Monday, 8 January 2018

John Minton exhibition

I was extremely lucky to be taught by John Minton, one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. I will be writing a later blogpost about John Minton but wanted to advertise an exhibition currently on until 27th January at One New Street Gallery in Herne Bay.

The gallery is run by Terry Sole and Helen Wilde and is open Friday and Saturday from 10am till 5pm. It is easy to find as it is just off the High Street by Casa Mia Restaurant. For more information call 07516756592.

The gallery says;

'It’s a must for illustrators as Minton taught and his short life was filled with commercial commissions. The show itself is a non selling one but the Catalogue, postcards and some prints are for sale. Martin Salisbury's splendid book 'The Snail that climbed the Eiffel Tower and other works by John Minton, published by Mainstone Press is now out and worth having.' 

This is a great opportunity to see some of John Minton's work; his rich flowing lines, both lyrical and romantic, he was a huge influence on a generation of artists and a sad loss to those who loved him and his work.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

U.S.S.R Baltika

In my 85th year I often come across random sketches I made while working in Surrey Docks in the 1950's.The sketch below is one I made of a Russian sailor from the ship U.S.S.R. Baltika in 1958.

Of the many large passenger / cargo ships that traded in Surrey Docks this vessel in particular stood out. Apart from general cargo, she transported groups of Soviet Diplomats and other officials. From prow to stern she was painted a gleaming white which emphasized her great height equalling that of the Cunard liner which moored on the opposite quay.

I was quite surprised to see women on deck doing most of the manual work, something which would not happen on other global shipping lines. Sometimes friction would occur between the ship's officers and the dockers loading cargo. As was usually the case the dockers used their big hooks to make handling heavy bags easier. The officers objected most strongly to this practise, as quite rightly, they could see the hooks would make holes in the bags. The dockers tended to ignore these remonstrations or wait until the officers left and then carry on as before.

On the quay a small group of Russian officials waited to board ship. They did not look to happy at the prospect of returning to their home ports. With most ships dockers and crew members usually exchanged a few friendly words and in the ships from Rotterdam it was the custom to buy Dutch and German beer from the crew but no similar contacts could be made with the Russians for this was 1958 and the cold war was at it's height.

When the Baltika sailed out of the dock, she left in grand style playing loud, martial music with all her lights blazing brightly. Everyone stopped to watch for she was an unforgettable sight.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Season's Greetings!

Wishing you the warmest season's greetings and a peaceful, healthy 2018.

Mountain Bathed in Mist 1974 Gouache 11" x 16" - sold

Below Hungerford Bridge 1992.

Canada Goose.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Winter Show 25th November - 8th December...

Blackheath Arts Society will be trying out a new venue in the heart of Greenwich for our Winter selling exhibition. The Greenwich West Café Gallery is in Lovibond Lane, a short new pedestrianised road created just adjacent to Greenwich Railway Station. As usual a huge variety of work will be displayed across a range of mediums. Come and see work by our talented members and if you are local to the area and enjoy painting you might like to join us...

London by Night - Grace Ainley.

Moon Moth - Lindsey Malin.

View from Greenwich Park - Althea Battams.
Barmaid at the Barley Mow - Terry Scales.

West Greenwich Café Gallery
Lovibond Lane
SE10 8JA

Opens 12noon to 7.30pm, closed on Sundays.

To find out more about Blackheath Art Society please visit our website Blackheath Art Society
and our Facebook site.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cristiana Angelini & Irene Butcher Exhibition 30th October - 2nd December 2017.

I have returned to this exhibition on at West Greenwich Library, a few times now and there is always something new to discover. The exhibition shows a range of work in pastels, drawings and mixed media.

From the mysterious, timeworn detail in the Egyptian pots...

Egyptian Pots - Irene Butcher.

To the quiet intense, drama of the sea...

Breaking Waves Against the Wind - Irene Butcher.

To the joyful Summer and depth of colour in Cristiana's flowers..

The mix of work makes an interesting contrast and encourages you to pause a little longer to take each one in.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Butcher.

The exhibition runs from 30th October to 2nd December 2017 at West Greenwich Library 146 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich SE10 8NN. The artists will be available to tell you a little more about their work and a chance to ask any questions at a 'Meet the Artist Day' on Friday 24th November 3 - 4pm.

Exhibition Opening times;
Monday: 2pm to 7pm
Tuesday: 9am to 5.30pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 9am to 7pm
Friday: 2pm to 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Sunday: Closed

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Darnley Fine Art, Gordon Scott exhibition 11th - 18th November 2017.

If you missed the recent Abbott and Holder exhibition, Darnley Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, London is holding a selling exhibition of Gordon's work and would I highly recommend taking this opportunity to visit and see his work. A downloadable catalogue on the site shows a wide range of works; figurative, architectural and street scenes. More information can be found here;

Gordon Scott 1914 - 2016, a personal tribute.

I first met Gordon in my first term at Camberwell School of Art in 1946. I was then only 13 years of age. His duties were to teach the Junior Department the history of architecture from the Roman times onward. His first lessons were drawing on a blackboard plans and profiles of various buildings, many from the Gothic period. In later terms he escorted us to view and draw many of the Wren churches in the City. Owing to the flattened spaces caused by the Blitz, our views of Wren edifices were mostly uninterrupted. The City itself was quite silent. In correcting our sketches, Gordon's ability to sum up the structure of a church in a few swift lines greatly impressed his pupils and he became quite popular.

Ten years passed before I met Gordon Scott again. My first teaching engagement at Camberwell was to be his assistant on his drawing classes around the City. Having had the benefit of Gordon's wisdom in my teenage years, I relished the opportunity of working together, since much of what he taught me previously had inspired a life-long interest in architecture and I was now quite knowledgeable.

Throughout our long period as colleagues, as with other staff members, I had never seen any of Gordon's paintings. He did show regularly in the Royal Academy Summer Shows, but many of us despised and refused to visit the Academy. It therefore came as a shock when in 2017 the Abbott and Holder Gallery held a large retrospective of his work. Like many others I was utterly astonished at the brilliance of his paintings. The portraits in particular were very fine and I am emboldened to suggest that all those intense studies of architectural forms strengthened his sense of structure regarding the human form. It is gratifying that his life's work is now being appreciated. I am only sorry it didn't happen in his lifetime.