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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Painting of the Month (24) December 2011: John Yardley

Savannah by John Yardley. Watercolour 20" by 14"
I don't know any other USA locations painted by John Yardley although there must be some. I don't think he would have travelled all the way from his home in Surrey, England just to paint this one but I chose it because it is typical of his work and makes an effective base for discussion.
John Yardley was born in Yorkshire, England in 1933 and happily is still painting. He retired from his job as a banker in 1961 to become a full-time painter. How wonderful is that?
Although primarily a watercolourist he does also paint in oils but I much prefer the former. The typical characteristics of his style shown in this painting are:
  • The clever way he illustrates sunlight. What does he do to achieve this? Nothing. He lets the white of the paper do the work for him!
  • The limited and subdued palette (that means the range of colour that he employs.)
  • There is usually, among the restrained colour, one or two splashes of brightness to draw the eye inward. In this picture the back of the red car on the right does this although there are better examples elsewhere.
  • He often manages to convey movement of people with a few deft brush strokes and obviously believes that 'less is more'. Look at the way he has conveyed the tree, centre-top of this painting, with a few strokes of paint.
If you would like to see more follow this link: John Yardley paintings Of course, double-clicking the above image will show a much better enlarged view.


John said...

Lovely painting bazza! Never heard of this chap before, which says a lot about my ignorance when it comes to art!

Rob said...

I see what you mean about less is more. Perhaps, having been a banker, he developed the habit of being economical with paint. It's certainly effective anyway.

Thanks for introducing me to this painter Bazza. I find his style of painting refreshing.

David said...

Once again, bazza, someone I had not heard of, but I quite like. I usually go for more "abstract" stuff (apart from the American artist, Edward Hopper, whom I absolutley love), but I think I could definitely live with a Yardley on my wall. I wonder how much they cost?
Very Best Wishes,

bazza said...

John: Your knowledge of painting is probably on par with my knowledge of British birds! That is to say getting better as time goes on, thanks to your blog.
Anyway, you only need to know what you like and I'm glad you like this.

bazza said...

Rob: 'Refreshing' is a fitting adjective for this picture. The analogy with economy is appealing too! I think that some things which, at first, seem very simple turn out to be very skilful indeed - as with some great music.

bazza said...

David: Funnily enough I have Edward Hopper's 'Chop Suey' lined up as a future Painting of the Month. His pictures tell wonderful stories, often of urban isolation.
John Yardley's style is of course totally different and that's one of the things I like about art appreciation.

dcrelief said...

This painting is right up my alley, so to speak; simply love it!!
Would love to find a lithograph of this one. Thanks Bazza, and a great assessment.
P.S. I'll put one of my paintings on my blog this month. I'm an acrylic follower, ha ha.

bazza said...

dcrelief: Hi. I think there are some UK websites which offer various copies of his work. I have heard that originals are not so expensive but I don't know for sure. If you follow the link at the bottom of my post you might find something.
Southern Lady, are you? I've wanted to go to Savannah since I read 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and it's the birthplace of the great songwriter Johnny Mercer, whose family feature in a minor way in the book.

Anonymous said...

Hot from the desk of Sir Tom Eagerly:
Well he didn't spend a lot of money on paint did he Bazza?
When are you going to get around to Rolf Harris in this series?
As was once said of Adolf Hitler:"Aah, he was a great painter. He could paint a whole house in half a day!"

bazza said...

Sir Tom: Less is more in this case Sir Tom.
Enough about Rolf already!

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza,
What a gorgeous description of Yardley and his work. I especially love how he achieves brilliant light.

bazza said...

Hello Snee: Me too! There's something about the transparency of watercolour paintings that I just love. Oil paintings have a totally different look.

Kelly said...

He did a lot with very few brush strokes. It's amazing what he could reveal with so little paint on the canvas.

Is there such a thing as a minimalist type painting? You could probably tell me.

bazza said...

Kezza: There is a school of minimalist painting but it usually has a lot less detail than this! Yardley's style might be fairly described as 'economic' but I think it convey's so much. It's always a consideration for painters to know when to stop; Yardley doesn't have that problem!