Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Back from London
Intercity 4 (Fine tip marker, A6 sketchbook)
I'd worried all week about how I was going to find space on the train for my paintings, especially the 3ft by 3ft, but Pat did a great job of finding out about a space in Standard Coach B (the quiet coach) behind one of the seats just big enough for a 3ft square painting. And coincidentally, we ended up in the seats behind which the space exists.
Handing-in wasn't until Saturday, so we had Friday to go into town and see what the RA Summer Exhibition amounted to this year. I have to say that I didn't find it terribly inspiring. Even the Small Weston Room, usually full of delightful little treasures, disappointed because the hanger, Mick Rooney, had filled one wall with small prints. Which may explain why I'd found the Large Weston Room, which shows prints, also disappointing.
Had I money to spare, however, I'd willingly have parted with some of it for one of Hilary Paynter's wood engraving of The Ouseburn. Unlike a host of others, I certainly wouldn't have fallen victim to the foolish desire to buy a print of Tracey Emin's crap little Space Monkey.
There were a few others I liked - Barbara Rae as always, William Bowyer, Ken Howard (great on light as ever), and Ben Levene (save for one dreadful green thing which I chose to regard as an aberration). Adrian Berg, whom I've always liked, has moved into an area of rather naive paintings based on ethnic fabrics which aren't entirely to my taste either. Overall, I came away somewhat deflated instead of buzzing with new ideas.
Handing in my Threadneedle works on Saturday took very little time but as my three pieces were given numbers in the upper 190s, and there were two more handing-in days, it began to feel increasingly unlikely that I might get accepted (they intend to select only about 60 works for the show). Still, nothing ventured ....
Before catching the train back to Newcastle, we had time to check out King's Place near King's Cross Station. What a fantastic space. They were showing Frans Widerberg's big paintings, some of which I've seen before, but all of which I'd missed when they were shown at Northumbria Gallery earlier this year. They really do benefit from being seen in this huge space.