3796. Upfest 2021 75×75 (13)

What a treat it was to meet Ant Carver while he was painting this beauty, not once or twice, but three times. Perhaps this was because I visited the area quite a few times but also because he took his time completing the piece. It is funny how some artists can fly in and out in a day while others take considerably longer.

Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Ant Carver used a technique called a doodle grid to paint this magnificent portrait piece. The way it works is a little bit like a combination of grid squares and tracing paper. The wall is painted with squiggles and patterns that act as reference points. The doodle is photographed and then the desired design superimposed onto the photograph of the doodle and made slightly transparent, so that the doodle comes through. The artist is then able to look at the photograph composite on their phone and use it to get all the lines and detail in exactly the right place on the wall. Worth checking out on the Interweb if you are interested.

Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This portrait has been painted on a new wall for Upfest, adding capacity, which is great because you can never have enough walls.

Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The piece is called ‘The Hand We’re Dealt’ and can best be described using the artist’s own words from his Instagram account:

‘‘The Hand We’re Dealt’ is the latest piece in my series of work exploring loss. Over the past few months I’ve been using my paintings as a way to reflect on my experience with grief. This is the latest painting in that series. Each element of the painting can be interpreted differently by the viewer, but to me the candle represents the passing of time and the luxury it is for that to happen. The skull symbolises life and death, and the cards reference the lottery of life and the hand we’re dealt.’

Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Ant Carver, Lime Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This is another superb piece from the London-based artist. I only wish my photographs could do it justice.

3786. Upfest 2021 75×75 (10)

One of my all time favourite artists in Bristol is Hazard, and it is not difficult to understand why.  Her portraits, so full of depth, emotion and colour, can be found dotted around the city, and although many have long-since gone, there are still several to be found. This new piece for the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days initiative, is breathtakingly beautiful. It is also frustratingly difficult to photograph.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I passed by while she was mid-way through painting the piece and was going to stop for a chat, but I could see that she was in full flow and I didn’t really want to disturb her. I rather like the ladder on the side of the building, taking away a little bit of the glamour we might associate with being a muralist.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The piece itself is a gorgeous portrait of a woman in deep red colours with blue hair and a Garland of what looks like clouds and vapours in a pinky orange hue. The connection with nature is obvious, as it is in so many of Hazard’s pieces, with the leaves to the right of the piece.

It is so good to see Hazard back out painting our walls, it has been a quiet eighteen months from her.

3769. Upfest 2021 75×75 (6)

Oh my goodness! There are some pieces that you look at and, well, they simply take your breath away. For me, this is one of those pieces. Painted for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days event, this astonishing collaboration from Mishfit and Mazcan simply blew me away, and I look at now as I am writing and wonder at its magnificence.

Mishfit, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Mishfit, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

These two portraits work so incredibly well together and are perfect for the space vacated by Caro Pepe and AgeAge. To the left is a stunning portrait from Mishfit painted with incredible graded skin tones and a beautiful headdress, the colours of which are reflected in a cloud to the right of the subject. I haven’t seen any of Mishfit’s work before, but what an introduction.

Mazcan, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Mazcan, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Mazcan on the other hand has visited Upfest on a couple of occasions, but this piece is definitely a step up from before, and I think she must have been practising. This blue face has quite a lot of attitude and there is so much depth and bone structure created with clever use of shading. The red streaks in the hair add so much to the depth and contrast of the piece too.

Mishfit and Mazcan, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Mishfit and Mazcan, King William Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Genuinely, this is a bloody brilliant collaboration and will definitely stick in my memory for a long, long time.

3767. Frome side (11)

The nice thing about dropping down beneath the M32, where a canalised section of the River Frome flows, is that it seems to be a popular spot for visiting artists to paint, often accompanied by Bristol friends showing them around.

Wee Nuls, Frome side, Bristol, June 2021
Wee Nuls, Frome side, Bristol, June 2021

This delightful piece by Wee Nuls was painted a few weeks back by the Belfast-based artist who, it appears, cut her teeth with spray painting in Bristol some time ago. I love this kind of portrait piece that sits comfortably alongside Slakarts, Pekoe and others who create bright and colourful faces about the city. I hope that Wee Nuls makes more trips to Bristol soon.

3759. Frome side (10)

Slakarts is not only a talented street artist, but he is also a really decent bloke. I was walking through the tunnel a couple of weeks back, and he cycled past me, and then stopped to say hello. After a very brief chat, he said he had to dash, but I was rather touched that he had bothered to stop at all.

Slakarts, Frome side, Bristol, June 2021
Slakarts, Frome side, Bristol, June 2021

This piece next to the M32 Spot is a rather interesting take on his faces, and with the tooth missing has the appearance of a punk granny. It certainly made me smile when I saw it, although I have seen another like it elsewhere. Slakarts keeps churning out his very distinct style of portraits, and Bristol is all the better for them.

3756. Boiling Wells Lane

Rosalita has really taken the bull by the horns with this piece. Painted at the end of the tunnel after the St Werburghs tunnel on brickwork that previously had only been tagged, or painted by TOYs. With this piece not only has she created a fine piece of art, but she has legitimised this wall as a serious opportunity for other street/graffiti artists.

Rosalita, Boiling Wells Lane, Bristol, June 2021
Rosalita, Boiling Wells Lane, Bristol, June 2021

The carnival/show theme is a thread that runs through Rosalita’s work and is evident once again here with the face of a clown or jester. Many if not most of Rosalita’s characters are tinged with sadness or tragedy… there is something about the look, the hiding behind makeup. What is amazing about this piece, is not simply the portrait, but the fabulous decoration work around it. Another jewel from Rosalita.

3715. M32 roundabout J3 (323)

What a delightful surprise it was to come across this unheralded piece from Haka on the M32 roundabout. Haka is one of those artists who very much does his own thing in his own way, and pretty much every piece is a tribute to his friend CK One, which is really touching.

Haka, M32 roundabout, Bristol, May 2021
Haka, M32 roundabout, Bristol, May 2021

This particular vibrant and wild portrait is, according to Haka’s own Instagram feed, a self-portrait. Having never met the artist, I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but I haven’t seen anyone looking like this in the Bristol area before. Great fun piece.

3710. Leonard Lane (29)

Leonard Lane has had a small renaissance lately thanks in no small part to 3F Fino who seems to have been enjoying himself and experimenting with ideas in the murky, narrow, stinky Lane.

3F Fino, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2021
3F Fino, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2021

This is an unusual and impactful piece from 3F Fino, and I’m not sure I would have been able to attribute it to him if it were not signed. There is something faintly Van Goughian about the artwork which looks like a series of brush strokes rather than the work of a spray can. Original and interesting work.

3705. Brunel Way (106)

As I said in a recent post, barely a week goes by without posting a new piece by Pekoe, and as if to prove my point here is another one. This column piece is difficult to photograph and do it justice because of the way it is wrapped around the circular column.

Pekoe, Brunel Way, Bristol, May 2021
Pekoe, Brunel Way, Bristol, May 2021

This yellow-faced beauty carries all the hallmarks of a Pekoe portrait, with big hair decorated with stars and shapes, rosy cheeks with dotted outlines and tears. No need for the artist to sign the piece at all. Always great to find another Pekoe portrait.

3704. Cumberland Basin

Some days just turn out really well, and last Thursday I met Jelly for the first time at the viewpoint, Cumberland Basin… an already good day became a whole lot better. I was on leave last week, so my dog walks became rather longer than usual and much more relaxed. The upshot was that I was able to visit more spots and stay longer at each. Cumberland Basin was my last stop for the afternoon and when I turned up, there were two artists at work, Jelly and Fierfear (to follow) and to help with introductions, Paul H happened to be there too, sunning himself on the viewpoint bench. Paul had been helping Jelly with a spot to paint.

Jelly, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2021
Jelly, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2021

My first impression with Jelly’s work was that it had a hint of a Pekoe/Hazard blend about it, but perhaps that had more to do with the portrait approach rather than the actual style. I thought I might have seen Jelly’s work in London (her home town) before, but since she’s only been spray-painting for two and a half years (!!!), it is highly unlikely. Perhaps I have seen her work on Instagram.

The portrait is a stunner, a beautiful face with big blue hair with green highlights. Jelly’s signature long eyelashes add a touch of class and the flashes on the hoop earrings are beautifully done. The tag line ‘Because I’m wurf it’ I think is a nod to a Bristolian accent, although I might have been tempted to change ‘I’m’ to ‘oim’.

Jelly, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2021
Jelly, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2021

Of course, it wasn’t only the artwork that made this a red-letter day, but also meeting Jelly, who was very happy to stop for a chat and talk about her work. It is always great to welcome fellow Londoners to Bristol, and I hope that she enjoyed her day out enough to come and visit us again before too long, although I ought to add that it isn’t always such pleasant weather here.

Great piece, lovely lady, good day.