Thursday, 31 January 2013

The New English Art Club- London Impressionists.

Hello everyone,

Thanks so much for taking time to read my blog and thank you for all the lovely comments which I have been left recently, they are really making me smile!!!

Today I thought I would do another one of my art blog posts and tell you about The New English Art Club 

The New English Art Club (NEAC) was founded in 1885 by young English artists, many of whom had returned from Paris where they had been studying art. Some of the founding members include John Singer Sargent, Phillip Wilson Steer and Stanhope Forbes. It was founded around a time of rapid social change and with the approach of World War I the NEAC became more diverse. The NEAC was revolutionary in that women's work was shown in equal numbers to men and Avant Garde art such as Impressionism was well represented in the group. It was to be an alternative to the Royal Academy, England and the academic style which was favoured by them. The Royal Academy was seen as restrictive and full of traditionalists who rejected the impressionist style. Many of the artists in the NEAC could not exhibit in the Royal Academy as they were not accepting of their style of artwork so the NEAC was founded as an exhibiting society alternative to the Royal Academy. They had their first exhibition in 1886. By the turn of the century the NEAC was no longer revolutionary or representing the Avant Garde English artists.

There were three groups associated with the NEAC:
  • London Impressionists
  • Newlyn School
  • Glasgow Boys
Today I will discuss the London Impressionists

London Impressionists
The London Impressionist painted urban London which was constantly evolving and changing during this period due to industrialisation. They often painted the new places and spaces in the city such as concert halls, theatres and cafes.

Little Dot Hetherington at the Old Bedford 1894 - Walter Sicket
Walter Sicket, a member of the London Impressionists believed that it was a moral obligation of the artist to depict modern city life. He was heavily influenced by the French artist Degas (associated with French Impressionism) and following his approach, moved away from Aesthetic art towards scenes of urban environment and the atmosphere in these new space. Degas was fascinated by the stage and preparations for performance. He is particularly well known for his depiction of ballet dancers both on stage and practicing. Below is one of Degas' paintings of a ballet scene in which can be viewed in comparison to the Sicket in terms of the subject matter, the unusual angle of the image which was influenced by photography and how the viewer attention is being drawn to the figure/ figures on stage due to the use of spotlighting.
Ballet scene from Robert le diable 1876

Sickert was criticised  for mimicking the French Impressionists as the London Impressionist wanted to have a uniquely English style of Impressionism. The London Impressionists depicted the same subject matters as the French Impressionists, music halls, streets, outdoor space, pubs and cafes, but in London so this is what set them apart. They would travel around London on bus, a new mode of transport, and visit these place and observe and draw what they saw. This was different to what they were doing at the Royal Academy. In the RA they were classically trained so were producing their paintings in the studio as opposed to going out into the city. They were also using models and props rather than painting real people who they saw on the streets or in these new places.The scenes although similar in subject matter to the French Impressionists were still unique to London.

Hope that this has given you a little introduction to the London Impressionists and the work of Walter Sicket.

The Dorothy Days

Monday, 28 January 2013

Big achievement for The Dorothy Days

Hello everyone :),

How are you all ?! Hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a really lazy Sunday but did actually achieve quite a bit on Saturday so had a nice excuse for a proper day off. Saturday night we had a crazy amount of rain and over night it washed away all the snow. Was very strange waking up to green grass and clear roads!

I have also hit a rather big milestone in my shop.....I have finally reached 100 listings!!! Horray horray!!!! My 100th listing was a beautiful set of vintage lace bobbins :). I opened my little Etsy shop one lovely sunny August afternoon and reaching 100 listings has always been one of my biggest goals since opening. Feels wonderful to have finally achieved it and I have a feeling that this year is going to be a good one for my shop :).Reaching my goal of 100 listings has made me reflect back on how far my little shop has come since opening and it is something that I am really proud of :).

My first ever listing in my shop was this little pack of gift tags that I made. I listed them on the 15th of August, the same day as I opened my shop.
and funny enough my first ever sale in my shop was the brown version of these heart gift tags! When I got my first ever sale I was so so happy, such a great feeling. I jumped out of my chair because I was so happy! I still even to this day get a rush every time I make a sale in my shop. Back when I opened and during the first few months of my shop being open I only really had tea cups and gift tags for sale and the shop was very small with just a handful of items for sale at any one time. I didn't have any of my handmade jewellery which is crazy to think now as my jewellery makes up the majority of my shop! I also didn't have things like my twitter account or blog until much later. Really pleased that my shop has changed, evolved and grown so much in the last year and a half and hopefully this year it will continue to do so. Thank you all for your support, I couldn't have done it without it so it really means the world to me and thank you to all my fellow Etsy sellers who I have learnt so much from and who have given such wonderful advice.

Best wishes to you all :)
The Dorothy Days

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tracey Emin- I love you Wordless Wednesday

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title

Have a great Wednesday

The Dorothy Days Xx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

5 things about today......

5 things about my day.......

  1.  It is snowing again!!!!! Horray! It was raining earlier so I was moaning on Twitter how rain was not nearly as exciting as the snow and then this afternoon snow exciting to see everything in a fresh blanket of white.
  2. I am FINALLY getting to grips with how to use my Instagram account and have got rather addicted to browsing instagram, there are so many pretty photographs on there which I just love. Had great fun today discovering new people to follow on there. 
  3. I managed to burn lots of toast and set off the fire alarm....ooops! Our fire alarm seems to be super sensitive so no amount of wafting a tea towel by the alarm or opening all the windows and doors until you are absolutely freezing would satisfy it and I had to endure its ear piercing sound for at least 10 minutes!!! 
  4. I spent ages playing around on my vintage typewriter. They are so much fun to use and I love the sounds it makes.
  5. I have been looking forwards all day to seeing two of my friends tonight for a girls night in. It is always so nice just to relax, chat and or course drink huge amounts of tea and consume huge amounts of biscuits!!!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Being a big child...!

No matter how old I get, the novelty of wearing my wellies and splashing in a big muddy puddle will never grow old!!! 

Anyone else love doing this too?!?!

The Dorothy Days

Jacopo Tintoretto - Venetian art in the 16th Century

Hi everyone,

I really enjoyed writing the Titian blog piece so today I thought I would tell you about another of my favourite artists. I have a particular interest in 16th century Venice so I thought today I would tell you about Tintoretto who was another artist who was working in Venice at the time, Tintoretto. Tintoretto's approach is the direct opposite to Titian so I thought it would be a good comparison. In todays post I thought I would tell you a bit about Tintoretto as an artist and then later this week I will talk about some of his paintings.

Jacopo Tintoretto was born and also died in Venice, unlike Titian who was born outside of Venice but moved there aged 10. Tintoretto stayed in his native city nearly all of his life and there is only one record of him going away from Venice which was in 1580 for a commission in Mantua. He painting religious and mythological works as well as portraits of prominent Venetians. Early on in his career he struggled to gain recognition and was never wholly accepted by the leading aristocratic families in Venice. His recognition as a painter came with his comission by the Sculola Grande di S. Marco and later in is career he also worked in the Doge's palace (a Doge is the leader of Venice).

This is a self portrait of Tintoretto 1518-1594

He was said to have ....'the draughtsmanship of Michelangelo and the colouring of Titian'.

He set himself up in opposition to Titian. Tintoretto and Titians work both have an unfinished quality to them. Although both artists have this same quality in their work the reason for this is very different.Titian deliberately creates this unfinished look as an artistic effect. He built up his paint surface layer after layer to create a loose, rough effect which appears unfinished when examined closely but finished when looking from a distance. Tintoretto  was known for his 'prestezza' which means his speed of execution and the quickness of his actual brushstrokes. However, this is not an artistic effect but rather due to the speed of execution and economy of effort. His work can be described as 'non finito', not finished. Tintoretto instead provides us with the idea, the outline but does not fill in the smaller details. It is not highly finished. In his work we will know what a detail is meant to be but it is not an accurate representation of that object but rather the impression of it.

The Miracle of St Mark freeing the Slave- Tintoretto 1548.

He was clever in the way he gained commissions but also engaged in ethically dubious practices  He often under cut competitors to win prized commissions  At first his deals seemed like extraordinary acts of generosity because of their low cost but in the long run it meant he won lots of major commissions and was commissioned to do things that he might not have been commissioned to do if he hadn't have charged. This helped him build a reputation as an artist and increased his status therefore helping him to become successful. His technique of rapid painting allowed him to take on many commissions as it took him a lot less time to complete a painting than his rivals such as Titian.

The lack of opulence in Tintoretto's work is demonstrated in works like The Last Supper.
While Titian often painted rich fabrics and opulence as this challenged him as a painter to recreate them realistically, Tintoretto moved away from this style and created work which was devotional and more humble in subject matter. This was important as during the time there was the Catholic and counter reformation. There was a move away from opulence and luxury and a more towards a more humble way of expressing devotional aspects in a visual form.

There are also differences between Titan and Tintoretto in commissions. Tintoretto was a native Venetian and very loyal to his city. Titian (who was dominating Venetian art at the time) started to look beyond Venice and had international commissions while Tintoretto had nearly all of his commissions in Venice. Two very different ways of working and of gaining commissions.

Vasari who wrote biographies on the artists at the time and was extremely influential in his writings treated Tintoretto's art as a joke which had a negative impact on his work.

Hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Tintoretto and be sure to check back on my blog later on in the week for discussions of some of his key paintings.

The Dorothy Days

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Sparkly nails- The Dorothy Days Wordless Wednesday

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title

The Dorothy Days

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Dorothy Days- New items for 2013

Hello everyone,

I have been busy busy busy these last few days creating some new items to sell in my Etsy shop. My shop is now the fullest it has ever been and I am really pleased with all my new items :-) and how the shop is looking now it is a bit fuller.

I thought I would share with you all some of the newest items that I have made for the shop. Would love to hear what you all think about them.

First up is my new range of flower earrings. I am really pleased with how these came out, they are really pretty.

What do you all think of them? and which colours do you like the best? I would love to hear your feedback so I know which are the best ones to make. I am hoping that they will be popular on my Etsy shop and also offline when I do my craft stalls. My rose earrings are usually really popular when I take them to my craft stalls and are one of my best sellers offline so I am hoping that people will like this new range too. For orders online they come packaged in an organza gift bag which I thought was nice as it makes it feel like a treat to get it through the post.

As well as listing the new earring range I also listed some scrap-booking  craft / art supplies. They are packs of 10 double sided pages of a beautiful vintage encyclopedia which is from the 1970s. They have wonderful pictures in 70s colours (lots of browns, light blues and greens) and because the encyclopedia is a British one it mainly focuses on British history, maps, species native to Britain etc which I found really interesting.

I also have been busy making some anklets. Braided cord is really in fashion at the moment and I thought braided cord anklets with cute little charms would be perfect for the summer months. I made a trial one for myself and have been wearing it all the time, I love it! So I have made two for my shop in different colours and with different charms. I will be wearing mine loads in the summer months with a pair of flipflops or sandals but by wearing my trial one I have also realised they can be worn all year round. They are also adjustable to fit different sizes 

and finally I also made some more crystal bracelets for my shop. I made a few for the shop just before Christmas and sold one which I got really lovely positive feedback for so I decided to make a few more to go in my shop in different colours. Some with the smaller crystal beads and some with the larger crystal beads. They are really sparkly and catch the light in the most lovely way which makes them look really pretty to wear but were tricky to photograph up close for my shop as the sparkles of light kept dotting about everywhere!!! Took me a long time to get the photographs right but it was worth it and I am pleased with the results.

This is how I am packaging them to send, in a pretty organza gift bag.

Also available in: Graphite
                                        and Midnight black

Didn't realise how many new items I had in my shop until I started listing them all on here! What do you all think about my new items? and which one is your favourite? Would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment in the comment section below.

Have a fantastic day :) .
Best wishes
The Dorothy Days (Vintage and Handmade from England)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Christmas Gifts

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it doesn’t need any description.

Happy Wednesday
The Dorothy Days Xxx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Titian's Noli me Tangere

Hi everyone,

A some of you know I have a really big passion for art and studied History of Art at university so I thought today I would tell you about one of my favourite painters....Titian. His work is absolutely amazing and we are lucky to have quite a few examples of his work in the National Gallery in London. I love going over there and looking at his work.

Titian was a 16th century painter who spent most of his working life in Venice, Italy after moving there aged 10. He trained under a mosaicist and then moved to the workshop of Gentile Bellini and later Giovanni Bellini; two well respected artists in Venice at the time (they were brothers).

He had a long career and enjoyed success both within Venice and internationally. His clients ranged from the church, Emperors, Kings and wealthy Venetian patrons.

Here is one of my favourite paintings by Titian called Noli me Tangere

This work is one of Titian's early works, painted in c 1514, and you can see the influence of Giorgione; a artist who was working in Venice around the same time and was famed for his landscapes and pastoral moods. The title of the painting, Noli me Tangere, comes from the Gospels. It means 'let no one touch me' in latin, referring to when Christ went to heaven and was ressurected he did not want his followers to cling to his physical presence. The scene which Titian has chosen to depict is after the Resurrection of Christ. Christ has been crucified and entombed. Three days later Mary Magdalen finds Christ's tomb empty. She is shocked and tells the first person she sees, a man who she believes to be a gardener but he is infact Christ who appears to her (she is the figure seen on the floor) to comfort her. He was originally painted wearing a gardener's hat but this was altered by Titian. Mary Magdelene reaches out to touch Christ but he bends his body away from her so she cannot touch him. His facial expression is one of sympathy and concern for her. Christ appears in a ghost like form, showing his change from physical presence on the earth to the holy spirit. Mary Magdelene is diagonal on the floor. Her closeness to the ground shows she is strongly rooted in the physical world while Christ in contrast is standing and is closer to the sky symbolising his closeness to God and to heaven. This marks the shift between him being present physically on earth and him being present in spirit.

The figures are very harmonious in the landscape. The shape of Mary's body is curved and the line of her body continues up into the tree. The curve of Christ's body flows into the curve of the rocks behind him so together this forms an ' X' shape.

The landscape in which the figures are set in is very beautiful and atmospheric.The scene is set in the morning, so is true to the story in the bible. We cannot see the rising sun but can see the beams of light on the buildings on the right hand side so have the feeling of morning time. Behind Christ is a flock of sheep; a symbol of Christ's followers. The landscape is naturalistic and viewers at the time felt as if they could walk into the painting because of its life like qualities.

The colours in the painting are vibrant particularly in the red of her robe and the blue of the sky. The green colours in the painting would have originally been much more vibrant but have faded over time due to the type of pigment which Titian used.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and learning a little bit about this wonderful painting. We are lucky enough to have it in the National Gallery, London so if you are local please do stop in and take a look at it (its free to enter the gallery). It is even more breathtaking in reality and when you can see all the little details.

The Dorothy Days

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy new year- Goals for 2013

Happy New Year everyone!!! 

Hello everyone and happy new year!!! I can't believe it is now 2013. Just wanted to take this time to say thank you so much to everyone who has followed my blog this year, browsed or bought from my shop, followed me on twitter, left me lovely blog comments and tweets and to all my lovely cyber friends that I have made a long the way. You have all been fantastic!!

A big shout out to some friends that I have made on Etsy who have been wonderful and supportive with my shop, blog and twitter page.

Jayne from Handmade Cuties

Jamie from Chatter Blossom

Vicky and David from Vivid Please

Robin from NostalgicRose

Brittany from HopeStarBound

At the start of a new year I always like to set myself some goals to try and achieve before the year is up. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a good year for me so have high hopes for the year. I know 13 is unlucky for some but it was my Granny's lucky number so I am hoping 2013 is going to be a fantastic year and even if luck is not on my side I am going to do everything I can to make it wonderful!!!

Here are my goals for 2013:

  • To blog more often!!!!
  • To visit more art galleries across the U.K as seeing art up close makes me so happy.
  • To have 100 items listed in my shop
  • To reach my 100th sale on Etsy
  • Spend more days down by the seaside
  • Improve my knitting skills (I am pretty terrible at the moment!)
  • To make more things on my sewing machine as it is something I really enjoy.
  • To go on more adventures and visit new places
  • Write some more blog posts on art pieces.
  • To try some different types of tea that I haven't already tried.
  • To smile more often and to make other people smile more often.
  • Do more RAOK (random acts of kindness) 
  • Go to London more often
  • Get much more organised!!!
  • Continue improve and expanding my Etsy shop. I would love to expand the range of vintage items which I sell and also make more handmade items for my shop.
  • Get involved in some more local projects and volunteer locally as it would be a lovely way of getting involved in the community and meeting some more local people.
  • Go back to Rome as it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
  • Trace my family history as I know very little about it and would love to know more and make a family tree.
  • To keep a diary

This list is by no mean finished by here are just a few! 
Have you set yourself any new year goals? 

Hope that 2013 is a great year for you all and thank you so much for all your support in 2012. 

Best wishes
The Dorothy Days