Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Musée La Piscine - Sculptures

The Musée La Piscine (the Swimming Pool Museum) located in the city of Roubaix in France, is a very unique museum because, as it names says, it is housed in a former swimming pool.

This swimming pool was built in the Art Deco style between 1927 and 1932 by the Lille architect Albert Baert. It was remodelled as a museum in 2000.

The garden outside hosts a few sculptures.

L’Homme des neiges (1960) - Euville’s stone sculpture by Eugène Dodeigne

Inside, the display is stunning with the reflection of the sculptures in the swimming pool water.

Jeune fille à la fontaine (1875) - Marble sculpture by Pierre-Alexandre Schoenewerk

Sirène Assise (circa 1958) – Plaster sculpture by Gilbert Privat

La chasse au nègre - Marble sculpture by Charles Marie Félix Martin

La petite châtelaine - Marble sculpture by Camille Claudel

Buste de Dalou (1883) – Bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin

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The museum

Musée La Piscine
23 Rue de l'Espérance, 59100 Roubaix, France
Musée La Piscine website

Friday, 27 March 2015

Coming oil painting workshop: Landscape in small format

I am going to run a one day oil painting workshop on 16th May 2015 in Fairford. The idea is that participants, with or without experience with oil paint, will go home at the end of the day with a finished 6" x 8" painting.


Saturday 16 May 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm


Farmor Room 
Fairford Community Centre 
GL7 4AF Fairford, 
Fairford, Gloucestershire (UK)

Website of the Fairford Art Society for contact details and to sign-up for the workshop.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Book review - Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes by Gabriel Campanario

The author, Gabriel Campanario, is a staff artist at The Seattle Times and the founder of

If you don’t already follow the Urban Sketchers Blog, go there (after you’ve finished reading this post, of course) and add this blog to your RSS feeds. The blog hosts a vibrant community of urban sketchers, which are also featured in the book.

Just browsing the book and looking at sketches by various artists, with different styles and techniques, makes already this book special.

The author, in the introduction, set-out his goal:

“In this handbook, I lay out keys to help make your experience of drawing architecture and city spaces fun and rewarding. These keyscomposition, depth, scale, contrast, line, and creativity — are my own gold standards. I put a premium on composition and getting proportions right.”

And the book delivers on this promise.

The style is pleasant and very clear. Here is, as an example, a good quote on composition:

“A well-composed scene has a sense of balance and completeness. Every piece seems to fall in the right place. Move one and the harmony gets lost.”

The tips are down-to-earth and always practical.  Gabriel Campanario has a good way to deal with busy cityscapes where finding the horizon is difficult: “Forget the word horizon and just identify your eye level the line where your eyes rest when you look perfectly straight ahead.”

I also liked his take on adding people to your sketch:

“Add people to create a sense of scale. The height of a person is something everyone can relate to. Add at least one passerby to every sketch. Without that individual, it may too hard to know how big the setting really is.”

The verdict

This book is a quick read, but has a lot of substance. The author gives you practical advice in a concise way.

Beginners will have everything they need to get started and more experienced sketcher will still enjoy this well written and beautifully illustrated book. The collection of different styles will renew your appetite for urban sketching and may stir you in new directions.

Another feature that will delight practicing artists is that, for each sketch, the author specifies the titles and dimensions, but also lists the material the artist used and approximate time spent on the sketch.

The list of material is informative if you want to try new ways to sketch. For instance, the author uses a Lamy Safary fountain pen (Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Charcoal - Fine) loaded with Noodler’s black ink (some of Noodler’s inks are waterproof, so you can paint over watercolour washes without any problem - for instance the Noodler's Black Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink - Bulletproof,3 ounce). I will give it a go.

The Book

If you are in the US (Amazon affiliate link):

If you are in the United Kingdom (Amazon affiliate link):

Monday, 26 January 2015

Painted pebbles

This was just a bit of fun. We have some pebbles in the garden and I had some oil paint left after a painting session... 3 painted paperweights.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Henry Moore on appreciating forms in 3 dimentions

“Appreciation of sculpture depends upon the ability to respond to form in three dimensions. That is perhaps why sculpture has been described as the most difficult of all arts; certainly it is more difficult than the arts; certainly it is more difficult than the arts which involve appreciation of flat forms, shape in only two dimensions. Many more people are "form-blind" than colour-blind. ”

Henry Moore, in “Notes on sculpture” (“Writings and Conversations” – Edited by Alan Wilkinson)

Three Motives Against Wall, Number 1, 1958 - Bronze by Henry Moore

The book

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