Watercolours at the Mall Galleries and Monet at the Royal Academy

Todays trip to London was great

First was the Mall Galleries and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours - an exhibition of contemporary watercolours. We met up with Katherine again.

Watercolour here includes acrylics and gouache and there was a great deal of mixed media work involving charcoal or pastel or oil pastel, ink or pencil. No hard and fast rules to stifle creativity here :)

Unfortunately they have no web site so it isn't possible to link here to images that were in the exhibition but where I can I've given links to see other work by artists I liked.

The work was wonderfully varied - from the super realism of Janet Skea, incredible paintings showing every fibre in fabrics, simple arrangements of delicate objects in a limited colour range, creating subtle and beautiful finished pieces, quiet and contemplative; to the luscious abstract paintings of Morocco by Leslie Goodwin, again with a severely limited palette but this time freely and boldy painted with the addition of body colour and oil pastel or vivid colourful abstracted landscapes by Jean Robinson and others and of course more traditional landscapes, portraits and still life.

Joanne Last http://www.joannelast.co.uk lovely abstracted works

Jean Robinson showed some lovely abstract landscapes, reminiscent of John Blockley's work

Janet Skea showed incredibly finely detailed and beautiful works - realist paintings don't normally appeal to me as much but the sheer quality of these shines out - sadly the tiny reproductions don't begin to show the quality of the originals http://www.watersidestives.com/index.php?page=works&artist=34&picture=240

Terry McKivragan http://www.manorhousegallery.co.uk/mckivragan.htm

Anne McCormack - loose figures http://www.john-noott.com/artist/mccormack-vp-swa~anne/mccormack-vp-swa~anne.php

Ronald Madox showed more images with an emphasis on pattern in the landscape

http://www.manorhousegallery.co.uk/kent.htm Colin Kent

http://www.bridgeman.co.uk/about/collections.asp?type=cBridgeman%20Artists%20Copyright%20Service&topic=514
Felicity House showed some beautiful mixed media pieces - I'd really liked her work in the pastel exhibition a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.rwa.org.uk/lgodwn.htm

Cecilia Matson showed some beautiful work but I've only been able to find some drawings online.

http://www.pierrepointgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/viewexhibition.asp?exhibitionid=195¤tdb=exhibitions&exhibition=The%20Long%20View Terry Watts, minimalist landscapes - very good

http://www.catherinebrennand.co.uk/ - a very talented and innovative painter, who sadly died young last year.

http://www.paulbanning.com/Landscape.htm showed a wonderful calm, shining church interior, full of light.

http://www.matbarberkennedy.com/mbk_frames.html




one of the Monet pastels of the Thames




Then it was on to the Royal Academy, lunch in the friends room - delicious - and on to see the sketches and pastels of Monet. Most are in private collections so it was a rare chance to see them. The website says:

It offers a ground-breaking exploration of the role of draughtsmanship throughout the artist’s long career, overturning the conventional notion that Monet painted his impressions of nature directly onto the canvas. New light is shed on Monet’s working methods by presenting a significant body of his preparatory studies, finished drawings and pastels, alongside representative examples of his paintings. In demonstrating the relationship between his works on paper and in oil, Monet’s hidden talent as a draftsman is revealed, a gift that he publicly disavowed.

It was fascinating. There were brilliant caricatures of friends, studies for compositions of some of his well known paintings, early works done when he was 16, through to pastel studies of London - done because his canvasses hadn't arrived and he was temporarily unable to work in paint. Pastel was still regarded by many in the art world as a slightly second rate medium at that time. The pastels are fresh and contemporary looking and have stood the test of time well. His sketches and drawing showed excellent draftsmanship and, of course, keen observation.

Monet said of England 'This is not a country where anything can be finished on the spot, nothing is the same twice'
It's so true that nothing is the same twice here

Exhaustion set in at that point! we would have liked to have seen the Seago exhibition not too far away but there just wasn't enough energy left.

Katherine managed some sketches again, but though I took a sketchbook, all I did was write a couple of quotes I liked so that I wouldn't forget them!

I'm writing this up as I unwind and now I need to sleep :)

edit - I wrote this last night when half asleep! and forgot to put in a link to Katherines blog - where she'll write her report :) http://makingamark.blogspot.com/

and a link to Glen's work http://sitekreator.com/theassociationofleicestershireartists/glen_heath_1.html

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