of each painting. The diptych may be curated as shown, upside down or as single paintings. Separated by empty space or other paintings. The curator finding in that other whole, something greater than before. The readings obtained from this are unpredictable. Rather like the weather and changing climate. Exploiting these aspects of the work favour live displays rather than those of digital exhibitions or books. Curating is invited to participate in reflections about changing climate. Disordering collections introduces a type of abstraction or fragmentation to the viewer. The disordering can be changed from day to day. The viewer may participate in the disordering."

  • The Essential School of Painting

    The Painting Year: Crispin Dior & Deborah Burnstone

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Painting Year is for artists looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 participants, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities. CRISPIN DIOR https://www.instagram.com/crispindior/ https://totallywiredradio.com/crispin-dior/ I make marks and pictures to communicate words I have no words for. Within pictures I can express the inexpressible. Pictures allow me to address both sorrow and good fortune, fact and fiction with no specific order. To walk through the studio door is to step into a depository of translucent mirrors where anything goes and joyous battles commence. The majority of works within this show have been made during Covid, in the case of blossom, working directly from life. Other paintings are created from photographs collected during episodes of travel. I enjoy the play between abstraction and figurative, truth, lies and contradictions. DEBORAH BURNSTONE https://www.instagram.com/deborahburnstone/?hl=en www.deborahburnstone.com Lockdown stories The works that I am showing at the ESOP virtual exhibition were all made in the spring and summer of this year after the UK went into lockdown in late March. They are small oil paintings on paper. Before then I had been making larger works often featuring crowds or big groups of people or multiple buildings and houses that stood in for people and their many individual lives. During lockdown, however, I felt compelled to paint members of my family or people and places I saw during my daily outing. The paintings are in many ways a diary or record of an intense but in some ways magical time I spent cooped up with my family, punctuated by daily bursts of the outdoors which seemed all the more wonderful because of our confinement. They were mostly made over a few hours and that was the ‘task’ I set myself. Some, I have to say, took a bit longer as I had to work back into them. These paintings are selected from a series numbering eighteen in total. Continuing the Painting Year on Zoom was a godsend. Meeting up with my fellow students and tutors Dan and Guy online really kept me motivated and it was also a lot of fun. The Painting Year has offered me a fantastic chance to try out loads of different approaches – fast messy life drawings, big paintings in black and white, collages created through chance and to start to understand how these approaches can help to build a painting. I learned that perfectionism can kill a painting, that mistakes are fine and part of the process, that a picture can be salvaged – if it goes wrong you can go back to it and rework. So many valuable lessons. I graduated in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in 1999 where I mostly worked in photography, video and sculpture: everything pretty much apart from painting. Since then I made videos and community art projects. I taught myself to paint after leaving art college and have been painting on and off ever since. My intention is to continue experimenting and to work figuratively bringing in abstract elements and non-literal areas and most importantly to try not to overwork things.

  • The Essential School of Painting

    Contemporary Fine Art : John Heywood-Waddington, Pauline Fehily and Gill Roth

    14 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021

    The Contemporary Fine Art Course is an advanced course taught by Bob Matthews. Liane Lang and for this exhibiting year Jost Munster. It is aimed at a broad range of artists and seeks to develop a community where practical and theoretical skills can be explored and established with emphases on making, presenting, talking and thinking about art. GILL ROTH Instagram@rothgill www.gillroth.com Gill makes work that describes the interplay between abstraction and figuration, where the observable world meets the environment of the imagination. Her work is a process that encourages intuition, accident and play. She uses and reuses stencils, tearing, tracing, flipping and repeating shapes that possess an ambiguity or dual meaning. Her current work features recurring contemporary motifs that place her figures in the here and now, whilst hinting at inner bodily functions or states of mind. Animated limbs reverberate with neurotic energy. Faces flicker in a digital glitch. There is an x-ray quality that merges the body with the environment it is trying to escape or control. JOHN HEYWOOD-WADDINGTON mrjohnhw.com John is an artist living in Deptford, London. Working from his studio at Thames Side Studios, near Woolwich, John creates paintings, collages, charcoals, and experiments with mixed media and digital art, regularly undertaking commissions. He has exhibited his work in several group shows, most recently, at the beginning of this year, ‘Alternative’ , at the Menier Gallery in London Bridge. Originally from Essex, John moved to London in 1999, after graduating from Royal Holloway college, London University with a degree in Media Arts. His early ambition was to be a film-maker, and to this end he wrote and directed short films, as well as taking on a number of jobs within the industry. His enthusiasm for cinema continues to strongly inform his artistic practice. Feeling like he needed to answer an artistic calling, he took a year out to study and live in a remote seaside town, completing an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth university in 2011. He wrote a third of a memoir about comedy and personal crisis, trying stand-up as part of the research, as well as performing songs on guitar at open mics. He also wrote restaurant reviews for a food and drink guide. Completing his second degree in Fine Art at Kensington and Chelsea College in 2017, John has since attended classes at The Essential School of Painting, where he has thrived under the tuition of some of the leading names in contemporary art, among them David Mach, Liane Lang, Bob Matthews and Jost Munster. As a painter, his work is broadly figurative. Expressionistic, vigorous brushwork and mark-marking often veer into the language of abstraction. There is an emphasis on the landscape, and the sea is a recurring motif. These serve as backdrops for human interactions. There is a performative aspect to the way in which he makes paintings, and John often works fast and expressionistically, in the moment, trying to capture lightning in a bottle. It’s as much about the transformative act of making, as the outcome. A love of poetry is also an influence and inspiration in John’s work. He wants to make his paintings operate like visual poems, for the viewer to experience them emotionally, rather than necessarily try to understand them literally. They are about movement, and the materiality of paint, as much as the subject. There is a sense of urgency, of the paint being driven around the canvas, as he seeks to give expression to the emotional, psychological state of the scene… as if the viewers could be onlookers at a critical moment. “The physical application of brushstrokes tell their own story.” His imagery is often derived from photo references, as well as being strongly influenced by his love of cinema. Some of the compositions could have been taken from a film camera… or newsreel footage. PAULINE FEHILY I was born in Durham and went to Sunderland College of Art where I obtained a BA in Fine Art. I worked for 4 years in the Exhibitions department of the Imperial War Museum. I trained at and worked for the BBC as a make up artist for 11 years. Since then I have been a freelance make up artist, working in film and television. My art practice is informed by my interest in history (mainly 20th century), faces and stories. I work from found photographs, usually people posed in formal groups or snapshots where figures are still primarily looking to camera. I choose photographs mainly from the 1930s through to early 1950s. I do not believe there is any sense of nostalgia in my choice of subject (though I do like the hair) but I feel it is a significant period of modern history and one of increasing relevance to today. I do not aim for an exact likeness in my paintings. I try to create images of faces that look believable, that look like people I might know. The fact that they stare out at the viewer and tell you nothing is what I like. They are waiting and I am too, though I’m not sure for what. I work mainly in oils, on canvas or on pva primed paper. Also in ink on soaked paper. Recently, I have been using acrylics on cardboard.

    neueste Werke

    • James Isaacs

      Tim, 2020
      30 x 20 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on Canvas Sheet
    • James Isaacs

      Sian, 2020
      30 x 20 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on Canvas Sheet
    • James Isaacs

      Hallie, 2020
      30 x 20 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on Canvas Sheet
    • James Isaacs

      Alexander, 2020
      30 x 20 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on Canvas Sheet
    • Alex Hayes

      Portrait of Young Man, June 2017
      60 x 50 x 3 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Lucy Marston

      Greetings from Sizewell, Postcard from Suffolkwell, 2020
      19.5 x 48 x 0.4 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on card
    • Lucy Marston

      Greeting from Dungeness 1, Greetings from Dungeness 11, 2020
      19.5 x 48 x 0.4 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on card
    • Crispin Dior

      Folies Bronte, 2020
      124 x 134 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Pearl Brown

      Kew, 2019
      40 x 70 x 2 cm (h x w x d)
      acrylic and collage on paper
    • Joseph Dilnot

      Chair, 2020
      11 x 7 cm (h x w)
      Ceramic
      GBP 40
    • Joseph Dilnot

      Purple Spirit, 2020
      11 x 7 cm (h x w)
      Ceramic
      GBP 36
    • Joseph Dilnot

      Moonfaced Ghost, 2020
      22 x 11 cm (h x w)
      Ceramic
      GBP 68
    • Joseph Dilnot

      Tree, 2020
      21 x 12 cm (h x w)
      Ceramic
      GBP 68
    • Pearl Brown

      Pearl 3
      35 x 25 cm (h x w)
    • Pearl Brown

      Pearl 2
      25 x 30 cm (h x w)
    • Pearl Brown

      What is going on here?
      35 x 25 cm (h x w)
      Oil on paper
      GBP 120
    • Pearl Brown

      Alone? Self Isolating?
      30 x 75 x 4 cm (h x w x d)
      Collage of portraits on Oil on Canvas and mono prints
      GBP 140
    • Alex Hayes

      The Fates, May 2019
      100 x 70 x 4 cm (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Alex Hayes

      Monarch and Original Sin Pt. 2, June 2020
      27 x 36 cm (h x w)
      Collage on paper
    • Alex Hayes

      Monarch and Original Sin Pt. 1, June 2020
      28 x 25 cm (h x w)
      Collage on paper
      Cookies help us to provide certain features and services on our website. By using the website, you agree that we use cookies. Privacy policy