Annabel Elton – Hints and Tips on Working to Commission

Annabel-Elton-Sophie-Hill-Commissions-Consultants2Annabel Elton – Hints and Tips on Working to Commission 


Monday 9th December

Heatherleys Library

Annabel Elton is Head of Commissions at Mall Galleries and specialises in portraiture.  She experienced working as an artist to commission for two years before embarking on her current career via financial PR and small businesses. She first started work at the Mall Galleries in 1984.

With these decades of experience she hopes to be able to impart a useful perspective for artists who undertake, or would like to undertake, commissions. Topics will include: how to present your work to attract the portraits you want, things to think about when calculating fees, how to be a good commissioned artist, who calls the shots, and seeing a portrait for the first time from the client’s perspective.

This talk is free and open to the public but seating is limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. 


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Michael Taylor – Artists Talk

EDIT-Taylor-M.-Paul-BeckettMichael Taylor – Artists Talk

4.30 pm Monday 25th November 2019


Michael works quietly and carefully on one painting at a time, spending about three months over each composition.

On graduating from Goldsmiths School of Art in 1973, he determined to devote his time to working at a single canvas, while funding himself by working evenings at a pub in Greenwich. When the picture was completed, and after a period of reflection, he created another. These were subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Encouraged by the response, and selling both pictures, he decided to give up the pub job. He has continued to produce his extraordinary paintings, more or less without a break, until the present.

Michael is a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Five of his works are in the National Portrait Gallery; portraits of the musician Julian Bream, the composer Sir John Tavener, the writer P D James, Baroness James of Holland Park and a self portrait. He has received many awards for his paintings.

His chosen way of working inevitably leads to a certain complexity of content that only reveals itself with time and familiarity.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


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Brendan Kelly – Artists Talk

Brendan Kelly – Artists Talk

28th October

admission: FREE

Brendan studied at the Slade in the early 1990’s and has since been the winner of several prestigious awards for work in BP Portrait and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He has two portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, one of Baroness Boothroyd and the other General Mike Jackson. Brendan’s portrait of John Bercow hangs in the Speaker’s State Room in the Palace of Westminster. Brendan worked as a war artist in Afghanistan in 2006 and this resulted in the monumental work of The Herat Room.

Brendan will give a talk about the path that took him from being a student to becoming a professional portrait painter, highlighting some difficulties and successes on the way . He will also discuss some of his working methods and how he developed some of his commissions

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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Heatherleys Graduates’ Exhibition 2019

You are cordially invited to view an exhibition of work from




Private View

Tuesday 16 July 2019
6.30pm – 8.30pm

Exhibition Continues

Wednesday 17 July – Saturday 20 July
10.00am – 4.00pm
Last entry on Saturday 20 July is 3.30pm

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Benjamin Sullivan – Artists Talk

Benjamin Sullivan – Artists Talk

Monday 24th June 2019, 4.30pm

The Heatherley School of Fine Art

Free to attend


Benjamin Sullivan was born in Grimsby in 1977. He studied painting and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 2000. Since then, he has established a growing reputation as a figurative painter.

His work has been widely exhibited, including at the Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery. Among other distinctions, he has received a Carrol Foundation Award, the Kinross Scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 2007 he won the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize.

He was elected a member of the New English Art Club and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2001 and 2003 respectively, becoming the youngest person to be elected to those institutions. In 2009, he was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

His work is to be found in numerous public and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Scottish Academy, Parliament House, Edinburgh, and several Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.

In 2009 he became artist in residence at All Souls College where he undertook a large commission depicting the College staff.  The resulting work, The All Souls Triptych, was displayed at the Ashmolean Museum in 2012 and now sits in one of Hawksmoor’s twin towers at All Souls College. In 2014 Sullivan was appointed Artist in Residence at the Reform Club.

He lives and works in Suffolk.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.



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Alison Jackson – Artists Talks

Alison Jackson – Artists Talk

Monday 10th June 2019, 4.3opm

The Heatherley School of Fine Art





Alison Jackson is a contemporary BAFTA and multi award winning artist who explores the cult of celebrity – an extraordinary phenomenon created by the media,  publicity industries and the public figures themselves.  Her work sits squarely in the middle of the current fake news, alternative facts or news debates.  Jackson makes convincingly realistic work about celebrities doing things in private using cleverly styled lookalikes. Likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. She creates scenarios we have all imagined but never seen before.

Jackson raises questions about whether we can believe what we see when we live in a mediated world of screens, imagery and internet. She comments on our voyeurism, on the power and seductive nature of imagery, and on our need to believe. Her work has established wide respect for her as an incisive, funny and thought-provoking commentator on the burgeoning phenomenon of contemporary celebrity culture.

Jackson’s ‘Mental Images’ series stems from her work earlier in her career exploring religious iconography and in ‘What is an image?’ she raises questions about our preconceptions and challenges them. Jackson asks us to face our imagined fears in the ‘Disaster Series’.

Jackson has made extensive portraits of actors, celebrities, and public figures (real ones!) for The Ivy restaurant and J Sheekey: for private commissions and is in the process of building her collection for the National Portrait Gallery. Actors and celebrities include: Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson, Ralph Fiennes, Charles Dance and many well-known politicians.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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Philip Hook – Ten Questions You Need to Answer to Establish the Value of a Painting

Monday  1st April 2019


The Heatherley School of Fine Art

Philip Hook is Senior Director of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department and in a career of more than forty years in the art world has also been a Director of Christie’s, and appeared regularly on BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow from 1978 to 2003. In addition he is a successful author: he has written five novels and three works of Art History, the most recent of which is ‘Rogues’ Gallery, A History of Art and its Dealers’.

His talk, ‘Ten Questions You Need to Answer to Establish the Value of a Painting’, will be a light-hearted investigation of the wonders and absurdities of the Twenty-First Century art market.

This talk is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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James Hague – Artists Talk


Monday 4th March 2019


The Library, Heatherleys

James Hague is a London based artist who studied Fine Art at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and the Royal College of Art.

In 1996 he won the BP portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. Most recently he was the recipient of the Ondjaatje Prize for portraiture at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

Other prizes for painting include, 2013 Winner ‘Portrait Now’ Brewer J, C Jacobson Portrait Award (Denmark) 2014 Winner, Ismet Mujezinovic Portrait Prize (Bosnia) 2006, Lynn Painter Stainers Prize 2005 Amlin Painting Prize (RCA) 2004, Stanley Smith Scholarship (RCA).

James has recently become a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

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Queer Art and Identity: a Film Screening and Q & A

DsNMNVwWsAAA5pxQueer Art and Identity: a Film Screening and Q & A with Film Maker Lois Norman, Artist Sarah Jane Moon, Art Writer & Curator Anna McNay and Heatherley Portrait Diploma Director Minna Stevens

Join us on the 27th of February for an excerpt from Lois Norman’s film ‘She is Juiced’ and a Q&A discussion around the issues of queer art and identity. The event will be followed by a drinks reception.

27th February 2019 at The Heatherley School of Fine Art.  7pm – 9pm

About the panel:

Lois Norman is a British/Australian Creative Artist. Primarily using the Female word and image as a lens she explores and questions the truth of who we are and the strength it takes to be all of who we can dare to be.

Her Award Winning Documentary ‘She Is Juiced’, a first feature for Lois, which she filmed entirely solo, celebrates the work and lives of Four LGBTQIA+ Female Identifying Artists, had its World Premiere when Lois was invited to screen ‘She Is Juiced’ at Tate Britain in 2017, both as part of Tate’s ground Breaking Exhibition, Queer Britain and to launch London Pride 2017.

The film has also won Best Art Film at NRFF Amsterdam 2018, Best Documentary at Brighton Rocks 2018, was a BAFTA Cymru Finalist at Carmarthen Bay Film Festival 2018 and Lois has just won ‘Most Innovative Film Maker’ at Wales International Film Festival 2018.

Sarah Jane Moon is a painter who specialises in figurative painting. Her work explores identity, sexuality and gender presentation as well as interrogating formal painterly concerns.

She has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, New English Art Club and the New Zealand Portrait Gallery among others. In 2015 she was awarded the Arts Charitable Trust Award and in 2013 the Bulldog Bursary for Portraiture. Sarah Jane features in the documentary film ‘She Is Juiced’ (directed by Lois Norman) which premiered in 2017 at the Tate Britain. She has also been included in the Pride Power List, which celebrates the achievements of notable LGBT people and is a regular supporter of Stonewall UK, Terrence Higgins Trust, Pride in London and Art for Youth.

Originally from New Zealand, Sarah Jane has lived in Japan, Malaysia, Australia and UK working in education and the arts. She has qualifications in Art Theory and Curatorial Practice from Universities in NZ and Australia as well in Portrait Painting from The Heatherley School of Fine Arts in Chelsea. Sarah Jane teaches regularly at Heatherleys.

Anna McNay is an art writer and editor. She is Assistant Editor at Art Quarterly (Art Fund’s magazine), former Deputy Editor at State Media and former Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to Studio International, Photomonitor and Elephant magazine and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers, including The Burlington Magazine and The Mail on Sunday.

McNay also writes catalogue essays; curates exhibitions at home and abroad; regularly hosts panels and in conversation events at galleries and art schools; and has judged numerous art prizes, both nationally and internationally.

Minna Stevens is a painter who works predominately in portraiture, with a particular interest in portraits of children and animals. She has a great deal of experience of working with families and groups. Her approach is seemingly casual; it has a friendly, relaxed and intimate quality yet there is a rigour and urgency that makes her paintings exciting and vital.

She has an affinity with her subjects, capturing a sense of the person, not just a likeness, while the paintings are experiments in composition and tonal balance. Her landscapes manage to be both tranquil and compelling, marrying familiarity with the frisson of a surprise encounter.

Stevens is the Director of the Heatherley Portrait Diploma.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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Alastair Adams – Artists Talk


Monday 3rd December



Portrait Painting: Personal Development, Relationships and Empowerment

In this talk Alastair will discuss some key turning points in his career to date. Focussing on specific commissioned and non commissioned paintings, Alastair will discuss how his practice, and representational drawings and paintings as a whole, can be used to represent and empower their subjects.

As well as managing his own studio and working to commission, Alastair has held several artistic and educational roles across his career. Most notably he was President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters between 2008 and 2014 whilst also holding a research based lecturer and programme coordinator at Loughborough University. In 2013 he was commissioned by the NPG to paint Tony Blair and currently his portrait of writer and director Bruce Robinson is being ecxhibited in the 2018 BP Portrait Award.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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