painting painting

No art for airports

July 24th, 2008
post #121 

A Google alert brought this Times Online article, giving a first glimpse of the John Moores 25 Open Painting competition shortlist,to my attention - a bit sensationalist and some unfair reactions to the Chapman’s co-judging the show. After seeing their show at the Tate recently I have no doubt that they’d make excellent judges for JM25. They make no  mention of art critic Sacha Craddock being on the judging panel.

Former winner and Juror Graham Crowley notes:

“There’s no art for airports or corporate foyers in this show. There is a great range in subject matter and context, and an urgency to the exhibition that I hadn’t anticipated”

The article includes a slideshow of some shortlisted entries, and the full shortlist’s here: https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/

and the show opens in… 57 days.

Dame Laura Knight at the Lowry

March 24th, 2008
post #96 

Prior to this I knew little of Laura Knight’s work but did know of her preoccupation, the Lady Lever’s oil of ballet dancers is probably the picture I knew best. A good show, free entry, and alot to see. There are some large scale oils and drawings, but in the main it’s her very vibrant sketches (ink, chalk, carbon, watercolour) and etchings, some hand-coloured, that take the main space as they should.

Tantalisingly the final room mentions she worked as official artist at the Nuremberg trials. Out of the scope of this show, but I’d love to see some of that work.

Dame Laura Knight at the Theatre (Fri 21 Mar 2008 - Sun 6 Jul 2008)

While you’re there: -Harold Riley’s photographic exhibition (til the 20th of April) is bloody marvellous too.

Stanley Spencer at Tate Liverpool

January 24th, 2008
post #93 

Absolutely unmissable.

The latest in the DLA Piper Series on C20th Art. The Stanley Spencer’s on the ground floor include ‘St Francis and the birds’, a couple of self portraits (including his first), ‘The Resurrection, Cookham’ and ‘The Resurrection, Port Glasgow’ - and a whole host of squared-up drawings for it.

Photograph of The Resurrection, Cookham, 1924-7, Oil on canvas, by Sir Stanley Spencer. In the public domain.

DLA PiperSeries - The Twentieth Century

On until the 27th April 2008.

Dante Rediscovered @ The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage

September 6th, 2007
post #80 

This is marvellous: Dante Rediscovered.


A high point for someone so familiar with The Walker’s Dante’s Dream was seeing Rosetti’s smaller watercolour of the same subject from 1856, featuring his wife Elizabeth Siddall in place of Janey Morris.

edit: this from the information card beside the Walker’s large oil - ‘this painting, based on a watercolour of 1856, has all the rich langour of Rossetti’s maturity, despite it’s gloomy subject’.

Notable differences between the watercolour and this later (in finishing) version are the addition of the birds in the room and the host of ascendant angels visible towards the top of the canvas.

Wiltshire Wedding

August 5th, 2007
post #78 

In the final few days of my time off we managed to squeeze in a trip to Avebury - where I did some more sketching and went for a walk down the Ave’ to see Silbury - The Mother Hill was all quiet but surrounded by cabins, diggers and wire fencing. Hopefully the dry spell will lead to more stable times for her.

Before heading for home, we drove into Devizes to go in search of a particular spot:

Ann Arnold’s Wiltshire Wedding

Above is an image of Ann Arnold’s painting “Wiltshire Wedding” (available in high quality print from Ruralist Fine Art) . Below is a photo taken yesterday of the Church beside Wiltshire Heritage Museum which must have been the inspiring spot. The trees are a good deal thicker now and some of the walls now have windows instead of doorways.

Photo of the Path from the painting

There’s a tall tree much like the one the painting further over, behind the church too.

Collecting the Past, Present & Future @ Abbot Hall

July 26th, 2007
post #76 

This is a marvellous show, spread over many rooms at the Hall by the river in Kendal. I was most looking forward to seeing the Stanley Spencer’s (of which there was only one), but the rest of the collection in this show is very impressive.

I was most surprised by the Paula Rego pastels, three enormous paintings with a strong message about abortion and politics. Having never seen her work first-hand before, but being very familiar from books, I was unprepared for their impact, truly punchy.

Collecting the Past, Present & Future
Highlights of British Art From Turner to Freud

13 July - 27 October 2007

This summer Abbot Hall celebrates forty-five years of collecting by staging the most comprehensive exhibition of its own collection since the gallery opened in 1962. Although perhaps best known for its temporary exhibition programme, Abbot Hall Art Gallery has also been one of the most active galleries collecting British art in recent years, acquiring important works ranging from a Turner watercolour of Windermere to portraits by Stanley Spencer and Frank Auerbach, and abstract paintings by Bridget Riley and Sean Scully. Through its wide contacts with private collectors, the gallery has also secured somes pectacular long term loans, including the largest collection of Lucian Freud etchings to be found in a public gallery.”


Peter Blake - Summer with the (Ruralist) Brotherhood

July 3rd, 2007
post #69 

The Sir Peter Blake Retrospective at Tate Liverpool is an awesome show, aside from his excellent Oil works from across his career they’re showing “Summer with the brotherhood” - a film made when I was about 4, so despite my interest had no idea had been made. It explores the motives and meaning behind the Ruralist ideal, and shows Peter Blake, David Inshaw, Graham and Ann Arnold, Graham and Annie Ovenden at work on some of their finest paintings. I must get a copy of this from somewhere.

Exactly a year ago, I saw the Ruralist exhibition at WHM Devizes, and had the pleasure of meeting Graham Arnold at Avebury’s Cove. In the film, Graham Arnold is seen putting painstaking preparation and painterly detail into ‘Warminghurst Church’. The reproductions of this painting in “Ruralists:A Celebration” do not do justice to the scale and the work involved, but I find that in all their work, from Inshaw’s enormous paintings to Annie Ovenden’s haunting pencil works of trees.

A final word on the Tate show is that the guide leaflet has been largely written by Blake himself, which makes it alot more useful, lively and insightful than usual, especially when you reach the final room.

A work in progess

June 15th, 2007
post #63 

Avenue in Oil


A work in progess

[a work at standstill].

Martin Greenland @ Farfield Mill

June 11th, 2007
post #59 

I couldn’t wait to see this exhibition, so we drove up for it’s second day. I’m very familiar with the artist’s winning entry to the JM24, but had seen no other paintings in the flesh.

Before Vermeer’s Clouds - Walker Art Gallery
Before Vermeer’s Clouds in The Walker, with original frame restored.

Fortuitously we had chosen the same day that the artist was giving a talk about his work - surreptitiously advertised only by sticky address labels which had been placed over the posters in town. We had a few minutes of viewing time before this began, just long enough to be highly impressed - though the strong sunlight an reflections made viewing a little difficult.

Accompanied by a slideshow of his output from student work to the present, we were guided through his early paintings, the advice from his tutors, to the development of the symbols and themes which run through his work. This was enriched by the personal nature of many of the works and the stories, ideas, events and sometimes dreams that influenced them.

I couldn’t have hoped to see so much, learn so much and gain an insight into the personal and professional development that makes such great paintings, so I was pretty damn thrilled throughout. Even better was the fact that the particular influences and the statements of intent, the descriptions of losing a painting as it was developing and adapting imagery to prevailing situations I found I could identify with easily, even if my own painting is still hunting for it’s lost vocabulary.

The talk lasted two hours (with twenty slides removed - sadly - time constraints I imagine), giving us some time to review the paintings on show once more before we headed home. Just past four, the strong light had dropped a bit so everything was far easier to see - especially the drawing’s for ‘National Park’.

Had a brief discussion about websites with another artist called Maggie Berkowitz, who’s site has some fine examples of her ceramic work on display.

Martin Greenland Exhibition

June 7th, 2007
post #57 

At Farfield Mill, Sedbergh.

‘An exhibition of new and older works including previously unexhibited drawings and works on paper.’

Opens 9th June and runs until the 11th July 2007

More info on Martin’s Site