As the summer approaches I find myself thinking back to the time I spent studying at the Sarum Studio* in late summer 2012.
The last piece I did there was the one I was most pleased with. To anyone with an interest in cast painting, the subject matter will be all too familiar. It is commonly said to be of St Jerome, but I’ve never tracked down the original so don’t take my word for it!
I often feel that the ‘fundamentals’ that I learnt from Sarum have got diluted a bit. I can’t pick up a paintbrush at lunchtimes at the moment, so instead I do a lot of browsing ateliers’ websites for whatever catches my eye. The result, I fear, resembles the nest of the thieving magpie!
Looking back at this piece, I’d like to re-learn a lot of the good practice embodied in this painting. There is a looseness and immediacy to the brush work and a unity of effect which I’ve never quite been able to accomplish since. Something for me to focus on over the next few months.
* The Sarum Studio is run by Nick Beer (of Charles H Cecil Studios and author of Sight-Size Portraiture) and is based at the beautiful Wren Hall, a Queen Anne style former school in the stunning cathedral close in the centre of Salisbury. It is soon to become a full time atelier. With a bit of luck, I may be able to manage a visit for a day or two this summer.
Ben Laughton Smith
Aspiring artist, training in the classical tradition.