Tag Archives: Laing Art Gallery

Painting of the Angel

Alan Reed

Angel Sunrise

In a previous blog post I described a recent painting commission where I was asked to do an oil Painting of the Angel of the North. As part of the project I decided to do a smaller study to try out some ideas with colours and cloud shapes.

This new Painting of the Angel can now be seen at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland. As you will see, it is quite different from the larger commission and different in style from all my other paintings. The wings are made up of 22 carat gold leaf. This can cause the painting to look quite different depending on the lighting conditions of the room, whether the room is in natural light or gentle artificial light.

Whilst doing this painting I’ve been asked several times how to paint a straight line. The answer is quite simple, I use a ruler. The find out how you can watch a short video.

On this particular Painting of the Angel I decided to add a solitary figure to provide a sense of scale and heightened drama to the scene.

Although it wasn’t deliberate on my part, these recent works of the Gateshead Angel have reminded me of the stunning painting of the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by north east painter John Martin which can be seen at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. If you are in Newcastle and you have some spare time, the Laing Art Gallery is well worth a visit.

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Moleskine Sketchbooks & Journals

John Singer Sargent Studies

John Singer Sargent Studies in Charcoal

Yesterday I finished yet another Moleskine sketchbook by making some further studies of the portrait work by John Singer Sargent. I’m a great fan of the Moleskine brand and have a growing collection of notebooks, sketchbooks and journals filled with important notes, studies, ideas and thoughts that are documenting my humble career.

The drawing on the left page of the Moleskine sketchbook of the male model was made using a Royal Charcoal Stick whilst the study of Vernon Lee, a close family friend of Mr Sargent, was drawn with a Royal Charcoal pencil, part of a drawing set from Ryman Stationery.

You may notice a very small watercolour of three attractive young ladies above the tin of charcoal pencils. This is a my study of a stunning oil painting by John Singer Sargent painted in 1884 titled The Misses Vickers which is currently on view at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The painting forms part of the Family Matters Exhibition which runs until 2nd September and was commissioned by their father Colonel Tom Vickers as a 21st birthday present for the middle daughter Mabel Francis. Her two sisters Florence and Clara sit to her left and right respectively. The exhibition is well worth seeing not only for the John Singer Sargent as there are lots of other great paintings to see.

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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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