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An Interview with David Sawyer

Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015

With his exhibition starting on the 12th June, here is our exclusive interview with David Sawyer.   A childhood spent by the sea in Margate, after he moved there from London with his parents aged 10, was the catalyst for David Saywer’s artistic career.   “There was a tradition of artists living down there,” he says. “Turner lived there for a while and said the best sunsets were found in Thanet. It was a little artistic community – people who were painting - and I got involved with them.”   This, coupled with an influential teacher at school, Matthew Alexander (a landscape artist in his own right) who inspired David with his sketches, propelled him to art school and then on into the art world.   At art school he says he “didn’t fit in”, with his interest in figure painting and drawing. “I spent my time in the life drawing room drawing the model. That’s where I thought everything might lie. It wasn’t until much later I realised that there might be more commercial possibilities in introducing some landscapes.”   Initially, though, the landscapes had to wait. Needing an income, he worked in a fairground for a couple of seasons, painting illustrations on the rides and then travelled to the south of France.   Romansque Church, St Lizier   After three or four years he landed what many would regard as the dream job, looking after a house and a menagerie of pets for a lady who spent most of her time between Switzerland and London. It was here that he started painting Read more...
This is a continuation from the first part of the interview with Chloe, which you can find here.   Chloe hasn’t abandoned landscapes altogether. “I get out as much as I can. I paint seasonally. When spring’s here I like to paint flowers. It’s not a conscious thing – you have to be inspired by what’s around you at the time.”   When painting landscapes, Chloe tends to work from photographs and sometimes pencil sketches, but what she really works from is memory. “I’m painting the felling of the sunset, not a copy from the landscape.”   Since her move to Yorkshire two years ago, her working day is governed by the shop’s hours; she tends to work from 9.30 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. “Being in a studio away from home is brilliant for my productivity,” she says. Her mornings tend to revolve around admin, and then she will spend the afternoons painting. “I tend to get lost in my work,” she says. “Before I know it it’s six in the evening.”   She always has music on in the background, chosen from a huge bank on Spotify. “Music makes me intuitive,” she says. “It stops me thinking too much.” A particular favourite is Harold Budd, which she describes as minimal and chilled, but other days she might listen to rock music. “I match the music to the subject,” she says.   The Naiades   Chloe chooses her frames from a collection of antique frames that she keeps in her studio. She finds they marry particularly well with her still Read more...
Ahead of Chloe's one woman exhibition starting on the 15th of May, we sat down with her to learn more about her background, influences and inspirations.     Chloe Holt was never really going to be anything but an artist.   “I come from a very creative background,” she says. “Both my parents are Graphic Designers, my Godmother an Architect.  They instilled a strong sense of design and aesthetic to life around me.  I was brought up visiting galleries and inspiring places.  My eyes were opened to how beautiful and exciting the world can be, filling me with memories and experiences - veins of which still run through my work today.”   Having enjoyed painting as a child, Chloe’s talent started to be recognised at school. “Even at Secondary School I was lucky to have a handful of incredible teachers, they recognised the spark in me and pushed boundaries into the realms of fine art and the importance of concept early on.  The art department at my school was huge and stocked full of materials to encourage a ‘get your hands dirty’ way of learning.  I always felt that they taught beyond the curriculums requirements to push their students to their absolute best.”   A fine art foundation course was a natural progression for Chloe, but her career went in a slightly different direction when she chose a Textile Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, seeking the creative variety of media and method in parallel with emphasis on the importance of painting and drawing.   A Light Breeze   “They pushed you into really understanding Read more...
This blog post is the second installment of our two-part series on the differences between modern and contemporary art. Thank you for following along as we mark some of the most significant conceptual factors that characterize each period — if you have not yet been able to read the first installment, click here to do so.   The first installment of the series very briefly explained some of the historical motivations that helped foster both modern and contemporary art, and showed how contemporary art, rather than being a radically different period, is an extension of exploratory modern art. This passing historical outline is not enough to do justice to explaining the periods to new collectors, so keep checking the DYCA blog for another, upcoming two-part series on the history of contemporary art (which will also explain its modern art roots).   Now, onto the nature of contemporary art. We’ve already discussed that modern art was the first departure from strict rules and realism regarding fine art, so in that sense it opened the door for future generations of contemporary artists to progress artistically and conceptually. No longer bound by any academic standards ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, contemporary artists could actually step away from the process of art-making itself and begin their creative inspiration by identifying a concept, idea, or emotion to convey.   Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground) is a more straightforward example of conceptualizing a contemporary message in a work of art.   Thus, contemporary art has two distinct parts: the creation of the concept Read more...
Onlookers and newcomers to the art market often confuse the distinctions between contemporary art and modern art — after all, the terms sound similar in their relative ‘newness.’ In fact, while there is a rough distinction of date to place a piece as modern or contemporary, the two artistic periods are determined far more by their style and motivations than by the date stamp at the bottom of the canvas.   In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss some of the historical driving factors behind the definition of modern art, and then juxtapose those motivations with those of the most recent of the two periods, contemporary art. Entire textbooks exist on the history, theory, similarities, and differences of the two, so our version will be quite abridged, but useful to a collector nonetheless. Hopefully, this background framework of art history will deepen your understanding — and thus, appreciation — for the wonderful artwork you see in museums, galleries, and perhaps even your own home. Keep checking the DYCA blog for Part II of this series, as well as a more in-depth discussion of the history and sub-styles within each period.   Modern Art   Typically created between the 1890s and 1960s, modern art began as a challenge to the traditional, realistic style of painting and sculpture that kept tight control over what was and was not acceptable as style and subject matter. Some of the great Impressionists are credited with planting the seed of modern art, because their familiar history chronicles a departure from photo-realistic Salon Read more...

An Interview With David Knight

Friday, 02 Jan 2015

It was Salvador Dalí that first got David Knight really excited about art. Aged only about 10, he was flicking through an art book at home when he stumbled on The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.   Growing up in Cardiff and experiencing what he describes as a very normal childhood, there was little in the way of artistic inspiration at school, but he spent much of his time drawing and painting. This picture particularly thrilled him.  “It was so weird and quite figurative,” he recalls. “I copied it a few times and tried to get a handle on what was going on with the guy, as much as you do when you’re 10, but it was exciting.”   The Metamorphosis of Narcissus by Salvador Dali (1937) David’s mother soon recognised his artistic talent and bought him an anatomy book that was to enthuse him about the human body – a passion that has remained with him throughout his life.   “I suppose it was quite an unusual present for a child,” he says. “I mean, there’s lots of naked ladies in there! But my mum saw that I was so intense when I was drawing - and quiet, probably. I started messing about with it – I didn’t really know what I was doing.”   An equally unusual influence was David’s grandfather who, he says, used to paint on the walls of his home.   “He was a strange guy,” says David. “He lived in a very dark house and was a bit of a loner. His house was full of old papers Read more...

Contemporary Art As An Investment

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015

In the globalised 21st century, every market has felt the impacts of dramatic economic bubbles and crashes over the past decade. It should come as no surprise, then, that investors of all types are more likely to examine tangible assets ranging from precious metals to property: but what about fine art? Art as an investment can be extremely lucrative, as any collector of Andy Warhol or Mark Rothko will tell you. At Art Basel in Switzerland last year, multimillionaires enthusiastically declared a preference for art over cash as a place to invest capital, a possible cause for ArtNet’s report that top contemporary and post war art performance has increased 434 percent in the past decades (surpassing even gold, fine wine, and stocks).   You don’t have to be ultra-rich to collect art that increases in value, however. In addition to the potential financial gain, contemporary art collectors get to experience the joy of owning a beautiful and culturally valuable object, as well as the thrill of discovering a brilliant new artist before he or she commands top prices in galleries or at auction.   Bought for $86.3 million in 2008 by Roman Abramovich, Francis Bacon's Triptych (1976) remains one of the most expensive pieces of art work ever sold at auction Of course, like any investment, contemporary art does not come without risks. Here are some of the inherent risks to collecting fine art — especially contemporary — and the possible rewards that follow.  The Risk The art market is cyclical just like any other. Not only is Read more...

What is Contemporary Art?

Monday, 19 Jan 2015

As a new collector, this simple question is often difficult to answer. More people are comfortable defining Impressionist art, or Classical art, which is widely recognizable and defined by clear themes and styles. But contemporary art is far more popular (and accessible) to collectors around the world, so the question demands some type of response, despite the challenges of its conceptual nature.   When you ask, ”What is contemporary art?” you are really asking two questions: what is contemporary, and what is art. Neither one has a firm definition accepted by every gallerist, auction house, artist, academic, and critic, but from a collecting perspective, one can look to the international art market for clues.   Contemporary First, the term contemporary: when does “modern”, or “post-war”, or “20th century” art transition into “contemporary”? Some people believe that contemporary art is created by an artist who is still living, but that excludes brand-name artists like Andy Warhol, Yves Klein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as any artist who passes away tragically young. The same artists are excluded if the definition is an artist born after World War II.   Hirst's famous butterfly collages turn an unexpected medium normally reserved to zoology into stunning artworks.   Thus, the easier definition is a reference of when the piece itself, or majority of the artist’s oeuvre, was created. To that end, the secondary market provides a guide to accepted divisions, but even the major auction houses categorize their sales differently. Sotheby’s offers a “Contemporary Art” sale, but Christie’s uses the term “Post-War and Contemporary Read more...
One might expect an artist who works in a medieval medium such as egg tempera – used by the likes of Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico and Giannini – to have his studio in a dusty garret, perhaps surrounded by a moat. Not Ceri Auckland Davies. A man of contradictions, he has his studio in what he describes as an urban sprawl. “I’m looking out over a Carpet Kingdom, a garage shop, a tyre place, second hand this, second hand that,” he says. “I wouldn’t say it’s squalid but it’s a bit of a run-down area, and I’m painting something that is totally opposite to what I see.” What Ceri is painting tends to be landscapes, typically involving water but always including some of the elements. “Water usually appears in lakes or rivers or torrents or waterfalls,” he says. “I’ve done some paintings of fire but I haven’t exhibited them. I think that’s going to be on the cards.” For inspiration he returns to Pembrokeshire, the Llyn Peninsula and to a small valley in mid-Wales called the Cywarch valley. “It’s a dead end valley – a glacial valley – and I always felt it was a valley where time had stopped.” He prefers to stick to familiar places. “To a certain extent you have to know it as an old friend,” he says.His paintings aren’t always in rural settings, though. He has painted some in Venice – water again forming a major feature – depicting the mystery of the city. Read more...

Online Card Payments

Thursday, 04 Dec 2014

We're very pleased to announce we're now taking card payments through the website! All payments will be handled by Worldpay, an accredited and internationally renowned payment processing service. When purchasing your item, you'll be securely directed to Worldpay.com, where you can enter your card information and safely complete your purchase.   We feel that allowing the sale of art through the website will make life easier for art enthusiasts worldwide and help to bring our artists onto the global stage.   We do understand, however, that you may have reservations about purchasing art online without first viewing it in-person. To help acommodate this, we've implemented a reserving process where, if you wish to view a piece after seeing it online, you can get in touch and we will mark it as reserved on the website. This will ensure the item cannot be purchased though the website for a week, giving you time to arrange a time to come and see the work in-person.   To add to the above, we're always sure to use high quality images that are as representative of the art as possible. Furthermore, we also have a 7 day money back return policy, where we will completely refund your purchase provided it's returned within 7 days of delivery and in its original condition. Finally, if you ever want specific information about a piece, or wish to see more photos - please just get in touch!   Please see our FAQs and Returns Policy for more information and feel free to contact us if you Read more...
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