Saturday, 13 December 2014

The view from Richmond Hill

One of the most famous views in the history of landscape painting is "The View from Richmond Hill". In the last it was liked so much that it's now the only view in the UK which is specifically protected by an Act of Parliament.

I've created a small website about it - The View from Richmond Hill - for those who want to know exactly where it is and what the view looks like - and some more about the artists associated with painting the view from the hill e.g.
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds whose home (Wick House on Richmond Hill) has this view, or 
  • JMW Turner who painted it several time or 
  • Jasper Francis Cropsey, the American landscape painter (Hudson River School) whose painting of the View of Richmond Hill recently sold at Bonhams in New York. Cropsey later produced a massive painting of the same view - some eight feet wide - based on this study (and presumably others he made at the same time).  This study is principally focused on the features of the landscape and doesn't have the figures seen in the later painting.
View of Richmond Hill - Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900)
previously exhibited as Study for Richmond Hill in the Summer of 1862
oil on canvas 12 1/2 x 20 1/2in
sold 21st May 2014 for $50,000 at Bonhams
Back in 2010 I visited to see what all the fuss was about. Like many such views I've visited in the past - the trees have grown!

I found it very tricky to get a place where you got a decent view of the bend in the river without running into other problems - like trees obscuring the view.

This is my "failed" photographic view. It's a classic one - with the horizon bisecting the image! You can at least see the river and the fact it has a curve and an island and some boats on it - plus some water meadows next to it!

The view from Richmond Hill - in 2010
This local photographer has had a go at showing us what is the magic of this place in this video



I'm thinking maybe a visit in winter when there are no leaves might prove more fruitful - although it would appear this brings different challenges



Sunday, 9 November 2014

Peder Balke and Norwegian landscapes at the National Gallery

On the 12th November, a new exhibition of 50 paintings by the 19th century Norwegian artist Peder Balke (1804 - 1887) will open in the Sunley Room of the National Gallery in London. Admission is free and the exhibition will continue until 12th April 2015. Most of the paintings have never been seen before in the UK.

This exhibition continues a theme of exhibitions of landscapes by Scandinavian artists in recent times. Previous ones have included
This exhibition has been organised by the Northern Norway Art Museum, Tromsø, in collaboration with the National Gallery, London.  The paintings on display include ones from private and public collections across Europe that represent every facet of the artist’s career.

Peder Balke, The Mountain Range ‘Trolltindene’, about 1845
Peder Balke, The Mountain Range ‘Trolltindene’  c.1845
Collection of Asbjørn Lunde, New York
© Photo courtesy of the owner
There's a video on YouTube of his paintings with some rather marvellous music

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fine Canadian Landscape Art - Auction and Previews

There's an auction of "Fine Canadian Art" being held in Toronto, Canada by Heffel Fine Art Auction House on 27th November 2014. The majority of the works in the catalogue are landscapes.

Heffel Fine Canadian Art Catalogue Cover
The Trapper's Return by Clarence Gagnon
oil on canvas, circa 1909 ~ 1913
signed and on verso signed and titled and titled
21 x 28 3/4 in, 53.3 x 73 cm
$500,000 ~ $700,000 CAD

View the catalogue

You can the works in the auction as follows:



The Artists


Artists who are new to me who impressed 


These included:
DavidMilne1909
David Brown Milne in 1909
  • David Brown Milne (1882-1953) - I liked his watercolours. You can see more of his work on Wikimedia - these include some very fine paintings of the First World War eg Montreal Crater, Vimy Ridge and there is more information on the National Gallery of Canada website
  • Clarence Alphonse Gagnon (1881 - 1942) - whose painting is on the cover of the catalogue. A woodcut of the same scene is also included in the sale together with a number of other paintings. He was apparently renowned as a painter of the Canadian winter - with snow being pink in the morning and blue at the end of the day. His landscapes were more 'dreamed about' than painted on the spot - with some being completed in his studio in Paris.  Paysage de Charlvoix is simply stunning!
He invented a new type of landscape - a winter world composed of valleys and mountains, of sharp contrasts of light and shadow, of vivid colours, and of sinuous lines. He ground his own paints, and from 1916 his palette consisted of pure white, reds, blues and yellows.   
National Gallery of Canada profile

Artists familiar to me


  • Lawren Stewart Harris - I was surprised to find out that Harris is Canada's top artist in terms of auction sales. I'd never before seen any of Harris's urban landscapes - his painting of Houses on Gerrard Street is very fine and is on the back cover of the catalogue
Gerrard Street Houses by Lawren Harris
Back cover of catalogue: Gerrard Street Houses by Lawren Harris(Estimate $350,000-400,000)
Harris’s depictions of Toronto streets are like portraits. Sometimes poignant, sometimes regal, sometimes sad, each of his buildings can be seen as a sitter whose character, carriage and personality are depicted with exacting skill under Harris’s brush Catalogue

Information about the auction


The evening auction is being held at the Park Hyatt Hotel, Queen’s Park Ballroom, 4 Avenue Road, Toronto. 

Works can be seen in previews as follows
  • Preview At Heffel Gallery, Vancouver: 2247 Granville Street Saturday, November 1 Through Tuesday, November 4, 11 Am To 6 pm
  • Preview At Galerie Heffel, Montreal: 1840 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Thursday, November 13 Through Saturday, November 15, 11 Am To 6 pm
  • Preview At University Of Toronto Art Centre 15 King’s College Circle Entrance Off Hart House Circle Saturday, November 22 Through Wednesday, November 26, 10 Am To pm Thursday, November 27, 10 Am To 12 pm
  • Heffel Gallery, Toronto 13 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto Ontario, Canada M5r 2e1 Telephone 416 961~6505, www.Heffel.Com


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Peak Prints Project

Images from the Peak Prints Collection
The Peak Prints Project highlights both the art of the wood engraver and the place known as the Peak District.
This area of Middle England is highly suitable for the art because of its plethora of woods and stones, crags and deep river gorges, ancient carved stones and picturesque farms, fields and barns. But hardly any wood engravings of these subjects have been done!
The project has been sponsored by Nicholas and Ruth Pitts-Tucker. The aim was to ‘encourage wood engravers to engage with the Peak District, and local people to engage with this art form.’

They invited 12 leading wood engravers to stay through the course of the year over a number of long weekends. As a result 40 engravings have now been produced which are being sold in editions of 25.

The prints are now being displayed in exhibitions at different locations within the Peak District.

You can also buy prints via the website where you can see which prints are for sale and you can order them. Click on an image to see the individual image a bigger version of the image which he or she has created

Artists


The participating artists are:

I'm the owner of prints by both Hilary Paynter and Sue Scullard and can speak very highly of the quality of their work

Exhibitions

You can see The Peak Prints at the following exhibitions in and around the Peak District.

25th July – 7th August 2014Beechenhill Farm
Ilam
Ashbourne
Derbyshire DE6 2BD UK
Telephone 01335 310274
Email stay@beechenhill.co.uk
Website www.beechenhill.co.uk

15th August 2014 – 28th August 2014
Longshaw
near Sheffield
Derbyshire S11 7TS
Telephone 01433 637904
Email peakdistrict@nationaltrust.org.uk
Website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/longshaw

6th September 2014 – 20th September 2014
Wirksworth Festival
Wirksworth
Matlock
Derbyshire DE4 4FG
Telephone 01629 824003
Email info@wirksworthfestival.co.uk
Website www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk

4th October 2014 – 19th October 2014
Derwent Gallery
Main Road
Grindleford
Hope Valley
Derbyshire S32 2JN
Telephone 01433 630458
Email robin.ashmore@btconnect.com
Website www.derwentgallery.com
Open Wednesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 10.00am – 4.00pm

19th October 2014 – 25th October 2014
George Inn Barn
Altonsfield
Derbyshire

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Susan Abbott - sketching and painting plein air

I caught up with this post The Travel Bug by Susan Abbott on her Painting Notes blog.

You can see her recent watercolour sketches of Paris on her blog A Painting Year and on her website (see below) - plus her plein air oil paintings. What I really like about her watercolour sketches and paintings is how she has a very consistent and recognisable colour palette and the way in which she keeps all her colours fresh and never muddy!


Plein Air Watercolours by Susan Abbott


For those planning plein air painting this summer check out her blog posts about painting plein air which she wrote last summer:
  • Plein Air 101 - provides a number of tips for effective working plein air
  • Plein Air 102 - covers her kit for watercolour and oil painting plein air

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School

Cover of the exhibition catalogue re. American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School

American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School


You can download this catalogue of the exhibition American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition was held between 4th October 1987 and 3rd January 1999.

The reproduction qualities of the pdf copy available for download on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website is very good.

You won't find it by including the title in the websites' search facilty. Instead you need to know to go to their MetPublications website

The title is out of print hence why the Met is making it available online.  You can also:

About the exhibition


Prior to 1987, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has focused on individual artists when mounting major retrospectives and had highlighted prominent American artists in doing so.

This exhibition was the first time a major retrospective had been undertaken of an important school of art unique to the USA. The book and the exhibition represented a summary of the (then) current scholarship relating to the Hudson River School.

The exhibition - and the catalogue - brought together some of the finest and most historically important of the paintings associated with the School.  It also provided a survey of the work of the various artists involved with the School.

Prior to this exhibition, there had been three initiatives by museums in the USA to highlight the art, scope and role of the Hudson River School

  • 1917 - the Museum had held a much smaller exhibition - Paintings of the Hudson River School;
  • 1945 - the Art Institute of Chicago mounted the The Hudson River School and the Early American Landscape Tradition exhibition
  • 1949 - The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston published a book about M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865 


The Hudson River School


The Hudson River School was America's first true artistic fraternity. Its name was coined to identify a group of New York City-based landscape painters that emerged about 1850 under the influence of the English émigré Thomas Cole (1801–1848) and flourished until about the time of the Centennial.

This is the webpage for the Hudson River School in the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History on the Met's website


Monday, 24 February 2014

Pete "The Street" Brown paints plein air

This is a video of a very hard-working plein air artist - Peter Brown NEAC ROI RSPP PS aka "Pete the Street".  You can see his artwork in the Annual Exhibitions of various national art societies at the Mall Galleries including:
He's based in Bath and can often be seen painting on the streets of Bath.  To my mind he paints with what I'd call a "very English palette" - lots of muted coloured greys.

There's an article about him in the February 2014 edition of Artists & Illustrators Magazine - available in print and digital versions.

Click the link in his name to visit his website.

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