Virtual tour of the RA Summer exhibition

This came to me via a fellow OCA traveller in one of our groups. I can’t say anything about it just now because I’m less than half way through and it’s too exquisite for casual words. This though, this use of technology to open art up to a larger audience, to give us room to see without the crush of crowds, to let us pause the video to look for longer at something that takes our attention; this is the way forward, this is how to engage the audiences who might never visit a gallery in their lives. Watch full … Continue reading Virtual tour of the RA Summer exhibition

Book review – Landscape Painting by Norbert Wolf

I am a beginner when it comes to the history of art and so, looking for a comprehensible and fully illustrated book, I was delighted to find this 2017 edition published by Taschen in its Basic Art Series 2.0. The book is concise and the writing fluent and easy to read. Of its ninety five pages, almost every one has a full colour and often full page illustration of the painting under discussion. And if ever a book needed digitising, this is it because high quality as these plates are, the ability to zoom in on detail would be a … Continue reading Book review – Landscape Painting by Norbert Wolf

Book review: Secret knowledge – rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters. David Hockney

This review was first posted to Goodreads on May 11th, 2020. I can rate this before getting anywhere near the last page because it’s a parallel of two BBC documentaries made in 2001 that details Hockney’s theory that many of the old masters used contemporaneously new technology as drawing and painting aids. The camera lucida for instance that allows for an image to be visible within a lens positioned over paper and that the artist can see to ‘trace’, and later the camera obscura that uses a larger lens to project an image onto a canvas or wood support in … Continue reading Book review: Secret knowledge – rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters. David Hockney

Bisa Butler – portrait artist in quilts

Somebody remind me of this for when portraiture comes around in this module. I’m a child of the flower-power generation, a hippy, a 1960s Brighton art student who somehow ended up in science. Butler’s colours sing from that palette but they’re singing a very modern tune, setting right some cultural wrongs by depicting black men and women with a dignity they were never quite accorded at that time and which our white world still struggles with. Butler trained as a painter and describes herself as a portrait artist, but uses the medium of fabric and thread to make her art. … Continue reading Bisa Butler – portrait artist in quilts

Brighton galleries

Where can you see Banksy, Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Sir Peter Blake, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood, and Billy Connolly originals within a few yards of each other in right-on-the-street galleries? Brighton. There’s a detailed account of these galleries on my Drawing blog. Castle Fine Art – Lanes. Dylan, Wood, Connolly Kellie Miller – no photos. Art Republic – Banksy, Hurst, Perry, Blake Continue reading Brighton galleries

Book review: Beginning Drawing Atelier – an instructional sketchbook by Juliette Aristides

  This is a work book – guidelines, exercises, drawings to copy and a page next to each to do that. I have never copied other people’s work or tried for the photorealism some artists specialise in making so this was quite a challenge. Add to that the realisation not long ago that lefthanders make their marks in entirely the opposite direction to righthanders and I could see this was not going to be easy. Fortunately, the quality of the images to be copied – there are two da Vinci’s! – makes it clear that perfection is really not the … Continue reading Book review: Beginning Drawing Atelier – an instructional sketchbook by Juliette Aristides

Book review: What are you looking at? Will Gompertz

For someone like me, doing a degree in art but having neither background nor interest in art history (actually, history of any sort if I’m being honest), this book is perfect. I have it on Audible and within a very short time, also bought it in paperback (to flick through) and for Kindle (for the links and notes facility). Gompertz, who I knew only as a film and theatre critic (who was not inclined to be pompous or obfuscating about it), writes with a refreshing lack of reverence for the art history schtick that so turns me off; and while … Continue reading Book review: What are you looking at? Will Gompertz

The Story of Painting – Sister Wendy Beckett

This is not a book for reading, it’s a reference book to keep to hand. Years ago, I saw Sister Wendy’s documentary series on TV and this book is an elaborated version of that. At the time I saw her as unexpectedly (for a nun, and that’s a judgment I probably wouldn’t make now) robust in her approach to the subject matter of many paintings and also the lifestyles of some of the artists. But watching them again as a refresher and I can see that she wasn’t entirely innocent of passing judgement herself. Some women in the pictures have … Continue reading The Story of Painting – Sister Wendy Beckett

Brighton galleries

Where can you see Banksy, Damien Hurst, Grayson Perry, Sir Peter Blake, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood, and Billy Connolly originals within a few yards of each other in right-on-the-street galleries? Yesterday*, a friend and I went to Brighton. *Yesterday is now several weeks ago, life having got between me and this write-up. Castle Fine Art Gallery Castle Fine Art is right slap bang in the middle of Brighton near The Lanes, and my goodness I had not expected to see so many originals by ‘names’ from both art and show business. First though were these metal sculptures, each of them … Continue reading Brighton galleries