Saturday, 31 August 2019

Skelligs Golden Light





Skelligs Golden Light
reduction linocut series by Teresa Newham


August is the month when I usually prepare for #HertsOpenStudios - mounting, framing, sending out brochures and generally getting geared up to receive the general public.  This year, however, I've been somewhat distracted by the creation of a reduction linocut I've called Skelligs Golden Light.



the sketch and the photo which inspired it
© Teresa Newham


The photo I took inspiration from was blue, and I had in mind a range of blues from palest pale to dramatic dark, with a mysterious misty sky.  Yet I kept recalling that view of the Skelligs when the weather around the rocks is clearer than that where you're standing on the Kerry mainland.


the Skelligs, emerging
© Teresa Newham

I decided to lay down some yellow first, and then a light grey as a good contrast.  It worked - but I was using so much extender that the yellow showed through the clouds.  I wished I hadn't printed the yellow, but I had; and I wished I hadn't cut the clouds, but I had - so I would have to make the best of it!


using different colours on different parts of the print
© Teresa Newham

By the time I printed the mid grey, I was convinced I would have to mount this linocut so the clouds didn't show. Luckily the Skelligs themselves looked great . . .   on impulse I printed a thin layer of white ink over the clouds, just to see what would happen.


slowly the image became clearer
© Teresa Newham

A dark layer was needed for Little Skellig, and I wanted the foreground to be darker too.  After I'd printed up a couple I realised that adding some of that dark colour on the clouds would balance the picture.  Would a thin layer of ink with lots of extender print OK on the white?


when the plate could be an artwork in itself
© Teresa Newham

I wasn't convinced, but ploughed on anyway - sometimes you just have to keep going.  The plate itself looked a promising piece of artwork in its own right, and as I carried on, the results became more encouraging.


the finished prints laid out for inspection
© Teresa Newham

At this stage I still had most of the impressions I started with, but they won't all make the cut. The variations on the rest means that this will be a series rather than an edition. It's turned out far better than I expected when I was halfway through, and I've learned a lot in the process.  Better get back to my framing . . .


one of the finished prints
© Teresa Newham





Thursday, 15 August 2019

Harpenden Common, Midsummer




Harpenden Common, Midsummer
watercolour with gouache, Teresa Newham


This is the first figurative watercolour I've made in ages - inspired by two lovely ladies at Art on the Common who asked me when I was going to paint the Common again, and by some photos taken during the sunny weather at the end of June.


the photo which provided the inspiration
© Teresa Newham


I used Cobalt Blue, Permanent Sap Green, and for a change, Burnt Umber, which blended well with the blue to add some shape to the clouds.  These are the second lot of clouds I tried - the first attempt is on the back of the painting . . .


the urge to get something down on paper quickly
© Teresa Newham


I built up the piece in layers from the top down, delighted by some of the runbacks, which I incorporated into the landscape, and mindful of the need to balance out the tones - which I checked by taking black and white photos as the work progressed.


the painting takes shape
© Teresa Newham


The midsummer palette is quite restricted, so I ignored the yellow flowers in the photo and added in the white ones using gouache and a certain amount of scratching out.  I'm looking forward to sharing this picture with visitors to #HertsOpenStudios next month!


finishing touches
© Teresa Newham