Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Patsy has kicked my head in

Coburg house studios have a new book out!

When asked to write these things I always start to panic. I suppose that many artists have difficulty when expressing their modi opporandi. The question is often, too simply, answered with an enigmatic shrug of the shoulders.  Is it the case that once you have defined yourself you will then be working within the constraints of this definition and find it difficult to change?

My work begins with the observation of light and shadow on the model. An admiration of figurative art from the 14th and 15th centuries leads me to favour dramatic chiaroscuro lighting and the inclusion of areas of drapery. This choice of lighting lends itself particularly well to dark and moody paintings, and I further enhance this atmosphere by closely cropping the figures within the picture plane. This, I feel, creates an intimacy and intense focus on the figure. The areas surrounding the figure are often flat and simply abstracted. This is both a compositional device and an attempt to avoid complex narrative and maintain a sense of timelessness.

Although I am not keen to make “storytelling”, narrative paintings, I do sometimes select poses or compositions that suggest a certain myth or notion. I have previously made allusions to the Icarus myth and the mythological Gemini twins but have refrained from any obvious allegory.

I prefer to present an ambiguity which can then be interpreted more personally by the viewer.

As well as an interest in the making of images, I am intensely driven by the technical aspects of painting and drawing. Once a pose has been chosen, I will investigate the anatomical challenges presented within the figure. Many sketches of muscle groups will be made using photographic reference and anatomy books. Once I have a good working knowledge of the construction of the chosen figure I will, with lighting in mind, decide on a painting technique that will represent the model most favourably. The majority of my work uses a combination of techniques appropriated from artists that I admire. These include Vermeer and Van Eyck’s monochromatic underpainting and glazing, Caravaggio’s complex layering and the venetian technique further developed by Titian. The various combinations of these techniques produce paintings that are more than just flat images. 

They are built rather than simply painted.

I hope to create work that challenges the viewers existing conception of the paintings of the masters, and that of contemporary figurative artists.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Another Cobunny

Gareth Beare's delightfully surreal portrait should be a BP portrait competition entry in my opinion. It's about 70x70cm ish. My poor photography does it little justice. It's pretty arresting in the flesh. Painted in oil on SAND. His brushes must hate him.

There is just something about this kind of stares at you mournfully. odd

Garreth is another member of Coburg House Art Studios that will be taking portrait comissions on the 5th 6th and 7th of august at the open studios. FOLLOW THIS LINK

Monday, 21 June 2010


The Gorgeous and talented painter Alison Auldjo, owner of UnionGallery Edinburgh, has released this image on her website so I suppose I should too. I'm happy happy with this painting now that I have seen it framed. Sometimes the crayons are fully charged.

This image is high resolution so you can probably zoom in once you have clicked on it.

Sometimes the framer at Coburg House Studios is an engineer. I suppose that's why his framing is always perfect. Contact John Gibson on 0131 553 2266. He's quite a nice guy too.

Look out for this at UninioGallery exhibition on 1st july. The model is the Fantastic Amy Mackie.

OK! this one's on the flyer so I suppose I can put this one up too. Again the model is the distinctive Miss Mackie. I think she will be around to sign autographs at the opening night party.

Less stressed and super excited about the showdown. That Patsy McArthur will rue the day...


Sunday, 20 June 2010

Radio Gaga!

I will be on Leith FM tonight some time after 9.45pm plugging the forthcoming exhibition. Not sure I will have much to say but miracles do happen.

 Here's a link to listen online or... Listen Live by tuning to 98.8 FM in the Edinburgh area. 

Here's a link to listen again. I'm right at the end. Typical!

Friday, 18 June 2010


Not sure if this is genius or annoying madness. Here is my Canadian pal Shari Funk (real name!!!!!) and her new cooking show. LINK

Shari has a real job as a casting director in Toronto and is nearly famous LINK. Her parents can, at least, be proud of this if nothing else.

OH! The irony

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Join Miss McArthur and I on Facebook

facebook group

Also can anyone who sent me their address requesting invites to the exhibition preview resend them. It would appear that the phone pixie has stolen them.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Memento Mori

Spotted Hawk Moth and Death's Head Hawk Moth

These pieces are around 50cm square including frame and will be displayed at UnionGallery from July 1st - August 2nd. LINK

A visit and Art mag

El Studio Diablo was graced with the presence of Alison and Rob from UnionGallery in Edinburgh this evening.  A good natter was had and hopefully they will feel reassured that I have actually got things under control... for once.

Check out page 42 of ArtMag if you see it about. If not Here's a link to the Ezine LINK

Thursday, 10 June 2010


...or be square!

My new acquisition.

Acquired this 70's telephone from a carboot sale a few weeks back. What a wonderful object! I do, however, still need to figure out how to convert it for use with a current phone line. Any suggestions on how to do this myself would be welcome.

I think I will do a fairly substantial painting of it once the UnionGallery show is in the bag.

Almost as an afterthought, I have just finished two wee paintings of hawk moths to include in the UnionGallery show. I'm pretty pleased with them. Here's a wee photo that doesn't give too much away. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

I have been meaning to direct your attention to the diary of a great friend of mine Victoria Ryder. Her African diaries make compelling reading and should act as inspiration to us all. Please check out the beautifully written account of her experiences here LINK

That is all

The Lisle

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bleeding Brains

As I will not be showing you any of the new work before the exhibition on 1st july, Here are a few pages from my current sketchbook. Some of the pages shown here are studies for the new paintings. A bit dry perhaps but better than nothing.

Tweets by @dylanlisleart