Monday, 13 May 2013

Anne Middleton Gates of Paradise - Rebecca Hossack Gallery

2nd May - 1st June 2013

This exhibition shows the incredible and sublime paintings of Anne Middleton. It’s apparently taken her 3 years to create this beautiful body of work. The show marks a major development in her investigation into the natural form - her paintings continue to push the boundaries of botanical art and photorealism. I hope to go to the exhibition tomorrow... will keep you posted, but if you are in London for Rory McEwen I think it's worth the trip into town to see this show too.

Sardine. The Burial of Winter, 2013 by Anne Middleton
Sardine. The Burial of Winter, 2013 Oil on Belgian linen 96 x 126cm

Red Tulip; the day of death, 2012 by Anne Middleton

Red Tulip; the day of death, 2012 Oil on Belgian linen 96 x 126cm

14th May 2013

Popped over this morning to see the work. Stunning pictures, but I have to say they weren't my cup of tea. I was surprised at how vanished they were and I didn't like the contrast of the shine with the mattness of the canvas behind - but that's my personal take on the works. I have to say the strawberries were outstandingly good and it is very clever how Middleton gives such a 'dewy' effect on the subjects. My favourite were the fish - they had so many amazing colours in them - Middleton had captured the rainbows in the silver scales superbly. I also think that I may have been a bit spoilt by seeing Rory McEwen's work this week, so all plant matter is inadvertently compared to his in my silly brain. Can't help it, the thought process goes something like this:  'fish = good, plants = not as good as Rory's' - how ridiculous is that?!

Furthermore, the trouble is that it's got me doing it with my own work now too and I am beginning to feel daunted when looking at my paintings and slightly overly critical. I guess this happens to a lot of artists some of the time and I presume that it's good character building stuff - strengthening your confidence as an artist, allowing yourself to recognise how debilitating it can be for the creative process when focussing too much on the end result. There is also the added bonus though that self critiquing your work does force you to stop  and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing and what it is you are hoping to achieve. I personally think it is good to stop now and then and align yourself with whatever it is that speaks to you so that your work has integrity. Things change, we change. 

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