Siris Hill

Siris Hill is a self-taught artist whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. His work explores the effects of mental illness and other psychological conditions of the mind on an individual. Focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality, but the strongest message is the struggle of trying to live. ​Siris is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint.

“I’m Siris Hill. I’m 27. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my late teens, and, have become somewhat agoraphobic due to the anxiety, which makes it difficult to network with other people. I sometimes find it difficult to share my work. This is caused by past rejection, anxiety about approaching people, and not feeling good enough.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at birth. I practically lived in hospitals until the age of fifteen when I decided I was sick of them mistreating me. I stopped taking my medication, and have been physically healthy ever since, although I began getting anxiety attacks due to the trauma of my childhood.

I started painting 4 years ago, as a way to relax. Since then it has become a form of meditation for me. I am self-taught and my work portrays the raw feelings and emotions felt living with mental illnesses. It might be difficult for a person living without a mental illness to understand what it’s like for me – I often feel frustrated and isolated.

I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly, the only difference is drying times between layers.

I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen.  Other than that my process is almost exactly like Rembrandt’s, from what I’ve gathered through research at least. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top (although sometimes I work with colour straight away).

Painting is my way of expressing what I can’t talk about. My art may seem dark, but, I feel it reflects the reality other people like me live with day to day.”

To see more of Siris Hill’s work, please visit his website,, Instragram, and Facebook profiles. Siris recently exhibited with ten other artists living with mental ill health. Their self-curated show, Absence, can be viewed online, here.



Art Opportunity: Tight Modern 2016

What: Tight Modern 2016 exhibition
When: Deadline is 30th October 2016
Where: Touring Exhibition

“We are delighted to announce Tight Modern 2016 is open for submissions from marginalised & disabled artists.

Tight Modern is tight! Entries must be 13cmx18cm in portrait format, with a maximum depth of 2cm. You can submit original artworks, photography or computer generated images.

The competition is open until 30th October 2016.

Our brand new website is also being launched alongside the competition; for details about how to submit work, our numerous prizes, upcoming free workshops and more go to

A pdf of the A4 poster for can be found here.

For information on how to submit to the Tight Modern, and details of our fantastic prizes and the accompanying free workshops, go to our brand new website:”

Artist: Tim Bradford

‘The Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park’, and, ‘Better Red Than Dead’

“For starters, I’m going to try not to talk about myself in the third person. There’s no way Tim Bradford is going down that route.

The work on my website is divided into seven categories, each containing a small series of paintings representing a particular layer of my obsessions. These are Museum of Reconstituted Charity Shop Art, Irrational Portrait Gallery, Once Upon A Time In The West (Of Ireland), The Patchwork Landscape, Finsbury Park Institute of Football Art, Useful Gods and Botanic Transcendental Paintings.

View more from ‘Botanic Transcendental Painting’, above, here.

It’s also in some ways a celebration of my parallel universe art career as a member of the ‘Bearded Rural Artists Who Prefer Living In Cities’ group. And in this scenario I went to art college instead of studying English at university – making a living as a football arm tattoo artist and getting dumped several times by Tracey Emin.

I am now what is generally known as a new wave wang-eyed pop folk artist. 

Although I’m now considerably older than John Lennon was when he died, and Dino Zoff when he collected a World Cup winner’s medal, I like to think of myself as an emerging artist. I’m just emerging in slow motion.

View more from ‘Irrational Portrait Gallery’, above, here.

For twenty years or so after leaving school I painted semi-regularly, as a kind of grounding mechanism, then stashed the resulting pictures in attics or cupboards and it wasn’t until 2005 that I started to become reasonably prolific.

The year after that we lived in the west of Ireland for a year and a half and I fell in with the notorious Ennistymon artists set, a collection of ferociously intelligent and talented dazzling women painters and intense bearded film maker blokes.

View more from ‘The Patchwork Landscape’, above, here.

In this hotbed of hair and ideas I gained the confidence to put on my own exhibition. In Bachelors Walk I developed some of the themes that had obsessed me for years – fast disappearing landscapes, ravaged old blokes tortured by loneliness or frustration, lovely dreamlike women who know a lot about ‘stuff’.

The vivid, mostly primary, colours are intended to have a life-affirming effect on the viewer, perhaps with the sense of having a revelatory vision, a mild migraine or recovering from a hangover.

When I’m not painting, over-cooking pasta for the kids or wandering aimlessly around the local streets, I do illustrations for the football magazine When Saturday Comes and write non-fiction books.”

Visit Tim Bradford’s website, here.

View more from ‘The Finsbury Park Institute of Football Art’, above, here.

Imagining the Brain 2010: BrainArt

Trawling the internet looking for new articles and artists to feature on this site I stumbled across a wonderful ‘art-science’ (science inspiring art and art communicating science) competition on the subject of ‘Diversity or Disorder’ and ‘Stages of the Brain’. Please read the flyer below to find out more.

Here are some images I would like to share with you from the Imagining the Brain website.

Mental_Torture ‘Between You and Me’ by Nathalie Kantaris-Diaz, Parkside Federation
Entry in the category: Diversity or Disorder?

“I wanted to convey a strong sense of empathy to the viewer as they see the tortured man in the painting and understand the strength of his feelings. I do not want the viewer merely to dismiss him as a man with a disorder. I wanted to show the diversity of his feelings within the subtle, varied colourings of the brain, but also to show how the absolute darkness of the background threatens to engulf any other feelings present in the painting.”

Bipolar ‘Jane’ by Kate Kelly, Parkside Federation
Entry in the category: Diversity or Disorder?

“This painting is of Jane, she has Bipolar. Her bipolar interested me and I wanted to show her two sides and how the disorder affected her. I was also inspired by the TV advert of the man having a stroke, I thought that could also show bipolar in the brain. The burning and eating away the flesh gave me the idea to have the ripped canvas. I did this because we can then look inside at her depressed side and see how she feels inside.”

Anorexia‘Anorexia and Obesity’ by Ciara Byford, Parkside Federation
Entry in the category: Diversity or Disorder?

“My idea was to try and show the similarities and differences between anorexia and obesity. They are both eating disorders for people that don’t have much confidence or confidence issues with their looks but are both opposites. One forces the person to lose a lot of weight by not eating and the other makes the person overeat because they intake too much food.”

SMHAFF Workshop, Edinburgh.

It’s a relief it’s over. Only because I thought I would be rubbish at conducting the workshop. But as it turns out it went really blooming well.

On Saturday 8th October I ran a workshop as part of the Scottish Mental Health Art and Film Festival in Edinburgh. The workshop was predominantly for mental health service users, however anyone was invited to take part. After a brief (and very nervous) ramble about who I am and what I do, I led the class in an illustration workshop. And boy, did they work hard. Three solid hours of drawing!

The idea behind the workshop is to illustrate a day in the life of a mental health service user. It doesn’t have to be a generic day, and it doesn’t have to involve waking up and getting dressed…it doesn’t have to be literal. I wanted it to be a memory, or a feeling, it could be an abstract piece of work that does not stick to the lines of the comic strip. It can be colours or words or shapes. Or it can just be a stickman and it can just be a boring day. It’s about what you feel, how you feel being a mental health service user. And a person.

I took a whole load of materials up from London (in the heaviest bag known to man) so everyone could have a go using different pens, inks and paints. As well as a massive stash of pencil crayons and brush pens the artists got to try out dip pens, acrylic inks, marker pens, charcoal and pastel crayons as well as using mixed media such as collage.

Ultimately I would like to publish a graphic novel of collected strips from mental health service users. If this is something you would like to be involved in, please get in touch.

Some photos of what we completed at the workshop follow. If you would like to see all the photos from the day, including some of the exhibitions installed at the same venue, please click here and scroll through pictures to the right.

Andrew John Williams.

“My name is Andrew John Williams,  I was born and brought up in Wakefield, west Yorkshire, but now live closer to Huddersfield, also in west Yorkshire. I’m 44 years old. I mainly paint abstract artwork in a loose splatter, daub and drip like fashion. I hardly use brushes and knives any more, maybe the ends of brushes to draw through the liquid paint to make interesting shapes and patterns.

I was involved in Inspire, an arts group at my local psychiatric hospital on a voluntary basis for over five years. Inspire was great because it involved people from the wards along with service users in the community. We had many exhibitions and did some positive work with people there. It is still running but I no longer am involved, but pop in to say hello occasionally to see the members.”

Andrew goes on to describe his mental health difficulties as “long and enduring, and have been isolating, with social misinterpretation problems in the community also.  It’s been a long road towards understanding myself and changing, but I feel now that I am slowly getting there after all this time.  Art has kept me going through the darkest times and still continues to keep me optimistic about the future. The artworks featured are pieces I did in very depressed states that were expressing my inner feelings at the time, my personal feelings.  ‘Paranoia’ (top image) and ‘Sad Clown’ (middle image) were done in the late 1990’s and ‘Adversity’ (bottom image) was done in 2009.”

Andrew finishes his submission by adding “I have a large collection of artwork myself that I’d like to exhibit in the near future that’s more abstract, loose spontaneous artwork. I think it important to not get into being known as an outsider artist, for those that want to go that route and it works for them fine, but it was never what I wanted to be labelled as. I see myself as an individual that painted very personal pieces at difficult times, and am proud of them, and don’t mind sharing them to maybe allow someone else to gain something from my expressions of pain, angst, depression etc. But, not all my work is about that, it’s about my personality and everyday situations, experiences, thoughts, ideas, so I don’t want to be labelled as anything, in fact I like to try new things constantly and don’t stick to one style or formula that works, that way I feel as though I can keep things fresh and contemporary.”

Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc.

Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit incorporation organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and networking purposes to promote, develop, and support international art therapy initiatives and the work of art therapists worldwide.  ATWB was founded in April 2010 to meet the need for an organization dedicated to a global art therapy community; the exchange of information, news, media, and resources; the development of online educational opportunities; and the advancement of collaboration and research. Our core mission is to encourage the use of art in service to others in need through art therapy, art in healthcare, and art as a form of social transformation.

The Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Organization have formed this umbrella organization to consolidate our programs, but still provide the art therapy community with a vital social network dedicated to education, research, information exchange, and service to others.”

All text and video taken from