I was lucky to be in Edinburgh and get the opportunity to visit the National Gallery to see the BP portrait Artist exhibition. It was fascinating to see how different they could be in style. Some were very stylised whilst others had an accuracy that might pass as photographic. In some there was a clear narrative being communicated, while others were more of a straightforward portrait- a straight on view central to the canvas.
First Prize: Matan Ben-Cnaan for Annabelle and Guy (oil on board)
The winning painting was full of narrative- almost film-like. It captured a moment in which a man and dog are looking “off camera”, whilst the child, with her hand on the mans shoulder peers directly into the “camera”. The background arouses curiosity- being unclear where they might be? It is a fairly harsh surrounding with bare rocks behind the grouping. I like the mystery it evokes and the feeling of a captured moment. The style is fairly photographic, with intense colours.
Second Prize: Michael Gaskell for Eliza (acrylic on board)
Third Prize: Borja Buces Renard for My Mother and My Brother on a Sunday Evening (oil on canvas)
This is a sensitive emotional picture. The slightly dreamlike hazy quality along with the Mum’s hand on her son’s leg evoke warmth and intimacy. there is more of a sense of the soul in this picture than just a picture depicting mother and son. They are both directly looking out of the canvas -like they are watching TV. Close but not intense.