I had the pleasure of exhibiting at the fantastic Southport Flower Show at the weekend where I set up the essentials from the studio and painted a portrait and still life painting from life.

I also displayed some examples of recent works including the first of my Lancashire Plein Air series and some brand new flower oil studies.

Painting from Life

On the Thursday and Friday I painted a portrait from life of the lovely Alison – the winner of the portrait competition ran by Southport Flower Show.

It was great fun painting in front of an ever changing live audience and I enjoyed chatting to so many show-goers who took an interest in my work.

I must admit that it proved difficult to concentrate on the painting in such an environment and the light in the Flower Show Living Pavilion didn’t allow for much chiaroscuro in the composition!

Despite the challenges of painting in front of a live audience for the first time I was happy with the final portrait which I think captured a good likeness of the sitter. Alison was great fun to paint and members of her family came to see the portrait over the course of the show.

Painting from Life at Southport Flower Show

Once Upon a Time

For the Saturday and Sunday of the show I worked on a still life piece, again painted from life. While I faced the same challenges with the light I was able to achieve some control using the box draped with black fabric (as shown in the photos below).

The inspiration for the piece was the show’s theme for this year, “Once Upon a Time”. I borrowed the vintage books as I loved the pastel covers and I was able to get hold of a rose which complimented them perfectly.

As I spent a great deal of the two days chatting to show-goers about my paintings (especially the Lancashire Plein Air pieces which proved popular) I didn’t manage to take the painting to a finish that I’m happy with so I’ll be spending some more time on this back in the studio… although photos will have to be used for any further work on the rose!

Once Upon a Time Still Life at Southport Flower Show

Award Winning

While I loved the experience of painting in front of an audience and chatting with so many nice people, the icing on the cake was receiving a Large Gold Medal award for my stand.

The stand was independently judged and I was delighted that the Southport Flower Show team recognised my efforts with the award.

Large Gold Medal Award for Gary Armer Artist

Photos from Southport Flower Show 2018

I’ve compiled a few more photos from the show below including shots showing the early stages of both paintings.