Tuesday 26 September 2017

Drawing Tuesday at V&A and 2 Talks

 It's 2 weeks since 'Drawing Tuesday' in the ceramics  gallery at the V&A. These translucent vessels based on Korean ceramics unbelievably are made of soap. I couldn't resist adding my matching water bottles to the picture, maybe I should draw those too!

 I attempted to capture their translucency using watercolour pencils - never have quite the right colour. It worked better when I concentrated  on the negative shapes between them .
The time since then was  mainly spent on preparing and then delivering 2 different  talks: 'Stitching into Place' for London Quilters on Monday 18th and 'A Contemporary Perspective'  to Oast Quilters in Canterbury on Saturday 23rd.
It's been over 3 years since I last did one and so I had to start from scratch with my Powerpoint presentations and was  rather nervous. Unfortunately  there was a technical hitch at London Quilters, not able to connect my laptop to the projector ( I really must sort out getting my own )  so   had to  do without  and talk about the quilts I had with me. But I was among friends   and my experiences of having to do impromptu talks and tours at work kicked in, it's good to know I haven't lost the knack  although I'd prepare for that eventuality  another time! 

At Oast (which I'm a member of), I'd already planned to take advantage of being local and having a lift to take a lot of my older and larger quilts to show . I didn't have time to take photos  but it was great to see my 7 year epic Medieval Tile Quilt  hung , I'm still so proud to have  made  it . This photo of 'Tunisian Door' and 'City Girls Dream of the Sea' was posted on the groups Facebook page. the technology worked this time both  projector and microphone  so I was able to show the inspiration behind 'Birchington Breakwaters' ( which of course is of local interest) besides talking about my older quilts 

After 2 successful talks in a week, I feel more confident now. I already have 1 booking for next year. 
This week I'm  writing an article for the Quilter and packing for Weymouth next week. We're so looking forward to a break in our 'home from home.' 

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.