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Contemporary Fine Art

Artists > Julian Bailey

Julian Bailey studied at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University and from 1985 until 1988  at The Royal Academy Schools.

His awards and achievements include the Egerton Coghill Landscape Prize (1984), the David Murray Landscape Award (1984), the Turner Gold Medal (1986), the Landseer Scholarship (1988) and Hunting Art Prize finalist (2004).

His works have been collected by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, The National Trust, New College, Oxford, Pembroke College, Oxford, Dorset County Council,Reed Executive, OldMutual Assurance, Daiwa Bank and S.G. Warburg.

It is the City of Bath that was to prove an inspiration for the young Royal Academy graduate, Julian Bailey, when in the Autumn of 1992 he came down to Bath from London.  In Julian's own words:

I had finished at the Royal Academy Schools a few years earlier and Sophie was looking for a short break from teaching. We found a lovely, scruffy student flat for rent overlooking the river in Johnstone Street.  Sophie enrolled on a ceramics course nearby and with great good fortune I quickly found a makeshift studio in a neglected lower floor room around the corner, again overlooking the river and Pulteny Bridge. It was there that a few weeks later I had perhaps my most exciting breakthrough with the painting.

Although I had painted more or less non stop since leaving school at eighteen, those following ten years had been a really desperate struggle.  I had used colossal quantities of paint and materials to try and realize the vision of painting I had in my 'minds eye', but was still left feeling frustrated. Standing there in front of the easel though that day in Bath, an idea came to me and in one wonderful moment I realised what I had to do. I would rebuild my painting from scratch, wiping away everything I had tried to do up until that point. The prospect filled me with joy because I could see clearly how I had to do it and I knew in my heart that it would work. I would treat the board I paint on as if it were paper, and the oils as crayons, I would 'draw' with the paint, and where mistakes were made I would 'rub them out' with white paint, scraping over with a palette knife to make it all smoorh and clean again. Building this way I would never let the  'live' picture get out of control, and it would be easier to find the pictorial solutions I was looking for.

So from that afternoon my life was changed and the paintings started to flow with some clarity. The style that was started there took several more years to develop, and it is still evolving now some fifteen years later. It has been enjoyable recently to work up some of these smaller oils on to a larger scale, and give colour a more central role. I am also more aware now of how the many artists I love, like Christopher Wood and Keith Vaughan (amongst many others) have influenced my work and the choices I have made. 

Sadly, our 'sabbatical' in Bath could only last about six months, but I come back regularly to draw my figure studies in the crescents, cafes and squares which now form the backdrop to a good deal of my work. Bath has always been a key inspiration for my painting and is is now a joy to be showing my pictures here at the LeFort Gallery for the first time.


Julian Bailey has exhibited oil paintings, drawings and works on paper in London and throughout the country.

2000, 1996, 1994,1991  -   New Grafton Gallery, Barnes London.

2007, 2004, 2001,1999  -   Browse & Darby, Cork Street, London

2008, 2006                   -       The Russell Gallery, Putney, London

2008,2009                    -       Gallery LeFort Fine Art, Margarets, Buildings, Bath

2008                            -         Sladers Yard, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset

2008                            -         Trigpoint Exhibition, Study Gallery, Poole

2008                            -         The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London,

                                      selected by Bob Boas, Chairman of the Federation of British Artists


A Frosty morning out hunting in Dorset
Julian Bailey


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