Friday, 29 April 2011

sunshine in the City

Wisteria, St Paul's Churchyard
© Teresa Newham 2011

As I mentioned in my last blog, we enjoyed an unseasonal heatwave in the run-up to Easter.  Sunny weather brings out the tourists and locals alike in London (the latter easily spotted by their pasty skin slowly turning red in the unaccustomed heat).  With two four-day weekends in prospect for Easter and the Royal Wedding there was a festive atmosphere in the City; wandering the streets between City Thameslink station and my office just south of Southwark Bridge I was tempted to reach for my mobile phone camera more than once.

I've posted a few of the results to the Photos on the Run page on my website.  Whether tourists, commuters hurrying to the office or people (known as mudlarks) scavenging at the river's edge for who-knows-what, we were all delighted to see the sun!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Out of Sync

Ludgate Hill - outline sketch, inked up but not painted
© Teresa Newham 2011

I've come to the conclusion that artists live their lives out of sync.  Or maybe it's just me . . .  I have a whole list of 'future paintings' slowly coming into being in my head, there's usually a 'current painting' on the go (or at least an initial sketch of it), and once it's finished, to my mind it's done and dusted - old hat - until a few months later when I find myself framing it up for exhibition and watching other people's reactions to it.

Ludgate Hill - 'inspirations board' and experimental colour washes
© Teresa Newham 2011

This has been brought home to me forcibly over the last couple of weeks while I've been painting Ludgate Hill, a view which I'd been intending to capture since I did some London-themed paintings last year.  Exactly how to go about it was (as usual) the question, and it wasn't until I emerged from City Thameslink station in a downpour one dingy February morning earlier this year that I had the answer:  the lights and reflections of the traffic and shop windows and people.

Ludgate Hill - half painted
© Teresa Newham 2011

What with one thing and another I didn't even get an initial sketch down until March; translating it to something I could paint, adjusting the layout and inking it up brought me to April before any watercolour paint got near it.  The net result is a scene of a gloomy, wet, atmospheric day which was actually painted during the hottest April weather I can remember.  And next up I'm going to try my hand at some paintings of Venice, which I also visited in February when the weather there was bitterly cold . . . . !

Ludgate Hill
pen & watercolour wash
© Teresa Newham 2011