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Friday, 8 April 2016

April Evening meeting featured a talk by Charles MacCarthy, our President

Last night our President, Charles MacCarthy, gave an absolutely fascinating talk about his family and French ancestors, all of whom have been, and still are, artists, sculptors or musicians.  He started with his Great, Great Grandfather, Victor Geoffrey-Dechaume, who was in charge of the sculptors renovating the Notre Dame in the mid 1800’s (see previous post, showing the apostles he created for the spire), and continued to his Grandfather who came to England from France and worked as portrait painter (mostly of children) for society, creating 900 portraits in the space of 3 years!  At the outset of the First World War he returned to fight for France and suffered a wound which resulted in him losing his leg but even whist waiting for a stretcher bearer he was drawing the scenes around him.  After recovering his health back in England he returned again to the front, this time as a war artist for the British Government.  All of his 10 children became artists or musicians and this continues to the present day.  All of Charles's extensive family (42 first cousins!) are blessed with the gift of art. 

Charles had slides to illustrate his talk throughout and he continued, after the break, to show us some of his own elegant work.  With muted tones, his work has been likened to Giorgio Morandi.  It portrays a peaceful simplicity that clearly has a great deal of thought and hard work behind it.  He uses a limited palette of:- Ultramarine; Raw Umber; Burnt Umber Yellow Ochre; Burnt Sienna; Indian Red; Lemon Yellow; plus Titanium White and Ivory Black.  All Michael Harding oil paints.   

My personal favourite, a huge piece “The Last Supper”  see below;   there is also just a very small selection of the beautiful work he showed us.  We really were spoilt for choice when it came to selecting which to photograph.  

Do scroll right down to the bottom where there is also a photograph of this months “Monthly Draw” entries.  If you would like to join in this bit of fun, next months subject, drawn out of the hat, was “Musical Conductor” .  Any medium, any interpretation, all are welcome. 

A plaster cast created by Victor Geoffrey-Dechaume

Charles's Grandfather (back row right), his Grandmother, seated with infant, and 10 children

Charles's sister's beautiful ceramics

Charles's son's work

a selection of Charles's work, including "The Last Supper" immediately above

This months "Monthly Draw" entries

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