I have just discovered a new (modern) school of painting that I really admire. I stumbled across it after touring a home for sale, whose previous owners had excellent taste in art. I wrote down a couple of artist's names and began looking them up. It's called the St. Ives School of Painting. I'm posting some samples of their work. Eric Ward, David Beer and Simon King are among the artists who I particularly like.
They offer courses year-round, such as Printing Without a Press, and Towards Abstraction:
St. Ives is considered by many to be the cradle of British abstract painting, and with so many contemporary galleries, including the Tate, close by, we have the ideal setting for this workshop. The first morning will be spent walking and gathering visual references to be used over the three days. Through practical exercises and with the help of the tutors, students will find their own path towards abstraction, a journey that will be placed in the context of the post-war St Ives modernist movement. All materials necessary to complete the course are provided.
Another reason why I need to go to England!
After doing a bit more research, it is no wonder that I love these painters! Here's a review in The Burlington Magazine about The Artists of St Ives. London, by Julian Spalding [The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 127, No. 985 (Apr., 1985), pp. 246-248]:
"The small Cornish fishing town of St Ives had proved so attractive to British artists during the last hundred years that it is difficult to think of many who did not spend some time working either in it or close by. Artists as diverse as Whistler and Alan Davie, Matthew Smith and Joe Tilson, were drawn to it, not to mention whole generations of academic painters who made a living there painting holiday scenes for city dwellers. Cheap accomodation, a warm climate and good light combined to make St Ives the ideal artists' resort and, during the war, the ideal artists' retreat. The question that these exhibitions and the recent spate of literature* raises is whether or not St Ives was more than an interesting sideshow in the history of British art, more than just a local peg on which to hang a battery of disparate talents."
* More reading:
A Sense of Place, A Sense of Light, Cornwall. Introduction by David Brown
Painting in the Warmth of the Sun: St Ives 1939-75. By Tom Cross
The St Ives Years--Essays on the Growth of an Artistic Phenomenon. By Peter Davies