Posted on

Artist Gill Bustamante – TV Ads

Starting on May 9th 2016, four of my Summer themed paintings are being used in a TV ad which is running during Good Morning Plus on ITV. The ad is for Opticrom eye drops who are sponsoring the program so their ads feature at beginning of ad breaks and at the ends. Four different paintings were used showing a figure magically appearing out of the background and rubbing their eyes which smears the face paint they were wearing to cleverly highlight how summer can cause itchy eyes!

The thing happened out of the blue when a nice lady who works for ITV was looking for ‘summer themed’ paintings and had found me on an artist’s directory website.  She contacted me because some of my paintings are of flower meadows and are large.  I did not get paid as such but what she did was buy 4 prints of the paintings from Point 101 (who are a great fine art printers I use to fulfil my print orders) and these were large enough for the actual filming. Afterwards, she gave me the 4 prints which I can sell.

No-one will know the paintings in the ads are mine but it has made my parents happy and is a nice thing to add to my news site so it was good. It may be encouraging to other artists that simply continuing to keep putting your name out there does sometimes pay off!

On an interesting aside – two of the paintings featured in the ads sold in the first week the ads began to run even though the buyers had not seen the ad and I had, in fact, painted them over a year ago – spooky eh?


Posted on

The Accidental Garden

Abraham Cruzvillegas The Empty Lot
The Turbine Hall is busy.
People are crowding and looking over the balcony. They are looking at soil and the sculpture by Abraham Cruzvillegas is a success.
Cruzvillegas filled small triangular lots with soil from a range of parks, commons and green spaces across London to see what would happen. The Empty Lot.
At the beginning, nobody knew what would happen. Maybe nothing.  It was part sculpture and part agricultural experiment. Nothing was planted by the artist or by Tate Modern. The plants/fungi visible arrived by one of the following means:
– Existing seeds within the soil
– Seeds/spores travelling in the air
– Seed-bombing by the public
At the end of the experiment we can see the results and view the small plants as signs of hope from within a metropolitan wilderness. There is potential.
Cruzvillegas was inspired by his knowledge of ancient agricultural methods used to farm the area that is now Mexico City.
We are lucky that we have been able to bask in the calmness of this accidental garden.

Abraham Cruzvillegas

Posted on

‘Blind Spots’ Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool will be showcasing the largest collection of Jackson Pollock’s ‘Black Pour’ paintings ever seen together  in the UK for a new show running until 18th October 2015. This is the first exhibition in 30 years to focus on this specific area of his work.
The Black Pourings were part of a significant change in style for Pollock who had been working on his colourful, abstract drip paintings for the previous 4 years. During a difficult period of his life, which began in 1951, Pollock decided that he wanted a change of style and moved away from the ‘drip’ method towards the ‘pour’ method, continuing in his ‘Action Painting’ style. The works use black enamel paint poured onto unprimed canvas. His use of black can be seen as an attempt to defy critics who believed his work to be wthout substance and ‘decorative’. He would work in a barn with the canvas unstretched and spread out across the floor, approaching the canvas from different sides and angles. Pollock was to succumb to his addiction to alcohol, and ‘painter’s block’ followed in 1953.
The exhibition also shows some of Jackson Pollock’s earlier paintings to give the viewer a broad overview of his work and a chance to see the black pour paintings in the context of his career as a whole.
Read more about Blind Spots at Tate Liverpool
Cover Image: ‘Kites’ by Jan Rippingham after Jackson Pollock
Posted on

MIF 2015

Manchester International Festival 2015
MIF this year started on 2nd July and will be running until 19th July. This bi-annual festival showcases new art, music and theatre performances by many well-known artists. The festival was the brainchild of Alex Poots following the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. He saw Manchester as a city capable of holding such large -scale events and also as a major cultural hub. He is well aware of Manchester’s past and it’s forerunning during the music scenes of 80’s and 90’s. He saw the re-invention of Manchester through Tony Wilson’s ‘Factory’ record label.
Poots suggested to Manchester Council a festival which would be led by artists, be completely independent of the council and only showcase new work.


MIF has previously seen new work unveiled by the likes of Bjork, Damon Albarn and Kenneth Branagh.
This year’s festival includes Richter/ Pärt. This is a project which took years to plan and can be attributed to Alex Poots’ introduction of artist Gerhard Richter and composer Arvo Pärt. This creative partnership has inspired both parties to create new work with and for each other. Richter has produced 4 new works alongside Pärt’s Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima.
Tickets to Richter/ Pärt are free and this show will run at The Whitworth Gallery until 19th July.


More information about Richter/Pärt




Posted on

The Art Fund Prize 2015

The Museum of the Year Prize has been awarded to the Whitworth Art Gallery! The award was founded to celebrate the best museums and galleries across the UK, rewarding  excellence, innovation and imagination. The Whitworth will receive £100,000.
The 6 finalists this year were as follows:
1. Dunham Massey
During the First World War this Georgian House was transformed into the Stamford Military Hospital by the Grey family. The house has been returned to its former status to mark the centenary of the original hospital being founded.
2. Recently reopened Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum London re-opened in July 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War and now includes the First World War Galleries. The galleries include a Harrier Jet and a Spitfire.
3. MAC – Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast
Belfast’s new art venue which opened in 2012 and includes three art galleries, two theatres, a family room, an artist-in-residence studio, workshop spaces and a café/bar.
4. Oxford University Museum of Natural History
To celebrate their nomination, the museum has decided to send it iconic Dodo on a week long trail from Land’s End to John O’ Groats!
5 The Tower of London
Who can forget the stunning installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower in 2014. 888,246 ceramic red poppies represented fallen British and colonial servicemen.
6 The Whitworth
The gallery underwent a radical £15 million transformation  in 2014 and doubled in size. The gallery first opened in 1889 for ‘the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester’. That idea has been retained throughout the history of the Museum. During the renovation the Museum experimented with pop-up exhibitions which helped to achieve record-breaking visitor numbers once the galleries re-opened.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: ‘The transformation of the Whitworth – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination – has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years.”
The Art Fund Museum of the Year
Posted on

‘Nighthawks’ – A Study

Edward Hopper Nighthawks
‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper. Oil on canvas.
One of American art’s most recognisable paintings, ‘Nighthawks’ depicts late-night dining in Downtown New York. It was painted in 1942 and quickly sold to the Art Institute of Chicago for $3,000, and it has remained there since.
The use of the sharp corner in this painting is characteristic of Hopper’s style as this unusual perspective gave him the opportunity to paint part of the view as seen through two panes of glass. This can be seen in several other of his paintings including ‘Office in a Small City’. Another characteristic of Hopper’s work which is visible here is his interest in light and shadow. We are able to see the effect of man-made light on the surrounding darkness as the light from the diner is cast sharply into the surrounding streets.
Both the title of the painting and the location of the diner are ambiguous. ‘Nighthawks’ can be seen as simply a name for those late-night diners, or as a reference to the man at the bar who has a beak-shaped nose. The intended name for the painting was actually ‘Night Hawks’. There has been much speculation as to the actual location of the diner. It is commonly thought to be in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, which was  Hopper’s own neighbourhood, although the corner has since been demolished. There has been talk of the diner being entirely fictitious, although Edward Hopper himself was quoted as saying ‘I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger’, suggesting that the painting was at least based on a real-life diner.
Edward Hopper kept a journal with his wife Josephine. He would draw sketches of his ideas for paintings and she would annotate the sketches with additional details to be referred to later. The entry for ‘Nighthawks’ gives us an insight into the artwork in its early stages of development:
“Night + brilliant interior of cheap restaurant. Bright items: cherry wood counter + tops of surrounding stools; light on metal tanks at rear right; brilliant streak of jade green tiles 3/4 cross canvas at base of glass of window curving at corner. Light walls, dull yellow ocre [sic] door into kitchen right. Very good looking blond boy in white (coat, cap) inside counter. Girl in red blouse, brown hair eating sandwich. Man night hawk (beak) in dark suit, steel grey hat, black band, blue shirt (clean) holding cigarette. Other figure dark sinister back at left. Light side walk outside pale greenish. Darkish red brick houses opposite. Sign across top of restaurant, dark Phillies 5c cigar. Picture of cigar. Outside of shop dark, green. Note: bit of bright ceiling inside shop against dark of outside street at edge of stretch of top of window.”
View the artwork at the Art Institute of Chicago
Posted on

A Different Perspective

Taking something ordinary and viewing it from a new angle has long been a way of creating innovative art. It gives the viewer a task, a problem to solve as they look at the artwork. The appreciation of beauty is not the only objective, they are also testing their powers of recognition. This can have two outcomes. The, at first unrecognisable, object or pattern can become more beautiful upon recognition. One sees beauty in something which usually appears ordinary. At the other end of the scale, a beautiful abstract artwork may lose some of its appeal and aesthetic qualities once we realise that the artwork depicts something with which we are already familiar.
The above represents a risk for the artist. Playing with a viewer’s expectations can produce varied results and ultimately affect their overall verdict on the piece. With the preferred outcome, this is an exciting way of viewing art which adds another level of enjoyment to the work.
Take a closer look at this piece which we love:


‘Cornered in Pinks’ by Ron Adams
One of a series of paintings composed from architectural elements observed in modern homes.




Posted on

A Baroque Masterpiece

baroque masterpiece
‘A Man Seated at a Reading Table in a Lofty Room’. 1627
A recent discovery for us, this Baroque style painting is beautiful in its use of light and shadows.  A lone man sits under a large window, shunning the light streaming in through the large window behind him. It evokes a feeling of solitude and reflection. Until recently this painting was attributed to Rembrandt, however it is now thought that it is the work of one of his contemporary followers. It echoes the style of Rembrandt’s work when he was in his native Leiden and he used such strong contrasts of light and dark. It has now been noticed that the composition does not look to be typical of his work and that the paint has been applied in too heavy-handed a manner. It also lacks some of the detail that one usually finds in Rembrandt’s work.
Oil on oak.
This work is now showing at The National Gallery, London.