Glasgow Boys

The White Drake by Joseph Crawhall.

Barry and I have just returned from one of the loveliest exhibitions. I could only find this link to illustrate some of the wonderful paintings. The exhibition has been so successful that the catalogue has sold out. (Very annoying!) The subject matter may seem to some a little sentimental perhaps, but at the time these were painted (1880-1890), the artists were rejecting “the mid- Victorian tradition of dramatic views of the Highlands and sentimental genre scenes in favour of a robust form of naturalism” (Royal Academy gallery guide). I guess I am a total sucker for a wonderfully painted landscape, a few ducks or geese and some beautifully painted children. I almost cried over the watercolour and gouache painting on linen, (above) a technique I have not seen before, of a white drake. It was absolutely gorgeous. There was also a superb black rabbit painted with the same technique, also by Joseph Crawhall.

What was interesting to me was that a few of these artists actually came down from Scotland to Lincolnshire to paint and in one of my favourites, ‘To Pastures New’ by James Guthrie, you can see Crowland Abbey in the distance!

Highlights were also the large painting of ‘A Funeral Service in the Highlands’ again by James Guthrie. All blacks and warm grey tones and dark sky looming in the distance over the men’s (only) bowed heads. Very dour.

Plus a portrait of ‘Willie, Old Wurthy’ also by James Guthrie. It looks as if James Guthrie was my favourite!

As usual, seeing the paintings in reality is the only way to appreciate their incredible quality and skill. The thick luscious paint made me vow to get more paint on my canvas.

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Not the Royal Academy show

Emergence
8 x 24 Oil/Wood Panel

This is the piece that I submitted to the RA Summer Exhibition, which was rejected. It’s OK, I wasn’t surprised. Apparently you have to apply more than once plus there were rumoured to be between 8,000 and 10,000 entries, 10% are accepted, 5% are Royal Academicians so that leaves 5% of regular old artists like me! I shall keep trying though… I now see it as a challenge and must succeed before I get too old to hold a brush in my hand!

Still, the good news is that it was accepted at the Not the Royal Academy show, which is inspired by the ‘Salon des Refuses’ in Paris in the 19th Century.

So that is a glimmer of hope in these dismal times.