Saturday, 26 March 2016

A Celtic Cross for Easter

the Celtic cross - a powerful and ancient symbol
original linocut by Teresa Newham

For my Easter card design this year I've turned to the image of the Celtic cross.  As anyone who is interested in Celtic imagery knows, there are many stories about its origins and history.  For me as a Catholic it symbolises the sun (Son) rising behind the cross of crucifixion, and reminds me that we come to the love of God through our sorrows and difficulties in life.

This day was made by the Lord
Let us rejoice, let us be glad
This day was made by the Lord
Let us rejoice in salvation.

Whatever problems or hardships you might be facing right now, I wish you a happy and blessed Easter in the love of Christ.

the Celtic Cross in a variety of colour combinations
original linocut design by Teresa Newham

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Barcelona sketchbook

If you're expecting dainty depictions of sights and scenery, don't look in my sketchbooks.  I enjoy people watching and jotting down what grabs my attention, which ranges from the beautiful to the bizarre.  And I have to say, usually the bizarre wins out!

a shop on the Placa Sant Josep Oriol, Barcelona . . .
© Teresa Newham
Maybe it was the Barca football shirts - or possibly the Catalan flags on the balconies - and the contrast with the Art Deco shopfront. Either way, when we stopped at a café in the Placa Sant Josep Oriol, I got the zig pens out and made the first Barcelona entry in my A5 sketch diary.

. . .  and what the Placa actually looks like!
© Teresa Newham
At Park Guell I eased my aching legs by sitting on a low stone wall next to a street trader selling scarves.  Before long, my A6 sketchbook was out and I was scribbling innocently away, looking for all the world as though I was writing something down.  But of course I was really sketching (I added the colour later).  After all,  I had to do something to fill the time while my husband queued for tickets . . . . he's the one in the blue coat and grey hat!

selling scarves near the ticket office, Park Guell
© Teresa Newham

Still at Park Guell, we were enjoying the best cup of tea of our trip when my sketching urge started bugging me again, struck by the incongruity of three Japanese tourists enjoying a coffee in front of what is surely the most bizarrely decorated gift shop in the world . . .

Japanese tourists at the cafe, Park Guell
© Teresa Newham
The bug hit again when I walked into the tea-room at the Palau de la Musica Catalana - the main problem was what to leave in and what to take out.  It was beautiful and quirky at the same time.

as soon as I saw the tea-room at the Palau de la Musica Catalana . . .
© Teresa Newham
I edited it down by using a limited palette of colours and forcing myself not to include every detail of the background.  I could have done with a whole afternoon in there, but we only had twenty minutes until the guided tour . . .

. . . I wanted to draw it - and did!
© Teresa Newham
Even waiting at the airport became a chance for some more sketching practice.  At this time of year travellers are wrapped up against the cold, mostly in black or dull colours, which is why this girl's pink sweater caught my eye.  I love people watching!

tourist, Barcelona Airport
© Teresa Newham