Winter Exhibition at Malvern Theatres - 9 Jan - 18 Feb 2017

by Humph Hack 8. January 2017 14:25

All artists draw inspiration from the world about them. In some cases the starting point is nature itself, in others it is humanity, while for yet others, the world of fantasy takes over. But in every case, art without reference to elements which are recognizable cannot engage the viewer. And, it is the capacity to engage which separates the noteworthy from the merely mundane. Art should not be for decoration but for far more. Living with a good work of art involves a daily conversation. Owning a work by one of the 3 artists showing in the new exhibition in Malvern Theatres would make such a dialogue possible.

 Miriam Meek had a love for painting and drawing throughout childhood. She began devoting more time to developing her style of painting following her youngest child starting school. Now several years later, she has exhibited across the Midlands as well as selling via the internet. 

Working with acrylic, her semi abstract paintings are inspired by the sky and it's ever changing colour and movement. Whatever the time of day or the time of year, as the light changes, the sky provides endless new ideas. Whether it is vibrant or a gentleness in the light depicted, each painting has a journey and a story of it's own.

Iso Bella chooses a similar mode of expression, but for her the whole landscape becomes her inspiration. She works in a variety of media. Each, whether, watercolour, oils or acrylics allows and encourages different interpretations of what she has observed. Although she also produces prints, all the work in this show are paintings on canvas. She has exhibited and sold across the UK. Both Miriam and Iso produce works which, although drawing inspiration from nature, rely upon their images evoking the transient nature of the play of light in the natural environment. Photographic they are not, they are more real as a result.

Rachel Blackwell’s works may at first glance seem more straightforward. Her images are all recognisable, but of course, all are imagined, not records of real events. Her work is often bought by parents for their children but is loved by both. All of us have memories of tales told to us and by us, intended for the young, but enjoyed because they continue to echo around our heads as innocent memories. This is the World that Rachel inhabits.

The exhibition runs every day – all day from January 9th to February 18th.

 

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Capturing The Beauty Of The Rain In Art

by Aileen Mitchell 6. January 2017 09:00

From 'Purple Rain' to impressionism, this month we take a look at how art celebrates the beauty of some classic British weather. January isn't exactly famous for its sunny skies, so what better time to throw a positive and artistic light on our winter elements?

The impressionist painters of the 19th century were also known for celebrating wet weather in their art. A large part of impressionism is about capturing the ever-changing light and atmosphere in a painting. For example, Renoir's beautiful sunny afternoon pieces and Claude Monet's dreamy botanical landscapes. But there are some famous pieces that depict less than ideal weather conditions for painting en plein air, as the impressioists did. 

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

Although it may not seemlike the typical style of impressionist paintings with its almost 3D-like quality, 'Paris Street; Rainy Day' shows a very real atmosphere in the way the rain is painted, shimmering on the cobbled streets. 

Hiroshige van Gogh

Bridge in the Rain by Vincent Van Gogh (right, seen here with Hiroshige's original, left)

Vincent Van Gogh was a huge fan of Japanese art, so much so that he created his own paintings in the same style. 'Bridge in the Rain' is actually Van Gogh's painted copy of the original print by the Japanese artist, Utagawa Hiroshige. Although the dimensions were kept the same, Van Gogh has added his signature textured brush strokes and vibrant colour to the piece to make it his own. 

Jockeys in the Rain

Jockeys in the Rain by Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas, one of the founding fathers of impressionim, is famous for his equine art and portraits of ballet dancers. Here we see the jockeys and their horses in the rain but in the rain. Degas painted many scenes of jockeys and horses, but not many in the rain. Degas's classic delicate strokes and depiction of the light creates the impression of soft and heavy rain. 

Morning on the Seine

Morning on the Seine In The Rain by Claude Monet

Unlike the dreamy landscapes of river on sunny afternoons, Claude Monet's 'Morning on the Seine In The Rain' depicts the busy surface of the river as rain drops hit it. The blend of the same colours from the sky and the trees into the river create the impression of a downpour and a very wet morning. 

ArtGallery artists capturing the rain

Evening City Rain by Aisha Haider

Evening City Rain by Aisher Haider

Evening City Rain celebrates the atmposheric scene of a rainy evening. The very realistic rain drops in the forground create the illusion of looking out at the painting through a window onto the rainy street. 

Silhouettes by Stephen Casey

Silhouettes by Stephen Casey

Stephen Casey creates the feeling of falling rain in the large, vertical brush strokes that make up the background of the piece. 

After Rain by Olena Topliss

After Rain by Olena Topliss

Olena Topliss has created a very dramatic skyscape achieving photorealism with her dabbed, soft clouds. Playing with light in a way that would make any impressionist proud, this piece is very atmospheric and really captures the beauty of a rainy landscape. 

Autumn Rain by Robert Jackson

Autumn Rain by Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson's abstract is a very tangible piece portraying condensation, water droplets and the suggestion of an autumn landscape in the background.

The Walk Home  by Pippa Buist

The Walk Home by Pippa Buist

A watercolour scene reminiscent of Caillebotte, Pippa Buist has created a classic city street scene in the rain. The light reflected on the wet pavements and water of the canal really gives the viewer the beautiful impression of a very wet day. 

Fin by Yary Dluhos

Fin by Yary Dluchos

Yary Dluchos's oil painting on canvas has bold strokes and palette knife strokes that catch the constantly changing atmosphere in a scene that impressionism also captures. The drips trickling down the canvas in a background layer gives the sensation of drizzly weather, combined with downward strokes emulate falling rain.  

Raindrops On Hosta Leaves by Kate Esmarch

Raindrops On Hosta Leaves by Kate Esmarch

A subject can be beautiful to observe and paint whether it is a wide open landscape or a very small detail. 'Raindrops On Hosta Leaves' is a great photorealist acrylic painting that captures the small but beautiful detail of raindrops on a leaf. 

Londoners in the Rain by Lesley Blackburn
Londoners in the Rain by Lesley Blackburn

London is always a great muse: full of drama, interesting scenes, and a never ending opportunity to people-watch. Lesley Blackburn has captured the hustle and bustle of a busy London street in the rain wit her oil on canvas painting. The wet, reflective pavement in the foreground really catches the eye and sets the rainy scene from a firest glance. 

Find more paintings, illustrations and drawings on our gallery that either depict the rain or distract you from it on our online gallery

Image credits:

Rue de Paris, temps de pluie, Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) / 5wEUCOlEf-EaVQ at Google Cultural Institute / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Montage personnel de deux images : un tableau original d'Hiroshige et une copie de Van Gogh / 'Own work' / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Jockeys in the Rain, Edgar Degas 1886 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Morning on the Seine in the Rain, Claude Monet 1897 - 1898 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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Art History | Artists

Humph Hack's Love Of Buildings

by Aileen Mitchell 4. January 2017 10:44

When I was studying "A" level art, part of the course was the history of architecture. I had never really thought much about buildings before that. They provided shelter, warmth; a living space and in most cases that was all there was to it.

My mind was changed and my eyes were opened by the works of architects like Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. In each case it was the exterior of the buildings which excited me. I determined to study architecture and spent many hours sketching the exterior of fantastic houses – many split-level in construction.

The Cathedral - Opus 2 by Humph Hack
The Cathedral - Opus 2 by Humph Hack

My parents were delighted with my career plans. I did a week of work experience in an architects’ office – and hated it. Most people spent all their time deciding on which side the doors should hinge or how deep to make the skirting boards; and everybody talked “cost reduction” all day long. The day I applied to college of art in Birmingham, my parents thought I was going to an interview at the local Architecture college but I was headed for the Fine Art Department of the College of Art. On my return in the evening, the answer to my parents’ questions about how I got on was...“There’s good news and bad news!!”

I successfully completed my degree in Fine Art and a further year to train to teach but maintained my interest in the outward appearance of buildings. After I retired from teaching I decided to use my new found freedom to travel and collect ideas for paintings of interesting architecture.

Malvern Priory From the Hills by Humph Hack
Malvern Priory From the Hills by Humph Hack

I have visited many European countries seeking out buildings which excite me. I take multiple photographs and on returning to my studio seek out those which express the nature of a particular building best and amalgamate several to form the basis of my painted composition. I hope to emphasise aspects of the texture, colour and scale of a building – ignoring or reducing the impact of irrelevant detail and concentrating on those elements which make the building unique.

I have little or no idea of how a painting will look when finished, as I attack the bare canvas! I have found that the technique works as well for domestic architecture as it does for the grand public edifice –as long as the subject matter excites me in some tangible way. I have sold steadily on the internet and through exhibitions. My work is held by collectors throughout the UK and Europe.

Little Malvern Court - Worcestershire by Humph Hack
Little Malvern Court - Worcestershire by Humph Hack

I have been particularly pleased with the ArtGallery.co.uk website which gives me a chance to exhibit my work to a wide audience – and how rewarding it is when you get the sort of response that I received from a very satisfied customer whose feedback is the latest to be posted on the ArtGallery.co.uk testimonial page.

So, where to next on my travels – well, I know little of Germany apart from Berlin and my visits to Italy are limited to Rome and Venice. There is much of Europe and Eastern Europe in particular which remains to be explored. And the UK always has surprises round the corner. I shall not run out of exciting subject matter. My wife with whom I travel shares my excitement in buildings and miraculously we are lucky enough to live in a split-level house which could have been the subject of my adolescent dreams.

Humph Hack

Humph Hack's art gallery »

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Artists | Artists Corner | Being an Artist

Father Christmas in Art History

by Aileen Mitchell 19. December 2016 08:56

There are few iconic celebrities who make the select group of people painted again and again throughout history. Religious icons have secured most of the top spots, but there is one much-loved individual who has also made his mark many times. We're talking, of course, about Saint Nicholas or Father Christmas.

*Spoiler alert: This post is about to detail spoilers about Father Christmas.

Father Christmas, or Santa, is a character based on the real life fourth century archbishop, Saint Nicholas of Myra, Asia Minor (known today as Demre, Turkey). Well respected for his regular miracles of resurrecting children and saving men from drowning at sea, Saint Nicholas was made patron saint of sailors, merchants, children and much more.

Saint Nicholas was also widely known for his secret gift giving, a trait that directly inspired the creation of modern day Father Christmas.

Saint Nicholas, 1799

Usually found in Russian Eastern Orthodox paintings, Saint Nicholas sports a modest white, fluffy beard and his archbishop robes.

Medieval depictions of Saint Nicholas often portray him as having darker skin, a complexion akin to the people of his Myran origin. Here was see him with darker skin and a bald head, surrounded by famous scenes from his life like resurrecting three children from a wooden barrel.

Russia ca 1675 St Nicholas of Zaraisk with Saints and Festival Scenes

Russia ca 1675 St Nicholas of Zaraisk with Saints & Festival Scenes

Many people believe the red worn by modern day Father Christmas was designed as marketing by the fizzy drink giant, Coca Cola. Although this colour definitely works in their favour, there are many paintings of Saint Nicholas wearing red archbishop robes that pre-date Coca Cola by hundreds of years – a good bit of trivia to use at the table during Christmas dinner!

Unlike many saints whose bodies were divided and distributed to various churches after their death (for religious reasons), Saint Nicholas remains in one piece where he was laid to rest in Bari, Italy. Because of this, a team of scientists in the 1950s were able to analyse the body and reveal the man was barely five feet tall with a broken nose.

Christmas Scene, 1820 by Franz Xaver Frh, vom Paumgartten

Christmas Scene, 1820 by Franz Xaver Frh, vom Paumgartten

This painting from Austria shows how Saint Nicholas is beginning to become part of the Christmas scene and take on a role similar to the Father Christmas we know today. We see the classic depiction of the archbishop with the white beard joining in with the family's festivities and, importantly, holding a child's hand. This shows how Saint Nicholas's recognised kindness to children was used as a main theme for the character of Father Christmas.

The character peering round the door on the left is known as 'Krampus', a popular figure in the Christmas story in Austrian and Nordic countries. Sometimes seen as the 'anti-santa', Krampus would punish naughty children. This, thankfully, did not make it over to the British interpretation. He's terrifying.

1888 Saves from Death

Saint Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents From Death by Ilja Repin

Saint Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents From Death by Ilja Repin

One thing Saint Nicholas does not seem to have been is overweight – probably because the real Saint Nicholas didn't have to make his way through thousands of mince pies. In this painting by Ilya Repin, he is notably thin, but still supports the iconic white beard.

Whilst the real man is still being painted, the character Father Chirstmas began to model for several paintings, etchings and illustrations by this point. One of his most famous debuts was a starring role for Mason's wine essences – yes, he became a commercial man very quickly!

Father Christmas, Tuck Photo Oilette postcard 1919

Father Christmas, Tuck Photo Oilette postcard 1919

During the early 1800s, Father Christmas kept a relatively low profile so as not to be associated with the Lords of Misrule. By the 1900s he made a full comeback and was a well-established figure appearing in many famous paintings and adverts according to his newly found official description in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Old Christmas, Illustrated London News 24 December 1842

Old Christmas, Illustrated London News 24 December, 1842

He is described as "the personification of Christmas as a benevolent old man with a flowing white beard, wearing a red sleeved gown and hood trimmed with white fur, and carrying a sack of Christmas presents". Magazines began to print pictures of a cheerful old man still in red robes and surrounded by food.

And to this day, Father Christmas lives on in art! See for yourself on our online gallery.

Santa Claus by Christina Panou

Santa Claus by Christina Panou

Welcome Santa Claus by Christina Panou

Welcome to Santa Claus by Christina Panou

PLAYING FATHER CHRISTMAS by NIGEL FARNWORTH

Playing Father Christmas by Nigel Farnworth

Image credits

Saint Nicholas, 1799 Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou, Mount Athos/

Copyright © 2002-2016 St. Nicholas Center

Russia ca 1675 St Nicholas of Zaraisk with Saints & Festival Scenes/1998,1104.1/ © The Trustees of the British Museum

Christmas Scene, 1820/ Franz Xaver Frh, vom Paumgartten Kunstverlag Wolfrum Vienna, Austria 2005/ © 1987 Museen d. Stadt Wien

Saint Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents From Death by Ilja Repin/ GalleriX/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Tuck postcard, in the Photo Oilette series, number C7513/ TuckDB Postcards/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

'Old Christmas' The illustration is accompanied by a verse, 'The Song of the Wassail Bowl'/ User:MichaelMaggs/Gallery / Wikimedia Commons

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Art History

Christmas Delivery Dates 2016

by Aileen Mitchell 9. December 2016 12:19

Happy Christmas!

Original art is one of the most personal and thoughtful gifts you can give. We also have a brand-new selection of hand-crafted gifts available this Christmas. 

At Christmas we all want our presents to arrive on time. Here's what you need to know for this year. 

Our artists always try their best to arrange deliveries before Christmas. Please note that artists are of course in the hands of Royal Mail or couriers. We suggest the following latest dates for you to order to give artists the best chance of getting your art to you in time for Christmas 

Artworks and gifts

Delivery addressLast ordering date
UK Monday 19th December 2016
Europe Wednesday 14th December 2016

Gift Vouchers

TypeLast ordering date
Gift vouchers in a presentation card Wednesday 21st December
Email vouchers Saturday 24th December

Christmas card

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Buying Art

Stella Dunkley - How To Choose Art For Your Home

by Aileen Mitchell 28. November 2016 08:36

Stella DunkleyWhether you are buying art as a gift, to add to your art collection, or as a potential investment, ArtGallery.co.uk has a wide variety of affordable art to choose from, browse through the collection of artworks in all styles & mediums from the comfort of your home or place of work, created by talented artists from around the UK, once you have chosen your art it is carefully wrapped and delivered safely to your door.

An original piece of art for friends or family on a special occasion, Christmas or birthday is a gift that will last a lifetime, buying or commissioning art for a wedding present for example is a great way for a more personal touch, you could have a honeymoon or a wedding photo made into a lasting momento of this special day, or maybe a landscape painting, limited edition print or photograph from an area that they have fond memories of.

Gift vouchers are ideal if you would prefer the recipient to be able to choose their art. Seascapes are always popular, calm and tranquil oceans or crashing waves below a stormy sky, art can bring thoughts & memories of visits to the coast and has a wonderful way of creating an emotional response and a connection for the viewer.

Gaze at a beautiful atmospheric sunset over the sea in your living room! Or art linked to a hobby or pastime is a great idea, original, contemporary or traditional art will enhance and bring style and colour to any home or work environment.

Some aspects to consider when choosing your art are: the medium, oils & acrylic: acrylic is the modern equivalent to oils, its faster drying & can be used to create a wide variety of effects. Oils create wonderfully subtle blends of colour, both have supports of canvas, linen or wood panel, or watercolour: watercolours can have a beautiful delicate quality, watercolours, prints, photographs and art on paper will need framing for protection.

Colour can play a very important role in our everyday lives, it's mood enhancing, vibrant reds and orange can create a positive & sunny feel when the weather is gloomy! Yellows and golds are uplifting & stimulating, greens and blues are calming and help us to relax and unwind.

The stunning scenery of the Dorset shoreline is the main inspiration for my landscape and seascape paintings, I work in most mediums on canvas, linen & paper, my preferred colour palette varies from vibrant reds to neutral cream and gold & cool greens and greys, I enjoy the challenge of creating light and atmosphere, capturing the changing light of the coast, my inspirations come from the intensity of light and colour at sunrise and sunset, reflections of boats on the water, stormy skies over the sea & the patterns and textures of the natural world. I sell & exhibit worldwide and work to commission on a regular basis Stella Dunkley

 Beyond The Bay To Old Harry by Stella Dunkley

Sunrise Over The Bay by Stella Dunkley

 Magenta Sunset by Stella Dunkley

 Departing Storm by Stella Dunkley

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Malvern Theatres Christmas Exhibition

by Humph Hack 20. November 2016 14:04

 Three female artists based in South Wales have taken over the exhibition space in Malvern Theatres for the next 7 weeks. They all derive their inspiration from the beautiful surroundings in that part of the Principality as well as further afield. What they have in common, as well as their location is superb technical skill and healthy sales record. People like to share their lives with original images of nature whether they inhabit urban or rural environments.
Emma Cownie’s works have a very strong visual impact, derived from bold blocks of colours and an expressive palette that is widely used in modern art and pop art. Looking at Emma’s works you may get a sense of Paul Gauguin’s use of yellow and red, Robert Bevan’s blue green trees with purple, Henri Matisse’s simplification and exaggeration of form and Andre Derain’s bold definition of shape within the landscape. However, her works are not derivative but strongly original.

Dawn Harries’ style is at first sight more traditional, but it is the solidity of the rock formations which populate her coastal scenes which impress. She works in her home studio, but her inspiration comes from the landscape. She uses sketches and/or photographs taken from walks around South and West Wales to produce a varied mix of work, from colourful oils, to monochrome inks. Her works evoke the character of that beautiful area of Wales so well.

Amanda Dagg is becoming an “old favourite” in Malvern. She has sold well, whenever she has shown here before, so it was a particular pleasure to be able to sign her up to the Pre-Christmas exhibition, in the knowledge that she will help solve some people’s present problems. Her style is more decorative than the other two artists, but still rooted in her surroundings and personal experience.

The show is open every day, from Monday 21 November until Saturday 7 January, so it’s a good place to hunt for that special present. Purchases can be delivered within 5 days.

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Movember Special: The Importance of a Moustache

by Aileen Mitchell 18. November 2016 15:53

The moustache is a real statement whether its handlebar, pencil or cowboy. It also plays a key role as a statement in art as well as fashion in everyday life. Join us this Movember as we look back at the historical president of 'the tash'.

One of the first and greatest celebrations of the upper-lip adorner was the Sutton Hoo helmet. This extraordinary object is a pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon burial art. The helmet was found as part of a ship-burial from the very rich archaeological site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England. Look closely at the face mask and you can see that the neatly clipped moustache represents not just a moustache but the tail of a bird flying upwards. Surely one of the most recognisable tashes in art history.

When we think of medieval knights we imagine tall, handsome men astride a horse with – of course – a terrific moustache. This hairy status symbol was of such importance that in the fourteenth century Edward Prince of Wales had an effigy on his tomb showing him in full battle dress armour but with his moustache on show.

We have always looked to our monarchy and aristocracy to keep up to date with the latest vogues. Although Queen Elizabeth didn't sport a handlebar, the Elizabethan era was the start of men choosing to be very bearded. This was then further refined by King Charles I and his iconic handlebar moustache and goatee beard.

There have been many modern artists who have used the moustache as statements in their work, and in fact on people's art! Revolutionary artist Marcel Duchamp, famous for the statement urinal in the 1917 exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists, has also paid homage to the moustache. In a series of works titled 'found objects', Duchamp would take a mundane and ordinary object and alter it, making it extraordinary. L.H.O.O.Q. is a postcard print of the Mona Lisa with Duchamp's addition of a moustache and goatee.

As Duchamp demonstrated, it's not just men who have an important relationship with the moustache in art. Frida Kahlo, surrealist painter most famous for her self-portraits, often depicted herself with a moustache – or more accurately the natural layer of hair that lined her upper lip. This attention to her natural features is for a number of reasons from pride in her Mexican heritage to painting exactly what she saw, to a feminist statement about her main pleasures in life being considered as 'manly'. Putting herself under such scrutiny as she painted, it has been observed that Kahlo would make the hair on her upper lip more prominent than it really was.

Our next moustache-wearing art icon appeared in Spain at the beginning of the surrealist movement. Salvador Dali's moustache is almost as iconic as the melting clocks in his artwork. When asked in an interview whether his moustache was in fact a joke, he responded by saying it was "the most serious part".

Dali's moustache was not only a famous part of his look that we remember him by even today, but an extension of his personality and mood at the time. One day it would be tied in a bow, the next stuck in spikey straight lines, sometimes curving up like the horns of a bull. He also would sometime use his moustache to paint – either whilst it was still attached, or he would use the trimmings to make his own bristle head on a paintbrush. 

 

Van Gogh is another famous artist who had a very close bond with his moustache. Almost every self-portrait he painted includes a beard and moustache – so much so that the painting of himself simply named, Self-Portrait Without a Beard, is one of the most expensive of his paintings going for 71.5 million dollars!

It is interesting to see that in his self-portraits his brush strokes do not change from the texture of his face to the moustache and beard; the only thing that changes is the colour. Art historians consider this as Van Gogh expressing how his facial hair is very much an extension of himself rather than a grown accessory. Closer studies on this subject have also shown how little difference there is between the way he paints his landscapes and the way he paints himself. Another example of very deep levels of an artist expressing their character in their masterpieces.

There are such strong links between artists and the moustache throughout art history it would be wrong to deny its constant presence and significance. Not only is the moustache a statement on a fashion and visual level but an embodiment of an artist's emotions and opinions at that particular stage of their career.

Image credits:

User: vggallery.com/ Self-Portrait with Straw Hat / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

User: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei / Self-Portrait Without Beard / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Karl Stas / LHOOQ (1919) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Thomas Gun / Charles I of England / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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Art History | Artists | The Art World

Colin Miles

by Aileen Mitchell 4. November 2016 13:57

Hello I’m Colin I am the person who makes sculptures from found objects. I also do marketry pictures but that’s another story.

In order to find the objects that inspire; you have to do a lot of looking. For me that is the best part, beach combing, enjoying the ‘lonely sea and the sky’. These are the essential ingredients of this process.

I am not sure what draws me to the edge of the land; is it space, is it timeless rhythm, is it the light or just the grains of sand? Whatever it is, the wonder lust, the treasure hunt, for me, it is perfect heaven.

Peveril Point Lighthouse - Colin Miles

As I am short-sighted it is always reassuring to actually still be able to find small objects. I like driftwood and stones with holes in. There is a history and truth about them. I particularly look for small twigs in funny shapes. In them I see dancers, jugglers, joggers, jumpers, fliers and figures of fun, all physical freedoms.

With pieces of cloth, sticky paper tape and string, I join bits together, bind them up to make them whole and come alive. I like my figures to jump for joy, to celebrate life. As an early retired person, freedom is obviously important. I also wish to create my own beauty.

A good find is magic; it makes me happy, content, satisfied and fulfilled. It’s like a reward for living, a reason for being; it makes the point of walking on the beach on that day in that particular way. As if the object has found me rather than the other way round.

I am the person who makes sculptures from found objects and I hope you like them.

Beach Huts - Colin Miles

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Happy Birthday Picasso and Giacometti

by Aileen Mitchell 21. October 2016 11:16

October is a wonderful time for artists: leaves begin to turn red and gold, the light changes from a hot sun to a warm glow, and morning dew begins to look exceptionally pretty. As well as celebrating the changing of the season, we're also celebrating the birthdays of two very influential artists, Pablo Picasso and Giacometti.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) mastered many movements in art throughout his extremely busy career as an artist. From cultivating Cubism to coming up with collage, Picasso was a man who was constantly seeking to experiment and grow as a person through artistic expression, which resulted in a legacy of 50,000 works that we can all admire today.

After learning the basics of how to paint and draw from his father, an art professor, Picasso attended art school, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, before dropping out and making his own way in the world of art. This is known as his 'Blue Period' due to all of his portraits conveying undertones of depression – but was also partly down to the colours and materials Picasso was able to afford at the time.

Although a classically trained artist, each of his styles was considered ground-breaking. After Picasso moved to Paris, his paintings became much more optimistic. Each piece was tinted with orange-pink hue and is known as his 'Rose Period'. It was in Paris that Picasso began experimenting with form and tribal influence, creating one of the most famous works of art that also paved the way for Cubism,

George Braque was an artist also living in Paris, who was later to become the co-founder of Cubism with Picasso, didn't immediately take to the style. After seeing Les Demoiselles d'Avignon he was recorded to have said,

"It's like he wants us to drink gasoline and eat fire!" Needless to say, he grew to like the painting and Cubism was born.

Picasso's boundless energy and non-stop artistic experimentation meant that he did not stay a Cubist for very long. He began adding mixed media to his canvases including newspaper and cloth, which is said to be the birth of collage art. Although he was constantly experimenting and producing art, Picasso stopped exhibiting his works whilst living in Nazi occupied Paris during the Second World War. Picasso did not feel his work would fit the Nazi's ideals of 'perfect art'.

Today we can enjoy a wealth of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and rugs that span from Cubism to Surrealism, created by one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.

Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso

Les Demoiselles d'AvignonLes Demoiselles d'Avignon.

Pablo HoneyPablo Honey – Czar Catstick

Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966) was born in a small town called Borgonovo in the southeastern Swiss Alps. His parents recognised his artistic talent from a young age and encouraged it as much as they could.

Giacometti soon became and artist who could create portraits in stunning realism, using bold strokes and a bright palette. A theme that developed throughout Giacometti's career as an artist was the figure of portraits (usually himself) kneeling on one knee, gazing towards the viewer. As a young boy, Giacometti's drawing studies changed from the classical three-quarter face pose to completely frontal view. This was incredibly stylised art from someone so young.

Gradually, Giacometti's portrait subjects would be bent and constrained to fit into the canvas size they were painted on and altered for geometric clarity. This then lead to Giacometti's contribution to art as a cubist painter.  

After his initial successful early beginnings, Giacometti's most famous work comes from a period that is largely considered as modernism, as they are arguably devoid of meaning. In truth, Giacometti found himself living through a prolonged existential crisis with his art. Although able to use techniques that produced wonderfully realistic portraits, Giacometti found he was unable to unravel what his latest, more modernist style meant and was almost permanently in a state of lost frustration.

The most famous works from Giacometti are the elongated figure sculptures. These willowy people grew slimmer and taller the more he made, partly due to being constantly re-worked and re-modelled (this also explains their texture). Giacometti himself confessed that these sculptures were more akin to the shadows that these figures cast; ultimately, he did not know to translate what he saw into his art. This became apparent in his paintings too as the surfaces grew much thicker with layers of re-worked paint.  

These two artists are both fascinating examples of people who devote their entire lives to working out how to express their creativity, giving the art world some of the most influential and iconic pieces in return.

To see some of our own talented artists' modern day masterpieces, stop by our online gallery.

GiacomettiGiacometti and his large scale famous figure sculptures, 1962

Alberto GiacomettiGiacometti working on his smaller sized famous figures, 1962

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Art History | Artists


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    Tetbury
    Gloucestershire
    GL8 8AQ