“Art is an integral part of who I am. It’s not something I choose to do; it’s something inside that ignites when I let it through”

By richardsalter, Mar 27 2015 02:57PM

Response to Episode 6 – “Brand New”

For me this painting symbolises the beginning of a fresh chapter in my life. I’m glad to leave the challenges and various pressures that they create with the BBC, although it was fun it brought out my worst work. I compare it to asking a talented singer or dancer to do their best in 30 minutes or even 3 hours…it certainly wouldn’t be their best.

I believe the best creative work appears when you are surrounded by your own elements and you can let the natural flow of the imagination ignite. My favourite work is never rushed, but mulled over week after week until I reach a point of excellence.

The show was an amazing chapter of my life but the next one is even more exciting, I get a real spark when I stare at an empty white canvas and image what it could be.

BRING IT ON 2015!!!

By richardsalter, Mar 22 2015 12:59PM

Mathew Street: As a child I grew up to the sounds of the Beatles, and whilst walking down Mathew Street I felt something special in the atmosphere. I think the most amazing stories start from a humble beginning and end in something greater than yourself.

I attempted painting Mathew Street three times, none of which matched up to the picture I had in my head, perhaps because I was using mixed media and the materials guided me to another place. That said, all was not lost; the paintings have a wonderful eerie quality, as if something has or is about to happen.

The Heartbeat of Liverpool: In this work I wanted to simplify Liverpool, encapsulating its vast character into one line, like a heartbeat depicted on a medical monitor, this skyline of a City I think depicts heartbeat of its people.

By richardsalter, Mar 14 2015 05:11PM

Dance of Passion (Flamenco) - Whilst surrounded by the music and passionate movements of Flamenco dancers I tried to capture the feeling in paint. It is such a breath taking moment; there is so much energy creating an unmistakable intense atmosphere.

I had a few failed attempts before the paint brushes led to the conclusion I was searching for. In the end I found it away from the dance studio and in my own quiet studio.

Armed with my sketches and plenty of time my mind took me back and I added each feeling using paint gently without getting carried away with the rhythm of the dancers which was too much for my mind to control in a short space of time.

Some paintings fail, some just take more thought and time.

Ballet I – Capturing a likeness of any subject in motion really tests an artist’s ability. In this study I tried to capture a moment in time as oppose to showing movement, a sort of snapshot when I found the figure at its most empowering. Trying to do this with an acrobatic gymnast in a short space of time was fun, however wasn’t long enough to observe the human form in motion; especially whilst being questioned by the production team.

What you can’t see on camera?

Tate Britain was amazing, we spent a few hours before filming walking around before it was opened to the public….I found this saturated my mind and didn’t help take me to the zone of serenity I like to work within. It was tough knowing that some of my worst work was going to be subject to judging and to the nation.

By richardsalter, Mar 13 2015 08:12PM

Una Stubbs now lives in my pocket......I really need to give her back to the BBC they notice.......who else is going to cook for Sherlock?

By richardsalter, Mar 8 2015 02:40PM

“We Shall Remember Them” is a still life I painted after visiting the field of remembrance last November at Westminster. At the start of the year I created my first bronze sculpture of the same helmet and boots. I find viewing both pieces very hard, I have a deep sombre emotion and feeling of loss.

Tune into BBC Radio Wiltshire every Monday at 3.15pm to hear me talk about my work and my experience of The Big Painting Challenge.

What you can’t see on camera?

In my still life I wanted to explore the different textures from my daughter’s soft Teddy bear to a cold brass shell…..and more importantly show the viewer how I feel the Army impacts on family life.

By richardsalter, Mar 8 2015 01:14PM

In this piece I wanted to show what I think are the most important parts of a portrait….saying something more than just a likeness of the sitter……telling a story to make viewing the work more interesting. I love the way the light bounces through the layers of thin oil paint, hits the white ground and is bounced back giving a subtle soft feel to their faces. The colour of the paint changes when you use this technique depending on the light, if you use a warm bulb in a darkly lit room it has a delicate warm glow.

Episode 2

Well, an improvement on Episode 1….just! Now I realised that what I would call a study, I would now need to call a finished work! So for me speed was key, instead of carefully observing what was in front of me I had to make a best guess, get to an almost complete state, identify the major errors and work out which ones I had time to fix and which ones I had to leave the judges pull apart.

What you can’t see on camera?

We we’re up at 5.30am that day and finished filming around 9pm, it’s not ideal to work under pressure and fatigue…..which I think hit Jan and Anthea the most.

I also prefer to get to know a sitter so I can capture their character as well as a likeness….I didn’t recognise Rudolph Walker as I don’t watch EastEnders’s and we weren’t allowed to talk to him to get a feel for his personality.

By richardsalter, Mar 8 2015 09:44AM

I was most disappointed with my Delphinium flower, I realised after 5 minutes that the crayons provided saturated the paper very quickly, at which point I asked for another sheet and was told no….thus the mess that came…ewe.

So this is my response to the show, I wanted to show myself that I could depict a delicate flower under my own tried and tested art processes.

By richardsalter, Mar 8 2015 09:40AM

What you can’t see on camera?

What you can’t see was our journey so far; we had attended various auditions battling it out with 6,000 other artists….my head was still spinning overwhelmed that I had made it into the top ten.

I found the first challenges a bit of a shock to the system. Unlike the other artists I paint a marathon, not a sprint. I would normally start a painting by exploring a concept in depth which is usually an emotion or experience, I’d then work out the best way to convey this to the viewer and set-up a scene making many changes along the way. Then after making many studies I would choose a final composition and begin painting. I would sit in my studio for weeks slowly layering up thin transparent glazes of oil paint, which in themselves takes a few days to dry.

I realised from episode one that what I would call a study, I would now need to call a finished work! Arghhh!

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2013, Lost Moment, Oil on Panel, Low