Where to begin..... with two artist genii

Now you're not suppose to start a blog post with 'I'm so sorry I haven't blogged but blah, blah, blah' but  I've not had a chance to write up post from the last few weeks so this is just a quick blanket apologies for the forthcoming posts over the next week or so while I hopefully catch up. Enjoy the ride, I'm hoping it won't be too bumpy.....
If you're a regular reader you know that I'm fond of paper cutting. And here is the god for all paper cutter's, Rob Ryan. He had an exhibition of his incredible work at the Reed Sims Gallery near Piccadilly and I was lucky enough to be visiting while he was doing a book signing. I must admit, however, I didn't queue up to meet him. OH used to know him many years ago apparently... he also knows Kim Deal from the Pixies, he seems to know all of my heroes....
But I digress. Rob's work is incredible. I first saw it on a greeting card whilst up on the Isle of Skye and instantly fell in love. His work combines magical words as well as intricate paper cutting. As I was in a commercial gallery I didn't feel comfortable taking photos of the work in the gallery so here is one from the outside looking in. You can just about see the huge queue of people lining up to meet him. When I came out a passing tourist asked what on earth was going on.
They're not the best photos I know but they give you an idea of what Rob's work is all about. There was some outrage by some face book followers that Rob has assistants who help him cut out his artwork. But he's never made a secret about them, and the volume and size of his work, plus the numerous collaborations he worked on it would simply be impossible for him  to do it all by himself. And he's not the first artist to have help. Chihuly, the glass artist and Mr Brainwash (urban art) certainly employ assistants, and I'm sure Michelangelo didn't paint the whole of the Sistine Chapel himself (though don't quote me on that as I'm not 100% certain of that fact!)

The exhibition was mind blowing. And so inspirational. Have an idea for Christmas cards so watch this space.... 
 The following day OH and I went to the Courtauld Gallery to see the drawings for the Young Durer and wow! Were they incredible. These were produced in late 1490s, early 1500.

 Here you can see that he has used the same piece of paper for several test sketches. The detail was so delicate. And they were so clear.
 The last time I went to the Courtauld I was at College, nearly 20 years ago! And oh how I'd forgotten the Impressionists treasures there were. Above one of my favourite artists - Degas (I know a little chocolate box but I can't help myself).
And this room was one of my favourites, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Monet. There was also Gaugin, Van Gogh and Seurat to name a few. The Courtauld is a little treasure trove of art work and a bargain for £6, including the Durer exhibition.
So there we have it. 2 genii in a weekend who lived over 500 years apart. And this weekend of culture so nurtured the soul. If you have a chance do go and check both of these exhibitions out.

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