Modern Prints

I thought today, we would visit two artists. Printmakers. One sadly not with us any more but the second still plying their trade.

We will begin with #TomMackenzie (1947-2018). A Scottish artist who lived and worked in #Portree on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Most of his etchings portray the Isle or places on the west coast of Scotland. Generally, he used 3 plates to make his works allowing several colours to be used in each work. The simplicity which we see when we gaze on his works disguises the amazing technique and subtlety of light. He made small print runs, usually of 75 or less. My copy of #LochCluanie shows off his talent as an etcher. The grandeur of the landscape is countered by the misty, foreboding remoteness of this place to engage the viewer to look deeply into this image.

Loch Cluanie – 2/75 – etching by Tom Mackenzie

Next , we go to visit artist #ThelmaKSykes (1940 – ) an artist who works by cutting images into both lino and wood block. Again, she uses 3 blocks for most her works allowing the use of several colours. She is a field naturalist as well as print maker. Her subjects being mostly the wildlife/birdlife she which she encounters. The print ‘Smews’ from my collection is typical of her 3 colour pieces. Well balanced in layout as well as in colour make this an intimate meeting between viewer and viewed.

Smew – 11/23 – lino/wood cut by Thelma K Sykes
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Samuel Harry Hancock artist

Today, we visit with an artist best known for his images of Victorian London as well as his portraits. #SamuelHarryHancock (1871-1932) worked mostly in oils and his portraitures come from earlier in his career.

I picked up a portrait of a young lady by Hancock this past week. Shown side on in a light blue gown with tousled brown hair and unadorned with any jewelry, she gazes past the viewer. We do not know the identity of the sitter of this portrait. Does it matter? Hancock’s talent can be seen. Colours finely blended to enhance light and shadow.

Unknown lady – oil on canvas by Samuel Harry Hancock @ 1910

A beautiful lady to hang on the wall.

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Edward Bishop artist

Today we visit an artist who was known for painting in oils,pastel work, print making, lithography, photography, design, and teaching. Quite a list but #EdwardBishop (1902-1997) was multi-talented. His early training was at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he learned to draw. His talent brought him to design posters for the Stoll Theatres and after winning a competition working for the advertising agency Lintas (Unilever account). He later worked at S H Benson agency (on Kodak and Austin cars accounts). During these years, Bishop became a skilled photographer. After WWII, Bishop concentrated on painting and was an active member of the burgeoning British art scene. He was a member of several art groups as well as chair and president for a couple of those groups.

Whitby 10/14 – lithograph by Edward Bishop @ 1931

The above lithograph was done early on in Bishop’s career while he was employed at the Lintas Agency. It is a view across the rooftops of the city of Whitby out onto the harbour where a few boats can be seen. Although, I have seen a number of images regarding his paintings, I have not really come across his works as a printmaker. The image certainly shows his drawing/design skill along with his architectural eye. A nicely printed image with good depth of tone and a dash of colour to strengthen the image.

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Oscar Kokoschka artist

This week, I came across a print. In its’ frame, one cannot see any signature or any information about the image at all. It intrigued me so I acquired it. A quick image search on Google tells me that this is a print of #VariationOnATheme#5 by artist #OscarKokoschka. This, of course, is not a lithograph which he produced around 1920 of audience members at a concert which he attended. As he listened to the music, Kokoschka drew 20 chalk portraits of two women while they listened to the music during the concert.

Kokoschka (1886-1980) was an Austrian artist, poet, and playwright. He trained under #GustavKlimt. Kokoschka drew and painted many portraits but he veered from the norm in that most are half length which included the arms and hands with which he captures individualistic gestures/expressions regarding the sitters emotional mood.

Variations on a Theme – offset lithograph poster for the Bethnal Green Museum exhibition of Oscar Kokoschka works @ 1971

This poster was created for the Bethnal Green Museum exhibition in 1971 of Kokoschka’s works in the collection of Count Bethusy-Huc. The top of the poster has been removed down to and including the dates of the exhibition and a strip on the bottom has also been removed while retaining the message at the lower right on the print.

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Montague Dawson marine artist

Recently, a charity I frequent held a sale. I could not go in the morning due to other obligations but went in the afternoon even though I figured most things would be well picked through. There were very few pictures to look at but I went through them. I noticed off to the side a pair of pictures and at first site they did not stir my interest. They were dusty and someone had actually left a shoe print on one. I examined only the recto side and put the picture down but something nagged at me to be go and have a better look. Back I went and turned the painting over to look at the verso. Here to my surprise was a title strip and a London gallery label.

Verso of painting with title strip and gallery label.

This should be a signal and I thought I would hang on to this very odd piece. Since there was a sale on, it cost me very little. It was at this time I thought I would have a better look at the back. To my amazement the was a name written in very light pencil.

#MontagueDawson (1895-1973) is possibly the most renowned maritime artist of the 20th century in the UK. His works regularly sell in the six figure range. His early training came via a commercial art studio. He joined the navy in WWI in the Dazzle Painting Section. After the war he sailed upon the St. George to the South Seas. He went as artist in residence and also provided The Graphic with illustrations for its’ publications. He later worked for the publication called The Sphere. He turned professional marine artist after the war and exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists. His works were and are coveted and his artworks were bought by 2 American presidents and the British Royal Family.

The Bachante – painting by Montague Dawson @ 1910 – 1930

As you can see, #TheBacchante is not a masterpiece. It is different. It has the beginnings of talent. Was this piece very early in his career. Was he experimenting with an impressionistic style. Maybe it was a sketch for either of the papers he drew for. I don’t know. All I can say is that it bears his name and came through a reputable London gallery.

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Anton Mauve painter

#AntonMauve (1838-1888) was born in Zaandam, The Netherlands. He was a realist painter best known for his works depicting peasants working in the fields beside their animals. His father was a Mennonite Chaplin and shortly after Anton’s birth the family moved to Haarlem.His early training was under Pieter van Os, Wouter Verschuur, and Paul Gabriël. His technique was quite loose and free while using a broad palette of delicate grey’s, greens and light blues.

Milking Time – watercolour with charcoal and gouache by Anton Mauve @ 1875

Mauve moved to The Hague, 1872, where he became a leading member in the #HagueSchool of painters. Late in life, Mauve moved to the village of Laren, Gooi area near Hilversum. Mauve and other artists (Israel’s, Neuhuys, etc) who resided there became known as the #LarenseSchool.

Mauve was married to Vincent van Gogh’s cousin and he influenced van Gogh’s style immensely. Van Gogh studied under Mauve for a short while when he began his experimentation with oils and watercolours.

Returning to the Fold – drypoint etching by Anton Mauve

These two pieces definitely display Mauve’s artistry in his rural depictions. I add a couple of close ups to show the layering of the colours which make the first work so beautiful and a joy to look at.

Milking Time – watercolour by Anton Mauve – close up
Milking Time – watercolour by Anton Mauve – close up

I have seen another version of the watercolour in which the first cow on the left has been left out along with several other small differences.

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When companies change

I do not usually buy ceramics/pottery but recently I picked up a couple of pieces; one for ornamental use and the other for interest only.

The ornamental one, now sits on a corner wash stand I have in our spare room. This piece is of course meant to sit on this piece of furniture. It is a large wash basin. I do not yet have a pitcher. The basin on the outside is plain white, no decoration at all but on the inside is a blue floral pattern culminating in a central figure of a floral bouquet in a vase.

Wash basin by Copeland @ 1876

There are no cracks or chips, so a piece in wonderful condition. The date marks on the underside read as 1876. #Copeland was associated with #Spode which is a world renowned ceramics and porcelain company. Josiah Spode had established a porcelain company at Stoke-on-Trent in 1770. This company was bought by William Copeland in 1833.

The second piece we look at is not in perfect condition. It is cracked and has a chip – more noticeable from the bottom than the top. This piece was made by a porcelain factory set up by #JamesMacIntyre in Burselm, Stoke-on-Trent. Most people will not recognise the name but #MacIntyre produced very fine porcelain. In 1897, MacIntyre employed a young man by name of #WilliamMoorcroft, who within one year of working was put in charge of the companies art pottery studio as Chief Designer. Moorcroft left MacIntyre in 1913 to set up his own manufacturing company. This is the Moorcroft most people know.

Florian Blue Poppy pattern teapot trivet by Macintyre designed by William Moorcroft @ 1900

The trivet is not in perfect shape. It has been well loved. It possibly was part of a set of maybe just a loved single piece. It is not signed by Moorcroft as a number of his designs were. Moorcroft’s penchant for producing very beautiful and creative pieces meant they were also expensive to buy. So, I’m happy with this well loved piece just to remind me of the exceptional talent Moorcroft was.

Florian Blue Poppy pattern teapot trivet by Macintyre designed by William Moorcroft @ 1900 – underside image
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Gwen Raverat woodcuts

I came across a woodcut by artist #GwendolenMarieRaverat (nee Darwin) 1895-1957, this past week. Again from a charity shop but it was in their trash bin ready to be disposed of. It was a little damp (no long lasting damage) and had a small taped over tear (not what should happen). So, I paid my £1 for this piece of ‘trash’. In reality, this woodcut was bought in 1973 at the exhibition put on by The Wren Gallery, Cambridge commemorating her works. It is not signed or titled maybe making it a trial pressing, possibly.

Poplars in France – woodcut by Gwen Raverat @ 1916

The woodcut is called #PoplarsinFrance and comes from early in her career. Her first woodcuts come from around 1905 and she soon excelled in this medium. Her formal training was done at the Slade School (1908 -1910) after which she moved (1915) along with her husband and two daughters to France. Except for 1915 to 1928, Raverat resided in or near Cambridge. She was a founding member of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920. Raverat concentrated on scenes of rural life and landscapes. Gwendolen Marie Raverat was the granddaughter of Charles Darwin as well as being a member of the Bloomsbury Group. She was friends and acquaintance of Ralph Vaughn Williams (second cousin)¿, Vanessa Bell, Stanley Spencer, Rupert Brooke and many more well known artists.

The Fen – woodcut by Gwen Raverat @ 1935

The second woodcut by Raverat in my collection is called ‘The Fen’. Very typical of the work created by her. The first is one of her finest works, the second is typical of her style and both display the artistry of the carver. Sublime skill combined with imagination and originality in the production of her works.

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George Cattermole artist

A while back, I purchased a watercolour to add to my collection. It is a scene showing a group of people crowded around a table beside a very large fireplace. The signature on the verso reads #GeorgeCattermole (1800-1868).

Verso of watercolour

When one looks at the painting, we discover a surprising thing. On the seat of the chair on the extreme right side of the image is a name. I am not convinced that this is the artist’s name thusly the image not being painted by Cattermole but rather might be a sly way of giving credit to Cattermole’s sponsor/benefactor for this painting. It is too surreptitious for my thinking to be an legitimate signature.

Fireplace scene by/afterGeorge Cattermole

There was a lithographic plate done by #LouisHaghe (1806-1885) of this image. It was created around 1835. Hague was done of the great lithographers of his time and published many works. Quite an efficient work by whomever did it.

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William Etty artist

Not that long ago, I purchased a drawing. It is a portrait ofb a young lady done with black and red chalk and a touch of body colour white. The portrait itself is not signed but on the backing paper there appears the name #WilliamEtty.

Etty (1787-1849) was the first significant British painter of nudes which he used in his historical paintings. Etty was born in York but left school early to apprentice as a printer. After his apprenticeship, he enrolled in the Royal Academy to study under Thomas Lawrence. His talent for painting realistic skin tones brought him commercial and critical claim.

Portrait of a young lady – by William Etty

When one looks at this portrait, the artist’s talent is immediately recognised. Using only three colours, he manages to portray an intimacy with his sitter and catches her character as she glances to the side. The touches of white body colour are perfectly placed. Especially the one on her eye. It draws you in to look at it and the beauty of the eyes. Who is this young lady. I do not know but she comes from the time of Jane Austen. Does she appear in one of his paintings. Again, I do not know. She is just lovely to look upon.

Portrait of a young lady – by William Etty
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