Artists – John Duffin

The New Ashgate, our local gallery in Farnham, has a small exhibition on at the moment titled “City Life”, bringing together printmakers and illustrators in an exhibition of city landscapes.

I was particularly drawn to the prints by John Duffin, especially this one ‘Thames Bridges’. The detail is simply amazing and the unusual perspective gives a fantastic view up the Thames, like coming into Heathrow on a plane!

The New Ashgate Gallery website, says this about John Duffin’s work:

John Duffin is a well established Printmaker who makes images of city life. He is a member of Royal Society of painter Printmakers in London.

John Duffin is a print maker and painter well known for his striking black and white prints focusing on great architecture, depictions of modern life in urban environments and city streets at different times of day. He mostly uses etching techniques to create his limited edition prints, which consists of drawing through hard ground wax with a sharp needle onto a copper plate, favoured for its sensitivity and subtlety. John Duffin draws cross hatched lines of varying densities to create spatial compositions including London motifs in particular, working from small pencil sketches he creates whilst out walking in the city streets gathering inspiration. He works mainly in black ink on bright white paper resulting in dynamic contrasts between shadows and highlights. John Duffin also plays with view point, with the perspective often tilted so that the viewer is made to look down from above onto the buildings and structures within his etchings, giving a strong, impressive feel.


Artists – Emma Dunbar

The New Ashgate in Farnham, our local art gallery, is holding an exhibition of paintings by Emma Dunbar, titled “Journeys Afar and Back in the Kitchen”. I adore Emma’s paintings! I like the bold, bright colours, the colour pallettes and the subjects of joyful flowers and the occasional animal. I also really like the flat, almost two-dimensional and slightly ‘child-like’ quality of the paintings.

The photographs here (from the New Ashgate Gallery website) simply cannot reflect how incredibly vibrant and full of life these paintings are.

Emma Dunbar: A Riotous Bunch on Yellow

Emma Dunbar: Fresh From The Flower Market

Emma Dunbar: Lone Walker

The New Ashgate Gallery Website, says this about the exhibition:

“29 April to 17 June 2017

Emma Dunbar: Journeys Afar and Back in the Kitchen

We are delighted to welcome Emma Dunbar back for her much anticipated new solo exhibition. Emma paints in Hampshire and Cornwall. Her attraction to colour and the decorative qualities in everyday objects provide the foundation for her art.

Emma works mainly on board in acrylic, occasionally incorporating collage with gold and silver leaf. Her training as a printmaker is evident both in the use of blocks of flat colour and in the way she scratches through surfaces to reveal pre-laid colours underneath. This exhibition draws inspiration from daily walks and recent trips to Greece, Iceland and Austria. Beautiful fruits in the greengrocer, her brown cats, Eric and Ian, and Simon the dog, next to her ever growing collection of mugs and jugs with flowers from the garden, all come joyfully together to celebrate the ordinary.”

Artists – Albert Exergian

These minimalist poster designs for TV programmes by Albert Exergain are witty, entertaining and extremely clever and effective. They are an excellent example of how a designer can communicate to his/her audience with a really good understanding of the symbols that audience will understand.

For each poster, one or two very simple, graphic images are used with blocks of flat colour to reinforce the title of the TV programme. The posters include the name of the programme at the top but you really have to know the programme to ‘get’ the poster. I think it would be very difficult to understand the poster without the programme title. However, it almost became like a game to me to go through these posters and see if I could understand the image on the poster.

Some posters used very iconic colours and symbols:

Anyone who knows Knight Rider knows what this is an image of!

Others were more subtle..

If you watched the Sopranos, you know that the table at the back of the Italian restaurant, with the gingham table cloth, was where they sat to discuss their mafia business.

Another interesting thing that I feel, looking at these posters, is that if I understand it, there is a sense that I belong ‘in the club’.


Artists – Allie Brosch

Just by chance, I happened to hear a short piece on BBC Radio 4 recently about the graphic novel as a form of communication. The piece argued that the visual element of the drawings mixed with short pieces of text ┬ádistilled information into its most important points and made it much easier for the reader to absorb and retain. As such, graphic novels and ‘comic’ formats had a valid place in education of adults, i.e. they’re not just for children.

Anyway, knowing nothing about this genre, I started doing a bit of web surfing and found this blog: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosch.

Apart from the stories of Allie as a hyperactive child, constantly getting into trouble, which I found both incredibly funny and totally adorable, I really liked the illustrations. They are incredibly simple and child-like but convey so much emotion! With just a few simple, wobbly strokes of a pen, I can absolutely relate to little Allie’s determination frustration and pain at being denied cake by her Mum! The illustrations were made in MicroSoft Paint, which just goes to show that you don’t have to be a highly accomplished artist or software wizard to produce amazing digital art.

Allie Brosch – from her blog post ‘The God of Cake’