Tuesday, 27 November 2018

salt painting blues



the finished painting - or is it?
© Teresa Newham

I'm not sure why this one was such a a struggle, but the signs were ominous from the beginning: trying my chosen four colours on a piece of scrap, I found the French Ultramarine and Winsor Blue (green shade) indistinguishable, and the Cobalt Turquoise far too green. As I was almost out of Cobalt Blue, I dashed to Artscape and picked up some Cobalt Turquoise Light at the same time.  It wasn't a good start . .


I took a while to choose the colours
© Teresa Newham

I wetted a piece of 300gsm Daler Rowney watercolour paper and taped it to a board.  It dried thoroughly, and I laid down an initial wash of Cerulean and Cobalt Turquoise. But somehow everything became too wet - when I added the rock salt, it started to dissolve.


initial washes . . .
© Teresa Newham

So I did something I almost never do - chucked the painting in the bin and began again. I used Arches 600 gsm (no stretching required), laid down the initial wash for a second time, and sprinkled on the salt.  I can't recall now what I didn't like about that attempt, but it ended up in the bin with the first one . . .


. . . with salt added
© Teresa Newham

Number three ran into trouble almost immediately - but Arches is expensive and I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.  Besides, the bin was full.  So I wiped off the paint and let the paper dry - which gave me a chance to calm down and remember that salt painting requires patience.  I turned the paper over, determined to let things flow.


salt on the second layer of washes
© Teresa Newham

Finally I managed to get the colours down and the salt on without any drama.  When the paint dried, I removed the salt and added washes of Cobalt Blue and French Ultramarine. I sprinkled on more salt, and took that off when the whole thing was dry. I assume the painting is finished - I don't want to touch it again.  And I'd welcome any suggestions for a title - so over to you!


once everything dried, I removed the salt
© Teresa Newham







Tuesday, 13 November 2018

So much to see!




Snowdrops & Hellebores in good company on a feature panel
© Teresa Newham

There was something for everyone in Harpenden last weekend, and I found myself involved in quite a lot of it - a church concert, the Remembrance Day service at the war memorial, and last but not least the 60th annual Open Exhibition of the Harpenden Arts Club.  This year's exhibition featured the work of over fifty local artists, and there was a splendid variety of styles and media on show.


the purple wall, including Lavender Fields
© Teresa Newham


The exhibition was extremely well curated, taking into account not just subject matter, but also colour, style and framing;  there were two panels of poppy paintings to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, plus several browsers of unframed work for visitors to look through, and greetings cards for sale.


every inch of space was wisely used
© Teresa Newham


As usual, visitors were encouraged to vote for their three favourite pieces. I wasn't the only one to take quite a while to decide - in the end I picked three which I wish I'd painted or printed myself. I could easily have chosen more!



poppy paintings, including Poppy Summer
© Teresa Newham


The collection of sold and unsold items coincided with the BBC filming a drama at the venue, which could have been chaotic, but everyone worked hard to ensure it ran smoothly. It was quite surreal to see artists carrying their work through groups of actors dressed as police, but we were in good spirits - it had been an excellent exhibition!


the rest of my exhibits amongst colourful displays
© Teresa Newham


Huge thanks to the members of Harpenden Arts Club  who worked so hard to organise this exhibition.  You can find out more about the club here.


panels featuring monochrome and seascapes
© Teresa Newham