Friday 30 July 2021

Prepping and Painting


July I
original watercolour by Teresa Newham

My focus this July has been preparing for #HertsOpenStudios, which will run from 18th September to 10th October.  There have, however, been days when it has simply been too hot for framing or other prep; and that's when I turned to watercolour.

inspiration from my garden
© Teresa Newham

The flowers in my garden have been wonderful this Summer, thanks to abundant rain and hot sun.  The bright geraniums, lavender and marigolds prompted me to make some small July salt paintings.  It was worth playing about a bit with colours first, as not all the ones I thought I needed made the cut:

choosing colours 
© Teresa Newham

The thing about a salt painting is that you can't make it all at once - you lay down some washes, add the salt, and walk away until everything is completely dry.  I left these two overnight, although in the heat they were workable within a few hours.

salt working its magic on the initial washes
© Teresa Newham

As I built up the layers I experimented with ideas on the right hand piece and refined them on the left.  As usual, I now have one painting I like more than the other - the left hand one in this case, although it doesn't always work out like that.

July I and July II, finished, but still taped to the board
© Teresa Newham

A few days later, the cooler weather returned and I went back to my framing. I couldn't resist putting the new July painting into a frame to see how it looked. That's another piece for Open Studios!

July I - framed and ready to go
© Teresa Newham

Thursday 15 July 2021

Art in the great outdoors

socially distanced in front of the stable block
© Teresa Newham

July kicked off to a great start with Childwickbury Arts Fair taking place just up the road.  This annual occasion was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but returned this Summer - an ideal event for these times, as so much of it takes place in the fresh air.

making the best use of outdoor space 
© Teresa Newham

The organisers made use of every inch of outdoor space: every marquee had one side open to the elements, and where artists were exhibiting in the farm buildings all the doors were wide open.  Everywhere was light, airy and welcoming.

arts and crafts al fresco or as near as . . .
© Teresa Newham

I enjoyed the printmakers' section so much that I forgot to take any photos; it was great to chat to the likes of Laura Boswell, Tom Mitchell, Sandra Daniel and Vicky Oldfield.  You could tell that all the exhibitors were thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to meet the public again.

demo of raku firing by Simon Eeles
© Teresa Newham

We caught up with old friends, sampled some excellent South African street food, and basked in the sun which had unexpectedly come out despite the gloomy forecast.  We even treated ourselves to an icecream, to round off an excellent day. It was a complete delight to be attending a proper art event!

flowers and mannequins - Childwickbury at its best!
© Teresa Newham