Sunday, 30 September 2018

Another day, another demo

Kurbits II
reduction linocut by Teresa Newham

The bunting has been packed away for another year and the dining room has resumed its' usual function.  #HertsOpenStudios 2018 is over!  Sue and I have had more than eighty visitors during the last three weeks, many of whom have been kind enough to share their own artistic adventures and aspirations with us, and allowed us to share our own experiences with them.

me, preparing to print - Sue's paintings in the background
Photo © Sue Wookey

I've been working on a design for a traditional Swedish kurbits -  we're putting on Sondheim's  A Little Night Music shortly, and as the show is set in Sweden I thought the prints might be suitable for  raffle prizes.  The Swedish artist Viveca Lammers has made an interesting YouTube video on the story of the kurbits and one on how to draw your own version.  I was entranced both by the design and by the music in the videos!

my take on a traditional Swedish design . . .
© Teresa Newham

The smaller version was a straightforward cut, which I printed between sessions, adding the gold embellishment by hand. Cutting the larger reduction version turned out to be a meditative process, as several of our visitors remarked; again, I printed this behind the scenes, as I couldn't run the risk of being interrupted.  An Open Studios demo has to be something which can be set aside at any moment, quite possibly for a long time.

Adding the gold to Kurbits I
© Teresa Newham

Meanwhile Sue was painting some much admired watercolours at the other end of the table, some out of her head and some based on memories of holidays in County Kerry.  On the final Saturday I did print 'live', making some of last years Christmas cards to sell at church.  Well, it was the feast day of the archangels St.Michael, St.Gabriel and St.Raphael, after all!

Sue demonstrating watercolour while I print up Christmas cards
© Teresa Newham

* A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim is a PBGS production and will run from 10th - 13th October at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin.  For further information or to book tickets click here.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

A flying start!

my studio, reorganised for the exhibition
© Teresa Newham

What a start! #HertsOpenStudios is only a week old, and Sue and I have had more than thirty art lovers through the door already, across three sessions.

my cards and artwork in the dining room
© Teresa Newham

So far we have greeted a delightful mixture of old friends, new friends, newcomers to the world of making art and random passers-by who have spotted the bright yellow Open Studios bunting and come in to see what all the fuss is about.

Sue's acrylics and watercolours
© Teresa Newham

It's always a pleasure to discuss our work with people, sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some cake with them, or just sit quietly demonstrating watercolours or printmaking while they wander around.  We can usually tell who would like to chat and who would prefer to be left alone to browse.

more of Sue's work, including painted wooden hearts
© Teresa Newham

It's lovely when visitors like something enough to buy an original, print or card of a piece, but some of our most interesting conversations happen with folk who have just come to take a look.  Any feedback is most useful.

my photo cards, watercolour and printmaking
© Teresa Newham

Some folk are fellow artists, perhaps already doing Open Studios themselves or hoping to take part another year, or maybe just starting out and looking for inspiration and support.

my photos on the shelf between the kitchen and my studio
© Teresa Newham

So if you are in or around Harpenden on any Saturdays or Wednesdays for the rest of September, please do drop by and see us - and why not visit some of the many other studios in town while you're at it!

visitors always enjoy looking through sketchbooks
© Teresa Newham

#HertsOpenStudios runs until 30th September.  I'm sharing my studio with fellow artist Sue Wookey. Details of our opening times are shown on the side panel of this blog. Visit the Herts Visual Arts website for details of other Harpenden studios and the full county-wide programme.

Sue demonstrating watercolour
© Teresa Newham