Monday, 21 November 2016

Snowdogs By The Sea

Along with many artists in and around Brighton over the summer of 2016 - including artists such as Joe Webb, Pure Evil, Kai & Sunny, Gemma Compton, Ryca and Sarah Arnett - I painted a couple of Snowdogs for a Wild In Art Snowdogs By The Sea Art Trail in Brighton. Auctioned on 6th December 2016 they raised £17,000 for Martlets Hospice.

Here are some photos and details about the project:

'Neon Camo Dog of Hope' - sponsored by Brighton & Hove High School:

The essence of this artwork is one of hope and reflection inspired by the work of the Martlets Hospice. The blue camo pattern was used as a symbolic representation of strength and determination - a fighting spirit - a tough outer skin perhaps disguising - or camouflaging - a hidden struggle beneath. The blue colour is suggestive of sea, sky, freedom - and Brighton! The painted tromp l’oeil neon seagulls also suggest the seaside - but are used here as a symbol of hope - flying free. The notion of flying over Brighton a reference to The Snowman and The Snowdog. The use of the seagull motif not only emphasizes the connection with Brighton - but also evokes the vastness of the sea - and the journeys of life. The illuminated painted neon asserting a glow of optimism.

'Bowie Tribute Snowdog'. Commissioned by Brighton Marina:

 The Bowie tribute Snowdog celebrates the immense contribution made by David Bowie to our artistic culture. The combination of the trademark multi-coloured lightning bolts creates a dazzling pattern - evoking the energy, passion and diversity of this great performer - the diamond-like shapes a subtle reference to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs.

Some progress photos:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Thoughts On A Painting...

"Roberta Flack's Staten Island Blues"
Acrylic on Canvas
160cm x 120cm

I chanced upon an old National Geographic Magazine that had an article about the Freshkills Landfill site in New York. 

It was a piece about the 'trash archaeologists' who were digging into this vast pile of human debris - at one point in the 70's one of the largest man-made structures on the planet.. But what really intrigued me was that this place had such an extraordinary name! Who would call a place that name and why? Those two words 'Fresh' and 'Kills' together - both with opposite sentiments - one positive, the other negative.

Then after 9/11 when the fallout from the twin towers was taken there to be examined and documented - I imagined this place taking on an additionally profound symbolic power. Not just a reflection of the richness of life lived - physically evidenced in the strata of beef steaks and champagne bottles and anything else you can think of in the mountain of waste - but also as a place for sombre contemplation of the violence of death.

A place so aptly and evocatively named - and yet simultaneously so wrongly named. The remains of the bodies from such a catastrophic event being taken and laid out in the 'fresh kills' area of the city? - it seems so harsh. A waste of life lying next to the waste from life... it seems so.. un-'fresh'.

But this is why it's the perfect metaphor. Life is a paradox.

We're confronted by deaths and 'kills' - both fictional and in life - on a regular basis. But the word 'kills' or 'killing' - such a stark set of letters - with such negative and shocking connotations - can - paradoxically - have positive meaning. You can kill it on the dance floor - you can kill me with your joke - or, as in the Roberta Flack song "Killing Me Softly" - you can be 'killed' emotionally. A song about the ability of the singer - or any artist - to powerfully transport, affect and elevate an audience...  to effectively 'kill' an audience.. 

So the Freshkills Landfill site is now being regenerated into a recreational park and wildlife centre. Its going to 
be three times the size of Central Park and take 30 years to complete. Such a positive symbol of humans continuing capacity for invention and healing. A 'fresh' start if you like... and bringing to mind the universal notion - "from death comes life"..

This is what I was thinking about when I was creating this painting...

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Painteractive ®

Creative interactive colouring...

Enabling YOU to make real pictures from YOUR OWN PHOTOS...

Created and developed by artist Mike Edwards - it's a simple App that works with your own photos and off-the-shelf art materials. 

Enabling YOU to make real pictures from YOUR OWN PHOTOS...

It's now well established that creative expression has positive personal, social and societal benefits. The huge increase in the adult colouring book trend over the last 18 months is evidence of this - with much written about the positive effects creative activity can have on personal development, mindfulness and relaxation.

But rather than simply colouring patterned designs as an activity - wouldn't it be fantastic if you could make pictures from your own photos!?

Painteractive ® is the simple yet powerful tool that enables people to do this.

Painteractive ® enables anyone of any ability to make a real painting from any photo. It provides a straightforward framework for people to create artworks with real personal resonance - not only the emotional connection with the image by using their own photo - but also the physical connection of making a unique picture by hand.

As an artist myself - I’m fully aware of how the blank canvas offers the exciting potential for limitless possibilities. To many, however, who aren’t so sure of their artistic abilities - but would like to make the first step in making a picture - a blank canvas can be terrifying! The Painteractive ® app - used with specific art materials - provides a structure and process to enable the creation of a satisfying picture that can really add to a person’s sense of achievement, well-being and development - and as a result can only encourage that person to create more.
So, with the trend increasing to make art ever more accessible - Painteractive ® offers a greater engagement with the physical practise of creating artworks - to a greater amount of people.

The fundamental point is that Painteractive ® is a simple system to aid the creation of a painting. Michelangelo used a similar number-based tonal system when mixing the fresco colours for the Sistine Chapel.. 

So, if it’s good enough for Michelangelo!…

Here are some links to recent articles that provide context:

The Guardian:
New York Times:
The Telegraph:
Stuart Semple:

In addition to his art career - Mike Edwards has successfully created products for Urban Outfitters and Mars M&M's.

For more information please contact Mike Edwards:
E:  T: +44 [0]7976 580 707