Saturday, 26 November 2011

Seasons of Mist . . .

© Teresa Newham 2011

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run . . .
                                                              -  John Keats

We've had a mild autumn;  scarlet geraniums are still blooming merrily in my porch at the end of November, and even the fading leaves have lingered longer than they might have.  If it wasn't for the evenings drawing in at tea-time you wouldn't know that December will soon be upon us.  I love the rhythm of the seasons, so the recent misty mornings, with just a touch of winter chill, have been a delight to me, as well as a sign that autumn is slowly giving way to winter.

This month's Photos on the Run celebrates this change: dramatic shots of bare branches outlined against the sky, berries in the garden, the trees of Harpenden Common shrouded in mist.  This time of year, with its shortening days, has a sense of anticipation and mystery.  Christmas is coming . . .

Sunday, 20 November 2011

keeping it local

visitors enjoying the exhibition on Saturday afternoon
© Teresa Newham 2011

If it's November it must be time for the Harpenden Arts Club Annual Open Exhibition; and, sure enough, I recently found myself sorting out d-rings, labels and bubble wrap for the four entries I'd rashly listed on the application form.  I went for framed exhibits this year:  View from my Back Bedroom Window (which following our house move is now the view from somebody else's), Cardinal's Wharf, Poppy Fields and - to vary things a bit - a framed reduction linocut Venetian Masks.

View from (somebody else's) Back Bedroom Window on display at the exhibition
© Teresa Newham 2011

As usual I'd put myself down for a couple of hours stewarding - I don't get along to the club meetings so stewarding is a good way to meet other members and, of course, the general public.  I was delighted to find myself sitting alongside the talented watercolourist Jan Makower, who's work I really admire.  We had an interesting chat about selling art during the recession, and I asked her about the various classes she runs. 

Cardinal's Wharf on display
© Teresa Newham 2011

And I have to say, recession or not, the public are still buying art if it's at the right price.  A number of HAC members obviously have their own following, as they'd sold several pieces each (local scenes are very popular); and our stewarding session saw one eager buyer purchase two ceramics - it was great to see some ceramics on show alongside the paintings and there was a good variety of media on the walls, too.

unframed exhibiits in browsers, plus ceramics (Poppy Fields hanging in the background)
© Teresa Newham 2011

We were kept busy sorting out voting slips - the HAC encourage visitors to vote for their favourite three exhibits, and there were so many completed slips that the jar assigned to hold them was completely jammed, and I found myself putting them in batches held in place with elastic bands (I hope they make it into the count LOL).  The HAC allow stewards to sell their own cards during their stint, and a lady who popped in just as we were closing bought some of mine.  That was a bonus!

Venetian Masks was there, too!
© Teresa Newham 2011