I acquired a small watercolour which leads us to today’s focus, #EugeneIsabey (1803-1886). Eugene Isabey was born into an artistic family. His father Jean-Baptiste enjoyed the patronage of the French Imperial Family and he himself became a court painter to King Louis-Philippe. His works favour historical paintings, genre scenes and landscapes and some very fine marine/seascapes.
The small watercolour is possibly a study done by Isabey for his finished work ‘Wäscher an Fluss’. The rendering of the structures tells me that they were done at the same time as the oil painting. Slight variations in the people illustrated as well as an additional boat by the bridge are seen. It has a pin hole in each of the corners, which might mean it was possibly painted in situ. A nice use of soft colours and shadowing gives a good foundation from which to work toward a finished oil painting. A nice work for a study.
Lately, we have been celebrating women artists and women in all fields of work and life . Today, I would like to take you to Kenya to see one of the countries (if not the African continent) premier women artist who was at the forefront of African modern art.
#RobinAnderson (1924-2012) was born in Kenya but her early training was done in London at Heatherley’s Art School. She returned to #Kenya shortly after finishing her studies. And with two fellow artists and friends opened the #GalleryWatatu in the early 1960’s.
Robin became famous in the early 60’s for her silk batik paintings and prints which she sold via the gallery. She developed her own technique which combined oils, watercolour, batik and screen printing in the creation of works. She had traveled across Africa with her father and used what she had experienced as the source of her inspiration in producing ‘elegant figures and wildlife scenes’.
I came across and acquired three pieces by Ms Anderson. They are not silk batik works but are done in gouache on paper (from her early period). Striking colours and impressionism leap from the page. An amazing eye for structure and balance draw the viewer into her work. There is a sense of power and awe, of the harshness of life and yet peace and wonder are contained here through the beauty which is displayed.
These pieces call out to the viewer. ‘Stand and gaze upon me’. These pieces are the true celebration of the female artist, who was Robin Anderson.
Today’s artist is better known for his WWII paintings some of which are in the #ImperialWarMuseum. #RudolfHaybrook (1898-1965) was a portrait and figure painted. He also designed sets for theatres. Haybrook was born in London, studied in Brighton and served in France during WWI. He was decommissioned due to shell shock. As WWII approached Rudolf was working for the Auxillary (London) Fire Service. He requested to become the official artist to the LFS but was denied due to lack of funds. Even so, Haybrook continued to paint all through his life and the wars. One would consider him a modern artist with tendencies toward impressionism.
Although this piece appears to be quite a realistic scene, Haybrook’s impressionistic side can be seen in the rendering of the trees on the right side of the painting.
The above pastel is not signed or titled but again displays the connection between realism and impressionism. A nicely performed work with good visual angles leading you past the man on the bench and down the path towards the indistinct people further away.
Today we travel to the southwest of the country -Devonshire- to visit an artist who specialised in working in watercolour. A man who painted harbour scenes, cottage scenes and moorland. #WalterHenrySweet (1889-1943) was a prolific and popular artist at the beginning of the 20th century even though he did not exhibit his work outside of the southwestern area. He studied at the Exeter School of Art under tutor and friend John Shapland.
After serving during WWI, Walter moved and resided in Dundee, Scotland. Here he worked as a commercial illustrator for James Valentine and Sons.
I have two Walter Henry Sweet watercolours in my collection. They are, I think, sublime examples of his artistic style. His use of soft pinks, muted greens and browns. The first painting shown is titled ‘In Minehead’ and displays a street leading up toward St. Michael’s Anglican Church and the second painting simply titled ‘Boscastle’ showing a mother and child strolling along a lane. I hope you agree with me that Walter Henry Sweet should be better known than he is. Two beautiful works showing the idyllic countryside of the southwest.
My wife and I have decided that a short holiday up north would do us good. There are a number of places which I am tempted to visit on the way. I have a number of pieces of art which have helped to hone my interest. We will look at just one.
I bought a small painting some time ago. It was done on an oak plank so has some age to it and has a couple of small chips which don’t deter too much from the overall effect. It is in need of a good clean and re-sealing though.
I know that there was an etching done from this painting (I believe) by engraver #GeorgeCuitt which was published in 1827. Hence my date of 1825.
The painting shows #WensleyMill in Yorkshire. The painting size is 250 mm by 385mm (the etching size is 240 X 300). There is a bit more to the right side of the painting than the etching. It is possible that that it was painted by George Cuit the Elder (1743-1818) or George Cuitt the Younger (1779-1854) prior to etching it.
The Wensley waterfall is tucked away from the view of passers-by. It tumbles down hidden by the old cottage used by the Wensley candlemakers. One can also visit the mill which at present is home to #WhiteRoseCandles
Of course, the wider Wensleydale area is famous for its crumbly cheese which was first made by a group of French monks who settled in North Yorkshire almost a thousand years ago. Also a favourite of Wallace and Gromit – the animated characters.
I think, you can see why I am tempted to visit. History calls out and beauty abounds. A good place for a visit.
#JosephYelvertonDawbarn (1856-1943) was born in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire (about 25 miles from where I live). Although Dawbarn read mathematics and law at Queen’s College in Cambridge he did not practice long as he did not find it enjoyable as a profession. He went on to study was art in Liverpool under the tutelage of #JohnFinnie. Dawbarn also traveled to Paris to learn under Fleury and Bouguereau.
Dawbarn loved to travel and paint. His works portray places from across Europe and the United Kingdom. Because proficient in both oils and watercolours. Dawbarn painted landscapes/cityscapes and rustic figures although he did venture into portraits and nudes.
The watercolour shown displays Dawbarn’s wonderful use of colours and skill at combining them . A fine view of the settlement of #Salen on the #IsleofMull in Scotland. I’ve been to Oban on the mainland and gazed at the Isle but not visited yet.
This past week, I added what I thought was a nice ‘Italianate scene’ watercolour to my collection. On the back is an inscription. Now writing on artworks or books does not necessarily make them more valuable (usually less). The writing must be done by the artist themselves or someone famous to possibly increase value. That being said inscriptions can give historical information.
Above is the inscription from the verso of the small watercolour I acquired. It contains three names and a date. Onwards – 1838 is the year and the people are? Mr. Jacobsons remains a mystery but the the other two are known historical figures. #TheophilaGwatkin and #AnneGwatkin. You are likely still wondering who are they. Theophila Gwatkin (nee Palmer) (1757-1848) was an amatuer artist. She is better known as the niece of #SirJoshuaReynolds. She sat for him in a number of his paintings. Theophila Gwatkin had 10 children. Of those were Theophila and Anne -two of her daughter’s.
The watercolour has some talent to it. Could this be Robert and Theophila with daughter Anne strolling near their home, Killiow House in Kea, Cornwall? I will settle for knowing who the Gwatkins were and be content with not knowing the full story behind this work.
It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought we would start with a newly acquired piece.
#WilliamHenryHunt (1790-1864) was a key figure in the nineteenth century English watercolour world. His works were readily collected in his lifetime and continue to be popular. He painted genre images of children and still-lifes of fruit, flowers, and bird’s nests. This earned him the nickname ‘Bird’s Nest Hunt’ Hunt was born near Covent Garden suffering with a deformity to his legs. He apprenticed under watercolourist #JohnVarley in 1806. Through Varley he met patron #Dr.ThomasMonro, who encouraged and enabled Hunt to paint and progress artistically. Hunt often traveled to Dr. Monro’s summer house at Bushey in Hertfordshire. Many of Hunt’s drawings were done at the farm where he would be wheeled around in a barrow with a hood attachment.
Ruskin suggested that if one wished to learn how to paint in watercolour there was no safer guide than William Hunt. Very high praise indeed.
The watercolour shown is signed lower right and the title is on the verso. The paper has darkened greatly over time but the quality of the colours and overall image can still be seen. A nice work by a well respected artist.
An artist born in Winchester in 1901 is the subject of our chapter today. #ArthurVictorCoverley-Price was an adventurous soul. He loved both painting and climbing things especially those mountains which were a challenge.
Coverley-Price was a talented artist from his early youth. He was mostly self-taught and began his exhibiting prior to his graduation from college. He loved to travel all the while drawing, sketching, and painting. Coverley-Price worked in the Diplomatic Service which meant he traveled the globe. Nepal, South America, Japan, the Middle East, South Africa, North America and many other places were his canvas and inspiration. Painting the people, the streets they populated and the landscapes in which they lived.
His adventurous life and search for thrills and challenges to face did not diminish his appreciation for beauty in the more accessible places around him. A use of bold strokes and bright colours in his images infuses them with energy and life. We can feel the artists love of the scenes that sit before him and which he endeavours to capture for us the viewer.
I have two of Coverley-Price’s watercolours in my collection. ‘#Muckish from near Dunfanaghy’ and ‘A glimpse of #LakeGarda’ both exhibit the exhilaration and joy which the artist must have felt when he visited those places. Both images are fresh and vivid and filled with the spirit the places they depict.
As a singer, I would listen to a number of artists who had recorded a piece and study their interpretation. Not to copy these performances but to effect my performance. This act of trying to relate to others in your field goes for most of the arts as well as careers we might have. Painting and drawing is no different. What better way to increase your skill than to study those great artists before you.
We look at a drawing by artist Walter F Corry. I have found no information in regards to this artist. The date on this piece reads as 16.10.05. From the age of the paper, I lean towards 1805 rather than 1905. I cannot say for sure, even, whether Walter Corry was the artist or this was given as a gift to s friend. The salutation is ink while the drawing is graphite.
The artist here has used pencil/graphite to recreate a study by Albrecht Dürer. A study of a 92 year old man for Dürer’s painting of St Jerome. It is very well done. Not an exact copy but a very fine version. The subtle shading gives credit to the supreme artist which Dürer was. A fine and lovely artwork to look at.