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Saturday, 29 March 2008

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey.

This painting byPaul Delaroche 1797-1856, oil on canvas 246x297 cm, is one that I spent a long time standing in front of in The National Gallery yesterday. The picture I have here is a detail from the painting, and does not in anyway depict the incredible light that falls on Lady Jane, and the texture of her silk gown. It really leaves me speechless, unable to do justice to the painting with mere words. All I can say is if any of you out there find yourselves in the National Gallery, go and stand in front of this painting. I can not remember which room it is in, but you can not really miss it, as it glows from across the other side as you enter the room.

Of course on this visit, I re aquainted myself with a lot of old favourites, but seeing this painting and Alison Watts work, really made my day. Plus, once again, like my visit to the Tate Modern, it had rained all morning, but as I left the gallery the sun came out!

The National Gallery

Went to the National Gallery yesterday. I had forgotten what a wonderfull place it is, packed with the most beautifull treasures. I realised how my taste and appreciation of paintings has changed since my last visit a number of years ago. I found myself inspecting brushwork close up, examining skin tones and the painted folds of silks and satins.
The exhibition by their resident artist Alison Watt,'Phantom' was awe inspiring. Huge canvasses depicting folds of white cotton. The painting shown here, ' Pulse', is 304.8x213.4 cm. The sheer size of these works is what makes them so powerfull I think, it is as though the swathes of cotton are almost enveloping you the more you look at the painting.
There was a short film on the creation of these paintings, showing Alison at work in the National Gallery's studio. She was surrounded by the paintings, all at various stages, she used everything from a scaffold to a ladder to a stool to reach areas of the huge canvasses. Very meticulous in her brushwork, the greys and whites blending smoothly to create the folds of the cotton, the basic lines of the folds she had sketched roughly at the start, though she said that the paintings always evolved and changed during the process.
A fascinating film, a wonderfull exhibition.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Trip to Littlehampton.

Went down to Littlehampton to see my Goddaughter Mabrina over the Easter weekend. Amazingly enough no internet there, so was unable to get on line at all !! Anyway it was a nice weekend, lovely to see Mabrina and all the family. The sketch in my moleskine was done from a photo that Mabrina had taken of herself and her mother on her birthday.