Tuesday, 29 October 2013



Today I begin a new series of blogs based on famous Artists. Each blog will co-incide with an important date in the Artist's life, usually their birthday. 

As many of you know, I teach a class called PAINT A MASTERPIECE, where I teach students how to create a masterpiece in just one day. The classes are for those who have never painted before or Artists that have never seen success with Acrylics. During the class we copy and complete a master work chosen by the class. I have seen amazing work and many happy students surprised at what is possible in such a short time.

Copying masterpieces seems to have fallen out of favour in recent years, but for centuries it was standard practice for those who studied art. I suggest that if you are an Artist or dream of painting, use this series to examine each master work and paint all or part of it. I guarantee that you will learn a lot. 

I haven't painted MEADOW, but I spent some time studying the brush strokes and composition. The fascinating thing is that so many rules were broken but they are offset by the skillful placement of colour, object or brushstroke. Although the painting appears to be a simple scene, it when you study it, you can see it is actually highly complex. Even though it has a loose, Plein Air, impressionist style, it must have taken quite some time to paint.

For instance take the lady in the hat ... she is placed almost in the center of the fence facing out of the painting, but the dark mass of the tree placed in front of her stops your eye continuing out of the painting and the uneven fence adds interest. The fence dwarfs the figure but doesn't dominate because the blue of her cape is more intense than the muted colour of the fence. I could go on, but I would prefer you have a chance to explore on your own. 

1839 - 1899
Below is a short summary of his life, but you can read more about him here.

30 October 1839 Born in Paris

Alfred Sisley was of English parentage but 1/4 French through his grandmother. In 1862 after studying business in England, he studied at the atelier of Gleyre in Paris. Alfred came from a wealthy business oriented family, but the family business failed during the 1870 Franco-Prussian war and from then he was always in financial difficulty. He was a contemporary of and painted with Monet, Renoir and Bazille. His painting show scenes along the Seine and in Fontainebleau, Argenteuil, Louveciennes, Bougival, Marly, Sevres and Moret. Fame came after his death.

1871 Painted in London
1874 Hampton Court in England
1874 was part of the First Impressionist Exhibition and in 1876,1877 and 1882
1880 He settled in Moret-sur-Loing, France
1881 Cardiff coast
1897 Northern France

29 January 1899 Died in Moret, aged 60