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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Jan-18 > Abstract arrangements

Abstract arrangements

Dennis Spicer shares his thoughts about his intuitive approach to colour and form and the sense of ‘stillness’ in his still-life oil paintings


Painters Table (Red Bowl), oil and cold wax on linen, 153⁄4×193⁄4in (40×50cm)

Although I have drawn since childhood, I was in my midtwenties when I first went to art school, the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, after encouragement from a teacher at a life-drawing class. There I was at first attracted to the discipline of the life room, which was primarily run along the principles of exacting measurement of the Euston Road School. Although I am glad I learnt to draw like this I think that, at its worst, it can become a style that can lead to rather dreary uninspiring paintings; I now feel able to break free from this exactness and combine drawing with a more intuitive approach to painting.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our January issue which looks forward to the new year ahead with our special 6-page guide to open competitions and exhibitions in 2018 and beyond, with all the entry details and all-important deadlines. We also include full details about our own The Artist open competition with fantastic prizes and the opportunity to see your work exhibited and published in the magazine and on our website, promoting your artwork to our massive international audience. Our inspirational, practical articles from this month's team of top-level professional artists and tutors include how to exploit extreme shadows in watercolour for enhanced light effects, watercolour techniques for capturing atmospheric weather conditions and how to improve your watercolour still life paintings. Equestrian artist Ruth Buchanan offers 10 top tips on how to draw the horse, NEAC President Richard Pikesley offers ideas on painting 'table-top' landscapes indoors when it's impossible to get outside to paint and Barry Freeman explains how painting from the heart is the key to loosening up in your work. With much more too, you will find plenty of ideas in this issue to keep you painting over the festive period. The team at The Artist wishes all our readers a happy, creative time and enjoyable new year.