Arty events

There have been quite a few arty events in my life in the recent past. The weekend life drawing course with Rachel Clark was just magical. You can find out more about her work from Rachel’s website, but if you click here you’llĀ get to the testimonials page for her life drawing classes. Lots of eloquent people have lots to say about how good they are.

That weekend, I got to London on the Friday afternoon and whizzed off to the Royal Academy to give the Richard Diebenkorn exhibition a very quick onceover. I was in there for under an hour but that’s all the time I had to spare. Fortunately, it’s a small exhibition – just three rooms, so even in a brief visit it’s possible to get a feel for the exhibition and what’s in there. Last time I wrote about this I mentioned Cityscape #1 (see image)Richard Diebenkorn Cityscape and about the compositional elements of it. As you go into the first room (which is all about RD’s early work on abstraction) if you look to the right you see into the second room and, framed by the entrance, is Cityscape #1. It looks absolutely great. I spent quite a lot of my time soaking it up from a distance. About three weeks ago, just as I was feeling rather better after being ill (yawn, sorry about this, resolve to shut up about illness) I went back to see the exhibition again with my friend Laura, ace art-seeking friend. She did the turn to the right and immediately spotted Cityscape #1 and loved it. We both felt it was the stand-out picture in the exhibition, although there were many other good things to appreciate.

I also, as planned, went to the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He was an outstanding painter of people. It’s quite a large exhibition, reflecting the fact, I suppose, that he was just so prolific. This is an exhibition of his friends, and, again, he seemed to have loads of them. It’s wonderful and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Later this week, I will be meeting Laura again to go to the Sonia Delaunay at Tate Modern. I’m anticipating another treat. Adrian Searle, reviewing the show in The Guardian, gave it 5 stars and was very obviously impressed. Do have a look at the review, even if you can’t get to the exhibition. I’ll let you know what I think very soon, provided, that is, that I can stop bellyaching about health issues for long enough…. Fingers crossed.

Life drawing

When this is published I’ll be in London attending a life drawing course. I’ve written before about the tuition in drawing I’ve received, and about the courses offered by Rachel Clark. This will be the first of her courses I’ve attended since around 2008, so it’s been a long break. It’s not so much that the courses themselves are expensive, but once you’ve added in the cost of travelling there, and staying in London, it all becomes rather costly. However, I decided that it was high time that I did another of Rachel’s courses and I’ve been very much looking forward to it. I booked and paid for it several months ago and I’ve been worried that the experience would be spoiled by my on-going problem of jaw pain. However, although that hasn’t gone, it has diminished and on quite a lot of days the pain is at a relatively low level. So I think I should be able to enjoy the experience fully.

The course runs over Saturday and Sunday, then on Monday morning I’m going to the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery – I wrote about this a few posts ago. I’ll report back via a blog post sometime during next week.

Sonia Delaunay

I’ve just found out that there’s an exhibition of Sonia Delaunay’s work at Tate Modern this year.

Sonia Delaunay

EY Tate Modern

It’s running from 5th April to 9th August, which is not a very wide window of opportunity for those of us who live outside London, but I expect I’ll find an opportunity of getting down there at some point within the four months. I will relish the chance to have a good look at some of her work, because I think I’ve only ever seen it in reproduction until now. I love her bold geometric patterns and use of colour, and there’s nothing like seeing pictures for real.

I will be down in London later this month. Although I’m going to be very busy, I hope to make the time to see the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. There are over 70 of his portraits in the show, and I’m sure it will be well worth seeing. When I think of all the wonderful exhibitions that are on in London I could kick my youthful self. I spent five years in London when I was in my 20s and despite professing a vague interest in art, I hardly ever went to galleries. But now that it’s really expensive and inconvenient to get down there, I really want to go. I suppose that’s life for you… and people who live in large cities often say that they don’t take advantage of what’s available.

Apart from a strict instruction to go to lots of exhibitions, what else would I tell my youthful self, I wonder? Maybe to lay off the carbs and ignore all the rubbish about low-fat dieting? Or to do a bit more stitching? Yes, I think, both of those instructions, if followed through, would have made life easier and more pleasant…..

I’m going to spend part of the afternoon doing a bit more whitework. Progress is glacial, but if there’s anything to show for it, I’ll report back in a few days.