Tuesday, 10 December 2013

London at Christmas, Medici Winter Show

A long time has passed since my last blog - it's been perhaps the busiest I have known in my painting life - I have participated in five shows, from Medici in Cork street to my Wimbledon studio show.  It's been a great and inspiring autumn too - the light has been superb and I have been out and about loitering under lamp posts working away.

A selection of Regent street lights will be in the Medici Winter Show, Cork Street 10 December - 30 January  (www.medicigallery.co.uk/next_show.htm)

 I  am working on a series of Christmas lights at the moment in the run up to Christmas.  London is ablaze with dazzling colour and looks glorious.  One of the advantages is the constant light, which just doesn't happen during the day,.  A disadvantage is the cold! It is happily a lot milder than last year but thermals feature. I pastelled away at the opening of the Oxford Street lights - they are amazing this year - snowballs careering around the street.

On Friday I went to Trafalgar square - I enjoyed the contrast of the tree lights against the silhouette of the lion. It's always a surprise to find out how big those lions are

Future work will include Bond street, Sloane Square and ice skating and will be posted up shortly.

In October I went to Dubai and found the new architecture astounding in scale and ambition - so exciting!  The light was was very beautiful.  I was, however, much in my discomfort zone - it was something I had never seen before.  More images to follow.


Dubai Old Fort

Dubai Creek, late afternoon light  

Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai  at Night

Burjaman, Dubai

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Late Summer Light and new exhibitions - Thames Festival, Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park 4-15 September

The summer has sped past quickly and it's rather a surprise to find myself well into September.  There has been some glorious weather and I've been out and about around the west end of London.  I love the noise and excitement of the place - from the bustle of crowds to large red buses.  The light was particularly dazzling in Oxford Street last week.

Oxford Street, late summer afternoon

 There was not a moment to waste! Lights change and traffic moves on!  It forced me to utterly concentrate - strangely enough I found it rather peaceful as everything else needs to be blocked out.

One of the things I most love about London is the early morning - when the day is just starting and people are on their way to work.  I find mornings so positive - life is starting anew.

Piccadilly, Early Morning towards the Ritz

Parliament Square, Early Morning  

In contrast to Piccadilly and Oxford street I have also been along the South Bank.  I feel that this is the nearest equivalent to Paris we have got.   I love the laid back, holiday feel of the place as well as the sheer joy of the arts. 

Under Waterloo Bridge, afternoon

Under Hungerford Bridge, late afternoon light

This selection of  work will be going into Cityscapes show at Medici Gallery, Cork Street, 3-31st October http://www.medicigallery.co.uk/next_show.htm

I am also exhibiting my Pageant work at the Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park 4-15 september.   This is part of the Thames Festival. http://thamesfestival.org/events/info/artists-of-the-river-pageant.  There are works by 50 different painters and it is well worth a visit as it conjures up one of the most spectacular river events ever witnessed on the Thames.  There has been some good press coverage too: http://www.itv.com/news/london/2013-09-03/jubilee-river-pageant-art-goes-on-display/

The jewel of the exhibition is by Julian Barrow, a very great painter who will be horribly missed.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Pintar Rapido and in and around Chelsea

The weather has finally turned and I've been lucky enough to get out and seize the light!  A few weeks ago I was beginning to think London was permanently cloudy and cold (I wore my winter clothes and a hat at the end of June).  The flags were up on the Mall for Trooping the Colour and the Coronation.  I was reconciled to greys and enjoyed it in the skies and flags. Sunday, I have learned, is the best time to be out there as the Mall is closed off to traffic.

I have pastelled in Chelsea too, in streets around the Royal Hospital.  The early morning and evening colours have been a delight to explore.

On Saturday I participated in Pintar Rapido, a painting festival around Kensington and Chelsea.  Work painted on Saturday, between 9am and 8pm was framed and exhibited on Sunday in Chelsea Town Hall. 
It was a magnificent sight to see - masses of painters along the Embankment and Sloane Square.  It was also a great opportunity to discuss and share plein air ideas.  I got terrible easel envy.

I relished the challenge and produced 3 pastels. I put the second one in.  The atmosphere was amazing and I'll certainly participate in more. 

Burton Court, Chelsea Early Morning Light

Ormonde Gate, Mid Afternoon

Chelsea Embankment, Early Evening

Mall - Trooping the Colour

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Artists of the Pageant, Turner's House, Twickenham 4-16 June and Chelsea Flower Show

It's been a busy couple of weeks with the studio show and preparation for others.  The weather has been pretty terrible so it has been difficult to get out and work - not such a bad thing with all the admin that needs to be done.

It was however a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend and I was lucky enough to be in Chelsea for the final day of the Flower Show.  Sloane Square was bedecked with bunting and surrounding shops had some brilliant displays.

Sloane Square with Flower Show bunting (in progress)

One of the best sights in Chelsea has to be the crowds leaving the show, arms full of plants and brilliant flowers - a huge variety in shape and colour.  I was there last year and it has a ring of Palm Sunday about it.   I set up my easel in Sloane Gardens, a short cut to the tube station and worked straight into the light. There was a palpable sense of fun but I had to work quickly!

Crowds leaving the flower show (in progress)

Onwards and upwards.... Artists of the Pageant opens next week at Turner's House in Twickenham (www.turnerintwickenham.org.uk).  I was one of the 20 artists on the City of London School roof last year recording the Flotilla.

Below is part of the Press Release which outlines this unique and exciting exhibition: 

Artists of the Pageant

Twenty Artists present on the occasion of  the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in an exhibition to be held at JMW Turner's House, Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham to coincide with the 60th anniversary of  the Queen's Coronation (free, open daily 10am to 4pm from 4 to16 June, except closed 10th June)

There will be paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures responding to the extraordinary atmosphere of  the day and the flotilla of  boats by artists, principally from the Princes Drawing School, from the roof of City of  London School beside the Millennium Bridge.  Timothy Hyman RA, Susan Wilson and Andrew Wilton are among the artists who recorded the event and follow earlier artists who have been inspired by the London Thames; from Canaletto to Turner, Whistler and Kokoschka.

‘Rain poured down and splashed around our feet as we worked. Students from City of  London School held umbrellas but still the paper got extremely wet. Andrew Wilton reminded me of Turner and made a quip to the effect that like Turner, who ran paper under the tap, the rain was doing the same for me. I had to work fast, really fast to get the images which sped on down the river from me’  Susan Wilson

'On the day we were privileged with the roof of  City of  London School. Suspended over London, the artists were an eye over the crowds, boats and colours of  the event. The excitement was only heightened by the rain,which gave the artists a near biblical determination to capture the events of  the day in whatever material they had. Painters and draftsman stood to easel, picking colour and form from the motion below, while a large collaborative mural, filmed in stop motion, provided a fun and warming exercise' Daisy Millner

JMW Turner is one of  the greatest British painters and his house, located near the River, is
an ideal place for these works which were started at the Pageant, now finished in honour of
the Queen's Coronation.

Please see www.thamescapes.com for further information and details

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Wimbledon Studio Show this weekend!

I am in the midst of preparing my studio show at Wimbledon which starts on thursday www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk, painting walls, preparing handouts and hanging the work.  Plenty to do in the run up and it is a good opportunity for me to focus on present and future work.

Spring has sprung late in London but when it finally did, it was magnificent.  Some of the best blossom I've seen and stunning weather to match.  An interesting part of painting in London is the natural in the urban context.  I enjoyed the contrast in the trees near Hyde Park corner with the bright red buses beyond.

Blossom and Hyde Park Corner

 In some of the busiest parts, some of the greatest trees can be seen.  I have always admired the tree opposite the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington Gardens.  Bees buzzed by as did the lunchtime crowds with their picnics.

Blossom opposite the RGS, Kensington Gardens

Under the cherry tree, Green Park

Hyde Park and the Shard

Part of my current body of work is concerned with a peep at the known.  I am working on a series of views under bridges.

Under Hungerford Bridge, Midday

Following in the footsteps of Jubilee and Olympics work, I am also pastelling at ceremonial events.  The State Opening of Parliament on the Mall last week was a splendid sight.  There were not the expected crowds though.

State Opening of Parliament Procession, Mall

My show continues until sunday 19th May.  I am also exhibiting in other shows, details of which can be found on my website or email louisediggle@yahoo.com.   With the anniversary of the Coronation, Wimbledon, warmer and sunnier weather, it is going to be a busy couple of months.

Morning Light, St James' Park

Sunday, 28 April 2013

New Spring London and Paris work and forthcoming exhibitions

Tuileries Gardens, Spring light, April 2013

Finally spring has come at last! It has been an exceptionally challenging winter for plein air painting and I have been occupied with researching new projects and experimenting with oils.

By Pont St-Louis, Morning Light

I took myself off to Paris for a few days - to find a different shade of grey from London.  I was fortunate to arrive in the first week of spring - the chestnuts had just come out and the light was dazzling.  It was difficult to know where to start, just like a very good box of chocolates.

Seine, late afternoon

The Seine was busier than the Thames, unexpected amounts of river traffic and, as one passerby pointed out, the currents are almost sculptural. The light hitting the waves was a bonus as were the glorious sunsets. It made it an interesting contrast to the Chelsea Embankment.

Seine sunset, April 2013

Towards Lots Road, Evening light, April 2013

Back in London to find more events - the fast and furious pace of the London Marathon was one of them

London Marathon - Finish

I will be participating in the following shows in May and June:

Thursday 16- Sunday 18th May
My studio show, Wimbledon Art studios (studio 402, blue building) www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk

23 May - 8 June Small Paintings Group, Russell Gallery, 12 Lower Richmond Road, Putney
(invited artist) www.thesmallpaintingsgroup.co.uk

24-28 June Chelsea Art Society, Kings Road SW3 http://www.chelseaartsociety.org.uk/ 

June - Artists of the Pageant, Turner's House, Twickenham
Last year I was an invited with other painters to paint the Diamond Jubilee pageant on the roof of the City of London School.  As you might remember not even the weather could put a dampner on this extraordniary spectacle.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

New work for 2013

The last couple of weeks have been occupied with researching new painting projects -  views of the Shard and London streets as well as ongoing projects in St James' park and on the Thames.  The early spring light is a marvel to explore - clear and bright with all the optimism of spring around the corner.

I have been continuing my work in pastel as it suits the transient moment. it has been pretty chilly and thermals come in handy.

Kensington street, early morning light (in progress)

Kensington Street, Midday light (in progress)    

Piccadilly, late afternoon light (in progress)

I'm in the process of researching different views of the Shard and have been on various bus routes and long walks to get the wider picture. It's an interesting building - designed to be a blade of light - it catches the light on the dullest of days.  This is the first time we have seen it properly, fully glazed.  I'm going up into the building in April.

Shard and light

I have also been getting work ready for mixed shows in march:

Art@Clyde and Co, Guildford, where I will be giving a talk on 5th march about my work
With Surface ICA www.surfaceica.co.uk in Hartley Wintney
With Moorwood Art, near Hereford 6-18 March
With Quiddity Fine Art

For further infomation please either contact me louisediggle@yahoo.com or see my website www.louisediggle.co.uk

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Back to work with lots of ideas in the offing and 2013 shows to finalise.

Watch this space - new 2013 work to be put up shortly