Sunday, August 16, 2009

16th August 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

Leslie Worth OBE PPRWS RBA NEAC 1923 -2009

While on my recent break, I was sad to learn that Leslie Worth died on 21st July 2009. I've always really looked forward to seeing his new watercolour paintings, mainly because he is one of the very few practising watercolourists who ever came near to emulating what Turner did with watercolour.

Paintings by Leslie Worth
copyright the artist /
photo with gallery permission and copyright Katherine Tyrrell

He was described in his obituary in The Guardian as
one of Britain's finest watercolour artists
Leslie Worth - Obituary
The two paintings (on the right) by Leslie Worth are on display in the High Watermark exhibition at the Bankside which closes today. If you take a look at some more of Worth's paintings on the Alresford Gallery's website I'm sure you'll see some of the reasons for the Guardian's comment. Even better was this comment.
Worth's spontaneous effects with wash were the work of a visionary. He captured beautifully the transient qualities of English weather – storms, showers, hazy sunlight and mists. He once commented that his initial marks on paper could be unrecognisable and often meant little to the casual observer. While painting en plein air at Polesden Lacey, near Dorking in Surrey, he had just laid down the first washes when an elderly gentleman slowly crossed the lawn and asked if he could see the painting. "He was obviously very disappointed and no doubt thought I was a very poor artist. When the picture was finished, many sessions later, it was bought by the government and given to President Mitterrand."
What I was surprised to find out was that he was self-taught and had learned through a coimbination of studying the Masters of watercolour painting and through a process of trial and error. At which point I stopped to wonder whether his painting would have developed in the way it did if he had studied for a fine art degree. At the same time I think this should prove a huge incentive to all those are pursuing their own art studies through a combination of studying great painters and experiments in working in different ways.

Leslie Worth was the President of the Royal Watercolour Society in the early 90s when I first started going to RWS shows at the Bankside and I have very fond memories of those exhibitions and some of the artists who used to show work there at that time. I think it's a very great pity that some no longer show their work at the Bankside.
"In my opinion Leslie Worth was simply the best watercolour painter in the country if not the world. His integrity and dedication to his work were second to none. He was an intellectual of the highest order and this spilled over into his work. At the same time he had a great sense of humour. And with such qualities he remained a very modest man."
Salliann Putman
High Watermarks - The first joint exhibition for 178 years between members of the Royal Watercolour Society and members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour closes at the Bankside Gallery today and reopens at the Mall Galleries on Tuesday. I reviewed it during the week (see Exhibition review: RWS and RI - High Watermark 2009) and will be going to see it again before 28th August when it closes. I've included some more images of marine scenes from the exhibition below and highly recommend the exhibition to anybody who enjoys traditional watercolour painting.

a selection of marine paintings
by members of the RWS and RI
copyright the artist /
photo with gallery permission and copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Art Blogs

Art and Design bloggers go to Brussels

A little while ago as (I quote) "a well respected and reputable art blogger" I received an invite from a to travel by Eurostar and go on a little break in Brussels on the 15th August 2009 to experience Brussels for a day while also getting together with other influential art & design bloggers!

So yesterday I went to Brussels courtesy of Eurostar (Yay! A perk derived from blogging!) You can read - and see - more about my day trip to Brussels, the Magritte Museum, the "beach" by the canal and the Grand Place next week in Travels with my Sketchbook in....... However right now, I'd like to say Hi to the really great group of bloggers that i met yesterday! I've had a really fascinating time this morning checking out all their blogs.
Thanks also to Sarah Oliver and the girls from wearsocial for a great day out! Great to get an insight into what you do too! (They are a conversation agency helping help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.)

Drawing and sketching

Coloured Pencils and Pastels

Painters and Painting

Art and the Economy / Art Collectors

Before global finance crashed, Robert Jain, the head of Credit Suisse global proprietary trading, commissioned twelve artists through the private curator Kipton Cronkite to create works inspired by Wall Street terminology.
  • The above is a quote from the New York Magazine which highlights the Downside of Patronage - click the link to see what they came up with why some artists are not enamoured with Wall Street

Art Competitions and Art Societies

Art Exhibitions and art fairs

Art Supplies

  • Sadie Valeri has a nice review of her Outdoor Art Materials in which she references Charlie Parker's 2008 review of Pochade Boxes on Lines and Colors.
  • I came across this really weird site which promises to supply 500 coloured pencils in batches of 25 over 20 months. They've got a very nice display for them - which makes them look great on a wall. However I'm just wondering whether this is an exercoise in looking at coloured pencils or using coloured pencils. There's nothing about how they work/feel or their lightfastness and nothing which lists all 500 pencils and how they are made. I'm wondering how many people have signed up for them. I wouldn't.
  • Legion Paper now have a Facebook page and Twitter!

Opinion Poll

  • On Monday I analysed the results of the MAM poll for July to ssee what was your Preferred media for studio painting. The top thre findings were:
    • In general, people are more flexible about the media they use in a studio compared to painting plein air.
    • Watercolour is the most popular and adaptable medium
    • Traditional oils just beat acrylics for studio use.
  • On Tuesday I posted MAM Poll: What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? I've had just 30 responses so far - which is rather making me wonder whether less people are able to sell their art this year. Please don't forget to answer if you are selling your art - the poll is in the side column

Websites, webware and blogging

A hype cycle in Gartner's interpretation comprises five phases:

  1. "Technology Trigger" — The first phase of a hype cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
  2. "Peak of Inflated Expectations" — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
  3. "Trough of Disillusionment" — Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
  4. "Slope of Enlightenment" — Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
  5. "Plateau of Productivity" — A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market
The hype cycle

and finally........

I heard today that I've been awarded signature status with an art society. Which one? Wait and see and I'll tell you tomorrow!

1 comment:

Pat said...

Congratulations on your Signature Status.

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