Monday, 30 September 2013

Acrylics at Artscape

Judi Menges, Pauline Ashley (front), Hillary Taylor and Sue Wookey (background)
 demonstrating at Artscape
© Teresa Newham 2013

It's been the busiest Open Studios yet for the five of us of us exhibiting as Artscape Arts - we had around two hundred visitors in total during the event!  I've really enjoyed meeting and chatting to those who came to see us  -  about my own art and photos, about my fellow exhibitors' work and about the visitors' own interest in art.

experimental acrylic minis: ABC and Lavender Fields
© Teresa Newham 2013
 In between all the chatting, I tried out some small experimental paintings, using tiny canvases and easels which I spotted on sale in Hitchin.  I couldn't resist them, and thought they would provide a good opportunity to dig out some ancient acrylics languishing in a tin in my studio - originally bought for one of the short courses at Central St Martins, and only used once!

experimental acrylic minis - White Boats at Warren Weir
© Teresa Newham 2013

I'm not a fan of acrylic - it's a bit too plastic for my taste - but I have enjoyed putting these together.  I began by working in a graphic style, and then tried using them as I would watercolours.  But the most interesting technique I've discovered is one which makes the most of that plastic texture.

experimental acrylic minis - using texture
© Teresa Newham 2013

By the time I'd painted up my fourteen mini canvases, I was all miniatured out.  I'll never love acrylic like I do watercolour.  But I'd like to give acrylic a go on a larger canvas some time, if only to use those paints up . . .

experimental acrylic minis - "September"
© Teresa Newham 2013

Monday, 9 September 2013

another opening, another show . . .

Artscape Arts exhibition and Open Studio - ready at last!
© Teresa Newham 2013

The past few weeks leading up to the start of Herts Open Studios 2013 have been a whirl of activity:  and at last the Artscape Arts exhibition is ready and Open Studios are taking place throughout Hertfordshire!! Leading up to the event the Harpenden-based artists have benefited from various bits of pre-publicity;  a window display in our local building society:

pre-publicity:  Harpenden Building Society
© Teresa Newham
A morning at the Harpenden Farmers market manning our stall and handing out brochures:

pre-publicity: stall at the Farmers' Market
© Teresa Newham 2013

And an exhibition at Wesley's Café in the Methodist Church in the High Street:

pre-publicity: Wesley's Cafe at the Methodist Church
© Teresa Newham 2013
Plus of course the five of us exhibiting as Artscape Arts have been busy preparing and hanging our own exhibition, helped as ever by Gurmeet, Chris and the team at Artscape, Harpenden's very own arts and crafts centre.  The upstairs studio at Artscape is now very light and airy, and the brand new hanging system saved us a lot of time and effort, and looks wonderful!

my paintings and prints, and an extract from this blog!
© Teresa Newham 2013
This year I'm showing four watercolours and a couple of prints (one of which sold straight away!), along with a set of photos created out of multiple images of insects, plants, seaweed and even rope.  Much of my part of the exhibition harks back to last October's holiday in County Kerry.   And as I didn't have time to make a workbook this year to show visitors how I go about things, I've put up a post from this blog on the wall (Skellig Morning, if you're interested!).

Sue's and my photos and cards
© Teresa Newham 2013
Sue Wookey is showing a selection of watercolours and photos -  you can see a few below, along with the digital slideshow which I was given as one of my retirement presents.  Such a thoughtful gift, and I will be able to use it when I'm basing paintings on my photos. Colours are so much more true to life on screen!

some of Sue's paintings and my digital slideshow
© Teresa Newham 2013

Pauline Ashley's part of the exhibition is all about ceramics and her work as a restorer, while Hillary Taylor is showing a variety of work: abstract calligraphy, world series drawings, sumi drawings and acrylics on canvas.

part of Hillary's and Pauline's display
© Teresa Newham 2013
Hillary has done a great deal of PR for the Harpenden artists taking part in Open Studios and has been heavily involved in setting up the Art Trail, which is a new venture this year.  The idea is to encourage as many visitors as possible to visit as many studios as possible within the Harpenden area, on the same few days, by co-ordinating our opening times.  Should be fun!!

more of Hillary's work
© Teresa Newham 2013
Judi Menges is showing some wonderful glass exhibits - wall mounted plaques, plates, bowls, coasters and jewellery - beautifully set off by a lighting system and illuminated display cabinet supplied by Artscape.

Judi's glass
© Teresa Newham 2013

I do hope you will be able to come along and visit us during Open Studios.  We will be there from 1pm - 5pm on Friday afternoons and 2.30pm - 5.30pm on Saturday afternoons throughout September, plus a special opening for the Art Trail from 1pm - 5pm on Wednesday 18th September.  The exhibition is open throughout September during shop hours (not Sundays or during classes).

See you there!