Sunday, 31 July 2011

The walkway street food market in Nuremberg

The walkway street food market in Nuremberg by Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528)
Source: Wikipaintings

I've always liked Albrecht Durer's work.  It might be because he favours drawing and line.  I was delighted to discover recently some of his landscape works on wikipaintings - including this particular work The walkway street food market in Nuremberg (click this link to see a much larger version of this image)

Albrecht Durer was born in Nuremburg in 1471 and became one of the most famous painters of the Northern Renaissance.

Given that Nuremburg was his home town, this must have been a very familar scene for him - and this painting is presumably an early example of "paint what you know".

What I like about is that it's done in pen and ink with a colour wash - which is a style for recording a scene which I very much like.

The town lies either side of the Pegnita River and this walkway street food market was presumably a Nuremburg equivalent of the shops on the Rialto bridge in Venice.

What's interesting about Nuremberg is that about 90% of the old town was destroyed by strategic allied bombing during the second world war.  However the town has been rebuilt to reinstate its appearance prior to WW2 and the covered bridges appear to still be a feaure of present day Nuremberg's Ald Stadt. You can see a large map of Nuremburg's Ald Stadt (old town) today on Wikipedia

How to see more of Durer's landscapes and cityscapes
  • If you click on the cityscape or landscape links in the Wikipaintings Durer page you'll see a range of thumbnails of the works he produced.  
  • The paintings are organised in chronological order within each genre
  • Click a thumbnail and you'll be taken to the page for that landscape - which then tells you more about the painting

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Scottish Landscape Painting and a £25,000 prize

The JOLOMO Bank of Scotland Award For Scottish Landscape Painting 2011 has been won by 24 year old Edinburgh artist Calum McClure.

The award is the largest privately funded Arts Award in the UK with prize money totalling £35,000.

The first prize in 2011 was raised to £25,000. The main sponsor is the Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison OBE (Jolomo) who awarded the prizes at a dinner at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 24th June 2011.  Other sponsors are the Bank of Scotland and The Scotsman.

Winning artist Calum McClure had this to say
I can’t believe I have won, this will make a real difference to my work. I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in May 2010 and have continued to work as an artist since then. Among the focus of my landscapes are country houses and formal gardens. I paint these not only because of the interesting botanical specimens and the floral and fauna brought to the estates by their owners, but because it is a side of Scotland that is sometimes overlooked, due to our willingness to purport a skewed vernacular or kitsch version of ‘Scottishness’. The focus of my work for almost two years has been Cammo estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, in particular its boating pond.
Seven Scottish artists reached the shortlist.  Their names are below plus the part of Scotland they live/work in.

Unfortunately the website does not have good digital images of either the winning work or the work of the shortlisted artists - with annotations for dimensions and media.  You can see something of the works shortlisted in this slideshow - but this is not the standard of presentation which I find on other art competition websites.  However what it does do is give you a better sense of the size and impact of the work when hung in a gallery.

You might like to take a look at the websites of the shortlisted artists which you can find links to below.

Aberdeenshire - Susie Lee (45) - slides 2, 20 and 21 in the slideshow

Suzie Lee website
“The Scottish landscape provides me with the perfect inspiration for my work. Sketches are made on site finding a feeling of place the intention being a poetic visual statement suggesting that a loss of intimacy with the natural world is in itself a loss of self.”
Susie Lee

Borders - David Cass (22) - slides 7, 28-30 in the slideshow

David Cass website
“I’ve always collected old wooden objects, from antique shops and markets; initially, I used these materials to construct wall-based sculptures.  However these found-objects have gradually developed a new purpose: and are now the surfaces on which I paint.”
David Cass

Edinburgh - Calum McClure (24) - slides 4, 22 and 23 in the slideshow

Calum McClure at The Scottish Gallery
“Among the focus of my landscapes are country houses and formal gardens. I paint these not only because of the interesting botanical specimens and the floral and fauna brought to the estates by their owners, but because it is a side of Scotland that is sometimes overlooked.”
Calum McClure
Edinburgh - Jenny Mason (46) - slides 24 and 25 in the slideshow

Jenny Mason website
“There is something reassuring to us as humans in the endless movement of clouds in the sky and the relentlessness of the sea, it is never the same, never boring, and its takes one's attention off the cerebral and onto the visual wonderment of the world we inhabit.”
Jenny Mason
Edinburgh - Allan Robertson (56) - slides 5, 16 and 17 in the slideshow

Allan J Robertson website
“The structures that form our industrial and manufacturing past are often hidden from sight. My aim is to capture their colours, textures and materials, the environment they sit in, to create an idealised landscape that once again makes these structures predominant.”
Allan Robertson
Edinburgh - Beth Robertson Fiddes (38)  - who won second prize (£6,000) - slides 3, 18 and 19 in the slideshow

Beth Robertson Fiddes website
“I work on large land and seascapes reflecting on themes of memory, solitude and scale, while smaller works study unusual rock formations shaped by the tides or mountain rivers and waterfalls.”
Beth Robertson Fiddes
Glasgow -  Katie Pope (26) - who third prize (£4,000) - slides 1, 26 and 27 in the slideshow

Katie Pope website
“Being located in the heart of Glasgow provides an appropriate setting, as my work is strongly rooted in reflecting life and landscape here in the West of Scotland. I hope my work reflects something of the vitality of my surroundings.”
Katie Pope
Artist John Lowrie Morrison OBE (Jolomo), who presented the prizes, said 
It was an extremely difficult job to choose not only the shortlisted artists but the three final winners of awards.  However the quality of all the work shows that landscape painting is alive and well in Scotland, although maybe not in all the Art Schools!

The winners show the best of that painting – Katie Pope’s wonderfully expressive Glasgow urban landscapes, Beth Robertson Fiddes’ primeval shorelines and Award winner Calum McClures’s beautifully intricate Wyethesque recording of garden landscape.  All the shortlisted artists’ work this year was simply stunning – however the three winners were just that bit special.
Criteria for Entry - and How to Enter

It's obviously too late for this year - but for the future reference of Scottish artists and readers of this blog the criteria for entry are as follows. 
Applicants must be painters who:

a. are currently living and working in Scotland and are aged 18 or over on 1st January 2011.

b. have studied, or are studying, at a college of art or in an art discipline at a university, further education college or independent art college.

c. Should more than five years have passed since studying, or if the applicant has no formal qualification, the body of work submitted must be proposed and approved by a suitably qualified referee, e.g. art lecturer, teacher, gallery owner.

d. The Jolomo Bank of Scotland Awards welcomes entries from artists with special needs.

e. There will be a main prize of £25,000 with an additional £10,000 divided among the runners up.
It seems to me that criteria (c) is probably a rather useful one in terms of winnowing down the scope for people entering who are way short of the standard required.  It's very nice to see an exhibition which doesn't have generation of entry fees as one of its main aims and performance indicators!

Applications to enter should be made by way of 
one central, titled image which should be a painting and between five and ten supporting images which may be paintings, sketches or drawings. All entries should be accompanied by title, metric size, the medium used and the year the work was made. Also included should be the entrant's full Curriculum Vitae.
All entries are viewed anonymously by the judging panel of six people.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Landscapes of Georgio Morandi

Larry Groff (Painting Perceptions), a landscape and cityscape painter living in San Diego, has written an  excellent blog post about Giorgio Morandi, The Essence of the Landscape.

I'm with the person who commented to the effect they had no idea that Giorgio Morandi did landscapes as well as still life.

Here's a YouTube video of some of Morandi's work created by Groff - but I do recommend you take a look at the post too.

Here also is what Larry says about his blog.  His sentiments for starting the blog are certainly ones I can identify with and it looks like one which will get added into my Google Reader list.

After painting for about 30 years I’ve often felt discouraged that perceptual painting has often gotten less attention in the major art publications, online venues and art world in general compared to conceptually-based artists. Eventually I asked myself, “why not start a blog devoted to modern painting done from life?”

There are magazines, like American Artist, which has articles about some very good contemporary realists working from life but many of the articles lean towards a more conservative and non-modern style. There are blogs and forums on the web which focus more on academic realism or photorealism but there is little to be found in magazines or blogs that specifically focuses on perceptual painting with a contemporary modern sensibility. This blog aims to correct that problem.