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Run softly idle brook, 30x40cm   One of my paintings being shown at Colour & Light this month.

What a relief we are now enjoying some warm weather!  I have been very busy in the past few weeks organising Colour & Light which opens today. It is a showcase of female artists who’s work is known for their intense colourist response to the world around them. The exhibition is up for the month of June and anyone can go into Cannizaro House in Wimbledon to have a look. I look forward to seeing those of you coming to the Private View tonight. (If anyone else would like to join last minute, let me know
There are plenty of other arty distractions opening in London this month too, a few suggestions below.Saint Francis of Assisi has long been my #1 saint. His love of animals, his kindness and those stigmata are reason enough but I was awestruck by the stunning basilica in Assisi which I was lucky enough to visit on a school trip pre-earthquake in 1994. This show at the National Gallery presents imagery of St.F as interpreted by a myriad of artists from a monks manuscript painted circa 1240 to a recent Gormly sculpture. Included also are big treats like this Caravaggio where Francis is receiving his stigmata in the arms of an angel. Beautiful and moving. National Gallery until 30 July free 

Luxury and Power – Persia to Greece is a look at how treasures and luxury were used as political tools in ancient Southern Europe and Middle East. There were centuries of disagreements between the Greeks and the Persians and the former generally maintained that the latter were obsessed by wanton luxury. The Greeks eventually became enchanted by all that glistens, however, and lots of those treasures are on display here. Glitzy. British Museum until 13Aug
The National Portrait Gallery opens again after a 3yr refurbishment on 22nd June. Personally I’m not sure it really needed a new entrance. I’d rather £41m was spent on some amazing art than a new front door and ‘learning centre’. However I’ve booked my spot for the opening day and prepare to be wowed. I also look forward to seeing some old faves again. National Portrait Gallery from 22June
Sunshine on Saunton, 30x27cm oil on linen canvas
Another painting that will be included in Colour & Light this month.

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May Arts Newsletter

David Crossman 1942-2023
My darling Dad sadly died in early April so I have been involved in family business rather than art business over the past month. I painted this portrait of him for his 80th birthday last Summer. He is sitting at the kitchen table, looking out to the garden with the crossword and setting the world to rights. This is how I shall remember him.
After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art is the big new show at the National Gallery explaining how the art world exploded from Paris across Europe between 1886 and WW1. I saw this on my only afternoon for exhibitions in the past month; I was looking for something nourishing and inspiring and this ticked both of those boxes. Definitely go. National Gallery until 13 Aug

Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian is the new Tate blockbuster which brings together two artists who are quite different. They never met, but were both theosophists and followers of Madame Blavatsky, a highly fraudulent yet very influential spiritualist. As far as I’m aware, there weren’t hallucinogenics involved but the results are somewhat trippy. And rather beautiful. A new take on Mondrian, that’s for sure. Tate Modern until 3 Sep

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense is a mixture of recent works and commissioned pieces. As one of the most important artists working today, Ai Weiwei is known for his powerful art and activism against the Chinese government. His work crosses disciplines; design, film, curation and architecture. As we’re in the Design Museum, most work here is design-led. The biggest being the 15ft lego interpretation of Monet’s waterlilies with its ‘dark portal’ representing the dugout the artist hid in with his exiled father in the 1960s. Powerful stuff. Design Museum until 30 July

I am organising this exhibition which opens next month at Cannizaro House, it is a lovely space and we are really excited about putting this on. If you would like an invitation to the private view, let me know

Wimbledon Blossoms 33x55cm unframedWith the time I did manage to be in the studio in the past few weeks I managed the therapeutic painting of these blossom oil sketches. It is something of an annual ritual for me; surreptitiously snipping a couple of small branches off (pavement) blossom filled trees to paint and herald the start of Spring. 
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April Arts Newsletter

Looking out to Lundy, 60x80cm oil on canvas
This will be going into a joint exhibition that I’m organising in early Summer, more information to come in due course…It’s April, the clocks have changed and apparently the sun might even come out in the next few days, there is much to look forward to. There are lots of exhibitions opening too, a few suggestions from me below.
Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney. As a painter and lover of dogs I will definitely catch this exhibition at the Wallace Collection. The show reflects on our changing relationship and understanding of animals across the ages. There are over 50 different depictions of dogs, mostly paintings – starting from around 1700. This will be popular so I would book. Woof. Wallace Collection until 15 October

Rather outrageously Gilbert and George are opening the Gilbert and George Centre this month where you can see their art, watch their films and learn more about them. They have always slightly reminded me of Mr Wint and Mr Kidd in Diamonds are Forever: the most sinister Bond baddies ever. In a good way, obviously. Gilbert and George Centre, free

Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism is a long overdue exhibition of this influential painter (the last was in 1950). As a founding member of the Impressionists, Morisot’s paintings centre on everyday scenes. Fresh research makes new comparisons in her early vs late work and paintings of women’s private spaces. Fascinating. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 10 Sept

If you’d like a bit of culture-bonding with your teen, Beyond the Streets at the Saatchi gallery could be the answer for you this Easter break. The most comprehensive exhibition on graffiti ever to take place in the UK, it encompasses work from 150 artists across 60 years and multiple cities. It’s sensory over-load and also really quite expensive (£25 per adult). If you prefer your graffiti ‘en plein air’ hike around some of London’s best street art spots instead. Saatchi Gallery until 9 May.

Lots of challenging fun was had last week at my Wallace Collection Sketching Tour. If you go and see the dogs exhibition, make sure you have time to look around the rest of the museum too. Such a fantastic collection and not too big, just lovely.
If you are interested in joining one of my future sketching tour/ workshop days then keep an eye on my Instagram account @katharine_rowe. I announce them there first.
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March Arts Newsletter

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Silver birch woods, 108x60cm framed. A recent commission completed and about to travel up to Cumbria to its new home.I am excited to announce that I will be exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair this month with Artfully Sorted on stand B3. It runs 9-12 March in Battersea Park and I have some 2 for 1 tickets available here. With thousands of artworks being exhibited, lates with DJs and weekend family hour it is always good fun and worth exploring. You might find that piece you’ve been searching for…Spain and the Hispanic World is the Royal Academy’s big exhibition for the start of 2023 and is the collection of the Manhattan Hispanic Society Museum & Library on loan whilst renovations are going on. This collection is rarely seen by anyone outside of the society and has some real treasures, including masterpieces by Goya, El Greco and Valazquez. As well as paintings there are maps, jewellery, sculptures and manuscripts all amassed by Archer Huntington, a rail-road heir, in early 20th century New York. Glamour. Royal Academy until 10April
I am not sure whether I want to go to David Hockney’s Bigger and Closer (not smaller and further away). It is his new immersive 50 min light show ‘Best of Hockney’ which takes inspiration from the commercial (read tacky) immersive shows of Van Gogh/ Klimt/ Kahlo. Admittedly all those artists are long gone and Hockney has actually been involved in creating this experience. Some of his work, like the fantastic polaroid series of the 1980s work really well blown up but I’m less enthusiastic about his ipad works which do make up a lot of this event. Tickets average £30 too, hmmm. Lightroom until 4th June The Peter Doig show at the Courtauld is a collection of new and recent works from the painter who moved to London from Trinidad two years ago. Doig’s paintings are deeply influenced by the work of Post-Impressionists like Gauguin and Van Gogh (also found at the Courtauld) and in turn, Doig’s work is hugely influential among today’s painters with his misty mysterious tones and saturated colours. This will be a great show and if you haven’t already seen the revamped Courtauld, now is your time. Courtauld Gallery until 29 MayBarbara Hepworth: Art & Life spans five decades of the sculptor’s career and includes sculptures, paintings, drawings prints and designs. I defy anyone not to love her work. Also fantastic, a few minutes walk from Tate St. Ives is her former residence. If you are in Cornwall over the Easter holidays (or indeed, live there) then indulge in a Hepworth-day. Bliss.  Tate St.Ives until 1 May
Magnolia 30x40cm oil on canvas. It’s still cold but the magnolias are coming into flower on streets near us, a sign of hope for Spring.We had an impromptu and quite arty trip to Rome over half term. What an inspiring city, filled to bursting with history, art, architecture and an amazing art shop. Food’s not bad either. 
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February Arts Newsletter

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Work produced in the life studio at Putney over the past few weeks. A mixture of charcoal, pastel and oils were used. I treat it as my weekly workout; always challenging, mostly rewarding, sometimes frustrating!I have been busy in my studio recently with teaching as well as commissions and preparing work for the Affordable Art Fair  (more info and  tickets next month). Yesterday I ran an adults Winter Painting Workshop in my kitchen which was really fun and some lovely work was produced. There are a couple of spots left on my Sketching Tour of the V&A on Thurs 23rd Feb, email if you’d like to join.
As promised in January, this month I am recommending unusual arty museums outside London to put on your wish list for 2023. Happy travel planning!Top unusual UK museums
The Derwent Pencil Museum
 is in Keswick, where the world’s first lead pencil was made in 1564 after the discovery of a graphite mine in the Borrowdale Valley. Pencil making has been a thriving industry in Keswick since the 1800s and as well as history, this museum offers workshops and a great arty shop.  I think this sounds like heaven, if you’re visiting the Lake District this year put it on your list. Ideal for the rainy day of your holiday…Derwent Pencil Museum, CA12 5NG
Watts Gallery – Artists village near Guildford was founded in 1904 to celebrate the work of English Victorian Symbolist painter, George Frederick Watts. It remains the only purpose built gallery dedicated to a single artist in the country and after expansion and restoration it reopened in 2011. The Watts’ house and studio of Mary Watts also makes up the complex and there are plenty of temporary exhibitions and workshops to entice. Currently showing is Faces of Fame, a photography exhibition.
Watts Gallery, Surrey GU3 1DUThe flea collection at the Natural History Museum in Tring is unusual to say the least. Over 260,000 species of Siphonaptera (fleas) were donated to the museum in 1913 by Charles Rothschild. The highlight of the collection is a group of fleas dressed up as Mexican dancers which you need to look through a microscope to see properly. The museum also houses one of the largest collections of taxidermy in the world, also donated by the Rothschilds (the family that likes to stuff…) Natural History Museum, Tring HP23 6APThe Shoe Gallery in Northampton Museum pays homage to the town’s long history of shoe-making. As Britain’s shoe-making capital in the 15th century, the town’s industry peaked in the mid 1840s when there were over 1,800 shoemakers operating. This museum charts the history of shoes from 5,300 BC to the present day and looks why we wear the shoes they do and what it says about us. 
The Shoe Gallery, Northampton NN1 1DPWinter Painting Workshop yesterday
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October Arts Newsletter

October Arts Newsletter

View this email in your browserGlide gently, thus forever glide, oil on canvas 63x73cm framed
Thank you to those who came to the Artists’ Open House trail a couple of weekends ago. The event was a success and we had lots of artists exhibiting including some who hadn’t shown in public before but loved the experience.  Katie and I at Common Works were very pleased with the outcome and are starting to think about our next arts event project. If anyone has any relevant projects they would like to discuss, please let us know.

It’s Autumn exhibition blockbuster time, a few recommendations below.
Cezanne at Tate Modern has been trailed as a ‘once in a generation’ show with over 80 paintings and drawings, 22 of which have never been seen in the UK before. As we are so familiar with Cezanne’s work it is difficult to remember quite how revolutionary his painting once was. This exhibition centres on his struggles as a young painter between trying to make it as an artist whilst also breaking the rules and inventing his own visual language. Not to be missed! Tate Modern 4Oct-12Mar
Lucien Freud: New Perspectives has over 60 paintings of powerful public figures and intimate portraits. The aim of the show is to ignore his notoriety and fame (surely a large contributor to his success?!) and dive into his obsession with paint. I go through varying stages of admiration of Freud’s work (why always so much white paint, Lucien?) but ultimately love his brushwork so will be racing to see this.
National Gallery until 22JanHallyu! The Korean Wave is a gleeful celebration of all things Korean from fine art to grand guignol to Gnangam style. Fashion plays a big part in this show too and is a good example of the whole sentiment of the exhibition with many pieces feeling both ancient and futuristic.  This is an upbeat, optimistic and fun show that is perfect for a half term visit with the kids. Who doesn’t hanker after a bit of optimism right now? V&A until June23The Lost King, Imagining Richard III works with the career reboot that Richard III has had over the last decade since the discovery of his skeleton in a Leicester car park (did you see that amazing documentary?). This exhibition is a tie-in with the Steve Coogan film, of the same name, being released this month. The Delaroche masterpiece ‘Edward V and The Duke of York’ is the main artwork on display here with artefacts and armour from the medieval period to look at too. Villain or vilified? You decide. Wallace Collection until 8Jan (free).William Kentridge is South Africa’s most influential contemporary artist and has his first major retrospective at the Royal Academy this Autumn. Born in Johannesburg in 1955, his work is mostly centered on the years before and after aparthied but also looks at global politics, in particular the Chinese Cultural Revolution. His best known works are beautiful, gestural drawings in black charcoal and ink which are turned into animations by filming and erasing/ adding items between takes. This is seriously beautiful political art.  Royal Academy until 11Dec
It has been lovely to get back into the life-drawing studio on Fridays after the Summer break. Both of these sketches are of Phil, a seasoned model who comes up with some very uncomfortable looking poses!
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September Arts Newsletter

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Calling all those living in or near SW London! Katie (my Common Works co-pilot) and I have been setting up and planning this year’s Artist’s Open House which is taking place on 17/18 September. See the map here
I am venue 4, at 6 Dora Road, SW19 7HH. Laura Crossman is also exhibiting at my house with her stunning botanical paintings and prints.

As part of it, I will be running a free intuitive drawing workshop on Sunday 18th at 2pm. Let me know if you would like to book a space.

Other exhibitions to see this monthWinslow Homer: Force of Nature is the first big survey of Homer’s work to be shown in the UK. Winslow Homer, an American ‘realist’ painter, confronted leading issues of the late 19th century like the American civil war, abolition of slavery and the US’s relationship with Europe and the Caribbean. Organised with the Met, in NYC, there are over 50 paintings on display. If you have any interest in American history, do not miss this. National Gallery 10Sept – 8Jan23

Japan: Courts and Culture is a collection of all the presents the Japanese royal family has given successive British monarchs. It also explores the relationship between the two countries, particularly as Japan’s contact with the outside world was essentially prohibited for 200 years. From around 1850 British royals started to visit Japan and from then there was a to and fro of visits and gifts. It does make me wonder how many rooms of ‘gifts’ there are in Buckingham Palace. I hope, for their sake, they never need to move house. Queen’s Gallery until Mar 23

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes. Not strictly art but fellow map-heads will appreciate the beauty of the 19th century maps in this exhibition. Following the story of the postcode from its birth in 1959 with wartime tech pioneers to Poco the Elephant, the show looks at social history and what your postcode says about you. More interesting than you’d imagine. The Postal Museum until 1Jan23
Congratulations to the Horniman Museum who is this years ArtFund’s Museum of the Year. Located in Forest Hill, in SE London, the Horniman combines environment, ecology and human culture and really is embedded in local life. The museum has also been in the press recently for agreeing to return the ‘Benin Bronzes’, a group of stunning sculptures stolen from Nigeria over 100 years ago. I think the Elgin Marbles will be following suit in the next few years…
The Rowe holiday this year was a California Road trip which was pretty mind-blowing. Here are a few of my sketches made along the journey in Yosemite, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

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August Arts Newsletter

Dad, 35x45cm oil on canvas
My father, David, was 80 a couple of weeks ago and I painted this portrait of him from his point of command at the kitchen table doing the crossword.

I hope the Summer is treating you well . If you are feeling the heat and need somewhere to cool down may I suggest a wander round some of our fabulous museums, many of which are air-conditioned. The Tate was deliciously cool last week and there are plenty of absorbing exhibitions on across London. Some suggestions below. Thank you to those who went to see my work at Henley Regatta last month. I am delighted to say that I sold all but one of my works.New exhibitions this month
Milton Avery 
(1885-1965) was a titan of American painting and often thought to be the first Abstract Expressionist. This is the first full scale retrospective of his work in this country. A true colourist and leaning towards the abstract, Avery pared down landscapes and figured scenes to their most basic elements. His influence can be seen clearly in the work of his admirers Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and beyond. If you are at all interested in Amercian 20th century art then get yourself to the RA. Royal Academy until 16 Oct
Small is Beautiful has been hugely popular with everyone I know who has been to see it. A great show to take the kids to over the holidays. Over 140 artworks created by 34 artists, some require magnifying glasses and all require oohs and aaahs at their sheer inventiveness. Miniature Art Exhibition, South Kensington until 4 Sept.Superheroes, Orphans and Origins: 125 years in comics is a fascinating look at the number of fictional superheroes and characters that lost their parents at a young age. Superman, Spiderman, Batman and Black Panther are just a few of the back stories explored here. Fittingly it is at the Foundling Museum, founded in 1739 as a shelter for abandoned children. The exhibition was born out of the poem ‘Superman was a Foundling’ commissioned by the museum from Lemn Sissay, a poet who grew up in care himself. The artwork will appeal to any cartoon fan, made all the more interesting with this angle. Foundling Museum until 28 AugThere has been a huge explosion of ‘immersive art’ in London and other big cities across the world in recent years. Van Gogh, Klimt and Kahlo are currently running in London. The question is, why would you spend £20 a head to go to one of these (they all cost this much) when most of our fantastic museums and galleries are free?
I think there needs to be a distinction between contemporary art created to be immersive and old masters blown-up so you can walk over and in it. Both appeal to the selfie generation but good immersive art (see Future Shock, reviewed last month) has integrity and meaning whilst I was simply left feeling nauseous after the Van Gogh ‘experience’ last Summer.  I understand the argument that they are trying to appeal to new audiences who in turn will visit the struggling museums but I worry that those audiences are only going to be disappointed by a painting on a wall. My advice is to save the £20 and go to one of our museums to marvel at the real thing instead.
A few examples of my life drawing this term. All A2 size using charcoal and pastels on paper. I have only started using pastels in the past 18 months. I had previously written them off as uncontrollable but I think I’m beginning to enjoy that lack of control!

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July Arts Newsletter

Navigating the backwaters, 46x36cm, oil on canvasThis is one of my pieces currently showing at Henley Regatta in the Stewards enclosure gallery. I was delighted to be invited to exhibit again this year, all paintings need to be rowing/river related which suits me fine. If you are going please take a break from the rowing (or bar!) and pop in to have a look. Stewards Enclosure
To all local artist friends on this mailing list, please note the call below for the Merton Arts Festival Open House trail which I’m organising for September. See for more details. Common Works Gallery is a community interest company I have set up with Katie Preston bringing arts projects to the local community. The term ‘Common Works’ takes inspiration from William Morris who’s workshops in Merton Abby Mills were set up with the belief in the benefits of coming together to create and learn new skills. After Art in the Park Festival last year, this year we are reviving the Merton Arts Festival open studio arts trail. You’ll hear more in due course!Exhibitions opening in London this monthPicasso Ingres: Face to Face is an opportunity to see these two paintings together for the first time. Picasso first encountered Ingre’s ‘Madame Moistessier’ in Paris in 1921 and it struck him deeply. He painted the portrait of his young mistress Marie Therese in 1932.  Both paintings are stunning and both have fascinating stories behind them. Stop in to see this tiny exhibition if you are passing. National Gallery  room 46 until 9 Oct
Africa Fashion is a huge exhibition that has been 2 years in development and celebrates the originality of African designers in the wake of the continent’s liberation through to the present day. The show looks at the effect this cultural renaissance is having on global fashions. The V&A fashion exhibitions are always a treat, I look forward to this one. V&A until 16Apr23Would you like to some bonding with your teen? Then take them to Future Shock at 180 The Strand, an immersive show of light installations that leave you feeling  bowled over. The gallery has established itself as the master of cavernous installations and the mind-bending artists here are no different. It will keep the teen’s instagram fed for weeks. Until 28 Aug, 180 The StrandFor something a bit more wholesome, go and see The Secret Garden exhibition. It celebrates Frances Hodgson Burnett’s wonderful classic with games, trails and illustrations from the book. It was one of my favourite novels as a child (and when I re-read to my children) so I will take them to this! Also, the lovely Garden Museum is a must for any keen gardeners. The Garden Museum 6 July until 4 Sep
www.commonworksgallery.orgMeet you in the Bridge Bar, 66x46cm, oil on canvas
Another of my paintings showing at Henley regatta this week
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June Arts Newsletter

View this email in your browserThank you to everyone who came to Fresh Air  the show I had with Emily Harris a few weeks ago. We so enjoyed putting together the exhibition and were overwhelmed by such a positive reaction. AdLib gallery continues to show some items of work so do pop in if you are passing through Wimbledon Village.

I hope you enjoy the long Jubilee weekend, I am busy with a street party in our road. There are also lots of fantastic exhibitions recently opened in London, some suggestions below.
The blockbuster exhibition of the moment has to be Raphael. It is the first ever show of his full career outside Italy and covers paint, chalk, print, wool, bronze and ink. He achieved so much so early, painting St.Sebastian like this by 19 (left), he was one of the most sought after Italian Renaissance artists by his late 20s and had altered the course of Italian art by his death at 37. Phew. This show has 89 works from collections around the world and finishes with a room of portraits painted out of love and friendship rather than commission. A very special show. National Gallery until 31 July
Was Walter Sickert Jack the Ripper? This exhibition seems to throw up more questions than answers but it seems that if he wasn’t, then he fantasised that he was. Sickert’s grimly realist paintings portray Victorian urban life and his work conjures up dank rented rooms and gaslit pubs. He is not afraid to add drama to his paintings which then suggests his penchant for theatre may have led him to falsly confess to the police that he was the mass murderer Jack the Ripper. Or was he telling the truth? Either way he was a cracking painter.  Tate Britain until 18 SeptWhilst you’re at Tate Britain seeing the Sickert, it would also be worth seeing the Cornelia Parker show. Parker’s work is immediately engaging and her visual puns will stay with you. The iconic exploding shed is here, mid-boom. Also here, is ink made from pornography confiscated by UK customs, a sculpture made from a gun used in a violent crime and an room covered in off-cuts from Rememberence Day poppies. What Parker does is invite contemplation to by repurposing key objects from current life, sometimes in a jokey way and sometimes serious. Tate Britain until 16 OctoberDo you like aliens? If so, or are looking for something unusual and child/teen engaging, I would recommend Alienarium 5. This installation from Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster is designed as a welcoming meeting place between humans and aliens. Crazy no? There are even aliens there. There is also a tribute to the sci-fi genre in a huge mural featuring well-known figures, satellites and spaceships.  The aim is to make you imagine a new type of future, one that hasn’t been invented yet. Fun and optimistic. Serpentine Gallery until 4 Sep  
Roses from the garden, 27x32cm oil on canvasI was suffering a bit of Chelsea Flower fomo last week as I hadn’t booked tickets this year, so painted some roses from my garden to get my fix.Get in touch