Monday, 29 October 2018

the magic of Autumn



October morning, Rothamsted Park
© Teresa Newham

The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in.  For the last few weeks I've been making the most of any sunshine: taking a walk when I can, hanging washing on the line for a few hours, coaxing the last of the tomatoes to ripen on a sunny windowsill.


turning leaves at the side of the road
© Teresa Newham

September may have been cooler than usual, but October started deceptively mild; then suddenly we had a cold, damp, misty day, all the trees and hedgerows dripping with moisture; and all at once I was aware that Autumn was definitely upon us.


elderberries in the lane
© Teresa Newham

Everywhere you look trees and plants are preparing for Winter; leaves are turning, berries are ripening. There's still plenty of colour. but it's gradually fading; squirrels are much in evidence as they gather food ahead of going into hibernation.


red berries in the hedgerows
© Teresa Newham

I spotted plenty of red berries on my walks: an abundance of holly, hawthorn and one other which I couldn't identify but which struck me as being potentially poisonous - White Bryony, perhaps?


ivy on the trees
© Teresa Newham

Ivy, too, is starting to develop its berries, which are an important food source for birds in Winter, while toadstools are showing through the undergrowth.  I had no idea whether they were edible or not, so I left well alone. Where's a forager when you need one?


toadstools near the golf course
© Teresa Newham



Monday, 15 October 2018

Sketching Sondheim




rehearsing the Liebeslieder
© Teresa Newham

The visitors leafing through my sketchbooks at #HertsOpenStudios were so encouraging that I determined to do some more sketching as soon as possible - but with such a busy schedule ahead of PBGS' production of A Little Night Music, I wasn't sure there would be time.


random rehearsal sketches
© Teresa Newham


The answer was to take my sketchbooks and pens along to rehearsals; as I only had a small part in the show, I spent a lot of time sitting out of the way, especially during the band call.  That's why so many of the drawings I did were of somebody's back view.


bass player at the band call
© Teresa Newham

That didn't matter too much, as the sketches were not intended to be portraits - just practice for the way people hold themselves and how the light falls on them.  Besides, I didn't want to upset anybody by producing a dodgy likeness . . .


at the band call
© Teresa Newham

I made some sketches during the tech rehearsal by slipping quietly into the auditorium and trying to capture any character I thought might be sitting or standing still on stage for any length of time - as it was a fast-paced production that didn't happen much, and I had to rely on my memory to get things right.


random sketch during the tech rehearsal
© Teresa Newham


By the time we got to the dress rehearsal and the performances, I had too much adrenalin flowing to make any drawings - and I didn't want to miss my entrances.  Luckily we have some wonderful photos of the show taken by Ralph at XM04 Production Photography, as you'll see by clicking here!


play within a play at the tech
© Teresa Newham