This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
With the present issue the magazine com-pletes its first volume, and the proprie-tor surely has reason to be satisfied with the wonderful progress it has made during these six months. It seems almost to have leaped, full fledged, into a position that was only waiting to be filled. To quote from a letter just received from a Cornish subscriber: "It supplies a much-needed want, both to art masters and students alike, as well as the outsider." By "outsider," evidently the amateur is meant, and my correspondent - who is an art master - goes on to intimate that rather top much consideration is shown for the amateur. But certainly, so far as Arts and Crafts is concerned, the amateur is not an "outsider." Without the amateur's support it would be impossible for.the magazine to reach the great circulation to which it is rapidly attaining, and without that circulation it assuredly could not be profitably conducted on its present liberal scale of expenditure. Therefore I would ask my correspondent to be reasonable, and accept my assurance that if less indulgence were shown to the requirements of the amateur, there would be less chance for the magazine to meet the requirements of the art master.
The result of Arts and Crafts first series of
Prize Competitions is as follows:
Water Colour Painting: (A Study of Pansies, Roses, or Nasturtiums in a Bowl). 'The First Prize (the "Arts and Crafts" Medal) is awarded to "Mollie" (Miss Mary Lilian Orr, Rowallan, Woodford Green, Essex), for a study of Roses. The ,second Prize (two guineas) is awarded to "Surdival" (Miss Hilda May Rooth, The Cliffe, Dronfield, near Sheffield), for a study of Roses. The Third Prize (one guinea) to " Aron " (Miss Nora Constantine, 15, Wilton Place, Halifax, Yorkshire), for a study of roses. Tivo Extra Prizes - the bound volume of "Arts and Crafts" - have been awarded to "Devonia" (J. L. Perkin, Endgate, Tiverton, Devon) and "Tom-o'-the-Fens" (Miss Florence Harrison, Lindum Road, Lincoln), for studies of nasturtiums. The contributions of the following are commended: - "Seacaucus" (Miss S. Cushman, Manchester), "Telwoh" (Miss Maude E. F. How-lett, Brentwood), "Hope" (Miss Josephine Baldwin, Winchester), "Miss Biffin" (Miss Mary Richardson, Newcastle, Staffs.), "Margarson" (Mrs. K. Bartle, High Wycombe), "Marman Cochet" (Miss Emiline Stokes, London), "Feeble" (Miss Agnes E. King, Lincoln), "Kismet" (Miss Ella Williamson, Paris), "Cecelia" (Miss Edith J. Wolfe, London).
Competition No. 2. - Pen and Ink Drawing: (Pansies, Roses, or Nasturtiums in a Bowl). The judges regret that they are only able to award the third prize. It goes to " Sheila" (Miss Mary Hayley Wakeley, Moore Street House, Rainham, Kent).
Competition No. 3. - Photographs of examples of wood-carving to be found. in churches in Great
Britain. The First Prizet (the " Arts and Crafts "
Silver Medal, is. awarded to "Albo" (Mr. A. J.
Loughton, Market Place, Southwell), for two very fine series of prints: (a) The oak pulpit in the nave of Southwell Minster, and (b) the oak rood-screen in Newark Parish Church, Notts. The Second Prise (Bronze Medal) is awarded to "Seagull" (William Rees Howell, 49, Court Road, Barry, Glamorgan), for his photographs of a carved lectern in the Parish Church of Methyr Dyfan. No other photographs sent in were deemed worthy of reward, except those by Mr. G. J. Kimber, of Southampton, but as he has ignored all the rules governing the Competition, it is impossible to award him a prize.
Competition No. 4. - Photographs of examples of wrought-iron work to be found in churches in Great Britain. The Second Prize (Bronze Medal) can only be awarded, none of the other contributions meriting an award. It is won by " Albo " (Mr. A. J. Loughton, Southwell), for an interesting set of prints illustrating the iron-work on the west door of Southwell Minster.
In regard to these results, it is to be remarked that flower painting in water colours has proved to be by far the most popular of our competitions, and it is curious to note that out of over a hundred competitors there are few males. It is a pity, though, that so many out of this number ignore the fundamental requirements for the proper treatment of Bowers in water colours, which, we need hardly say, are harmonious colouring, transparency of tones, and free, crisp handling. In most cases, infinite labour has been expended in producing "tight" and gritty-looking specimens of the seedsman's catalogue type, defective in drawing and frankly innocent of atmosphere. Yet, as the not inconsiderable number of selections marked for commendation indicate, there is promise of better things. I wish as much could be said for the pen drawings of flowers. A more deplorable lot it would be difficult to find. But what else can be expected, considering the wretched system of instruction - if it can be called a system - that, almost without exception, prevails throughout our art schools where pen drawing is supposed to be taught ? Virtually, no instruction is given worthy of the name. Unintelligent imitations of the decorative handling of a few acknowledged masters of the pen, who model their technique upon that of a mediaval school of wood-engravers upon whom were imposed the technical restrictions of their time, are seen on every hand at our exhibitions of student work. It is the art of the old chap-book. Most of the few English illustrators who at one time had a sound style of their own, one by one have abandoned it in favour of this prevalent cult of the jack-knife. The honest pen technique that came in with Fortuny and Vierge, the traditions of which are still preserved in France and, in some measure, in the United States, in England is almost as dead as wood-engraving itself. Little wonder, then, that in this competition for flower drawing the result is so disappointing.