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Discerning The World of Arts

“Red Mountains Eye” - Thomas Strumpel

Abstract | Cubism | Expressionism | Figurative | Fine Art | Modern

April 2018

Editor’s Letter Dear Readers, I hope that you are all well, and that you are enjoying the spring. I am extremely pleased to show “Red Mountains Eye” by Thomas Strumpel on the cover this month, as there is a very interesting story behind this amazing collage. Thomas has been showing in The Discerner for two years now, and I use to post the publication to him in a red envelope, when we were still producing hard copies. The red envelope that you see in the collage is one of my red envelopes! Is it not a wonderful story? Thank you Thomas for including The Discerner in your incredible art work!

Kindest regards Celine Gaurier-Joubert

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Thomas Strumpel

Michelle Hold

Robert Noreika

Louise Holgate

Daniel Hooper

Melanie Wright

Evi Antonio

Chris Engel

David Henty

Michael Boffey

Angela Saxon

Caia Matheson

Amy Olds

Sarah Jane Brown

Helen Renna

Emma Davis

Lou Hamilton

Tim Short

Thomas Strumpel I was born in a place along the Rhine River and then some 20 years later, I studied art in Cologne, a hub for art and artists in Germany at that time. I began with drawings but now my focus is on painting. I work with very diluted watercolours, which I apply multiple layers, until depth is reached in the picture. It creates a subtle colour play. The texture of the canvas is evident and becomes part of the painting. I now live in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2015, Elten & Elten Gallery presented my work for which I enjoyed the exposure.

What can a painter say about his own work? That he lives for it? No! He is painting! He does not have any occupation, his life is his art. He insists on seeing the world as he sees the world. However, the exercise of this right is associated with great effort and struggle. Until you get to the point where you have overcome thinking in the sense that you no longer have to think while painting, but leave it to the painting, which is generally described as intuition. The difficulty lies in standing behind his painting and solving his ego. I can not really substantiate my choice of subject. Pictures and motifs appear and some remain so persistent that they have to become pictures. The colors are laid incessantly over each other and interwoven with each other until the picture has created its own existence. At some point, the picture wants to be left alone. It is finished. Now it can be viewed. Now it can open and connect with the viewer, as long as the image and the viewer are on the same wavelength. Often these viewers see something different in the picture than the artist. This shows that the picture is not only created by the artist himself, but in a space that is bigger than the artist himself. Many of my pictures have been painted from photos from my family album. The question of identity and self-understanding which is the question of the meaning of memory in a person’s life, has been asked here. Does every moment become a memory? What is the past? If anyone reads these lines, likes my work and has a photo that he or she would like me to transform into a painting, then this person should contact me. Right now I am starting a new series of works which I have titled: “The life of others”. For some time now I have started to embed some of my “family photos” in other fields of motifs, and to combine them with mushrooms, plants, stars and other. The work entitled “Piggybacking with mushrooms” is a good example of this.

“Red Mountains Eye� Mixed media on canvas 30 cm x 40 cm

The first one of mixed media collages, more will follow

Robert Noreika Bob is a graduate of Paier School of Art and has been a professional artist for forty years. A prominent national award winning artist and illustrator, his paintings hang in both corporate and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In November 2009, the New Britain Museum of American Art acquired for their permanent collection a piece from his “Turtle-esque” series, “Catfish with Turtle”. Bob’s work is also featured in “100 Artists of New England” by Schiffer Publishing. He is represented in numerous galleries and teaches and lectures throughout New England. He has illustrated several children’s books and magazine editorials.

In 2015, Bob became a Signature Member at the American Watercolor Society. Bob is an elected member of the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, the Salmagundi Club, the Lyme Art Association, the Connecticut Watercolor Society, the Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts and he is a signature member of the New England Watercolor Society. Twice, Bob’s work has received awards and selected for the AWS traveling exhibition that toured the country in 2011 and 2013. Bob’s passion for art is matched by a natural talent to paint a wide variety of subjects, highlighted by expressive coastal scenes, intimate woodland pictorials and street scenes. Over the past decade, Bob works passionately on large formatted works on both canvas and paper. These studio pieces incorporate his years of observation, rendering and careful studies of aquatic life. This ongoing series is called “Turtle- esque” expressing gestural fluidity in a semi-abstract setting.

“Turtle-esque” A Series of Aquatic Expression Fluid Acrylics and Beyond “Endless curiosity is what drives Bob’s vision in this quest to capture the stillness above and the symphony below” The Back Story: what grew from a children’s book illustration project to a series that has captivated Bob’s passion for the past decade are his “Turtle-esque” works of art. Bob’s work encompasses the widest variety of technique and texture - pushing the limits to find one totally submersed in his latest works. Bob’s colleagues and collectors have been calling this body of work. “Brilliant! a catch worth pondering and gazing!:” “Marked by a thirst for exploration this series flows from a brush held in the hands of a modern day master” Fishing or canoeing Bob enjoys the opportunity to make micro observations below the water surface. There’s a total aquatic underworld to discover and explore. “Turtle-Esque” begins with this premise, at first in a very non-descript way and then the magic begins. Bob starts to articulate shapes, color, form and various textures which morph into aquatic plants, turtles fish, and frogs.. By suggestions of loose brushstroke Bob strives to emulate the energetic waters and undercurrent - with rhythm and gestural movement. In Bob’s words: “Blue Ascension” is a pinnacle piece in this series. Through a culmination of imagination and masterful techniques fostered over the past forty years Bob continues his artistic quest. As an outdoor enthusiast you ‘ll find Bob freshwater fishing from Maine to the Florida Coast. From the infamous west branch of the Farmington River where you’ll find trophy-sized trout in abundance, to salt water marshes to local ponds filled with turtles and frogs in their natural habitat. Bob’s intimate knowledge of these subjects plays a significant role in heightening awareness of our natural surroundings. One maybe captured first by the vivid display of color but it’s the subtle nuances of activity below that continuously searching for more.

“Pod of Perch� Acrylic 90 cm x 90 cm

I was very intrigued by the zebra like pattern on the yellow perch

Daniel Hooper Self taught and Saatchi-featured artist Daniel Hooper is based near Winchester, Hampshire. A carpenter by trade, Daniel has many years’ experience in design and construction – little wonder his artistic career began using recycled OSB timber as his canvas. Describing his work as abstract-expressionism, Daniel paints without restriction or expectation – just the canvas, the brush and his undivided attention. Usually working in silence, but sometimes aided by music, he simply externalises whatever manifests in his mind. When questioned where his inspiration comes from, Daniel said: “everywhere and nowhere, I just paint, morning, noon or night, whenever it feels right, I paint”

“I had an art phase at school, but this never came to anything, so I left at 16 and went into construction. I was working on building sites around Europe, and in my spare time I used left over paint and remnants of the hoardings that shrouded the construction site as my canvas. I was playing with rubbish and painting on wood became my signature style. This got me noticed by The Discerner magazine, and then I became a featured Saatchi artist - which doesn’t normally happen that quickly.” Since being discovered, Daniel has begun painting on traditional canvas. He says the decision to move away from his signature style was challenging, but important for his career. “I started painting on canvas as some people were uncomfortable buying a painting on such an unorthodox material like wood. Being that I was self-taught, I had to teach myself again to use canvas.” His creative process is inspired by nature and today’s self-alienating culture. “I’m inspired by bird movements and wildlife and those quiet day-to-day observations of the world. No one has time any more. We come haring out the door to get in the car at 6:30 having shouted at the wife and kids and we don’t notice anything around us. We’re alienated by our phones and our busy lives, yet we sit and watch David Attenborough documentaries in awe. But we’re on planet earth and nature is all around us, we just don’t see it. If people stop for a minute or two to look at my painting, and maybe it makes them think about wildlife and what’s around them, I’ve done a good job”. To achieve the striking feel of movement in his paintings, Daniel relies on his background in construction. “I paint in blocks, and build the layers slowly to achieve the movement and feeling I was inspired by. Once I’ve finished with a colour, I have a break and step back. It’s so important in art to stand back, otherwise you can’t see the bigger picture.” The end result, however, is what drives his work. “When you get a reaction or sell a painting, it’s an incredible feeling. The work takes so much time, and the social media which spreads the word is also massively time consuming, but when someone parts with their hard earned cash to buy what you’ve created, it blows your mind. I’m addicted to that buzz.” Daniel dislikes many of the conventions of art. His distain for the elitist element of the business, plus his untrained background, makes him a divisive figure. “The fact that I have no training and started by painting on hoardings annoys the purists. I think it’s important to take the snobbery away from art to make it accessible to a broader audience.” His background means he gets messages from people from all walks of life. “I have school mates who contact me and say: ‘I fxxxxxg hate art, but you made me stop and think.’ I think if we all took 10 seconds now and again to stop and appreciate what’s around us, we’d all be nicer people.

“Dove” Mix oil / Acrylic 100 cm x 100 cm

“Flamingos Flight” Mix oil / Acrylic 100 cm x 100 cm

“Painted by a Swallow” Mix oil / Acrylic 100 cm x 100 cm

“The Cock” Mix oil / Acrylic 100 cm x 100 cm

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Evi Antonio Evi Antonio was born in London and spent her adolescent years enveloped by an urban landscape. She dreamt of the countryside and found solace by immersing herself in the images of natural history books. This fascination with the natural world was cultivated during her teenage years and further refined as she studied Scientific and Natural history Illustration, graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in 1992. It was also at this time, Evi discovered her love for the sea when she visited a remote bird island off of the Pembrokeshire coast on a residential drawing trip. This island visit would go on to inspire and greatly impact her future work.

After graduating, Evi worked for many years as a natural history illustrator contributing to several publications using traditional watercolour techniques. She went on to run a successful illustration agency alongside her husband from their studio in a nature reserve. Evi’s dream of living in the countryside was finally realised and she was able to immerse herself in her surroundings and further develop her love and work of natural history. After raising their two children, Evi made the decision to transition into fine arts where she could fully express her artistic potential. In 2012, she was accepted and exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition where her entire edition of ‘Jono’s lobster’ sold. Following the success of this, her first solo show ‘Cimychiaid Jono’ was an exhibition of works inspired by the sea life of the Pembrokeshire coast and her collaboration with a local fisherman, ‘Jono’. From 2013, Evi’s work was motivated by emotive and spiritual experiences in her life. Loosing her father made a big impact on the themes she started exploring. One of these themes led to her winning an award in 2016 for ‘Best artist in the East of England’ for her painting ‘Papillon de nuit’’ with the National Open Art competition. Evi lives and works between her studio in the Essex countryside, Pembrokeshire and London. Since returning to the city, she is enjoying her new found perspective and looking forward to incorporating this appreciation into her future work. “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”. Albert Einstein A philosophy close to my creative vision. Often as a child, I would stop and look at the moss growing on a stone or the intricate details of lichen on a twig while others walked by. My art celebrates the smaller things that often go unnoticed or are appreciated merely for their culinary or decorative values. My artistic vision is to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the natural world around them, see its hidden beauty and consider their worth in our ever fragile and vanishing ecosystems. All of nature inspires me but reoccurring themes reflect my passion for the sea and entomology. With an obsessive eye for detail and composition, the symmetrical forms, colours and textures of insects and crustaceans excite me. To express this vision, I have mixed old traditions with new. Digital painting techniques have enabled me to work on a much larger scale and resulting in a contemporary edge. Merging this with traditional hand painting, furthers adds aesthetic qualities and depth. The result is as if we see the subject under a magnifying glass; I want to evoke and inspire the viewer with my sense of awe and wonder and to look closer at these creatures that we share our world with.

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“Cawr Gwahan” 94 cm x 59 cm Digital painting printed on fine art canvas and hand finished in oils and varnish. A collaboration with a Welsh fisherman. Edition of 8, from ‘Cimychiaid Jono’

“Cawr Glas” 94 cm x 59 cm Digital painting printed on fine art canvas and hand finished in oils and varnish. A collaboration with a Welsh fisherman. Edition of 8, from ‘Cimychiaid Jono’

“Psygodyn o’r Ilongddrylliad” 94 cm x 59 cm Digital painting printed on fine art canvas and hand finished in oils and varnish. A collaboration with a Welsh fisherman. Edition of 8, from ‘Cimychiaid Jono’

“Ynys Bery” Oil on board 94 cm x 59 cm Digital painting printed on fine art canvas and hand finished in oils and varnish. A collaboration with a Welsh fisherman. Edition of 8, from ‘Cimychiaid Jono’

David Henty David Henty is now recognised as the number one copyist artist in the world today. His work is meticulously and lovingly recreated to the finest detail, having honed his craft over 25 years to now master the techniques and nuances of some of history’s most iconic artists. Each piece involves rigorous preparation through an immersive research process: studying the original painting where possible, developing an understanding of how the artist worked, and sourcing the correct materials and pallet true to the period. David’s work, and art copying, has become it’s own genre, and its own legitimate art form, much sought after and collected by art lovers and galleries alike.

With more than twenty-five years experience replicating great works of art, David Henty is now considered the world’s best art forger/ copyist. He has considerable expertise in convincing the viewer and art experts, having mastered the techniques and idiosyncrasies of some of the most iconic artists, from Michelangelo and Caravaggio through to Pablo Picasso. Each piece involves rigorous preparation through David’s immersive research process, studying the original painting, developing an understanding of how the artist worked, and sourcing materials true to the period. David Henty’s history as a copyist/art forger starts, appropriately enough, with a conviction for forgery, more than twenty-five years ago. It was while serving the resulting prison sentence that David’s passion for art was rekindled. Quickly seduced by the technicality of copying, he has honed his craft to perfection, establishing a thriving legitimate business. David explains that his is a very different discipline to producing the original artwork, and that copying is notoriously difficult. Mastering an artist’s unique style, however, is a challenge he embraces. It is only once he’s developed an affinity with the artist, that he’s connected with him or her that he will attempt to emulate their style. This means that David’s preparation for a painting begins even before his brush touches the canvas! Prior to starting work on a piece, David will delve into the artist’s life and thoughts in order to get beneath the skin of that person. He derives huge satisfaction from deconstructing a work and analysing how to lay down each stroke, as well as mixing the perfect palette. There is the upmost importance of copy artists in the art world, to produce works of the greatest artists that have every lived. Once this art form has gone it will be lost forever. David Henty produces his highly collectible paintings for enthusiasts and private collections around the globe. Each original piece is presented in its own bespoke, handmade frame and signed on the reverse by David to certify authenticity. A star in his own right, David’s copies have come to the attention of high profile media channels such as The Sunday Telegraph, the BBC, and Radio 4, who’ve all run articles on him, as well as an appearance on the Sky Art channel, Sky News and many more. There is also a book in process and a Channel 4 documentary.

Pablo Picasso: Good artists copy, great artists steal. DAVID HENTY does both!

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“Sunflowers” Oil on canvas 90 cm x 110 cm

For Van Gogh sunflowers represented happiness.

Angela Saxon Angela Saxon lives and works in beautiful northern Michigan near Traverse City — surrounded by the spectacular Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. She received a BFA in painting from Indiana University. Recent painting residencies have included Rome and the Sabina region, Italy; Tuscany and Chianti regions, Italy; Umbria, Italy; Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico; Palm Springs, California; Glen Arbor, Michigan. Her paintings are shown in galleries throughout the US and her work is held in both private and public collections; she also undertakes commissions.

The visual language of landscape is one that we most fundamentally share. Sky, trees, water: these are some of the most basic visual concepts that structure our perception of reality. But for all the commonality in these concrete objects, for each of us the experience of seeing is slightly di erent, being inevitably in ected by the perception of the observer. As a perceptual painter, Angela translates her observations of nature into a personal dialect of color, shape, line and light, expressive marks that both describe and negate their subject matter. Using this unique language, she is able to evoke more than the landscape in her atmospheric work, imbuing it with added purpose and clarity of vision. Beginning on location, Angela’s process moves from the generation of small plein air paintings or drawings to larger studio work. e multiple steps of interpretation allow her to both capture the immediacy of her ever- shi ing nature settings, and to meditate deeply and constructively on her pieces in the more formal and removed space of the studio. Her work typically moves from a depiction of concrete details into an intensi ed geometry, pushing toward abstracted shapes that are reminiscent of known forms but that have a purpose in the painting other than merely describing that known form. Her visual exploration of the natural world also regularly includes painting from the gure, as well as mixed media collages combining fragments of her drawings and paintings with work from her early childhood to the present. Angela typically works in series, painting through an idea resolution and then making further way forward to a new piece as the outcome of this process. While her painting is direct and con dent, she also takes risks regularly and remains open to happy accident and creative chance: the way that a brush full of paint feels its way around the arc of a shoreline, inadvertently dragging bright green through pale blue. Contained in the open space between communication and doubt, Angela’s work is in a constant state of evolution.

“Around and Underneath� Acrylic 61 cm x 76 cm

The longer I sit and look at a landscape, the more I see and understand

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Amy Olds American by birth, Amy Olds has been living and working in Britain since 1988. Having a BA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, she then gained her Masters in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1997. A residency in 1998 at Arteleku in San Sebastien, Spain, afforded Amy the opportunity to receive one-on-one tutorials with such esteemed painters as Julian Schnabel and Terry Winters. In 2007, she exhibited alongside Bridget Riley and Ralph Steadman at the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture charity auction. She has exhibited her work, both as a solo artist and in group shows, widely throughout the UK, as well as undertaking commissions here and abroad. Three of her paintings have recently been acquired for the permanent collection of the charity, Paintings in Hospitals.

Having always been inspired by landscape, Amy’s work sets out to capture sensations through the use of colour relationships, space and movement— the activity of painting being the subject of each work. By combining quick, accidental splashes with slower, more considered compositional choices, the pieces achieve a push-pull relationship. Initially working with the canvas on the floor, paint is poured, squeegeed, and allowed to pool and disperse. Once she is happy with the composition at this more accidental stage, the painting is left to dry. The second phase is a slower, more contemplative stage, where decisions are made regarding colour relationships and compositional balance, painting the ‘background’ in around the earlier splashes of paint. These two distinct ‘paces’ combine to create paintings that are energetic and calm at the same time.

“Fingers Crossed” Oil and acrylic on canvas 60 cm x 60 cm The random diagonals in close colour combinations create a jewel-like pattern in this small painting.

“Fingers and Toes Crossed” Oil and acrylic on canvas 60 cm x 60 cm Another example of working with diagonals to create a faceted, dynamic pattern.

“Cusp” Oil and acrylic on canvas 150 cm x 75 cm This is a study in space and movement, inspired by astronomical images of solar flares.

Helen Renna I always knew I would end up in a creative world. My great-grand father painted icons for churches, my grand father produced oil and watercolour paintings and was a keen musician, while my parents also had a creative flair. I guess art was always in my genes. While at school and university I have learned a variety of skills from dress making to metal sculpture, but photography has always been a big part of my life. In photography I found a way to combine and extend my creative skills. Since I moved to London I gained more in-depth knowledge in photography while working as an apprentice photographer for an Emmy Award nominee. I have been published and exhibited in London in recent years.

I have always been interested in Korean culture. Growing up I started learning about its traditions. I am inspired by nature and Korean traditional dress, both of which are marked by vivid colours. Each season has its own distinctive colours and throughout Korean history, colours have been an important aspect of Korean textile production. I like light and semi-transparent fabrics such as organza and chiffon, they help to add gentle and delicate dream-like touch to the whole look. All the outfits in my portfolio have been made by hand therefore each photo shoot takes typically up to 6 months to prepare. In my photography I like to tell stories by taking into account religious, historical and cultural aspects of Korea.

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“Blue Breeze 2/2” Ink on archival board, varnished and framed (aluminium frame) Signed, limited edition 120 cm x 80 cm This piece was inspired by Chinese long sleeve dance which reached it’s peak during Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) The outfit, headdress, set up made by artist.

“Blue Breeze 2/3” Ink on archival board, varnished and framed (aluminium frame) Signed, limited edition 120 cm x 80 cm This piece was inspired by Chinese dragon which used to be a symbol of strength and power in ancient China. The dragon, outfit, headdress are hand made by artist. The whole set up was made on location, using real smoke.

Lou Hamilton Lou sells to collectors worldwide privately & through the online gallery Saatchi art. Her work has been commissioned for site-specific projects, won prizes and exhibited in both group and one-woman shows. She studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and Chelsea College of Art, graduating from both with Distinction. Her conceptual work was followed by welding scrap steel and wielding an early video camera, and the TV/film industry seduced her while she raised her kids until she finally returned to painting and drawing. Her book of drawings “Brave New Girl” was published in 2016 and her new illustrated self-help book Fear Less is out in April 2018. Her painting, drawing & sculptural installation show “O” is to be exhibited from March 22nd -25th 2018 at The Other Art Fair London. She is a life Member of the Chelsea Arts Club.

Lou Hamilton’s work consists of abstract oil paintings and ink drawings on paper. Her focus has been on landscape but gradually her view turned from looking forwards to the horizon, to seeing the world from above. At first she painted the hotch potch rectangles she saw from a plane until her attention turned to the domestic, piles of crockery piled on top of each other like a target. The concentric circular patterns took over her paintings but then her drawings started to simplify the imagery still further. Each day she started to draw freeform circles with beautifully viscous inks using calligraphy brushes. They weren’t perfect and they were finished off with a wiggly line led away by her character Brave New Girl who steps off a red Chinese block mark, into the unknown. These repetitive drawings, one day after another became like a meditation; a circular trace of calm and order in the chaos of the day. Lou turned back to her paintings and simplified them too. Pale rings on dark backgrounds or dark circles against light. Yin and yang. Chaos and order. Suffering and the search for meaning. A balance of opposites. Life as eternal, infinite energy that never disappears but only changes form; the circular span of life. Carl Jung was compelled and comforted by drawing mandalas long before he discovered what they meant. “Formation. Transformation. Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation.”(Memories, Dreams, Reflections 195-196) He believed they represented the wholeness of the Self, the complete personality that is harmonious when everything is going well but will not tolerate self-deception. We cling to a round earth, are warmed by a round sun and our waters are guided by the pull of a round moon. At the beginning of humanity we sat round a camp-fire. We built stone circles like the British Stonehenge or the Polish Seven Sisters in answer to our spiritual call and gradually over time we came to construct grand cathedrals with ornate round rose windows that gave us the vision to something higher than ourselves. Yurts, igloos, geodesic domes, the roofs of temples and mosques envelop us in the three-dimensional semi-circle, with its footings forming a complete circle at its base. In hill forts and fortress towns the rings of walls, circle of ramparts and tower sitting on the plan of a circle offered protection, sanctuary and power. We were comforted by the secure enclosure that a circular boundary traced around us. Buddhists view the circle and their Mandala as a symbol of the sky, as transcendence; and the Universe is symbolized by The Wheel of Dharma, like the wheel of a cart that keeps moving, as in the teachings of Buddhism that continue to spread endlessly across geography and time. The eight spokes of the wheel symbolize the eightfold path of Buddha; guidelines to living well, with the right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, concentration and mindfulness. When you’ve got it ‘right’ in any of these areas you can feel it. When you work towards achieving ‘rightness’ in all of these then your whole life feels balanced. It makes for a life in progress. Every day is different and each challenge tests our ability to hold onto the right way. We are constantly slipping away from the guidelines, and so coming back to the circle is a constant reminder. We feel the substance of history, culture and time behind simple circular marks; behind the significance of the circle. The foundations of its symbolism run deep and its narrative has many layers. Because of all this Lou returns to it over and over and finds something new each time she puts ink to paper or paint to canvas. Creating a circle tunes her into the forces of nature, whilst her work is set in the square of the paper or canvas as geometric stillness and quiet in a busy and chaotic world. She aspires for the viewer to feel that same sense of completeness and comfort, a focus in which to rest our eyes and our minds, a place to re-energise our spirits; a cyclical continuum in which false starts, mistakes and challenges are all part of positive progression and learning.

“Peace” Rice paper, fabric, ink, acrylic 50 cm x 50 cm

“Order” Oil, plaster, acrylic 50 cm x 50 cm

“Onwards” Oil, plaster, acrylic, recycled plastics 50 cm x 50 cm

“Ozone” Oil, plaster, acrylic 50 cm x 50 cm

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Michelle Hold Michelle Hold is a German-born artist based in Italy who paints vibrant abstract works inspired by emotion and energy. Her canvases are loud and layered, enticing the viewer to look further and further into their depths. We just love the expressive force of Michelle’s canvases, and we’d recommend them for any interior in need of some punch. The artist, who grew up in Austria, had begun to study architecture when she fell into modelling. On her travels, she took various art and textile design classes. She then worked as a textile designer in Milan before later throwing herself full time into painting. Michelle has held solo exhibitions throughout Italy and in London, and she has participated in international art fairs in Miami, Athens, Milan and Berlin. Her works have featured in group exhibitions across the globe. She has been shortlisted for the RiseArt Prize in 2018.

Art is my life and passion. My work is based on capturing the essence of feelings, emotions and the invisible, eternal energy that pervades in the universe, focusing on beauty and it’s scarcity in current time. I am inspired by nature and new science that meets spirituality. Creating from a place of no time , no space no body in my studio in Italy. Like an architect I love to construct the images with multiple layering, but at the same time leaving space for surprise, for something unexpected to happen, where my dance like gestures encounter the vibrations of color. Color is vital to convey my message of harmony and wellbeing and I am interested in the perception of space and emotion through the equilibrated use of color, which I have trained while working in textile design. Currently I am working on paintings for my solo exhibition for 2018 ‘Color is calling’ where I will elaborate the deeper, silent message color brings and the healing influence it has on us. Color isn’t just color, specially in my paintings it shows a state of mind, feelings and emotions. I aim to offer the spectator a view into special moments of time where all is possible and like my creations to enchant, add to wellbeing and open the mind.

“Reemerge” 2016 Acrylics, pigments on canvas 120 cm x 200 cm

“Believe in magic” 2016 Acrylics, pigments on canvas 120 cm x 200 cm

Louise Holgate I studied Fashion and Textiles and then Environmental Design/Architecture at Chelsea School of Art and The Royal College of Art. I worked as an architect/ designer in London for many years. I always found time to paint and in 2008 moved to Bruton, Somerset to establish my painting studio. In 2015 Highgate Contemporary Art Gallery, London showed my work in a joint exhibition with Ruth Bunnewell. My paintings were also included in their Summer Exhibitions in 2015/2016. In 2016 I had my first solo exhibition at the restaurant Festa Sul Prato, in Deptford, London. My work was also included in the Bath Society of Artists 111th Annual Open Exhibition. In 2017 my work was included in NOA (National Open Art)/ARTROOMS exhibition in London. During this year I also showed my work with Rosvik Gallery at The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London and The Hope Charity Ball in Bath. My sketchbook was included in Rabley Drawing Centre’s SKETCH Open Exhibition. My paintings are regularly exhibited at the Chelsea Arts Club, London and are in a number of private collections in the UK and in Europe. My Paintings are: semi-abstract and I work with oil paint on board and on canvas. I work intuitively. The initial steps of a painting are without thought or premonition, like a dancer or an athlete. At some point during the painting process I arrive at a dialogue with the work. This is followed by much exploring and experimenting until a final conclusion is reached. Inspiration for my paintings comes initially from events and experiences and from my subconscious where a storehouse of material is found. I also like to give myself limitations – for instance use no more than 2 colours. Colour and its many aspects are important in my work. This includes the mixing, blending and layering of colours to produce a sense of light and of space. I also like to use colour symbolically to communicate messages. For instance, my palette changes with the place or season - be it earth colours of the winter, acid colours of fields of rape in flower or the blue of tropical waters. I am drawn to the contours of ancient landscapes and the patina and shape of objects and buildings worn by time. An acknowledgement of the resulting beauty can be found in many of my paintings – often through the use of texture. Amongst the many artists whose work I admire and feel a great affinity with are the post-war British artists. Their fascination with the archaeology and the sculptural monuments of our ancestors are a particular inspiration. I see my work as contemplative and intimate in scale. I invite the viewer to develop a visual relationship with my paintings that is uplifting and whose visual meaning can change to reflect the fluctuations of their state of mind.

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“Into The Light Two” Oil on canvas 76 cm x 61 cm Painting Two of a series of Two. Painted while looking forward to the end of a long dark winter

“Into The Light One” Oil on canvas 51 cm x 61 cm Painting one of a series of two. Painted while looking forward to the end of a long dark winter

Melanie Wright Melanie lives in the Cotswolds, where her deep affinity with horses and the landscape inform and inspire her paintings. She is well known for her equestrian sporting images in the fields of Racing, Dressage and Polo. Melanie trained as a portrait painter at Heatherleys School of Fine Art in London and carries both her formal portrait painting skills and her endless fascination with depicting movement, spirit and the atmosphere of place, into her artwork. Working in oils, watercolour and drawn media, Melanie’s paintings have been exhibited in London and Oxfordshire and feature in private collections in the USA, Europe and Scandinavia.

For as long as I can remember I have been making art, in the form of drawing and painting. I was born into a family in North Yorkshire, that shared a passion for the countryside, horses and art. Both my grandmothers were art school trained practicing artists. My paternal Grandmother was a gifted watercolour painter, notably of winter landscapes, and my maternal Grandmother was for a time, an illustrator, in London. My Grandfathers were keen riders, and racing enthusiasts, with hunting and polo (in Burma and India) playing a key part in their lives. This background has been an influence on my own creative path, as has the dynamic of enjoying life outdoors, equestrian pursuits and handling horses, balanced with reflective, concentrated periods of study and painting from nature, learning to look and to explore the beauty of the landscape. Following those formative early years, I went to Art School in London. Training firstly as a textile designer and then later as a Fine Art portrait and life painter at Heatherleys School of Art, followed by a History of Art Course at Christies Education. I was particularly drawn to and inspired by artists from the Modern British Period, such as Ivon Hitchens, Paul Nash, John Skeaping and Alfred Munnings. For a number of years I ran a portrait studio and teaching practice in London. After moving away from the city, to North Oxfordshire, in 2008, I reconnected in some ways, through my painting to those early influences and have focused on equestrian painting and landscape subjects ever since. The Cotswolds provide an endlessly rich source of inspiration, offering such a fantastic variety of equestrian sports, and of course the stunning landscapes. Working in oils, watercolour and drawn media (occasionally mixed media), my approach is unashamedly old school. I like to work directly from the subject, wherever and whenever possible, filling sketchbooks with observations, studies and ideas. This approach proved particularly rewarding when ‘Artist in Residence’ at specific locations, such as a racing stables, racetrack, or national park. I relish the opportunity to build a connection over a period of time with both ‘place’ and ‘people’, observing the day to day activities and variety of subject matter, that residencies present. Occasionally, alongside painting for exhibitions, I work to private commission, notably for equine portraiture. My two main category subjects, while being on the face of it, rather different, work both independently and combined in a painting. Much of my landscape painting is carried out spontaneously, on the spot, on a small and intimate scale, through multiple studies. Larger landscape pieces are developed further later on in the studio, away from the subject, with a focus on memory and surface interest. Both ‘equestrian’ and ‘landscape’ provide me with the inner connection and outer movement I am searching for. My aim is to capture the fleeting moment, be it dramatic or meditative in nature. This could be the charge of horses across a polo ground, or around a racetrack, or the shadows of overhead clouds scudding across a valley bringing a rapid change of light and atmosphere. I look for the palpable energy and my own emotional response. And ultimately, this is what I feel compelled to engage with, to continually explore and to create through my art.

These two paintings, both with a racing theme, show Melanie’s characteristic gestural manner of applying brushstrokes in an almost abstract manner to allow movement and atmosphere into her subject. ‘Thundering Home’ evokes the power and full on drama of a tightly bunched group of horses racing towards the viewer, in a generic scene. ‘Morning procession to the gallops’ is a closely observed and rapidly executed oil sketch, painted from the subject, one which Melanie painted frequently while artist in residence at Charlie Longsdon Racing in Oxfordshire. The relaxed and calm procession of the riders, wearing the Racing Yard blue colours, on the racehorses as they approach the all weather gallops for early morning exercise, is in contrast to the speed action that is about to be unleashed when they reach them.

“Thundering Home” Original Watercolour 24 cm x 34 cm image size Framed with white mount and in a pewter wooden frame

“Morning procession to the Gallops” Oil on linen 19 cm x 38 cm image size Framed in wide hand finished taupe/grey painted frame with an antiqued gilt detail to outer edge

Christopher Engel Engel began exhibiting his work in the mid 1980’s in New York City, and has had exhibits in NYC, East Hampton, Springs, Sag Harbor, Water Mill, Southampton, Palm Springs, Paris, and Buenos Aires. His work is part of many private collections in the U.S. and abroad.

The origins of Engel’s abstracts come from summers spent in his studio located on an island off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where he was struck by the interplay of light and wind upon the water, observing the reflections and recording their paths. The reverberating lines arc and flow in evolving color and emerge into patterns reminiscent of the ancient markings of our ancestors. Working in his studio overlooking a nature sanctuary of ponds and acres of woods in Sag Harbor, NY for the past few years, Engel has connected the movements from the past to the present, inscribing the memory of the same spirit and energy. These are simple lines that bend into triangles of red, yellow, green, gold and burnt orange, rushing together in a dazzling display of colors and forms reminiscent of hieroglyphics and simultaneously related to the fabric of life itself. It is as if the viewer is peering through a microscope and capturing a dance of molecules, vibrating and evolving. The lines flow into the light as well as the dark, illuminating paths open to both the literal and the symbolic. The viewer is encouraged to ponder and then allow the journey to unfurl.

“Through the Lines” Acrylic, gouache, watercolor, graphite on paper 106.88 cm x 152.4 cm POA


Michael Boffey Michael Boffey was born in Liverpool in 1971. He trained in Fine Art Painting at Loughborough College of Art and Design (1991-1994), and received an MA with Distinction in Fine Art from De Montfort University, Leicester (1995-1997). He has participated in the touring shows Flora, (with artists Emma Bennett, Anya Gallaccio, Ori Ghersht, Owen Griffiths, Ann-Mie-Melis, Jacques Nimki, Yoshihiro Suda, and Clare Twomey) and Fleursdumal in London. His work has been exhibited in many group shows including Saatchi’s New Sensations/The Future Can Wait, at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London, and The National Open Art, London. Michael currently lives and has a studio in East London.

According to psychopathologists people’s abiding tendency is to avoid confronting loss. Instead, they cherish it by refusing change and subject the relics that remain to endless emotional ransacking as a continuation of their own withdrawal. Imaged in the bronze cast work of Michael Boffey, these remnants, here in the form of cut flowers and other domestic and ornamental paraphernalia are not superfluities then. These faded fancies have been transformed through various nominal and procedural processes, both gentle and violent, to allow a meditation on reminiscence. The playing fields of memory contain a superabundance of richly complex accounts, sometimes embellished and sometimes faded. Apparently nostalgia is a very bad thing, but despite benign advice about not to looking back, we have little idea of what our world will be like in the future. It seems that coping with the fears and pleasures of now and with those of tomorrow does necessitate acknowledgement of a past. Jean Taylor

“Elegy” Patinated bronze 39.5 cm x 49.5 cm x 6 cm

“Scherzo” Patinated bronze 37 cm x 48 cm x 5 cm

“Ogunde” Patinated bronze 40.5 cm x 50.5 cm x 6 cm

“Stolen Moments” Silver nitrate patinated bronze 45 cm x 35 cm x 7 cm

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Caia Matheson Caia Matheson is an award-winning contemporary oil painter based in Brighton, UK. She was born in Johannesburg and educated in Tokyo and London. Matheson has exhibited widely in the UK, and has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including winning Brighton Artist of the Year in 2004. Matheson painted Europe’s first Rainbow Pedestrian Crossing Brighton in 2014, and in 2013 her work was selected by author Neil Gaiman for the book A Calendar of Tales. Matheson is inspired by wabi sabi, or the beauty of imperfection.

For Matheson, painting is a very physical process. She loves to mix paint mediums and experiment with the effects. This, for her, can be the most exciting part of the creative process. Her mediums are oils – tubes of oil paint, oil bars, oil pastels and mixtures of oil paints and dyes. She enjoys the texture consistency and smell of them. Matheson paints with her hands and washing-up sponges onto canvases laid flat on the floor, building and scratching off layers of oil paint to create a world within worlds. The layers are designed in a way to expose different subjects of the composition. These subjects are buried in the dark and light spaces and come out and disappear as the light changes presenting different aspects depending on shifting light conditions and mood. My work is about words and verse from all sources such as radio plays audio books stories song lyrics and poetry. I get such great pictures from words and translate them into my work as a visual narrative. I begin painting with a specific colour that I have in my mind’s eye. I then introduce other colours and begin to build layers on the canvas. These layers are then scratched off and layered over again like a palimpsest literally meaning ‘scraped clean and used again’. I love the idea of previous markings that are not visible but are still an inherent part of the composition. I consider each successive layer a generation to populate or depopulate the canvas as needed and create my own world as I go. I like to create a world within worlds. As a kid I used to be fascinated by the Lowly worm in the Richard Scarry books. I loved scouring each page to seek out that worm and when I found it I would feel most content like I had discovered a piece of secret truth that would uncover all the answers to my questions about the universe. There are some Lowly worms in my abstracts albeit in symbolic form.

“Ionosphere” Oil and dyes on hand stretched canvas Unframed 100H x 210W x 3D cm

FLUX Ehibition Location: 16 John Islip St, Westminster, London SW1P 4JU Nearest Tube Pimlico Opening Hours: 11th April 18.00 – 21.30 Private View (ticketed) 12th April 11.00 – 19.00 13th April 11.00 – 20.00 14th April 11.00 – 19.00 15th April 10.00 – 15.00

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Sarah Jane Brown Sarah Jane Brown lives on the rugged Welsh coast, where her environment, and previous maritime career, have instilled a deep affinity with the sea. She studied ‘Fine Art - Painting’ at the West Wales School of the Arts, graduating with a first class honours degree. Brown’s career as a full time professional artist has steadily gained momentum and recognition and her work now attracts international collectors. She has exhibited widely in the UK, has had many successful solo shows. The artist also recently exhibited with the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries in London and The Royal Cambrian Academy in North Wales. Sarah combines her knowledge of ‘old master’ techniques with contemporary working practice. Conceptually her paintings are an outpouring of personal feeling and a strong sense of place; using the landscape metaphorically to describe thoughts and emotions.

“Our surroundings form a part of us, they shape our perception and colour our thoughts and ideals. For me they are a vehicle to describe more internal aspects of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves. There is something about being immersed in the vastness of the landscape that gives clarity and focus to the space within. My approach to landscape is therefore introspective and intimate. I enjoy the versatility of oil paint, and find it the best medium to convey the varied sensations of being in the landscape; sometimes calm, restorative, or spiritually uplifting and at other times wild, dynamic, rejuvenating and mentally energising. Oil paint is also equally responsive to my internal thoughts and feelings. I walk the coast path or the beach near my home in Pembrokeshire and absorb; meditative space and light, magical junctures of land, sea and sky, endlessly changing colours, reflections and atmospheric conditions. I know it so well, after years of collecting observations it is ingrained. I photograph, make sketches and painted studies to get the landscape ‘under my skin’. In the studio these observations are transformed, becoming more expressive as I engage with the physicality of painting, sometimes veering towards abstraction. My style is expressive and combines a variety of methods; staining, glazing and blending in many layers, gradually building up thickness and texture. Paint is applied with brushes, knives, rags and sometimes fingers. It is painted, scraped, flicked, spattered and poured on, and sometimes off again, until the finished painting emerges. Titles are deliberately ambiguous. They emerge from phrases that cross my mind whilst I am in the studio or out in the landscape, sometimes they are excerpts from poetry, or are often just snippets of my own windswept thoughts.”

“Mind Blown” Oil on canvas 60 cm x 60 cm Framed size 75 cm x 75 cm x 4.5 cm Watching the power and energy of breaking waves is an endless and addictive drama.

“Other forces” Oil on canvas 50 cm x 50 cm Framed size 67 cm x 67 cm x 4.5 cm Shafts of light through storm clouds take on an otherworldly appearance, reminding us of our human frailty.

“Impact” Oil on board 23 cm x 40 cm Framed size 38 cm x 55 cm x 4.5 cm The sea batters the coast relentlessly, just as ‘time and tide wait for no man’.

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Emma Davis Emma davis lives and works in London. With an MA degree in Literature and in Fine Art, Emma studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and the University of York. Last year emma returned to Antibes at Artist in Residence. She was recently selected for the London Creative Network, took part in the London Intensive (Slade School of Fine Art and Camden Arts Centre), and was shortlisted the ArtSlant International Prize.

Emma Davis is a writer and a visual artist, always torn between semiotic means. Led into abstraction because of what she felt to be a political oddness in painting naked women, she is greatly influenced by Howard Hodgkin, as well as by Japanese block prints and Chinese pottery. She works across a variety of media, including oils, watercolour, etchings, monoprints and pencil on paper, but all of her work really relates to drawing, an activity she finds somehow intimate. An avid traveller herself, she draws a lot on public transport, or at galleries and concerts, where people are lost in their own thoughts, their private worlds on public display, absorbed and unselfconscious. Etching makes the drawings easier to read, more permanent, more finished. Davis often adds text to her works, making reference to what is in her head, what an image suggests to her, or what sensation is conjured. The act of drawing slows her down, allowing her to access her thoughts more directly. Similarly, her watercolours are mainly about the effect and meaning of line – an abstract quality but one that refers back to pictographic languages and calligraphy. Her palettes are intense, reflecting heat, a jangle of colours reacting to one other. – Anna McNay

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“Orange Triangle” Acrylic and oil on paper 14 cm x 21 cm

“Red Triangle” Acrylic and oil on paper 14 cm x 21 cm

The #Bitcoin Bubble Is Caused By The Halo Effect One of the causes of the Bitcoin bubble is a cognitive bias known as the Halo Effect. I will explain how this works and how it is going to prove very expensive for holders of Bitcoin. The Halo Effect occurs when people judge the overall quality of an item or person by considering only a single property of that item. This can lead to dramatic errors; most obviously when all of the other qualities of the item are negative or highly questionable. This I will argue here is one causal factor among several which have caused novice investors to buy Bitcoin. When it crashes, they will lose all of their money. They will be unable to exit the market because the power of the cognitive bias is too strong. The Halo Effect was first seen in data about personality assessment in the military. It was found that officers asked to rate their subordinates would in fact rely on a single criterion, and then assume that all other relevant factors were correlated with that one criterion. This is obviously dramatically false unless all of the other variables are correlated with the one assessed. And that is highly unlikely to be true. Many people are unable to distinguish Bitcoin from the blockchain. This leads many of the novice investors who are buying Bitcoin to fail to distinguish between the two claims “I am buying Bitcoin” and “I am investing in blockchain technology.” The blockchain is a distributed ledger system which offers transparent recording of transactions (or any data) without the backing of any central authority. It is an extremely interesting technology which holds great promise. It could, for example, be used to create corruption-resistant property ledgers. That would be of great benefit, not least in combatting money laundering. Bitcoin is termed a “cryptocurrency” even though it does not fulfil the roles of a currency in that it is not readily convertible and it is not a stable store of value. It is used to reward the miners who maintain the blockchain on a widely dispersed set of servers. However, it is clear that the blockchain and Bitcoin are not identical. An objection has been attempted here by a Bitcoin proponent that it is not possible to have a blockchain without a cryptocurrency. There are a number of readings of that, but on the obvious two, the claim is either false, or true but misleading. If the claim is read as “you cannot run blockchain code without also generating a cryptocurrency” then it is false. There is no reason why the blockchain code could not be run with the cryptocurrency elements redacted. If the claim is read as “it is necessary to compensate the miners, ” then it is true. However, the miners could be paid in $. Or the blockchain could run in the cloud, or in many clouds. That would carry some costs, but this is not a problem. It would even be possible to compensate the miners in a cryptocurrency which was pegged against the $. There is no need for the cryptocurrency to appreciate and definitely not to gyrate wildly. I therefore conclude that the objection fails. There is one positive property that Bitcoin possesses. It is true that it is generated using the blockchain technology. It is also true that the blockchain technology is extremely interesting, and being pursued widely by a number of serious players. By contrast, no professional, experienced or institutional investor is holding Bitcoin. Novice investors fall prey to the Halo Effect when they think that the one positive quality of Bitcoin is a measure of its overall quality, when in fact it has no other redeeming features at all. This will prove to be a very expensive cognitive bias when the Bitcoin crash comes. I discuss the effects of cognitive biases like the Halo Effect in my new book — see facing page

This book is the first to demonstrate the practical implications of an important, yet under-considered area of psychology in helping traders and investors understand the biases and attribution errors that drive unpredictable behaviour on the trading floor. Readers will improve their chances of trading successfully by learning where cognitive biases lead to errors in stock analysis and how these biases can be used to predict behaviour in market participants.

The Discerner Art Publication - April 2018  

Discover extraordinary contemporary artists on a monthly basis

The Discerner Art Publication - April 2018  

Discover extraordinary contemporary artists on a monthly basis