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My Favourite Choices by Ralph Shephard

Ralph Shephard was granted honorary membership of the British Society of Painters in 2004. He was also made an Associate member of the National Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Printmakers in the same year. The British Society of Painters was founded in 1987 and is dedicated to promoting and preserving the craft of the traditional artist. Other Fellows include Pietro Annigoni, Rowland Hilder OBE, Terence Cuneo OBE, CVO, and David Shepherd OBE. Shephard has exhibited with The British Society of Painters, The National Society of Painters, and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. He has participated in numerous exhibitions across the UK including, The White Room Gallery, Huddersfield, The Portland Gallery, Manchester and The Gulbenkian Gallery, Newcastle.

As one of our most popular artists Ralph Shephard has been featured as Londonart’s Artist of the Week. To read his archived review please click here

To view Ralph Shephard's work, general exhibition pages and to look at his biography please click here

In This Quiet Earth By Ralph Shephard

"I was once carrying this, which I would consider to be my best work out of an exhibition in Ilkley, and a very eccentric looking lady in a cowboy hat came rushing over to me in great haste and said rather breathlessly "Youve got to tell me......its Kathy isnt it??" "Im not with you....." I replied somewhat perplexed "How do you mean?" half anticipating her answer! "The painting....." she went on "Its Katherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights isnt it??" "How do you get that?" I enquired intrigued! To which she replied "The title...'In this quiet Earth'..... its the last line in Wuthering Heights!" I havent looked to find out, but this threw a totally new light on my own perception of the picture, and I was delighted at the ladies interpretation of my work! I do love the brooding gothic subject matter and the romance and unrequitted love of Emily Brontes tale .....but I was sorry to dissapoint her!
The painting is of my ex wife Maxine on the day that I met her, many years ago, and was based on a photograph which I took of her at the age of 17.
Why is this my favourite piece of work? I think this painting is so darkly and yet sweetly mysterious that it crackles with a life and spirit of its own, and makes my senses tingle with expectancy and unease.
The picture invites you into that place somehow....into another dimension....
I know its my own work and I feel slightly uncomfortable singing my own praises, but Ive not seen many portraits where I feel as though you can step through that portal into the sitters world. I think with this portrait Ive achieved that. Its something to do with the positioning of the shadows and the fact that the subject is looking so restfully away from the viewer. There is no eye contact, something I had always thought was an essential component in creating a succesful interactive portrait! This approach though tends to place you on her spirit plane, so that you are able to view the world through her eyes. Its curious ploy, totally unplanned, but I think it works dramatically well!
I also love the contrasts in the painting and the strong masses in the somewhat unorthodox composition. What I like mostly about the painting though is the serenity and almost metaphsical aura that it has. Within the frame there is a lot of mystery....
There is a curious aspect of the pictures content which further adds to that feeling, which funnily enough, I failed to notice the significance of, until I had finished the painting!
On the wall, when I took the reference shots which I worked from, there was a really old sepia photograph of a rather strange mound, Castle Hill in Telford. It dawned on me afterwards that mounds and hidden anomallies in the landscape have unknowingly featured in a lot of my work, forming almost a visual matrix of markers in the landscape remeniscent to certain Poussin! Markers which might lead to what.... I wonder.... "
In This Quiet Earth
Flowers for mommy

Flowers for mommy by Slava Groshev

"Strangely on a similar subject. Its not often I like such photorealistic work, but this is more than just that. This is somewhere between religious iconography, mixed with the gritty dryness and intensity of Andrew Wyeth. I like the technical merits and the good feel and love this painting has in it. Im very impressed with the composition and stance of the model in the painting ‘Young coquette’. Its really charming and has a lot of magic." RS

Slava Groshev has been one of Londonart’s Artist of the Week

William St by Anthony Johnson

"I like the really fluid use of paint and the vibrancy of this painters approach. He captures the magic, the atmosphere and the overall expectancy and zap of the frozen moment in his adventurous masterful expressionist control of paint, mass and composition. He puts you right there on that street….. amazing."RS
William St

Maze by Gabriela Schutz

"Cleverly visually striking. There is a complexity of form and composition in Schutz's work which is juxtaposed with a sort of smooth serenity, order and coolness. I love the subtle colour balance, and the way that the mass in the composition creates a loneliness. This is also created through the surprising lack of human presence in such a complex and intriguing man made environment. There is magic at work here! "RS

Female Nude by Peter Gyenes

"Peter Gyenes has a lush way of applying a luscious colour balance to his almost impressionist still lives with great skill. The same are qualities and richness of texture are beautifully put to use in his female nude which is a lovely well crafted drawing."RS
female nude
Yellow Star 1

Yellow Star 1 by Michael Addison

"Reminds me of one of the Pop artists, possibly Robert Indiana, but its not often that I like work that is as toneless and hard edged. This work though creates a strong emotional reaction, perhaps it’s the subject matter. Whatever it is, Addisons work is dynamic and satisfying...... spooky and atmospheric in a glossy sort of way!! I’d hang it in the lounge!"RS

Back of the 37 Jeffrys Road - 2005 by Geoff Routh

"I love the raw detail and the dry meticulous yet still very painterly approach to Geof Rouths paintings. The work is a wealth of detail and an intense captured moment in a claustrophobic back yard environment. It has a fascinating voyeuristic hold and keeps you in an almost daydream mode. The work has a very British feel and is reminiscent of Spencer and Freud. I feel the window series very impressive also. Particularly ‘Window 111’." RS

Andrew Fitchett has been one of Londonart’s Artist of the Week
Back of the 37 Jeffrys Road - 2005

self-portrait by Irina Novikova

"I like the endearing sensitivity and the gentle self contained microcosm of this otherwise hugely dramatic portrait Novikova paints in a gentle yet rhetoric style with guts and extreme sensitivity. Her painting 'Landscape' is equally strong and I like the stark atmosphere she creates. There is an incredibly lonely and forlorn atmosphere in that painting." RS

Elodie by Simon Tolhurst

"I love the chalklike texture which is prevailent in Simon Tolhursts work, and his ability when he is on form to create such a delicious tantalizing edgy, pensive calm within the frame. I really like the way he applies the paint and there is something quite magical and extraordinary about the way he captures his sitters mood or the curious still life objects he paints. Most of all I love the way that in 'Elodie' and also in 'Vivien' there is an uneasy interaction between the subject and viewer, making this to my mind the very best of portraiture with true spirit! I also find his painting 'Still life with a glass head' a totally engrossing and magical treat for the senses." RS
Almond Joy

Almond Joy by Jaz Jones

"I love the urban bustle and in your face street action of these city zone depictions! Jaz Jones' work is vibrant and totally absorbing, and the colour contrasts and billiant use of mass within the composition makes this dazzling formidable yet at the same time, fun work! I also love the same excitment and qualities to be found in his works 'Hardware' and 'Hersheys'..." RS