Saturday, 28 January 2012

Just after seven

The mild winter has brought blossom to the trees in central London.  Snowdrops are appearing in the garden, a reminder that we will have the joy this year of discovering exactly what our garden contains.  Ironically we are having a cold snap just as the days are starting to lengthen noticeably - and yesterday morning the birdsong at dawn moved me to write a poem for the first time in ages:

© Teresa Newham 2012

Today a thrush was singing to the dawn
just after seven.  A clear and frosty morning
as though an unseen Hand had spread a sparkling veil across the land.
I wondered: did he sing for joy
or simply to keep warm?
or was he singing to the trees -
calling the sap to rise, the Spring to struggle from its knees?
Today a thrush was singing to the dawn
just after seven.  A clear and frosty morning.
A glimpse of Heaven.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Year, new studio

school tables provide a working surface
© Teresa Newham 2012
Finally, my studio in the new house (not so new now, of course!) is pretty much up and running.  Like everything in life, it's a work in progress, but the basics are there.  I ordered two school tables back in the Autumn and waited patiently for the call to say when they would be delivered.  As things turned out, we came home from work one evening to find them neatly stacked on the porch across our front door.  Ah well . . . at least I didn't have to take time off work to wait in for them!!

artworks on the walls!
© Teresa Newham 2012
You can just see the linocut I'm currently doing at the bottom left of the photo above.  It's the third one of the set of four I've been working on since last summer.  Which, coincidentally, is the last time I picked up a paintbrush . . . roll on Spring and the lighter days!   There are two doors (to the kitchen and the garden) and three windows/window openings to the studio, so ironically not a lot of wall space.  But there's room to hang a few artworks and there is scope for more.

dining room and kitchen beyond
© Teresa Newham 2012
It's a pleasant space to work in, with a stone floor, so any spillages won't matter.  I first discovered the joy of a spill-proof floor when I attended short courses at Central St Martins - particularly when applying very wet watercolour washes that you want to run into one another.  And being next to the kitchen is handy not just for keeping water jars replenished when painting, but also for clearing up after printmaking . . . 

jolly storage
© Teresa Newham 2012
The room also has some useful built-in cupboards painted primrose yellow (see above) with room for books and paints on top (and our toolbox).  I haven't been able to resist 'borrowing' some items from elsewhere in the house either:  the wicker drawers were originally for the bathroom, and the hamper now houses my greetings cards instead of some old documents.

I feel so grateful to have access to a space like this, and I'm keen to put it to good use.  Must get down to some art-making!!