I spent a wonderful lunch/afternoon yesterday at the Mall Galleries viewing the latest NEAC exhibition. Primarily I went yesterday because Patrick Cullen was giving a demonstration. I admire his recent pastel and oil paintings of his trip to India, where he has concentrated on painting towns and people rather than his more widely known landscapes.
The gathered audience were treated to a session watching him sketch in charcoal, his model holding poses required for his latest painting. Half the audience reached for a pen when his model in a sari began her first pose squatting on the ground with hand outstretched, and sketched on any piece of paper that came to hand. The poses were taken from Patrick's quick sketches of market sellers, made whilst in India. With my drawing class now over for this term, it was a wonderful bonus to be able to sketch, albeit briefly, such a model.
On his recent trip to India, Patrick took only chalk pastels and a selection of pre-cut papers. To transport his work he framed each piece with a card board mount, then taped it face down to a board. Each subsequent painting would be mounted and taped face down to the back of the previous painting - I hope that makes sense. These works were not fixed, but prior to glazing, he sprays them very lightly. Some of these paintings/studies will be framed as they are, and others used for larger oils in the studio at home.
I always find the work of the NEAC full of interest, some of the artists that particularly impressed me yesterday include Roy Freer, Mary Jackson and James Rushton. Ken Howard's large painting of Venice at night was marvellous, (I'm a fan), and Patrick Cullen's Indian paintings, full of vibrant colour 2 in pastel and 2 in oil, were magical. He uses a pastel paper which he says can only be obtained from the USA, called Wallace paper, and he orders it by the roll-not cheap I think.
What with new year's resolutions just around the corner, I found lots to inspire and think about. If you haven't visited yet and might be able to get to London in the next few days, it finishes on Dec 5th, I'd recommend it!
ps if you'd like a treat (IMHO) you can see the paintings exhibited in 2010 on this link: http://www.newenglishartclub.co.uk/shop/searchartfinder.asp?p=4&s=&sa=0&sc=0&spl=&spu=&ssp=on&