Arthur Streeton – A master impressionist

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Earlier this month, we attended a wonderful exhibition at The National Gallery titled ‘Australia’s Impressionists’ which runs to 26th March 2017. This is a relatively small exhibition, but expertly curated and features work by four Australian artists – Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, John Russell and Arthur Streeton. Between them, these four created a new artistic movement in Australia based on what they had seen in France and produced a huge combined body of work that represents the very best of impressionist painting from the prodigious talents that Roberts, Conder and Russell are, it was the work of Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) that captured our attention.

This from The National Gallery’s web page summarises his life.

“Streeton’s artistic training began aged 15, with night classes in design at Melbourne’s National Gallery School, while he worked as an office clerk and, later, as an apprentice lithographer. He read amateur art manuals imported from Europe and America that encouraged painting en plein air.

 While painting at Mentone Beach, south of Melbourne, Streeton met Tom Roberts (1856–1931), who invited him to join artists’ camps that he had helped found in the bush near Box Hill, to the west of the city. Together with Roberts and Charles Conder (1868–1909), Streeton helped stage the ‘9 by 5 Impression Exhibition‘ in Melbourne in 1889, which served as something of a manifesto for this new generation of Australian painters who were embracing the looser, more open techniques of Impressionism.

Streeton moved to Sydney in 1890, after the Art Gallery of New South Wales purchased a large canvas of his, ‘Still glides the stream, and shall for ever glide’ (1890). He was the first Australian-born artist to have a work exhibited at London’s Royal Academy – ‘Golden Summer, Eaglemont’ (1889) – but when he moved to London in 1897 he struggled to gain recognition. Nonetheless, he stayed in England for around thirty years, sending work back to Australia.

During the First World War, Streeton served as a hospital orderly in London, and then as an official war artist with the Australian army. He was awarded a knighthood in 1937 for services to art.”

Streeton produced a tremendous body of work during his lifetime, everyone of which merits individual study. But for now we have selected five paintings from the exhibition for specific comment and appreciation. As you study them, take in the balance in the composition, the great sense of location and climate, and the wonderful colour palettes he uses, all of which can inform ebullient design solutions today.

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‘Golden Summer, Eaglemont’ 1889. Oil on canvas.

This painting is many things, but we specifically love the colour palette Streeton uses. Vivid blues and golds which he describes as the ‘nature’s scheme of colour in Australia’. The depth of detail, the tranquil setting and the mastery of light and shade all stand out.

Artist : Ena Joyce (Australia, b.1925) Title : Date : (circa 1949) Medium Description: oil on plywood Dimensions : Credit Line : Purchased 1949 Image Credit Line : Accession Number : 832

‘Fire’s on’ Lapstone Tunnel 1891 oil on canvas.

Again that wonderful colour palette stands out. Up close, his use of a 1″ brush in 1-2″ strokes to build up the tonal range of the blue sky is masterful. The vantage point produces a high horizon allowing an exquisite interpretation of sunlight and shade, as seen in Golden Summer. You almost want to reach out and touch the rocks on the left!

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‘Ariadne’ 1895 oil on wood panel.

Blue and pink dominate the colours here. Ariadne appears to almost float on the sand. With her head lowered into her hands, her sorrow easily felt. Again the sense of sunshine and warm climate is projected so well.

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‘Blue Pacific’ 1890 oil on canvas.

This image doesn’t do justice to the tonal range and brush work that Streeton achieved. The light and dark golds used to pull out the centrepiece sandstone cliff face are superbly constructed. Again the colour palette is excellent and exuberant.

Artist : Arthur Streeton (Australia, b.1867, d.1943) Title : Date : 1893 Medium Description: oil on canvas Dimensions : Credit Line : Gift of Lady Denison 1942 Image Credit Line : Accession Number : 7209

‘The railway station, Redfern’ 1893 oil on canvas.

Finally, we bring this one into the selection because of its juxtaposition in climatic terms to the prior four. Here, grey skies, wind and rain predominate instead of warm sunshine. The composition, with all the detail clustered in the top half of the painting, and just the surface treatment and a lone be-coated person and their shadow occupying the lower half, represent such an eye for the scene. It is reported that he painted this in around three hours…

Celebrate the work of Arthur Streeton. He has many lessons to teach modern designers.

Written by Paul Smith for Bethvictoria.com

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2017 Homely home tips

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For this set of tips we’re starting at the front door.

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1) Christmas, New Year and winter time normally means clutter, winter dirt and leaves. Keeping the front door area and hall clear will make arriving home easy and something to look forward to and give guests a great first impression. Plants in the hallway are a great way to add colour and freshness to space.

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2) Eye lines. Statement pieces or vibrantly painted walls can work as a great way to lead you through a house. This idea guides people into a certain room or space using their eyes and makes them want to stay and explore a little longer.

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3) Plants, plants and more plants. We’ve definitely said this before. Plants are a great way to get colour, textures and shapes into your home. They also keep the spaces fresh and airy.

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4) Good smells. Keep the house smelling fresh and cozy. Whilst its still (sort of) the season light any festive candles that you’ve got or been given or get baking.

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5) Make it yours with small unique decorations and deign details. For example, put your own artwork on the walls or items that remind you of a good time or childhood memory.

Making something homely takes all of your senses. Not just snuggling under a warm blanket. So with these tips hopefully you can hit all five and feel homely from the time you see your front door.

Bethvictoria.com

All pictures found on Pinterest.
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Minimal motivational design inspiration

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These minimalist posters by Ryan McArthur are beautifully simplistic ways of getting inspirational messages from the masters of life and design into the world. The simple ‘less is more’ designs cleverly convey each message in the illustrations. Here are a selection of the posters that relate specifically to the design world. Enjoy!

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London Exhibitions to see

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Here are four current exhibitions in London that we think are worth a visit

Donna Huanca – Scar Cymbals

At Zabludowicz Collection between 29th September to 18 December

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Daily performances by painted models work to create installations within this chapel space.

“Huanca’s work draws attention to the body and in particular the skin, which is simultaneously the surface on which our personhood is inscribed and the surface through which we experience the world around us. Huanca examines conventions of behaviour in our interaction with bodies in space and the invisible histories that are accumulated through those gestures. By exposing the naked body and concealing it under layers of paint, cosmetics and latex, Huanca’s performers confront our instinctive reactions to flesh, which becomes both a familiar, decorative object and an abstract, inaccessible subject.”  – Source

Abstract Expressionism

At the RA between 24th Sept t0 2nd Jan

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Franz Kline, Vawdavitch, 1955

American art from 1950s New York featuring art by De Kooning, Rothko and Pollock. Large scale, intense and expressive this style of painting gave the method a new leash of confidence.

“It was a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey of the movement since 1959.” Taken from RA website

Antony Gormley – Fit

At White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey between 30th Sept to 6th Nov

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“Gormley has configured the gallery space into 15 chambers to create a series of dramatic physiological encounters in the form of a labyrinth. Visitors are faced with a choice of passage through differently sized, uniquely lit spaces where each room challenges or qualifies the experience of the last.” – Source

Not long left on this one go see it soon!

Beyond Caravaggio

At the National Gallery between 12th Oct and 15th Jan.

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Exploring the influence of Caravaggio on painters and artists that followed him.

“After the unveiling of Caravaggio’s first public commission in 1600, artists from across Europe flocked to Rome to see his work. Seduced by the pictorial and narrative power of his paintings, many went on to imitate their naturalism and dramatic lighting effects. Paintings by Caravaggio and his followers were highly sought after in the decades following his untimely death at the age of just 39. By the mid-17th century, however, the Caravaggesque style had fallen out of favour and it would take almost three hundred years for Caravaggio’s reputation to be restored and for his artistic accomplishments to be fully recognised.” – Source

Bethvictoria.com

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Nursery Mood board

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With the addition of a nephew to the family this winter the baby and children section of Etsy has caught our eye. Here’s a little mood board we’ve made of a few items that you can find on Etsy that we think are super cute and fun.

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Neutral tones of the furniture with pops of colour and pattern from the soft furnishings is a great way to keep a bright and airy feel to a nursery. We love these bright ottomans to add that splash of colour and of course who wouldn’t want a teepee in their room!

Here are links to all of these items:

Teepee – MyHappyTeepee

Stools – ButtonsBoutiqueCo

Aqua and Coral Ottoman – LoopingHome

House Bed – SweetHOMEfromwood

Wooden Cloud Shelf – CraftedPineCo

House Chalk Board – mrhomeLT

Bethvictoria.com

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Garden DIYs for Summer

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Here are 5 summer garden DIYs that we’ve found and would love to make! Perfect for getting you in the mood for summer and your garden looking BBQ ready.

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Tea light holders. This is a simple DIY that offers a fun way to have extra light in your garden as well as some recycling! (Click the image for the process)

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Bright colourful hanging plant pots! Perfect for in the home or in the garden.

(Click the image for the process)

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Stackable recycled planters. Make these from wooden wine boxes for even more of a rustic feel or make them from new! These are great because they make use of the height, creating more floor space, or creating mock walls in the garden.

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These teepees are not only great for creating a space in the shade for children to play in, but they’re great for adults too! We would definitely hang out in this, and they’re not too hard to make either.(Click the image for the process)

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This DIY takes a little more skill, but the outcome is the perfect comfy place to kick back with a book in the sun. (Click the image for the process)

Happy Making!

Bethvictoria.com

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Rugs!

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Rugs can easily add colour, pattern and soften any room. We’ve selected a range of rugs in different sizes, colours and prices that would work in various styled rooms.

Ikea 

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Find them here: Blue £19.50, Striped £150 and Yellow £160

H&M

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Find them here: Rectangles £29.99, Colour blocks £29.99 and Palm tree £19.99

We love all the rugs at H&M !

Urban Outfitters 

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Find them here: Dip dye £150 , Maude Triangle £100 and Hana Kilim £75

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Find them here: Watercolour £95 – £340 , Stripes £80 – £220 and Pebbles £90 – £250

Argos

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Find them here: Teal £26.99 , Grey £154.99 and Venice £189.99

Bethvictoria.com

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A New Look For Our Etsy Shop

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We’ve added some new products to our Etsy shop!

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You can now purchase prints of the images below in a range of sizes. These images were all taken by Beth Smith on her travels and during her photography degree at Nottingham-Trent University. Including a range of images from Lisbon, Portugal to Highclere Castle (Also known as Downton Abbey), Berkshire.

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And of course our collection of wallpaper is still available on the shop!

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So go check it out and see if anything takes your fancy!

Bethvictoria.com

All Images ©bethvictoria.com

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Spring home colour combinations

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Spring has sprung and we’re thinking of the bright colours that we want to bring to our home, here are a few interior colour combinations we have found and think you would like too!

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Green, blues and teals feature highly in these five different combinations, they are easily added to a room with the use of flowers, throws and cushions. There is a wide range of complimentary colours to these, its easy to think that they would clash, but using some of the colours above you can’t go wrong!

Bethvictoria.com

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