My Birthday month – how the years pass so fast.
Last month’s journal covered most of my 3 week trip to Scotland except for our visit to the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney. A beautiful gallery with great views out of the windows, as well as an extremely good permanent collection, showing many of my favourite artists. William Scott, who used proportion and arrangement of shapes and line along with controlled colour so beautifully, leaving me feeling quiet and calm. Alfred Wallis, whose paintings of St. Ives in Cornwall look so right in Stromness with the port outside. Another favourite is Roger Hilton, his childlike drawing and simple lines with added colour conjure up amusing and strange stories. I could mention other artists in the collection to many to write about: Sandra Blow, Alan Davie, Patrick Heron & Ben Nicholson.
I now want to come back to London and the Royal Academy, where I saw ‘Matisse in the Studio’, a controversial exhibition with mixed reviews but I loved it. Matisse stated: ‘The object is an actor. A good actor can have a part in ten different plays; an object can play a role in ten different pictures’. So this small exhibition is a delight of his personal objects seen beside and in his paintings. A favourite was his Venetian chair alongside ‘Rocaille Chair’. Often when looking at his work I am aware of mistakes he’s made, but often leaves in, they never seem to spoil the enjoyment, but tell the story of what he was seeing.
The Safrano Roses at the Window (Showing Matisse’s vase)
Matisse’s Venetian chair
Another exhibition I enjoyed was at Blair/Southern called ‘Playground Structure’. An American artist I didn’t know of called Joan Snyder showed a wonderful use of colour and paint and mixed media.
Joan Snyder – New Squares
Joan Snyder – Untitled
Joan Snyder – Untitled (detail)
I should finish this journal by mentioning my birthday which fell on a Bank Holiday Monday, not an easy day to arrange a gathering, so with my husband I had lunch at a favourite brasserie ‘Zedels’. Most enjoyable and I was fortunate to have the hottest British Bank Holiday on record.