Category Archives: artists

Tips to keep your artwork in the best possible condition

When spending a sum of money on a piece of art, you want to keep it in the best possible condition – right? After buying a painting or a really nice print, what can be better than admiring it each day and knowing that it can be increasing in value.  However, to ensure it keeps its value and looks at its best, you need to look after it.  Here are a few tips to ensure your artwork remains in pristine condition.

Check fixings

I have people every single month bringing in pictures to my Gallery that have fallen off the wall.  Sometimes it is just the frame that is damaged and it can be repaired.  Other times it has smashed into a piece of furniture damaging that and your picture.  Sometimes if it is glazed,  the glass has broken and damaged the print/original.  If that picture is valuable, it becomes an expensive accident and one that is preventable.

Always check the fixings and the cord/wire on the back of the picture at least once a year.  Cord and wire both fray over time.  If you see any evidence of this, replace straight away.

picture hanging
picture hanging

When you hang a picture, use two picture hangers instead of one.  Space them 2 to 3″ apart.  This is useful for two reasons.  Firstly, if one hanger was to fail, the picture would still be held by the second one.  Secondly, if you use two hooks, the picture will remain level.  Nothing looks worse than pictures on the wall out of alignment and level.  With one hook, the picture is more prone to be knocked out of alignment than using two hooks.

If your picture is particularly heavy, do not use “knock in hooks” but heavy duty screw in hooks.

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Albert Irvin – His pictures expressed his joy of life and art

Albert Irvin is best known for his large abstract paintings full of colour.

Born in Finsbury Park, North London in 1922  to a shopkeeper, Irvin had a normal childhood.  At school he developed an interest in art and his other passion, football.  He was an avid supporter of Arsenal FC throughout his life.

When war was declared with Germany in 1939, the young Albert Irvin was evacuated to Northamptonshire,  a safer place for a young boy than London.  It was here that he studied art at the Northampton School of Art between 1940 and 1941.  Conscription interrupted his time at art school.  He joined the Royal Air Force and trained in Canada as a navigator.  Flying bombing missions over Germany with 236 Squadron from 1944 until the end of the war.

Albert Irvin-Festival
Albert Irvin – Festival

When hostilities had ceased and he was demobbed, he continued his art studies back in London at the Goldsmiths College.

Albert Irving was never an overnight success

Albert Irvin certainly didn’t become an overnight success.  Like most artists he had to turn his hand to other things to bring in some income.  By this time he was married and his wife supported him by doing graphic design work.  Irvin took on screenprinting Laura Ashley’s first fabric designs and became a tutor at  the Hornsey College of Art.

As an abstract painter, it was difficult to break through and become known.  It wasn’t until he was 38 years of age that he had his first solo show and it wasn’t until he was in his 60’s that he found a following and people began to recognise and collect his work.  He joked that he was “the oldest up and coming young artist in Britain”

When people began collecting his work, his career took off.  In the 1970’s he moved from painting in oils to the more vibrant acrylics.  In the 1980’s Irvin moved into screenprinting in association with Advanced Graphics in London.  This association proved so rewarding that he won an Arts Council award in 1975 and  the Gulbenkian award for printmaking in 1983.

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Iain Faulkner ~ The master of the dramatic and mystery

Iain Faulkner is a Scot born in Glasgow in 1973. From an early age, Iain had an interest in art. Ian attended Glasgow School of Art and in 1966 left with a BA (honours) degree in Fine Art.

Unlike his contemporaries, Iain Faulkner did not pursue the usual route but chose the more demanding and difficult route of figurative painting. It was a good move.  By the age of 29, his endeavours and commitment have brought success in his relatively short career. His last four shows in both London and New York selling out.  He has also had successful shows in France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

A Feeling of Time Gone By

His work has a feeling of time gone by with many of his works containing a solitary figure. The images often contain an individual wearing braces and looking out to sea or land.  You could say that Iain Faulkner paints moments of contemplation.  They reflect those moments in life when you pause, think about a person or something. Maybe it is the beauty of a sunset or the vista in front of your eyes.

Iain Faulkner
Iain Faulkner-Contemplating Return

There is sadness in some of his works and a feeling of solitude, melancholy and loneliness which viewers find intriguing.  Maybe it’s the mystery or the dramatic. “What is he thinking?” or “what is he reminded of?”

They say a picture paints a thousand words.  Ian’s pictures do that because he relies on the strong, powerful images to give impact as there is seldom any narrative.

His colour palette is limited also which lends itself to the dramatic.  There is a marked contrast between the light and dark tonal parts of his work.  Ian Faulkner tends to only use two or three colours in most of his paintings, but each of his images is striking and powerful.

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Boris O Klein ~painting dogs was his meal ticket!

Boris O Klein (1893-1985) was born in Moscow in the USSR to French parents. He returned to France at a young age living in the region of Alsace.  He signed up and served in the French army during the First World War and afterwards moved to Paris where he continued to live until his death.

Boris O Klein became an artist and cartoonist and is best known for his hand coloured etchings of dogs getting up to mischief. They have become known as the ‘Dirty Dogs of Paris’ or ‘naughty dogs’ because many of the etchings portray lewd acts.

Boris O Klein
Hello, lovely Blond!
Painted under a pseudonym

He also painted under a pseudonym, “Jean Herblet” The reason is not known but perhaps under that name he produced more serious work.  All his work seemed to feature dogs however and under the name “Jean Herblet” he produced many hunting scenes.

It appears that most of his work was sold to tourists visiting Paris. It was this that probably led him to start producing prints as he could make multiple copies of the one image and sell it over and over again.

The “Dogs of Paris” series was produced by engraving.

When he produced the series that have become known as the “Dogs of Paris,” it amused and resonated with tourists and became a best seller for him and they have remained popular to this day.  The “Dogs of Paris” series was produced by engraving.

Boris O Klein
Boris O Klein – Join the Queue!

The technique requires the image to be “etched” into a plate of a hard surface by a tool called a burin. (These days usually copper).  Ink is then rubbed all over the plate and the excess removed leaving ink in the etched lines.  Good quality paper is needed which is dampened slightly.  The plate and the paper is then put under a press leaving the image on the paper.  Engraving is quite a time-consuming exercise as each print has to be individually done by hand.  Each print of the “Dogs of Paris” series was then hand coloured.

The most popular images of Boris O Klein

There are 30 images in the complete set of Boris O Klein “Dirty Dogs of Paris” and we hold in stock the most popular ones.

These are as follows:

Malentendue (misunderstanding)                       Oh Liberte (Oh Liberty)

La Profanteur (The Defiler)                               L’Etourdie (Bewildered)

Sans Interdit (Prohibited)                                   Tu Viens Beau Blond (a beautiful blond)

Eternels Ennemis (always enemies)                   W.C. Prive (private W.C.)

A La Queue (Join the Queue)                            Reviens Chouquette (come back chouquette)

Sus au Curieux (extra curious)                           Comme Nos Maitres (as our master)

Chacun Son Tour (each in turn)                         L’Attente (attention)

L’Inauguration (the inauguration)                      7,8,9 out…

C’est Impossible! (it is impossible!)                   Vous Voulez (you want to)

Zu tils nous l’ont Grillage! (damn they have a grille)        Hello, Beau Blond! (Hello beautiful blond)

Cercle Vicieux (vicious circle)

Boris O Klein
Boris O Klein – always enemies

Upon the death of Boris O Klein in 1985 his Grandson Eric, has taken over the production of these prints from the original plates and hand paints them to authentically match the originals of his Grandfather.

Boris O Klein etchings have remained very popular and can be found in many houses and establishments throughout the world.



Robert Tilling ~ a much loved inspirational artist

This post is about an artist, Robert Tilling, who spent most of his working life in Jersey, Channel Islands and sadly is no longer with us. As a Gallery, we have been very fortunate and proud to display his work for a number of years and continue to do so to this day.

Robert Tilling was born in Bristol on the 29th September 1944.  He studied Architecture and Art Education and after working in the UK for a few years accepted a post in Jersey and became head of Art at Victoria College in 1968, a post he held until 1997 when he retired and concentrated on his painting.

He was elected a member of the Royal Institute in 1985, in 1987 he was invited to lecture at the Tate Gallery and in 1994 was awarded the prize for the ‘Most outstanding Work by a Member’ of the Royal Institute.

Robert Tilling ~Crane series Vl
Crane Series Vl
Robert Tilling ~Summer Harbour
Summer Harbour

Robert Tilling exhibited his work at various shows and was a major prize winner at the ‘International Drawing Biennale’ in Cleveland and was awarded the prize for ‘Excellence in Watercolour’ at the Royal West of England Academy Autumn exhibition in 2003.  His work is held in private and corporate collections around the world.

In Jersey, he illuminated two of the Loyal Addresses presented to her Majesty the Queen on her visits to the Island and the original of his watercolour ‘Distant Mont Orgueil’ reproduced to decorate the menu card for Her Majesty’s visit in 2001, was later presented as a gift to Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex on their visit to the Island the following year.

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Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.

The elusive artist Banksy has done a good job of keeping his true identity a secret for well over a decade.

Numerous names have cropped up but none to-date have been confirmed.  Apparently, the most likely suspect is a man by the name of Robin Gunningham.  Scientists at Queen Mary University of London claim to have “tagged” Gunningham as Banksy using geographic profiling.  This technique is usually used for catching serial killers.

Is Gunningham Banksy?
Robin Gunningham - Banksy?
Robin Gunningham

If Gunningham is Banksy then we know a little about him.  Gunningham is a former public schoolboy who attended the £9,240.00 a year Bristol Cathedral School.  On enquiries, it was discovered that he was a gifted artist at school thereby adding weight to him being Banksy.  Banksy rose to prominence in the Bristol street scene, therefore making it likely that he came from around that area.  Of course, you can now find his work all over the world with his latest show “Walled Off Hotel” in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem which has caused quite a stir.

Other names have cropped up but so far, Gunningham is the front runner.  I suppose until the day Banksy reveals himself or slips up in some way, we will never know his true identity.

It is understood that he was influenced and inspired by the French stencil artist Blek le Rat and an artist from Bristol, Robert del Naja, who went on to form Massive Attack.

Elusive and identity unknown
Just Google it - Banksy
Just Google it ~ Banksy

Banksy’s elusiveness and unknown identity have turned him into something of a celebrity and in the process made him rich. -very smart!  Not bad for a graffiti artist who predominately uses stencils for his work.  However, he has a social conscience and a lot of his work is bringing to the public eye issues of equality, brutality and unfairness in our society.

Continue reading Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.