Talk and Draw 10 November

I went again to the wonderful Talk and Draw session at the National Gallery, London.  We sat, all 40 of us, in front of Uccello’s Battle of San Romano and were invited to draw it with pencils, twice, the first time to just look at the painting itself and not the paper, and draw the main lines; then to look at the main shapes and get those down without trying to be too figurative.  I enjoyed this session and it is good eye to hand practice.

Alot of people there did not get the idea of moving around the painting and allowing yourself the freedom to draw what you see rather than what you think you should be drawing.  You have to let go in this kind of exercise.

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Paolo Uccello The Battle of San Roman, The National Gallery, London

From the National Gallery: This brilliantly structured and colourful painting depicts part of the battle of San Romano that was fought between Florence and Siena in 1432. The central figure is Niccolò da Mauruzi da Tolentino on his white charger, the leader of the victorious Florentine forces, who is identifiable by the motif of ‘Knot of Solomon’ on his banner.

This panel is one of a set of three showing incidents from the same battle. The other two are in the Louvre, Paris, and the Uffizi, Florence. This painting and its two companion panels were commissioned by the Bartolini Salimbeni family in Florence sometime between 1435 and 1460: only the Uffizi panel is signed. Lorenzo de’ Medici so coveted them that he had them forcibly removed to the Medici palace.

The pictures may originally have had arched tops designed to fit below Gothic vaults. They were made into rectangular panels in the 15th century, possibly by Uccello himself. Uccello was much preoccupied with one point linear perspective, seen here in the foreshortening of shapes and arrangement of broken lances.What an amazing painting, one of my friends did a copy of this and got into a degree course on the strength of his copy.

In two week’s time we are drawing a Corot painting of trees in a landscape – more on this later…..

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Teesside print open 2017

My print is in this exhibition up in Teesside, two photos from the opening night.  My first exhibited print in many, many years!  Hopefully the start of more exhibitions in 2018.

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Prints

I visited the British Museum today to see some prints in the print department: Durer and Cranach.

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Amazing detail in these engravings, gruesome too!  The medieval artists were not afraid of their imagination.  How do they live with such images?

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National Gallery

Today was Talk and Draw at the National Gallery.  We had a short talk about George Michel’s landscape painting.  Michel is an unknown artist who worked at the Louvre in Paris during the mid 19th century.  This painting would have been done in the studio.  He was probably influenced by Constable who went to Paris in the mid 19th century.

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Stormy LanRuins in a Field, George Michel, 1820

We spent an hour doing two drawings in pastel on buff sugar paper – I really enjoyed it and will be going again.  Pastel is a wonderful way of drawing if you don’t like line but prefer areas of colour and tone.  We used our fingers and a rubber also to make areas of colour, smudges, etc.

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Pastel drawing, my copy of George Michels landscape in the National Gallery, London

Information about the Barbizon School: In 1824 the Salon de Paris exhibited works of John Constable, an English painter. His rural scenes influenced some of the younger artists of the time, moving them to abandon formalism and to draw inspiration directly from nature. Natural scenes became the subjects of their paintings rather than mere backdrops to dramatic events. During the Revolutions of 1848 artists gathered at Barbizon to follow Constable’s ideas, making nature the subject of their paintings. The French landscape became a major theme of the Barbizon painters.[2]

The leaders of the Barbizon school were Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, and Charles-François Daubigny; other members included Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Charles Jacque, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Pierre Emmanuel Damoye, Charles Olivier de Penne, Henri Harpignies, Paul-Emmanuel Péraire, Gabriel-Hippolyte Lebas, Albert Charpin, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Émile van Marcke, and Alexandre Defaux.

Millet extended the idea from landscape to figures — peasant figures, scenes of peasant life, and work in the fields. In The Gleaners (1857), for example, Millet portrays three peasant women working at the harvest. Gleaners are poor people who are permitted to gather the remains after the owners of the field complete the main harvest. The owners (portrayed as wealthy) and their laborers are seen in the back of the painting. Millet shifted the focus and the subject matter from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladders. To emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position, he hid their faces. The women’s bowed bodies represent their everyday hard work.

In the spring of 1829, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot came to Barbizon to paint in the Forest of Fontainebleau, he had first painted in the forest at Chailly in 1822. He returned to Barbizon in the autumn of 1830 and in the summer of 1831, where he made drawings and oil studies, from which he made a painting intended for the Salon of 1830; “View of the Forest of Fontainebleau'” (now in the National Gallery in Washington) and, for the salon of 1831, another “View of the Forest of Fontainebleau”‘. While there he met the members of the Barbizon school; Théodore Rousseau, Paul Huet, Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet, and the young Charles-François Daubigny.

During the late 1860s, the Barbizon painters attracted the attention of a younger generation of French artists studying in Paris. Several of those artists visited Fontainebleau Forest to paint the landscape, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille.[4] In the 1870s those artists, among others, developed the art movement called Impressionism and practiced plein air painting.

Influence in Europe

Painters in other countries were also influenced by this art. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, many artists came to Paris from Austria-Hungary to study the new movements. For instance, the Hungarian painter János Thorma studied in Paris as a young man. In 1896 he was one of the founders of the Nagybánya artists’ colony in what is now Baia Mare, Romania, which brought impressionism to Hungary. In 2013 the Hungarian National Gallery opens a major retrospective of his work, entitled, ”János Thorma, the Painter of the Hungarian Barbizon, 8 February – 19 May 2013, Hungarian National Gallery

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Teesside Print Exhibition 2017

I am taking part in the above exhibition with my dry point Family Album: The New Coat which I printed at Inky Cuttlefish Print Studios in September.

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Family album: The New Coat, drypoing 9/17

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20:20 print project

I am doing an edition of 25 lino prints for the 20 20 project and going through making sure they are all okay.  Our open acces studio Inky Cuttlefish is taking part and I have to make sure they are all clean and signed ready to send off this week to the publishers.

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It’s a simple lino print of shadows of autumn leaves and trees at Highbury Fields in September, just as the leaves were turning brown and golden.  I had a lovely walk in the fields

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Classic Car Boot, King X, 2017

We happened to find ourselves wandering around Kings Cross last Sunday, this is apparently what this part will look like when it is finished.

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And we went around the car boot sale, full of amazing retro cars, clothes, records, tea stalls, cakes, hats, etc.  Wonderful!

Subs sitting in a car near the canal

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Open Access printmaking

I have two choices for open access printmaking : London Print Studio in Harrow Road which I suspect is a bit crowded as it’s a popular studio, and Inky Cuttlefish studio in Blackhorse Road, London Print Studio charges £33 pounds a year whereas IC charges 60.00, both charge the same hourly rate for studio use.

I have been to IC a couple of times and I am going to try LPS in October on a photopolymer one day course on 27 October, and from there I will decide whether to also use LPS for open access.

This is my latest print, a drypoint which I have put in for a print exhibition.  Entitled The Family Album Series: The New Coat

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Proof No. 3

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Lino print

This is my latest lino print about my journey to work as an au pair in France when I was 19.  It features in my Printmaking category above.

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World Para Athletics 2017

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We have really been enjoying the para athletics this week – wish I’d decided to go there – there aren’t many spectators, in fact the stadium looks empty tonight.  It’s so inspiring and so much hard work has gone into this event.  Blind long jump – can you imagine what that would be like? I like tbe blade runners, the long jump and the 100 metres.

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Meetup on Hampstead Heath

Today I met Stef at Gospel Oak and we went on a Mindfulness walk on the Heath.  We did some breathing sessions and sensing the five senses, then we went and looked for colourful images and images to do with texture.

I was feeling very anxious when I started but afterwards I felt more centred and less sad, Nature can really help us to connect with something greater than ourselves and our small thoughts.

 

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I will be going on other meetups there is one in September about your life story.

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Glastonbury 2017

Really enjoyed watching the Glastonbury acts this year, especially The National, Biffy Clyro, Craig David and let’s not forget Barry Gibb!  Who managed to squeak out a song but certainly got everyone moving. Fantastic!

Subs was away in Essex this weekend at his own Glasto!  Playing with Deviant Amps

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Day out in the Thames Estuary

Subs and I got the C2C to Chalkwell on the Estuary, it was hot, but the sea was well out!  No paddling today.  We had a small pic nic and I painted some pictures, then we walked all the way to Leigh where we had ice creams, and visited some of the artists showing their work for the Leigh Art Trail 2017 and met Sandra Ehlers and her wonderful mixed media works and Ian and Amanda on the Estuary Gallery barge – which Ian refurbished himself, it’s a beautiful barge

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Serpentine Gallery June 2017

Exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park: We had a lovely time walking across Hyde Park to the Serpentine Gallery – to the main one and the extension designed by Zaha Hadid.  It was sunny with a strong fresh breeze as we watched the mother swan with her babies cygnets in the lake.

 

The Sackler Gallery is an amazing building shaped like a pringle and similar to the design for the Olympic swimming pool in Stratford. Here is an exhibition by Al Jaffer and his compatriots, a very unusual exhibition about black identity in America.  There was a huge black southern cross hanging in front of a black American flag.  Constructed female figures like collages.

 

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Then we went across the park to the main Serpentine Gallery to see the Grayson Perry exhibition of tapestries, bicycles, Huge coil pots and images.small-bike

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It was a lovely windy day in Hyde Park and Subs dressed up for the occasion (of going to see a Grayson Perry exhib!).  Then we wandered towards the main road and found a cafe that served yoghours and fruit.

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All in all it was a lovely sunny interesting and cultured day not to say with lots of nice food too, from salady sarnies in Prets to creamy yoghourts and fruit in the bowling cafe.

Home to feeding our little Pip and giving him his insulin.

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Empty spaces

Empty Spaces is my new series of Reduction Lino prints:  They pay homage to my favourite painter of city scenes.

  1.  Cafeteria

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2.  Sunday Morning

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