2016 Diary

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And so another year finishes and Y is for Yellow is complete. Here is my Z task – a Zippered Zebra:

Zippered Zebra
Zippered Zebra

w/c 7th November 2016

Such a treat! An artist stewarding at the NOA show last week recommended this to me and I am so grateful: Thick Time featuring William Kentridge’s work at Whitechapel Gallery.  I found the whole experience so engaging. The video gives some idea, but neither the power nor the humour of it. This review is great and also has pictures of the enormous woven designs with horses over maps and bits of text. Even the staircase had a figure on it – created with bits of black tape stuck on the risers. Marvellous.

w/c 31st October 2016

Good combination of visits: first quick view of the Ensor paintings at the RA. Then looked in on the many rooms full of paintings, furniture etc. on show at Sotheby’s: the Bowie collection coming up at auction soon.  Finally to the NOA exhibition of a huge spread of styles, nicely hung. (Of course, I wish my entry had been on the wall – maybe next time…)

w/c 24th October 2016

Saw lots of interesting pictures, places and ‘objets d’art’ on a recent holiday but this week I attended one of the best exhibitions I’ve seen in a long time. It was small enough not to be exhausting, contained work by many artists I was already aware of including some of my favourites, and was so well hung that it seemed as if it could be no other way even though the list of artists might not seem to suggest compatibility e.g. Sidney Nolan, Samuel Palmer and Craigie Aitchison. Towards Night is at the Towner art gallery. I would have gone just to see again a personal favourite: Chagall’s The Poet Reclining. Love it. Wonderful show.

w/c 5th September 2016

Where did August go? I must have done something! Well, this week I had a nice outing to Tate Britain. There are dancers in one of the halls at present. They are there ‘all day, every day’ as the receptionist told me. I did some iPad sketches of their constant movement. Then I followed one of the excellent guides on the free lunchtime tour and finally went round Painting with Light. Good outing!

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w/c 25th July 2016

Was attracted to the exhibition of work by Etel Adnan at the Serpentine Galleries by a tiny photo in a magazine. It was fascinating. What a life story!

Also a first visit to the Bomberg exhibition at the Towner in Eastbourne. I shall go again. I was drawn to the wonderful colour in some works and recalled the recent Tate Britain show of Frank Auerbach’s landscapes. I visited Cliff Holden (founder of the Borough Group who referred to Bomberg as his Master) in Sweden once and this encourages me to visit any exhibition including paintings by members of the group.

Y is for Yellow continues. We are up to O is for Opposites and our second individual series of pieces. Mine is revisiting different ways of using ink. This is ‘wash-off’ – using poster paint as a resist.

a small experiment using wash-off method
up-down

w/c 11th July 2016

Swift tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe made me feel the years vanish – I see it was 1993 when the last big show of her work was on in London (at the Hayward). Feels quite recent! As before I admired her work in charcoal where the textures were lovely. And the Stieglitz and other photographs very striking.

On to the British Museum’s Sunken Cities which was huge and really needed several shorter visits. Such amazing work. A very interesting feature was the description of cooperation with newly arrived migrants to the cities and the acceptance of correspondences between their gods and the ‘home’ versions. Much more civilised than some of today’s news stories!

w/c 4th July 2016

Rain seems to have cancelled play for quite a few weeks! But had a splendid summer day out to see the new collection of exhibitions at Pallant House Gallery. Particularly enjoyed the extraordinary display of carvings by Friedrich Nagler.

Drew just a few examples on the iPad.

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So intriguing.

w/c 16th May 2016

iPad drawing of detail from a window by Chagall
iPad drawing of detail from a window by Chagall

Visit to the little church in Tudeley with windows designed by Chagall.   Also to Eastbourne for a fascinating talk about the lithographs commissioned to brighten up the Lyons corner houses (good selection shown at the site of this press and this one). Also at the Towner Gallery a marvellous display of children’s black and white art on the year’s chosen theme Walking the Line. Fantastic to see it professionally curated and lit by the gallery staff. Sadly there are no images to see online but it is still open until 5th June.

w/c 9th May 2016

Chris Lewis' ceramics on show
South Heighton Pottery garden

Enjoyed a marvellous selection of Emily Young’s work at Bowman Sculpture and an outing to call on John Scarland to see his latest exhibition, followed by a visit to South Heighton Pottery to see Chris Lewis’ fantastic ceramics on show for the Brighton Festival (along with other work – beautiful painting and gorgeous wood vessels). Then went again to Alfriston where the Clergy House garden looked incredible. Good week!

w/c 2nd May 2016

In the midst of massive de-cluttering, finishing a series for the above course and housework, I had to visit The London Original Print Fair. This is one of my favourite shows at the Royal Academy each year. The variety of the work and methods of printing is great. I enjoyed meeting the artist of some of the art I liked most: Kristiane Semar with her beautiful collages with monotype. But there was a huge number of splendid things to see.

w/c 25th April 2016

Busy, busy, busy finishing a series for Y course but visited a room of Dutch Flowers at the National Gallery and nearby some wonderful portraits. Also got to the current exhibitions at Pallant House: John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism and the amazing touring exhibition Radical Craft. (If you want to see ‘small’, look at painted people carved from toothpicks and sculptures carved from the end of a carpenter’s pencil…)

Spring 1986 after Piper
Spring 1986 after Piper
an idea of the face in summer foliate head
Summer after John Piper

w/c 11th April 2016

To Mascalls Gallery to see what turns out to be their last exhibition: Leon Morrocco’s What the river knew. What a shame to lose such a great local venue.

w/c 4th April 2016

Visited Dulwich Picture Gallery to see Nikolai Astrup’s works. Some had such presence – loved the giant rhubarb and many of the pictures of his old home, his father’s parsonage, and the last room full of the bonfire custom paintings. He used really luscious greens. The exhibition contained examples of his ‘mixed media’ prints too – wood cuts with oil paint. See the videos about him and also the one below them about the amazing digital display called Forest Folk. Mind bending!

w/c 14th March 2016

Glad to hear my work sold at the Affordable Art Fair! Hurrah. Got to see the Klint work at the Serpentine Gallery (which sadly I did not enjoy as much as I’d hoped). But the gardens were amazing with daffodils and magnolias. Then to Beaux Arts in Maddox Street and a treat – Anne Rothenstein. Love the clarity, collage and colour.

w/c 29th February 2016

Busy, busy… delivered my two pictures to Bankside Gallery for the Contemporary Watercolour exhibition and attended the preview. Revisited the RA show. Caught up with work for Carla’s course.

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w/c 8th February 2016

Visited Tate Britain to see the Frank Auerbach show again and to look for the first time at the wealth of material on show about the empire. Shall have to go again as so much to see and read. No hope of my mastering the geography/history of so many things but loved the fantastic paintings in watercolour and/or gouache, the early photographs, carvings etc.

Walked from there to the RA passing London squares starting to show spring flowers and admired London plane trees which had been pollarded so every quirky limb ended in a lumpen shape with many ‘fingers’ emerging – like a child’s drawing. Revisited the wonderful garden paintings.

w/c 25th January 2016

Visit to the RA’s garden extravaganza – rooms of amazing colour.  Some well-known names with pictures I didn’t recognise from books, and others I had seen before. Artists I had not encountered before and I think the most stunning picture for me was by one of these: Joaquin Mir y Trinxet. Of course no postcard for that (they never feature my favourites!) and I can’t find the particular picture online. Good excuse to visit again though I expect the show to be totally swamped with people for weeks.

w/c 18th January 2016

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Icy start but a great day out. First to Ditchling to see some more of David Jones after liking his work at Pallant House Gallery last month. Small exhibition space but lots to see. Then to a favourite walk between Brighton and Hove in weather that made everyone smile. No wind, blue sky and sunny. Sea like a millpond.

w/c 11th January 2016

To the Fashion & Textile Museum to see Liberty in Fashion. Then on to Tate Modern to visit the Alexander Calder. I particularly enjoyed the wire sculptures and tried to draw some. They are like Klee lines but executed in a strand of wire. Here are some of my drawings:

Finished up at the RA to take a glance at the miniatures included in the Liotard exhibition. By chance this completed the circle because (with my glasses and a magnifying glass) I saw a collar on his 1700s self-portrait miniature with a cherry decoration which might have come from the Liberty show! Great day out.

w/c 4th January 2016

To the V&A to see a really wonderful exhibition of Indian fabrics. Really too much to take in during a single visit. Amazing colours from natural dyes and exceptional embroidery, applique, weaving. Gorgeous.

Also spent an hour in the new galleries with redecorated surroundings and Smartphone App etc. Will have to go again.