365 days painting on the trot - but Philip says he is 'transformed'

Torbay Weekly

Paignton-based artist Philip Eley pledged to do a painting every day for 365 days. Now you can see just how he fared with an exhibition at Torbay’s Artizan Gallery.

He started the challenge at the beginning of 2021 and says that despite having painted for many years, the discipline of painting every day has transformed his work, allowing him to discover a freedom and vibrancy that he had always looked for.

But liveliness is only one side of Philip’s work as he says: ‘I am always striving to balance this with a sense of peace and serenity. This balance is key to my work."

Philip’s Grandmother was a master of Ikebana, (Japanese Flower arranging) and he grew up surrounded by her work. Now, whilst he doesn’t deliberately follow the exact specifications of Ikebana, some of the underlying principles do inform his vision, particularly the satisfying blend of calm and chaos.

A regular exhibitor with Artizan, this will be Philip’s first solo show hosted in their Courtyard Gallery. His popular naïve scenes of fishing villages produced simply on distressed wood evoke the serenity of the coast, and during lockdown these evolved into more sculptural works in clay and driftwood.

This new exhibition, Coastal Villages, runs until August 7.

Meanwhile Mhairi Treharne and Emma Roberts are debuting their new exhibition Gossamer Threads at the Artizan, the culmination of a year of reflective practice and mentoring at the Newlyn School of Art in Cornwall. During this time, they have recognised a strong resonance between their work, with each of their practices embedded in a sense of narrative, nostalgia and memory.

Previous experience of exhibiting together had demonstrated how relationships between unrelated artworks can amplify their meaning and a viewer’s response to it.

In this exhibition, Gossamer Threads, the pair aim through their collection of paintings, both large and small, and three-dimensional pieces, to connect their common artistic themes and hopefully impart some of the emotion that is imbued in them.

Gossamer Threads also runs until August 7.