Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Winter Landscape: Fox Hill, Upper Norwood by Camille Pissaro

Fox Hill, Upper Norwood 1870 by Camille Pissaro
One of the fascinating things about looking at paintings from the past is that it's now possible to match streetscapes up with Google Street Maps.  A Virtual Paintout in reverse if you like.

One such painting is Camille Pissaro's painting of Fox Hill, Upper Norwood which was painted in South London and is now in the National Gallery.  This is yet another Winter Landscape - and one from before snow ploughs were invented!  I like the blues, pinks and mauves which helps to provide the structure of the snow with this snowy landscape.  I love his ladies in crinolines making their way along the snowy verge.  Makes me think of galoshes!

Pissaro was a French-Danish Impressionist painter.  His family came from French but he was born in the Danish West Indies (which became the US Virgin Islands in 1917).  He was very much influenced by Corot.

Like a number of French people, he sought refuge from the Franco-Prussian War and came to London in June 1870 and stayed for a year.  During this time he lodged at 77a Westow Hill and painted several views of Sydenham and Upper Norwood.  This was at a time when the area was undergoing a process of transition.  the railways had arrived but surburbia had not yet swallowed up all the fields.

One of the paintings from that time is Fox Hill in Upper Norwood.  This is what the scene looks like from more or less the same spot today courtesy of Google Streetview.

View Larger Map

Many of the houses in this street have been rebuilt but the general character of this view and the distinctive bend still correspond with Pissarro's painting.
National Gallery - Pissaro

Links:

Monday, 27 December 2010

Winter Landscape: Hunters in the snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Hunters in the Snow is the very first painting I ever saw by Pieter Bruegel.  It was of course a reproduction and it hung on one of the walls of my primary school.

Jäger im Schnee (Winter) (Hunters in the Snow) 1565 by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525 - 1569)
Oil on panel; 46 1/8 x 63 7/8 in. (117 x 162 cm)
Source: Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525/30–1569) | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

I loved to look at it.

First of all, it was about a snowy landscape - which is a source of great excitement to a child living in a temperate climate where the rain rarely changed to snow

Next it had such a lot going on in the picture.  You could look at it for a long time and still keep seeing new things.  I always used to think the hunters themselves seemed a bit miserable - and that all the fun was happening out on the ice.  This from the perspective of a child whose greatest excitement if it snowed was to make an ice slide and see how far I could slide and stay standing up!

Looking at it again now, what I'm struck by is:
  • How cold the picture is in terms of the colours used.  The sky has that leaden grey look associated with times of heavy snow.  The snow itself is pristine and white suggesting that not only has it snowed but also that it snows on a regular basis.
  • It has a feeling of a life lived in the snow for a long time.  The rooves of the buildings have a pitch associated with areas of heavy snow.  Lots of people are skating - because lots of people can skate!
  • How the posture of the hunters is very persuasive of a feeling of weariness and possibly melancholy.  These people really do look like they are trudging through heavy snow and have been for quite some time.  Also, although they are hunters, they don't seem to have been successful in batching very much.
  • the composition and design of the painting is intriguing.  In one sense, it's very westernised with the main figures entering from the bottom left.  There are a number of diagonals coming in from the left which all serve to focus on the skaters in the middle of the painting.  the bird and the curve in the mountain create a loop which prevent our eyes escaping out the top of the painting.  Small figures make us want to linger and make out what they are doing. 
  • the colour palette is very limited and very restrained.  However the painting employs complementary colours - the reddish brown and the blue/green/grey of the sky are opposite one another on a colour wheel.
  • how competent Bruegel is at creating living beings through silhouettes.
The painting is part of the permanent collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.  The Picture Gallery was developed from the art collection created by the House of Habsburg.  It is one of the more important collections of European paintings in the world and focuses on paintings between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries.

This is what the museum has to say about it
The group of hunters returns to the low-lying village, accompanied by an exhausted pack of dogs. Only a single fox hangs on one of the spears slung over the men's shoulders. To the left preparations are afoot to singe a pig over an open fire. Delightful details such as skaters on frozen ponds have added to the picture's enormous popularity. Yet it is not the sum total of details that make the picture important, rather its overall effect. In a manner both virtuosic and consistent, Breugel evokes the impression of permanent cold.
    Bruegel also painted landscape in different seasons - and I'll return to him and his paintings as I feature landscapes from the different seasons in the coming year.

    Saturday, 25 December 2010

    Winter Landscape - Adoration of the Magi by Pieter Bruegel

    Adoration of the Kings (1567) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
    Adoration of the Three Wise Men in the snow
    Pieter Bruegel the Younger
    Two paintings of the same scene by father and son of the same name - Pieter Bruegel - Elder and Younger.  Pieter Bruegel the Elder is the superior painter. 
    Making the life and manners of peasants the main focus of a work was rare in painting in Brueghel's time, and he was a pioneer of the Netherlandish genre painting. His earthy, unsentimental but vivid depiction of the rituals of village life—including agriculture, hunts, meals, festivals, dances, and games—are unique windows on a vanished folk culture and a prime source of iconographic evidence about both physical and social aspects of 16th century life
    Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Wikipedia
    What I love about the landscape/townscape paintings of Piter Breugel the Elder is the attention to the detail in every part of the painting.  Not so much in terms of the realism of the painting but in terms of observation of the reality of a winter landscape (eg extracting water from an icy pond) and the tasks and activities of daily life which go on irrespective of the the momentous event portrayed or the fact it's being painted.

    I always feel as if I'm sat up in a nearby tree looking down on what's going on.

    There's a bit of a sense of 'painting by numbers' in the paintings of his son.
    Pieter Brueghel the Younger also copied the works his father had created by using a technique called pouncing.
    Links: 
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    Seasons Greetings
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    a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    Friday, 24 December 2010

    Winter Landscapes - Icy Winter by George Gardner Symons

    For the next few posts, I'm going to take the opportunity to highlight, for our wider appreciation, some paintings of landscapes in winters by artists from different countries, different continents, different centuries and different painting styles.

     Icy Winter by George Gardner Symons
    oil on canvas, 101.6 cm (40 in.), Width: 76.2 cm (30 in.)

    This first one is by an artist who seems to have been completely besotted by snow.  George Gardner Symons (1861-1930) is an American impressionist artist who specialised in winter landscapes.  He died in January 1930 aged 64. 

    You can appreciate a range of his winter landscapes here.  What I particularly like about them is
    • the vantage points and compositions which suggest to me a man who liked to find the best spot rather than the one easiest to paint from. 
    • the colours he finds in snow
    Symons’ exposure to Impressionism in Europe has a lasting influence on his work. He painted “en plein air” and his is generally classified as an “American Impressionist”. Though he is noted in particular for his scenes of New England in the Winter, he is considered a member of the California School of American Impressionism.

    Wherever he painted, Symons rendered his landscapes in clear, strong compositions, with a vibrant color sense, and the kind of crisp, deliberate brushwork that makes the work of so many American Impressionist painters wonderfully appealing.
    Other references include:

      Friday, 17 December 2010

      Landscape Photographer of the Year 2010

      Landscape Photographer of the Year 2010:
      Antony Spencer - Winter mist at Corfe Castle, Dorset, England
      copyright Antony Spener - all rights reserved / used with permission

      Winner of the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2010 Award - and a £10,000 prize - is Dorset’s Antony Spencer for his stunning view of Corfe Castle: Winter mist at Corfe Castle, Dorset, England.

      The ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ Exhibition is currently on display at the National Theatre in London.
      Here's some of the winners - and links to their websites
      • The Young Landscape Photographer of the Year award was won by Taliesin Coombes for a picture of a steam train taken from his local café in Cardiff.
      • The Network Rail ‘Lines in the Landscape’ award for the best image of Britain’s modern rail network. Chris Howe from Hertfordshire picked up the prize of a walking tour of the Forth Bridge
      • The Best Landscape on your Doorstep award sponsored by Natural England was won by Sławek Staszczuk for his intimate and striking image of the South Downs
      The exhibition runs until the 16th January 2011 and admission is free.
      • Times: Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 11pm, all year round (except for Bank Holidays) and on a number of Sundays from noon to 6pm (check NT website for dates).
         
      • Venue: Lyttelton Foyer, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX 020 7452 3000
      Notes:

      Tuesday, 14 December 2010

      Places to Paint: Adebanji Alade's Bath Painting Marathon

      Extract from Gallery brochure for Adebanji's Painting Marathon
      In 2009, Adebanji Alade won the inaugural Bath Prize Plein Air Award.  This was a new competition in 2009 for new work inspired by a location in the city of Bath.
      Artists entering the competition are also invited to compete for a special plein-air prize of £2,000 to be awarded to the best picture completed largely at the chosen location. 
      In participating in the competition, Adebanji visited Bath for the very first time and was enormously impressed by the city, its setting and architecture. 

      He decided to try and paint ALL of Bath in one year.  His aim was to have an adventure in recording an entire city from different places at different times of the year - and to produce as many paintings as he could.
      It hasn't been an easy task, but I decided to dream! And dreams do come true! This year I decided to do 500, 6" x 8" paintings of London, I discussed this with Mike Porter of the Bath Gallery. He thought I was crazy but then he said, "can you put that on hold and do 250 of Bath?". I instantly agreed! I said, why not, just get me somewhere to stay and I'll paint morning, noon and night!
      Accommodation was duly found - how nice to find a gallery which is prepared to support and believe in a painter in this way. 

      Then between July and October 2010, over a period of eight weeks spent in the city (with breaks), Adebanji produced 212 paintings of Bath with dimensions 6" x 8".  Some were diptychs and there is one which is comprises six paintings in one!

      Adebaji Alade's Bath Marathon - extract from The Bath gallery catalogue
      The paintings are currently in an exhibition at The Bath Gallery, 6 Bridge Street Bath, BA2 4AS.  It had a very successful opening on December 4th and continues until December 31st.  Most works are framed and the majority of painting are under £600.
      This December, we will be hosting the Art Event of the year. We are exhibiting the first 212 paintings of the 500 images of Bath being produced by Adebanji. Single framed pieces will be priced at under £600. View the entire catalogue here.

      This astonishing project, an attempt to paint all of Bath in a year, is truly a dedicated tour de force by a remarkably dedicated artist.
      Adebani Alade presenting "The Circus" 15 x 120 cm oil on board. 
      It is a complete panorama of one of Bath's uninique landmarks and archutectural highpoints.

      Below is a video of Adebanji Alade painting a small townscape in Bath ( he sings too!).

      Below that are links to his blog posts about his painting marathon.  They include a post about lessons learned from tackling an enterprise of this sort.



      Links to Adebanji Alade's blog posts
      To view the entire exhibition you need to email the gallery and ask for a password to view the pdf catalogue online.  

      Monday, 13 December 2010

      Coastal Painting with Adebanji Alade

      Adebanji Alade - with his painting "Summer Crowds, Pavilion Theatre, Cromer" £1,650
      While writing Review: Royal Institute of Oil Painters - 123rd Annual Exhibition 2010, I came across a DVD of the work of Adebanji Alade and one of the paintings in the exhibition - of the Edwardian pier and the Pavilion Theatre at Cromer. 

      You can see a short extract from a DVD Coastal Adventures in Acrylic With Adebanji Alade on YouTube - and below.
      On this DVD he travels to the quintessentially English seaside resort of Cromer on the north coast of Norfolk. The DVD was filmed in the middle  of summer and Cromer was teaming with holidaymaking families making it ideal territory for Adebanji. He paints his first two pictures on Cromer's Edwardian Pier before moving along the promenade a little to capture an amazing view of the pier and promenade from a high vantage point complete with scores of bustling visitors.  He finishes up with a beach scene complete with fishing boats.
      It's fascinating to see him paint using acrylics - and he makes some very sound points about what interests people about paintings!


      Tomorrow - more about his work on his recent painting marathon in Bath.

      You can see more of his work on:

      Tuesday, 7 December 2010

      Virtual Paintout December - in County Clare, Ireland

      Spanish Point Rinn na Spáinneach - County Clare
      This is my regular monthly plug for the Virtual Paintout.  This month the paintout is in County Clare.  As always the Virtual Paintout post explains the rules which must be observed if you want to participate. 

      The key things you need to do are:
      • the image has to be at a resolution of 72 and no larger than 1000 pixels on the widest side
      • each artist must now include the URL of the location that the artwork is based upon

      Wikipedia has rather less to say about County Clare than I was expecting however the map is very helpful for indicating which bits of Google Street View you can view.  Basically it's everything above and nothwest of the River Shannon.

      Here's are some Places in County Clare from a website which is keen to portray what's there.
      The place I find intriguing is The Burren with its 90 odd megalithic tombs.

      Another place which is interesting to view is Spanish Point (see top) which is where many of the ships from the Spanish Aramada were wrecked in stormy weather in 1588.  According to Wikipedia Those who escaped from their sinking ships and made it safely to land were executed by Sir Turlough O'Brien of Liscannor and Boethius Clancy, High Sheriff of County Clare.

      Sunday, 5 December 2010

      More about Painting Snow

      Brecon Road by Rob Ibjema (Painting Wales)

      Given that the Artic jet streams and New Hampshire snow seems to have moved to the UK and Europe this last week, I thought it would be apt to continue the painting in the snow theme from my recent post Painting snow - in snow

      Here's a bunch of blog posts - all of which are about painting snow and/or painting in snow.  Stapleton Kearns has written the most - and does some pretty good pics of painting snow in snow - including one of himself in his 'painting in snow'!

      The Artist's Magazine
      John Hulsey - (The Artists Road) -  Extreme Painting - Conquering Old Man Winter - Perspectives No. 5
      Rob Ibjema (Painting Wales) - Brecon road
       
      Stapleton Kearns (Stapleton Kearns) - A little more about snow painting Snowcamp, A note from Snowcamp, Another day at Snowcamp, Does this hat look good on me? and Painting in Northern Vermont   m 

      Régis Pettinari (Peintures de Paris/Paintings of Paris by a french painter) - Neige aux Tuileries/ Snowing in Tuileries
        
      Deborah Secor (Landscapes in pastel) - Chapter Eighteen - Snow

      Loriann Signori (loriann signori's painting-a-day) - Painting in the snow / sunset

      Réné (Rene Plein Air) - First nocturnal of this winter (I think)

      Keith Tilley (Painting on the Edge) - First Snow


        Saturday, 27 November 2010

        Townscape: Covent Garden Market

        Covent Garden Market by Balthazar Nebot c1744
        oil on canvas, 35 x 48¼ in. (86.8 x 122.6 cm.)

        Yesterday I was sketching in Covent Garden (see Travels with my Sketchbook) and was reminded of the many artists who have painted Covent Garden Square and market.

        This is an eighteenth century painting by Balthazar Nebot of Covent Garden Market.  He did a number of very similar paintings of this view - one of which is in Tate Britain.  This is their description of their painting.
        Nebot’s view of Covent Garden looks west towards St Paul’s Church. It records the activities and architecture of Covent Garden which, by the 1730s, was at the heart of London’s artistic community. It was a popular urban subject, also painted by Samuel Scott, amongst others.
        The market was first developed in the 1650s. Twenty years later the Earl of Bedford was given permission to ‘hold forever a market in the Piazza on every day in the year except Sundays and Christmas Day for the buying and selling of all manner of fruit, flowers, roots and herbs’.

        Paintings of townscapes are fascinating in terms of revealing to the modern eye just how old some buildings are.

        The whole of the background of this painting is still in existence - St Paul's Church designed by Inigo Jones is the greek temple looking building left of centre and the brand new Apple Store in Covent Garden now occupied the building on the extreme right (with the colonnades) - which is where I sketched yesterday.  I gather it's the largest Apple Store on the planet!  How things have changed......

        This is a description of the artist Balthasar Nebot who was active between active 1730-after 1765 based on that on the Tate website which in turn is based on Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 198.  The links are 
        Painter of open-air genre scenes, topographical landscape and some portraits 
        Life obscure. Waterhouse (1981, p.255) records that he was of Spanish origin and married in London 1729/30.  Harris (1979, p.160) suggests that he established himself within a circle of genre painters working in and around Convent Garden, including Peter Angellis (q.v., whose subjects of fishmongers' and vegetable-sellers' stalls are close to Nebot's), Joseph van Aken (q.v.) and ?Peter Rysbrack.  Known for his paintings of market scenes in the 1730s
        It's always struck me that there are many more artists who specialise in landscapes rather than townscapes - or topographical pictures of towns. 

        In future I'm going to try and feature more artists who specialise in this specialist type of "landscape" painting - and to highlight how topographical paintings often tell the story of our culture and history.

        Wednesday, 24 November 2010

        How to draw a tree in a rainforest

        One of my favourite nature blogs is Debbie Kotter Caspari's Drawing the Motmot.

        This is how to draw a vine-covered tree in the Panama tropical rainforest - while sat in the rain forest. Love the sound track! :)

        What's great is the three videos together provide an overview of how a drawing is developed. Those who enjoy drawing trees will enjoy this one.  Note especially that nice big pencil!

        These are links to the three videos which follow on from one another.
        The embedded video below is the second one.



        Debbie's blogging is out of action at the moment.  Her home was blown away in the Oklahoma Tornados this summer and she's got other things to do.  Do let her know if you enjoyed the videos.

        Tuesday, 23 November 2010

        Painting snow - in snow

        I came across this wonderful short video by artist Lori McNee today - Winter Outdoor Painting Tips for the Plein Air Painter.  She had me from the get go - striding knee deep across snow!


        Friday, 19 November 2010

        Peter Doig's landscapes and painting process

        Peter Doig is a prominent British painter whose work includes landscapes - which are not always related to Britain - often they relate to Canada where he was raised or Trinidad where he lives.

        He broke auction records for a living European artist in 2007 when his painting White Canoe sold for $11.7million at Sotheby's.

        This is a video of Peter Doig introducing his paintings in his exhibition exhibition at Tate Modern in 2008 and talking about the process of creating art.    This video comes recommended by me.




        I've been intrigued by his work for a while and have started to try and find out more him and his approach to painting and landscapes.  If you're interested check out Peter Doig - Resources for Art Lovers - which is very much a work in progress at present.

        Thursday, 11 November 2010

        Arthur Melville's watercolour landscapes

        One of the joys of visiting Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900 exhibition when it opened at the Royal Academy of Arts recently was encountering watercolour landscapes by Arthur Melville for the first time.  They are absolutely stunning!  If you are a watercolourist, it's worth going to the exhibition just to stand and stare and absorb what Melville does.

        Below is one example - but there are others.

        Brig o'Turk, 1893 by Arthur Melville
        Watercolour, 60.8 x 86.4 cm

        The Robertson Collection, Orkney
        Photo The Robertson Collection, Orkney
        It looks as if Bruce MacEvoy (Handprint) is also a fan as he's researched Melville and has some information about him on his Handprint site.
        Melville's technique (as described by his friend Theodore Roussel) is worth describing: he began by soaking the paper in a bath of diluted chinese white until it was thoroughly impregnated with the color, then let the paper completely dry. He then rewetted the surface, and dropped in pure browns, reds and blues to build the shapes, painting with diffuse blobs of color rather than touches of the brush. Once the values and basic forms were blocked out in this way, Melville gradually intervened with more directed brushstrokes as the paper dried, helping to define forms and figures to produce the final somber, atmospheric effect.
        I was so impressedwith Melville that I bought a book about him (Arthur Melville  by Iain Gale ) - in part prompted by yet another stunning landscape on the cover!  His watercolour paintings of Spain - whihc he visited every year from 1890 ubntil his death - and the Mediterranean are amazing.

        In truth Melville was never a Glasgow boy proper.  He was older than most of them but did share a kindred spirit.  He'a also been called the Scottish Impressionist - but that's not quite right either.

        Between 1890 and 1893 his work transformed.  Gale hypotheses that there was a connection between Melville and the Nabis (Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis became the best known of the group).  This seems to be on the basis that both seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion about how to paint at about the same time - using strong flat areas of colour combined with strong outlines and an element of pattern and decoration.  Melville uses a planar technique and blocks of colour in his watercolours.

        Gale suggests that the landscapes he painted in 1893 at Brig o'Turk in the Trossachs should be seen as arrangements in pattern and harmony.  (Brig o'Turk is of course where Millais painted Ruskin's portrait and got to know his wife rather well!)

        I'm guessing the reason I feel him appealing is that in reading about his approach in the Gale book,  I can find a lot of resonance with the way I tend to think about landscapes and to draw them.  However I'm nowhere as bold as he is - but it now makes me want to develop confidence in working more in this way since I find it so attractive.

        Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880 – 1900 is an exhibition from Glasgow Museums in association with the Royal Academy of Arts.   It is on display in the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, London until 23 January 2011.

        Sunday, 7 November 2010

        How to draw and paint trees

        Autumn Forest in oil pastels by Martin Stankewitz (How to draw a tree)

        The trees are fabulous at the moment - and we should all be out making the most of them as landscape motifs!

        For those who need some help in how to approach this, here are some links to very experienced artists and bloggers who have been writing about and drawing trees this year.

        Stapleton Kearns - http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/

        In the earlier part of 2010, Stapleton was writing about tree anatomy and how to look at trees - to understand their structure - and how to paint trees
        He also has some tips for drawing and painting sky holes - those bits of trees that the birdies fly through - and various other aspects of drawing and painting trees
        • Skyholes part 1 - about trying to find some order and relationships within the grouping of sky holes
        • Sky holes 2 - about what colour to paint the sky holes so they don't jump out
        • Sky holes 3 - studies sky holes in paintings by master landscape painters

        How to draw a tree - http://www.draw-a-tree.com

        This is Martin Stankewitz's blog - his emphasis is much more on drawing trees.  His recent posts have included:

        Pastel Pointers -  http://pastelpointersblog.artistsnetwork.com

        Richard McKinley also has some tips for

          and finally....

          Here's a link to a newspaper article about Stourhead - one of the classic tree landscapes in the UK - which is always renowned for its autumn leaves

          Saturday, 30 October 2010

          Contemporary Pastel Landscape Artists

          The works included in the the Seventeenth Juried Web Exhibition 2010 of the International Association of Pastel Societies (see International Association of Pastel Societies - 17th Juried Exhibition 2010) were all selected by an international panel of jurors who, as it happened, are all primarily landscape artists in pastel.  I can't imagine that was accidental so maybe there's a push to see more pastel landscapes?
          The International Jurors who selected works for this 2010 Web Exhibition were Lorenzo Chavez, (Colorado, USA) Margaret Evans (Scotland)  and Bill Hosner (Michigan, USA).
          If you click the hyperlinks below you can view a range of different ways in which renowned pastel artists tackle landscapes around the world.

          Lorenzo Chavez - pastel landscapes - available paintings and paintings in private collections.  Lorenzo Chavez was born in New Mexizo and is now based in Colorado and most of the landscapes appear to be local to where he lives.

          Lorenzo Chavez - landscape paintings in private collections
          Margaret Evans PSA - pastel landscapes - available in galleries throughout Scotland.  Margaret tutors workshops all over the world but has her studio and home base are Perthshire in Scotland.

          a selection of the pastel landscapes of Scotland by Margaret Evans PSA

          Bill Hosner PSA PSWC - pastel landscapes - available work.  Bill is based in Michigan in the USA.  He's a signature member of both the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of the West Coast and his focus is on working plein air in pastel.

          Pastel Landscapes by Bill Hosner PSA PSWC
          My personal view as somebody who enjoys working plein air in pastels (although not as much recently as I used to do - see Places) is that pastels are a greatly underrated medium for plein air landscapes.  From beginning to end your work is dry and not susceptible to the impact of variations in temperature or humidity as both oil and watercolour paints are!

          However it is a jolly good idea to have a very big cover for your work if it begins to rain!

          Saturday, 23 October 2010

          Places to Paint - Marine Scenes

          While visiting the Royal Society of Marine Artists - 65th Annual Exhibition 2010 (click link for my exhibition review) last week I made a note of all the places in the UK and overseas where people were painting marine scenes.  This was mainly because some of the names kept cropping up again and again.

          So, as a further development of my "places to paint" theme, here's the list of the marine places I saw paintings of in the exhibition - split between the UK and 'overseas'.  That's everything which includes tidal water.

          Two oil paintings of Cornish harbours 
          Mevagissey and Mousehole

          Also included are images of some of the very impressive figurative paintings of places in the UK which could be seen in the RSMA Exhibition this year.  The exhibition has now closed but will return to the Mall Galleries next year. 

          UK Marine Painting Locations
          Shadows and Reflections, River Wyre
          Watercolour by Keith Noble RSMA
          High Water, Polperro Harbour
          Oil Painting by David Curtis RSMA ROI

          Overseas Marine Painting Locations
          I've also commented in a previous post about a book British Painters of the Coast and Sea: A History and Gazetteer which I now own and which I need to get round to reviewing!

          For details of how to submit work to next year's exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists:
          Links:
          • Marine Art - Resources for Artists  This lens provides information and advice from various websites for artists wanting to understand and draw and paint marine subjects, seascapes and waterscapes. 
          • The Best Books about Landscape Art  Do you want to learn about landscape art? Do you want to find out which which are the best books about painting landscapes? Do you want to know more about famous landscape artists?

            Tuesday, 19 October 2010

            Virtual Paintout October - in Mexico

            A view of San Miguel de Allende - courtesy of Wikicommons

            This is my regular monthly plug for the Virtual Paintout - but a little later than usual.  At the beginning of the month my prime concern was what I was going to be wearing at a big family wedding!

            This month Bill Guffey has taken people off to San Miguel de Allende which is about as central as you can get in Mexico.  According to Wikipedia this is a historic town founded in 1542 that has become an attractive tourist destination for wealthy Mexico City residents and a large number of American and Canadian expatriates who are mainly retired. According to the town's website it's one of the world's top tourist destinations - although I have to confess to never having heard if it before.

            Anyway, armed with that information, you can have a look round the town via Google Maps and Streetview.  This is the link to the relevant post - San Miguel de Allende - October 2010

            This is the link to the big map - View Larger Map

            You can participate until October 31st - after which Bill moves on to a new spot.  Make sure you read the rules for participation carefully if you've not taken part before - or you'll kick yourself - because submissions not following the rules will not be posted! :)

            Thursday, 14 October 2010

            National Gallery: "Venice - Canaletto and his Rivals"

            More places to paint!  This is where I'm going tomorrow - to Venice, via the National Gallery and their latest exhibition Venice - Canaletto and his Rivals
            This exhibition presents the finest assembly of Venetian views since the much-celebrated display in Venice in 1967. It features works by Canaletto and all the major practitioners of the genre.

            Remarkably, considering the dominant role of British patronage in this art form, 'Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals' is the first exhibition of its kind to be organised in the UK.

            This landmark exhibition presents the finest assembly of Venetian views by Canaletto and his 18th-century rivals to be seen in a generation. Bringing together around 50 major loans from the public and private collections of the UK, Europe and North America, Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals highlights the extraordinary variety of Venetian view painting, juxtaposing masterpieces by Canaletto with key works by artists including Luca Carlevarijs, Michele Marieschi, Bernardo Bellotto and Francesco Guardi.
            I'll be doing a review of the exhibition on Making A Mark and will insert a link here when I've done that.

            Below is a video introduction to the exhibition



            Venice - Caneletto and his Rivals 
            National gallery Sainsbury Wing | 13 October – 16 January 2011
            Admission charge
            Catalogue

            You can find out more about Canaletto on my resource site Canaletto - Resources for Art Lovers

            Saturday, 2 October 2010

            Places to Paint: Bridget Hunter's West Coast of Scotland

            Blue Sea at Portuairk
            Oil on board  24 x 20
            Bridget Hunter 2010
            This is Bridget Hunter, who lives in Ayrshire, on the topic of her favourite place to paint - the west coast of Scotland.
            You asked for favourite places to paint and I would have to say the West Coast of Scotland.

            Yes, there are midgies at certain times and yes it can be wet for days but when the skies are high and the seas are turquoise and the sands are white there is no better place that I know. The islands with the mountain backdrops almost compose their own compositions. And the air is so pure you can almost touch it.
            Rum, Muck and White Sands
            Acrylic on board  20 x 16
            Bridget Hunter 2010
            You'll find Bridget's attempts at capturing these landscapes on her blog Bridget Hunter's Paintings.  The images are, I think, two views of the same spot on different days.  Here are some examples
            My own experience of the west coast of Scotland

            My uncle and aunt lived in Helensburgh when I was a child. We'd often stay with them before heading off to another part of the west coast. As a child we never seemed to go anywhere other than the west coast of Scotland for our holidays and I've stayed everywhere from Kirkcudbright (known as"the Artists Town") in in the estuary of the River Dee in the south to Loch Broom/Ullapool in Wester Ross in the north with nearby Gairloch and Gruinard Bay being two of my favourite all time Scottish places.  I've got very vivid visual memories of a lot of places.

            I can only concur that it's one of the most attractive places I know and I'm left wondering why it is I haven't visited in a long time.

            Mind you I do remember the midges - very well!  Out of midge season would be a good time to go or paint in a windy exposed area!  ;)

            Below are some relevant websites.  Sadly there's no national park as yet which covers the west coast or parts of the west coast.  However there is hope that it might happen at some point in the future - although there are others that argue that Scotland doesn't value its natural heritage enough
            In June 2005, the Scottish Executive announced their intention to create Scotland’s first coastal and marine national park. Five possible locations for this were being considered:
            Overview Map of 10 indicative areas
            Here are some relevant websites
            Here are some maps of the area
            Those wanting to explore other attractive parts of Scotland could do worse than investigate the only two national parks created to date

            Thursday, 30 September 2010

            Places to Paint: Charlene Brown's Rockies

            Rim of the Opabin Above Lake O’Hara
            Watercolour and crayon
            ©2009 Charlene Brown

            I associate Charlene Brown's blog 1150 words with paintings of the Rockies.  Not surprisingly the Rockies are also Charlene's favourite place to paint. 

            In her post My favourite place to paint she explains that she tried to pin it down to just one place but then decided she needed to plump for the whole of the Rockies!
            ...until I was about eight, I was only vaguely aware that anybody painted anything but the Canadian Rockies.
            You may think Charlene has maybe always painted the Rockies and nothing but the Rockies - but you'd be wrong as her bio tells us.  As you can see Charlene is choosing the Rockies after having seen and painted a great many other places
            Charlene Brown is a Canadian painter who started writing about painting trips during the ten years she and her husband lived in Dubai. The Gulf Weekly began publishing her accounts of painting trips in that part of the Arabian peninsula -- then said they might consider other countries, even such exotic locations as Canada! She had written about painting trips in over twenty countries by the time her husband retired and they returned to Canada to live.
            The image at the top is the painting from her blog a year ago this week.

            Note: If you'd like to participate in this series, please read the preamble in Places to Paint

            Monday, 27 September 2010

            Places to Paint: Linda Blondheim in Florida

            Summer at Fair Oaks Farm (2010) by Linda Blondheim
            acrylic 24x36 $2300
            Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston Florida is Linda Blondheim's favourite place to paint
            I've been asked many times where I love to paint the most? I've been painting in the tiny hamlet of Evinston Florida for about 15 years at various farms and on Orange Lake. Evinston is located between the two cities of Gainesville and Ocala. About three years ago I discovered Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston.

            Fair Oaks is my very favorite place to paint and to be. It has all of the qualities that are appealing to a plein air painter.
            Continue reading on Linda's blog to find out more about Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston Florida

            Links about Linda Blodheim:

            Sunday, 26 September 2010

            The landscape you love

            Every landscape painting represents a view with which the painter has fallen in love.
            Alfred Sisley
            Cabins along the Loing Canal, Sunlight Effect (1896) by Alfred Sisley (French, 1839-1899)
            I'm not sure whether I'd go so far as to say every landscape is one that an artist has fallen in love with.  However it's certainly very true that if you look through galleries of artist's work, again and again you come across different versions of the same view

            Alfred Sisley painted this bend on the Loing Canal again and again at different times of day, in different seasons and in different weather conditions.  All are recognisably the same place and all are different.  (See the Atheneum Gallery of Sisley's work to see the differeent versions)

            Sisley moved with his family to a small village near Moret-sur-Loing in 1880.  The forest of Fontainebleau where the painters of the Barbizon school had worked earlier in the century is just to the west.  Unfortunately Google Street View has not yet done the smaller roads but there are one or two possibilities for where this view is if you click the link to look at the map
            Here, as art historian Anne Poulet has said, "the gentle landscapes with their constantly changing atmosphere were perfectly attuned to his talents."
            Of course, one of the rather nice things about landscape painting is that you can never ever get bored once you've found a landscape which appeals to you!

            Do you have a landscape you love?

            See more about Places to Paint

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