SPORTING PAINTINGS SKETCH – GAUCHO POLO


Have started new oil painting of Gaucho Polo seen at O2 in London in February.

Here are the sketches and the started oil painting

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BEACH VOLLEYBALL LONDON – HORSE GUARDS PARADE


There will be beach volleyball for the women’s team this year at Pre-Olympics Test matches.
Dates are 9 – 14 August

It will be at the famous Horse Guards Parade, where The Colours will be Trooped and inspected by Her Majesty the Queen in June.

Iinformation on the design of the stadium in 2012 here

and see BBC website for information on dates etc

Dates for Beach Volleyball 2011

Horse Guards Parade is at the end of The Mall, not far from Trafalgar Square and St James’s Park.

EXHIBITION OF WATTEAU DRAWINGS AT ROYAL ACADEMY


JEAN ANTOINE WATTEAU EXHIBITION OF DRAWINGS

AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY PICCADILLY LONDON

In the small galleries at the top of Royal Academy building, is a collection of drawings in conté crayon by Jean Antoine Watteau, French artist working mainly in Paris in 18th Century.

Drawings are small, of course, and  were used as working sources by the artist who apparently kept them in bound volumes.  Interesting to read that he worked on the drawings ‘without any specific painting in mind’.   In another part of the galleries I read ‘he rarely made compositional studies’.

There are no paintings in the exhibition but you can see them at the Wallace Collection in London, and of course if you can travel, in other collections in cities such as Paris and Berlin.

Particularly compelling and engaging are the drawings of young women and girls.  Heads predominate but there are quite a few full length.

I read that Watteau ‘rarely used drawing to sketch compositional ideas for paintings’ .  I tend to believe that most artists do so (sketch a painting out first, I mean, if it is a representational painting).

Also he grouped the figures ‘so as to accord with a landscape background that he had already conceived or prepared”;  this suggests that he worked up the background of his painting and then used figures from his drawing collection to people the landscape.

He is renowned for fetes champetres, where the courtly collection of ladies and gentlemen, in silks and satins,  desport themselves pleasurably in idyllic surroundings.

 

DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, NORMAN ROCKWELL EXHIBITION


NORMAN ROCKWELL EXHIBITION ENDS 27 MARCH 2011

There is a comparison to be made at the Dulwich Picture Gallery,  between the work of American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell and the Spanish painter of the 17th century, Murillo.

Make sure you take the opportunity to look at Murillo’s paintings after seeing the Rockwell, then  walk down to the end of the gallery and admire the beautiful Vermeer, which is ‘A Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman‘ on loan from Her Majesty the Queen.

First, the Norman Rockwell is full of work that brings a smile to the lips, and a great deal of amused appreciation from the viewers.  I noticed several people pointing out dogs.  You probably know the Saturday Evening Post magazine covers,.  They are famous, and all 323 of them are on display.

EARLY STUDIES

More interesting are the actual studies and examples of the originals, which were completed in oils.  A few are in gouache.  Particularly attuned to today’s tastes are the studies such as ‘The Problem  We All Live With’, in gouache and  ‘Peace Corps in Ethiopia’.  The paint is fluid and yet dense, with texture and freedom of application, brush marks are still there and the colours are still brilliant. They dated from 1964 and 1966.

Norman Rockwell’s early works are also in very good condition, luminous and obviously  owing much to Rockwell’s admiration of masters such as Vermeer.  That is why it is so interesting to be able to compare the two painters at Dulwich.

DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, DULWICH VILLAGE, LONDON SE21 7AD

I consider the sentimental subjects and choice of models spoils the work of Norman Rockwell, unfortunately – work which was of course not created to appear in hallowed halls of famous art galleries but to be seen on a paper journal’s cover, produced weekly, laughed at and then thrown away.

WORKING METHODS

The artist’s working method was explained.  In particular I read about his creation of ‘Charwomen in Theatre’, a study of 1946.  Rockwell visited the theatre in New York, made sketches and had a photographer along to do photos of the setting, the seats, the lights and darks.  Back home he had two neighbours posing as the charladies which in the picture are reading the programme, surrounded by bucket and mops.  The colours here again are just delicious, the ladies blocked in freely and the result is tactile and fresh.

There are a lot of little boys, elderly men, sailors, grim old women, dogs, courting couples.

‘It’s lovely, isn’t it?  I heard one young woman exclaim with delight.  For me the illustrated covers of Saturday Evening Post are too twee and ‘feelgood’, there are too many stock figures, funny animals, faces in grotesque grimace.

SHORT ON MALICE

One of the large displays of text which are on the walls of the gallery explain that Rockwell was ‘short on malice’ and I wonder which painter or illustrator is ‘long on malice’?  Maybe a cartoonist such as Gerald Scarf, but malice – with or without – seems a strong word to describe a visual creation.

MURILLO

Now to the Murillos just outside this exhibition.  There they are, two paintings, each of little boys, one with a cute dog.  Painted in the late 1660s, they are poor boys – they are not lovely, one child smiles.  Apparently Ruskin described them as ‘repulsive and wicked children’,  and the paintings showed  ‘mere delight in foulness’  (he was a bit weird anyway).  The paintings tell a story, just as the Rockwells do, why is the child with bread being cajoled by the boy with the dog?  You make up the answer.

VERMEER

The Vermeer is different again, bright, crisp shapes of the marble floor, the windows and walls, soft and slightly out of focus figures but no dog, no humour.  You can still make up the ending of the story.  Would you describe this as ‘photo-realism’?  It is more real than that.  Its realism with humanity.

AFFORDABLE ART FAIR – BATTERSEA PARK


AFFORDABLE ART FAIR, BATTERSEA PARK IN MARCH 2011, ART OVERLOAD!

This was the place to go last weekend, to see too much art – art overload!

It is not a place to see great art, or even much good art. Its a marketing place, where galleries set out their wares.

You, the customer, are enticed to stop and look. Much of what you stop and look at is actually a load of rubbish.
Here in the marquee were predominantly paintings and prints, with a bit of sculpture and ceramics. and a little bit of three-dimensional stuff.
I did not see any video or installations.

ART MARKETING BY AAF

The market for this kind of low key art must be huge. The organizers, who are called The Affordable Art Fair, AAF for short, are based in Putney, South West London, and I remember when Will Ramsay first started up – the marketing ploy being ‘Affordable Art’, so it was cheap and cheerful. Now its not so cheap, the maximum price was (I seem to recall) £4,000.

Being professional, the AAF have prospered and hold Art Fairs in Battersea, London, in March and October, and now are planning an Art Fair in Hampstead in North London in late October. Also they have fairs in New York, Amsterdam, Melbourne , and in Bristol in the UK.

DERIVATIVE WORK

Regarding the art on display, I saw nothing new or exciting. Most work seems derivative. Possibly this is because that is what people are comfortable with, hanging on their walls. They want to look at something that seems like a Marc Chagall or Gary Hume. Of necessity, the majority of the works are either large or medium size, not the gigantic stuff that the posh galleries show – I am thinking works by Dexter Dalwood, for instance, whose works were hung last year in the Tate Britain, during the Turner Prize exhibition.

At the time of my visit, sales seems fairly brisk, and I watched one lady decide to buy – on consultation with her husband about where to hang the piece – a horrific bright orange work, of an acrylic material – very shiny and of such a repellent texture that I am sure her family will be tempted to put pieces of their chewing gum on it, to give it some humanizing relevance.

SPORTS ART

I am interested in seeing work by other artists which relate to my speciality, sports art, and saw good work by Allan Henderson, showing with the Barn Galleries of Henley on Thames. Photographic representations of rowers and water reflections.

JOTTA AND UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON

In the entrance to the marquee there was a display of recent Fine Art Graduate work, which was curated by Jotta and University of the Arts, London. I was pleased to see that one work by a friend from college days had been sold. It was a very large oil painting by Chris Golle. Called ‘Hotel Room’ , it measured 145cm x 165cm and had a price tag of £1,650.

VISUAL OVERLOAD

There were stands from far away places, I noticed galleries from Toronto, Vietnam, Sweden, France, Brussels and Spain and I suppose there were others too. It was impossible to walk round all the alley ways of displays – six of them – without getting visual overload.

Being the weekend, there were a lot of kids there, particularly in the cafe. They must have been very bored. It was crowded everywhere, which is good news for the people buying display space – I hope they did make a lot of sales. Unfortunately my impression was the same as on my previous visit, see my previous blog about AAF in 2010. SPORTSPORTRAITARTIST.BLOGSPOT.COM

FUTUREtense GALLERY

This stand was excellent. I enjoyed speaking to the friendly gallery staff and liked the work. They have a website, thefuturetense.net on which they state they are ‘free from the constraints of a fixed gallery space’. I noticed that several galleries there similarly have no actual gallery, presumably they operate in cyberspace?

RUDE GALLERY OWNERS

My impression was that when the proprietor of the gallery ascertained you were not going to buy something (by some clever sixth sense) they were very uninterested in talking to you, and often walked away quite rudely. I did not tell them I am an artist, because I know that puts gallery owners off! Even so, I think people engaged in the art lark should take more of a professional stance when being asked to talk about their experience of the fair and the work that they are representing.

My final impression: a great mish-mash of styles, colours, sizes, sophistication and hopes! So many artists trying to make a living, and so many people with whom who they are trying to engage, who know nothing!

A MODEL MOTORCYCLIST POSES FOR PORTRAIT – BUT NOT NUDE!


Bonneville Triumph - in France

LE MAYNE SEARCHES FOR LA BONNEVILLE

GEOFF POSED FOR HIS PORTRAIT EARLY IN 2008 AND RECOMMENDS IT

“When I was first asked if I would care to model the thought that perhaps naturally, perhaps perversely, went through my head was, “Are we talking nude modelling?”.  Fortunately this idea was quickly swept away as I was asked to model in full motorcycling regalia; quite the opposite in fact.  I had never modeled before in any conscious way.  I think my daughter may have used me once or twice as a subject but only if I happened to have been still at the time.  This time I was told that I would need to attend for several sittings.  As I am now retired, the time restraint was not an issue and it sounded quite interesting.

“Paulina made the sittings very easy as she maintained an easy flow of conversation which made the time pass quickly and also made it easier to concentrate.  She also played some music in the background which was helpful to relax.  I learnt a little of the problems of working in oils as she explained the drying properties of various substances.  After three or four sessions, the bike was required on its own and it was interesting to see how the light conditions changed each time and created some problems for Paulina.

TRIUMPH TIGER MOTORBIKE OWNED BY GEOFF

TRIUMPH TIGER AND GEOFF TOUR FRANCE

THE SITTING

“My first sitting, I call it sitting although standing is what it came to be, was when the crucial decisions had to be made.  As the painting was to be of a motorcycle and myself, there were two elements to consider.  The idea was to capture the pose from a classical work but in a modern context and so the stance that I was to adopt was more or less dictated by the painting that inspired the new picture.  Nevertheless there seemed to be quite a choice as to how this was to be interpreted and that was an interesting aspect to the enterprise.  Not only did the bike and myself have to be positioned but the artist had to have a viewpoint so there were now three things to be set.  Also, in order to maintain the stance over several days, I was given a fixed point to look at.  I was intrigued at how all these things were decided and fixed by the simple technique of chalking on the floor.  It reminded me of fixing locations for sets in plays that I had been involved with over the years.

STANDING STILL

“Having chosen a stance which I thought would be easy to hold I soon discovered that just standing still in one position for any length of time is not so easy.  I was used to standing for long periods from my previous work as a teacher but this time it needed to be quite still.  I had agreed to sit for an hour and that was beginning to sound like an awfully long time.  I needn’t have worried as Pauline had thought of all this.  She broke the sitting up into roughly ten minute slots.  Even so, after probably only a minute I became acutely aware of a tension in my calf.  It was not a bad pain and I was easily able to endure it but it was always there.  I thought that as the hour wore on, it would ease but in fact after starting each period of posing, the same pain would return. It went away as quickly as it had come fortunately.  I now appreciated the thought that had gone into getting the first pose a comfortable one that I would be able to sustain.

PLEASING END RESULT

“The end result was very pleasing and had certainly captured me as a motorcyclist.  Pauline is intending to make a series of similar paintings, themed around classical paintings. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and would recommend it to anyone.”

CONTACT PAULINE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT A PORTRAIT OF YOU

SEE THE EMAIL LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

FRAMING PAINTINGS – SOUTH LONDON FRAMERS


FRAMERS – WHICH ONES TO USE FOR PAINTINGS?

This is a problem for a lot of artists. Frames are expensive. Make your own? Not for me. I am no carpenter.

To make frames I think you need the space to work, a workbench, measuring stuff, hammering stuff – all that ‘man’ kind of thing!

Over the years I have always got my watercolours and prints framed.
My art work in oils on board and canvas can look after themselves.

If you want to know my current position, I have just been up to the Royal Academy Framers, behind the Royal Academy in Piccadilly.
The oil painting I took with me is destined for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy this year, 2011.
Its difficult to find the entrance. I was told it is near the Academy Schools entrance, and so it is, but it is disguised as the entrance to the entrails of the Academy, a big doorway with a view of various – what look like – screens or flats from a theatre.
The framers entrance is a little door on the right here, easy to miss. There is no sign.
My painting will be ready in about three weeks time.
The other oil painting for the Summer Exhibition is to be framed by a local small business, which I have used once before.
They seem excellent.
I thought I would see if the chance of my work being accepted had any relationship to what kind of frame it is in.

Another framer I use regularly is Gleeson Framers, in Coombe Lane, Raynes Park. Lisa Gleeson has been a framer for years, and I have used her for my art work for a long time, since before she moved to smart new premises in Coombe Lane.

Gleeson Framers