Tuesday 26 May 2015

Thames Wood

Thames Wood ~ original watercolour
© Teresa Newham
Like so many paintings, this one started with a photograph - or rather, the series of photographs taken on our walk in search of bluebells back in April. I was keen to get something down on paper before the memories faded!

one of the photos which inspired the painting
© Teresa Newham

Last year I attempted to portray the bluebells of Thames Wood in acrylic - not my favourite medium, as regular readers of this blog will know - and while the results were certainly vibrant the effect wasn't as subtle as it might have been:

last year's acrylics on a similar theme
© Teresa Newham
So this time I decided to use watercolours.  Aware that recently I've been using the same colour palette over and over again, I opted for Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue - a couple of old favourites which I'd once used to paint an entire picture (Swan) to good effect.  To those I added Burnt Umber, which I haven't used for ages, and Cobalt Green (yellow shade) which a generous neighbour who used to work for Windsor & Newton gave me a while back, and which I'd never got round to using at all.

early washes
© Teresa Newham
As masking fluid and I don't get on, I left the main tree trunks unpainted and washed in the background around them, trying to achieve a sense of distance.   Once I'd painted the foreground I took a black-and-white photo of the painting to check the range of tones:

photographed in black and white
© Teresa Newham
Thames Wood is a magical place, and I keep being drawn back there, so I may well return to this subject again.  Who knows, by the time I do, perhaps the weather will be good enough for a spot of plein air painting!

the finished painting
© Teresa Newham

Tuesday 12 May 2015

First Time Lucky

Kimpton Church
© Teresa Newham
This was my first time exhibiting at the Kimpton Art Show, and as I set off to hand in my work I realised that I hadn't actually been to Kimpton for about twenty years, even though it's just up the road!    Artists from all over the area were descending on the church with their exhibits, and I wondered how the organisers were going to fit it all in.

the whole village was decked out for the festival
© Teresa Newham

I found out on the Saturday, when we took the opportunity for a look round.  The Art Show forms part of the Kimpton May Festival, and the village was covered in bunting, while various events were taking place at the Recreation Ground and the primary school.

visitors to the exhibition
© Teresa Newham
There was a gratifying number of visitors clutching their catalogues and making their way round the church.  The nave was full of paintings, with glass and ceramics in a room of their own to one side -  I particularly liked the glass pieces by Opal Seabrook and Sharon Korek - and some inspiring collages by Christine Elliott.

the North Transept (my two watercolours top left)
© Teresa Newham
I found my watercolours well lit in the North Transept, next to Barbara Weeks' textile display, and near some rather lovely linocut prints by Anna Pye.   In fact, Anna was demonstrating the following week at the Living Crafts fair at Hatfield House, so I was able to tell her how much I liked them!

my photos (framed in black) ~ the one on the right sold
© Teresa Newham
The photos had a corner to themselves in the South Transept, and when I went to collect my work I found that one of mine - Venice, Early Morning - had sold.  Now that really is first time lucky!