Image of the Month – Shard by Austin Cole RBA ASGFA

“This print is the first of four studies of the Shard from different vantage points.

SGFA Journal Cole v 2I know that the Shard is a like-it-or-hate-it building. People think it is too big and that it overpowers the surrounding area, which is true. But I love the way its glass walls reflect the sky and clouds. Sometimes on cloudy days the building is coloured like the scales of a fish, shimmering silvered grey in reflected light. Or, when the sun shines on it directly, it seems to have solid walls of gleaming glass.

I work mostly from photographs. The photograph on which this print is based was taken from Druid Lane, which leads from Tower Bridge Road to St Thomas Street. I liked the way the Shard seemed to rise up from the rail bridge. I was also attracted to the contrast in the dark shadow of the road under the bridge, and I liked the lightness of the Shard’s structure which seems to spring from that dark area.

My prints are mostly created using soft-ground acid resist and an aquatint which is a resin melted onto the metal plate. Areas are then stopped out and dipped into acid in order to build up tones. I use a stop-out or circuit pen used in electronics — which again acts as an acid resist — in order to get the detail of the bridge girders and the individual panes of glass on the Shard. For this print I then polished out areas on one side of the building, to create the look of light striking the Shard.

The sky was created using spit bite: after stopping-out the Shard and bridge, I used an aquatint resin onto which, in pools of gum Arabic, I dropped pools of acid which bit into the plate. I then moved the pools of acid around using a brush or a feather. This gives the clouds a “liquid” look, adding atmosphere and movement to the print.

Beijing Hutong 1

Beijing Hutong 1

Although I work in a traditional medium, I regard myself as a contemporary artist working in the “now”. My main subjects are the urban landscape of the city and the coastal landscape of Pembrokeshire. My artistic inspirations and influences are many: from Anselm Kiefer and Christian Boltanski, to artists working in the medium of printmaking, such as Rembrandt, Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec, Frank Brangwyn, Muirhead Bone and Picasso, as well as contemporary printmakers like Norman Ackroyd, Chris Orr, Celia Paul and Jason Hicklin.”

Beijing Hutong 2

Beijing Hutong 2


Profile of the Artist Austin Cole RBA ASGFA is a Welsh artist/printmaker born in Pembrokeshire, South Wales who has lived and worked in London for 34 years.

He has an MA and a BA (Hons.) degree in Fine Art from the Sir John Cass School of Art. Austin studied printing making at City Lit, the Slade School of Fine Art and Morley College in London. He has more than 25 years of printmaking experience in etching and stone lithography. His prints have been exhibited extensively in London, Bath and elsewhere in the UK. Austin has shown his work at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition, the Discerning Eye and the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize exhibition, as well as at Originals and Bite. He has also exhibited with the London Group, at the Courtauld Institution as part of their East Wing exhibitions of contemporary art, at the Living in London exhibition at Bankside Gallery and at the Royal College of Art’s Secrets exhibition.

Austin was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in 2011, and an Associate Member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in 2014. For more about Austin please visit his web site www.austincole.co.uk

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Image of the Month – Mask Design 04 by Oliver Lovley ASGFA

Mask Design 04 pencil and watercolour on paper

Mask Design 04
pencil and watercolour on paper

“Mask Design 04 is a pencil and watercolour painting composed of features from roughly five different people, plus my own inventions.

Original Mask Design 04 pencil

Original Mask Design 04
pencil

Original Mask Design 01 Pencil

Original Mask Design 01
Pencil

It’s based on an original pencil drawing I created during a live demonstration at the Malt Cross Gallery in Nottingham. I began with the idea of a mask design, and borrowed from faces that were in my sightline while I drew.

The event was filmed for a national BBC feature about the Malt Cross’ Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment in 2014. Built on the site of monastery, the Malt Cross was a Victorian music hall that was converted into a pub and is now part of Nottingham’s developing arts scene.

Another artwork from the mask series, Mask Design 01, was selected for this year’s ING Discerning Eye exhibition.”


Profile of the artist

ING Discerning Eye 2014

ING Discerning Eye 2014

Oliver Lovley ASGFA has a BA (Hons.) in Illustration and Visual Communication from Loughborough University. His art has been shown in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery and the ING Discerning Eye 2014 at the Mall Galleries.

Oliver is a regular exhibitor and demonstrator at venues such as Art in Action in Oxfordshire, Patchings Festival and Nottingham Contemporary. He is also a tutor and demonstrator with many art groups and societies. He has had solo exhibitions at the Malt Cross Gallery in Nottingham and The Barn Gallery at Patchings Art Centre. Oliver was elected an Associate Member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in October 2014.

From 05-07 December 2015 Oliver will be at Nottingham Contemporary’s Christmas Art & Craft Event, in June 2015 he will conduct a live demonstration at Patchings Art, Craft and Design Festival, and throughout 2015 Oliver will lead drawing and painting workshops at the Malt Cross Gallery.

For more about Oliver and his art, please visit his web site www.oliverlovley.com and his Facebook page www.facebook.com/oliver.lovley and follow him on Twitter @OliverLovley


Editor’s note: Learn more about the Malt Cross Gallery here www.maltcross.com/gallery

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Image of the Month – Sheffield Remembers by Sally Wilson ASGFA

Sheffield Remembers by Sally Wilson ASGFA Graphite and watercolour on paper

Sheffield Remembers by Sally Wilson ASGFA
Graphite and watercolour on paper

Nine years ago Sally Wilson was team leader for art at Huddersfield New College when an accident left her with severe brain injury and a damaged dominant hand. Cognitive problems, spells of overwhelming fatigue and arthritic hand pain are part of the legacy of the accident. At first Sally feared she might never draw again. But in 2014 her art was selected for the National Open Art Competition, she was Overall Winner in the National Stitch Competition, and at DRAW 14, the Society’s 93rd Annual Open Exhibition, Sally won the Dr Ph Martin’s Award for a Highly Commended Work in Colour. Andrew Marr, author of A Short Book about Drawing, was at the DRAW 14 private view to present Sally with her award.

“Art is the thing that keeps me going and has sustained me through a horrible period in my life.”

Sally Wilson receives the Dr Ph Martin's Award for a Highly Commended Work in Colour

Sally Wilson receives the Dr Ph Martin’s Award for a Highly Commended Work in Colour from Andrew Marr

Lauren Ballinger, social media editor for the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, tells Sally’s extraordinary story (see link below).

W1 Commemoration – Sally’s towering mixed-media work of art exhibited at DRAW 14

Like her other architectural drawings, the two artworks Sally created for DRAW 14 were time consuming. “Most of my work,” she says in Lauren’s story, “takes between a month and six months to complete”.

Years before the accident Sally had gained a first class honours degree in sculpture at Loughborough College of Art & Design.  She went on to develop her textile skills through the City & Guilds Embroidery course. Sally now uses welded metal, free machine embroidery and hand stitching, found objects, and paint and photography to create two- and three-dimensional art.

Her sculpture Pigeon Palace was exhibited at Somerset House with the National Open Art Competition and will move with the rest of the exhibition to the Minerva Festival Theatre in Chichester from 17 Dec til 4 Jan 2015.

Sally was elected an Associate Member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in October 2014.

If you would like to know more about Sally and her art, please visit her web site http://sallywilson.co.uk

Please read Lauren Ballinger’s original story here  http://www.examiner.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/artist-sally-wilson-holmfirths-work-7878886

 


 

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Image of the Month – At Dawn the Ridge Emerges by Rebecca Coleman ASGFA

At Dawn the Ridge Emerges Wood engraving 10 x 15 cm

At Dawn the Ridge Emerges
Wood engraving 10 x 15 cm

This powerful print was chosen as the promotional image for DRAW 14, the 93rd Annual Open Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art. 

“I created this image for the Society’s DRAW 14 Annual Open Exhibition. The optional theme is Remembrance, to mark the centenary of World War 1. I was drawn to images of the trenches, as these encapsulate the horrific and dehumanising conditions suffered by soldiers in the midst of war.

In particular I wanted to capture the agonising moment just as the men have been poised waiting for orders, then finally receive the command to go over the top. From our vantage point of history, sadly we know that so many of them were about to be gunned down.

Some elements of this image are readily recognisable. I wanted it to be authentic so I based it on a widely reproduced photograph taken in the trenches. I’ve tried, but without success, to identify the photographer. I am not even sure whether his identity was known at the time.

Soldier Wood engraving 10 x 8 cm

Soldier
Wood engraving 10 x 8 cm

I began by drawing the image in pencil, but I had planned from the start to render it as a wood engraving. I wanted to maximise the darkness of the image and to focus on the characteristic round metal helmets.

In fact, this detail dates the image to 1916 or later: it’s hard to believe, but for the first two years of the war the soldiers wore cloth hats.

I incorporated images of explosions on the horizon, to create a backdrop that both contrasted with the dark trenches and reflected the horror of what lay beyond. And for the title I borrowed the first few words from Siegfried Sassoon’s war poem Attack. I felt that these perfectly captured the essence of the image.”


 Profile of the artist

Rebecca Coleman ASGFA joined the Society in 2014, following her successful submission for DRAW 13, the SGFA Annual Open Exhibition the previous year. She exhibits regularly in London, elsewhere in the UK and abroad. Her work has been seen in the 2012 and 2013 Summer Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Art, and she has exhibited with the Royal West of England Academy and the Society of Wood Engravers.

In recent years Rebecca has focused on drawing and monochrome printmaking. She has achieved particular recognition and success with her ongoing series of wood engravings and linocuts exploring the world of the London Underground.

Having lived in London for several years, Rebecca has recently moved to south Wales. For more about Rebecca and her art please visit her web site www.rebeccacoleman.co.uk and follower her on Twitter @RColemanArt.

Society of Wood Engravers www.woodengravers.co.uk

Royal West of England Academy www.rwa.org.uk

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Artist in Residence – Michael Walsh SGFA at Winkworth Arboretum

Rowes Flash Lake and Boathouse Watercolour on paper

Rowes Flash Lake and Boathouse
Watercolour on paper


Winkworth Arboretum was the brainchild of Dr. Wilfrid Fox, a dermatologist and self-taught environmentalist. In 1937 he purchased the west side of a valley on a Surrey estate and set about creating an arboretum. Seventy-seven years on, his dream has become a reality. 

“Plants to paint a picture” – Dr Wilfrid Fox


by Michael Walsh SGFA

“The magnificent slopes and woodland of Winkworth Arboretum are heavy with bluebells, the Azalea Steps are vibrant with colour, magnolias are laden with soft white blooms, and Rowe’s Flashe Lake is virtually deluged by a wave of autumnal colour amongst the trees that line the slopes of  The Bowl. It all began with Dr Fox’s personal collection of exotic trees and shrubs. Thanks to sixty years of skilled management by the National Trust, every season at Winkworth, year after year, is a visual delight.

Rowes Flash Lake and Boathouse Pencil

Rowes Flash Lake and Boathouse
Pencil

Fagus silvatica - Beech Pencil

Fagus silvatica – Beech
Pencil

In 2013 as a result of exhibiting at Ramster Gardens in Surrey, I was invited to go along to Winkworth, just outside Godalming, to sketch and paint.  This was the first time I had ‘walked’ the arboretum through all four seasons. With 46 hectares of trees and beautiful landscaping, there was a lot to acquaint myself with, and in the limited time I had to sketch, my visits were supported by photographs.

In 2013 spring arrived late and rushed fast and furious into summer. Sketching in the chill of late May meant wearing warm woollies and gloves, and not standing still for too long.

Somewhere to sit Line and wash on paper

Somewhere to sit
Line and wash

Azalea Steps Watercolour on paper

Azalea Steps
Watercolour

"The Barrister's Wig" Pencil on paper

“The Barrister’s Wig”
Pencil

Walking among trees is intoxicating. There is so much to capture — there are more than 1,000 tree and shrub specimens at Winkworth, many of them rare — and I get lost in the shapes and the grandeur of the structures. 

Where to begin? Boughs heavily laden with foliage sweep around the trunks of the trees, some looking as if they are dressed in ball gowns with their branches bending to the floor, others with curving and twisted aged trunks appearing to bow in profound humility, while a blue fir in the distance reminds me of a barrister’s wig.

I do not generally use a sketch book. I have a lot of paper left over from my bookbinding work, so I sketch on loose sheets clipped to a backboard. This sits comfortably in my backpack, which conveniently turns into a stool, so I can either stand or sit myself down.

 

Prunus ocame Pencil on paper

Prunus ocame
Pencil

I nearly always sketch with 2B leads or line and wash. I still have the Staedtler Mars metal clutch pencil I bought in my first year at art college 40 years ago. It’s an extension of myself.

I like to capture as much as I can quickly, sketching the basic shapes and character of each tree. Once I have this I am happy, so then I sit back just to look, slow down, look again and add notes, picking out a detail and then drawing again.

Lookout Line and wash

Lookout
Line and wash

Blue Atlas cedar Watercolour and gouache

Blue Atlas cedar
Watercolour and gouache

From  sketching comes interpretation, and the pleasure of colour in finished works of art. I work across the major disciplines — portraiture and botanical, architectural and garden subjects — each helping me with the other and enhancing the enjoyment of mixing and using colour in different ways.

Badgers Bowl Line and wash

Badgers Bowl
Line and wash

Badgers Bowl Acrylic

Badgers Bowl
Acrylic

Apart from my five years in a Benedictine monastery, where I was introduced to bookbinding, I have always worked in the arts. Since leaving the Abbey I have worked freelance in painting, calligraphy and bookbinding, and I teach part time in adult education.”


Editor’s note: In late August 2014 Winkworth Arboretum hosted Art in the Arboretum, a highly atmospheric and well attended ‘meet the artist’ day with Michael and his art in the Boathouse on Rowes Flash Lake. (Happily, Michael says, the weather was fine — there is no electricity in the Boathouse!)

For more about Michael please visit his web site www.micalart.co.uk

Winkworth Arboretum is hosting an activity-filled community day, ‘Live Local’, on Sunday 7th September 2014. Visitors can explore the arboretum free of charge. For more information please visit the web site www.nationaltrust.org.uk/winkworth-arboretum . For a glimpse of some of the seasonal changes at Winkworth in spring and summer, follow this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzMcYUc279c 

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Review – Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting

The National Gallery is hosting a free exhibition until 21st September 2014 in the Sunley Room.

NG739 Carlo Crivelli  The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius, 1486 Egg and oil on canvas 207 x 146.7 cm Presented by Lord Taunton, 1864 © The National Gallery, London

NG739
Carlo Crivelli
The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius, 1486
Egg and oil on canvas
207 x 146.7 cm
Presented by Lord Taunton, 1864 © The National Gallery, London

The influence of Renaissance architecture on many facets of modern life is often underrated. In this exhibition, which brings together works from different collections and locations for the first time, the influence of Renaissance architecture is explored.

A great way to start is to watch short documentaries in the film room (you can also watch the videos online– see link at the end of this article). These explore how Renaissance works have influenced everything from computer-generated imagery technology (CGI) to the designs of the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

CGI developers who studied Renaissance paintings noted that the architecture portrayed in them is perceptibly flawed in order to emphasise figures. Marcello Venusti’s The Purification of the Temple  was a collaborative process between Venusti and Michelangelo, whose drawings were used for the figure composition. It has recently been used to form the background inspiration in a computer game about ancient Rome, continuing that tradition of artistic cross-pollination.

The videos also show how Renaissance art influenced modern cinema, with some great archival footage.

The next time I watch an opening scene in a film with the camera panning from outside in, I’ll understand a little more the debt this technique owes  to Antonello de Messina’s Saint Jerome in His Study. 

The exhibition leads us from the documentary films to the paintings via drawings on loan from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Queen’s private collection. The idea of staging a picture is presented. Each composition is a theatrical scene in which the buildings form a support and background for a narrative expressed through human figures.

Among my own favourites was Sebastiano del Piombo’s The Judgement of Solomon (c.1506-11), on loan from the National Trust. This ambitious large-scale narrative painting, which remains unfinished, shows figures nestled among classical architecture, with the focus on Solomon as he ponders the case of the two mothers in conflict over a child. The architecture in the painting reinforces the narrative.

NG3919 Sandro Botticelli  Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius, about 1500 Tempera on wood 64.8 x 139.7 cm Mond bequest, 1924 © The National Gallery, London

NG3919
Sandro Botticelli
Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius, about 1500
Tempera on wood
64.8 x 139.7 cm
Mond bequest, 1924
© The National Gallery, London

Ruins were used in nativity scenes to show that Christ was bringing in a new order, and to contrast the transience of the material world with the eternal nature of the spiritual world.

Ruins are used in Baldassare Peruzzi’s Adoration of the Magi  (c.1523) a wonderful pen, ink and wash drawing copied into a painting by Girolamo del Treviso. This highly finished drawing is worth seeing in and of itself, with archways in a semi-ruined state, trees intruding on the ruins and a parade of strange people and animals. Elephants and strangely horse-like giraffes walk towards the foreground, where human figures are tucked in close with a rearing horse and treasure boxes.

In Ercole de’ Roberti’s Nativity (1490-3) the small tempera painting is dominated by the stable in a totally convincing illusion of an impossible space.

The process of making works is shown through the squaring-up visible in a drawing by Giorgio Vasari on loan from Christ Church, Oxford. The drawings are a real compliment to the painted work on show, and further reveal the artists’ thought processes. The choice of landscapes, objects and architecture all reveal the passing of time.

Among the most cinematic of the works is da Messina’s Saint Jerome in His Study. You see St Jerome at his desk in the centre of the painting, but you also see the slippers he left at the base of the stairs before he stepped up to his room.

NG4758 Sassetta  Saint Francis renounces His Earthly Father, about 1440 Egg tempera on poplar 87.5 x 52.4 cm Bought with contributions from The Art Fund, Benjamin Guinness and Lord Bearstead, 1934 © The National Gallery, London

NG4758
Sassetta
Saint Francis renounces His Earthly Father, about 1440
Egg tempera on poplar
87.5 x 52.4 cm
Bought with contributions from The Art Fund, Benjamin Guinness and Lord Bearstead, 1934
© The National Gallery, London

A similar sense of time passing is also suggested in Saint Francis Renounces His Earthly Father (c.1440) by Sassetta (see left). The artist uses a built structure to suggest the conflict between the secular and the spiritual by placing some figures inside and others outside.

Carlo Crivelli’s The Annunciation with Saint Emidius (1486) is full of glorious details (see main image above). It is an intensely complex scene with repeating motifs of rug, plants and figures, and the isolated presence of the Virgin in a tightly enclosed area seen from the side.

As you go around the exhibition, here are a few fun things to look out for:

  • Spot the monkey in Botticelli’s Adoration of the the Kings.
  • Spot the giraffe in Baldassare Peruzzi’s Adoration of the Magi.
  • Find the model city in Carlo Crivelli’s The Annunciation with St Emidius. 

A really worthwhile exhibition to visit.


Editor’s note:

Sketch by Charlie Kirkham ASGFA of The Anunciation by Carlo Crivelli

Sketch by Charlie Kirkham ASGFA of The Anunciation by Carlo Crivelli

Building the Picture – Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting is the first exhibition in Britain to explore the role of architecture in Italian Renaissance painting of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. It’s on at the National Gallery until 21st September 2014. For more information please visit the National Gallery’s web site http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/building-the-picture

Video link: Five contemporary perspectives on imagined architecture and how closely the modern arts of design parallel those of Italian Renaissance painters.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/channel/building-the-picture/

Charlie Kirkham ASGFA is the Society’s Associates Representative on the SGFA Council.

 

 

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Artist in Residence – Peter Baker ASGFA at Meeth Quarry

I n t r o d u c i n g   o u r   n e w   o c c a s i o n a l   s e r i e s   A r t i s t   i n   R e s i d e n c e

Meeth Quarry Works 1

Meeth Quarry Works 1 – pen, ink and wash 43 x 33 cm

Meeth Quarry Works 2

Meeth Quarry Works 2 – pen, ink and wash 33 x 43 cm

When Peter Baker moved to the village of Meeth in 2012 he found a muse at the bottom of his garden. 

The Tarka Trail — part of the Devon Coast-to-Coast Cycle Route — runs alongside Peter’s new house, and beyond the back garden fence lies the 150-hectare Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve. Two large lakes in the reserve were once massive stone and clay quarries. Its numerous ponds originally allowed china clay to ‘settle’ out of waste water, and these in turn were connected by ditches and sluices.

Peter took up his sketchbook and began to explore the lakes, paths, woodlands and abandoned structures of the reserve. Soon the reserve would become almost a second home.

Ash Moor - pen, ink and watercolour wash  19 x 28 cm

Ash Moor – pen, ink and watercolour wash 19 x 28 cm

Meeth Quarry, Autumn - pen, ink and wash  33 x 43 cm

Meeth Quarry, Autumn – pen, ink and wash 33 x 43 cm

The quarry had ceased operations in 2004. Seven years later it was reopened as a wildlife reserve under the management of Devon Wildlife Trust. Peter moved to Meeth the same year, and before long the Trust had appointed him to serve as Artist in Residence.

Blue Nocturne

Blue Nocturne – pen, ink and wash 19 x 28 cm

Bridleway Bridge - pen, ink and wash

Bridleway Bridge – pen, ink and wash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter has spent a year drawing on site, studying the changing atmosphere of the reserve through the seasons and in all kinds of weather. He has used his field drawings to develop studio paintings that are part of his latest Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve portfolio, on show  at Salar Gallery in Hatherleigh from 17th July until 13th September 2014. 

The Long Pond - acrylic on canvas 50 x 40 cm

The Long Pond – acrylic on canvas 50 x 40 cm

The Lost Pond - acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

The Lost Pond – acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

Winter Flooding - acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

Winter Flooding – acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

Bend in the River - acrylic on canvas  40 x 50 cm

Bend in the River – acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

The Small Pond - acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

The Small Pond – acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 cm

Profile of the artist

Peter Baker ASGFA was born in Rochford, Essex in 1948. His outstanding talent as an artist was evident when Peter was a child. At age ten he exhibited at the Mall Galleries, and when he was 15 Peter won a scholarship to study graphic design, illustration and printmaking at Hornsey College of Art. He went on to study at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Peter has exhibited paintings and drawings in galleries and one/two-man exhibitions ever since.

Peter’s art also features in many private collections in the UK. He trained as a teacher of art at Bath College of Higher Education and then at Bristol University, and taught drawing and painting in schools and community education with South Devon College. Peter was elected an Associate Member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in 2010. For more about Peter and his art please visit his web site http://www.pabaker.co.uk

Devon Wildlife Trust http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org

Salar Gallery, Hatherleigh http://www.bohdgaya.net/salar

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