CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8
You are going to read an article about various paintings. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once.
Of which painting is the following stated?
47 It is of something that no longer exists.
48 The artist points out that it is based on things actually observed, even though it
49 The artist specialises in things that most people regard as ugly.
50 A deduction that could be made about what is happening in this picture is not what artist is actually showing.
51 The artist took a risk while creating it.
52 The artist checks that nothing important is missing from preparatory work.
53 It was completely altered in order to produce various connections.
54 Its artist produces paintings in different locations.
55 In one way, it is unlike any other painting the artist has produced.
56 The artist likes to find by chance subjects that have certain characteristics.
A Carol Robertson – Interrupted
Field Carol Robertson’s Interrupted Field is a worthy winner, a more or less geometric composition that exploits the qualities of evenly-applied washes of colour. The painting is vast – ‘the largest I’ve ever attempted’- so the big, even area of blue in the centre is, apart from anything else, something of a technical achievement.
Robertson is keen to stress that her abstract compositions are firmly rooted in reality. Though she does not ‘seek to confirm or record the way the world looks’, her work is never disconnected from the natural world, so the coloured stripes and bands in this painting have a specific source. Over the past five years, Robertson has been working in Ireland, on the northwest coast of County Mayo. The coloured stripes stimulate ‘memories of coastal landscape, brightly painted cottages, harbours and fishing boats, things seen out of the corner of my eye as I explored that coastline by car and on foot. The colour mirrors the fragments of life that caught my eye against a background of sea and sky.’
В Geoffrey Wynne – Quayside
Geoffrey Wynne describes himself as ‘an open-air impressionist watercolour painter’, though he adds that ‘larger works’, this prize-winning picture among them, ‘are developed in the studio’.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this painting is the sheer number of people in it. According to the title, they are on a quay somewhere, and the number of suitcases they have with them suggests they have just landed from a boat on the first stage of a holiday. ‘Yes, that’s almost right,’ Wynne told me, ‘except that we’re on the boat in the early morning, just arrived back from Mallorca, and the people are waiting to get on. This painting took a long time to finish, and many earlier attempts were abandoned. To achieve a unity, I immersed the half-finished painting in the bath, then added the black with a big brush. It’s dangerous to do, because you can’t really control the effects. Then I reworked everything, establishing links with colour and tone throughout the composition, creating a kind of web or net of similar effects.’
C Arthur Lockwood – Carbonizer Tower
Arthur Lockwood has a big reputation among watercolour painters and watercolour enthusiasts, chiefly for his accomplished pictures of industrial sites, subjects that are generally thought to be unsightly, but have striking visual qualities all their own. Among them is a kind of romanticism stimulated by indications of decay and the passing of irrecoverable time. Lockwood’s subjects are, after all, ruins, the modern equivalent of Gothic churches overgrown by ivy. He aims not only to reveal those qualities, but to make a visual record of places that are last being destroyed.
This painting, a good example of his work in general, is one of an extensive series on the same subject. What we see is part of a large industrial plant that once made smokeless coal briquettes. It has now been closed and demolished to make way for a business park.
D Michael Smee – Respite at The Royal Oak
Michael Smee was once a successful stage and television designer. This is worth stressing, because this prize-winning painting makes a strong theatrical impression. Smee agrees, and thinks it has much to do with the carefully judged lighting. ‘As a theatre designer, you make the set, which comes to life only when its lit’.
Smee prefers to happen on pubs and cafes that are intriguing visually and look as though they might be under threat, lie has a strong desire to record ‘not only the disappearing pub culture peculiar to this country, but also bespoke bar interiors and the individuals therein’, He works his paintings up from informative sketches. ‘I get there early, before many people have arrived, sit in the corner and scribble away. Then, once the painting is in progress in the studio, I make a return visit to reassure myself and to note down what I’d previously overlooked.’ His main aim isn’t topographical accuracy, however; it’s to capture the appearance of artificial and natural light together, as well as the reflections they make.