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OTAGO ART SOCIETY, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
OTAGO ART SOCIETY
A NOTICE OP SOME EXHIBITS. No. ll.—The Oils. The namo of F. Brookesmith is always treated with Tespect at our annual exhibition. This year ho is represented by six Now Zealand landscapes, all of interest, and it seems to us that he is at hia best in 'After Rain,' a Southland study of lake and mountains. The water is very skilfiiily painted, and the ton© of tho picture is exquisite. ' , D. MacLaurin. of Scotland, has yet "his o>ark firmly on No. 54, 'Highland Cattle.' In the handling of warm greys he is a perfect magician, and cine notes with gratitude that the luxuriance of detail is quito free from confusion. This fine painting is one of Ihoso that are placed by Miss Park at. the Eervi-9 of anyone who'may choose to buv for the benefit of the patriotic fund. A. "]•:. Kelly's ' Tho Old Musician' is of pood quality, yet we are not quite convinced as to tho treatment of the subject. Tho fluto is not distinct, and tho facial cxpress'on hardly satisfactory. To fully appreciate A. E. Kelly's skill one should look at her portrait (No. 144), this being the presentation at threo-quaiters length of a lady with a startled expression. There art* some very clever ideas in this portrait, all well worked out. Note specially the gauzy wrap on tho ami. ' A Spring Morning '" is another fino work by the sameartist.
J. Elder Motiltrr.y is'or.o of the most constant of our oil-painters. His work c,t.:i always be relied on. Nobody has ever found him entrapped by false ideas, and a big reward might safely bo promised for the detection of carelessness in any of his pictures. To this year's gallery he contributes eight important New Zealand landscapes, all faithfully observed and skilfully painted, and topographical accuracy is one of their strong points. Wo take- his 'Mcuint Watkins, Waikouaiti,' to bn one of the most successful of the collection. The burst of yellowing sunlight from tho rear of tho peak is splendidly effective. On the centre of the northern wall, in what is supposed to be the place of honor, we find Pv. Wallwork'e 'Awakening of Spring" (No. 60). It is a charming conceit : a beauteous woman lyvig on a bank, the body just springing to life after a sleep. Perhaps it would be more convincing if the head wero turned towards one, so that the eyes could be seen, for it is the parting of the lids that usually gives tho first indication of waking. But wo are not disposed to severely question Mr Wallwork's plan of showing the awakening by a shrug of the body and a twist of tho arms, for it gives him. the opportunity of displaying rare skill in the moulding and the vit-ab iiiug of tho figure. In tho full blaze of the sun the flesh lose 3 its grossness, and becomes as it were sanctified, thus in a sense leading one's thoughts to the immaterial and the exalted, and it is in the development of this idea, and tho joining of the corruptible with tho incorruptible, that the secret of Mr Wallwork's success mav lie.
'A Silverstrcam Pastoral/ by E. Killiek, is conventional, but praiseworthy in regard to composition. Do not pass by C. F. Kelly's 'The Fisherman' (No. 66). It is well worth locking at, if only for its care-freo character. The angler is not one of those who growl about the catch; the boat-sailers are heading for the bank, and will only laugh when they stick; tho river itself is bahhline '"Don't worry." In other words, this is a piece that refreshes the jaded eye. W. Hounsom Byles has'put rs all in debt to him this year. His 'Spanish Fiesta' is a riot of color. His 'Spanish Dancer' desen'es to he clashed as a masterpiece in its owm line, tho sense of movement being quito irresistible and the painting wonderfully clever. Wo clso like very much his 'Bather,' the subject being a sitting lady in i red bathing dress. The figure is beautifully drawn, it stands well off tho canvas, and the flesh tints are capital. There is just one puzzle in it: a3 to whether tho lady is "doing up" her hair, or merely stretching her arms. But what matter? She is a picture anyhow. ' The Critics,' another of Mr Byles's contributions, may be by judges voted the best of the lot. It depicts a draught hoi*c being led out at a parade. The action of tho norso is just the thing, and on every face about the ring one sees varying expressions. Mrs T. M'Crorie hangs a small study o? placid, breakers on a beach. It is refined and true as far as it goes. The Tomahawk scene (No. 127), also by Mrs M'Crorie, is in all respects a nice picture. R-. Procter's ' Sawmill at Dordrecht' makes tho most of a rather unattractive subject. We much prefer his coastline piece (No. 103), which is faithfully drawn and shows the natural dash of the water
M; Hartley's ' Bush Scene' is noticeable for good drawing, and from the ssme artist we have 'The Top of the Hill' (No. 115). this lieine; distinguishably sincere, though a little shy as to color. Perhaps the portrait study (No. 90) is better than cither.' It assuredly is strong and direct work. 'A Belgium' by J. Wimperis, is one of the most charming pictures in the gallery. It is an interior, a young woman, sitting on a table, hslf revealed in tho lighting from a small window. This sweet Belgian holds and k.eers the eye, so much so that one does not care to examine closely to find whether she is at the teapot or at the cradle. Probably she is in a reverie, and seeing neither object. It doesn't matter. She is the all-sufficing attraction, not altogether because of her beauty, but by lite tenderness and suavity of which she- is the manifestation. There may be greater works in the gallery, but none so lovable. Everybody has a. word of praise* for A. R. Lothian's cherubic ' Child's Head' (No. 86). 'lTie rather fever© task tho artist .has rndertakon is carried out spiritedly. From tiie same contributor we have also a harmonious grey landscape (No. 96), which will stand examination. 'llcr Last Voyage' is a little out of W. Allen Bollards usual line, but from tho way he has worked out the view of the stranded cutter one might suppose that ho had lived his life on the teach. M. A. Park's 'Moorland' reminds ono of the quality of the old masters; and we call attention to ' On tho Pifeshire Coast' and ' Sunset on the Clyde,' by the eame artist, both showing much feeling. - M. S. M'Leod'e 'Tennis-player' is very serious in expression, but young girls who ore about to do something often, loojc likethat. N. L. D. Hull on has a champion flower picture (No. 107). The roses are- splendid as to form and color. 'An Old Rustic Bridge.' by J. W. Brock, is all right as to drawing, but the reflections are rather too pronounced. 'The most important of H. Linley Richardson's contributions, and the largest, is entitled ' Life in an Old-time Maori Pa.' The Maoris depicted seem to represent various tribe? —wo had almost said " varying races"—but they are all of tho heroic type, the men at any a*ate. Tho central fijruie is presenting a- lady, presumably his wife, with a catch of birds, and his* attitude is characteristic ot the pompous Maori -buck"—lie could not bs mora theatrical it" he were handing her am ultimatum. By the way, are these bird 3 pheasants? If *<r, the period is not very remote ('. i'ickercoM has achieved r.r. undoubted Miecees with his '.Motor Maki.' The title ■dO'.-i. not •..•spliiiu itself, but that is only a. mile. The important fact is that Mi* Bkkerton has produced, a, clever and skilful picture, full of animation and character. Mrs G. Spence seinds in a nice study of lilies. H. H. Prattle's ' Early Morning, Otago Harbor,' is a decidedly clever impressionist production.
OTAGO ART SOCIETY, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
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