Thursday, 27 May 2010


Went to see the exhibition of Xavier Pick's work yesterday - where we were pleased to meet up with Xavier again.  He describes himself in articles printed in various newsapers and magazines,  as a 'Peace Artist' and a buddhist.

He paints on wooden panels.

Brilliant work, from his sketches and photos.  Some very large pieces were hung in awkward places because the gallery is so small.  Some sketch books are on display.
Link to a video clip from the BBC from December 2008, gives you an idea of how Xavier works on the spot.

Artist on drawing life in Basra

I hope to go back to see the paintings because the gallery was very busy - some people had been to Iraq  and were talking about their experiences there (but not to me) but I listened in,  which was of course very interesting.

The smaller paintings were very well priced, and there is also a book on sale (limited edition of 100) which is £100, although a bit too much for me to pay!

An artist friend who has visited the show was concerned that some of the work was painted on top of photographs that have been transferred to wooden panels.  I think this besides the point.  They are paintings using mixed media, which is how they are described. Some have drawing in pen or crayon as well, and in the history of art this is a common practice.  They work well.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


This should be a good one, exhibition on from 27 May to 3 July, in D'Arblay Street, Soho, off Poland Street.  It is a rooftop gallery.
Xavier Pick is a brilliant graphic artists - I mean he draws amazingly and I love his work.  Will write more when I have been to see the exhibition.

Xavier Pick at Mumford Fine Art Behind-the-lines-in-basra

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


We went to see Julie Bennett's latest oil painting last Friday.  Called 'She's on the phone'.
It is a very big oil, too, and extremely dynamic, with a great 'presence' - it was a focus and in a different class from the other exhibits.  The painting was on show at the Biscuit Factory, in Clement's Road, Bermondsey, in South East London.
The group show was of 2nd Year Fine Art students at Camberwell College of Arts.
If you are quick you can catch this exhibition, as it ends on 26 May (2010).  The large complex of buildings is about 5 minutes walk from Bermondsey Tub station.
Julie has painted with household gloss in the past and I am please to see this one painted in artist's oil colours, which I think is an improvement for her, and a good direction to follow.
The show was hugely popular, crowds of people having a good time and a fine warm evening made it possible for the socialising to continue outside in the couryard.

We went for a cold beer on the way back to the tube, at the little pub in St James's Road, I think it is called the St James's Tavern. It had a flag - cross of St George - draped over the bar (because of the football, of course) and a quite, relaxed atmosphere, being an early Friday evening, where I found it pleasant to hear the soft tones of the Bermondsey accent.  I recall this accent from friends who I got to know when I had a pottery studio in Rotherhithe years ago, at Hope (Sufferance) Wharf.  The local people probably find this influx of the arty gangs in their midst rather a laugh.

Monday, 17 May 2010


This is the exhibition of Croydon Art Society at the Croydon Clocktower gallery, in the centre of Croydon town centre, Surrey (UK).


I have three works on show here until the end of May, 2010.

One oil painting, of the Polo play at Windsor Great Park last summer, when I painted this little study 'en plein air' at my easel next to the polo ground.  Sorry the photo is very poor quality!

I also have on display two collagraphs of engines, one called The Rocket, and one called The Tank Engine, self-explanatory titles.
Collagraphs are an unusual form of printing, because you make the original as a collage using various textures and card, sand, seeds, thick paper etc.  Then you seal the collage with many layers of varnish to keep out moisture and preserve the soft material.  This 'plate' is then inked up with etching ink and printed on special paper in the same way as a conventional etching, but not so many finished prints can be made before the 'collage' shows signs of wear.

Invigilation at the exhibition again was interesting, and while I was there, one of the organisers of the exhibition, the wonderful Archie, was taking photos of all the exhibits to put on the Croydon Art Society website:
Croydon Art Society


The Orleans House Gallery is in Twickenham, down a little lane near the Crown pub, and very near the Riverside (River Thames).  The Octagon is the only part of the original Orleans House still standing and it is a beautiful room, used for wedding receptions.  It dates from the 18th century.

This group exhibition was on from 7 - 14 May, 2010.

The private view was part of an open museum project, but unfortunately not many people attended, although I met some very accomplished artists.  It was an interesting exhibition of different media, including wire sculpture, prints, paintings and jewellery.

The photo etching which I  showed is called 'Brooklyn Bridge Commuter'.  I used a photo which I had taken when on a recent visit to New York City.  In New York there are a lot of cyclists and I saw many of them commuting near Brooklyn, and in particular some fine specimens of muscular cyclist!

Last Friday I met an artist, Derek Kinsett, who showed his sculpture in his current series, the Love and Femininity Collection, which I particularly admired because of its beautiful mass, delicate textures and subtle colours.  The piece is called Lady and the Bicycle, which reminds me of the lovely song White Bicycle, by Julianna Raye on her album Dominoes.  Derek told me he works in Wiltshire and gave me his web site address, which is

Inner Spirit Sculptures

I took a few photos while at the Orleans Gallery, here they are, first a photo of my etching 'Brooklyn Bridge Commuter' (on the right in the photo)  then

some of the exhibits in the Orleans Gallery Octagon room, then Derek Kinsett, by his scupture, Lady and the Bicycle


The Wandsworth Artists' Co-operative group organised a group show in May, in the Putney Exchange Shopping Centre, Putney High Street in South London.
The show was for three days, on 7th, 8th and 9th May, 2010.  I took part as a guest, and showed ten of my small paintings.
The recent painting called 'Merton Park Rugby, Old Ruts' which I painted in acrylic on canvas, sold on the first morning to a charming lady who bought it to hang in her son's room.

The centre was not secure so we had to take turns in invigilation, which was in many ways a good idea for me, because I got a chance to meet some of the members of this co-operative and discuss ideas and swop information - artists always need other artists!

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Susan Wood, an artist member of SLWA, gave a fascinating talk on Saturday, 1 May 2010.  She explained how the Exhibition Group, lead by Moira Jarvis, had worked so hard to put on this, the first group exhibition of the SLWA.
Susan likened our group to the artists' colonies, such as the ones at Newlyn and Pont-Aven, but said we were more a 'virtual' colony, as we participate with each other on the internet, since we do not all live in a small area of London.
Susan went on to talk about the exhibits, and set out to point to various groupings, the first one being 'colourists' such as Anne Lynch and Janet Tod. Next was a group of 4 works based on 'people', this included the portraits by Julie Bennett and Joley Goodman, the scene of the Smithfield Nocturne cycle race by me, and the painting of a bar front in Alburquerque by Carol Cooper.
I was pleased that Susan remarked on my vibrant colours, and remarked that my painting was not just of athletes, but of athletes in relation to their city surrounding, a city context.
Marnie Pitt has used egg tempera and oil for for her surreal image, Susan Short has a print, the only woodcut in the show and Leonie Cronin (founder member) was mentioned for her acrylic, of a mythological theme, with a background of women playing in a brass band (which her daughter does).
Jane Higginbottom has a small sculpture, stone on wood;  Jane has work in Burgess Park also.
Selina Jane Steele has a collection in a display cabinet, and is influenced by the 19th century idea of cabinets of curiosities.
City scapes are represented by Tory Wilkinson's Blue Skys, Moira Jarvis by Trees in Autumn in Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon Common and water reflections by Liz Charsley-Joley, a view from water level entitled 'Putney Pier'
The subject 'Layers' included Kim Thornton's vacuum cleaner 'Domestic Alchemist' and Sarah Willet's acrylic where circles are gouged out, creating visual ambiguity, and suggesting an interest in Aboriginal art. Finally Susan finished her talk mentioning the two blue Cyanotypes of Zoe Burt, made at Brixton Lido.


At the South London Women Artists Group exhibition I had an interesting talk to Councillor Robin Crookshank-Hilton, who is Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark, and represents Dulwich Village Ward as a Liberal Democrat.
I wish her well during the coming local and general election day.

The photo was taken at the private view, of Councillor Robin Crookshank-Hilton, me and the purchaser of my painting, John Runnette. You can see the Smithfield Nocturne Cycling painting behind us.

Councillor Robin told me she is very interested in the collection of work by Pre-Raphaelite artist Evelyn de Morgan, which was held by the South London Art Gallery in Peckham.
Evelyn de Morgan was the wife of artist William de Morgan, whose ceramics and other work can be seen at the De Morgan Foundation Museum in Wandsworth, 38 West Hill, Wandsworth, SW18 1RZ. I must confess that despite my good intentions I have not yet been to see this museum!
De Morgan Foundation Museum

Link to more about Evelyn de Morgan:

Evelyn de Morgan

Unfortunately this woman artist's work is not on view in Southwark now. There might be work by her at the De Morgan Foundation Museum in Wandsworth.