I was the holder of a a cheap off-peak travel card and full of plans!
First stop, and my main reason for going was the Inventing Impressionism exhibition at the National Gallery.
Here was an exhibition showing many of the Impressionist paintings collected by Paul Durand-Ruel, featuring, among others, a lot of Monet, especially a magnificent quartet of Poplar trees, brightly coloured, dappled lit portraits by Renoir , and a hauntingly beautiful, subtle painting of Woman at Her Toilette by Berthe Morisot.
Each painting was skillfully lit, the walls were dark and every work stood out jewel like. All in all a most wonderful exhibition.
My favorite was a simple painting by Renoir of a girl sitting on the grass with sunshine playing on the skirt of her dress.
The only thing that spoilt this big hitting show for me was the amount of other people jostling for position to see the paintings. It was heaving, and not helped by the fact that many of those who chose to take the audio guide with them seemed to stop all of a sudden and stare around them. I just want to elbow everyone out the way.
Is there such a thing as gallery rage?
Next the 203rd Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries.
A much more calm affair even though there were a lot of people. A different audience altogether. Possibly it felt less crowded because the light level was high and most of the work was in a big airy room. There was such a variety of styles, from traditional work by Kevin Hughes and Pauline Fazackerley ) to some wonderful narrative painting ( Rosie Sepple) and then some mysterious sepia paintings of view from a train London to St Petersburg by Tana West.
|Inside the Mall Galleries.|
It was an exhibition I enjoyed very much. It might even take me away from my beloved oil paints to wrestle with watercolours again.
Next. Lunch in the cafe at the Mall Galleries.
Finally Lachlan Goudie and Tim Benson New Work at the Mall Galleries.
Tim Benson's work showed his connections with Lucien Freud. I have to admit it was a bit raw for me.
The highlight of my day was meeting the lovely Lachlan Goudie, one of the judges on the Big Painting Challenge.
His paintings were in another part of the Mall Galleries and he was there to talk to us punters before a tour of his paintings and an opening reception later on. He was an absolutely charming man, discussed painting in general, the Big Painting Challenge in particular, even asked about my painting life, but blow me he wouldn't give away the winner of Sunday's final!
His paintings are strong and purposeful and many, particularly his flowers, deceptively simple. Not girly enough for me but they certainly pack a punch.
I walked to the underground on cloud nine. On the tube a man offered me his seat, and on the train journey home I sat next to a girl who's ticket wasn't valid. I don't know if she got caught.
P.S. I took a selfie of me and Lachlan, but if you want to see it you'll have to go to my facebook page,