STILL LIFE: The paintings of Paul Stone and Jill Barthorpe

STILL LIFE brings together two accomplished painters whose subject matter is similar but whose approaches and treatment are almost diametrically opposite.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 15 August at 11.00 at gallerytop

Paul Stone’s paintings are meticulously observed and make reference to the Dutch and Spanish Still Life paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries. The compositions are focused on the relationships between the objects and their environment. They invite the viewer into an intimate space to seek out the symbolism of the objects and the ‘stage’ they occupy.

Jill Barthorpe’s paintings have a sense of the ethereal despite being rooted in disciplined observation. Her paintings have an economy based upon the accuracy of marks and the precise placement of colour. Her training under Euan Uglo at the Slade and subsequent plain air experience in Europe defines the handling of light and space

Paul Stone

‘At the core of my paintings is the search for a precision of focus on the formal properties of mundane objects that have an everyday, unremarkable presence in our lives. As the majority of the inanimate objects are gathered from local charity shops, they also record a previous unknown transience moment when they are suddenly cast out for whatever reason. This results in a familiar and nostalgic content, and for me a more intimate relationship with their representation.

Jill Barthorpe

“For me the excitement of painting is trying to capture the ‘likeness’ of things without slavish description. Paradoxically, I find the most interesting way to carve out this reality is to use objects of an ephemeral nature: trees, clouds, flowers; their constant movement and the passage of the light during the day forces me to make decisions about their essential character and to attempt to draw that, rather than rely on an impression based on the moment. Similarly my approach to colour is to distil the essence and define the point of change rather than model the surface.”

'Smooth Skin' by Paul Stone

‘Smooth Skin’ by Paul Stone

'Orange Stripe' by Jill Barthorpe

‘Orange Stripe’ by Jill Barthorpe


Eddie Curtis and Chris Prout

Eddie Curtis and Chris Prout

Our new exhibition starts on Saturday 26 October 2013 with a ceramicist and a painter

Chris Prout is a successful painter based in Northamptonshire and his uniquely responsive works are in high demand. The loose immediacy of the paint belies the superb draughtsmanship, which underlies it

“My painterly textured works are influenced by many things… music, architecture, people and of course other artists namely Whistler, Singer Sargent, Turner and in recent years, Eardley, Tress and Kanevski. They evolve from a personal, self-initiated place and are generally a response to my day-to-day existence. I tend to lean towards mood, shape, colour and nature, articulating ‘glimpses of life’ and interpreting them in a style that puts a little abstraction into the situation“


I thought it wo…

I thought it would be useful to clarify what an artist’s print is:

Original Limited Edition Silkscreen’s……..

Silkscreen printing or serigraphy is a technique for making exceptionally accurate fine-art prints, using hand cut, photographically or digitally made stencils. It is the favoured technique of many fine artists, as the process allows them to have an exceptional amount of involvement in every stage of the process; so that the end product is in the nature of an original work.

The screens used in silkscreen printing are now made from a polyester fine weave material, stretched over a rectangular frame. Areas of its surface are masked off with a non-permeable photostencil or painted out with a masking fluid. This forms a positive stencil – the areas not masked out are where the printed image will appear.

 The image to be reproduced is separated out into individual colours, and a stencil is made for each colour by masking out the areas on the screen where you do not want the ink to print.

 The stencils are made by separating out each colour from an original painting either photographically, digitally or by hand (this is done either by the artist or a specialist stencil maker) and translating it mechanically onto light-sensitive film, which then bonds with the silk screen and masks out the areas where the colour doesn’t appear.

This masked screen is then placed onto a dense, fairly thick paper. Coloured ink, colour-picked by the artist or mixed carefully to be identical to the original work, is pushed through the screen with a squeegee, leaving a sharp edged shape or shapes where the unmasked areas of screen are.

 The inks can be made more or less transparent to allow other colours to show through, thus increasing the range of colours and effects achievable – so for example a green area could be created by printing a transparent layer of blue over a layer of yellow. Where there was no yellow layer underneath the transparent blue, you’d get a pale blue effect, as the white of the paper would show through. Individual screen stencils are made for each colour in the finished print, and printed one on top of the other until the image is complete.

 The print can then be glazed or have a topical substance such as glitter or gold leaf applied to the surface. Advances in photographic and digital imaging mean that incredibly detailed and intricate images can be made as silkscreen prints. Once the print is finished, the artist approves each copy, and authenticates it by signing and numbering it, either along the bottom of the image or on the back.