The famous sculptor Alfred Stevens was born in Blandford 200 years ago, there is a blue plaque on the wall of his house opposite my gallery. His artistic talent was spotted early, and large sums of money were found to send him to train in Florence from the age of 16 where he stayed for many years. The result of that training can be seen in a current exhibition of his works at the Blandford Town Museum (see below for more details). His drawings in particular are incredible, such beautiful and descriptive line-work. At the opening I asked whether I could sit and draw the lion sculptures and also create drawings and a painting of how he may have looked based on the bust, using colour references from his self-portrait. So far I have completed 3 lion drawings, this is a charcoal – the proud way he sits and the big paws and ruff remind me of our dear old Maine Coon Puss-cat. The original sculptures were made to go on the railings outside the British Museum in London, although they now reside inside. Stevens also designed the monument of the Duke of Wellington in St Paul’s Cathedral.
There will be a lecture about his life and work on the 23rd September, see below for details or visit the website. I highly recommend you visit this exhibition at the museum, Bere’s Yard. Blandford, Dorset DT11 7HQ. Tel 01258 450388. Open Monday to Saturday, 10-4 daily until 31st October 2017. The museum if full of fabulous items and information about our beautiful Georgian town and is well worth a visit.
I will be there at random times, please contact me on 07985 027495 if you would like to find out when.
I would like to thank Sylvia Hixson-Andrews for making this project possible, and for everyone who has made me so welcome there.
On a different note – it is that time of year again. If anyone is thinking of ordering a commissioned piece of artwork as a Christmas gift, please let me know as soon as possible as I am about to start advertising, and it is always good if I can be organised and space out the work as much as possible. The slightly daunting thing about this time of year is that all the deadlines to complete work are – Christmas! After Christmas I will be mostly working on a new exhibition for Dorset Art Weeks 2018.