Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Three Artists...

…who happen to be women.

Last week (before our failed camping trip - broken tent-pole [say no more]) we set off for the Edinburgh Festival by train to see two current exhibitions of paintings. The first is of Impressionist paintings gathered from around the world and is getting big licks in newspaper reviews. Unfortunately it is also attracting huge crowds with airport-style queuing systems to get in. Not for me. Gave it a miss for the time being and hopefully in a month or so, after the Festival has packed up and gone, we will try again.
Their present loss however was undoubtedly our gain for in order to escape the crush and madness that is Princes Street and Waverley Gardens we headed out to peace and quiet of The Royal Botanic Gardens to see the other exhibition that is also getting big licks: Joan Mitchell at Inverleith House.
Now, with all this thrill and excitement coursing through my veins I enjoy what I call “delayed gratification”. It’s good for the soul, I believe (and a bit nutty). It means not rushing headlong to the object of your desire but holding off with other diversions first.
So, first stop along the way was into the Open Eye Gallery where they are showing my kinda stuff:

Barbara Rae

Colourful, loud, highly expressive abstracts based on landscape or as I would have it - semi-abstract landscape painting. A lot what I would have liked my semi-abstract figures to have been.
Next stop, the Scottish Gallery, in Dundas Street where they are showing new work by another Scottish artist, Victoria Crowe. Quite different to Rae’s work, quieter, more refined even, and very beautiful. In my less exuberant moments I sometimes paint like this. But not often. I am inspired again by both of these artists, but not as much as I am about to be by the third, non-Scottish artist on my itinerary, although I don’t see any reason not to make her an honorary Scot: Lady Joan of Inverleith perhaps?

What a fabulous park The Royal Botanic Gardens is. I need to get back there again soon, on my own, just to sketch and paint the wonderful parkland views. But it is to Inverleith House which stands on a promontory in the park and the exhibition I have come to see.
Greeted at the door by this fantastic poster I immediately buy one just in case there is a sudden rush and I am left disappointed:

Untitled, 1969”

Inverleith House is an old 18th century mansion converted into an art gallery with spacious rooms, white walls and natural wood floors, large windows with a lovely quality of light flooding in, and views of the park looking out. What a wonderful place to show these monumental canvases:


Well, it's big, but not that big, it's just that Jacqui is so small!

And smaller rooms showing some of her pastel studies:

Untitled, 1992”
I wish that eejit would get outa the way and let me photograph the picture!

In the basement study room a 58 minute video was showing which was fascinating to listen to Joan, as an elderly lady, talking about her life and work. The quality of filming wasn’t always good and the soundtrack often hard to follow, but still so much to get from it:

I paint from landscapes of the memory I carry with me - and feelings from the memory of them which naturally become transformed…I prefer to leave nature to itself. I do not intend to improve it…I could never mirror it. I love most of all what it leaves inside me”.

And this quote by her gallery owner, Robert Williams: “If only you were French, and male, and dead!”. I’m sure that may resonate with many of you ladies out there.

I liked this one - Joan says: “While out walking one morning (in New York) I met Hans (Hofmann) who says: ‘Why aren’t you working?!”.

And this one is for Melinda: “I often painted at night (in Paris). When it got light I went to sleep”.

So, three more women painters, each one inspiring me to get back painting again.

Now where did I put my brushes after cleaning out the budgie-cage?


Melinda said...

OMG! What a fantastic post! This is up there as one of my mostest favoritests.


I loved going on the art crawl with you and thoroughly enjoyed every work.

I recently learned of Barbara Rae from a neighbor who goes to London every year and brings me mags and books from the Tate and the Royal Academy. She's wonderful. Love Victoria Crowe as well.

But then, there is the inimitable Joan Mitchell. She said it right, didn't she?

Thank you for the mention--an honor to be in the same post.

I do hope you are sufficiently inspired to get messy, get free, get busy splashing, slashing and smearing wondrous paint on large canvases.

Thank you for the inspiration! It made my day.

Melinda said...

Oh, I forgot. David, I have no doubt you are heading in the right direction and will add your own distinctive signature to your work.

vivien said...

it sounds great - and I love Barbara Rae's work

I went up to the Edinburgh fesival a few years ago and it was such a buzz

daviddrawsandpaints said...

One of the "mostest favoritests" is PDG in my books, Melinda. Thanks for that!

And thanks for your confidence in me :o)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Hi Vivien,
It was indeed a Grand Day Out, and inspirational too!

my croft said...

so . . . painting?
I distinclty heard you say said painting. Where are the paintings?

AKJapan said...

great post!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

I distinctly said I was looking for my brushes, Melanie...didn't say I'd found them!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks Andrea, glad you enjoyed the post.
I would, however, prefer to be able to create posts that discuss art and artmaking in a more meaningful, discursive, and thoughtful way rather than just my usual travelogue.
Great to hear from you!

my croft said...

You could always do what I do when things go missing -- Buy More!

I'm sure I speak for many when I say: We. Want. Paintings.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Ha ha!...an easy answer to everything. I wonder how many shoes you have lost in the past five years, Melanie?
First, regardless of all my recent inspiration, I have to find a way to replenish my empty bucket.
In the meantime perhaps I could take a tip from you and just hide everything behind a crumpled curtain :o)

my croft said...

"The house hides, but it doesn't steal." An Italian proverb one of my students shared with me that means things go astray but don't disappear.

Although I am
worried about what may have become of your brushes. ;-)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Fear not, little one, for there is good news (just not the good news you are looking for perhaps): a little birdie tells me my brushes have been spotted in the hands of a camel-driver somewhere in the El Djouf region of Mauritania in the Western Sahara but I am not at liberty to say what he is doing with them or why. Suffice to say that I am to go get them asap. This, however, may take me something like 40 days and 40 nights, but that is OK for I expect to return a better person for it (and don't start on the what is "better" discussion again). So you see there is nothing to worry about. All will be revealed in time, so please be patient with me.
Your friend
Abu Al A David, Painter to the Stars (that big one up there that keeps winking at me.

Marilyn said...

I don't know what I enjoyed more, your post or your comments! Fabulous sense of humor...made my day. Thank you for sharing!


daviddrawsandpaints said...

Well hello Marilyn from Dripping Springs!
Very nice to hear from you all the way from Texas. Glad you liked the post but you really shouldn't laugh at my jokes - it will only encourage me...ask Melinda...or Melanie :o)

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