3180. Cheltenham 2019 (34)

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.

WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020
WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020

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.

WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020
WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020

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.

WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020
WD, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2020

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.

2500. Cheltenham 2019 (11)

One of the comforting things about the Cheltenham Paint Festival is that it is only a short distance away from Bristol and that I am familiar with a great many of the artists that make the short journey. One such artist is Lokey, whose 3D anamorphic lettering is out of the top drawer.

Lokey, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Lokey, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

This piece has the appearance of being unfinished, but it is signed and I have not seen any photograhs of it in a more advanced state. It is a clever effect which keeps the mind wondering what might the bottom half look like and your brain trying to fill in the gaps. I ought to add that the little cat to the right of the piece was painted by his young daughter and will is worthy of its own post (to come).

1881. Upfest 2018 (100)

My hundredth post on Upfest 2018 and I have been saving this piece to mark the occasion. Sometimes in this game you get to see something very special, and when I heard that Odeith was coming to the festival I had high hopes. This piece not only met, but far exceeded my expectations, and it was a real privilege to see this master of anamorphic street art at work.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I have seen a lot of Odeith’s work on social media, most of it of insects and spiders stretched across a corner, but this is the first time I have seen anything on three walls and under water. The effect is quite astonishing and how well it plays tricks with your eyes and mind. Even with the artist standing in the middle of the space, disrupting the effect, it still looks amazing.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The water level is so brilliantly devised that it feels like the viewer is swimming about a foot or so under the surface, and the water distorts the back of the scene where the crocodile’s head breaks the surface.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The walls of the tank are composed of large stone block letters, spelling out ODEITH. Not only is the concept of this piece extraordinary, but the skill and attention to details, light, shade texture and so on is second to none. I think that in most people’s eyes, this was the piece that stole the show. A technical masterpiece.