Thursday, March 22, 2012

David Hockney A Bigger Picture exhibition and new sketch.

Ruth and I went to see the new David Hockney exhibition A Bigger Picture,at The Royal Academy this week. RA link here
I have always liked Hockney's work and was pleased to see a few years ago that he was painting a lot of trees and using bright colours too. His Yorkshire landscapes are beautiful, and in this exhibition where a lot of them are gathered together, the result is impressive.

There's a range of work from very realistic charcoal drawings, to watercolours and large oil paintings and new prints made from Hockney's work on the i-pad. The landscapes in the dales with their swooping roads and bright fields take you with them on their journey. The joy and delight in the landscape is palpably communicated and meant I was not as exhausted as I can be after seeing a large exhibition. There's something about the use of colour and the strong bright colours that are energizing as well. I could feel myself drinking them up.

The detailed recordings of the changes through the seasons is a main part of Hockney's latest body of work. Painting from the same view point through the year. From snowy lanes to spring greens, heavier dark green summers to Autumn colours and corn fields. As you turn round you are surrounded by the seasons in all their rich variety.

Compared with the vibrancy of the paintings, the prints from the i-pad are much flatter and less intense. It was interesting to compare the different mediums. I always admire Hockney for his obvious delight in new technology and would follow his example if I had more money. So I was pleased to see his working with the i-pad, which no doubt takes some mastery with it's methods.
some of the effects the pencil type lines and soft brush effects were brilliant. But there is something very different about the effect of the hand/brush with paint.

The exhibition has been booked up for a while I think, but you can que for tickets about a 2 hour wait mostly the RA are saying. I'm not sure if I will be able to get back before it finishes on the 9th April. But I was inspired when I got back home to do the sketch of the Siver Birch tree with a golden light on it's branches below, out of the kitchen window. I also sorted out some of my tree photographs that I'd meant to print. So I can see some more trees arriving before too long.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Olympic site and Stratford photographs

The Olympic park is still a hive of activity with only a few months before the games. I went to Pudding mill station to walk to the View Tube and take some more photos of the site.
The viewing room at the View Tube was closed for a school class. It has been closed every time I've been along the last few times. It's a shame they didn't have a smallish platform at least that was open to the public all the time.

There is an Olympic shop on the site now, which I didn't look at. I did look at the mosaic exhibition though on display outside. There are some really beautiful and inspiring pieces and well worth seeing. The mosaics are by members of the British Mosaic Association their website here
I always think art has done one of it's jobs if I feel like making something myself in response to a piece I have seen.

The Orbit Tower had grown since I was last at this site. I still think what a lost opportunity for some thing great. I love a lot of modern and contempoary art, but Tatlins Tower was much better. The tower was recreated recently at the Royal Academy.

I was taking some photos around Stratford station too for my street photography work.

Turnaround at Wood Street Market and theFourth Plinth

I went down to Wood Street market, to put out a few more cards at our Arts Club gallery Turnaround yesterday. It was good to meet Pauline Evans and Nicolette Murin who have Turnaround 6. Turnaround website here

Their private view is on Thursday 6-8pm. It is good to see all the vibrant new units and have all that creative energy around. I hope people will support these new ventures.
Nicolette has a sound installation running so great music is happening there too.

While I was there I met up with Catherine of Significant Seams her website here.

Catherine has some great workshops running and projects, as well as quirky items for sale and materials. She is really enthusiastic about sewing and crafting and sharing her skills. Which I've noticed is a feature of lots of crafts people I recommend a visit.

Shirley Pountney was in her gallery/studio too and it was great to catch up with her, as she has not been well and not able to get to Wood Street as often as she would like. I really like a lot of her mystical paintings. Shirley usually has her front room open in Walthamstow village for the E17 Art trail each year.

I had gone over to Trafalgar Square a few days earlier to see the new sculpture on the Fourth Plinth. The latest commission is Elmgreen and Dragset's Powerless Structures, Fig. 101
Which is a bronze coloured gold of a child on a rocking horse. It is meant to celebrate the heroism of growing up and not glorify the past.
I can see the contrast with the usual generals on horseback, and I like the rocking horse for that reason. Though the rocking horse is rather a cypher than a well worn child's toy, which would have worked to give more feeling I think. But the face of the child seems to have too much of the Roman warrior about it to engage me emotionally with the idea of a child growing up or a sense of vulnerability.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Cities Street Photography exhibition at The Mill

I've just put up some of my street photos at The Mill, for an exhibition called Cities. Christian Mantio and Helen Porter are also showing work.

I've shown some more slightly humorous photographs including ones from Tate Modern, the Guildhall Pancake Races, Parliamentary Pancake Race and Walthamstow Market.

Christian is showing 10 of his New York photographs including vibrant street art, cars and city views.Helen is showing photos including some from Wood Street market.

The exhibition is open from Tuesday 6th March till the end of the month. Link to the Mill for info on directions here

Illuminate and Royal Manuscripts at The British Library and

Friday night was one of the British Library's late evening events. It was part of their Spring festival this week and the theme was illustration. It was a good opportunity to see the Royal Manuscripts exhibition before it closed on the 13th March too. Link to the exhibition here.

There were a mix of illustrators and activities and a bar and music as well. So there was a good atmosphere. It was good to see Mary Pullen there running an Book of Hours, illuminate a letter workshop. Mary's website here We were in an E17 Art trail exhibition at the Hornbeam a couple of years ago. Mary is part of the House of Illustration. Their website here.

I enjoyed Mr Scufff's Time out for Tea and Recession Busting Tips. Website here He was also the DJ on the night. James Jarvis's Spherical Dialogues made me smile too. Jame's website here There were graphic novels, cartoons and comics as well as illustrations for books, I am drawn to graphic novels and would like to make more illustrated books in some way.

The Illuminated manuscripts were stunning in the Royal Manuscripts Exhibition, with the benefit of there being very people there, so you got to see the books very easily. The gold in the illuminations really stood out in the low light, and I had a sense of how amazing it would have been to have had one of these precious books, at a time when there were few books around.

What always fascinates me are the little creatures and beasts that are drawn in the borders of the illustrations. I made a few quick sketches in my book as I went round.