Under the Direction of Mr. Stanhope Forbes, R.a., and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes
By Gladys Beattie Crozier
In 1898 Mr. Stanhope Forbes, R.a., and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes established the school of art which has since become so famous at Newlyn, the most picturesque of all the many charming fishing villages along the Garnish coast, which has been the birth-place of endless masterpieces exhibited at the Royal Academy during the. last decade. Indeed, Newlyn scenery'and Newlyn fisher-ioik have become almost as familiar to Ioondoners as the streets and types of the metropolis!
Work at the Newlyn School falls into two parts; first, that carried on in the studios under the personal supervision of Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes, and secondly, that which the students themselves do out of doors in preparation for the Saturday morning "crits."
These criticisms are a special feature at the Newlyn School. All the work done out ofdoorsduring the w e e k i s then pinned up round the studio and criticised by Mr. and Mrs. S 1 a n h n p c Fonbes.
Although there is no entrance examination the Newlyn School of Painting is not intended for elementary instruction, and students desirous of working there must first submit examples of their work in order to show that it possesses a degree of proficiency sufficient to qualify them for admission to the school.
Absence of drudgery is a conspicuous feature in the course of instruction, and work is made as varied and interesting as is possible. Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes encourage the new-comer to draw from living models almost at the outset, but such work is of necessity supplemented with steady and regular study in the cast and still-life room.
The course of study in the studios consists mainly of drawing and painting from the life. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the students work from 9.30 to 12.30, and again from 2 to 5, from models posed in the studios. On the three alternate days they are expected to work indoors during the morning only, and during the afternoon they are free to work out of doors.
The students ai work in the Newlyn Art School
These fees include the use ot studio, models, and easels; but students are required to provide their own painting materials, and these easily can be obtained, since an artists' caterer from St. Ives visits the studios for this purpose once a week.
The Newlyn School, which bears the appropriate name " The Meadow Studios," is charmingly situated high up on the side of a hill, and is surrounded by a garden, half wild and wonderfully picturesque, overlooking Newlyn Harbour and a glorious expanse of Mounts Bay, which stretches far out into the distance.
The largest studio is a long, wide room which is divided into two quite separate parts, each of which contains a model - usually a charming village maiden, or a stalwart fisherman, clay pipe in hand, and with a net or lobster-pots at his knee. These models remain for a week, and the students work from them on alternate days. Thus, during the week, they are able to complete two studies, and stand no chance of becoming "stale," as Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes maintain one is very liable to do it forced to work continuously for a week from the same model.
Mr. Stanhope Forbes criticising the work of the students
In another studio are models posing for the life class. These also, are changed weekly, and for this class the services of professional London models are secured.
A third studio is allotted to students who are making still-life studies or who are working from the cast. Mrs. Stanhope Forbes, who is a great lover of the work of the Italian sculptors of the fifteenth century, has fitted this room with some fine reproductions of their smaller work. These reproductions, on account of their naturalness, individuality, and character, Mrs. Stanhope Forbes considers to be adapted admirably to the requirements of beginners who are anxious to draw from the live model and who previously have been accustomed only to draw from heads of the classical sculptures.
Mrs. Stanhope Forbes posing the model
While both Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes give every encouragement to the expression of originality and individuality in the student's own private work, they believe most profoundly in laying a foundation of thoroughly sound, straightforward draughtsmanship during the hours spent in working from the model in class.
Mrs. Stanhope Forbes invariably urges students to make a complete drawing of a subject in charcoal before proceeding to fix and paint it, and she discourages them from beginning to paint a picture until they find it to be impossible to add anything more to it in back and white.
The methods adopted at the school are more than justified by the results, and this year several of the students had the satisfaction of seeing their pictures hung in good places on the walls of the Royal Academy. Life at Newlyn
The Newlyn School is not a large one. On the average the students number about thirty, and of these, as is the case in most art schools, about two-thirds of the students are women. The smallness of the number makes it possible for hard-and-fast rules about work to be avoided, and enables Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope Forbes to study the individual characteristics of their pupils.
Life at Newlyn affords the students an infinite variety of recreation. In the summer bathing, sailing, fishing, tennis, croquet, and cycling are freely indulged in, and the winter evenings are enlivened by many an impromptu concert or dance.
Board and lodging are cheap at Newlyn. Girl students usually take rooms in the village in cottages which have been approved of by Mrs. Stanhope Forbes. A bedroom and sitting-room can be obtained for from 9s. to £1 a week, according to size and situation; and for 9s. or 10s. the student can fare sumptuously on wholesome Cornish fare. Thus, £1 is. or 25s. a week can easily be made to cover all expenses.
Many of the rooms available in the village have been papered and painted most artistically by former students. The new-comer, therefore, at a very small expense, can soon convert them into charming little abodes.
"The Sketcher's Paradise"
Newlyn, moreover, has been justly called "The Sketcher's Paradise." Fishermen, huge and picturesque, clad in oilskins and sou'-westers, meet one at every turn, and the women, attired in colours which have been faded by the sea air and sun to the most delightful hues, make quite ideal models.
Those desirous of studying marine subjects will find in Newlyn their Utopia.
The fishing fleet going out to sea at twilight under sails of every shade, from russet to the darkest brown, is a scene unimaginably picturesque. And then as the twilight deepens and the lanterns are lighted, casting their reflections on the darkening waters, magnificent opportunities are afforded to the student trying to depict the intermingling of artificial light with the lingering light of day.
Again, the high cliffs and projecting rocks all along the coast provide ample facilities for students in foam and dashing spray effects.
The surrounding country, moreover, is rich in primitive cottages, windblown trees, ruins, and quaint old churches which are a delight to the landscape painter.