Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the four year project - post 4

After many weeks of working on other projects, I've now come back to this painting with a vengeance. This post shows my first major sitting on that work since returning to it.

You can see I blocked in all the color, filling in the blank areas of the canvas (well wood). Placing my eldests hair color, the book and picture frame (on right),  allowed me to final gauge the overall tonal range. I have now gone back and toned the chair and the bureau behind a little, to get the range closer to what I wanted.

I also worked in to my youngest childs face, in previous posts I hadn't quite got his features right so I need to adjust elements to bring it into line. It always amazes me how subtle the human face is; where the smallest of changes to a nostril shape can define 'his' nose, and single brush stroke around on a lip can change the expression dramatically.

You may also notice I've blocked out the vertical from a stand light behind my youngest sons shoulder. Though accurate, the line of it fell to closely to the vertical of his shirt below. I will move this over an inch or so in time.

Few other quick things - I know in time I'll have to fix the foot in the bottom right. It's accurate, but looks too long for the body, I fear removing it will loose the figures grounding to, well the ground. Also eyebrows just placed with a quick dab, will have to refine later. Finally I really need to refine the tone of that orange shirt....

In the next post you'll see some close ups on the faces and I resolve them further.

Graham Sutherland

More thoughts from my travels this summer to Britain. This time I visited the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal England to see an exhibition of Graham Sutherlands landscape work.

In Britain Sutherland is probably most well known for his religious pieces, particularly his depictions of Jesus on the cross and for a portrait of Winston Churchill. A painting that was so hated by Churchills wife that she destroyed it. This exhibition however focused on his love of the land and how he responded too it.

The Abbot Hall always presents an interesting and good exhibition and this was well displayed and very informative. I suppose in truth, I've never been wholly taken with Sutherlands works, (perhaps with the exception of his depictions of the cross). Too much of his work in my mind is too derivative of others. I can't help but look at his art and think of Picasso, many of his Palette choices are extremely close to the middle and late periods of Picasso's work. Additionally his structure of the figure and adaptation of its with form, is again unmistakeably reminiscent.

This exhibition does note his influences, mentioning both Picasso, and regularly Francis Bacon; and I can see that too.

So why criticize? Well to my mind, to be inspired and work from another artists work is fine, understandable and allowable; but to be too derivative and not to advance your work beyond the initial inspiration or your peers is a mistake. Sutherland I feel is terribly guilty of this and though I like many of his paintings; I find I am not thrilled or exulted by them. The addition of the closeness to other better painters leaves me wanton for something more, and well in truth, someone else!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

White Tulips awash with green

Finished this painting a few weeks ago now, but the green back drape seemed a little insipid and I wanted to adjust the background blue.  I made subtle changes to both. This photo still shows the back drape as a pretty pungent color, but the original holds it better.

 White Tulips awash with green
18X24   Acrylic on panel

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sign up and win!

Okay I know it's a bit tacky, but....  If you enter good luck! and tell your art loving friends www.anguspaintings.com

Friday, August 2, 2013

Samuel Peploe - Scottish Colorist

In July we took a few weeks vacation back to Britain and also enjoyed a few days in the Netherlands. As we moved around from one city to the next visiting friends and family, whenever I was able to I took the opportunity to visit the local art museums and galleries. Over the next few days and weeks Im going to write about each one Heres the first.

Aberdeen Art Gallery

When back in my home town of Aberdeen (Scotland), I visited the art museum; a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me. I remember regularly visiting this gallery throughout my childhood and teenage years. Without doubt its the place that I was first exposed to art and I suspect I have my mother to thank for that. One memory that sticks in my head from those childhood years, is my mother drawing us close to a painting and commenting that it was so well painted you could almost touch it. Then shockingly she reached out and actually touched the canvas, before moment later being yelled at by the guard!

 This was the painting, you'll notice it now hangs behind glass. My mother will be disappointed! :-)

The museum holds so many memories like this for me, as well as countless memorable paintings, (or at least paintings that resonate with me). They have a fine eclectic selection of works with one painting from most of the major artists you can think of (well within reason). They also have a nice selection of Scottish and British artists, including of course, a number of paintings by my favorite Scottish artist 'Joan Eardley'. 

Brother and Sister by J Eardley

You might enjoy this post from last time I was in Britain and I visited her old studio? http://www.anguswilsonstudio.blogspot.com/2011/06/visiting-watchie.html

Samuel Peploe

The reason for visiting the gallery was a visiting Peploe show. The artist was one of the famed Scottish colorists, and many would say the strongest and the best. I'm particularly fond of his early and mid-career paintings, and they had good examples within three large exhibition rooms. They also exhibited central glass cabinets, with a variety of interesting items, such as one of his palettes*, sketch books, some of his brushes and a selection of items that he used for his still lifes e.g. a small plaster statue, a Chinese vase etc.

(*I have always gotten a kick out of seeing famous artists palettes, but I’m never quite sure why?)

In his early career, he painted with strong loose brush strokes thick with paint and theres a wonderful confident elegance to his brushwork and the thick luster to the paint. The colors in these are pretty monochromatic and predominantly muted. But theyre beautiful to look at and a testament to his ability with paint.

During his mid-career, he spent time with John Fergusson in Paris and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Monet and Picasso. This Parisian influence breathed life into his drab palette, adding an impressionist colorist scheme. You can also see an advancement of more developed and dynamic compositions. During this period his brushwork also tightens, which I feel is a shame; but the additions of color and composition make for interesting and really beautiful work. 

In the final phase of his lifes work I feel he pulled back a little on palette, the colors became more muted in their ranges; perhaps what some may describe as pastel-like in tone. The brushwork though still loose is increasingly measured (& careful). Many prefer this final period, but for me some of the life or energy has been lost. The once loose brush strokes and strong color schemes have has been replaced with something overly considered and careful; a skilled painter measuring his trade, but perhaps lacking in passion?

The only item I may have liked to add to this exhibition would have been the addition of a few works by other Scottish colorists to hang alongside Peploes paintings. This I feel would have fleshed out and framed his life, illustrating his friendships/peers and influences? Though most would agree he was the leader and strongest painter of the Scottish colorist, he is still firmly linked to them, and therefore hard to divorce from the movement. 

The exhibition was however one of the highlights of my trip. There was a wonderful selection of his work, it was well lit, and well presented.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Southwest Art Magazine

It's small but often!  This little AD is now running in every issue of Southwest art magazine .. If you have a copy, why not have some fun and hunt for it?  :-)