Picture Post 17: Father and Sons

It’s recently been pointed out to me that this previously mysterious painting Father and Sons is based on an August Sander photograph, The Widower, made in 1914. I had no idea about the story behind this painting so I appreciated learning of the connection.

Michael often used historic photos as inspiration. There are boxes and boxes of such sources in the studio collection and he had visited an exhibition of Sander’s work at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1997: August Sander: ‘In photography there are no unexplained shadows!’ and bought the accompanying catalogue. Images like this one captivated Michael’s interest, it doesn’t give up its story very easily until you dig beneath the surface, and of course it’s an image that many people relate to.

The Widower (1914) August Sander

Father and Sons
Father and Sons

Print shop open!

After several successful exhibitions over the last five years in East Anglia, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our print shop! We’re offering five gorgeous, affordable, top-of-the-range prints of Michael’s work to purchase here https://shop.michaelrandallfineart.co.uk/

After the rain the sun… a private view report

After yesterday’s post on the damp woes of preparation, the sun came out on exhibition opening day! As 6pm drew nearer, the Cambridge skies became brighter, people arrived at the gallery and Prosecco was dispensed.

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The finishing touches: cleaning the windows.

Had to keep re-hanging as people kept buying paintings (strangely enough…). One on the top right wouldn’t stay straight. Both Study for Brief Encounter II and Study For Tea Party IV had several buyers vying to be first with their cheque books. Tea Party went to a new home in Ipswich and Brief Encounter to new collectors in St Ives. Pretty successful evening all round! The exhibition continues at Cambridge Book & Print Gallery until June 30th.

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It’s the day! (Exhibition day that is)

So all the preparation has happened, every visit to the framer, suppliers, the gallery, have coincided with a torrential downpour. What a summer! This is one batch of work going to be framed…

Of course, by late afternoon, the sun was shining, but you’ll have to just believe me.

Then it was our turn to check and update the catalogue, plough on with publicity and do some smartening up of a couple of frames.

And so… it’s all ready for the opening night in Cambridge. Here’s a little peek at some of the paintings in the exhibition. Do come along if you can between 17-30 June at Cambridge Book & Print Gallery. And please tell your friends!

For further information see right here:

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It’s exhibition time!

Do please come along to the first show of Michael’s paintings since 2000. On show will be lots of works not seen publicly until now, plus a few favourites, and a new range of 5 beautiful and affordable giclee prints, including Tea Party (as seen on the poster below.) Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Picture Post 16: Circus People

MR 504 Circus people, oil on canvas, 1060x1370 1990s, unsized

MR 504 Circus People, oil on canvas, 1060 x 1370 1990s.

This large scale painting features a group of circus performers from Romania. Perhaps surprisingly, the inspiration was a small black and white photograph, the date is uncertain. The colour in Michael’s sketches for this work (see selection below) was established from the beginning. Continue reading “Picture Post 16: Circus People”

Picture post 15: The Chef

 

MR 87 The Chef, charcoal and chalk on paper, 520 x 740
MR 87 The Chef. Charcoal & pastel on paper. 1985. 520 x 740

This large-scale sketch was done in 1985 while Michael worked in the maintenance department at the Garden House Hotel (now DoubleTree by Hilton) in Cambridge. Continue reading “Picture post 15: The Chef”

News: summer exhibition

Join us in Cambridge this summer for an exhibition of Michael’s work, hosted by Cambridge Book & Print Gallery.

Email: enquiries@cambridgeprints.com. Telephone/Facsimile: (44) + 1223 694264.

Save the dates!

17-30 June 2016 Cambridge Book & Print Gallery, 49, Newnham Road, Cambridge CB3 9EY.

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Picture post 14: Study for The Third Man

MR 60 Study for The Third Man, acrylic on card, 315x410, 1990s

Cinema was enormously important to Michael’s work. As a child he had seen films at the local cinema in Portswood, Southampton, initially with his mum and grandma, then later with a bunch of friends. As a painter, he loved to look through a camera viewfinder at a potential subject for a painting; the framing makes subtle changes to the brain’s perception of what the eye sees. Continue reading “Picture post 14: Study for The Third Man”

Picture post 13: flowering Apple Tree

MR 48 Apple tree, oil on canvas, 340 x 315, 1981.

One of Michael’s early influences was Vincent Van Gogh, which is clear in this small painting of a flowering apple tree in the family garden in Cambridgeshire. He had recently visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and was working through some ideas gleaned from the trip. The paint is thickly applied on the canvas and the colours sing through the layers, reflecting the layers of  blossom on a tree. Michael preferred to paint from life at this point, he didn’t use photographs as a reference until much later, so this painting really captures a moment in time.