Christmas 2015 Delivery Times

by Aileen Mitchell 1. December 2015 01:00

Our artists always do their best to despatch artworks in time for Christmas - but couriers and the Royal Mail are always under intense pressure at this time of year, so please do order in good time for Christmas:

Last ordering dates:

UK 17th December 2015
Mainland Europe 12th December 2015
USA & Canada 10th December 2015 wishes you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


Get Free Art Gift Vouchers this Weekend

by Aileen Mitchell 26. November 2015 16:32

Buy art between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year and we'll send you free gift vouchers valid for a whole year!

Special offer lasts until midnight of Monday 30, November. Here's what you'll get when purchasing our beautiful original art:

£10 gift voucher for purchases between £100 - £249

£20 gift voucher for purchases between £250 - £499

£50 gift voucher for purchases between £500 - £999

£100 gift voucher for purchases of over £1000

Gift vouchers are valid for a whole year and are the perfect present - so you can treat yourself and your loved ones in one go! Vouchers will be issued electronically shortly after your purchase. 

For questions or comments on this offer please contact us


Famous Art Saved From Destruction

by Aileen Mitchell 19. November 2015 17:11

This November we keep the theme of Guy Fawkes’ Night running as we look back at some key pieces of art that were so close to being destroyed.

Marcel Duchamp - Fountain


Whenever a revolutionary piece of art comes along, there’s always a bit of turbulence. Marcel Duchamp’s famous urinal was not only urinated on by a performance artist but almost smashed to bits by a hammer several years later … by the same artist!

Rembrandt van Rijn – Danae


One of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings, Danae, narrowly avoided melt-down whilst it was on display in the 1980’s. Hanging in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, one visitor took out a knife and began to slash the canvas around the figure’s stomach, throwing acid onto the painting before being escorted from the gallery. Twelve years later, Danae was restored to its original form by a dedicated team of artists, and remains on display.

Ilya Repin – Ivan Grozny and his son Ivan


This disaster proves that ‘taking a few backups’ applies to us all, not just the world of IT. After receiving three large gouges from a knife on the faces of the two Ivans, the painting was restored by two experts in under a week! It is thought the speed and expertise of the repair was greatly assisted by many good-quality photographs of the painting.

Leonardo da Vinci – The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist

The work from the famous Mona Lisa artist took almost a year to restore after a gallery visitor shooting at it in political protest. The painting, The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist was on display at the National Gallery in London behind protective glass. Although the glass did not break, the shattered splinters from the blast caused significant damage to the painting. It is now fully restored.

Picasso – Le Reve

The first Picasso to be accidentally damaged was Le Reve, a painting of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter. The owner of the work and casino magnate was due to sell the painting for a cool $139 million dollars before leaning on it and piercing the picture with his right elbow. Luckily, he was able to provide the funds of $90,000 for its repair.



Art History

Moving art for Remembrance Sunday 2015

by Aileen Mitchell 13. November 2015 15:49

After the breathtakingly beautiful poppy display by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper at the Tower of London last year, more art is being made for Remembrance Sunday than ever. Once again, art becomes a way of expressing poignancy in all manner of styles and forms.

In the spirit of sharing art to commemorate the occasion, we have found that many of our own gallery members have produced works of art featuring poppies.  

Jean Tatton Jones - Remembrance

Jean Tatton’s piece, ‘Remembrance’, is a bold painting that demands the attention of the room. The semi-abstract acrylic is painted in silvers, whites and reds. The poppies around the bottom of the frame leave a stark sky that creates a space for reflection.

Deborah Norville - Summer Dreams


Deborah Norville creates a calm landscape background with a soft brush, bringing the poppies into full focus with palette knife detail.

Amanda Dagg - Field of Heroes

Amanda Dagg’s mix-media tryptic inspires reflection. The monochrome landscape contrasting with the vibrancy of the poppies showcases the poignancy of the scene. Creating a painting in three parts really creates an impact, wherever it is hung. 

Paula Horsley - Abstract Poppies (Sculptural)


Paula Horsley has created a fascinating dimension to her canvas by using resin in her painting. This gives it an almost sculptural feel up close and like a mosaic from further away. These poppies can be a pleasing abstract up close, and a summery image of a field of poppies from a distance.

Carol Wood - Red Sky at Night

There is plenty of depth to the painting, ‘Red Sky at Night’, by Carol Wood. The smooth background and layered grass in the foreground is very dramatic.

Tracy Jolly - Red Poppy Fields

Breaking away from the popular monochrome used to depict poppies, Tracy Jolly uses gold in her painting. The thick lines that make the flowers have an almost sculptural quality to them.

Angie Wright - Where Poppies Blow

Angie Wright left this as the description for her painting, ‘Where Poppies Blow’:

'The poppies sway in the breeze, a symbol of those who have lost their lives fighting for their country. I wanted to create a painting which recognised the lives of those men and women who are now lost to us. They were real people, who were loved and in turn loved. They laughed and cried and felt the sun on their skin. In this painting there is a sky which was full of sorrow for those soldiers, a sky which drips down the canvas, like heavy rain. There is still light and joy in the painting though, seen by the flowers dancing in the wind to signify the life and energy of those now lost to us.'



5 Famous Paintings With Hidden Meanings

by Christie Cluett 2. November 2015 15:43

After ‘The Da Vinci Code’ became a best-selling phenomenon, conspiracy theorists and historians the world over joined as one to study the art world looking for secrets. With a helping hand from the internet, a huge number of attention-grabbing theories about famous paintings have risen to prominence ever since.

There has, of course, been a huge number of crackpot philosophies, which the more rationale minded of us have rightly debunked. That said, not all theories about secret messages in art are crazy – far from it, in fact. To prove this, here are five famous paintings with hidden meanings that both convince and astound in equal measure.


1. L. S Lowry’s ‘Matchstick Men’ Paintings


Above: An Accident, painted by L.S. Lowry in 1926. Image by Ben Sutherland

Lowry’s paintings are famous for depicting scenes of mid-20th Century working life in North West England. Characterised by a distinctive style that portrayed ‘matchstick men’ in industrialised urban settings, the art fraternity dismissed the merit of Lowry’s paintings for many years.

However, decades after the artist’s death, it is now clear there is a lot more to Lowry’s well-known works than first meets the eye. In the vast majority of the artist’s paintings, there are a multitude of ‘blink and you’ll miss them flashes’ of human suffering hidden within the everyday scenes of industrial England.

Take the 1926 painting An Accident, for example. In this picture (featured above) you will see a large group of people staring into a lake. This might seem perfectly mundane. However, a genuine local suicide actually inspired the painting, and the matchstick men are all gathered to look at a waterlogged corpse.

Within Lowry’s body of work, this is not an isolated example – fist fights, people being evicted from their homes and illustrations of isolation are all common. Meanwhile, each painting’s remaining matchstick men continue to get on with their daily lives, almost unaware of the suffering on their doorstep.

The hidden message? We’re all alone and our pain is meaningless. Despite the chasm of difference between industrial England and modern life, for many, the hidden messages imbued within Lowry’s work are as true today as when the artist first put paint to canvas.  


2. Michelangelo, The Sistine Chapel Ceiling


Above: The Sistine Chapel celling, the Vatican. Image by Matthew Riley

 The Renaissance period was a time of great learning and discovery, inspired by a throwback to the ancient Greek spirit of scientific inquiry. It was also a period where many artists loved to hide a few mysteries in their work for the eagle-eyed viewer – and Michelangelo was no different.

For those that don’t know, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting tells the story of the book of Genesis across nine sections. However, the subtext to this painting’s narrative is arguably more interesting than the well-thumbed Bible story at the forefront.

Michelangelo was a genius artist, sculptor and architect – however, fewer people know that he was also an expert anatomist. At the age of 17, Michelangelo began dissecting corpses from the church graveyard, with the intention of producing anatomical sketches and notes. 

What has become clear over 500 years later, is that the skills Michelangelo developed during this time were put to good use when painting the Sistine Chapel.

Concealed within the robes and the faces of the figures that Michelangelo painted, American scientists have found several anatomical sketches. This includes an image of the brain, cleverly hidden in the representation of God’s neck and chin in the section entitled ‘Separation of Light from Darkness.

Are you asking yourself why Michelangelo felt compelled to hide anatomical sketches in his work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Well, a growing body of theorists believe it was the artist’s attempt at a clandestine attack on the church’s contempt for science.


3. Vincent Van Gogh, Cafe Terrace At Night


Above: Vincent Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night. Image from Wikimedia Commons

For many, Cafe Terrace at Night is one of Van Gogh’s most important paintings. If you look at the painting, like most, you’ll probably see an ordinary, unremarkable scene – albeit one painted with the artist’s trademark magic touch. Yet many believe the picture is actually a portrayal of the Last Supper.

So, let’s take a look at the evidence that points to this conclusion. First of all, as the son of a protestant minister, Van Gogh was very religious. For this reason, many art critics believe that many of Van Gogh’s seminal paintings displayed a binary relationship between art and Christian imagery. For many, Cafe Terrace At Night offers the best example of this theory.

The Last Supper is the final meal that Jesus sat down to eat with his 12 disciples. If you count them, Van Gogh’s painting clearly portrays 12 people sitting down to eat, with a long haired central figure standing among them.

Coincidence? Maybe. But when you take into account the number of hidden crosses in the painting – including one above the Christ-like figure – all the evidence points to the assertion that this painting truly is Van Gogh’s artistic expression of the Last Supper.


4. Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper


Above: Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous The Last Supper. Image by ideacreamanuelaPps

From Van Gogh’s pseudo Last Supper to the real thing. And we’re not talking about the Dan Brown world of cryptograms revealing the secret life of Jesus here. Instead, we’re focusing on a hidden message that will bring music to your ears – literally.

If you look at Da Vinci’s Last Supper (above), you will see a series of bread rolls that run across the centre of the painting. A few years ago, a musician found that by drawing the five lines of a musical staff across the painting, the bread rolls in combination with the Apostles’ hands lined up to make musical notes.

When read from right to left, which adheres to Da Vinci’s unique writing style, the notes combine to make a tuneful 40-second composition. Even disbelievers have admitted that the composition’s note perfect harmony is too good to be a coincidence. Plus, in true polymath-style, Da Vinci was an expert musician, as well as a painter, sculptor and inventor.


5. Diego Rivera, Man, Controller Of The Universe


Above: Diego Rivera’s 1934 mural, Man, Controller of the Universe. Image by Joaquín Martínez

Nelson Rockefeller originally commissioned Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint Man at the Crossroads for the Rockefeller Centre in New York. But when he took exception to the painting’s depiction of the Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, he had it destroyed.

Diego Rivera eventually repainted the mural in Mexico City, and renamed it Man, Controller of the Universe. Yet upon its reconstruction, Rivera went ahead and made one key addition – a depiction of Nelson Rockefeller’s father under a bacterial interpretation of syphilis.

Therefore, the hidden meaning of this painting becomes immediately clear: Nelson Rockefeller’s father had syphilis. To hammer the insult home, Rivera also painted Rockefeller – a famed teetotal – holding a martini, while standing next to a woman who could easily be a prostitute. Oh, and Lenin was also given even more prominence in the reimagining of this painting.


Do our featured artists hide secret messages in their paintings? In all honesty, we haven’t got a clue. But by visiting the homepage and using the search tool on the right, you might just find a painting that brings out the art detective in you.


The Latest Exhibition at Malvern Theatres - 25 October - 6 December

by Humph Hack 25. October 2015 15:55

If you talked to 20 artists, you would find they would give you as many reasons, as to why they create. Some would say they only work to satisfy themselves, others because they have the need to share their thoughts and emotions. Some are introspective, others more gregarious.  The one thing they all seem to have in common, is the desire to show their work in public. Malvern Theatres is seen as a great place to exhibit, partly due to the high number of people who pass through the building and partly because the venue is about art, in all its forms.

Brian Richardson is Malvern based. When painting, he finds that music has the ability to motivate and relax, enabling the analytical side of his brain to be suspended, and his psychological state to enter "the zone" or "flow" more readily. His hands and eyes do the painting without influence from the analytical mind. Sometimes he initiates. At other times he listens, harnessing his emotions to arrange elements until he "knows" what works; when to stop. The canvas itself is rarely static, moving from upright on the easel to horizontal on the floor, and all angles between as the mood dictates.

Brian is influenced by the paintings and writings of Turner, Blake, Kandinsky, Klee, and last but not least, his Grandchildren.

His paintings can be found in public and private collections in U.K., U.S.A., Spain, and New Zealand.

David Shiers is a Wirral based artist. He has worked in various studios as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, exhibiting widely around the country. The only tuition he received was from attending Liverpool College of Art life drawing classes, on an evening basis over a period of four years. He turned professional in 2003.

Since going full time, he spends a lot of time painting on location in the Wirral, Southern France and Spain. His working process is based on a series of Plein Air watercolour sketches and digital photographs, then finally working up to the finished painting; much inspired by works of the Post Impressionists, Pissaro, Monet, Cezanne and Sisley.

His painting is all about capturing the light, atmosphere and essence of a subject. He has a fast and spontaneous approach to his painting producing work in an expressive and impressionistic style. He works in oils and mixed media, combining watercolour, acrylic, oil pastel and gouache.



Jools Lawley lives and works in Worcester. What started out as serene, single figure pastel drawings have evolved over the years into these unique and quirky characters that have become her signature calligraphic style. Hand drawn in black ink or painted in acrylic on white backgrounds, Jools distinctive stylised works owe their inspiration to the elongated figurines of Giacometti which she saw on her first ever visit to the Tate gallery as a teenager! “Combine those with the sculptural work of Henry Moore and transfer them into two dimensional sketches and this is what you get!”

Her monochrome, imaginative compositions range from folk bands, jazz bands and rock bands to golfers, surfers and horse riders. She is continually on the look-out for new inspirational characters and challenging scenarios.

Jools commissioned work has grown in popularity and incorporates personalised features where first name initials are worked into the swirls of the feet and significant possessions are added to identify individual characters. They are a mixture of framed drawings and paintings on canvas. All the paintings in this show come into the second category.

If you like Jools’ style and would like your own piece commissioned just contact Jools through this website,

The exhibition is open every day until 6 December. It’s a great place to look for an early Christmas present.



Artist of the Year Competition 2015

by Aileen Mitchell 10. October 2015 17:43

We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2015 Artist of the Year competition.

Artists will qualify for the qualifying phase of the competition on the basis of the number of website visitors who click on the "Make Favourite" button on their gallery page. A £1,000 prize is available to the winner, £250 to the two Highly Commended entries and of course the successful artists will be recognised on on the website.

Please do click on the “ Make Favourite” button on as many of your favourite artists as you wish.

The qualifying competition tables will be updated on the Competition Page in real time - so keep an eye on the progress of your favourite artists.

Artist of the Year Competition 2015

Use the Make Favourite button to vote for an artist


Shining A Spotlight On Juan Sly

by Christie Cluett 8. October 2015 10:57


Juan Sly is an artist that mainly works with spray stencils and oils. His art channels a wide spectrum of themes from sex to surreal                                             to humour to anti-war. He has exhibited at the Saatchi alongside the likes of Banksy and has permanent collections at the Cut-Up                                             in Germany and Outside the Square, opposite the Tate, London. Here’s what he had to say when we interviewed him:

Describe a typical day in your life as an artist

Juan Sly: It typically starts in the bar of some hotel somewhere; I spill my drink on some hawt chick in a tight, black dress. Usually, I find out she is in trouble somehow, her brother has disappeared which "just isn't like him", and the police won't help. Anyway, I can never refuse a hawt chick in distress so I help her and....well, things move on from there...

Where do you gather inspiration for your artwork? 

JS: I mainly just copy other people's paintings and do them much cheaper. Luckily, I'm rubbish and nobody notices the similarities.


Above: ‘Bollard Bombas by Juan Sly

What was the first piece of art you created and the first piece of art you sold?

JS: I was a child prodigy and painted some lupins. The school didn't believe me, saying my parents had done it. This was totally unfair as they were out at the time. I wised up and just painted simplistic nonsense like the other children and haven't looked back since. 

I once kicked my football in a neighbour's garden and he wouldn't give it back. I was going through my surrealistic period at the time, so I sprayed a huge phallus coming out of a stick man's head on his side wall. He eventually sold his house and moved, so I guess that was the first painting that was sold.

Take your pick out of those.

What is the most important piece of equipment in your artist’s tool box?

JS: I don't think I can answer that question without coming up with a script for a new ‘Carry on’ film?!

How has helped you progress your artistic career?

JS: I met one of the girls from in a hotel bar in a small town in Gloucestershire. She bumped into me and I spilled my drink down her tight, black dress. Her brother had gone missing and the police were no help. She asked me to help – she was hawt and I can never resist a hawt chick...


Above: ‘What! Zebra. On The Daily Telegraph’ by Juan Sly

If you’re interested of owning a slice of the mad world inhabited this unique artist, then take a look at Juan Sly’s profile today.



5 Brilliant Holiday Destinations For Street Art Lovers

by Christie Cluett 23. September 2015 11:52

When visiting many cities, it’s easy to think that the municipal government must have got a bargain price on boring grey paint. Consequently, street artists from around the world have taken it upon themselves to introduce a splash of colour to urban areas in dire need of a facelift.

Yet alongside an appetite for vibrancy, urban art also seeks to reflect the socio-economic factors that shape any city. For this reason, street art offers the ideal prism from which to view the issues and concerns that truly affect and concern the local populace.

So if you’re a traveller looking for an authentic taste of city life, here, in no particular order, are five brilliant holiday destinations for street art lovers.


Above: Street art that formed part of the Crono Project curated by Vhils. Image by Bosc d'Anjou

 The Portuguese capital’s street art scene is world famous. And the main man responsible for this is Alexandre Farto, who is known internationally as Vhils. He has played a key role in transforming the city’s most rundown neighbourhoods, by inviting internationally renowned street artists to create huge murals across Lisbon.

The most impressive examples borne from this project live in the area that surrounds Picoas Metro Station. However, the spiralling streets of Alfama and the Lisbon waterfront are also home to some of the finest street art that Europe has to offer.



Above: Part of the East Side Gallery, which covers the old Berlin Wall. Image by SarahTz

Arguably, Berlin is the street art capital of Europe. Throughout the city, you will find examples of striking urban art everywhere – from doorways and walls to the sides of houses. However, there are a handful of areas within the city where street artists have essentially ‘taken over’.

Kreuzberg is Berlin’s unofficial centre point for all things bohemian, and boasts a veritable bounty of street art masterpieces. Meanwhile, Berlin’s legendary East Wall Gallery covers around half a mile of what was once the Berlin Wall. Here you will find a myriad of politically-driven paintings that represent freedom and hope, at the same time as providing a reminder of Germany’s turbulent past.



Above: Three murals from Brick Lane, London. Image by Loco Steve

You don’t need a passport in order to experience the world’s best metropolitan murals. This is because a simple jaunt to our capital city can provide all the graffiti-based gratification you’ll need.

A great place to start is next to Waterloo station, where there’s an authorised art tunnel that provides an ideal appetiser to the street art movement that has engulfed the city.  After that, you should check out Brick Lane, where some of the planet’s best purveyors of urban art – such as Banksy and Ben Eine – have left their mark.


New York


Above: Eduardo Kobra street art on the west side of Manhattan, New York City. Image by Nan Palmero

For street art, the Big Apple is where it all began. Thus, every self-respecting street artist that has ever held a can of spray paint in anger has, at some point, left their mark in the city that never sleeps. However, the more free-spirited areas of Greenpoint and Bushwicke are where you will find the most surreal designs.

As the popularity of street art has grown, city planners have generally become more accommodating of guerrilla artists. Therefore, New York is now home to a huge number of tours that will ensure you won’t miss the best urban murals the city has to offer.



Above: Urban art at Calle Del Embudo - Bogota, Colombia. Image by Ricardo Quintero

Columbia and Bogota’s tumultuous history and current state of political unrest provides inspiration for some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse street art. Conveying messages of civil war and institutionalised corruption, the city’s most remarkable murals are as volatile as they are beautiful.

Without a doubt, the best way to experience and understand the work of Bogota’s various artists is to take the free graffiti walking tour. This starts at the heart of the city, at 10am, every day.

However, Bogota’s biggest breakthrough artist is StinkFish, who now sells canvases of his work for huge amounts of money and produces commissioned pieces around the world.

Fancy owning a piece of street art-inspired artwork to hang in your home or office? Then simply visit the homepage and use the search tool on the right to find urban art to match your taste and budget.


The Autumn Exhibition in Malvern Theatres

by Humph Hack 13. September 2015 15:21

One of the joys of curating exhibitions at Malvern Theatres, is discovering new talent and giving those artists exposure to a much wider audience than before. This doesn’t have to be artists who are just starting out on their creative journey.

 A good case in point is Jill Lloyd. Her first successes in Art were whilst she was still at School. However, her art fell onto the 'back burner' as she led a busy and active life which involved a great deal of travelling.

 Some years ago, a chance meeting re-kindled Jill's interest, making her turn to painting once again. Now she paints avidly and with a passion and says she feels 'driven to paint'.

 This liveliness is very apparent in her work and she uses brush and palette knife to produce her pictures. She has a great love of colour and whilst she likes to paint traditionally, finds herself drawn to abstracting her work and painting in an Impressionistic style.

Similarly, colour and vitality epitomise the work of David Stevens.

He is mostly self-taught, having always loved art from childhood, it is only in the last few years he has devoted more time to his passion.

David uses acrylics in an abstract style, attempting to conjure something which has vibrancy and intrigue. He aims to draw the viewer into the piece. Preferring to suggest rather than show a realistic representation, his aim is to trigger your imagination, drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature and its many forms. His work often depicts a sense of movement capturing something wholly original.

Whereas Jill and David have not shown in Malvern before, Gill Stokes has shown her work there several times. She studied Fine Art after leaving school, but then decided to train as a primary school teacher, still painting and drawing in what little spare time she could find. She now paints full time. She is fascinated by the natural world and by the effects of changing light. She likes to draw and sketch outside whenever possible, but it is often more practical to make sketches and photographs and complete the painting in the studio.

She has exhibited in many galleries across the country including The Kings Place Gallery, London; Weston Park Gallery, Staffordshire; The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery, Birmingham; The Shirehall Gallery, Stafford; Keele University Gallery; The Octagon Centre, Sheffield; and The Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.

This show runs every day from 13th August until 25th October.


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