Salcombe Art Club Exhibition preview: Provident

Provident – the featured painting above – is one of five that I plan to submit for consideration of the Hanging Committee of Salcombe Art Club, hoping they will be accepted for the 2017 Salcombe Art Club Exhibition which opens on Thursday 13 April.

On this blog, I’ll post a preview of each of the five paintings, over the next few weeks. If you decide you want to purchase one of them, be quick. The prices go up in April!

 

What inspired me to paint Provident?

For decades, ‘Provie’ was part of the Island Cruising Club’s fleet aimed at teaching children and adults how to sail in the traditional manner. That is: under a ‘tall rig’.

Provie was part of the scenery!

 

Where is Provident now?

Provident is now with Trinity Sailing Foundation, who operate a small fleet of historically important sailing vessels such as: Leader, Provident, Golden Vanity and Heritage.

 

What is the history of Provident?

I am grateful to the Trinity Sailing Foundation for providing full information on all their vessels. This is my potted version regarding Provie.

Provident is a medium-sized ‘Mule’ class of sailing trawler. Built in 1924, Provident was a replacement for an earlier vessel of the same name, which had been sunk during WW1 by a German U-boat. She fished out of Brixham for ten years, was then sold and converted to a private yacht. Provident was laid up in Cornwall during WW2.

Provident arrived in Salcombe, in 1951, as the founding vessel of the Island Cruising Club. She was given a major refit in the late 1980s, and re-launched in 1991. Eight years later, having sailed our waters to everyone’s delight, in 1999, she started working from Brixham as part of the newly-formed Trinity Sailing Foundation.

DartLife invite

Chris Pring – ceramic artist at DartLife exhibition

Chris Pring, potter

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Pring on Monday 13 March – a week ago today.

Anne and I attended a private preview of the DartLife exhibition at the Ariel Centre in Totnes. The work of Chris Pring was on show together with that of many other artists.

  • Rosemary Bonney (landscape painter, mixed media)
  • Amanda Cardrick (painter, acrylic, mixed media)
  • Ann Chester King (landscape painter, mixed media)
  • Sue Farrow-Jones (printmaker, screen printer, watercolourist)
  • Breda Holden (landscape painter, watercolour and mixed media)
  • Val Uglow (mixed media artist)
  • Ann Yeoman (landscape and botanical water-colourist)
Chris Pring – ceramic artist

Chris  makes functional domestic stoneware and delicate porcelain pieces for the home as well as Goldsworthy-inspired garden sculptures in stoneware and terracotta, and you can see examples of his work on his website http://www.kellatonpottery.co.uk/

Pring potAt the exhibition, one piece caught our eye and was purchased as a gift from me to my wife on the occasion of our recent wedding anniversary.

The ticket reads:

Skeletal gnarled oak
Roots carressed by clear waters
Giving and Taking

I won’t reveal the price!

When we move back into our refurbished home shortly, this vase will take pride of place on the window sill in Anne’s office. According to Anne – she hadn’t seen the ticket and was simply drawn by the image – to her, it spoke of the individual being the tree, drawing strength from the ground and giving / sharing the gifts or talents that we each have. To the outside observer, the beauty of this giving and taking is not always recognised – they only see a gnarled tree. Their loss …

DartLife invite

You still have time to visit the exhibition

This exhibition is on now until 30 March 2017. Entitled ‘DartLife’, it explores the River Dart, which runs as a thread through the work of all the artists, uniting them in a common theme. Don’t miss this one.

If you are a local artist and would like to feature on my blog, let me know when/where you will be exhibiting. Invite me to the private preview! And I’ll spread the word about you and your art. Click here for my contact page.

 

Blackstone

Salcombe Art Club Exhibition preview: Blackstone

Blackstone – the featured painting above – is another of five I plan to submit for consideration of the Hanging Committee of Salcombe Art Club, hoping they will be accepted for the 2017 Salcombe Art Club Exhibition which opens on Thursday 13 April.

On this blog, I’ll post a preview of each of the five paintings, over the next few weeks. If you decide you want to purchase one of them, be quick. The prices go up in April!

 

What inspired me to paint Blackstone?

BlackstoneImagine: Dad has rigged the Mirror (or whatever small craft he has towed down to Salcombe). You can see it, set against the backdrop of cliffs, in wind and tide, navigating safely past a beastly reef we call Blackstone.

 

What were the challenges?

The challenge here, for me as an artist, rather than me as a sailor, was to capture the sheer scale of the sea on the horizon, and the cliffs, with the brave dinghy in the foreground. I wanted to create the atmosphere of adventure since the daunting rocks spell danger for any small craft exploring the estuary. But also, I wanted to spell out the delight as the sails fill.

Capturing all this in one painting is a challenge in itself.

Add to this the fact that acrylic tones tend to darken as they dry. However, this proved fortuitous for me – it served to emphasize the solid damp cliffs.

Racing Past BlackstoneI enjoyed the challenge of the composition so much, I produced a second Blackstone painting: Racing Past Blackstone. This one is a watercolour.

 

Affordable Art

Both Blackstone images are available as a fine art greetings card. The range is now 59 strong, and on sale at Malborough Post Office.

Just think: for less than 1% of the sales price of an original painting, you can invest in a fine art greetings card. Send it to a friend or frame it for yourself. Whistlefish sell frames that fit … about £10 each.

Hope Cove Fishing Gear Contemporary Passions

Salcombe Art Club Exhibition preview: Hope Cove Fishing Gear

Hope Cove Fishing Gear – the featured painting above – is one of five I plan to submit for consideration of the Hanging Committee of Salcombe Art Club, hoping they will be accepted for the 2017 Salcombe Art Club Exhibition which opens on Thursday 13 April.

On this blog, I’ll post a preview of each of the five paintings, over the next few weeks. If you decide you want to purchase one of them, be quick. The prices go up in April!

 

What inspired me to paint Hope Cove Fishing Gear?

I support the Hope Cove Lifeboat. Year after year, Anne and I have a stall, selling my fine art greetings cards, at the Fund Raising Day in August at the Cottage Hotel. It’s a great event, attracting locals and visitors and much money is raised for this worthy cause.

We have a regular position at the far end of the Cottage Hotel’s dining room and, beside us, Sue Morgan (photo) demonstrates how to weave the traditional crab pots.

Year after year, the question would come up: Do you have any cards of Hope Cove?

I painted Hope Cove Fishing Gear, inspired by Sue’s skills, and to try to meet the demand of the folk who buy my cards.

To be honest, it wasn’t a huge hit with the locals!

 

And then?

And then, a year later, I tackled the second study of Hope Cove, of the beach – with both modern and traditional crab pots being featured in the foreground – again inspried by Sue Morgan.

This one was more successful! The image was so popoular, it was used for the poster for the 2016 Fund Raising Day, and also for the Treasure Hunt.

 

Affordabale art

Both images are available as a fine art greetings card. The range is now 59 strong, and on sale at Malborough Post Office.

Just think: for less than 1% of the sales price of an original painting, you can invest in a fine art greetings card. Send it to a friend or frame it for yourself. Whistlefish sell frames that fit … about £10 each.

2017 exhibition schedule

It’s that time of year – firming up the 2017 exhibition schedule.

My diary is already looking full!

Please put these dates in your diary. Once the days and times when I will be stewarding are decided, I will post news on my Facebook page and here also. It’s your chance to ‘meet the artist’!

 

Salcombe Art Club Summer exhibition
Thursday 13 April – Saturday 30 September 2017

2017 exhibition scheduleAs a member of  Salcombe Art Club, I’ve exhibited in the club’s Summer Exhibition for many years now.

I usually submit 5 paintings, and the rule is that none of these original works of art can have been hung in the Loft Gallery in the previous three years. This encourages artists to keep on painting!

Handing in day is 1 April – five weeks away and I am hard at work.

The Loft Studio is open 7 days a week from 11am until 5pm. Admission is free.

 

Consuming Passions Exhibition
Tuesday 6 June – Sunday 18 June 2017
2017 exhibition schedule

This is a new one for me. It’s organised by SHAF (South Hams Arts Forum). I’ve been a member of that organisation for several years and have enjoyed the events they organise for local artists: talks and social events.

This will be my first joint venture with them, in an exhibition!

It’s at Harbour House. Kingsbridge – a wonderful gallery space – and I’ll be exhibiting probably 7 paintings there.

Doors will be open from 10am – 5pm and admission is free.

 

One-man exhibition in the Redfern Health Centre
Thursday 29 June – Thursday 27 July 2017

Full members of Salcombe Art Club are asked to display their work for one month – so that those visiting the Redfern have something to admire while waiting to see the doctor.

It’s an honour to be on the team again and to know that my paintings may provide some cheer to those having health issues.

On one occasion, a gentleman recognised Burgh Island in one of my paintings as the venue for his marriage many years previous. He purchased it as a surprise for his wife. How romantic!

The Redfern benefits from all sales; – a percentage of the purchase price is donated to their funds.

 

One-man exhibition in the Little Studio in the Loft Gallery
Sunday 13 August – Saturday 26 August 2017

2017 exhibition scheduleSalcombe Art Club invite members, including associate members, to take one or two weeks in the Little Studio, to display as many of their paintings as they can hang in the space.

More recent paintings that didn’t sell last year can be hung so they usually get another airing.

I’ll be stewarding all day both Sundays, so that’s a good time to pop in and chat, if you want to ‘meet the artist’.

The photo is me – last year.

 

SHAF Arts Trail
Saturday 14 October – Sunday 29 October
2017 exhibition schedule

The South Hams Art Forum (SHAF) usually have a one-week Arts Trail. This year, it’s extended to two weeks so that those on holiday in the area might have more opportunity to attend during the school’s half-term holiday.

Viewings at Beacon House Gallery are usually by appointment but, for the period of the SHAF Arts Trail, we will welcome visitors 11am-3pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 10am-5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Closed on a Tuesday)

 

Beacon House Gallery
Private viewings 2017

I usually hold a private preview evening ahead of the start of the season, but the gallery is being refurbished and works will not be completed before Easter.

Instead, there will be an event to celebrate the re-opening of Beacon House Gallery – whenever that happens!

If you would like to be advised about the date of this event and to receive an invitation, please contact me.

house portrait

Postcard from Melbourne: Farewell gift of a house portrait

At the end of January, it was time say farewell to Melbourne and to record our thanks to our hosts: I presented them with a house portrait.

I promised myself I’d spend some of this holiday sketching, and this is one of the first sketches I completed.

It shows a typical Melbourne property: a bungalow that has been extended upwards, with a modest front garden onto a suburban street, lined with gum trees.

 

There’s no garage?

Who needs a garage? Even if you have a Fiat Spider on the front drive …

Melbourne poolside

Out back, more important to us, and to the grandchildren, there is a pool, an essential component when the temperatures reach 40 degrees in their summer months.

Like most houses in the area, the space at the rear is compact, but well designed with a deck area complete with barbeque.

Plus a poolside area, complete with tropical foliage, where we could laze around.

No lawns to mow!

 

From sketch to finished composition

Having gained approval from our hosts that they would indeed like a painting of their home, I set to.

house portrait

This is the finished painting. It’s a watercolour. My baggage allowance was insufficient for my acrylic kit!

I took the liberty of losing the magnificent tree that was in full bloom when we left. It housed a flock of colourful but noisy parakeets whose dawn chorus happened hours before dawn each morning.

The front garden (on the left) is given over to raised beds. So, we had fresh strawberries, daily. And courgettes. Rhubarb. More varietes of herbs than you can shake a stick at. All requiring daily watering …

 

Stephen and GraceNotice the two figures in the window?

That’s gorgeous granddaughter Grace and a friend.

And this is me, packed and ready for the return flight, with Grace. She’ll be almost 10 the next time we see her.

 

Farewell Melbourne. Back to reality!

Back in the UK, we have the central heating on. We’ve swapped the T-shirt and shorts for layer upon layer … and ‘enjoying’  temperatures in single figures.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. It’s the final one for this particular trip. My next trip is to Canada, in May. Watch this space!

TATE Britain

Postcard from Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

Anne and I wanted to return to the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) as I’d seen so many great exhibits while she enjoyed lunch with a writer friend.

I knew she’d be interested to see works by Rodin, Manet and Van Gogh, but there was so much more to see … so back we came.

WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS ON OUR SECOND VISIT TO NGV?

I took hundreds of photographs at the NGV and it’s proved very hard to decide which ones not to share with you; I have so many wonderful memories of our visit to this gallery.

However, we picked two – the ones which were most special for us.

First, since Anne and I chose a particularly hot day to return to NGV – and to make the most of the air-conditioned environment – this painting by David Davies made us laugh.

His ‘A Hot Day’ perfectly captures the Australian climate at a glance.

Second, is a gem by JMW Turner.

As we were fast approaching the end of our long vacation in Australia, our thoughts were beginning to turn towards home. Although we now live in Salcombe in Devon and, at that moment, we were in Melbourne, it was a lovely surprise to see ‘Walton Bridges’. This painting brought back into sharp focus the many times in my life when, forty plus years ago, I drove from my home in Shepperton and crossed a more modern version of these bridges en route to Walton Station for my daily commute to London.  How time flies?

YOU WANT TO SEE SOME MORE PHOTOS?

I have plenty!

It will come as no surprise that many of the paintings on display in the NGV show life in Australia as it was way back and, then, as it is now.

A Lord of the bushIn ‘A lord of the bush’, Hans Heyson shows no sentiment. According to the description given by NGV, Heyson was profoundly inspired by the romantic landscape paintings of Constable (and others).

By the turn of the century, the bush had become an object for nostaglia in Australia culture. Rural life was disappearing with the advent of industrialisation and increasing population, but with this iconic painting of the cost to the early Australian settler, Heyson’s able draughmanship and genuine love of the natural world helped to show Australian bush life to those who might never experience it.

Shearing the RamsThen there was ‘The Shearing of the Lambs’ by Tom Roberts: the finest example of life in the outback in the nineteenth century.

Roberts did a number of preliminary sketches on the spot at Brocklesby Station, Corowa, NSW in 1888. He then returned twice more during the brief shearing period of the following two springs to work on his painting. Once completed, it was exhibitied in his studio in Collins St, Melbourne.

John BrackCollins St also features in this next image.

This more modern painting is John Brack’s depiction of commuters in an Australian city. The heading reads: Collins St where it’s 5pm forever.

The young men in suits are shown as packs, resembling sardines.

You’ve now missed NGV’s recent exhibition of one of Australia’s greatest living artists: John Olsen. It closed yesterday!

Works by Jon Olsen in the 'You Beaut Country' exhibition February 2017

Works by Jon Olsen in the ‘You Beaut Country’ exhibition February 2017

Olsen is noted for his lyrical depictions of the australian landscape. His work includes ceiling paintings, tapestries and decorated ceramics. All his work radiates energy and is the finest example of the abstract expressionism movement in Australia.

It was difficult to choose just one work from the ‘You Beaut Country’ exhibition to share with you, so there are three here for you to admire.

WHAT IS THERE FOR YOU TO SEE AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA (NGV)?

As well as the various individual works of art at NGV, the wonderful  (see my blog of 9 January) is on until 13 March.

And, at Tate Britain, back in the UK, to mark David’s 80th birthday, there’s a large scale retrospective of his work from 9 February until 20 May 2017. I’ll be making time to go up to London for this exhibition and will report in due course here on my blog.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.

Postcard from Tasmania: MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)

Three years ago, while visiting Australia, we were urged to visit Tasmania and, in particular, MONA: the Museum of Old and New Art. This time, we managed to fit this destination into our busy schedule and opted to travel by ferry from Hobart (featured image above).

 

On The Origin of Art

The current exhibition – which runs until 17 April 2017 – is housed in the bowels of the building, and the building itself is a work of art.

MONA at night

We visited during the day and the area lit up in blue above looks like this in daytime.

This space provides a brilliant opportunity to sit and reflect on the beauty of the landscsape, but especially the sky.

 

What’s it like inside MONA?

Unlike so many other galleries where stark rectangular rooms lead from one to another, each one displaying four walls of art, MONA presents a catacomb of spaces in which ‘art’ is allowed to breathe. Or educate, or amuse, or shock.

On arrival, we were given iPads which knew where we were in the building and what artifacts were nearby. One click provided us with a written report on the piece and, often, a recorded interview with the artist. Each item also had the option to love/hate it …

Believe me, some of the exhibits did leave you tempted to hit that ‘hate’ button. But most of them make you stop and think, which is no bad thing?

 

Memorable moments?

A lot of what’s on show relies on technology, like the MONA Trumpwaterfall which revealed words for a nanosecond, or the video of a Tai chi routine which demonstrated MONAhow we see movement.

There were also many examples of innovative art which challenge the viewer to think and rethink.

 

Is it worth going?

Definitely! Allow a whole day. Arrive early and plan to leave late. You’ll need time to reflect on what you’ve seen, and the various eateries and bars provide excellent choices. And manage to cope with vast crowds too.

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.

Gallery 81

Postcard from Tasmania: Gallery 81

Planning our route through Tasmania, we consulted TripAdvisor, as one does, and stumbled on this comment about Gallery 81:

Gallery 81

Gallery 81 entrance

Needless to say, we decided we must visit this gallery, if only to see how offended we might be by this religious fanatic. We made  a note of the address: 81 High Street, Campbell Town, Tasmania. It proved to be on our route between Launceston and Swansea – perfect!

On the appointed day, we parked right outside this very modern building and went in, excited …

 

Gallery 81 – the space

Gallery 81 is very new; it was opened on 29 July 2016. The gallery space is stunning: a long narrow room with the most amazing view through floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s described on their website as a boutique cafe and wine bar – as well as an art gallery.

As you walk in, there’s a bar area to your left serving teas and coffees, and much else besides. Tables are arranged the full length of the room, providing a quiet space to enjoy both the artwork and the refreshments, and the view.

Luke and his wife Keryn are keen to promote Tasmanian products, so they have on offer such delights as ClearTas Sparkling Water, the Art of Tea and TasCaffe coffee. We were driving so we did not sample the Espresso 81 Martini!

 

The book: Gallery 81

Luke Harvey Gallery 81Luke’s works are displayed not only on the walls but also within a book, a copy of which we purchased.

The pages of this book present 81 paintings and 81 reflections, which are Luke’s response to living the Tao.

Luke explained to us that, in 2009, he was in his local library and the title of a book piqued his interest: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Live the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer. Reading it resulted in Luke feeling compelled to paint his own interpretations of the 81 verses.

During the painting process, Luke was then also compelled to write his own words for each verse. The net result is the 81 paintings displayed on the right-hand wall of Gallery 81, and within the accompanying book.

 

Tao Te Ching, Verse 64: The journey of a thousand miles commenced with a single step

This is just one of the 81 paintings as hung in the gallery.

Gallery 81 Verse 64
We were particularly struck by his Luke’s tagline: Ask, Listen, Paint, Speak Words on Fire.

 

Luke Harvey, religious fanatic!

Luke Harvey Gallery 81

So, we met Luke Harvey, the ‘religious fanatic’ and found him to be a charming man.

We got into a discussion and discovered Luke is a retired teacher, passionate about living the Tao.

He writes in the foreword to his book that he believes we each have a single life path, and that this path has many intersections where we meet the people in our life. We travel with some for a while, some for fleeting moments of time. All contribute though to the framework that is your life.

For us, we shared maybe an hour with Luke, and his wife Keryn, and were enriched by the experience.

They have travelled far and wide, and his 81 paintings – and his book – are a testimony to his life path.

To learn more about Luke, and his work, visit his website.

 

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.

Postcard from Melbourne: Christmas brushes

Christmas in Melbourne seems an age ago, and we have seen in the New Year in style – and today I found an opportunity to spend my Christmas voucher, a generous gift from our hosts, on … brushes!

 

Which store did I visit?

With my voucher in hand, I made my way to Art Stretchers, a magnificent new store in Northcote High Street, walking distance from where Anne and I are staying.

I’d visited this shop before Christmas and treated myself to some A3 watercolour paper. I’d decided to paint a present for my hosts – more on that in a later post – and found myself in this magical store. They have everything!

 

What was I interested in buying?

I was looking for a high-quality brush, or two. With a weight allowance to respect, I couldn’t go mad on heavy items.

The range was incredible and what caught my eye was a fan brush, ideal for blending adjacent colours. The sales assistant was very attentive and offered to talk me through their extensive collection.

 

What did I buy?

Four brushes!

From left to right:

1: The fan brush which originally caught my eye

2: A 320S Squirrel Mop of German manufacture which loads well, but is hellishly expensive …

3 and 4: Two part-squirrel part-synthetic, cheaper options, sizes 12 and 8 which then gave me the entire range of ‘mop’ without having to take out a second mortgage!

Having tried out my three new mops, I am absolutely delighted with my purchase and so glad the voucher made a sizeable dent in the bill.

What brushes do you use? Which are your favourites? Let me know.

 

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.