If you want to join this trip tomorrow please meet at the exhibition desk at 11.50am.
You will be given a guided viewing of drawings by great British artists from Gainsborough to Hockney, followed by a chance to draw in the museum’s cast room. These guided tours offer a fascinating insight into the exhibition and are well worth having.
Tuesday, 23rd June 2015
11.50am at the Museum (timed entrance to exhibition) – 4.30pm
£25 (to include entrance to exhibition, and guided tour, and discount in the museum shop)
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has an exhibition of their fabulous collection of British drawings and watercolours – one of the largest and most important in the world.
Samuel Palmer (1805–81): The valley thick with corn
Great British Drawings shows more than one hundred works by some of the country’s greatest artists, from famous watercolours by Gainsborough and Turner, to the outstanding draughtsmanship of Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt, to 20th-century works by David Hockney, Gwen John and Walter Sickert.
Once you have been around this exhibition we will go to the cast room, downstairs in the museum. You will draw the statues using some of the artists’ techniques seen in the show.
You will need to bring a Sketchbook and dry drawing materials. There are some portable stools provided by the museum.
Longstock Park Nursery and Farm Shop is part of the John Lewis /Waitrose Group (http://www.longstocknursery.co.uk/). It has wonderful gardens with very well maintained borders, brick and flint walls, greenhouses, shops and a variety of things for sale. The Farm Shop sells a number of vegetables from the Leckford farms, and from other local sources. Its coffee shop and cafe is a wonderful place to grab a bit to eat, and a moment to pause and think about what you are doing.
I love going to Longstock to draw, focusing on the patterns, textures and colours of this busy working environment. I am running a course there on 13th to 16th July. It is a chance for you to create a piece of art based on research on site, and reflection in the studio. There will be a large element of sketching and visual note taking, followed by painting.
Dr Katherine Harloe, Associate Professor of Classics and Intellectual History, University of Reading
Browsing the exhibition Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art on a rainy afternoon, an Athenian red-figure mixing-bowl caught my attention. It shows the death of Kaineus, a mythical Thessalian hero who had the misfortune to be present at the wedding feast of Peirithoos, King of the Lapiths, and his bride Hippodameia. The celebrations famously ended in a fracas when the centaurs among the wedding guests became drunken and violent, attempting to rape their hosts’ wives. The ensuing battle, which the Lapiths won, came to stand for the conquest of savagery by civilisation. It features as such on the decoration of important civic and religious buildings, including the Parthenon and the temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai. On this vessel, made for mixing wine at a drinking party, it warns of the dangers of overindulgence.
It is holiday time of year – Packing is an art form – I ALWAYS take too many things with me on holiday.
When I go on holiday I have plans, aspirations, good intentions, and hopes – I’m sure you know what I mean. I used to pack accordingly, and on arrival I was almost too scared to open my very heavy art bag.
This does not need to happen. Less is more, as always.
List of Five Essential Items
1 sketchbook, no bigger than A4 (possibly a handbag size one as well but you will NEVER use both)
1 roll masking tape (small)
2 x Faber Castell thick pencils, 3B and 7B, 2 x diposable WH Smith retractable pencils with rubbers on the end
2 black waterproof pens of different thicknesses
1 set KohiNoor soluble dyes and a medium size watercolour brush
You could mistakenly call that a list of 10 items. I think we can stretch the point.
1. The Sketchbook
I always plan to do major things on holiday so imagine I need a huge pad. This is unnecessary. If the size of sketchbook is not big enough for a picture stick two pieces together with masking tape on the reverse side. Thus any size sheet is possible.
You can add another sketch book, but I bet you don’t use it. You can take expensive watercolour paper, but that can be too frightening to touch. Stick with one.
2. The Roll of Masking tape
See above. Don’t get a huge roll – no point and it gets in the way.
3. The Pencils
As with everything else, it is tempting to take too many, ‘just in case…’
My favourite drawing pencil would be a combination of very fine retractable HB and thick, dark, soft 3B and 7B. I always choose an odd number ‘B’. Faber Castell do a set of jumbo pencils, so choose what you like from these.
I would like to be clever about disposable retractable pencils but I always buy mine from WH Smiths. They are very cheap and effective, come in a large pack and have good rubbers on the end. I like the neatness of the rubbers – you are not tempted to rub out large errors, but you can fiddle with small ones.
4. The Pens
I was going to suggest a pack of Staedtler Pigment Liner Set of 6 Black but when I went on the Cass Art website to get a link there were so many sets of interesting pens I feel you should decide for yourself. Do look at the pigment liners – they are excellent, different thicknesses and do the job. Don’t take more than two.
I used to recommend Caran d’Ache Neoart water soluble wax pastel. These are water soluble highly pigmented wax pastels which can be used either wet or dry. I still use them regularly, but I find they get a bit sticky if you take them somewhere hot. Fine in a cold country.
I love the work of American artist Jackson Pollock. The Tate, Liverpool has a show of his paintings over the summer. Hopefully I will get there. There is an excitement, rhythm and vibrancy to his work that is rarely seen in the pictures of other artists.
For more information have a look at the exhibition tab. www.tate.org.uk/liverpool
Until then I have our own Jackson Pollock (aka Roger the Jack Russell). Sadly not on my wall, but in slightly chewed biro on a cushion. Like the work of the more famous of the two artists Roger’s reassures you that he was very much alive and there in the moment.
I have been planning the next class for my Charcoal into Oil Painting group and wondering how much longer they will put up with me banging on about tone. BUT TONE MATTERS. It doesn’t matter what colour you paint a tree; if you get the tone right it will work.
A strong use of tone releases you from the tyranny of trying to match a colour.
You can play around with any colour, use any palette so long as the tone works. Suddenly colour and painting become more fun.
If you want to come to the colour into tone: tone into colour class or the Charcoal into Oil Painting Course join us for the morning at 9.30am on Thursday 14th May, at Wherwell. It does not matter if you haven’t been with us for earlier classes on this course. The painting element of the morning will be using oils, and we will be doing another tonal drawing using charcoal. More classes in this course over the next few weeks.