Ada Louise Powell artist

We visit with an artist not known for watercolours but as a designer of pottery for Wedgwood. #AdaLouisePowell (nee Lessore) was born in 1882. She was the daughter of an artist and studied embroidery, calligraphy, and illuminating. She and her husband, Alfred Powell, became celebrated designers for Wedgwood. They not only painted thousands of pieces for #Wedgwood, they also trained many apprentice painters to produce the works they designed. Indeed Ada came from good artistic stock. Her father was #JulesFrederickLessore and her grandfather was #ÉmileLessore – a designer and painter for Wedgwood during e 1860’s. Her sister Thérèse was a very fine painter in oils and watercolours ( in some ways this work identifies better with Thérèse than Louise) and was married to #WalterSickert (of Camden Town Group fame). Her brother Frederick Lessore was a sculptor and founder of the Beaux Arts Gallery in London.

The image we look at is part of #CanterburyCathedralcrypt and in particular the #ChapeloftheHolyInnocents. The watercolour is not signed on the face but reads ‘Canterbury’ ‘Louise Powell’ on the verso. The age of the paper tells me it comes from the early 1900’s. So, I cannot definitely attribute this painting to Louise Powell but she certainly was a fine enough artist to have produced this work.

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Blue and White

#BlueandWhite is a combination of colours which has been possibly the most sought after for centuries. The wonderful artistry in using cobalt blue found in #Chineseporcelain has made it a collectible quantity from the 1300’s and even earlier. I came across a bowl this past week which exemplifies the artistry and resulting beauty of this art. The bowl bears a #Chenghua mark (1465-1487) within a double circle on it’s base but this bowl was most likely made during the #Kangxi period (1662-1722) some 200 years later than its’ date mark. Real Chenghua porcelain is very, very rare and stunningly expensive. The decoration which is continuous around the bowl is more suitable to the later time. The scene shows a female servant bringing tea to a scholar/musician who sits by a table upon which a guqin lies as two other ladies look on. A guqin is a seven stringed instrument (although they have been known to have anywhere from 5 to 10 strings) which is plucked and known for its’ subtlety and refinement. Not a loud instrument – much more intimate/personal covering a four octave range.

Double circles adorn the foot of the bowl as well as the outer and inner rim of the bowl. The decoration continues in the bowl itself with a scene within another double ring. Here we see a rabbit sitting beneath a tree with clouds in the sky, a fence behind and rough terrain with tall grasses.

You will also notice that this bowl has been damaged. Finely mended but not restored to original. Beauty in brokenness.

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Art in Motion

How does one achieve a sense of motion or movement in a painting. Today we look at a small watercolour I acquired last week which I think does achieve this. It is a coastal scene showing fishermen, boats, and steam drifters off a nearby coast. The roiling sea, the wind-bent trees, the billowed clouds fleeing across the sky -it all works. There truly is a feeling of motion – of turmoil – an impending storm. The colours of the sea weave together to bring forth temperamental waves and whitecaps. Look closely at the next two images and you will realise that the white tops are achieved by scratching away the colour (sgraffito) on the paper and not by adding white body colour.The overall effect truly is amazing. Up close there is, one might think, a lack of finesse but this little work is meant to be appreciated in the whole not in small sections. This wee thing is 6 1/2″ x 9 5/8″ (165mm x 245mm). I think this might be #TenbyHarbour. One artist who worked in this style was JMW Turner. If you want to see his coastal watercolours just google #JMWTurner #PortsofEngland and enjoy. The Turner watercolours are the same size as the one in my collection.

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The Other Turner

Many people will recognise the name JMW Turner but how many would know that at the same time there was another Turner. #WillianTurnerofOxford or TurnerofOxford as he is and was known so as to distinguish himself from JMW Turner.

Born William Turner (1789-1862) at Black Bourton in Oxfordshire, he was sent to live with his wealthy land owning uncle, William Turner, at the age of 14. The estate was a place to which he returned often to paint and gain inspiration.At the young age of 15, he was sent to study under #JohnVarley in London. At that time, Williams’ fellow students under Varley were William Henry Hunt and John Linnell.

William was admitted into the Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1808 and was it’s youngest member. From this highly successful beginning, it was felt that Turner began to declined in status when he moved to Oxford where he was the only artist of any major distinction for nearly 50 years.

Turner persevered as a painter and instructor and his own works are focused on landscapes. His paintings are images of real places. Places where mankind had had little effect or intrusion on. Unlike JMW, William captured serenity, peace, solitude and calm. He loved to paint clouds and many of his landscapes include vast area of sky with majestic or billowing clouds.

The painting shown, I believe was painted around 1808-1810 most likely in #WychwoodForest near Shipton-on-Cherwell where his uncle lived.

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Ukrainian Art with a story

Today’s focus is on an oil painting not so much for its own sake but for the hands that it went through before coming into mine. It was given to #JeremyMarshall. A man who worked in international banking or many years and ended his financial career as CEO of C. Hoare & Co. – the UK’s oldest private bank.He retired after being diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2016. He remains as Chairman of #ChristianityExplored,PastorTrainingInternational and #ChristianBooksWorldwide.

This artwork was given to him in by #VictorYushchenko in May of 1994. At that time Mr. Yushchenko was Governor of the National Bank of the Ukraine. He later became the third President of the Ukraine (2005-2010). The occasion was the opening of the new banknote printing plant in Kiev. The plant was opened by then President #LeonidKravchuk.

The painting is a still-life. The artwork is signed and dated 1990. The pottery in the work is certainly typical of that produced in the Ukraine. I do not know what the other symbols such as the flowers, wren and fruit mean if they are symbols at all.

A nicely painted piece with an interesting story to hold with it.

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Henry Alken artist

Today a visit with an English artist who was known for his sporting and coaching scenes. #HenryThomasAlken (1785-1851) was a painter and engraver. In fact, we could talk about a number of the Alken family who were artists. His father Samuel, his brothers George and Samuel the Younger as well as two of Henry’s five children. His early studies were with his father and JT Beaumont – a painter of miniature portraits which Henry abandoned to paint sporting scenes. Alken was a prolific artist. Producing a continuous run of paintings, drawings, and engravings from 1816 to 1831. During this time, he lived over the printing shop and was employed by #ThomasMcLean – publisher of the “Repository of Wit and Humour”.

The drawing in my collection (6″ x 10.5″) bears the initials GL and was drawn in 1811. The watermark on the Whatman paper is 1811. I have seen an image on line of an engraving from a book published in 1821 which is much like the drawing although not exactly the same attributed to Henry. It maybe by a follower or friend who admired the work of the Alken family. Whomever painted this did capture the style perfectly. The postures and expressions of the horse and hounds and the rider are exactly correct. Nicely drawn in pencil and then coloured with watercolour, it is a fine piece from more than 200 years ago.

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William Lionel Wylie artist

Today, we look at British artist #WilliamLionelWylie (1851-1931). He was a painter of maritime scenes and considered the ‘most distinguished marine artist of his day’. His works are held in the many of the major galleries and museums in this country and across the globe.

Wylie’s parents were also artistic. His father as a successful genre painter and his mother was a singer. They lived in London and Wimereux, France. Wylie was encouraged in his early artistic aptitude by his father and half-brother Lionel Smythe. His tutelage eventually brought him to the #RoyalAcademy were he worked under Landseer, Millais, Leighton and others. With his painting ‘Dawn after the Storm’, he won the Turner Gold Medal in 1869.

It was his love of the sea that continuously inspired his art. Wylie was a great supporter of the Royal Navy. So much so, that his funeral was with full naval honours. His coffin was rowed up Portsmouth Harbour with battleships’ colours dipped and bugles calling. The quayside was lined with dockyard workers in respect. His panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar which hangs in the #RoyalNavalMuseum in Portsmouth sees more than 100,000 visitors a year.

The engraving in my collection is ‘The Solent from Southsea with Fort Blockhouse’. It is no. 20 from a publication run of 50. Well struck with fine colour. A beautiful work by an extremely talented artist.

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John Everett Millais artist

We look at another artist who contributed to the publications ‘Good Words’ which we considered in the previous chapter. #JohnEverettMillais (1829-1896) was a regular contributor to the artworks for the magazine over a number of years. His commission to produce 20 designs to portray the parables from the bible by the #DalzielBrothers became for him a work from the heart and nothing less than utter beauty and near perfection could be enough. We will only consider a few of them. It took Millais seven years to complete the commission. He illustrated each parable with close to a dozen different images for each before deciding on his preferred choice. After finishing his chosen drawing he would then transfer it onto a prepared woodblock and give it to the Dalziels to be carved. They would be pressed and Millais would then inspect and make any alterations he thought necessary. Twelve of the woodcuts appear in ‘Good Words’ for 1863. I also have a complete set found in ‘Art Pictures from the Old Testament and Our Lord’s Parables’ published around 1900. As one considers them, one cannot doubt the great effort and consideration which went into them. Beautifully rendered by the Dalzeils, one can sense a depth beyond just an image. There is an emotional depth imbued into each portrayal.Through this depth we join in the searching for the lost coin, we feel the pain of the beaten man, the empathy of the Good Samaritan, the elation and fear of the man who found a treasure which he hides in the ground until he can buy the field, and the over-whelming joy of the father at the return of his child in the prodigal son. One is confronted with the realisation that these images were special – something important to the artist. They were created by body and soul. There can be nothing else said.

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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones artist

In my small collection of old books are five volumes of ‘Good Words’ spanning 1862 to 1866. These were produced by the Dalziel Brothers, who ran a commercial wood-engraving company (they were considered to be the best in London at that time). The volumes contain the monthly magazine which was edited by Queen Victoria’s Chaplin, Dr. Norman McLeod. Each monthly magazine contain parts of novels ( in serialisation), travel stories, poetry. It proved to be huge success.

The woodcut designs were done by some of the best artists of the day and at times a few lesser known artists. In 1862, #EdwardColeyBurne-Jones was a not so well known artist. He was asked for two works on the recommendation of # WilliamHolmanHunt. Holman Hunt described Burne Jones as “the most remarkable of all the younger men of the profession for talent, and will, undeniably in a few years fill the high position in general public favour which at present he holds in the professional world”. Above, you see, Sigurd, the Crusader, the first of the designs submitted and produced for the magazine in 1862.

The second design produced by Burne-Jones was published in 1863 to illustrate the poem ‘Summer Snow’ by #DoraGreenwood. Here, we certainly see the individual style which Burne-Jones had developed. It was a step apart from the normal or regular woodcuts of the time. The beautiful lady who posed for this image was no other than #JaneBurdenMorris. The wife of artist William Morris. I have the photogravure by Emery Walker of Jane in my collection too.

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Ladies of Painting

Today, I would like to consider two artists. The first #EdithGranger-Taylor (1887-1958) and the second #MurielWyman. The two paintings in my collection might be considered somewhat out of the ordinary for Grainger-Taylor. As you will see they are both oils on canvas of the interior of an inn. The information I have gleaned from the web puts her more as an artist working  with pastels. Even so, both paintings bear a label on the verso giving title, price, and signature with residence. Edith Granger-Taylor said at the Royal Academy, St John’s Wood Art School, and the Slade School of Fine Art with Henry Tonks. She, in some ways, was a successful artist exhibiting regularly in the 1920’s and 1930’s with two solo shows included but she suffered from non-acceptance mainly based on that she was female. This frustration saw her withdraw from the art world and she did not exhibit her work again after the 1930’s. The two works display a good eye for depth and shading. The two paintings show the interior of The Old George, Norton St. Philip.

The next painting Still-life with Lampshade (1952) is painted by Muriel Wyman. The only thing that I have come across in regards to her is a photograph of her and New Zealand artist Beatrix Charlotte Dobie. Dobie moved to London to study at the #SladeSchoolofFineArt in 1911. Other than this photo I have found no other info concerning Ms Wyman.This work is done completely using only a palette knife. A nice work and very heavily painted allowing for the play of shadows on the work itself. It may be that all three women knew each other since they studied with #HenryTonks at the Slade School of Fine Art.

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