Summer Prints and Drawings Show

Recent works by Julian Bailey, Martyn Brewster, Michael Fairclough, Vanessa Gardiner, Janette Kerr PhD HRSA PPRWA, Alex Lowery and Sally McLaren.

17 July – 12 September 2021

Sladers Yard’s first Summer Prints and Drawings Show brings together seven of our most popular artists. Acclaimed painters in oil, acrylic or mixed media, they all take time out from painting to draw or make prints. The strength and pleasure of the line and the discipline of the various printing techniques, whether in black and white or colour, adds muscle to their painting without a doubt. However for all the artists in this show, this is much more than simply a study process. The works they produce are fully resolved beautiful works of art in themselves.

Julian Bailey - drypoint prints with gouache

JULIAN BAILEY is highly acclaimed for his brightly coloured, seemingly effortless paintings and drawings usually of people enjoying themselves on boats and by the sea. Over the last three or four years however, Julian has been working extensively from the model in his studio in Drypoint etching. ‘I am so very excited to be giving a number of these Drypoints their first outing at Sladers Yard this Summer,’ he writes. Julian is showing his new figure work with some prints of more familiar subject matter, handled in the more economical way demanded by the printing technique. 

‘The etchings are made in small groups of twelve usually by me on a hand-turned press. A few I select to be ‘over painted‘ in gouache, making each coloured etching a one-off picture. The greatly simplified line of the diamond tip scoring into the metal plate gives off a beautiful black velvety mark, which is the unique hallmark of Drypoint. This compliments the brilliant quality of the gouache paint to make the special combination that goes into these artworks. There is a new book of etchings to accompany my work in this exhibition, called Hold the Pose, which is available from the gallery.’

Martyn Brewster - silkscreen, linocuts, etchings and pen & ink drawings

MARTYN BREWSTER has been a serious and productive printmaker for many years developing his own silkscreen techniques and making relief prints and etchings in his print studio. Recently he has been working with master printer Andrew Smith to make complex multi-plate carborundum prints. Andrew worked extensively with Howard Hodgkin. Martyn’s work is inspired by colour and light, by the natural landscape and the sea on the Dorset coast. He is an artist whose seductive use of colour and vigorous originality has produced paintings and drawings that are collected worldwide. His drawings are often made on site and these and his etchings tend to be more figurative and in black and white with a brilliant control of tone. Like his paintings, Martyn’s silkscreen and linocut prints set colours against one another to find poetic expression in strong lyrical abstract compositions.

Martyn Brewster was born in Oxford in 1952. He studied Art and Design in Hertfordshire and Fine Art (Painting) in Brighton followed by a Postgraduate diploma in Printmaking. He has been working as a professional artist ever since with regular solo shows in museums and galleries in London and throughout the UK as well as exhibitions in USA, Canada and throughout Europe. He has won numerous awards and his work is in private, public and corporate collections worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum. Recently his work has entered the collections of Pallant House, Chichester, and the Hepworth Wakefield. In London and New York he is represented by Waterhouse & Dodd. He has shown regularly at Sladers Yard since 2017.

Michael Fairclough - aquatint prints

MICHAEL FAIRCLOUGH has shown his richly textured light-filled sky paintings at Sladers Yard for a couple of years. Now we are delighted to exhibit a selection of the beautiful aquatint prints which he printed on his own press over many years. Gently coloured, superbly controlled works showing the British coastline, standing stones and the ever-changing sky, these pictures are the product of a truly talented printmaker.

Michael Fairclough studied Fine Art at Kingston. He met Alfred Stockham when they were both Rome scholars. In 1981 a commission to design five stamps for the 50th Anniversary of the National Trust for Scotland took him to St. Kilda and back to Northern Ireland. Editions of his aquatints were published by Christie’s Contemporary Art 1978-88 and he contributed a number of aquatints to their National Trust series of prints. He started to move away from prints in the 1990s to concentrate on painting which he exhibited at the Berkeley Square Gallery. His commission for the Meteorological Office boardroom in Exeter led to his taking up gliding, the better to understand the sky which had become so predominant in his work. His aquatints and paintings have been exhibited all over the UK and internationally. His work is in many private and public collections.

Vanessa Gardiner - drawings with pencil or acrylic

One of the secrets to VANESSA GARDINER’s work is how true she stays to the observed landscape of the dramatic Cornish cliffs that inspire her. Whether in paint or pencil, she works in a dynamic geometric style enlivened with lyrical curving lines of hills and pathways. Multiple visits to her chosen locations are recorded in wonderfully accomplished drawings which she makes there and then and uses to inform her paintings back in the studio. Almost like a sculptor, Vanessa Gardiner seems to be feeling and resolving the structures of her subject matter in her drawings. Like all her work, they explore what is known and felt when experiencing the raw beauty of a particular place. 

Vanessa Gardiner is a well-established painter who has been working as a professional artist for many years. She trained at Oxford Polytechnic and the Central School of Art and Design in London. Her work is in private collections around the world and in public collections including Exeter Hospital, Bournemouth University Collection, Carlow Collection Ireland, the Archive of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Co. Mayo, Cowley Manor, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Fidelity International, New Hall Cambridge, Magdalen College Oxford, the British Academy London and the British School in Athens. She lives in Charmouth, Dorset, with the painter Alex Lowery. They have a daughter, Jessie.

Janette Kerr PhD HRSA PPRWA - mixed media drawings

JANETTE KERR’s bold, expressive, exploratory work begins with smaller studies and drawings made outside with the salt in her paint and the sea heaving and crashing around her, the wilder the better. Back in the studio she gathers all these ideas and feelings together, combining them with the energy she captures in her plein airstudies, to create much larger drawings and oil paintings. The powerful works that result combine a Romantic experience of the sublime – both terrifying and thrilling – with exploratory abstraction. Moving between the representational and the abstract, her work is underpinned by exceptional drawing skills and a freedom to combine materials, the solid and translucent, the textured and the smooth. Her studies of the waves have made her see them differently, drawing movement and rhythm of sea and wind, welling and breaking waves, merging of spray with air, advancing rain and mist, shafts of sunlight, peripheries, promontories, exposed headlands, edges and ledges. Janette’s relish for the physical process of drawing and painting can be felt in the dynamic quality of her marks and brushstrokes. 

Janette Kerr has a PhD in Fine Art.  She is an Honorary Royal Scottish Academician, Past President of the Royal West of England Academy of Art and a Visiting Research Fellow, Fine Art, UWE Bristol. She has a long-standing history of showing work, exhibiting regularly across the UK and abroad. Her work is held in national and international collections. She has worked on residencies in Somerset, Wales, Ireland, Shetland (where she now has her own bothy), Norway and Svalbard. She has curated high profile exhibitions and accompanying programmes – with other artists as well as environmentalists, oceanographers, meteorologists and scientists.

Alex Lowery - drawings with pencil and gouache or acrylic

ALEX LOWERY is celebrated for the distilled clarity of his compositions. His mastery of oil paint distracts the viewer from the strength of drawing in his work. Fascinating then for all who know and love his work, to see the power of these drawings in pencil and gouache and, more recently, in full-size acrylic. Lowery’s unique poetic vision is unmistakeably here in these works expressed in tonal differences, hatched lines and waterbased paints. The daring and brilliantly observed planes of colour are fully resolved expressing shadow, form and light in breath-taking combinations.

Born 1957 in London, Alex Lowery studied at Bath Academy, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. He has painted and shown regularly in Dorset and London since 1994. He exhibited for many years with Art First in London and has shown at the Estorick Collection and at Browse and Darby. His work is in many distinguished private collections as well as the Dorset County Hospital Art Collection, Great Ormond Street Hospital, St George’s Hospital Tooting and the Fidelity International Art Collection. He lives in Charmouth with the artist Vanessa Gardiner. 

Sally McLaren RE - drypoint, aquatint monoprints with carborundum

Leading British print-maker SALLY McLAREN RE has if possible become even more connected to the landscape through the recent lockdowns and then freed by the subsequent release. Her most recent prints are celebratory, exploratory, light in touch and brilliant in colour. She is preoccupied by ‘The life that springs in landscape, the spirit of it, the growth and organisms of centuries, the effects of wind, rain, sun and the marks left by man from past to present.’ Mel Gooding’s words in 2016 about Sally’s paintings apply perfectly to these new prints, ‘The insistence on the evocation of the actual has given way to an insouciant light-touch mark-making of dash and line, paint scribble and feathery touch, near diaphanous mistiness and the most evocative adumbrations of field colour, tonal greens and brilliant yellows, the all-eye-embracing blueness of the sea as a boat pitches.’ These glorious expressions are made (like Martyn Brewster’s) with the master printmaker Andrew Smith using an ambitious combination of a drypoint plate an aquatint plate and carborundum.

Sally McLaren was born in London, studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and at the Central School of Art in London. After further study in Paris at the Atelier of Stanley William Hayter, she returned to England to teach at Goldsmith’s College of Art . She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the Printmaker’s Council of Great Britain and the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers. She has exhibited widely and her work is held in numerous collections around the world, including the New York Public Library, the Scottish Arts Council, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Museum of Modern Art in Macedonia and the Cabo Frio Print Collection in Sao Paulo. In recent years, two monographs of her work have been published, The Response of Landscape and In Search Of Stillness. Sally McLaren lives and works in Wiltshire.