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.
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 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.
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 PartyIV 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.
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…
It’s June by the way
A car full of paintings wrapped against the weather.
And we’re off…
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.
When I’m cleaning windows…
And the finished pile keeps growing
Circus People having a bit of TLC
The oak frame of Circus People having been waxed
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!
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!
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”→
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”→
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.