Recent events seemed to be conspiring against me having much to show this week!
Between a painting that I’m waiting on permission from a copyright holder before I can share, a commission that I’m sworn to secrecy on, and spending a few days holidaying in London – I have precious little to share this week!
In one sense, that wouldn’t be the end of the world – and it would have been a small price to pay for the joy of a weekend away in London!
I can hardly begin to describe what a thrill it was to experience something beyond the 400 metre radius from our home that has, for vast majority of the past 15 months or so been my ‘bubble’.
As much as I’d love to regale you with our adventures at London Zoo, strolling along Regent’s canal, Camden, The South Bank and Borough Market – I’m also mindful of the real purpose of this blog!
It was wonderful to be able to step inside a gallery again! On this occasion, it was Tate Britain, which due in no small part to it being home to the largest collection of work by JMW Turner, is one of my favourite of London’s many galleries.
The main attraction was to see Heather Phillipson’s immersive installation and takeover of the Duveen Galleries. Nothing to do with watercolours but a wonderful assault on the senses and just great to see our daughter transfixed by the ‘otherworldliness’ that the artist has created.
The biggest thrill for me, however, was to be able to sneak off and have a look at some Turners!
Because the gallery – like everywhere else – is limiting the numbers it allows in at any one time, I actually had entire rooms of Turners all to myself!
Here’s a selection of some of my favourites, oil paintings rather than watercolours, and often studies rather that finished works, but all stunning!
So with most of my time eaten up, and unable to share the other paintings that I’ve been working on lately, I thought that perhaps I could fit in a quick study for what I think will be my next half sheet painting.
The view is of a scene in Barcelona taken on our holiday there some years ago. It’s an image that I’ve long had in mind to paint, but have just needed to wait until the mood was right!
This study was done on the back of one of my failed paintings. I did do some very loose, indicative pencil outlines, just to get things placed in the roughly the right areas and make sure that the perspectives weren’t too far off.
As long as I try not to compare myself to the genius of Turner, there are parts of this I’m quite pleased with. The handling of the buildings on the left hand side I think is pretty successful. The foreground figures and shadows are, however, a little overworked and heavy handed but hopefully I’ll be able to do a better job on these next time!
Having had a little play with this study, I’m really looking forward to working on a larger version.