Home is Where the Art is

Posted by Julia Ogden on

In Autumn, 2019 I began a journey way out of my comfort zone; filming to appear on the BBC1 programme; 'Home is Where the Art is" .

The main premise of the programme is that three artists compete for a commission, but it also gives a window into the world of buying art. Why do certain pieces speak to us? What clues to our personality do our homes give away?

We began this process by looking at the potential buyers house, this was called the "snoop" as the buyers weren't there and we had to glean what information we could. I have never started a commission this way, but actually it was really useful. The home of my potential buyer was full of love, animals and colour. There was also a brief to guide us. It discussed loss of paternal and step fathers, a new home and a  celebration of new beginnings whilst being mindful of the past.

When I left the house I had no idea what I would paint! I had strong competition too as the other artists were very talented. They were wire sculptor Candice Bees and stone sculptor Andrew Vickers.

 After much research I finally decided on painting a father and child penguin. Emperor penguins had come out top as the best fathers in nature! They look after their incubating egg throughout the cold winter months, with little concern for themselves.  I hoped to convey the strong bond the clients had with their fathers. I also felt it was important to celebrate their new home: I planned to use warm colours to show comfort and incorporate a circle motif to suggest longevity and eternity. When the day came to pitch at the studio I nervously hoped I could convey my plans well...

Luckily I seemed to as the buyers selected me to make the piece. The other artist they chose was Candice.

So then I just had to paint it; it was quite a tight deadline but I tried to plan my time so I wasn't last minute. I was really pleased with what I had created and I felt it fit the brief well. I layered lots of warm tones, with more soothing lilacs. I focussed on the piece being welcoming and calming.

Sooner than I knew it the "reveal day" was upon me.

The episode is still on iplayer (13) so I won't spoil the outcome if you would like to see it.  Candice made such a beautiful piece, I think it was a really tough choice.

 Overall it was a fantastic experience and I feel the programme really showcases the artist's work and their process.

I have prints and cards available of the penguin painting, it has really touched me how it has spoken to people.

Happy watching x




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