Thursday, 27 November 2014

Martin Yeoman's Open Studio and Studio Sale -This Weekend

I became aware of Martin Yeoman's work in 2009 when I saw this small drawing at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters show.

Since then I went to see one of his shows in 2010 in the now defunct Petley's Gallery in Cork Street and, this year, signed up for one of his classes at the Royal Drawing School. ( see a video interview with him here, then part 2 and 3)

      Martin is approachable and generous with his advice and in a single week under his tutorship I learnt a lot. He is the sort of tutor who teaches by example, sketching small heads on a piece of paper to point out drawing inaccuracies and taking knife and brush to  students paintings to simplify and demonstrate his free and loose brushstroke. He will be teaching again at the Royal Drawing School for a week from the 12th of January ( his class fills fast, book early !),

His website is a frequent destination for me when I am in need of inspiration and counteracting some of my painting bad habits.
One of my favourite bodies of work that he has produced is this series of paintings and drawings of Pole Dancers. He painted these from sketches made in Soho strip clubs, as a last row visitor who sees the scene through the filter of the old masters. There's the nude, the overtly sexy nude under cheesy coloured lights, and there's the indistinct mob watching, trying to touch and who knows what else they are up to. Lautrec and Degas come to mind for these paintings that talk about women, men, power, loneliness.

Woman with Raised Arms, reworked 2006 to 2009
oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches
Martin is also a brilliant portrait painter. His work is intimate and affectionate; it comes across as a process in which there's a strong emotional participation. He asked this lady to sit for him after spotting her resemblance with one of Rembrandt's portrait ( on show now at the Late Works show at the National Gallery). The delicacy of this piece is remarkable and one of the most moving painting of old age I have seen in recent years.

24 x 20 inches

Martin will be holding a Studio Sale and an Open Studio day this weekend. I think that it would be a wonderful opportunity to meet him and get hold of one of his works.

Last but not least a familiar ginger head I found browsing the portrait gallery: do you recognise this intense and focused child ( hint: sing...) ? 

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