Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Courtauld Gallery Collection Online

One of the aspects of The Courtauld's recent renewal / refurbishment was a huge digitisation project relating to its collection of various types of artworks, images and artefacts.

You can now see the complete collection online - in a HUGE amount of detail/magnification. It provides an amazing insight for anybody anywhere in the world into both mark-making and processes by famous artists - whether by 

  • brush using oil, watercolour or other media 
  • or stick of charcoal, pastel of graphite

View The Courtauld Gallery Collection Online 

The Courtauld Gallery’s collection, which comprises over 33,000 objects ranging from the Middle Ages to the 21st century and includes paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures, among others, is available to explore in its entirety online for free for the first time thanks to a new digital platform.
This features:
Plus ceramics, silverware, enamels, ivories, books, metalware, silverware, furniture, textiles, glassware, woodwork and frames.

Some of the categories of images online

You can also download images - so long as you stick to the rules. Basically it's a Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Unported) licence - meaning you must provide attribution and not use if commercially.

The Courtauld makes images of its collection and other content on this website available for non-commercial and educational purposes under a Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Unported). For more information on the selected Creative Commons licence, please visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.en_GB.

You are welcome to use images and content identified as Courtauld copyright for non-commercial purposes in research, private study or study within an educational establishment (such as a school, college or university), for criticism and review. The source of the image or content must be provided and its copyright status acknowledged. Images of the Courtauld collection should be credited with Photo © The Courtauld. Other Courtauld licenced content must be credited with © The Courtauld.

View The Courtauld Gallery Photograph Collection Online

The Courtauld’s photographic collections are of major international significance for the study and research of art, architecture, provenance and collecting, as well as enjoyment and appreciation of art in the classroom and at home


Monday, September 25, 2023

Review: 78th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists

This is a review of the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists  which I visited on Tuesday morning last week - straight after the PV the night before. 

View of the West Gallery with a range of artwork and sizes on display

I'm writing this  essentially for three parties:

  • artists interested in marine art and members of the RSMA - and maybe applying for next year's exhibition
  • the Mall Galleries
  • the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
I'll be commenting very specifically on the artworks in the exhibition.

However, some of the comments in my review follow a theme arising from earlier reviews of annual exhibitions at the Mall Galleries for the very simple reason it's important and universal. That theme very much relates to the interest rate shenanigans and the cost of living crisis experienced over the last 12 months i.e. fewer people having disposable income or feeling confident about buying and this has an impact on sales and by definition to income of artists.

This morning, I've been reviewing the photos I took and counting the subsequent sales on the website after the ones I counted in the exhibition last week - of which more below.

East Gallery

The morning after the PV turned out, as I hoped, to be an excellent time to take photos without a lot of people in front of the artwork. These will be loaded into albums on my Facebook page where they will 

  • either give you an incentive to visit the exhibition
  • provide an insight into the type of artwork which gets selected for the exhibition, if you're unable to visit.
These are the links to my photos of the:
The exhibition continues until Saturday 30th September (10am to 5pm) at the Mall Galleries.

BELOW you can find my review of the artwork and a commentary on sales and the price of artwork sold

Review of RSMA Annual Exhibition 2023

Overall, this is an exhibition which continues to impress in terms of the standard of artwork submitted - with particular respect to its execution. There are, in particular, a number of very impressive oil painters. 

The exhibition is also becoming more diverse and is demonstrating a wider range of both subject matter and media over time. 

It also receives a good level of sponsorship which is reflected in the prizes on offer to participating artists - both members and those selected via the open entry.

Subject Matter

This is an open art exhibition which invites artwork about anything that involves tidal waters of the world

In other this is NOT about water per se - it MUST be essentially marine in nature i.e. involved with TIDAL water. This includes:
  • harbours and shorelines,
  • traditional craft and contemporary shipping,
  • creeks and beaches,
  • wildlife and marine workers
  • in short anything that involves tidal water
The range of subject matter on display in the marine art in this exhibition is fascinating. 

One of the key aspects creating and maintaining a successful art society is knowing your audience and how to reach out to them - otherwise you and your members could be out of pocket pretty fast! 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

UPDATE: The PAOTY Guinness World Record Attempt

Two important items of information about the World Record attempt at portrait painting
  • The Date has CHANGED - from 30th September (train strike day) - to Saturday 28th October 2023 2pm - 5pm
  • To attend you need to RSVP by 25th September via the Event Link on Eventbrite
The Location remains the same: Lindley Hall in Westminter. Below is a map of the location of the RHS Lindley Hall relative to Victoria Coach Station, Waterloo Station, and the Tube Stations at Victoria, St Jame's Park, and Pimlico.

The Blue pin in the map indicates the location of the RHS Lindley Hall

The entrance - depending on which doors they open is either via the RHS HQ at 80 Vincent Square or (more likely in my opinion) via the Hall Entrance Doors in Elverton Street (around the corner).

Arrows indicate location of Entrance Doors to RHS Lindley Hall
The ones usually used for large events are the ones in Elverton Street

Here's what else you need to know

There are a few rules and regulations (not optional) that need to be observed for a world record attempt
  • You will be provided with paint (acrylics), brushes and one A3 canvas to take part
  • You will be provided with an allocated space in the hall, easels and stools will also be available
  • Each artist will be given 15-20min prep time to get comfortable/do a test run before we do the record attempt
  • Each artist will be given 60min to paint a portrait of Sir Lenny as part of the official record attempt from around 3pm
  • To set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title 
    • each artist needs to fill the canvas in proportion to the canvas size i.e. fill as least 80-90% of it with their portrait AND
    • be clearly visible as Sir Lenny (i.e. no abstract art)
So if you've not used acrylics before, now is the time to get practising because they're very different to other paints.

So if you want to attend, please click the link above. However do bear in mind 200 other people might have got there first!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Unseen Turner and Bonington watercolours now on display

Turner and Bonington: Watercolours from the Wallace Collection is a new display of previously unseen watercolours by two of the most significant  watercolour painters of the 19th century - Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) and Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828).  It opened yesterday and is on for the next six months - until 21 April 2024 - in what's known as 'The Housekeeper's Room' on the ground floor just beyond the shop.

Turner and Bonington are two of the finest watercolour painters that England has ever produced. Plus these 19th century watercolours are normally kept in storage as they are very sensitive to light - and they have never been exhibited before at the Wallace Collection or elsewhere.

Richard Parkes Bonington
Venice_ The Doge’s Palace from the Ponte della Paglia, c. 1827-28
© The Trustees of the Wallace Collection

There are only 9 small previously unseen. watercolour paintings and 1 medium sized oil painting however they are definitely worth a trip to see them. The paintings are arranged in themes:

  • Turner and Yorkshire (4 paintings)
  • Bonington and Normandy (3 Paintings)
  • Bonington's Views of Venice (3 paintings)
“The theme of the display is travel; in the sense of finding captivating views whether within the confines of one’s own country or through exploring other countries. The Normandy coves depicted by Bonington were notorious at the time for smuggling, which would have piqued the curiosity of the contemporary viewer, while Venice was, of course, the centre of the Grand Tour and attracted artists and aristocratic tourists in great numbers.”
Dr Lucy Davis, Curator at the Wallace Collection

Another theme relates to how each artist dealt with painting light and atmosphere. 

Turner and Yorkshire

Four watercolours about Yorkshire by JMW Turner

Turner spent a long career based in Britain but also travelled extensively around the UK and across Europe.

This first series is of Yorkshire and are four views painted for Sir William Pilkington (1775-1850) who was a contemporary of Turner and a close family friend. He was based at Chevet Hall near Wakefield.

The four watercolours followed his normal process of being 
  • based on "on the spot" plein air sketches - in the sketchbooks which now form part of the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain.
  • subsequently worked up into finished watercolour paintings either in his studio or in Yorkshire.
They comprise (left to right):

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Call for Entries: Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2024

The Pastel Society has published its Call for Entries for its 125th Annual Exhibition in January next year.

The Pastel Society seeks the best in contemporary pastel and dry media, combining technical skill with creative originality for the Society's 125th Exhibition.
This is an OPEN ART EXHIBITION. If you submit and are selected for the exhibition your artwork will be
  • included in the catalogue
  • seen by visitors to the Mall Galleries - and it gets a lot of visitors
  • viewed online via the Mall Galleries website and that of the Pastel Society - before, during and after the Exhibition
  • eligible for a number of prizes & awards.
READ ON If you work in pastels, oil pastels, charcoal, pencil, conte, sanguine, or any other dry media and would like to achieve a higher profile for your artwork - and maybe a sale or a prize!

The 125th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society: 
SUMMARY of the Call for Entries

  • Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Pastel Society
  • All submissions are online. 
  • DEADLINE for entries - for a digital image, application form and fee - is noon on Friday 24 November 2023
  • All artwork submitted is judged virtually, after which selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for inclusion in the exhibition
  • Exhibition Dates: 23rd January (PV Day - Invite only) to Saturday 10th February 2024.
  • Venue: Mall Galleries, The Mall, London

Below you can find MY version of the Call for Entries. Note that:
  • it includes TIPS and additional comments which those who have not entered before may find useful.
  • Some of those who have entered before and been unsuccessful might also like to have a read.

Submission: key dates and points to note

ALL artworks must be submitted online. 
It means that the quality of your digital image is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL.

REQUIRED READING: On the Mall Galleries website you can find:
Note: The Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQs) appears to have disappeared from the website.

TIP: If you don't read all the relevant information, do NOT be surprised or irritated if your entry is not selected.

Below is a summary of the stages of entry.

1. ELIGIBLE ARTISTS: Who can enter?

This is an OPEN exhibition and is not limited to work by members.
This exhibition also has works exhibited by people who live outside the UK.
  • Any artist over 18 may submit.
  • There is no restriction of where you live. 
  • It's open to artists in the UK, EU, and outside the EU