Monday 10 August 2015

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition London

I love to visit London for inspiration and for years I have been visiting the Royal Academy. I use to take my groups of students to various exhibitions about 15 years ago. We would all go down on the train and tube travelling en-mass like a little gaggle of geese, all excited and chatting as we went along. First we would have coffee, then we would drift into the exhibition. Most would wander around alone or in pairs, perhaps finding themselves standing next to another from the group, looking at the same painting.

Of course, we all liked different things and the discussions at lunch time were always fascinating. There was always some free time during the afternoon before we met again for tea then the return journey home.

I always used to buy a post card from whatever exhibition I visited and write my thoughts about it, as well as my favourite painting and over the years I amassed a box full of beautiful post cards.
I would pass a postcard around our group on the train journey home and I asked that each person write which painting they would like to take home if they could, the choices were always varied and sometimes surprising - it became such a talking point at the next classes we had. 
Its a lovely idea which I think back on from time to time, remembering exhibitions from over the years.

This year the Summer exhibition was once again varied and thought provoking. I didn't like everything of course, but there was a lot I did like. I always think a good exhibition should challenge us not just please us.

People looking at paintings have always interested me too. The way they stand, deep in thought, the way they linger and perhaps an overheard conversation or two might prove entertaining. This year I heard someone tell their companion that they thought an 'archive giggly print' was an original form of photographic printing...

The painting I would have liked to bring home with me this year was this delightful print by Anita Klein, I have always admired her work and have number of her books.

Birds Making Nests Linocut by Anita Klein

This year I did these little sketches of the RA visitors which I hope you like. I realise they are a bit quirky, but those of you who attended my drawing workshop recently will realise how looking can help so much when choosing what is necessary and what is not. People at an exhibition do tend to stand still for some time and when they do move it tends to be slowly, so sketching is easier than fast moving targets! I hope they convey to you the atmosphere  of the day.

You might like to see how I use a sketch to paint a watercolour?
This is a little watercolour I did today using one of the sketches here. I kept it simple and tried to retain the freshness, sorry if the background looks a bit grey, I will try and take another photo in better light.