The evolution of the Upfest piece, two days of painting in a park in Bristol…

Upfest piece, late afternoon day two (May 2022)

My part in and my piece at Upfest 2022 then, besides the (already documented) #43Leaves piece, the main reason for being in Bristol last weekend was to paint a piece at Upfest. One of the large army of artists selected and invited to take part in this year self proclaimed “biggest urban art festival in Europe”. The Greville Smyth Park venue is big, there are boards set up everywhere, blank white boards quietly waiting under the trees in the bright bright sun. we lined up to get our accreditation and our pre-ordered paint (thanks for the paint Kobra), the paint was free, as was entry to the the two day festival for the thousands of members of public who came in over the two days – there will be a review and lots of photos of other people’s work, as well as the work up on the walls of Bedminster, up on the Organ website later today, this post is about my piece and the way it all evolved over the two days. 

Upfest piece, end of day one (May 2022)

I arrived with no real plan (well having no real plan was the plan), some artists who might be a little more inclined towards calling themselves Urban or street artists, arrived with precise designs planed out, careful measurements made and nothing wrong with that of course, I like to work in a different way, I had my colours pre-ordered, I had an idea where my structured improvisation was going to take me over the two days, the painting did end up roughly where I thought it might be. We started at 10.30am on the Saturday, artists from Belfast and Bristol on my right, from Limerick (Ireland), Hamburg and somewhere in France on my left, two more women from Bristol paining behind me, artists all around, artists as far as the eye could see, new friendships forged.

The vibe was great, the people were great, the weather was great, as was the interaction, the conversations, the questions, the people wanting to take photos. It did feel as much about the performance as the “finished” piece, I could have said I was “finished”  mid way through the afternoon of day one, but it didn’t feel like that was what was needed and indeed is was a case of performance art and fresh layers and more growth, more mark making all the way through to late afternoon on day two, it wasn’t about a “finished piece”, after all once the festival was over the pieces and the boards were all going to be recycled and painted white again ready for same time same place next year.   

Here then is now the piece evolved over the two days in the Bristol sunshine…

Stop press: There is now a limited edition print of the Bristol piece, the print is priced at £35.00 direct from me via the Cultivate online shop

Do please click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show…            


  1. […] A new painting, there is always a new painting, there’;s a new painting most days, well there’s a Ten painting everyday at the moment but there is usually a new painting alongside the latest Ten painting. This painting, a piece called “undertaken” (Acrylic on canvas, 60x70x5cm) was the result of an hour spent last Sunday painting rather quickly outside in the same way that I painted at Upfest last week. […]

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