Thursday 18 September 2014

cats, cows and conversation

Hillary, Sue & Pauline giving demonstrations at Artscape during #HertsOpenStudios
© Teresa Newham
What exactly do people think when they see our demonstrations for #HertsOpenStudios?  Do they wonder why the results don't look like the art on the walls?  we're always keen to discuss our work with visitors and they often have questions, so any demo needs to be easily interruptable; which rules out anything requiring deep concentration.


visitors - we like visitors!
© Teresa Newham

Sue uses watercolour sketches to plan out future paintings, Pauline demonstrates her restoration work, Judi shows how she prepares glass for firing (and then has to clear it away to take it home!), while Hillary weaves paper into textured sheets and baskets or colours  her graphics on a tablet.  I prefer to use the time to try out new media or practice my drawing skills.   And, if we're not chatting to visitors, we chat amongst ourselves.

animal crackers . . . my first cow
© Teresa Newham
- I took these lovely photos of cows near Redbournbury the other day, I'm going to try drawing one.  
- She's got a thing about cows, you know . . .
- Animals can be tricky things to portray.
- Yes, I once painted a sheep which looked more like a dog. Not sure about cows . . . 
- You need to discover what makes a cow a cow.  Its essential cow-ness.  Then your drawing will look like a cow.

And this advice worked - eventually I drew a cow which looked like a cow.  I usually avoid portraying animals, but, emboldened by the success of the cow, I decided to try a cat:

first attempt at a cat ~ in pencil
© Teresa Newham
Perhaps because I'm more familiar with cats than with cows, making these drawings felt more natural.  The pencil sketch took up one complete Open Studios session.  Next time I moved on to using chalk pastel pencils.  I've only just started using these regularly, and enjoyed exploring the various ways they could be used to express long and short fur.

second version of cat ~ chalk pastel pencil
© Teresa Newham
With half an hour left at the end, I dashed off the pen and wash sketch below.  Ironically this quick little drawing is my favourite - I like the way the colour has dried on her face - to me, it has the most character of the three.

ten-minute watercolour cat
© Teresa Newham
At the time of writing there are still four Open Studios sessions to come at Artscape: we'll be there between 1pm - 4.30pm on Friday 19th & Saturday 20th September, Friday 26th & Saturday 27th September at Artscape, 8 Southdown Industrial Estate, Marlborough Road (off Southdown Road), Harpenden AL5 1PW.  Our exhibition in the upstairs room is open during shop hours unless there is a class on. Do come along and see us if you can!

Tuesday 2 September 2014

All set at Artscape!

my linocuts, watercolours & photos
© Teresa Newham

Our exhibition at Artscape is finally open!  we spent most of Saturday in their upstairs room, hanging art on the walls and displaying pieces on tabletops, in a glass cabinet, and in browsers.  As usual I thought I wouldn't have much to exhibit; and as usual I had plenty - so much, in fact, that I thought I wouldn't be able to fit everything into my display:  framed and unframed linocuts, watercolours, acrylics and photos - plus cards, gift tags, and bookmarks.

Sue's watercolours
© Teresa Newham
Sue Wookey is showing her mystic watercolours inspired by nature, symbols, dreams and inner journeys: along with unframed originals, photos, prints & cards.  As you can see, she has two browsers of delights for visitors to look at!

some of Hillary's canvases and drawings
© Teresa Newham
Hillary Taylor's display includes her popular line drawings of local landmarks and her latest mixed media tapestries, some of which incorporate calligraphy.  She also has cards and smaller items available.

some of Judi's glass and Pauline's raku ceramics
© Teresa Newham
Judi Menges has some colourful glass bowls and wall art on display, along with glass jewellery and cards; while Pauline Ashley is showing her delicate raku pottery and some jolly ceramic frogs.  Pauline also undertakes amazing restoration work.

miscellaneous pieces
© Teresa Newham
The exhibition will run alongside Herts Open Studios, which starts this Saturday 6th September; you can find information about the whole event here.  At Artscape Arts we are running eight Open Studios sessions, during which you will have the opportunity to meet us and watch us at work.  And while you're in the area, why not drop in on some of the many other artists taking part in and around Harpenden? - see details below.  Hope to see you there!

Artscape Arts Exhibition  1st - 27th September 2014
Artscape, 8 Southdown Industrial Estate,
Marlborough Road (off Southdown Road)
Harpenden AL5 1PW
9.30pm - 4.30pm ~ not Sundays or during classes
we regret that the exhibition does not have wheelchair access
Artscape Arts Open Studios sessions:
Saturdays 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th ~ 1pm - 4.30 pm
Thursday 11th ~ 1pm - 8pm
Wednesday 17th ~ 1pm - 4.30 pm
Fridays 19th, 26th ~ 1pm - 4.30 pm

Download the Harpenden Art Trail brochure below for full details of participating artists in and around the Harpenden area: