Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Mystery of Schut Watercolour Paper.

I have written about Schut before. I first heard of this Dutch company in a book by the late Zoltan Szabo. He mentioned Noblesse, which was the top of the range paper. Later I found that Judi Whitton was using blocks purchased from a small art shop in the Cotswolds. This may be where Charles Reid also heard of it as he tutored workshops in  the Cotswolds and Judi went on one. 





Prior to this Charles used Fabriano Artistico, which he said suited his painting method. By now thoroughly aroused  (!) I followed the trail and discovered an unusual small company near Banbury called Hookers Green was an agent and contacted them. It appeared to  be a private house but they also had a small warehouse. A single foolscap sheet was posted to me and it listed several different names including Noblesse, Vivace and Flamboyant. I purchased some blocks of Noblesse and Vivace. Noblesse is (or was) 100% cotton and Vivace a 50/50 cotton and synthetic mixture. I liked both but the difficulty in getting this paper was a problem. A follow up call to Hookers Green produced no result and they don't appear to be trading any longer.

The problems of getting these papers was such that I switched to Saunders Waterford, which is excellent particularly now that they do a "High White" paper. The problem we watercolour artists face is rising prices. Fabriano has gone up considerably and I never really liked the block size of 18" x 12" - my favourite being 16" x 12". In addition when you get down towards the last few sheets the blocks come apart. This doesn't happen with the Waterford.

With prices becoming more of an issue (I am painting on the backs of failed paintings of which I have many) I thought I would once again see if it were possible to get some Schut with Vivace in mind. Enquires brought the information that the Schut mill had been taken over by Clairefontaine and the Schut papers were being marketed in the UK under the Fontaine label.




I'm assuming this is or was Noblesse. One surface offered is 'cloud effect' which seems to be new. This  is Noblesse. The not surface has a red boundary.


This is definitely Schut as Flamboyant is the old name.

Not sure about this one. 

This is a new one - black watercolour paper.

Schut also did a nice 50/50 paper - a mix of synthetic and cotton - called Vivace. I don't see that in the Fontaine offerings so far.  A full range of sizes in rough, not and cold-pressed seem to be offered including blocks and sheets. The blocks are 15 sheets, which is a pity. as this makes the prices on the high side, although Great Art has some very keen ones at the moment. If you are interested you can follow up the above  with the major mail order specialists.

Added 11/02/20:  have received a message from my friend and brilliant artist Gerard Hendriks with a link to the Schut site. Unfortunately it is in Dutch! I can't see Vivace anywhere so maybe they've dropped this paper. It is infuriating when you get links to American companies - 3000 miles away - selling Schut papers but none in the UK despite close proximity to Holland. This was exactly the same when I attempted - successfully eventually - to get some Czech Moldau paper. This was such an ordeal I've not repeated it yet it was (and may still be) available via mail order from an American company! Frustrating indeed!!!

Added 12/02/20: Not being entirely happy that I was clear about the Schut situation I contacted the company again asking for clarification/ I have received a reply from a San Bates I quote " Regarding your question about Noblesse and Vivace, I can tell you that we no longer produce Vivace but that Noblesse is indeed available under the Fontaine name through Exaclair UK".

There it is then. I assume the top illustration is Noblesse. I assume Exaclair UK is a wholesaler.

REPLY RECEIVED FROM ARIE VAN BAALEN TODAY. "ALL THE FONTAINE PRODUCTS OF 100% COTTON ARE NOBLESSE". I THINK THAT CLARIFIES IT.












Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Watercolour Painting 62 - a 2020 Special!

To start 2020 here is a a bumper collection containing many incredible paintings From very realistic and complicated to  minimal and abstract. In addition very bold colour and more subdued tones. I'll leave you to decide which appeal the most.




Direk Kingnok - A fabulous Thai artist




Lars eje Larssen - I love this artists paintings.




Jean-Luc Decron  - Another new one.




John Yardley - I don't know the date of this one as he doesn't do many (if any) like this these days. He started off as a clone of Edward Wesson but soon developed his own unique style



Suwit Jaipom - Another new one!



Chien Chung Wei - an abstract from this Taiwanese artist




Steven Scott Young


 

David Lobenberg




Lars eje Larssen  again - What a fabulous minimalist painting




Artist???




John Yardley - Still  great in his mid-eighties




Jack Tia Kee Woon - an amazingly detailed watercolour by this Singaporean artist. There is some acrylic here as well as watercolour




Konstantin Sterkov - Wow!




Willem Haenraets - Another new one although I think I've seen some of his work previously




Andrew Wyeth - American master Added 11/02/20. I meant to comment on this as a masterful example of the use of shapes and contrasts. It's basically  about shapes rather than 'objects'. Charles Reid used to emphasise this. 




Geoffrey Wynne - a new artist to me




Gerard Hendriks - Simplicity itself - with colour!




Dusan Djukaric




Mustapha Ben Lahmar (?)



Darren Woodhead - another new to me



Artist???




John Lovett - Another excellent Australian



Alex Hillkurtz - New to me



Sophie Rodionov - Another new one



Jose Martinez Lozano - And still they come another new one





Tony Belobrajdic - Another new one

Any corrections to names of artists etc welcome/

Monday, 23 December 2019

HAPPY XMAS AND SEASONS GREETINGS TO ALL


To all who follow the blog and those who pay a visit may I express my best wishes for Xmas and 2020 and thanks for taking an interest in what I do.




Saturday, 7 December 2019

Latest Paintings

Here are my latest efforts together with my thoughts on where I am with relevant soul searching!


"The Strand Wolf or Brown Hyena" 16" x 12"



"Big Boy" 16" x 12"







"Guess Who?' 16" x 12"

I'm very pleased with this.


"Alex" 16" x 12"

Pleased with this also


Red Cloud in later life. 16" x 12"

Increasingly unhappy about this. Will decide whether to try and rescue it or scrap and start again. A difficult one. I tend towards scrapping. The basic problem is the drawing of the face  isn't right. Two steps forward , one ( and a half)  steps back. This is painting ! Just don't give up! As the famous American teacher Edgar Whitney said "Draw, Draw. Draw!" At least I remain very self critical. Added 08/12/19. Have scrapped this. A second attempt is going much better, at least I think so,  and here is the finished painting. I still have doubts though.



"Red Cloud' Circa 1900

This is better but still not a great likeness. The above is from his last years when the Sioux had been crushed and were confined on reservations. While many Amerindians have assimilated with the general population over the years others, who have been unable or unwilling to adjust,  remain trapped on reservations





"Contemplation" 16" x 12"
Quite pleased with this. Went back over my Charles Reid stuff and tried to be more relaxed with "Pieces of Paint " approach. Not perfect but getting there. Never too old to learn.



"Big Boy" 16" x 12"

My approach here is the Charles Reid way of "small areas of detail, large areas of generality`" My feeling is that it does go a long way towards this goal. I've been viewing all my CR material, videos, books and notes from my workshops with him. I realise it's very late in the day, s source of great regret, but there it is. If I could go back ten years I would as I feel I've wasted a lot of time and my path to where I am has been  a very tortuous one. I'm still not there yet.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Watercolour Paintings 61

Here are Decembers batch, a little late and rather hastily put together as I have been otherwise occupied most of this month. Hopefully there will still be much of interest. There are a number where I haven't been able to track down the artist. Any corrections welcome.


The incredible Yuko Nagayama



Direk Kingnok



Bhira Painting



Bev Jozwiak



Gerard Hendriks
Gerard continues to amaze with his widening range of subjects


Artist?


Dianne Benoit


Edward Seago

This is one of my favourites of his


Artist? Leroy Van Much?
I love the simplicity of this


The amazing Ted Nutall Look at the colours!


Zhao Zhiqiang



Artist? Another from the artist who painted the bike


 Shirley Trevena - Wow!



Henry Arfin



Tim Wilmott

?

Bev Jozwiak Another Wow! Love it!


Carol Hillsbery Terrific.



Vladislav Yeliseyev


Jung Hun-sung



Ann-Christin Moberg


Chien Chung Wei


Hope you like them. Some fantastic paintings in a wide range of subjects, colours and styles. Watercolour! You can't beat it!  BLOG INDEX JUNE 2014