Sunday, 10 September 2017

RA Summer exhibition 2017: focus on marks

296 Leonard McComb

 Is it really 2 months   since I started this blog post?!  Searching for images among the  multitude of files on my computer I came across the 'RA' folder and got side tracked for a while.  It's useful however to see after a time period whether the things that initially attracted me about certain pieces of work   still hold and whether there's  new things to enjoy.
I had 2 visits to the Summer exhibition this year . Looking at the website in between made me realise I'd missed  some pieces  and I went back for  a closer look.   Besides subject matter ( seascapes , coastal features, boats ) it  was often the details that drew me in: the juxtaposition of colours; slight variations in surface; combinations of media ; textures. Most of all the marks, particularly in woodcuts  and drawings; text as marks; brushstrokes  and scraffito.
Well known artists and names new to me - one the joys of the Summer Exhibition    
307 (detail)

307 Suzy Fasht

63 Jeanette Hayes

217 J.F.K Turner

242 John Renshaw

573 Sara Dodd

613 Anna Gardiner

717 Nik Goss
(oil on herringbone fabric)

940 Christine Hardy

849 Neil Bousfield

895 Caroline Isgar

926 Wendy Robin

980 Hughie O'Donaghue RA

54 Terry Setch RA


199 Ashar

1029 Archie Franks

556 Celia Cook

786 Lucy Farley

67 (detil)

67 Deborah Westmancoat

90 (detail)

90Alison Wilding RA

95 (detail)

95 Mick Moon RA

114 Susan Absolon

178 Nik Pollard

187 Nik Pollard

194 Peter Matthews

286 Michelle Dow

518 (detail)

518 Stephen Cox RA


561 Jo Gorner

496 Rebecca Salter RA

593 Rebecca Salter RA

937 (detail)

937 Rebecca Salter RA

958 (detail)

958 Tom Cartmill

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Matisse in the Studio at the RA

 Matisse 'Rocaille Chair' 1936  

Making  the most of my   day in London after 'Drawing Tuesday' in Regent's Park, I'd booked 2.45 slot for 'Matisse in the Studio' at the Royal Academy . It had parallels  with the  glorious ' Matisse, his art and Textiles' exhibition held in the  same gallery in 2005 ( more than 10 years ago, it doesn't feel like that). I've spent this morning going through the book again, when I should I have been doing something else, reminding myself of the ' Haiti's' that are a feature of this exhibition too.

 The juxtaposition  of some of his favourite objects  with the paintings and sculptures  they inspired or   featured in  was fascinating ( I covet his green glass vase)  
I bought a copy of the ' Introduction to the exhibition for Teachers and Students'  which  explored  key pieces in  depth , asking  questions  that make you think such as ' What is the difference between a mask and a portrait? Using this  as  a guide and  using   exercises  from ' Advanced Painting '  and 'Ways into Abstract Painting' gallery visits, I  took notes and made quick sketches   which have given  me  food for thought , particularly in composition and paint application ( I'm thinking of returning to oils for 'Contemporary Painting Studio' course   at City lit ). Also reminded me how much I like drawing pewter!  
Matisse 'Large Red Interior' 1948
 It was good too to  be reminded of his  paintings of interiors.  I first  visited the   Centre  Pompidou in Paris in the late 1980's  on a work trip   stopping off between Rilland and Amiens. I was blown away by the artwork  particularly  'Florentine Villas'   by Paul Klee  and 'Large Red Interior ' by Matisse and bought large posters of both.   These  posters combined with  kelims bought on trips to Turkey and  Morroco  were what made various small  rooms in shared houses and   my first purchased   flats  ' home' . In my tiny studio  flat, the Matisse print gave the illusion of additional  rooms and enlarged the space. Alas  the poster  got water damaged   when in storage between moves  but  the kelims are still in use.  

Drawing Tuesday: Frieze Sculptures in Regent's Park

 Drawing Tuesday this week  was  of the Frieze  sculptures in the 'English Garden' of  Regent's Park ( Royal College of Physicians if wet!). Luckily the rain (mainly) held off   but the RCP is on my list to visit .
 My choice of subject ( John Chamberlain's  'Fiddlersfortune") was dictated  by there being a convenient bench to draw from, not having my sketching stool with me as I was going to the RA in the afternoon.  It was fiendish to draw with the highly textured pink aluminium surface and all those intertwined coils but I did enjoy  the freedom of using coloured biros before settling into a more considered study in pencil.  

 Our lunch at the 'Smokehouse'  was interrupted  by the noise of a helicopter , which landed on the lawn just behind us!