I started walking and sketching around Shoreham in November and stumbled across the Downs Link path that connects the coast to Guilford. After walking a section and finding some interesting landscapes, I decided to set myself a project; to complete the 37 mile walk and create a series of paintings of key points along the route. Part of my reason for doing this is to further develop my landscape painting style. These are the first of the set, I plan to continue through 2017 and hope to exhibit them together at some point.
I am often led back to subject matter or techniques that I have used before. After a recent trip to Peru, and the time spent in the airport, I was inspired to go back to the 'Crowds' and 'Movement' themes that i had worked on in paintings done in 2014. This time I worked on 3 canvases simultaneously and tried to describe the space, people and dynamic with a more symbolic visual language.
This painting was started in March and then reworked in November.
I developed some of the sketches of cloud formations I had done for a commission earlier in the year. These led to 2 small paintings on canvas.
In May of 2016 I opened my home and studio as part of Brighton Artists Open Houses. I asked a group of artist and craftsperson friends to show with me. We named ourselves the Windmill Collective. We had a great response to the show and some great press:
"Most of the artists will be familiar to anyone who follows the local and national Queer arts world or press and the range of material, style and presentation is a real strength of the Windmill Collective. Needham's large open landscapes have an ethereal, eeire intimate quality to them, shifting and full of movement,"
Eric Page - Gscene
These two paintings completed in April were commissions based on work I had done in 2013. As such the look is different to my current style but the experience of revisiting the method of work practiced before, but with the skills I have developed since was really stimulating.
The commission process involved producing a series of sketched ideas for the compositions. Then creating colour studies of the sketches chosen by the client. I then went through a series amendments before creating final paintings. They were painted on heavy paper for framing, as the client prefered.
2 small landscapes working with a limited pallet on a bright ground. I plan to work this same process but on increasingly larger scales in the future.
I was sketching locations around Brighton town centre looking for interesting urban spaces. This painting is of St. Peter's Church, Brighton (covered in scaffold). I was trying to find ways to describe the place whilst creating something with an interesting abstract quality. I was also exploring how maps describe locations.