Friday, December 05, 2008

The Mini Picture Show

The Bankside Gallery's Mini Picture Show opened on Wednesday Evening with its Private View. I was invited to go a little early to photograph the exhibition before everybody arrived with the following results.

The Mini Picture Show - a small selection of the work in the exhibition

The Mini Picture show is a Christmas exhibition of small works by members of the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers.

In effect, it's an exhibition of affordable works which would make great Christmas presents. Alternatively - since the exhibition lasts until 25 January, it's also a great place to spend any money you were given for Christmas!

What makes this exhibition different from others is that it is continuously changing - and it won't be the same on any two days up until the end of January! Pictures being bought as presents go home with their purchasers (unless they are unframed prints). The way the purchase process works is as follows:
  • if you buy a framed work then the work goes home with you there and then and another picture is hung in its place
  • if you buy an unframed print then you can choose whether the artist either sends it direct to you or they send it to the gallery for you to pick up.
  • if you're a Friend of the Bankside Gallery you get 10% off the sale price! :)
The exhibition contains a variety of styles and approaches to making art from the traditional to the very contemporary. As there are many more members of the RSPP there tend to be rather more fine art prints than watercolours. Plus I think maybe some of the RWS members tend to paint in larger sizes! I gather the guideline for size is no bigger than a sheet of A4 for the image.

It's certainly the case that there are some absolutely tiny etchings included in the show, produced by Past President Joseph Winkelman PPRE Hon RWS. I love the slideshow on his 'at work' page on his website of how an etching comes into being

Here are some of the other artists I picked out on viewing the works - including the two artists whose work I bought. Note the international flavour of those showing work!
  • the mezzotints of Konstantin Chmutin RE- a Russian artist who is a member of the Saint Petersburg Artists Association in Russia and a Fellow Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London.
  • Robert Kipness is an American artist producing mezzontints and drypoints whose work features trees. It's very simple and very striking.
  • the wood engravings of Ann Tout RE. I particularly liked her farmyard pigs engraving. She is a Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and of the Society of Wood Engravers.
  • Paul Hawdon RE has an attractive and playful drawing style. I particularly liked his drawing/etching of the Borghese Gardens, Rome. It's more resolved and accessible than some of the others I saw on his website.
  • Margaret Ashman ARE has a number of small figurative etchings which drew my attention (see right).
Etchings by Margaret Ashman RE

It was a good evening and I bought a couple of prints - and no, they're not Christmas presents - they're for me!

Hilary Paynter is a wood engraver and the Chairman of the Society of Wood Engravers. She is showing a delightful wood engraving of a matrix of hands all doing different things to do with art and making prints - and I bought it as an unframed print.

The second one was was by a 70 year old artist called H J Jackson RE who, according to this site, lost the use of a print room press around about 40 years and subsequently settled on a tobacco tin as the ideal burnishing tool - and has used it ever since! He produces very striking and colourful linocuts and is a Senior Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a Member of the Society of Wood Engravers and has exhibited with both since the early 1960s. I gather there are a few other people who have their eye on the linocut unframed print that I bought (see below)!

Sea Salt
(limited edition linocut fine art print)

H J Jackson RE
A linocut is a relief printing technique using engraved lino. Apart from lino the only equipment required is tracing and carbon paper, pens, pencils, brushes and inks, gouges, rollers, oil based printing inks and handmade paper - and in Jackson's case a tobacco tin for burnishing.
H J Jackson (Bircham Gallery)
The exhibition continues at the Bankside Gallery until 25th January and is only closed on 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st December.


Jenni said...

I find it interesting that you have chosen a Hilary Paynter print. Are we going to see it? Hilary used to live in Richmond. I think she's moved away now. She was the hon.sec. of the society in those days (1990s).We used to go to most of the exhibitions. We've always liked her work. We attended a very interesting talk she gave about her background and the art of wood engraving. I believe at that time her "day job" was teaching in a special school. It's a long time ago, I may be wrong!

Robyn said...

Sea Salt is beautiful - I can see why you feel for it, Katherine. Did you ask the artist what brand of tobacco tin he uses ;) He's a bit of an inspiration, isn't he?

Hilary Paynter's work is extremely striking - did you go for the cats? She makes wonderful drama out of Cornwell too.

I think a couple of hours have evaporated while I followed up ALL the links in this post, I give it 5 STARS!

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