Slightly struggling, I am putting together a list of equipment for artists to take to Casa Rosa for our week of painting in October. As I try to make a reasonable (not enormous) list of suggested colours I thought I’d look at palettes used by Spanish masters. Joachin Sorolla, a glorious artist renowned for his depiction of light was my first thought; what a distraction. Every picture is singing with life and light.
There is a major exhibition of his work coming to the National Gallery in London in spring of 2019. For more information try this link Sorolla exhibition
Apparently his plein air palette was as follows: Cobalt Violet, Rose Madder, All the Cadmium Reds, Cadmium Orange, All the Cadmium Yellows, Yellow Ochre, Chrome Green, Viridian, Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Lead White
Henry Lamb (1883-1960) stands amongst the most distinctive, talented but unjustly forgotten figurative painters of the early decades of the last century. The excellent Out of the Shadows exhibition at Salisbury Museum is the first major retrospective in over 30 years and aims to put Lamb back in the forefront of twentieth Century British art.
WELL WORTH A VISIT
The exhibition is on until 30th September, 2018.
Henry Lamb was one of the leading British figurative painters of the first part of the 20th century. He was also an accomplished musician, trained as a doctor and his friends described him as a well-read and erudite conversationalist. A close friend of Augustus John, patron of Stanley Spencer and friends with members of the Bloomsbury Group, he was a founder member of the Camden Town Group in 1911. Portraiture played an important role in his career as a painter, but his townscapes and landscapes as well as his early subject pictures of Ireland and Brittany and his work in both World Wars reveal him to be a painter of considerable range and talent. This exhibition is the first major retrospective of Henry Lamb’s work since 1984. Time then for him to emerge from the shadows…
The exhibition represents a partnership between The Salisbury Museum and Poole Museum and is co-curated by Harry Moore-Gwyn, an independent curator, dealer and writer on modern British art, whose previous shows have included Kenneth Rowntree (Pallant House Gallery, Chichester and Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden), Laurie Lee (Royal Geographical Society) and Walter Bonner Gash (Alfred East Gallery, Kettering).
The exhibition represents a partnership between The Salisbury Museum and Poole Museum under the umbrella of the Wessex Museums Partnership, supported by Arts Council England. Poole Museum, who will mount a similar Henry Lamb exhibition in 2019, are curating an exhibition about Augustus John in 2018, which comes to Salisbury in 2019. For full details of Poole Museum’s Augustus John: Drawn from Life exhibition 26 May – 30 September, 2018 please click here
This sounds like ‘how to survive middle age’; maybe it is…
Many studies have shown that life drawing in a class enhances your life, helps concentration, general coordination and is a good thing to do.
These classes are going to be using models doing something more than modelling. We hope to have a ballerina, possibly a martial arts expert or boxer, a musician, and something Christmassy for the December class. (sorry to mention Christmas in JULY).
Life classes will be at Bransbury in the Studio attached to Riverside Cottage. They will mostly be on Tuesday evenings, from 18.00 until 21.00.
Cass Art shops are full of helpful, experienced artists who can guide you towards delicious bits and pieces of equipment. When it comes to packing for a holiday what do you take with you? Clearly you can not take everything. Below is part of the CASS Art Blog. For more go to their website.
I thought the bit about being Airport Savvy was particularly useful.
HOW TO PAINT ON THE GO: OUR TRAVEL TIPS & TECHNIQUES
‘Windmill’ by Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
Packing light is every artist’s nightmare. Whether you’re painting in plein air or planning an urban sketching tour, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to narrowing down the essentials for a trip. With your studio host to hundreds of materials at your fingertips, where do you begin? We asked our staff artists about their must have materials and their top tips and techniques for taking your practice on the go.
LIMIT YOUR PALETTE
Reducing your palette is first trick to travelling light. A core range of colours can be used to create a spectrum of different shades. Try limiting your choice of palette to six essential pigments, such Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow, Terre Verde or Sap Green, Ultramarine and Titanium White. Using an artist quality paint loaded with pigment will ensure the colours don’t muddy, and your hand-mixed shades will remain bold and rich in colour.
Whether you’re painting or drawing on the move, most brands offer sets tailored to plein air, landscape or portraiture themes, helping you limit your colours to just the essentials. Michael Harding Plein Air Set offers a selection perfect for outdoor painters whilst the Sennelier Landscape Set offers oil pastel artists a selection of earthy pigments.
There is nothing worse than having hundreds of pounds worth of art materials confiscated at the airport security desks. Explore our top tips for taking your materials abroad and make security a stress free experience.
1) If you’re travelling hand luggage only at the airport, remember that all liquids in your hand luggage must be below 100ml and in a clear, zip lock bag. This includes all toiletries, creams and gels and is limited to a maximum of 15 items per person. Tubes of paint, inks, mediums and gels all count towards this restriction.
2) If you’re planning a big painting trip, artist paints are permitted, providing they are not lead based. To be on the safe side, check a bag into the hold to avoid disappointment when travelling through security.
3) Be mindful of the materials you are packing. Hazardous or flammable liquids are not allowed, so leave your brush cleaners and turps at home.
4) It may not seem like a dangerous item, but some materials can fall under the sharps and tools category. Ensure all lino cutting tools, palette knives, scalpels and scissors are all checked into your hold luggage to ensure they aren’t disposed of at security.
OUR STAFF ARTIST’S ADVICE
“I was in Bologna and kicked myself for not taking the Rembrandt Retractable Brushes!” says Heather from Soho. “Small and affordable, they were perfect for painting on the go – especially if you prefer to paint with a natural hair rather than the synthetic brushes.”
“This year I am going to South Italy and Israel. For both destinations I need to take a flight so lightweight and portable art materials are my thing.” says Aurora in Soho. “For the past two years I have been travelling with a standard size watercolour set and I have always noticed how much heavier my overall luggage is because of my full size equipment. This year, I bought the Cass Art Watercolour Quarter Pan Set with sketchbook bundle, and I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the paint!
The quality choice of pigments such as Cadmiums, Cobalt, Viridian and Quinacridone and the little brush make it a must have for me. I can already feel the bliss of being with my friend by the River Jordan, holding my slim watercolour set under the sun.”
Winsor & Newton offer a diverse range of watercolour markers and watercolour sticks as a great alternative for taking artist quality pigments on the go. Plus, these will not register as liquids when passing through airport security, so are perfect addition for those trips abroad.
Derwent Pencil Wrap
Pen wraps make organising your essential materials a simple process, whilst saving space in your bag. The elastic tags expand to fit an array of different materials, from brushes and pens to pastels and charcoal. The range of different compartments lets you take the vital parts of your studio away with you, whilst keeping your colours separate. As the wrap tightly holds your materials, it also reduces the risk of breakage in transport.
Painting in plein air can be a challenge, especially when the comforts of your studio are left behind. The Jullian Sketch Box Travel Easel is light and easily dismantled, with a free carry bag to make transporting from A to B a smoother ride. The Jakar Easel with Telescopic Legs lets you adjust your easel to suit your surroundings. Whether you’re on rocky moors or a sandy hilltop, this easel can adjust to suit any situation.
Water brush pens are perfect for on the go watercolour and ink work. Fill up the handle with a small amount of water and apply directly to your palette or drawing. No more balancing pots of water. You can create washes by gently squeezing more water through the brush.
TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING LIGHT
Try soaking a small cloth with some turps and sealing it in a zip lock bag to clean your brushes on the go. This will remove the majority of the paint until you get home, saving your brushes from being ruined by dried paint.
Consider taking preparatory sketches and drawings to revisit when you return home.
Ask yourself, do I really need it? Can this be worked in more detail when I get home? Chances are the essentials will be enough to help you capture your scenes on the go.
Winner Richard Allen on set of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
PREPARE WITH ARTIST TIPS
“My tip is to pack all three basic colours and then maybe three more that you really like, which should be enough to start with (especially since it also means they can be mixed).”
Artist, illustrator and designer Felix Scheinberger challenges you to take your watercolours on-the-go and refresh your approach to capturing urban scenes. ‘Urban Watercolour Sketching’ offers tips and techniques to help you capture the moments around you with colour confidence. Find out more about Felix’s approach to watercolour in our exclusive interview: Storytelling in Colour: with Felix Scheinberger.
“I have a very tiny box of half pan watercolour paints which I use for everything – even quite large works, and I keep the same colours in my watercolour and oil selection which is very tight – two blues, two reds, two yellows, golden ochre, burnt umber and cadmium orange.”
Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 uses her Moleskine sketchbooks to capture on-the-go watercolours, before bringing them back to the studio to experiment with scale. Explore more about her practice and how she prepared for painting on-set outside for LAOTY in her exclusive interview.
NB These are not the dates that were originally published (The old dates clashed with half terms)
November 5th, 6th and 7th
10.00am – 4.00pm
At the Studio, Riverside Cottage, Bransbury
On this three day course you will start with a life model, drawing for reference and information. Using very rapid sculptural techniques you will construct 3D models from your drawings using paper mâché, tape, wood, and probably wire, and anything else that seems appropriate. When you start to ‘draw’ the model in 3D different information is needed – this adds to the interesting step from straight forward life drawing to sculpture.
The sculpture will become the model for your drawing and painting over the rest of the course.
This method opens your imagination to adapting the model. It sounds a bit weird and creepy – and why not? The models can take you way beyond masks, or even catrinas as seen below. The resulting drawings and paintings have an observed reality. It should be an exciting few days.
Coffee, tea, biscuits and a light lunch will be provided each day.
Some materials will be provided but you will be encouraged to use/recycle old drawings and paintings as well as other dry waste materials (egg cartons, loo roll holder, boxes, posters…who knows)
This is a Saturday course designed for those of you who have never painted with oils, or are very rusty.
I will provide the materials – you can start to accumulate your own once you know what you like to use. Picture below is sweet shop made real…you will need considerably less to get started. To start with this set would be like learning to drive in an Aston Martin.
You will start with looking at tone and becoming used to working with oils. It will be in a fun and supportive atmosphere, though possibly a bit messy.
The boring bits
10am – 1.00pm
Saturdays 20th and 27th October, and 3rd November, 2018
Materials, tea and coffee included
If you want to know more about this course please contact me Kate Measham
Sewing and knitting have ‘stitch and bitch’… this is the drawing version, without the niceness.
It has become a regular fixture on alternate Thursdays. Pick morning or afternoon sessions. There is a limited amount of space so there will be a max of 7 per class.
Drawing is a skill; it requires practise, guidance and encouragement, adventure and more practise. In this class you will be taught about materials, different techniques and, very importantly, you will learn how to look.
This is a class that is appropriate for all abilities.
You may not have picked up a pencil for a long time, or you might attend a regular, weekly class. The idea of this class, and others that will follow, is to extend yourself, try something new, revisit something old and to remind yourself that drawing is exciting.
Painting, Painting, Painting
Sept 27th, October 25th, November 8th, 22nd, December 6th
£60 for whole day (£275 for 5)
Ramshill, Easton Common Hill, East Winterslow
10am – 4.00 pm
This will be a relaxed day with a different theme to each class including mark making, cloth, glass, reflective surfaces, shape and tone – normal stuff. You can work in any media.
The guiding ethos will be about making your work exciting, and interesting.
It hope this will become a regular fixture on alternate Thursdays. They will be full day sessions. There is a limited amount of space so there will be a max of 6 per class.
The Art Fund is well worth looking at. If you become a member you help to fund purchases, restorations and other good things. On top of that you get a National Art Pass that gets you into galleries for free or half price. Art Fund
The article below about New Year’s Resolutions was on the Art Fund website at the beginning of the year. Midsummer’s Day is any minute so I thought I’d remind myself about what they suggested as ‘arty’ resolutions.
Keep your resolutions with advice from these five artists
Be more productive, more perceptive, more curious about the world. What are your New Year’s resolutions? These quotes from five inspirational artists offer words of wisdom to help kickstart your 2018.
1. Pablo Picasso’s productivity
Talk about making the most of a year; for Pablo Picasso, 1932 was a frenzy of creation, with the artist making more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper in the space of just a few months.
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, this prolific period in Picasso’s life is testament to what can be achieved with dedication and application – and how everything can change in as little as a year.
As he once famously said: ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.’
Opening in 2018, Picasso 1932: Love, Fame Tragedy at Tate Modern explores Picasso’s ‘year of wonders’, when he completed many of his major works – including three portraits of his lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, produced in a five-day window.
2. Claude Monet’s observation
Claude Monet used similar motifs throughout his work – lily pads, flowers, water, haystacks – all depicted in his distinct, highly perceptive style, capturing the effects of natural light through broken colour and diffuse brushstrokes.
His approach is a lesson in the power of observation, and taking time to appreciate the scene around you.
As Monet once put it: ‘Paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see.’
3. Tacita Dean’s curiosity
Working primarily in film, contemporary artist Tacita Dean has travelled the world – from Bodmin Moor in England to the vast lands of Wyoming in the American West – discovering detail we all too often ignore.
‘You go places, and you want to make something as a result of that,’ she says.
Dean’s attentiveness to place serves as a reminder to engage with our environment, to immerse ourselves in the moment and to listen to the stories of the land.
An upcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy, Tacita Dean: Landscape, illustrates her restless quest to document the world around us, at a time when it truly requires our attention.
4. Bridget Riley’s perception
Vivid colours and patterns create movement in Bridget Riley’s Op art paintings. The optical effect of curving elements and diagonal lines encourages you to see and think differently. A new outlook for 2018?
As Bridget Riley said: ‘Perception is the medium.’
Often termed the ‘father’ of modern art, Paul Cézanne was a pioneer in the way he combined formal experimentation with an intensely emotional, humane approach to his subjects.
Downcast eyes, raised eyebrows and pensive smiles: Cézanne’s portraits are laden with feeling, and the moods of the painter often seem as visible in his images as those of his sitters.
As the artist once said: ‘A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.’
Bonus: Winnie-the-Pooh’s open heart
Okay, so Pooh Bear is not an artist – but he is an icon thanks to author AA Milne and illustrator EH Shepard. This year, in what can sometimes feel like an increasingly divided world, his infectious sense of wonder – and fabled, unflagging kindness – might just offer the example we need.
After all, we could do worse than take a leaf out of Pooh’s book and remember, ‘A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.’