Quite a change from drawing in 10a this morning! Vanessa and I spent a few hours in the Woodman Pub which is just across the road from Highgate Woods.
Very peaceful, just a few mums with their babies. Vanessa seized the moment when a nanny came and sat near us – she was quick to include her into her picture. The nanny was delighted!!!!
We plan to return to The Woodman for more inspiration very soon and possibly find more people to add atmosphere.
Vanessa’s picture is the one with the nanny!!!!
A very busy day but I’m so glad I managed to squeeze in a quick visit to the Pastel Society Annul Exhibition. A member of the group I belong to (the East Finchley Open Artists) has 2 beautiful pastel pictures in the exhibition which closes at the end of this weekend.
I photographed her pictures but they have not come out that well. One Of the hallmarks of Christine Watson’s work is the deep deep colours she achieves – not an easy thing to do with pastels.
These photos don’t do justice to the actual pictures!!!
A few more of my favourites
The top one of these three breathtaking pictures by Matthew Draper deservedly won one of the awards.
Then I am always attracted to more formal graphic pictures and loved all of these!!
Before leaving the gallery I took a quick peek at the Wapping Group of Artists Exhibition in the smaller gallery. Loads of wonderful paintings of boats and barges as one would expect. This exhibition is on for another week
I wanted to brighten up my hall with some new paintings. The prints I had, dated back at least 20 years and I had ceased to notice them.
The colours needed to be predominantly mellow yellows, greys and blues.
I started with this heron
Then worked on some cockatoos
Still not satisfied – now for my third attempt
This is the one I have chosen to go with the heron
The two pictures hang side by side in my hall
Friends who know my love of painting in monochrome have been surprised that I have not been earlier to this wonderful exhibition! I think the main reason it has taken so long (the exhibition is about to close) is that I have been keen to move on, to experiment with colour. But there were some fascinating pictures – a lot of classic pictures like this very detailed painting titled A Girl at a Window by Louis-Leopold Boilly and a portrait by Duerer
The Dutch artist De Witte painted with such skill that his pictures really do look like bas-relief
But surprisingly there is a Giacometti portrait of his young wife, and next to it – a Picasso.
Her is very strange painting of an early body builder – quite repulsive!
I had hoped to buy some postcards of my favourite paintings. There were very few on sale so the assistant in the shop said I could photograph a few of the paintings in the catalogue.
The painting that impressed me the most was a portrait by Chuck Close. He had formed a grid on a photograph and created a huge painting using 2 inch squares. When getting up close you can see each square has a unique pattern, but stand back and there is an exact likeness.
A couple of artists had taken photos from newspapers and created original paintings.
One by Gerhard Richter was enlarged and used on the wall before entering the exhibition. Stunning!!!
Magical lights on the buildings along Regent Street this evening. I missed the event last year so was determined to go along and see what it was all about after reading an article in Metro.
The traffic was diverted and there was a festival atmosphere with hundreds of young people swarming along the road. Of course a great many people were taking selfies in front of the beautiful buildings.
Here are a few of my photos!!!
There were some dancers with luminous umbrellas in the middle of the street
Leicester Square had some interesting lights for the children
A nice start to the year with the Highgate#Watercolour Group – Arvind gave us a lot of useful tips on how to improve our paintings of clouds using very few colours! Basically all we need is cobalt blue and light red, possibly a touch of sepia yellow to start off the clouds. I was surprised at how little water he used.
Arvind brought in some of his beautiful paintings
En route to the Tate Britain I noticed a stunning statue of a dancer – not sure how long it has been there as I am usually in such a hurry to meet some friend or other but was early today and had time to look around!
The Impressionists in London exhibition was packed out! Amazing!! A lot of French, as could be expected but a great many English people were particularly interested in the photos and early paintings depicting war scenes in Paris caused by the commune riots. So much so that was very difficult to get close enough to see the works in the first room. I’m afraid I moved on after just seeing a few very striking lithographs of street scenes by Monet showing bomb damage and dead bodies lying in the streets, and one lovely painting of the Tuileries!!
It was strange seeing very English subjects painted in the French Impressionist style.
Some lovely landscapes by Pissarro including one of a cricket match titled Hampton Court Green and a lovely painting by Monet titled Hyde Park.
But my favourite paintings were 3 by Whistler of the Thames!! Beautiful sweeps of lucid turquoise blue with just a few touches of yellow ochre depicting lights in the distance. They looked as though they had been painted on silk!!!
This photo really doesn’t show the painting accurately!! The wonderful luminous blue and contrasting yellow just has to be seen in the exhibition!!
Very disappointing!!! Usually I love Cezanne but I found this exhibition very dull and was round in less than an hour!! His explanation that the subject was of little importance to him but only the style of painting interested him was abundantly clear – his wife looked plain and drab in one painting after another, all very similar. I actually found some of the earliest portraits where he experimented working only with a palette knife a bit more exciting.
The little picture of his son was charming, and the picture of his father at the start of the exhibition was truly stunning and I spent some time in front of it.
One of the pictures made me giggle! it said “Child with Doll” but the sitter looked middle aged – a bit simple in fact!! Another odd one was of a farmer with “massive hands” but in fact the hands were clean with elegant tapering fingers more in keeping with a pianist!
As usual I had fun taking photos in the few seconds the attendants’ backs were turned!!!
The frames were terrible and did nothing to enhance the pictures.
Finally my painting of the Regent Canal has been delivered and hung!! Allie was delighted to see I had included her and Owen with Lucia in the pushchair, just visible walking along the towpath!
I have read quite a few reviews of this exhibition – all rather negative and dwelling on Modigliani’s drug addiction and poverty and the fact he died so young of tuberculosis! The portraits were said to depict death through their blank and sometimes filmy eyes. This worried me as I have always been in awe of his lovely paintings and didn’t want to be disillusioned!!!
I saw only beautiful faces so full of expression – sometimes distain as in the picture of his agent, Leopold Zborowski, sarcasm in the expression of Jeanne Hebuterne, and quizzical from his “Seated Nude”. In fact, all the portraits had very distinctive faces despite being stylised – unlike the portraits of Giacometti which all looked the same whoever he was painting.
I didn’t like many of the large nudes – they seemed very repetitive and far to pink!!
I couldn’t bring myself to buy the official catalogue as the cover had one of the nudes (SO pink) but bought one of the other books with a nicer cover – I just made sure my favourite picture of Madam de Pompadour was included!
Modigliani was a perfectionist and continually refined his sculptures – the lines becoming ever more refines and delicate!!
The similarity of these two profiles is very striking!