The nice people I work for at YOU magazine commissioned me to write a piece on getting a picture into last year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. It involved being photographed in the galleries wearing ‘bright summery clothes’ (not my usual style) and standing rather gormlessly in front of my painting while that morning’s visitors to the exhibition tried not to look too curious. When the photographer had finished, one of them approached me and said, ‘Could I ask – are we meant to know who you are?’ Sadly, no. (You can find the story using the link below.)
I’ve been elected a member of the Chelsea Art Society, which is a rather nice thing to have happened. It was founded in 1910 by the painter and lithographer James Dromgole Linton (who during his lifetime was president of various institutions including the Royal Society of Oil Painters) and it holds an annual summer exhibition at Chelsea Old Town Hall, in the Kings Road. I’ve shown there for the last few years, and will be there again in June (Thursday 16th – Monday 20th).
This is peak exhibition season. I’ve just had a couple of paintings in the show that’s held every April in the Holland Park Orangery, just off Kensington High Street. It’s a beautiful building, and the exhibition always includes intriguing ceramics (and masses of good, unframed work in the browser racks) as well as packing them in on the walls.
No luck with the the Royal Academy this year, but I’m getting work ready for an exhibition at the Piers Feetham Gallery, in the Fulham Road, in September. More on that in future posts…
In the meantime, there are other artists to catch up with – I still haven’t seen the Giorgione exhibition at the Royal Academy, or the Botticelli drawings at the Courtauld. And I want to go back for another look at the wonderful portraits of Russian writers, composers, actors and painters at the National Portrait Gallery: Russia and the Arts – an incredibly moving, vivid impression of the figures who galvanised Russian culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The exhibition is over for another year, and my painting is no longer mine; it’s now going home with its new owner. I shall miss it – it’s a picture I believed in and am fond of.
I’ve also loved treating the RA as a second home for the summer, and discovering new works each time I visited. Favourites have
included the two Arthur Neal paintings (‘Studio and Garden’ and
‘Corner of the Studio’); ‘Egg Box’ by Adrienne Blake; two beautifully
subtle variations on a theme of white, ‘Trance Map’ by Trevor Sutton and ‘From Vauxhall Bridge’ by Andy Finlay; and the extraordinary, prize-winning Man on Fire sculpture by Tim Shaw RA. And of course Tom Phillips RA’s Humument – a whole room of his re-imagined,
intricately illustrated book pages, each one a poem in its own right. I couldn’t resist buying my own copy of the bound edition.
26th July 2015
I’m delighted to have a painting in this year’s Summer Exhibition. ‘Chinese Lanterns’ is hung in the same gallery as the huge Grayson Perry tapestry – along with really beautiful works by (among others) Arthur Neal, Simon Wright, Georgina Allen, Frank Bowling RA and Terry Setch RA.
The exhibition runs until 16th August – masses to see if you haven’t been yet.