Saturday 27 April 2013

. . . . and letting things unfold!

wet paint . . .
© Teresa Newham 2013
 While I was taking photos of paint drying, the paint itself was choosing the subject - and the composition.  I'd already decided to go wherever it took me - even if it was a complete mess - and with a bit of luck  this experiment might produce a couple of actual paintings!  As the paint dried I could clearly see at least one figure emerging at the top of the right hand sheet.  Because it was the Sunday after Easter, I immediately thought of the women at the tomb.  But as the paint dried further, the figure reminded me more of traditional depictions of John the Evangelist - fair and beardless. 

. . . figures emerging as it dried!
© Teresa Newham 2013
By the time the paint had dried even more, I could see two figures on the right hand sheet (although the left hand sheet didn't suggest anything at all at ths stage). If the first figure became John, the new figure could easily be turned into the apostle Peter - he was clearly wearing a cloak, and I could even see his beard.  But what might they be doing?

the first image, paint completely dried
© Teresa Newham 2013

The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday.  This Easter had not been the one my husband and I had expected, but we did find time to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet as a novena, from Good Friday onwards.  I realised that the various splodges could be made to depict the first reading for Divine Mercy Sunday, which is about Peter and John working signs and wonders in the Portico of Solomon (Acts 5:12 - 16).  I could see a bit of the Portico itself, and a place to include the faithful bringing their sick.

the second image, paint completely dried
© Teresa Newham 2013
In that case, I thought, why not turn the second painting into the Gospel reading for Divine Mercy Sunday - the story of Thomas (John 20: 19-31)?  I could see how it might be shown - Thomas's moment of belief, while another anonymous disciple looks on - I could even see what might be made to look like praying hands.

the Portico of Solomon
original watercolour
© Teresa Newham 2013
So here are the two paintings.  I'm not entirely sure what they are for, but having taken another look at them, I realise that each one is about giving and receiving: love, grace, forgiveness, healing, mercy - freely given to us - and for us to pass on to others.

"My Lord and my God!"
original watercolour
© Teresa Newham 2013

Saturday 13 April 2013

Watching paint dry . . .


Spring arrived late in the UK this year; we had snow the week before Easter, and bitter winds.  But finally the sun has come out and we've warmed up a little, just in time for the PBGS Gilbert & Sullivan Triple Bill, which we've been performing in Hitchin for the past few days.  And that's meant time off work for me!

What with one thing and another I haven't managed to do any watercolour painting since last summer;  two stretched pieces of virgin white paper have been sitting on a board in the studio since February, originally intended for a project which I've lost enthusiasm for. So I decided to do some playing.

 I washed plenty of water over each piece of paper, let it start to dry and then added some watercolour washes in my favourite shades, adding drier paint to strengthen the depth of colour as I went.  As the paper began to dry off, I splashed on more water, noticing the interesting textures and reflections which began to appear.  So of course, I got the camera out . . .

The idea was to make a couple of paintings based on what the paint looked like once it had dried -  'cauliflowers' and all - and the outcome was quite surprising.  But that's for another blog post.  In the meantime I have a few ideas for these photos . . . !