Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Tate Britain: Drawing Tuesday

  Last week's 'Drawing Tuesday' was at Tate Britain  where I followed the exercise we'd done there when I  visited with advanced painting group.  I concentrated mainly on work in the galleries  from  end of 19th beginning of 20th Century . Canadian  artist Elizabeth Forbes  was new to me -  what drew my eye was the interesting composition  and her treatment of  the subject matter ( we've a lot of marshes and channels in the 'land between' around here ) Although quite a gentle palette of colours, I liked the use of light outlining of dark and the brushmarks follow the contours

 Dora Carringtons' 'Farm at Watendlath'  is an old favourite , it really does capture the  Lake District , the lines of the walls and the monumental nature of the fells. It's basically a palette of greens and greys   but with strong contrasts of dark and light. The figures add a sense of mystery.

Whistlers ' Nocturne Blue and Silver  Chelsea'  was an interesting challenge in trying to analyse the colours  in such a subtle piece ( and also  a lesson in accuracy or not in reproduction) The top image is from the Tate website, the photo below what I took with my phone which show how much more varied and subtle the colours and tones were.  It  demonstrates  how important it is to see artworks in the flesh. The  bushstrokes were very evident - it looks like glazes over a darker ground  and the boat looked like paint had been removed . Lovely murkiness ! It reminded me how much I enjoyed the exhibition 'Turner, Whistler,Monet' and had me returning to the catalogue!  
 I only realised a bit later that all 3 examples I chose to examine had high horizon lines - obviously a subliminal preference of mine that I should take heed of .
After lunch in the  Djanogly café ( a bit peeved that  unlike  V&A and British Museum, you don't get a  discount in their restaurants  for being a member ) , I revisited the Paul Nash exhibition and  drew a few pieces of work, it really makes you  see what's going on.

Meanwhile,  I've finally finished painting the dining room , it looks so much lighter and  warmer (it's North facing and the coldest room in the house). I'm  pleased with my work, particularly that I haven't lost the knack with skirting boards. When I worked  in a  Youth Hostel  30+  years ago, we were closed for a month for repairs and repainting - I did miles of skirting in the dormitories, hard on the knees  with no carpet and no heating.

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