Caught on camera

When painting out and about in the landscape or streets, every now and again a photographer comes up and asks to take a photo of you painting, some of which we never see. Taken as a nice compliment and great to get some good shots of the painter in situ. Here is one of Tom and myself painting in Kings Square in Bristol by Stuart Reading.

Plein air Brotherhood 2013 show?

The Plein air Brotherhood could be on for their 3rd show later this year, keep an eye out on http://www.pleinairbrotherhood.co.uk/ for more information or on http://www.akwilsongallery.co.uk/

The last 2 years have been great shows with great turnouts and sales. Below are a few photos from year one and you can read more about show 1 at www.outdoorpainter.com and year 2 at www.outdoorpainter.com


Pop Up Show at Hagley Stoves

This weekend 16th+17th March 2013 head over to Hagley Stoves to view a collection of my larger paintings along with a weekend of special offers on Wood Burners. Its within Webbs West Hagley with a great cafe, garden centre and studio buildings so plenty to, click here for more info or drop me an email www.hagleystoves.co.uk


Wetherspoons Malvern - 2011 Commision

In 2011 I was commissioned to paint 2 large scale paintings for the opening of the new Foley Hotel. Below are the paintings which they purchased, hope you are all enjoying them!

2011 Malvern Library Show a Great Success

Saturday 1st - Saturday 29th October 2011

Recent Plein Air and studio paintings by ANTONY BRIDGE
The exhibition includes new and unseen paintings by this talented artist who continues to receive considerable acclaim for his work. 
Supported by Worcestershire County Council. Curated by Serge Conein Esq.

The Artist Magazine Questions from 2012

In 2012 I was asked some questions that went into an article in the Artist Magazine. Here are a few for you to read.

1. Why do you paint outside?
I paint outside to capture the very essence of the landscape itself, to see the landscape first hand and feel everything within it at that very moment.

2. Why/how do you paint outside when its cold, raining, too hot etc?
Always wear the correct clothing, its essential as you need to feel comfy to paint for the day, as soon as the -12degree wind gets you, you'll be off on your way home.

3. Why don't you just paint everything inside from photographs?
Paintings from photos can be very souless, lack the feeling and energy of a place. You can see from painters paintings who has painted outside.

4. How long have you been painting en plein air?
Since 2006 I think I painted my very first pochade which was awful, its always a struggle.

5. What does plein air work add to a painting?
For me it adds energy, life, passion into a painting.

6. Do you or can you achieve everything you want by working outside?
Its hard to achieve what you have in your minds eye but that is the drive which pushes us to keep improving.

7. Who are your plein air influences?
The french impressionists.

8. Is plein air painting important to the future of painting?
I think its the most important aspect for the future of painting if its going to stay alive.

9.  Do you mind people watching?
Not at all, you get the wise crack which isn't called for but I tend to have my headphones on whilst painting so any questions I can't hear and they walk off!

10. How do you cope with people watching.
Just carry on painting and don't chat to them as the window of light is always running out!

What is your best, worst, or funniest experience while painting outside?

Whilst painting on the Malvern Hills watching a storm getting closer and closer, easel kept being blown over but I continued painting faster and faster until, downpour and had to pack up fast and run down the hill to my car over a mile away!

I would think walking 2.5miles in -12 degrees to a spot on the Malverns, as soon as I stopped I started painting but was far too cold to paint as only had my jeans on, couldn't feel my hands or feet so had to give up and walk home.

I think being surrounded by cows breathing on you and blocking the view, I'm sure on purpose so I couldn't paint!

Self doubt as a painter - Plein air magazine USA

In March 2012 I was featured in the USA Plein air Magazine which I am on on the advisory board for. A great magazine for any painter or art collector, heres what I wrote:

I've just been out painting and have returned back to the studio feeling like everything I've ever learnt has vanished and left my body. Things sometimes
just don't go right but the passion increases and the motivation to produce something better next time doubles.

I paint away furiously for 30mins not noticing that people are watching, tree branches almost hitting me from the trees above, concentrating fully on getting something down before the light changes. It feels amazing and I'm looking at the painting as tho its my best ever, then I stop, turn away, step a few steps back and its not what I saw some 2 minutes ago,why?… you wonder where has that amazing painting has gone, from that point its making amends of all the chaos and errors the painting has thrown at you.

I started my painting career producing photo realistic cars illustrations and portraits, painted with no errors and tonally perfect until I came across plein air painting with a friend Carl Melegari who had been doing it for years. My first attempts where awful which frustrated me hugely put I've carried on pushing it for a few years on until I started to get just a little better. Sometimes I produce paintings that just work and I'm so happy with then other days my confidence is destroyed when everything goes so wrong, those paintings and days however maybe the time when your learning the most from being out there painting.

Many older painters I've painted with say this never goes away, your continuously fighting yourself and I see it while they are painting, getting wound up that the light has changed, cars parking straight in front of you. It knocks you back and forth, emotions all over.

A think of myself as very early in the scale of things plain air with so much to learn, so much to say in my work for the future. Painters just getting into plein air work should know that its so hard to achieve the ideal but to follow the heart and enjoy being outside in the open air and expressing ones self is what its all about. To feel alive when you mix 2 colours and place them next to each other which just radiate in front of you, to seeing that spark of colour in a green field that no one else will ever see and that you have captured.

All good things come with passion, determination and lots and lots of mistakes, so all painters in pain out there never give up.

I was once told by Jim Howie a painter that every mistake you make, turn into a task' something to think upon.

The article can also be read on the Plein air site at www.outdoorpainter.com/editorial/artists-motivated-by-self-doubt.html

Thoughts and ideas

After years of painting plein air I have got to a stage that I'm becoming stationary in my approach and am wanting to progress to a higher level. What this is I do not know. I'll continue to base all my work on plein air but am looking for something extra..

My main love is colour in the landscape and have been for the past 6 months trying to figure out in my head how that can be captured and expanding upon on the canvas for others to experience and love. After painting yellow rape seed fields, blue bluebells hills,  purple lavender farms, red poppies I've finally had the courage to start to develop a process how I think is best to capture what is learnt from the plein air to the studio. Going out and painting a large sketch, returning to the studio to then work on the canvas simplifying what I have seen and pushing the colours that appeal to me.

Things I've been noticing and wanting to explore while painting in this way:
• What colour goes next to every other colour.
• Soft or hard edges of the shapes.
• Large shapes in the foreground with small in the background.
• Breaking shapes using diagonal lines.
• Warm and cool coloured shapes.
• Depth using colour.
• Thick foreground shapes and thin background shapes.

Throughout these blog posts you will see hopefully a development and my learnings.