One of the nice things about the Cheltenham Paint Festival is the large number of Bristol-based artists that are asked to paint. Mr Klue is a particular favourite of mine. His modest demeanour betrays his obvious talent and unique abstract style
I am not overjoyed at my hopeless photography. The close-up is a little too close and I have cut off the left hand edge of the piece. This is a colourful piece that probably spells out KLUE, but might not, and presents many of the trademark features we would expect to see in one of his pieces; floating steps, wisps of smoke and coiled cones give the artist away. I am rather taken with the orange ball, a nice feature.
Daub is an artist I have come across a few times at the Cheltenham Paint Festival and at Upfest in Bristol. His ink pen pieces are most distinctive and painstakingly crafted. Last year I stopped for quite a lengthy chat, but this year was a little more difficult to interact due to social distancing.
This mesmerising piece is of an owl, I think, and between the large eyes is a small yellow beak, introducing the only colour to the work. What is not clear from these pictures is the amount of detailed shading that you can see when you get close up. A nice piece from a festival regular.
I have just checked and I never posted his piece from last year… I’ll have to put that right.
Dice67 is the mastermind behind the Cheltenham Paint Festival and this year pulled the rabbit out of the hat to get the festival back on track in super-quick time. He is a truly remarkable man and manages to motivate others in his rather laid back style. Not only does he perform miracles of organisation and persuasion, he is also a highly talented artist and always makes time to paint his own piece during the festival.
This piece owes more than a little to the genius of Michelangelo and his fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. A common theme in street art, this is beautifully executed and the handing Of the spray can is a really nice touch. The writing, spelling Dice67, is really nice too, especially with the cracks running through the letters. Bravo Dice67.
The first of this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival pieces is from the tireless John D’oh with this clever Alice in Wonderland reference. As is often the case with John D’oh’s work, this piece is having a bit of a swipe at McDonalds and other corporate fast food outlets and the impact they have on obesity and poor health.
In this scene, a rather plump Alice is being tempted to ‘drink me, eat me, buy one get one free, go large for 30p, free soft drink with every large meal’. Seeing it like this in a Dinseyfication drills home the message rather well. Many more from John D’oh to come from the paint festival.
This is the last of three pieces from last year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival that wasn’t completed during my visit in 2019, but that I had the opportunity to revisit this year. The Star Wars AT-AT is by Pad303 and continues a style that he has been developing over the last three or so years. I’m not quite sure if it qualifies as anamorphic art, but he likes to trick our eyes into believing that the brick wall is coming alive.
Star Wars is a popular theme for street artists and Pad303 has nailed this war machine of the Empire, that I always felt was rather fragile in battle. This is a very clever piece, blending in with the colours of the wall (a wall which I’d like to add is most unsympathetic to being painted) and lifting the image out and giving it an animated quality. Brilliant. I have a few more of these pieces from Pad303 to share, when I have a moment.
This is another outstanding piece from last year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival that I never got to see in its finished state until I visited for this year’s festival. It is a superb Hamlet work by French artist Zabou that I actually saw her working on last year, but haven’t been able to find my work in progress photographs.
Zabou is without doubt one of my favourite street artists. Her work is not only technically brilliant but her subjects and the emotional texture she conveys is quite remarkable. I think that this might be my favourite piece by Zabou, I am in love with it and cannot fault it.
The blue tones and flowers add some real interest, but it is the relationship between Hamlet (I am making that assumption) and Yorick’s skull that is so intriguing. ‘Alas poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio…’
The thing about returning to an annual festival such as the one in Cheltenham is that a year later you get to see the pieces that weren’t completed on the visit a year ago. The next three pieces on Natural Adventures were all painted at Cheltenham Paint Festival in 2019, but photographed this year.
This astonishing anamorphic piece, or trompe l’oeil as I would prefer to describe it, is a tribute to Mobius (the mathematician) who invented the Möbius strip – remember that from O Level mathematics? It is painted by WD, an artist I know little about but who has a rather nice website that is worth a look at.
This really is a breathtaking piece and didn’t get painted until after last year’s festival had ended, so many visitors never got to see it which is a shame. One can only look at a piece like this and be filled with awe. It is not only clever, but it is also expertly painted. I love the incorporation of the chimney stack into the hat.
I parked down a little side street to get these pictures and the last one is from a little distance away, but gives you a feel for the local impact of something so grand. Worth a trip to Cheltenham on its own.
As part of a recent paint jam, the walls of the Dare To nightclub were given something of a stupendous makeover and would be the envy of many a building in Bristol. This piece was one of four on this elevation and is by Inkie.
It would seem that Inkie is spending a lot of time in the Bristol area at the moment and is hitting a lot of walls. I can’t think of a time when I have seen so many new pieces from him in such a short space of time. We are being spoilt. This is a particularly nice one in pink, featuring the one and only Pink Panther. A real beauty and so typically Inkie if you know what I mean.
There are few places further removed from the relaxing evening beach scene in this Silent Hobo piece than Temple Way – a busy dual carriageway running through the centre of Bristol. It is this juxtaposition that adds to the overall brilliance of this piece.
Silent Hobo has been unstoppable this year, and on top of that, I seem to be finding loads of his older pieces too, which means he is featuring a lot on Natural Adventures at the moment.
Four youths are getting away from it all chilling on a beach in the sunset, soaking in that connection with nature and our beautiful planet Earth. The piece captures a mood so perfectly and I can imagine myself as one of those youths (I have to think back a long way mind). I find the story in this work a bit depressing because I can’t help feeling that our planet and the ecosystem services it provides are being choked to death by negligent governments and societies worldwide. And on that happy note…
Another stunner from Smak on the M32 roundabout and this time it is in beautiful gold and green colours with a slightly unexpected surprise pink and red highlighting the outer edges of the piece.
I found this without knowing it had been painted (always rewarding and it usually means that it is pretty fresh because it han’t appeared on Instagram). There is a kind of browny tinge all along the middle of the letters, giving the letters a bit of a 3D shiny feel to them. Belting statement piece.