Tag Archives: winter

Charles Tunnicliffe 1901 – 1979

The fourth in a seasonal series of short entries featuring snow.
Today’s subject is Charles Tunnicliffe; Etcher, engraver and painter, whose principal subject was bird life and the natural countryside.

thumbnail of Company of Whitethroats
Company of Whitethroats” ( Please click these images to enlarge them ).

Charles Tunnicliffe RA OBE
1901 – 1979

Charles Tunnicliffe was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Known primarily for his depiction of birds and other wildlife, notably illustrations for Tarka the Otter. He is widely regarded as the greatest UK wildlife artist in modern times.

After studying at the Macclesfield and Manchester Schools of Art he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, gaining his teaching diploma and a further scholarship to study in the RCA’s new Etching and Engraving School. He stayed on in London to develop a career as an etcher and engraver, producing some of his finest etchings during this time. In 1928 he returned to Macclesfield, earning a living mainly from commercial artwork, much of it for the farming industry.

He was elected A.R.E. in 1929 and R.E. in 1934.

He was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy and was elected as an associate in 1944, becoming a Royal Academician in 1954.Sir Kyffin Williams encouraged Charles to show his personal reference collection of measured drawings at the R.A. in 1974 – the exhibition was a great success.

Tunnicliffe moved from Cheshire to Anglesey in 1947 where he lived until his death in 1979. He believed strongly in observing and sketching direct from nature, especially around Cob Lake, the Cefni Estuary, South Stack Cliffs, Llyn Coron, Aberfraw, Cemlyn, then when back at Shorelands spending many hours creating a superb set of sketchbooks full of accurate and colourful ‘memory drawings’.

These sketchbooks are works of art in themselves and are now kept as part of the Tunnicliffe Collection at Oriel Ynys Môn, along with his measured drawings and other examples of his work – including original wood engraving blocks, etchings, watercolours, oil paintings, pencil drawings, scraperboards and book illustrations.

The RSPB awarded him its Gold Medal in 1975 and he was also honoured with an OBE in 1978.

His work hangs in numerous public galleries, while in Macclesfield’s West Bank Museum a room has been dedicated to his work. A Charles Tunnicliffe Society exists to maintain his legacy

(via Gateway Gallery)

Tunnicliffe engraving
Tunnicliffe engraving, with his wife Winifred looking on.

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Grey Partridges
Another chilly scene, that also shows Tunnicliffe’s mastery of pattern and layout design.

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“Ladybird” Books

Tunnicliffe illustrated many of the Ladybird series of childrens books, which sold in millions.

Here are some links to sites with numerous pictures by Tunnicliffe:
1) http://www.museumsyndicate.com/artist.php?artist=639
2) http://artmight.com/gallery/search/%28keyword%29/Charles+Tunnicliffe
and 3) The Charles Tunnicliffe society website:

http://www.thecharlestunnicliffesociety.co.uk/siteindex.html

A well meaning website that reflects many aspects of Tunnicliffe’s output, but small, postage stamp size images, daft (but futile) impediments to right clicking and yellow backgrounds. Yes. An artist’s homage site with YELLOW backgrounds.
What I find especially galling, given Tunnicliffe’s mastery of so many graphic arts, is the use of COMIC SANS for all the text. Pur-lease!

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Victor Westerholm

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“Midwinter Sun” by Victor Westerholm (1860-1919)
( Click for big, as usual. )

This is the second in a seasonal series of paintings featuring snow.

Westerholm’s bio reads:

born at Turku, Finland on January 4, 1860 and died in Turku on 19 November, 1919.

He first studied under Eugen Dücker in Düsseldorf. He then became a student of Jules Joseph Lefebvre at the Académie Julian in Paris.

He taught at the school of the Society of Art in Turku and was the director of an art museum in Helsinki.

He often painted winter landscapes and sunsets in the archipelago of Åland, where he had his summer residence.

In 1886, he invited several artists to his summer home, “Tomtebo” in Önningeby, Åland, thus beginning the famous artists colony there.

We have a picture of him at his easel:
photo of Westerholm at his easel.

There’s a contemporary appraisal of his work in an old issue of “The Studio”, written by Count Louis Sparre, that you can read here.

There isn’t a large number of Westerholm’s works floating around the web, which probably indicates that much of it is still in private hands, and rarely comes up for auction.

Ferret out what you can, and post your finds into the comment box below.

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Waiting For The Staff To Turn Up….

A modern building has sprouted up in my town, and while it waits patiently to be occupied by suits, it shimmers quietly in the morning sun looking for all the world like a swimming pool, tinted by the greenish cast of the windows.

I just happened to have my camera with me….

Kingsgate Redhill 01
(Click this picture to make it MUCH bigger!)

If I were the boss of the company who will eventually occupy this space, I’d organise a few days of rollerblading, marbles and ballroom dancing for the staff, before all the office furniture is moved in and transforms this magical looking place into any other boring office.

thumbnail of Kingsgate Redhill 02
(Click it!)

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Ivan F. Choultsé

This is number seven in the seasonal series of snow scene themed posts. (Don’t try to say that with a mouthful of crackers.)

The first time I came across the work of Ivan Fedorovitch Choultsé, (1877 – 1932) I couldn’t make up my mind whether he was a colourist genius or an early incarnation of the sublimely vulgar Thomas Kinkade.

On reflection, I have to give Choultsé the benefit of the doubt, because he steers well clear of the mawkish saccharine* sentimentality of America’s “Painter of Light”, and he also seems to have been able to get out of the house (or bank, in Kinkade’s case) a bit more, and do some painting from life. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Kinkade was “influenced” by Choultsé, however.

The picture of his that genuinely stopped me in my tracks was this one:
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Landscape in Winter
(Click the thumbnail to make it much bigger)

Choultsé liked snow –
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Winter morning, Engadine
You have to admit that those colours are being stretched just a tad beyond the bounds of credibility. Perhaps it was an effect of the altitude…

Here he is with a non-winter subject –
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The Parthenon After a Storm

Gooogle his name to find out about his German origins, his upbringing in Russia, and his travels as an emigré in many lands, and learn how even though he was once almost completely forgotten about, the value of his work is rising rapidly, especially with the nouveau riche oligarchy in the Russian Federation.

*=Aspartame, nowadays, but it doesn’t make such a good alliteration.

There are some potted biographies below the fold…>>> Continue reading

Arkhip Kuinji

This is #1 in a seasonal series of landscape paintings featuring snow.

I’m very busy marking student essays and preparing for the Winter festival, while suffering various colds and unexplained fevers, so I thought I’d rummage through my image bin and post a wide selection of snow scenes over the next couple of weeks – interspersed with the sort of material you have come to expect from Articles & Texticles, of course.

First up is this amazing moonlit snowscape by the renowned Russian master of moonlight, Arkhip Kuinji
His name is sometimes anglicised to Kuindzhi, which fact might help you in the google search I hope this post will provoke.

thumbnail of Moonlight In Winter Forest 1878
Moonlight In Winter Forest 1878 – (Please click to enlarge.)

Personally, I enjoy the plastic handling of the paint alongside the sparsity of the detail. If Kuinji did this sketch from life, it’s probable that the temperature did not encourage hanging around fiddling with fussy details. What he leaves out of the picture is working as well as what he left in.

Secondly, I love the positive / negative spaces in this picture, which reinforce Neil Ross‘s dictum that “Under every great painting is an abstract fighting to get out”.

Via George Mitrevski’s Russian Art pages.
More of Kuinji’s work here.