American Art Collector - - Contents - Tessa Packard Show­room 15A Ives Street • Lon­don, UK SW3 2ND • +44 20 7589 5979 • www.tes­s­ PHOEBE DICKINSON

Travers­ing the Globe

Apor­trait by Phoebe Dickinson is one of 48 works cho­sen from 2,667 sub­mis­sions for the 2018 BP Por­trait Award at Lon­don’s Na­tional Por­trait Gallery. Her large triple por­trait of the Chol­monde­ley chil­dren in their an­ces­tral home, Houghton Hall, re­calls 19th-cen­tury por­traits but is very much of the 21st cen­tury. One of the twin boys stands bare­foot on a wooden bench while his brother sits on its arm as their sis­ter plays on the floor. Her com­po­si­tion and place­ment of the chil­dren in the vast space re­calls the com­po­si­tion of John Singer Sar­gent’s paint­ing at the Mu­seum of Fine Arts, Bos­ton, The Daugh­ters of Ed­ward Dar­ley Boit, 1882.

Known for her por­traits, her ex­hi­bi­tion of new work, Jour­ney Through Land­scape at the Tessa Packard Show­room in Chelsea, Lon­don, Novem­ber 12 through De­cem­ber 14, will fea­ture over 100 plein air paint­ings of her year­long jour­ney from Ice­land to South Africa.

Dickinson grew up around fine art and be­gan draw­ing as soon as she could hold a pen­cil. Her fa­ther is a noted art dealer with gal­leries in Lon­don and New York. She stud­ied at the Charles H. Ce­cil Stu­dios in Florence for over two years and later at the Laven­der Hill Stu­dios in Lon­don. She had wanted to re­ceive tra­di­tional aca­demic train­ing, but she has pur­sued her own method of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion to de­velop her dis­tinc­tive style.

Her trip around the world re­moved her from the con­fines of her stu­dio and al­lowed her to con­tinue to ex­plore the joys of ap­ply­ing paint in plein air.

The small, 9-by-13-inch panel, Bi­tou River from Emily Moon River Lodge, has a fresh­ness that re­calls John Henry Twacht­man (1853-1902) in this coun­try and her own fa­vorite, Wil­liam Ni­chol­son (1872-1949). A misty morn­ing in the wet­lands calls for a lim­ited pal­ette but just as there is more color that we see in na­ture ini­tially, a closer look at her paint­ing re­veals more.

The bright sun­light of south­ern Cal­i­for­nia an­i­mates Santa Mon­ica Beach, an­other small panel. Colors seem im­pos­si­bly in­tense and white im­pos­si­bly bright in the clear light.

As some­times hap­pens, paint­ings just don’t seem to be work­ing out. Work­ing on this paint­ing, she says, “I had a kind word from a passerby, which helped me to keep go­ing when I was about to pack it in.” It worked.


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