Tuesday, 29 March 2022

March madness

 


testing Japanese red carbon transfer  . . .
© Teresa Newham


March has been a disjointed, often chaotic month.  It began with a period of self isolation and a hospital all clear for me, closely followed by my husband going down with shingles; Lent has continued to challenge us, with COVID putting paid to a number of meetings and art time enjoyed on the hoof as the month has progressed.


. . . and finding the solution
© Teresa Newham

I did make some test prints to see why Japanese Red Carbon transferred to the first layer of the redwings print: it was because I used extender with the ink. A further test showed that this is solved by curing the carbon design for 24 hours, similar to other types of carbon. Luckily the two subsequent layers I've managed to do have covered the marks. I continue to wonder when - and how - this print will be finished.


the next layer of the redwings reduction linocut
© Teresa Newham

I spent an enjoyable morning helping out at The Workhouse Dunstable - Storm Eunice had put paid to my February session. There was plenty of new work to see both on the walls and on the shelves, and the changeover was about to happen for the new exhibition Spring Open 22, which runs from 30th March - 30th April. 


a morning at The Workhouse Dunstable
© Teresa Newham

Easter is fast approaching, and true to form while short of time, I've decided on a bit of an experiment for this year's Easter card.  I can't show you any more here as I don't want to spoil what I hope will be a lovely surprise.  I have no idea whether this experiment will work or what I shall do if it doesn't . . . 


something of an experiment
© Teresa Newham

I was glad to hear that The Open Door, the community and arts space and café in Berkhamsted, are having an exhibition from 4th - 24th April in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. I've put in two pieces which I hope will sell, and a number of greetings cards.  Appropriately enough several of these are paintings of sunflowers - I may no longer have the originals but hopefully the cards will be popular!


my pieces for Art for Ukraine
© Teresa Newham





Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Splendid Isolation

 


February I
watercolour & gouache
by Teresa Newham

I recently needed to self isolate ahead of a minor hospital procedure and I thought making art would take my mind off all the medical stuff.  I needed something self contained, relatively straightforward and above all absorbing.


inspiration from the studio window
© Teresa Newham

Back in February I'd taken some photos of snowdrops and hellebores in the garden, which contrasted with a dogwood behind them.  The flowers were still blooming - I could see them from the studio window - and seemed like an excellent subject for a couple of small watercolours.


adding salt to the very first layer of paint
© Teresa Newham

I started two paintings, laying down wet base washes and sprinking salt over them once they had dried to a gentle sheen. Left overnight, the salt revealed some wonderful patterns as it was removed, the crystals resembling the sugar crystals we used to put in coffee when I was a child.


setting out the composition
© Teresa Newham

Next, I laid out the composition, following the shapes suggested by the salt, adding the outlines and foliage of the bright band of hellebores across the centre of each painting and the snowdrops in the foreground.  I was no longer working from the photos but letting the needs of each painting dictate its progress.


letting the layers evolve
© Teresa Newham

I emphasised the flowers with white gouache, but the hellebores didn't really make any sense until I added their soft green centres. Then everything fell into place.  I still can't decide which of the two pieces I like the best!


February II
watercolour & gouache
by Teresa Newham