Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Inspired by Nature's bounty

Alan Reynolds: Summer: Young September's Cornfield (image from here)
This morning I went into our local museum to see an exhibition:  Angie Lewin - A Printmaker's Journey.  An exhibition of Angie Lewin's work alone would have been interesting enough, but this is so much better: a collection of pieces which the catalogue describes as an introspective exhibition: one which gathered together major influences, affinities and works of importance to her own visual journey, past and present.
I enjoy seeing Angie Lewin's work.  I so admire her compositions, her collections of evidence, memories of being in the landscape.  My favourites, however are the images which capture the shape of the landscape such as Skye to Harris (below)
and especially Black Island - both in the show.
The piece of hers which I loved the most in the exhibition is a watercolour: Wooden Dish with Uist Pebbles (image below from here).

One delightful surprise was a painting, Brimham Rock, Yorkshire by Graham Sutherland which I had not seen before.  What a powerful image.  The painting, a gouache on paper is the original from the Shell poster shown below (image from here).  The frame and lettering diminishes the power of the original.  At first I thought that it was a tree, but no - the rocks exist. 
Astonishing, the painting is representational, but moves, pulls in the viewer, enticingly looking like a tree in wind, then contributing to the otherworldliness of rocks and their surroundings.  (image below from here)
Another delight, another discovery for me was Monica Poole's wood engraving Under Water (image below from here).
And yet another new artist to me, and attractive, unusual work is Paul Scott's Scott's Cumbrian Blue(s), The Garden Series, Willow Cuttings (image below from here).
All in all this morning reinforced my general feeling that I get more of substance these days from small specialist exhibitions rather than the huge blockbusters, not least because I encountered only two other visitors this morning (and they soon left, leaving me alone) rather than crowds.  I now have lots to savour.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Hawthorn blossom

The blossom on the hawthorns round us is at its peak right now.  I remember hearing that David Hockney waited and revisited hawthorns until just this perfect point before rushing out to capture the abundance.
(image from here - more Hockney hawthorns here)

Monday, May 01, 2017

May day

We have had both sunshine and rain today, as is appropriate for May Day, heralding the end of Spring and the beginnings of Summer.  I have been remembering traditions I took part in when I was small - even when not so small: I washed my face in the May Day dawn dew in Edinburgh until I married and left home.  One of these women pictured here could have been me as I did go up Arthur's Seat a couple of my years at university to complete the ritual (I wasn't there then - 1965 was my first year at university, so that May I would still have been at school).  Those were the days before we thought about acid rain and other general pollutants!
I was only in Greece for one May Day that I remember - it must have been in the early 1950s.  A group of aunts took me out to the country the day before in order to gather wild flowers and branches of flowering shrubs which we then wove into a wreath to hang on the balcony.  The wreath then stayed there until Midsummer.  It certainly was not as professional looking as the one illustrated above from here.