LOVE ART | Putting the heart into your home | Feb 1st -28th
Your home is your haven and as we look towards an upbeat 2015, attention turns to refreshing certain aspects of your décor which may be feeling a little jaded. The interior design trends which will lead us through the next twelve months are already established; Elle Decoration noting that unexpected pastel accents are now frequently chosen to soften spaces, emboldened with pops of pattern and humour through soft furnishing and fine art choices. Working with the architecture and period of your home key moments can be created through the fusion of eclectic texture and colour.
This February witnesses Gallery Rouge host a month long celebration of four inspiring British artists; showcasing playful works with timeless values at their heart, collectors will be reminded just how great the impact art has on the atmosphere of their living spaces. Create your home to project a positive tone, distilling your passions and aspirations which you long to return back to at the end of the day. It is time to re-discover your love of art, and the journey starts here.
All that Glitters is Gold | Veronica Lake portrayed in 24ct gold leaf by post urban glamour artist LHOUETTE #BeautyProduct
We have just received into the Harpenden gallery one of only four originals covered in gold leaf created to date; an elegant yet edgy pallet work which depicts Veronica at the height of her Hollywood fame. Lavished in sumptuous 24ct gold leaf and decorated with a reference to the established fashion house Prada, this reclaimed wooden pallet has been elevated into fine art object.
Lhouette is an emerging artist, nominated as best breakthrough at the Fine Art Awards in 2014 and cited as one to watch. Learn more here - http://www.galleryrouge.co.uk/Lhouette-biography.watch.
The Art of Giving | Gallery Rouge Essential Christmas Gift Guide 2014
Click on the image below to reveal the gift guide!
- Spoil the special someone in your life
Christmas is an ideal excuse to surprise your loved one and show them how much they really mean to you. Treat him or her with passionate piece ‘Avenue of Hearts’ by Andrei Protsouk. Alternatively bring back memories of a romantic city-break with the urban-scapes of Rachel Tighe. The brownie points will last long after the festive season!
- Enchant the little ones
Better than the latest toy craze, your little one will love having a piece of their very own to enjoy right through their childhood. For younger families the vibrant motif of Kerry Darlington’s ‘Rainbow Tree’ will delight, and for ‘big kids’ the iconic super heroes created by Marvel founder Stan Lee are ideal.
- Don’t forget your parents
They always make Christmas magical and so why not pamper your parents with the cheerful botanical fields of Mary Shaw which will take them through every season. Reminisce about family walks in the countryside with the peaceful yet bold landscapes from Allan Morgan.
- Still not sure?
Fear not, if you can’t decide then Gift Vouchers are the answer. Available in denominations of £25, £50 and £100 and presented in a complimentary gift box, your loved one will have the expertise and advice of the friendly Gallery Rouge consultants at their disposal to help select something they will cherish for many years to come.
Darren Baker | The Story so Far | Artist Biography
Darren Baker has become one of the UK’s most well-known and collectable artists of the 21st century. A perfectionist who has, for most of his life, been developing techniques to create a form of realism comparable to photography, Baker boasts a career which many dream of and so few achieve.
The accolades of this master artist include;
- Official Portrait artist to Her Majesty The Queen 2011
- Official Artist to the 2012 Olympic games
- Fine Art Trade Guild Award Winner – Best Artist 2010
- Winner of the Garrick Prize at Christies, London.
- Notable commissions include The Royal British Legion, HRH Prince Charles, Tony Blair, Lewis Hamilton, Wayne Rooney, Amir Khan, Johnny Wilkinson and the Bahrain Royal Family as well as the House of Lords.
- The Sunday Times described Baker’s work as “thrilling” and “virtuosic”.
Many may already be familiar with Baker’s most famous painting. Working collaboratively with the Royal British Legion the artist was commissioned to paint an Official Portrait of their Patron, Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the organisation, Darren Baker reminisces about his extraordinary experience in 2011;
“A commission to paint Her Majesty, not only an incredible person but also the most famous woman in the world, is something every portrait artist must dream of. I was completely staggered and even now, after the portrait has been painted and unveiled, I can’t quite believe that I have had such an amazing experience. It has been the greatest honour of my career.
The Queen’s wristwatch is set at 11am, the moment at which the nation observes Remembrance and the spray of five poppies on her brooch highlights the poppy as the ultimate symbol of the debt we owe. I felt it was essential to make this idea central to the portrait as I am acutely aware of the wonderful work the legion does for our service men and women.”
Unveiled at a commemorative service in Westminster Abbey in autumn 2011 by Princess Anne, the painting was widely revered by critic and press. Baker’s contribution to the British Legion is especially poignant this year, as we remember the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
The World of Sport
Baker has had a close relationship with the world of sport since the earliest days of his professional artistic career. His very first commission was instigated by an established dealer to paint the great Billy Bremner, Scottish by birth but most famous for his captaincy of Leeds United. Bremner has recently been voted Leed’s greatest player of all time; speaking of his experience, Baker expands, “When I met the dealer in 1997, Billy had just died, and the commission was a huge honour.”
As a delegate for Leeds, Baker represented the city at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. The attendance proved to be a turning point for Baker; “I was blown away by the grace and beauty of the horses, not to mention their size, and naturally I felt the urge to get painting.” Commissions include Bakers magnificent portrait of Dubai Millennium from the Godolphin Stables, as well as a series of the legendary Royal Arabian Studs of Bahrain commissioned by the Bahrain Royal Family. The artist admits the commission was an achievement; “This unique collection of pure-bred Arabian horses had been preserved on the island for over 200 years by the rulers of Bahrain, and painting these magnificent animals was a huge privilege.”
Following the announcement that London had won the bid to hold the 2012 Olympic Games, Baker was personally appointed as the official artist of the games. Given his outstanding contribution to sporting portraiture, he was certainly the natural choice. “I was introduced to some amazing Olympic and Paralympic athletes and have created a series of portraits which have made me proud to be British. These were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and will now be in the Olympic village.”
Often working alongside and produced paintings for such star sporting names as Lewis Hamilton, Steven Gerrard, Kenny Dalglish, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Amir Khan Bakers most recent portrait comes as part of his position as the official artist to The Professional Footballers Association. Commissioned to draw Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, the piece has been signed by both football stars and will be auctioned off in aid of supporting mental health issues in football.
Mayfair to Downing Street
Baker’s previous representation at Mayfair galleries as well as exhibitions at the Mall Galleries (home of the Federation of British Artists) cemented his place as the modern portrait artist of our times. Gaining attention from the curator of The House of Lords, they spoke about the possibility of Baker’s interest in a portrait of Prime Minister Tony Blair. “I got to work and created the portrait and then sent it off with my heart in my mouth. I received a fantastic letter of thanks from Cherie Blair which included the lines “Thank you so much for your wonderful portrait of Tony. We like it very much and have hung it on our wall” which meant the world to me.” Baker’s portrait of Pope John Paul II was also greeted with a personal letter of appreciation direct from the Vatican.
The Creative Process
Working in oils, pastels, graphite and charcoal Darren Baker is able to produce consistent results of perfection. All of the paintings and drawings created often take hundreds of hours to complete and as such Baker is not a prolific artist. The subjects of Darren’s impressive portfolio of portraits are in no doubt as to the credibility of his work however and he is swiftly becoming one of our most collectable artists. He has been developing his ‘hyper-realistic technique for over 10 years. As he himself explains:
“I sand down my canvas to an almost mirror like surface, to ensure the smooth application of paint. After outlining a highly detailed architectural drawing, I work on the underpainting in tones of sepia oil paint which I brush, rag on and airbrush. Then I apply the oils using a fine technique of glazing using thinned out paint in many layers according to a technique of Vermeer’s. I use a substance called liquin to glaze the oil paint in acute fine layers, which renders paint strokes almost invisible. This is perhaps the secret of the realism that I am able to achieve, as it allows me to work up translucent layers and gives me unbelievable control of paint to create detail and colour blends.”