Archive for category Author: Adrian Hill
John Patchett is one of the country’s leading pastellists and his work is characterised by his interpretation of light, whether strong, subtle or contrasting. His treatment of shadows is particularly masterful.
Although much of his painting is now done in East Anglia, where he lives, he has worked around the world and painted both large vistas and quiet corners, where his eye for detail excels.
This celebratory book includes over a hundred paintings that represent the totality of John’s work, with an introductory essay that provides an account of his life from his time at art college to the present.
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Brian Ryder will be familiar to amateur painters mostly through his instructional books and, especially his first, Beyond Realism, which paved the way for what has become almost a flood on non-representational painting.
Those who are familiar with Brian’s work through this route will get something of a surprise here because he turns out to be quite an impressionist landscape painter in both oils and pen & wash. If I say that Brian’s style is conventional, I’m really referring to his paint application methods. Compositionally, there’s no doubt that he’s a fan of big skies (no bad thing in Norfolk!) and he combines these with loosely painted and often compressed foregrounds that serve mainly as context.
As a record of a county, this is a beautiful collection of work but it also, with the “and beyond” that takes us to other counties and countries, showcases the artist as well. For the practising artist, it’s pure inspiration, but be prepared for a strong sense of, “if only” because this is definitely an aspirational style!
The calm, flat landscapes of Norfolk seem ideally suited to the medium of pastel and Tony Garner explores both the broad vistas and intimate corners of this enchanting county.
Generally speaking, pastels fall into one of two categories, the very loose or the very tight and Tony’s fall into the detailed end of the latter; some of his work has the appearance of some Victorian watercolours.
If you want to explore the county of Norfolk or the possibilities of the medium of pastel, this is a book that’s certainly worth an extended look. Personally, I have the feeling that some of Tony’s work is a little grandstanding – it’s perhaps a trifle over-dramatic and some of the colour choices are a little adventurous, shall we say. However, that doesn’t, in the end, detract from a book that has considerable appeal on many levels.
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