It’s every artist’s dream for their work to be exhibited to the public. Leading fine art supplies company, Jackson’s Art Supplies, ran an international competition encouraging artists of all ages and abilities to paint, draw or print to their art’s content for the chance to win their share of £10,000 in prizes and the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in May.
There were six categories under which artists could submit their entries: Animals; Landscape/Cityscape/Seascape; Non-representational/Abstract; Portrait/Figure; Scenes of Everyday Life and Still Life/Botanical. This gave artists working across a variety of media and styles the chance to display their unique works of art on an international scale. The finalists were judged by an exclusive panel of 6 leading figures in the art community from across the globe.
This year 5,366 entries were submitted, and first place in the still life/botanical category was awarded to Paul Stone, from Barnsley with a studio in Wakefield, for his piece entitled “United Nation”.
Paul grew up in a family that had little interest in art, but he himself was an avid comic reader, so developed a love of drawing from his early teens. At 28 he began an evening A level art course, which ignited a love of reading art history and visiting art galleries. He began painting mainly as a hobby, but with an eye for possibly pursuing it as a part time career. It wasn’t until he moved to Sheffield to enrol on a Fine Art degree when the idea of becoming a painter really took hold.
‘I would spend my days in artistic discourse, studying many disciplines of art from around the world, then return to my flat and paint small still lifes from the objects within my own environment, which became cards and presents for friends and family. There was a wonderful moment after I graduated in 2008 when I knew I had to make a decision to paint full time, with still life as my main inspiration. I have never regretted that decision for a moment and my desire to create grows by the day.’
‘United Nation’ is one painting of a continuing series of works that takes a closer look at the things that surround us, where often the natural pattern and beauty of nature is possibly overlooked.
“I don’t have any set ideas of what subject matter I will be painting, I simply go to a local market, such as Leeds, or across to Bolton, and select items that attract the eye. For all the non-organic props, such as the glass or ceramic pieces, I’m often nosing around charity shops or car boot markets, finding discarded objects that have a history of use, and can be given a fresh purpose. One side of my studio has hundreds of these objects. “United Nation” took about 2 months to create, including the drying times of the thin layers of oil paint. It was quite a complicated piece in terms of layering the colour, so I guess I spent about 3 weeks at the easel with this work. Most of my paintings contain about 4 layers on a coloured ground. When I came across the Chard, I immediately loved the various colours (including the gorgeous greens of its leaves), something I hadn’t really seen much before. I wanted to paint the chard on its own, without any further props, so twisting it up was a way of composing the subject in a sculptural way that could possibly suggest a further narrative. In the end, its just a beautiful vegetable, one that I hopefully have paid due homage to.
The title ‘United Nation’ was a bit of a nostalgic pun on the old United Colours Of Benetton Adverbs, where various distinctive colours of clothing were put together in one space. It seemed quite a fitting title to use in today’s society.”
Paul also went on to discuss his artistic inspirations “There’s a range of still life artists I love – Cindy Wright, Sadie Valeri, Carlo Russo and Luciano Ventrone to select a few. Also figurative artists like Colleen Barry and Roberto Ferri. Personal favourites in terms of their whole art practice are Christo and Jeanne-Claude (for their fearless approach to making and funding art), Sebastião Salgado (for his incredible dedication to the subject of his works) and John Singer Sargent (for the love in the glorious way he applies paint).”
Since its inception, Jackson’s Open Painting Prize has grown immensely over the last few years and this year Jackson’s are proud to announce that they are offering the winners £10,000 in prizes, an online showcase and the incredible chance to exhibit their stellar works at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in May*.
The panel of expert judges consisted of Andrew Bick (artist and curator), Kerry Ann Lee (artist, designer and educator), Tom Down (winner of Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2018), Haidee-Jo Summers (artist and author), Yves Blais (curator and producer) and Jennifer Conner (director, curator and publisher).
One of the expert judges, Tom Down from Birmingham, is last year’s competition winner. His work entitled, ‘frontier’, was chosen out of 3,327 international entries and made it through multiple rounds of judging by a panel of art experts. His success meant he received £5,000, a placement at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, a seat on the exhibition panel discussion and amazing exposure across social media sites, newsletters and more. His paintings are currently held in private collections across the UK and USA.
The six category prize-winning artworks can be seen here.
“Jackson’s Open Painting Prize is an excellent opportunity for artists internationally to share their talents with the rest of the world,” says Gary Thompson Director of Jackson’s Art Supplies. “We are very pleased to see a wide variety of media used this year, as well artists of all ages and abilities submitting their pieces.”
*Affordable Art Fair Hampstead: A selection of the winning pieces will be on display as part of the Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2019 finalists exhibition at The Affordable Art Fair Hampstead. The Fair has something for everyone, exhibiting an expertly curated collection of contemporary artworks by new and established artists.
To visit Paul’s website click here.