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 (  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 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, 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   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