INSPIRATION: Biomimicry

I came across the term Biomimicry years ago and still remember the impact it had on me. The concept was introduced to me by Biologist Janine Benyus via the film 'An Inconvenient Truth'.

I was captivated by the intelligence, ingenuity and elegance of nature's designs and had a strong feeling that this was a subject that I would want to investigate more deeply. 

The process of my work over the last six years has been about learning and understanding my materials and medium, while the product has been the attempted capture of a beautiful location in the UK. I've resisted incorporating people into the work, as I felt they immediately became the focal point of the painting and detracted from the point of showing the landscape in its pristine and undiluted form. The problem is that I feel they just come across as beautiful landscapes.

I've been sensing for a while now, that my work needs to impart a message and since the beginning of 2018, I have been looking at my work and deciding what step to take next. Here are a few of the thoughts that I have been having relating to the proposed direction of my work:

  • I want my work to be intellectually and emotionally accessible to a wide audience.
  • I want the work to inspire thought and encourage action.
  • I want my work to continue to have contrast, colour and depth.
  • I want my work to be freer and to have sweeping gestures of brushwork that convey confidence and purpose.
  • I want to take my work towards a more abstract representation of the natural world.

I think it's ironic that Biomimicry has offered me a seed of inspiration for the new direction of my work and I have a sense that using this topic as a starting point, could become the catalyst for a really engaging body of work. Once I have concluded my participation in The Dorset Arts Week, I plan to begin researching this field further and developing an initial set of guidelines to which the work must adhere.

In the meantime, here's an inspiring TED take by Andy Middleton about Biomimicry...

NEWS: Another happy customer.

Over the last few months, I have had a number of my most popular works scanned to be available as high-res Giclée prints and I pleased to say that I have recently received my first two orders.

I use one of the best printers in the UK, so the colours and quality of the reproductions are as close to the original as possible. The paper quality is also outstanding (Hahnemühle), as is its lightfastness rating - estimated to last well over 100 years.

It's a great feeling to know that your customer has received the print safely and is happy with the service and quality.

To order your print, please head over to: http://www.sotegallery.biz/hamish-baird.html

HEALTH: How playing outside impacts your well-being.

Back in February, I developed a case of Sciatica which landed me in bed and out of commission for close to a month. The pain was excruciating and the cause was most likely having spent too much time sitting and working and not enough time getting outside and enjoying movement and fresh air.  As a result, I have become even more acutely aware of the impact of spending time indoors chained to either a computer or an easel.

At a time in life when most friends have families of their own, I have also really begun to notice how much time kids spend playing on electronic devices inside (such as the dreaded iPad), rather than running around outside playing Tag, making camps or just generally having fun in the garden. It's now a subject I frequently raise with parents when the opportunity presents itself.

I'm keen to take some time out after my forthcoming exhibition to assess and revise the work that I produce and how I can deliver a more potent message.

In this TED Talk, Craig Childs delivers a funny, informing and passionate lecture on how playing in nature impacts your well-being. 

Exhibition: Dorset Arts Week - Six weeks away. (26th May - 3rd June)

Hi Folks.

My next exhibition is now six weeks away and so the wheels of organisation are now kicking into gear. The exhibition will be held at the conservatory at Came House in Dorchester, which is surrounded by stunning landscapes of woodland and open fields. This is a great opportunity to get out of the house, see some beautiful artwork and get some fresh air in your lungs!

I have twenty or so new paintings which I am excited to share with you, so if you would like to come along, please get in touch so that I have a rough idea of numbers.

More information and updates will be posted in the next few weeks.

Thank you.


Hamish_Baird_Exhibition_Dorset_Arts_Week_2018

TIMELASE: One Minute to Sunshine

One Minute to Sunshine is a scene taken from studies of Stair Hole, just around the corner from Lulworth Cove in Dorset. It was early in the morning and the sun had just risen over the horizon.

The inspiration for this picture came from wanting to share the feeling of being in shadow and knowing that any minute the sun would appear and bathe you in a blanket of warm morning sunshine. 

Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or questions in the box below. Your feedback can help me to produce more of what you like! Thank you, HB.

NEWS: Work on display at The Frame Gallery, Odiham.

I am pleased to announce that a six of my paintings are being exhibited in The Frame Gallery.

One of my goals this year is to reach out and find three galleries that I can work with this year, so to have this opportunity with The Frame so early in the year, is tremendous.

Jan Baker runs this little gallery from the central spot on high street of Odiham in Hampshire.

The gallery has built a reputation on its professional framing service, as well exhibiting a variety of artwork from local artists, to more established masters.

Paintings will be available to view from Monday 22nd January until Saturday 17th February, 2018.

 

Gallery Address:

The Frame Gallery, 81 High Street, Odiham, Hampshire. RG29 1LB

 

 

  

 

The Frame Gallery - Front of House.

 The Frame Gallery - Flying the colours.

The Frame Gallery - Flying the colours.

NEW PAINTINGS: Five new paintings for the end of the year.

Here are the last five paintings of 2017. In the new year, I'm hoping to push my work in a new direction. Amongst other things; to loosen up the style and allow in some more energetic brushwork. I will also be looking to engage in more painting outdoors.

 'Last of the Light' - Oil on canvas    Price on   Application   Full size and half sized prints will be available at  www.sotegallery.biz/hamish-baird.html

'Last of the Light' - Oil on canvas

Price on Application

Full size and half sized prints will be available at www.sotegallery.biz/hamish-baird.html

 'The Green Glade' - Oil on canvas    Price on   Application

'The Green Glade' - Oil on canvas

Price on Application

 'Pull to the Light' - Oil on canvas    Price on   Application

'Pull to the Light' - Oil on canvas

Price on Application

 'Dart Falls' - Oil on canvas   Price on   Application

'Dart Falls' - Oil on canvas

Price on Application

 'In the Shade of the Riverbank' - Oil on canvas    Price on   Application

'In the Shade of the Riverbank' - Oil on canvas

Price on Application

BRUSH REVIEW: Princeton 'Aspen' Series

I recently received an email from Princeton Brushes this afternoon informing me that I had won their Aspen Brushes Competition Giveaway. I have to say that I was over the moon as I haven't won anything in years!!

Aspen Burshes.png

I had applied to the competition as I had had a spare five minutes, but I never thought for a moment that I might be the winner! Result.

The brushes arrived a couple of days later and were immediately taken with enthusiasm over to the studio to give them a test drive.

I have been using Princeton's Catalyst Series brushes for a while now and they have become the tools that I turn to regularly for their ability to load paint, blend and for their moderate stiffness. They're great brushes and I recommend to anyone looking for a new brush to add to their collection.

The Aspen Series is a more refined creature. As advertised, they hold their shape beautifully and with the short flats, you can pick them up, again and again, knowing that they're going to make the same marks they did the last time you used them.

While I haven't used them outdoors yet, I'm looking forward to the opportunity. Their black ferrule prevents glare from the sun, which if you've painted in those conditions, I know you will appreciate.

While Aspen does do an angled bright in this series, it would be useful to have a dagger or sword version of these brushes added to the collection. Nevertheless, I can highly recommend these brushes to anyone looking for a solid workmate that offers precision and durability.

Here are the link to the Brush pages on the Princeton website:

TEST: Texture

In the spirit of finding new ways to express texture, I set about testing a traditional icing bag with its selection of different nozzles. A few of the results are encouraging and worth further experimentation.

I would add that this was by far and away the messiest paint session I have undertaken in a long while, so if you decide to follow suit, I would definitely suggest using gloves!

I have recently found another method of creating texture and will show you the result once I've had a chance to create another test board.

(Click to enlarge)

UPDATE: Back to Work

It's been a month or so since the 'Footprints' exhibition and the new work is coming along nicely. A month ago I was fortunate enough to be offered the adjacent workshop/studio space, which is a little bigger. The studio is warm, productive and organised and I'm looking forward to sharing the next batch of work with you soon - sometime mid December 2017.

BRUSH REVIEW: Rosemany & Co.- SERIES 44. PURE KOLINSKY RIGGER

I'm such a big fan of Rosemary & Co. and would (and have) recommended them to friends and generally, anyone looking for professional, well priced, high-quality brushes that are delivered with customer service that is second to none.

I have for a while now been looking for my 'Ultimate Rigger' brush and had high hopes that Rosemary & Co. would bring that journey to an end.

These are lovely brushes and well worth adding your collection as they can be wonderful mark makers. They are quite soft, with little spring, so they have quite a gentle character to them. Nevertheless, you'll find yourself reaching for them time and again.

However, my elusive 'Ultimate Rigger' needs to be a little more robust, so my search continues...

rigger-kolinsky-800x800 copy.jpg

To check Rosemary and Co's brushes, head over to: www.rosemaryandco.com

EXHIBITION: Update FINAL

Today's the day! After a manic week of planning, testing, moving, ordering, collecting, installing, building, hanging a tweaking, the day has finally arrived!

It's all looking awesome and I'm really pleased with how it has turned out. I'd like to say a massive thank you to Rags Norton for inviting me to hold my exhibition at Came and to Nikki Hawkins for her incredible energy, enthusiasm and support over the last couple of weeks. I couldn't have done it without you both!!

To those of you coming along to the exhibition, I'm really looking forward to seeing those of you I know, and equally excited about meeting a whole new group of people who have chosen to spend some of the weekend dropping into the exhibition. I hope you enjoy it.

IMG_0123.JPG

Finally, for those of you who have not got in contact yet but who would still like to come along, please drop me a line and I'll send you the details for the venue.

Thanks and see you this weekend.

Hamish

#hamishbaird, #artexhibition, #dorset, #landscapes

EXHIBITION: Update 3

So... the third update on preparation for the exhibition and happy to report that everything is going according to plan and is on schedule. 

 

- The advertisement has been published the Dorset Life Magazine.

- The last few paintings have been signed!

- Greeting cards have been wrapped.

- Example prints have been ordered and are due to be delivered tomorrow.

- All the boards are hung, and most of the lights are in place and hooked up to power.

- Nikki, Rags and I have been hard at work starting the initial hanging of work on the walls.

- Signs for the exhibition have been made.

- Wine and glasses have been collected. 

 

Two more days to go, really looking forward to seeing those of you who are coming along and generally getting pretty excited about Friday evening and the weekend!

 Advertisment in Dorset Life

Advertisment in Dorset Life

 Signs are done

Signs are done

 Paintings laid out last night

Paintings laid out last night

EXHIBITION: Update 2

Work for the exhibition has picked up momentum this last week and I'm happy to report that it's all beginning to take shape. Checklists and To Do lists are rapidly reducing, leaving me confident about next week's  final push.

So...

- The boards are now painted (thanks to the wonderful Nikki Hawkins!) and have their fixings in place - ready to be hung. 

- The lighting situation is almost sorted, with some new upgraded LED bulbs ordered and ready for delivery next week.

- All sorts of spreadsheets relating to invites and paintings have been created to manage expectations and handle logistics.

- All the paintings are now framed and complete and I'm pleased to say they're looking pretty sweet. The photo on the top right shows the last four large paintings having returned bubble wrapped from Dorchester Framing. I haven't posted the final photos of these yet but will upload them to the website next week.

- The parking area has been cut, so that's all looking pretty tidy too (Thanks Rags!)

- Finally, (and probably and most importantly) the wine has been ordered!

NB: Really getting pretty excited now. If you haven't already, drop me a line to let me know if and when you're coming.

Thanks and keep you posted...

 The last of the paintings are now framed. 

The last of the paintings are now framed. 

 Thanks be to Arts Reach in Dorchester for providing some illumination!

Thanks be to Arts Reach in Dorchester for providing some illumination!

 Testing the lighting on one of the boards.

Testing the lighting on one of the boards.

EXHIBITION: Update

The preparations for my upcoming exhibition 'Footprints' are well underway.

- The invites and flyers have gone out and I've already had a fantastic response from people who are keen to come and see the work.

- Yesterday I received the first batch of paintings back from my framer and I have to say, they're looking really good.

- The exhibition boards have been made and are in line to be covered in a few coats of white emulsion and then hung.

- Back at the studio, a number of paintings are currently undergoing their final touches.

- With over fifty paintings in the exhibition, not only will this be the largest exhibition that I have done to date, but will also be the most unique.

- If you haven't already, please let me know if you are coming, as I'd like to make sure that we have enough wine and nibbles to keep everyone content.

Further updates coming soon...

 A stunning venue in which to show my work.

A stunning venue in which to show my work.

 Exhibition boards have been cut to size and are ready for painting.

Exhibition boards have been cut to size and are ready for painting.

 Exhibition kit pulled out of storage and ready to go.

Exhibition kit pulled out of storage and ready to go.

NEWS: Studio timelapse setup.

I frequently receive requests to create more films of my paintings and their development. So last week, I set about creating a space in the studio that was more geared towards producing time-lapse films.

I've painted the walls black to highlight the paintings and to keep the focus on the work, as well as tying it into the general design of my website. I've also installed a rigging beam above the easel to enable me to have a number of suspended lights and cameras to film and light the work at different angles.

I plan to kick this all off after my upcoming exhibition, so if you'd like to be notified when these new videos are available (as well as general updates and news of new exhibitions etc), please consider subscribing to my website. Your support and feedback are greatly appreciated!

The Go Pro positioned over my shoulder, ready for action.

NB: For those of you who are curious about what kit I use to create my time-lapses, I use two iphones (using an app called Lapseit Pro - which gives you more control than the standard iphone time-lapse mode) and a GoPro (Session4).

These are suspended by two Manfrotto Single Arm 2 Section with Camera Bracket (product reference no: SKU 196B-2) for the phones/GoPro and a Manfrotto 3-Section Double Articulated Arm with Camera Attachment (product reference no: SKU 396B) for occasionally hanging a heavier bit of kit such as a DSLR camera or light.