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Assessment results

Yippee I passed. I got 65% and some very encouraging feedback. I’d hoped for a higher mark but I’m chuffed with what I got considering this is the first time I’ve ever done any academic writing. It will help me a lot as I go on to Level 2 of my textiles degree.

Final Reflections

My work has arrived at OCA in Barnsley for March assessment so there is nothing more I can do but keep my fingers crossed for a good mark 🙂

When I had to choose my 3rd level one module it was a toss up between Printmaking and Western Art. I’m so glad I chose this module, I can always learn Printmaking later.

Unfortunately I have had long periods of ill health while studying this module so I’ve been unable to make the required visits in person and I’ve not been able to do any of the suggested reading either which I will probably lose some marks on. Central library were I could have got books from only reopened in May after renovation and when it was open again I wasn’t able to visit because of my continued illness.

I’ve always had an interest in art but I’ve learnt such a lot over the past year. My attitude to some art movements have completely changed but I still find most contemporary art unfathomable. At one time I would have said I didn’t like Cubism but I do now. Not all of it but I’m already starting to think of ways that I could use certain aspects of it in my Textile work in future.

I need to read more to expand my knowledge of various artists and art movements. There is also no substitute for seeing works of art in person either. No matter how good the reproduction in books or postcards or on websites you can’t judge size, colour, brushstrokes or texture.

I left school with only CSE’s I failed my O’level Art (my best subject) and English so I came to this module with no experience of academic writing of any sort let alone at this level. As my tutor has pointed out:-

Remember that the longer pieces, e.g. reports and extended analyses, are formal academic exercises and the writing style for these should be appropriately formal. I think your writing style is sometimes too informal in these projects.

I know that this is something I will have to improve on as I progress to level 2 and especially level 3 if I want to get a degree in Textiles. As my Mum would have said I need to write as if I’d eaten dictionary pie for tea 🙂

Art history is a subject that you are learning about all the time.

Overall though I’m pleased with the work I’ve done despite the setbacks.

Francis Bacon portrait

A Francis Baconportrait of his lover and muse has been sold for £42million which is a a record in the UK. I know it would be a boring world if everyone’s taste was the same but I find Bacon’s work disturbing. I wouldn’t spend that amount of money on any painting no matter how great it was.

Renoir digitally restored

Scientists in the US have digitally restored the colour to Renoir’s painting ‘Madame Clapisson’. Renoir used carmine lake but even in his time artists were being warned that it wasn’t permanent so over the years it has faded.

You can read more here

Monuments woman

The last remaining member of the 60 strong British section of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (Monuments Men) is a woman and she was interviewed on BBC’s The One Show last night.

She is Anne Olivier Bell, 97 years old now and was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours for her contribution to literature and art. She spent 25 years editing the diaries of Virginia Woolf who was her Aunt-in-law and restored Charleston which was the country home of the Bloomsbury group.

You can read more about her here and here. Her life story would make an amazing tv drama.

Treasures of Ancient Egypt

Just been watching ‘Treasures of Ancient Egypt’ I caught the end of the first episode last night but I’ll have to watch the rest on iPlayer.

I don’t know why but I have always wanted to visit Egypt but never been able to afford to go so have to make do with watching tv programmes 😦 perhaps it is because the only photo I have of my Grandad, Mum’s Dad is of him when he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in WWI.

It was fascinating to watch a modern artist using an ancient technique to make a glass fish and nice to see that the art of Limestone carving is still being practised in modern Egypt. He made it look so easy as if he was carving through butter.

I can remember I was in my second year at Secondary school when the Tutankhamen exhibition came to Britain in 1972. I borrowed a book from the school library and when the history teacher saw it we spent the lesson discussing Tutankhamen instead of what we should have been studying, I can’t even remember what it was but the rest has stuck in my mind.

Fake or Fortune series 3

The BBC programme Fake or Fortune is back on Sunday 19th January and the first is a painting believed to be by Edouard Vuillard .

“Scriptwriter Keith Tutt fell in love with the work of French post-Impressionist painter Edouard Vuillard in his school art class. When a large oval picture of a Parisian café scene said to be by the artist appeared in a provincial auction house, he gambled his savings on it – even though it doesn’t appear in the official record of Vuillard’s works. To prove it, the team will need to convince some of the most demanding art experts in France… and they’ve got a tricky history with Fake or Fortune.
The quest for evidence starts in Geneva, where Philip and conservationist Aviva Burnstock compare Keith’s picture with a huge Vuillard work called Le Grand Teddy, painted for a French café in 1919. Can science prove that the two pictures were painted using identical materials?
Fiona picks up the provenance trail in France and Holland, unearthing tantalising clues about the picture’s past, while a meeting with a pair of British antiques hunters dramatically expands the scope of the investigation. Could there really be another missing oval?
Once the team has marshalled all their evidence, it’s time to seek the approval of the Wildenstein Institute in Paris – the body who notoriously rejected a highly credible Monet in the first ever episode of Fake or Fortune. Have the team done enough to convince them that Keith’s picture is genuine?”

UPDATE 19th January

Well that was a tense hour before we found out if it was or wasn’t a Vuillard, I was holding my breath as Fiona Bruce read out the letter – drum roll 🙂 the panel from the Wildenstein Institute unanimously say YES it is an original and may be worth upwards of £300,000. You have to feel sorry for the couple who after years of research had sold it along with the companion piece.

It is such a shame that the larger painting of Le Grand Teddy is in a bank vault in Geneva. Art is made to be seen not hidden away never to see the light of day.

I hadn’t heard of ‘glue distemper’ that Vuillard had used in the paintings so it was interesting to see a present day artist using it for stage backdrops, one if the few who still use it.

26th January

Tonight’s programme followed two paintings that might be by Constable. I thought the one owned by the British lady was but the one owned by the American couple wasn’t but I was wrong they were both by John Constable.

2nd February

Tonight’s programme is following the journey of a painting by Chagall. I nearly choked on my tea when the owner said he’d paid £100,000 back in 1992.

It was sent to the Chagall Committee who are his two granddaughters and I was expecting them to say that it was a fake but I was stunned when Fiona Bruce read the rest of their letter that under French law they were confiscating it and would have it destroyed.

You can read more here and here

9th February

The last programme in this series was slightly different in that instead of viewers paintings being investigated they had identified 2 paintings on the BBC Your Paintings website that may have been by Thomas Gainsborough.

You can read more on the website of Bendor Grosvenor here.

The first painting was an oval portrait in the collection of St Albans museums although the programme found a lost letter from the late 1960’s saying that it was loan to them. It is a genuine Gainsborough although it had been cut down at some point as originally it would have been an oval in a rectangle.

The second was a landscape at the Courtauld Gallery and the blue in the sky was proved to have been painted after Gainsborough’s death. The expert decided that it was an original drawing by Gainsborough that had been overpainted some years later.