Saturday, 29 October 2011

early one morning

flowers and plants
© Teresa Newham 2011

Recently I had to take my car to be serviced in St Albans.  Rather than spend several hours in the 'hospitality suite' of the garage (two sofas and a vending machine) I hopped on a bus and found myself in the town centre at around 9am.  I love markets first thing in the morning before they get too crowded;  it was a lovely day, perfect for browsing and nosing about.  All the vendors take a great deal of care in the way they display their goods, and it wasn't long before I had my mobile phone out, snapping away as discreetly as I could!  which is why the theme for October's Photos on the Run is St Albans market.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Work in progress I

living water
© Teresa Newham 2011

During Open Studios I started a series of linocuts based on some insights which were given to me through reading Pope John Paul II's Letter to Artists.  This is well worth a look if you take a spiritual approach to your art, be it through a religious framework or not.  Having become a Catholic earlier this year I'd been wondering how to reflect this in my art (without necessarily taking religion as my theme all the time).  I found what JP2 had to say extremely inspiring, and one phrase stuck in my mind:

Who does not recall the symbols which marked the first appearance of an art both pictorial and plastic? The fish, the loaves, the shepherd: in evoking the mystery, they became almost imperceptibly the first traces of a new art.

So, the fish, the loaves, the shepherd:  and what about some of the other signs of Christ?  living water, the vine?  these symbols crop up time and time again in the Gospels.  How to depict them? how even to start?  well:  I drew my four designs (I need four for a particular layout, more of which another time) while commuting on the train.  They would be simple, strong black and white linocuts - nothing fancy!

loaves & fish I & II
© Teresa Newham 2011

I did struggle with the loaves & fish a bit, drawing them several times and dithering about whether the bread should be leavened or not (it is); the first version is shown on the left above. I found the scales too distracting so this weekend I cut them out and did the print again  (but as I won't know for sure what works with the other images until I see all four together, I'm keeping the lot for now LOL).  It was the first time I'd produced anything in my makeshift studio at the new house, and very satisfying it was too.  Even the studio itself is a work in progress!  at the moment it looks like this:

studio, October 2011
© Teresa Newham 2011

 It will be interesting to see how these linocuts evolve - and how the studio itself evolves, come to that.  But I've also had some inspiration for a linocut Christmas card, which will keep me busy for a few weeks!