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Bag your own masterpiece

Looking for a bargain to brighten up a blank wall, or a masterpiece to make a statement? Here's Muddy's pick of the affordable art at Newbury's Contemporary Art Fair.

Love art but can’t stretch to the $21.1 million P Diddy shelled out on a Kerry James Marshall last year? Try the Contemporary Art Fair for something a bit more in budget and less risk of needing to sell a vital organ, your children and the roof over your head.

For the first time ever, the Contemporary Art Fair will be bringing more than 160 artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists and independent galleries from all over the UK and Europe to Newbury Racecourse. Have a mooch, chat to artists and, if you find something you love, prices start at just 40 quid. Phew.

What can you expect? A little bit of everything. But here are eight artists I’ll be hunting down like a heat-seeking missile.


Emotional art is not a new concept, from Edvard Munch and Van Gogh to Tracey Emin, art has long been a form of therapy. The result of which is often raw, challenging and beautiful. Carrying the torch for emotional self-portraiture is artist Chelsea Lee Winterbottom. She’s pushing the boundaries of abstract art focusing on emotion and the ability to cope with mental health through her own form of diary keeping. Next time I’m about to scream at the kids, I might start slinging paint at a canvas. Not sure it’ll look this pretty though.



Pencil drawing artist Martin Turner Waiting for Love

Waiting For Love by Martin Turner

Can you believe this a drawing? Astonishingly, Martin Turner picked up his pencils for the first time since childhood just a few years ago. His drawings are realistic with a level of detail that is breathtaking. Even more jaw-dropping is the fact that he’s completely self taught. I am slightly obsessed with all his work, but Waiting For Love is a firm favourite.


Artist Rob Ritchie oil painting of lemon on a wooden box

Lemon On A Box by Rob Ritchie

There’s a hint of the Dutch Masters about Rob Ritchie‘s oil paintings – and he’s another self-taught artist. Having started his artistic career as a tattooist in London, he moved from skin to canvas and hasn’t looked back. Not sure this lemon would look quite as beautiful plastered across someone’s back, but I adore it. An heirloom piece and a masterclass in light and reflection.


Oil and multi media painter Catherine Warren abstract image of Studland in Dorset

Walk at Studland by Catherine Warren

Voted Surrey Artist of the Year 2018, Catherine Warren‘s abstract paintings are primarily created in acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Catherine’s inspiration comes from the landscape around her Surrey home near Farnham as well as the Devon and Cornwall coast. This colourful beauty was from a walk at Studland Bay in Dorset and I’m sold.



Wooden sculpture that look like a person toppling over by artist Georgi Mitov 21 Gulps Correct View

21 Gulps Correct View by Georgi MitEv

It’s not all about paintings, there are sculptures aplenty too. This Georgi Mitev wooden piece could symbolise the Muddy team after mental night out. Head down bottom in the air. Make of that what you will. Georgi works solely with wood and creates incredibly tactile, detailed artworks. This piece 21 Gulps Correct View is priced at £8,900, *gulp* so prepare to max out the credit card – worth it for a daily bottom run, dontcha think?



Artist Lynne Wittoon Littoral structure Cleethorpes Pier

My husband is from Cleethorpes, so Lynne Wixon‘s work immediately caught my eye – this is the iconic Cleethorpes Pier. Lynne has been painting professionally for 30 years and continues to work on a long term project studying the beach structures around the British Coastline. She has also worked in New York exploring the waterfront area of Brooklyn. There’s an architectural, slightly retro feel to her paintings that work for me.



Need a London fix? No need to hop on a packed train and squeeze onto the tube like a sardine, Rebecca Coleman can being the best of the big smoke to your home. Her work is collected by art lovers worldwide who go nuts for her graphic style and unusual perspectives. It’ll come as know surprise that Rebecca has also featured in several Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions. Yup, she’s that good – and you snag some her work for as little as £190.



After something a bit grittier? Jessie Woodcote might float your boat. Working in watercolour, Jessie presents realistic subjects from unusual viewpoints – seeing the beauty in derelict buildings covered with graffiti, crumbling wrecks and neglected boats. It may be old and knackered to some but not to Jessie, I think we’ll get of swimmingly.


The Contemporary Art Fair is at Newbury Racecourse, Newbury RG14 7NZ from Fri 10 – Sun 12 May.

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