Claudette Johnson: I Came to Dance- Museum of Modern Art, Oxford

I have been interested in  Claudette Johnsons work for a while now and a few years ago she gave a talk at Modern art Oxford, where she talked about her background and work.This exhibition showed early work and more recent work.Her work is figurative, confident and beautifully drawn.Depicting black men and women, and numerous self portraits , Claudette asserts “I do believe that the fiction of ‘blackness’ that is the legacy of colonialism, can be interrupted by an encounter with the stories that we have to tell about ourselves”.

I like her work predominately because its autobiographical and assertive and brings to attention the invisibility  of black men and women in the UK today especially in the art world.



Frank Bowling- Tate Britain- first major retrospective


Creekside Open. Apt Studios, PV


Robert Fitzmaurice


Victoria Miro - Maria Berrio


3 July 2019

Back in London from Madrid and still feeling sad that I’ve left the Prado until I get to the Gagosian and see the Bacon exhibition  ‘Couplings’. Straight away I feel like I’m looking at some of Goya’s paintings from The Prado, especially his black paintings, I can see that Bacon was heavily influenced by Goya and I have the same visceral feeling  that I had when standing in front of Goya’s black paintings. This was especially strong when I stood in front of the following ( sorry not a good photograph!) I think this is because of the monotone and the brush marks.






7th July 2019

 Whitworth Gallery, Manchester .

I had a few hours in between trains and by luck an old lady asked me directions to the toilet’s at Manchester Station , then she mentioned she was going here to see some prints of Goya’s ( The Prado just won’t leave me alone Ha ha ) This exhibition was called Prints of Darkness and showed Francisco de Goya Lucientes ( 1746-1828) and William Hogarth (1697-1764) prints alongside each other.

Showing work that raises questions about the tortured mind-set of Britain  in the 18thcent on the eve of Brexit this exhibition asks us  to look at our own society and ourselves.


BP Portrait award

Marcus -Vanesa Garwood
The Crown-Carl Martin-Sandvold

National Gallery

Some personal  favourites that I revisit from time to time 

Rembrandt, what can I say? Every time I see his work I have a similar reaction apart from this one time where I had a migraine in March , when I stood in front of his self portrait and stared at it and it he seemed to move his head slightly  ha ha , it was the  visual distortion and aura of the migraine but certainly made for a good experience.It also showed for me how his work seems so empathic to me, I felt like when I looked into his eyes I could feel his humanity from centuries ago. When I look at  his self portraits its almost a spiritual experience for me, and I feel humbled.I could spend all day looking at the way he manipulates paint in amazement.


Rembrandt- self portrait age 56 


Velasquez- Christ contemplating the Christian Soul

Velasquez-The Toilet of Venus ( The Rokeby Venus)

Jean- Baptiste-Camille Carot ( 1796-1875)

Royal Academy of Arts - Felix Vallotton - Painter of Disquiet

Turps , end of year PV

Suzanne Baker
Matt Lippiatt

 Albertina-Vienna - Hermann Nitsch

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 Albertina -Sean Scully - Eleuthera 

Named after the island resort of Eleuthera in the Caribbean, Where Scully goes on holiday every year, this series of figurative work is tied to the artists identity as a father and observer watching his 2nd son play on a beach. His first son died in a tragic accident making the work more poignant

Francis Bacon


Durer- Praying Hands

Durer- Head of an Old Man

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Oskar Kokoschka

This image really niggled me as it reminded me of Doretha Tanning so I went away and did some research, I couldn't  find any info of Dorothea referencing Kokoscher directly but I think the similarities are uncanny even down to the hairstyle

The way the figure is painted by Kokoschka is for me much more interesting and visceral than Tannings rendering of the figure.

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Egon Schiele  

I don't care much for Schiele's drawings but this could because I have become immune to them by seeing them a lot, I find them too harsh now but I still find the below beautiful. I find these paintings have a sensitivity that some of his drawings lack and the quote by him is one of my favourite quotes by an artist.


Egon said 'I mainly observe the the physical movement of mountains, water, trees, and flowers.Everywhere one is reminded of similar motions inside the human body, similar stirrings of pleasure and pain in plants. painting alone is not enough for me: I know that one can use colours to establish qualities. when one sees an autumnal tree in summer, it is an intense experience that invokes ones whole heart and being: and I should like to paint that melancholy.

Cardinal and the Nun                                                          Setting Sun

Art Histories Museum Vienna


I went to the Kunst Historische's Museum, and I knew there were some Vermeer's there but I wasn't sure which ones so it was a wonderful surprise to see The Art of Painting about 1666/68


I spent an hour searching for the Velazquez thinking it was just one small painting, so when I saw a room with 7 of his paintings in it felt pretty special. Then I realised I had been looking at the portraits in a book last week and trying to copy the technique, it seemed serendipitous . Im beginning to understand why Im so taken with Velazquez after spending a few hours just looking at these portraits. Theres a certain kind of feeling that the paintings give off when I experience them, its quite hard to articulate but I think I'm pinning it down. For me personally  it's a stillness with an undercurrent of perfect harmony,  suspension of time and kindness.


Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

The Surrealist Movement

From Dali to Magritte

Crisis and rebirth in 1929


Magritte The Double Secret, 1927


Max Ernst- Loplop Introduces a Young Girl

Hungarian National Gallery -The permanent collection

Here was some outstanding art from Hungarian artists , it did occur to me that in Western Europe people aren't aware of them and I felt annoyed.


Frigyes Strobentz- Adagio 1909


Vicktor Madarasz- Self portrait 1863

Bertalan Szekely- Red Hair Girl 1875

Fulop Laszlo. His Holiness Pope Leo XIII 1900

Bertalan Szekely. Boy with a Slice of Bread and Butter. 1875
Karoly Lotz- Bathing Women 1901
Simon Hollosy -Corn Huskers 1885
Istvan Csok- Do this in Memory of Me, 1890

Bela Ivanyi Grunwald- Shepherd and Peasant woman. 1892

Karoly Frenczy- Evening Atmosphere with horses. 1899

Prague-National Gallery 

Wilhelm Hansen collection of impressionist work, he was advised by Theodore Duret, the accomplished art critic of the time 


Edgar Degas, Woman Arranging Her Hair. 1894


Eva Gonzales. The Convalescent  Portrait of a Woman in White,1877-1878

Claude Monet, The Chally road Through the Forest of Fountainebleau, oil on canvas,1865


Edouard Manet., Women with a Jug, 1858-1860


Berthe Morisot. Young Girl on the Grass.1885

Edouard Manet. Basket of Pears. 1882

Paul Gauguin. Portrait of a Young Women 1896

Eugene Delacroix, George Sand, 1836

Andy Warhol exhibition- Old Town Square, Prague.

Showing Andy Warhols family background, his family were from Czechoslovakia

Julia Warholova, Andy Warhols Mother, silk screen print

The oldest surviving photo of the Zavacky family. 1908-1909.Top row.  Anna, Andys grandfather, Andys Mother, Andys Grandmother,Jan, Stefan,Maria,Eva Zavaxka,Juraj,Helena,Zuzana.


Trade Fair Palace, Prague. 1918-1938- The First Czechoslovak Republic


Jozsef Rippl-Ronai (1861-1927)

When one Lives on Memories  1904

Ruth Borchard collection, 16th August

Tomas Watson

Opposite of the Two, 2017

Imperial war museum- An exhibition telling the history how how art was saved during the 2nd world war.

Staff marked the work that would be saved by chalk marks, and then these works were evacuated to the countryside. The work was divided into classes i.e 

Class I most highly prized

Class II 2nd

Class III 3rd 

Class IV 4th

There were no women artists selected out of the 250 works that were marked for evacuation, below is a painting by Norah Neilson-Gray The Scottish Women's hospital: In the Cloister of the Abbayne at Royaumont. Dr Frances Ivens inspecting a French patient (1920)


Helene Schjerfbeck - RA



Clothes Drying 1883                                                              Maria 1909                                                      

Women with a Child 1887


Self portrait 1884-5