Saturday, March 21, 2009

Byzantium Exhibition And Waterstones Of Piccadilly

I have had a very busy week and therefore little time for drawing. This is a pen and ink design called "Embrace".
This is my pen and ink drawing entitled "Into Each Life A Little Rain Must Fall". Quite a quirky piece really.
I love Vivienne Moir ceramics. They are delightfully quirky and folky. This is "Girl With A Bird"
"Queen of the Garden" also by Vivienne Moir
This is "Blue Trees and Black Birds by Nikki Monaghan.
This beautiful picture is Moonlit Loch by Dionne Sievewright.
We visited my brother and his partner today to see their three new kittens. My photos of them weren't brilliant so instead I will show you a picture of my cat Jack pretending he is still a kitten.
From a real kitty to two who are not so real. This is "Blue Cat". These two linocuts are by Richard Bawden.
These are some of the lovely blooms received by my parents for their wedding anniversary.

I visited the wonderful five floors high Waterstones bookshop in Piccadilly when I visited London. Five floors of books was totally irresistible and the 1930's building is also quite amazing. It was once the department store Simpsons and is now the largest bookshop in Europe. I found a brilliant artbook about printmaking there. It describes in detail all the different forms of printmaking and has the most gorgeous illustrations. I have posted a couple of pages from the book below. I have to thank friends Hannah, Keiran and Alice for my lovely book token which went towards the purchase. I am so glad this book has come to live with

As for Waterstones Piccadilly - I will be back!

Michael Morgan is an extraordinary artist. His images take watercolour to a new level, filling his paintings with depth and texture and brilliant colour. I love the way he does his trees; it reminds me very much of John Blockley's trees which I also love. John Blockley was Michael Morgan's mentor and they both seemed to have shared a love of trees and isolated farms in the landscape. Michael doesn't just paint what he can see, but adds his own special sense of design and artistry to make the scene even better.

The images below are all the work of Michael Morgan from his first wonderful book of the same name and in collaboration with Simon Butler. I can thoroughly recommend his books if you want a collection of wonderful images. This one was borrowed from the library but I intend to get my own copy asap. You can obtain his books from Amazon. Michael's work can also be seen here.

Autumn Morning
Melted Snow 2
Isola d'Elba
Pembrokeshire Farm 3
November Farm
Farm With Five Trees
Michael Morgan
I found this lovely Kelly Hyatt card for Lagomdesign in Scribbler in London. Very vibrant and contemporary.
Below are some of the images in the Byzantium exhibition found on the Royal Acadamy website.

Illuminated manuscript 1100 to 1150.
Church shaped incense burner dated 10th to 11th century.
Ivory with Archangel 525-550 AD
12th century icon of Archangel Michael
I had a lovely day in London on Thursday. I had gone specifically to visit an exhibition mentioned by another blogger acornmoon who had visited it and was very impressed. It is called Byzantium and as its title suggests, it is a large collection of the most exquisite decorative items from the Byzantine period. This period stretches from 300 /400 AD to 1400/1500. It is located in the area around what was formerly Constantinople and then became Istanbul.

The items on show included icons of all descriptions, painted, jewelled, plastered, gorgeous intricate jewellery, the most detailed ivory carvings I have ever seen, illuminated manuscripts etc. It is wonderful to gaze at the writings of scribes from the dark ages which have survived in almost perfect condition. The intricacy of the decoration is impossible to describe and has to be seen to be believed. It must have taken the craftsmen concerned years of painstaking work to produce a very small item. There were quite a few beautiful mosaic exhibits too and some micromosaics. Creating those must have been very hard on the eyes.

The exhibition was very well worth the visit and my only complaint was that there were too many people there to make the tour comfortable. I can understand that they would want to get as many people in as possible in order to balance the books, but you didn't feel that you could linger too long in front of one glass case because there were dozens of people waiting to get a look too. I just managed to visit in time as it finishes on Sunday.


Jackie said...

Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed looking at your blogs presentation of the art of other people, and I love your line drawings too. I wish I had been able to go the byzantium exhibition..its a favourite inspiration of mine.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for the visit and for leading me here! Lovely artwork!! I so wish I could be at Waterstone's today. One of the best places ever to spend an afternoon!

Edward and I welcome you over at our place anytime, and we shall return here!!

Cathy said...

Thanks Jackie. Your work certainly includes a lot of exquisite decoration so I am not surprised that you find the Byzantine era so inspirational. We weren't allowed to photograph inside the exhibition so I am trying to remember some of the lovely things I saw. I had already bought an expensive book so I couldn't get the book dedicated to the exhibition as well.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Pamela. I will certainly pop over to visit you and the cute Edward again at your very interesting blog.

Robyn said...

There's so much i love in this post. Your "Into Each Life" drawing is whimsically wonderful! I love Nikki Monaghan's work and the incence burner is stunning. I thought Morgan's work was John Blockley's work when I glanced at the pieces you've included here. They are stunning!

Old World Primitives said...

I just love your drawings this week! And Vivienne Moir's ceramics are delightful as well, this is my first time seeing them. Michael Morgan's watercolors are quite amazing too.


Cathy said...

Thanks Robyn. There is a good similarity between Michael Morgan and John Blockley in the way they do their trees and the subject matter. Michael Morgan's sense of colour is fantastic. I love all his work.

Cathy said...

Thanks Stephanie. I only discovered Vivienne Moir a couple of weeks ago. I love her quirky work too.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Your blog pictures are lovely. The flowers for your Mom and Dad are so pretty and colorful.
I love the Embrace drawing.
I'm very envious of your visit to the bookstore. I think I could spend an entire day visiting that one.

Cathy said...

I can't get that shop out of my mind now Phyllis. I am itching to have an excuse to go back for another look ha ha (and perhaps to buy?)

Holly Zemak said...

Oh, Waterstones sounds wonderful, love bookstores. It's fun to spend the better part of the day browsing. Nice work by Richard Bawden.

Once again nice grahic work on "Embrace".You are going to have to make some cards out of some of these images.

Sandy Mastroni said...

Jack is so CUTE all happy in his bed ! I love him .... love cats .

Cathy said...

Bookshops are definitely one of my favourite places Holly. Such a shame books are so expensive or I would have lots No where to put them though.

Cathy said...

I agree Sandy. Cats are wonderful creatures. I would have a houseful if we had the room.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,
Congratulations for your beautiful blog and web-page. I think we share the same profound admiration for Catriona Mllar's work. I felt in love with her pictures while visiting an exhibition in Glasgow two years ago. It was my first visit to your country and I hope to come back soon.
Oh, and I love your selection of fabric designs too. Kudo from Spain, Machús

Cathy said...

Thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree that Catriona Millar's work is lovely and deservedly popular.

Caroline said...

Hello Cathy! I've just popped back to have a really good look at everything you've served up this week. What a delightful selection it is too and I'm not surprised you haven't had much time for drawing. 'Embrace' is a super image - lovely patterns and everything 'fits' so well together! I am totally with you about bookshops - it's a standing joke in our family that if I am let loose in one I won't be seen for half a day!! I've just visited a huge one in Singapore and was in my element! I, too, recognised John Blockley's influence in Michael Morgan's work - wonderful pieces. So much to comment on, I think I'll run out of space - suffice to say it's all so inspirational and thanks for sharing.

Cathy said...

Many thanks Caroline. There is such an unending stream of inspiration on the internet that none of us have any reason to be I fell in love with Waterstones of Piccadilly. Not only is it a fabulous bookshop but it is an amazing building as well. Must go back as soon as I have saved for some more books. I saw lots I would like to buy.

india said...

your cat Jack has an extraordinary resemblance to my mother's cat Millie. obviously a 'familiar'!

Cathy said...

I think he may well be that India. He also knows exactly how and where to make himself the most comfortable that he can.