martin davis artist

Mark making is a primal urge. This is where I explain the ecstasy of painting and why it calms my soul.

Month: June, 2015

Buxton Spa Art Prize 2015

Well apart from my failure this year with the Derbyshire Open – see below – my current preoccupation for the last few weeks has been, and still is, the Buxton en plei-air competition which I am taking part in for the first time. In fact last year was it’s inaugural year.

This has drawn entrants from all over the UK, many of them professionals – so I don’t necessarily expect great success at my first attempt. But that said I am happy with my submission which as I speak is completed & drying in the studio. My chosen location this year was the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, adjacent to the Opera House and I have spent several sessions there to date researching, plotting, getting inspiration, trusting to luck, coming up with a Plan B just in case before finally settling down a few weeks ago to paint a scene.

I guess a lot is down to luck as much as it is to skill – picking a good location, finding inspiration there on the days you’re there etc etc. But you still have to produce at the end of the day. I am v happy with what I have produced whatever the outcome in July, but my main concern, given that I was in a public garden/park, is that if anything the painting is a little picturebook-ish for real success. We shall see but some recognition would be fantastic. Here’s hoping, wish me luck!

I have decided not to show an image of the finished piece until after the closing date July 5th. Tune in then and it will be on here. Promise!

The 33rd Derbyshire Open Art Competition

This year I submitted a painting on deep canvas for which no frame was necessary, in fact I wanted it seen without a frame (yes I know what the rules say) – I thought it stood a really good chance but it was rejected. However because no feedback is offered (lamentable) I’m still not sure if that was the reason, or if in fact it really was judged just not good enough/suitable or whatever… which is fine, I can cope with that. But like many artists I suspect I do get disillusioned that despite several years of submission I get not a sniff of success…..and I don’t know why. Really frustrating! Next year we will see. Don’t give up that easily.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

It’s all hands on deck at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery as our dedicated team toil to get the Derbyshire Open Art Exhibition ready by next weekend. For those artists whose work didn’t get selected or those who are considering entering next year, Derbyshire Museums Manager Ros Westwood has some golden nuggets of advice. It’s over to you, Ros:

As I write, the selected pictures for this year’s exhibition are being hung, creating a stunning celebration showing all that is special about Derbyshire. Next Friday we will announce the winners, particularly the two purchase prizes. Over the last 33 years, the museum has added over 50 works by local artists to the collections, work by people who are truly astonished that their artwork will be kept in the museum forever.

2013 winner 'Abandoned Tractor, Sawmills' by Kathryn Morton 2013 winner ‘Abandoned Tractor, Sawmills’ by Kathryn Morton

Two things keep the Derbyshire Open special. The Derbyshire Open remains free…

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