I spend so much of my time in the studio getting lost in my own work, that sometimes I just want to see what the rest of the world of art is doing. I subscribe to lots of art magazines, and try to visit museums whenever I can. This year, planning the workshop in Bath for September, I thought it might be interesting to see how other artists viewed this particular city.
When I was in the historic English city last autumn, I was entranced with the various galleries and studios. Bath is a city of artists. So I decided to visit the internet and see if I could find some other artistic interpretations of the city.
One of the most interesting places I came across was the Bath School of Art and Design. Located at the top of Sion Hill ion the outskirts of town, the school provides workshops and studios for many students.
In No. 4, The Circus, is the schools fashion center, which is very close to the incredible Fashion Museum. The school is an eclectic mix of new and old, “From age-old, artisan printing techniques to cutting edge 3D printing technology…” as their website states. Visiting artists have included Claus Oldenburg and Jim Dine. Fashion & Textiles, Ceramics, photography, graphic design…the list of BA and MA courses of study at the school is varied and interesting. I hope I have a chance to visit next time I return.
I also came across an artist, Thomas W. Schaller, who does hauntingly beautiful watercolors. This one of the Royal Crescent is just stunning. He has emphasized the dramatic dominance of this stately architecture above the park. It really is a gorgeous piece, and seems to capture both the rich architectural history of the city, as well as the ever changeable weather of England.
Of course, architecture would have to be an important theme in Bath art. Another example is Therese Lessore, who painted “Bath” in 1938-1943. The painting is part of the National Museums Liverpool collection, and can be seen at Walker Art Gallery.
Shane Feeney is an artist based in Bath. His style is colorful and dramatic, especially in his series on the Bath Abbey inspired by Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series..
The more I looked, the more I found interesting examples and interpretations of the city. It seems to inspire artists to work in many different styles. Just look at these two paintings. The Holburne and the bridge are literally a short walk from each other, and yet artistically they are worlds apart. It makes me want to return and see for myself.