Tuesday 23rd October – 31st meeting of 2012

Today we were back in our old hunting ground – London. We meet at Charing Cross and went to St Martin’s Crypt for a coffee and chat which was indeed needed, as the weather today was miserable. Grey, cloudy and damp! As we left St Martin’s we noticed that the small shop was kited out for Christmas with fairy lights etc, so we couldn’t resist a look!

From here we walked to the Mall and the Galleries. Trafalgar Square and the whole area was very busy, still many tourists about. The Mall Galleries is a modern exhibition area of about five rooms.

We were interested in the annual exhibition of Royal Miniature Society (RMS).  This exhibition had around 700 works of miniature paintings with size limit of 6in by 4in.  The works were incredible and it was quite hard to imagine that someone had painstakingly painted them because they looked as if they had been photographed or printed.  Amazing work.  The subject matter was very diverse including landscape, still life, interior scenes, portraits, birds, flowers and animals.  The work was set out in cases, in groups for each artist.  They was a lady sitting at a table painting a miniature.  A watercolour of a landscape.  Her equipment as well as water-colour paint, brushes and paper included a mounted magnifying glass and a daylight table lamp.  We had a long chat with her about her technique, subject matter and her interest in miniature painting.  She kindly loaned us a small magnifying glass as she said you needed to view the exhibits with one to show the delicate brush strokes.  She was so right as we each used the spy glass we could see in great detail the beautiful work. My personal favourites were a set of five still life painting.  They all had black backgrounds and the subjects were glasses, decanters and strawberries in differing views.  They were absolutely superb!

There were also miniature sculptures and models on display.  There was a tiny miniature of a box of matches and cigarette papers.  Absolutely perfect but so small.  How anyone has the patience and talent to make such work is amazing. 

The exhibition was free and really worth a visit.  There were many greeting cards of some of the miniatures on sale. At the Galleries were was also an exhibition of marine art. On the way out we saw a shop but it really didn’t have much in it.  Mostly books and postcards and not very Christmasie!

We walked back to Charing Cross for our trains home.  The weather was still grey and damp although not cold.  A good day and we will hopefully visit the exhibition again next year as we all enjoyed it.