Empty Chairs at Empty Tables: The Use of Furniture in Art

When composing a painting, the artist gives careful consideration to all the elements of their piece. Nothing is included unless the artist wishes it to be; and thus even the most humble and overlooked factors can be imbued with great meaning.

Furniture can be one of those factors. It is, of course, most often found in interior paintings, where the choice of furniture betrays a wealth of detail about the room’s inhabitants, even when they themselves are absent. However, furniture can also be significant in other types of artwork, both in its presence and in its absence.

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The Art of the Arboreal

The tree is perhaps one of the most powerful symbols possible, evoking meaning and emotion in cultures across the world. From the symbolism of the olive branch to that of the mighty oak, from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden to one’s own family tree, it is hard to deny the influence of the arboreal.

It is unsurprising, then, that so many artists have made use of trees in their work. Whether as a focus of the piece in their own right, as part of a wider landscape or even as a complement to portraiture, trees are rooted firmly in artistic history.

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Is Lighting Important in Fine Art?

The lighting of a subject in a piece of art is often one of the most important aspects of the composition. From still life to portraiture, lighting brings a tone and depth to a piece, no matter what the subject is.

However, it is not just the depth of the artwork that is affected by lighting; the colours must also reflect the lighting that you are trying to achieve, otherwise the subject may look disjointed from the environment in which it is being depicted – something that any artist will willingly avoid.

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The Importance of Life Drawing in Art

Different artists have different focuses when it comes to creating their artwork; whether it be still life, sea or landscape or even portraiture.

No matter what art style an artist specialises in, life drawing – or figure drawing as it was originally named – plays a huge part in the development of many artistic skills, and can give a piece of art extra depth in a very subtle way.

But why is life drawing such an essential skill to possess as an artist?

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The Art of Collecting Art

Why does one collect art?

There is a difference between simply buying art and collecting art. Buying art is the basic act of purchasing a picture you like simply because you like it and it will go with your décor; collecting art is something more.

To collect art, one should have a long-term goal, a focus or theme, something which brings disparate pieces of artwork together to create a collection.

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Artist in Profile: George Weissbort

It is always interesting to take a look back on the lives of some of the artists who have contributed their incredible work to the art world. Not every artist starts out living the same lifestyle, and it can often be quite surprising to find out where individuals developed their talent from.

One of the most talented artists of the last Century is undoubtedly George Weissbort, whose impressive artwork is firmly settled in our collection. His life and work are still an inspiration to many artists today.

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Stephen Rose and the Ephemera of Contemporary Life

Each artist develops a specific style that can be instantly recognised, and Stephen Rose is no exception. His work focuses on the still life of ephemeral objects, a fleeting nature that appeals to the inner artist in all of us, as seen in the work he has exhibited and sold, such as his Arabesque of Celery and Clementines.

Rose’s use of empty space emphasizes the subject itself, capturing the eye and drawing it to that single object that seems to pulsate with a powerful inner life. His technical expertise allows him to elevate simple materials to works of art, as he’s able to create paintings from mundane objects that never fail to resonate deeply with the observer.

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Push Your Painting Boundaries

Like Rome, a great painting isn’t produced in a day. The care and precision the artist takes in bringing their masterpiece alive takes time, patience and a great deal of practice. Before settling on a single painting technique, artists are advised to experiment with different forms of paint and different brushstrokes.

You may be a master of the oil painting, perfecting your brush strokes over years of dedicated painting, but why not push your artistic skills and try a different style of painting?

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Posted in Art Theory, Landscape, Seascape | Leave a comment

Season’s Greetings from Mark Mitchell

The month of December is drawing to a close and Christmas is finally upon us, which paints scenes of families and friends gathering round dinner tables and opening presents together, sharing in the festive season.

Here at Mark Mitchell, we want to take the opportunity before the turn of the New Year to wish everybody a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2016. We’d also like to say a big thank you to all who take an invested interest in the work that we do and those who take time out of their busy schedules to come and see our exhibitions.

The company would also like to show their appreciation for those who now have the pleasure of owning one of the pieces from our collections. We thank you for your custom and hope that you feel satisfied with your piece that has taken pride of place in your home.

We encourage you to keep checking back on our website to find out about any future exhibitions and to also keep an eye on our blog that features information on art through the ages, different techniques and influential people in the industry.

A fine art dealer in London, Mark Mitchell holds a wide selection of 19th – 21st Century British & Continental Fine Art which are showcased on our website for you to choose from. If you’re passionate about art and take pride in your collection, see if we have anything that would make the perfect addition. If you have any enquiries at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch at 0207 493 8732 and one of our experts will be more than happy to give you any help and advice.

Otherwise you can visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates. However, if we don’t hear from you, we hope that you enjoy the festivities this Christmas weekend and we’ll welcome you back in the New Year.


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Art of the Seasons

Many artists throughout the centuries have drawn their inspiration from nature. From landscapes to still life paintings, nature offers an endlessly changing and always fascinating subject. The seasons, of course, provide some of the most noticeable changes in the natural world, and art allows the ability to capture the season, evoking all the memories and emotions that entails.

 Trafalgar Square looking towards the National Gallery from Canada House, Edward WessonEDWARD WESSON (1910-1983) Trafalgar Square looking towards the National Gallery from Canada House, 1950

In this cityscape, the warm stone of Canada House, providing the traditional repoussoir at the left, offers a contrast against the pale blue-grey sky of this wintry urban scene. The delicate shapes of the leafless trees reveal the structure of the National Gallery behind them, whilst passers-by wear their heavy winter coats. The piece neatly evokes the cold, bright days of winter in the capital through its pale palette with splashes of bright colour.

Still life with mushrooms, preserving pan & a vase of daisies, Robert BoudryROBERT BOUDRY (1878-1961) – Still life with mushrooms, preserving pan & a vase of daisies

As mentioned earlier, it is not only landscapes that can evoke a sense of the season, and this still life offers a delightful glimpse of spring. The blue background evokes clear spring skies, with the soft, warm colour of the preserving pan echoing the growing warmth of the spring sun. The lively, bright colours of the daisies offer a cheerful splash of life which draws the eye upwards, whilst the reflections provide interest towards the bottom of the piece. Altogether, it is a busy yet tranquil scene, evoking the heady but peaceful days of the spring season.

Orange trees, Vanessa GarwoodVanessa Garwood (1982 – ) Orange trees

This Spanish scene provides a palpable sense of the summer heat; from the vivid blue splash of sky to the warm terracotta tones of the earth and the vibrancy of the oranges, set against the green grass and foliage. The piece not only evokes the warmth and long sunny days of the summer, but for many viewers also offers a sense of the much-anticipated summer holiday to such locales.

Still life of pears, apples, grapes and a Chinese jar, Charles Thomas BaleCHARLES THOMAS BALE (fl.1866-1892) Still life of pears, apples, grapes and a Chinese jar

Returning to the still life for our final season, the warm tones of autumn are found throughout this piece. This is, of course, most apparent in the autumnal leaves, but also in the harvested grapes, pears and apples and the setting in which they are placed. Interestingly, whilst the grapes are perfect, the apples are depicted as pockmarked and past their prime. Whilst this offered a moral significance to his 19th century audience, with overtones of the apple picked by Eve, to a modern audience it speaks more of late harvests, and of the year drawing towards its end.

Whether you’re seeking to bring an evocation of your favourite season into your home, or searching for the ideal reflection of nature’s beauty, you will find an exceptional range of 19th and 20th century paintings for sale in our collection, alongside more recent works by upcoming artists of the 21st century. These pieces and more are permanently displayed and available to view during week days and by appointment – contact us for details.

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