Perhaps I was starting to get a little jaded with the art of Claude Monet: too much impressionism recently perhaps. His work's been central to a couple of big, recent shows: The Tate's Impressionists in London and the Painting the Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal Academy a couple of years ago. Of course, once you get to see the new Monet and Architecture show at the National Gallery, all that quickly falls away as you see, once again, how good he always is. Never mind that he is not really painting architecture or buildings, but light and atmosphere.
At the Impressionists in London, I was struck by a sequence of paintings he made of the Houses of Parliament, a subject he actually treated in a similar way to his famous haystacks. Seeing a few side by side was striking, and a similar feeling at this new show with a sequence of paintings of Rouen Cathedral. A great and prolific artist and always worth seeing.
The Church at Varengeville and the Gorge of Moutiers, 1882
Windmills near Zaandam, 1871
The BBC adapted Lewis Grassic Gibbon's book Cloud Howe for the radio a year or so ago. On the web page, it used a lovely photograph of a Scottish scene: mountain, cloud and croft. I thought I'd try and paint it. The play of sunlight and shadow on the mountain and the low clouds rolling over the distant peaks really make the scene beautiful.
I think it came out quite well.
Above: Cloud Howe, Oil, 8x10" (?), 2017
Well, it's Venice again, but a beautifully atmospheric take on the city by watercolour painter Martin Caulkin. As seen at the Mall Galleries today at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 206th Exhibition :
Above: Venice Night, Martin Caulkin RI, watercolour, 52 x 69cm
The exhibition was very good with many very good paintings as usual.