Tag Archives: exhibition

Lit & Phil

 

Alan in Lit & Phil

Painting Bill Midgley

The Journal online has featured a nice article written by David Whetstone about my exhibition at the Lit & Phil which has its private viewing this evening. The exhibition continues until 21st July.

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Lit & Phil Exhibition

Lit & Phil Exhibition Alan Reed

Lit & Phil Exhibition

The Private View for the Lit & Phil Exhibition starts 5th July. The exhibition will be open to the public until 21st July during the library’s usual opening hours Monday-Saturday starting at 9:30am. Closing times do vary so best to check their website www.litandphil.org.uk

If you have not been to the Literary & Philosophical Society before then it really is worth taking a look at one of the finest libraries in the country. It’s less than 5 minutes walk from Newcastle’s Central Station and Metro and there is plenty of parking nearby too.

I’m exhibiting a number of watercolours and oils including my new painting of the Lit & Phil which has been published as a limited edition print and some new original paintings of Italy. You can see some of the paintings online.

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Painting of the Pantheon

Painting of the Pantheon

Watercolour of the Pantheon

This new original watercolour of the Pantheon in Rome forms part of my forthcoming exhibition at the Lit and Phil Library starting 6th July. The Pantheon is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Rome and was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa about the time of the Bible’s Book of Acts. Agrippa’s inscription can be seen on the portico which always reminds me of Acts chapters 25-26 where the Apostle Paul is brought before King Agrippa to be tried. So convincing was Paul’s witness of Jesus Christ that even Agrippa said to Paul “You almost persuade me to become Christian”. Chapter 26 verse 28.

I’ve been to Rome a couple of times since my first visit back in 1998 as part of the process of getting reference for my paintings of Italy. Each time I’ve managed to paint a number of watercolours on location. In this particular 14″ x 10″ I’ve tried to retain the freshness of those painted plein air, keeping the brush marks direct and relatively loose compared to my usual studio paintings.

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Kidney Transplant

Millennium Bridge, Rain's Past

Millennium Bridge, Rain's Past

In the autumn of 2006 Susan and I were filmed by the BBC for Songs of Praise to be shown on bonfire night. The programme was being broadcast from the CastleGate, the home of City Church Newcastle which Susan and I have strong links with. Songs of Praise wanted to interview several people from the church who had interesting life changing stories and they asked if we would share our story about how I gave one of my kidneys to Susan back in 2001. Susan had been going into renal failure through polycystic kidney disease. I was tested along with Susan’s mother,to see if either one of our kidneys would be a match, and remarkably mine was. Usually live donors are family members and because of Susan’s tissue type, the chances of receiving a kidney from a dead donor in the UK would have only been about 3%. A husband/wife donation is much more unusual. The operation took place on 27th June 2001 and has been a total success without any rejection. I commented on the programme the words of Jesus Christ on marriage and what I had said to the surgeon after the operation:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”? “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate”. Matthew 19:5-6

I said to the surgeon who had operated on me that the kidney would not reject because it became “one flesh” with Susan when we married each other.

Part of the filming took place on Newcastle’s Quayside and they asked me to do some painting on location. I decided to do this view of the Millennium Bridge which I tackled in one of my sketchbooks. The result was quite pleasing so I decided to do this larger 16″ x 12″ studio watercolour which depicts the bridge highlighted against the backdrop of a sky heavy laden with rain clouds. I think we were spared a heavy downpour during the filming, hence the title “Rain’s Past”!

The original watercolour can be seen  at my Spring Exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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Shell Catchers by Sherree Valentine-Daines

Shell Catchers

Shell Catchers

One of the current featured paintings in my Spring exhibition is this limited edition, hand embellished canvas by Sherree Valentine-Daines titled Shell Catchers. The print is no longer available from the publishers so it is doubtful that there will be many copies left in retailers as Sherree Valentine-Daines is a hugely popular figurative artist.

This delightful painting shows two small children, nestled amongst the rocks, inspecting their catch before depositing them into the little red bucket by their side. The brush marks are fresh, spontaneous and yet carefully expressed to ensure that the children’s lovely features are correctly defined. My wife and I are great fans of Sherree’s paintings since we first came across her work at the Henley Royal Regatta back in the mid 90’s when we both used to show our original paintings in the Stewards Enclosure during Regatta week. We also have 4 other paintings by Sherree Valentine-Daines on display at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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Grey Street, Snow Shower

Grey Street, Snow Shower

Grey Street, Snow Shower

My new Spring Exhibition preview weekend started last Saturday. star of the show was this new original watercolour painting titled “Grey Street, Snow Shower” a classic view of what has been described as the finest curved street in Europe. This moody, quite monchromatic painting comes to life with the tiny splash of red indicating the coat worn by the little girl, my eldest granddaughter Emily.

The first customer to arrive purchased one of the larger sized copies of the new limited edition print, taken from the original painting. The next customer to call in purchased the original watercolour which was a lovely start to the weekend. Further copies were sold throughout the day. The new print comes in 2 sizes and can be framed in a number of different framing options depending on ones taste and decor.

The Studio & Gallery in Ponteland is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30-5pm and we are serving free coffee and croissants every Saturday in March for the exhibition.

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Florence from San Miniato

Florence from San Miniato

Florence from San Miniato

In February 1999 Susan and I spent a week in Italy, taking in Florence and the Venetian Carnevale. During our stay in Florence we took the rewarding walk leading up to Piazza Michelangelo which boasts majestic views over this fine city of art and culture. I recall walking a little further on to the church of San Miniato where I did a small 7 ” x 5″ watercolour of the Duomo dwarfing the smaller surrounding buildings in the watery winter sunlight.

I used this study to do a slightly larger watercolour which has been reproduced as a successful limited edition print and is still available online. Recently I was doing a watercolour demonstration for an art group in Rothbury and decided to tackle this same scene of Florence to show the students how to approach painting a cityscape. I still have the original location study framed up and hanging in our living room, so I had the reference fresh in my mind whilst painting this new rendition.

It’s impossible to paint the same subject in watercolour in exactly the same manner and technique which I use. This means that each painting has its own unique differences. Both the original watercolour and print will be on view at my Spring exhibition which starts 10th March-31st March at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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Spring Exhibition

Grey Street, Snow Shower

Grey Street, Snow Shower

Invitations for my Spring exhibition are being sent out this weekend. There’s already been a great response to my new limited edition print titled “Grey Street, Snow Shower” with several copies already sold. There are only 95 prints in the edition and the image is available in 2 sizes from my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland or online. The original painting will be on view for the preview weekend which starts on Saturday 10th March 9:30-5pm. The gallery will also be open on Sunday 11th 1:30-5pm. The exhibition continues until 31st March Tuesday-Saturday.

The release of the print is quite timely with the 175 year celebrations of the Theatre Royal this weekend which promises to be a visual feast. The Theatre Royal does feature in this painting which shows more of Grey Street, described as the finest curved street in Europe. My eldest granddaughter Emily also stars in the snow scene wearing her red coat. When I launched my print titled “Theatre Royal in the Snow” back in 2008, (which also featured Emily) the edition of 95 sold out and the smaller preparation study was used as a Christmas Card that year by the Theatre Royal. There will be other new paintings on display during the exhibition.

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John Martin APOCALYPSE

John Martin Apocalypse

John Martin Apocalypse

This week I went to London to see the Da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery, (more on that on another blog post) but I also decided to take in the John Martin “Apocalypse” Exhibition at Tate Britain. This show was actually on last year at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery but I missed it. I almost missed it again as it finishes on the 15th January.

John Martin’s paintings were phenomenally popular. His spectacular paintings of Biblical scenes and vast landscapes attracted great crowds who would flock to exhibitions of his paintings to be enthralled and moved by the scenes and visions he portrayed. They would pay for tickets for the shows as the paintings went on tour, rather like we do today to see concerts or movies. Indeed, John Martin’s work continues to provide inspiration today for science fiction films, Hollywood blockbusters, video games, manga comics, musicians and artists.

I was particularly impressed by The Last Judgement Triptych depicting chilling scenes from the book of Revelation and the promise of eternal life for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The viewing of these three paintings was made even more relevant by a 10 minute light show every half hour with appropriate readings which I assumed were originally read when the paintings were first shown.

Last week I went to see the Turner Prize at the Baltic in Newcastle. The work on show there was about as relevant to 21st Century life as the Easter Bunny. John Martin’s paintings on show at Tate Britain are “right on the nail” today with the message they first communicated back in Victorian times. The exhibition finishes 15th January, so if you can make it, try to make the effort.

 

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The Turner Prize 2011

Morning Eye

Morning Eye

Last week I decided to pay a visit to the Baltic on Gateshead Quays to see the Turner Prize Exhibition. I must confess that I’m not at all inspired by the kind of work that is chosen for this particular competition but I thought I would try to go with an open mind. To be perfectly honest, I’ve not been inspired by any of the exhibitions that I’ve seen on display at the Baltic either. The only one I found interesting was one of some bridges made out of Meccano by Chris Burden back in 2002. I’m sure there must have been some decent shows since then but I must have missed them.

The Baltic is a fantastic exhibition space. The rooms are grand and spacious and have the potential to house great artwork. I wandered through the rooms in search of some and came out disappointed. Warmest congratulations to the 4 artists Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw who captured the judges imaginations with their efforts for the Turner Prize 2011. Clearly they are sincere and genuine about the work they produce and I respect and admire them for it but it’s just not the kind of work that tickles my fancy.

I’m off to London this week to see the Da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery and one or two other exhibitions. I won’t be disappointed. By the way, the image above is a view of the Eye and the Baltic seen from Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge, early morning. It’s available as a limited edition print.

 

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