A bit of research on portraits was needed. I thought I'd share some images with you interspersed with other postings in the next few weeks. Left: Apparently Her Maj was expecting me and very touchingly thought to send out the army to do a 21 gun salute. How kind. I don't quite know how to tell her really, but her chaps were awful shots. 3 great cannons at almost point blank range and not one single shot hit home on the buildings opposite- not even a window was broken. Apparently it was also Charles' birthday, so she's asked that we pretend this was all for him - he'll only sulk otherwise.
The poppies are being removed from the Tower - a huge job. Between 9 and 15 million people were killed in the 1st World War, and of course this display doesn't cover all of them, just the deaths in the British forces. Spectacular to look at en masse, but I didn't need to see how many 888,246 dead bodies were in poppy equivalents, I can imagine that all by myself without too much problem. DH wasn't overly impessed but as an art installation I thought it was striking and glorious!
one for every death in the British forces in the First World War. - See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/VisitUs/Topthingstoseeanddo/Poppies/RollofHonour#sthash.gvug1dMQ.dpuf
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies fill the Tower’s famous moat.
Left is Arthur Scargill with a suitably red palette. I was looking at technique/brush work on my visit and this is the first one that struck me. Not only the colour but the energy of the brush work fills the painting with movement and fire.
A complete contrast to this one of Diana. Calm, pretty colours, elegant.
Self portrait by RB Kitaj called Hockney Pillow.
The artist is in bed. He has darkened features and reddened eyes which gives an intense emotional charge.......... could be he had man-flu?!!
All of the portraits are likenesses of course but they are conveying something else too about the sitter and their character or where they are in life. I really need to try and be more expressive in my brush work. We are what we are and it comes out in the way we paint, but it's always worth a try or you'll never know!
Finally can I leave you with my favourite paintings in the whole world - at the moment anyway. Such wonderful colours. I'm sure you can guess that it's by Vincent Van Gogh. We were listening to a free concert (piano and violin) in the National Gallery and were sat staring at his work. Truly moving.