Monday, June 29, 2009

'A Breezy Corner' - 1911

The late 18th and 19th centuries saw the development of British marine painting. J.M.W. Turner’s seascapes and experiments with watercolour techniques did much to raise the status of the genre and medium, once considered a poor relation to oils. Indeed, watercolour has an important place in the history of maritime art.

Frederic James Aldridge was one of the best English maritime painters working in watercolour and carried the 19th century tradition into the 20th century. He was based in the village of Findon, near Worthing in Sussex.

Aldridge generally painted Channel scenes and Venetian seascapes to the standard format of calm or storm. This atmospheric picture is typical of his mature work, with its rather loose drawing and predominately brown colouring. Aldridge was also an art dealer and attended Cowes Regatta for 50 consecutive years.

Monday, June 22, 2009

David Crick

David Crick is a self taught artist living in Compton, near Guildford.

He exhibits marine and landscape paintings at Guildford and Molesey Art Societies, being Vice President of the latter, and also in various galleries in England and overseas.

A lay member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, he has exhibited in the Annual Exhibition in the past and teaches and demonstrates traditional watercolour techniques to art groups.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

123 - 'Boats off the Coast, Yarmouth'

He was the oldest son of John Sell Cotman, a painter of the Norwich school who was famous for his watercolours and his architectural engravings. Miles Edmund Cotman was primarily a marine painter with a style which can be described weaker of that of his father but skilful, pleasing and impressive. In 1834 he started teaching painting in Norwich and frequently changed places with his brother John Joseph who was also a painter.

His work, when it represents purely his own thought and execution, though good in drawing and design, does luck freedom and is too prim and precise. In Boats Off the Coast, Yarmouth, one can not help being impressed by the great force that the two boats convey, while above them a sensational light blue sky in contrast with the misty sea, creates an atmospheric result.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John Sell Cotman

The collection of watercolours by John Sell Cotman is outstanding. Cotman’s oeuvre divides into distinguishable periods, all of which are well represented in the collection. These comprise his early Norwich and Greta period work (several with related sketches), which are regarded as some of the finest in the history of watercolour painting (these include the famous Greta Bridge with which he is usually identified); a series of magical brown wash watercolours from his Normandy visits; numerous of his late so-called ‘paste’ medium watercolours in his blue and yellow phase, and a series of velvet brown monochrome watercolours painted on a final visit to Norfolk just before his death. He painted relatively few oils, which are rarely seen outside Norwich. Those in the museum show the complete range, from early family portraits to his final, unfinished painting. The provenances of the majority can be traced back to the artist’s sale or his family. These collections, together with sketches, drawing copies, etchings, personalia, etc, provide a complete picture of the artist and his working and teaching methods.