february 2020 - lisa henshall
“Demonstration in Abstract Acrylics”
After a brief introduction Harleston artist Lisa talked about her artistic background and her approach to abstract art which in her case incorporates the use of ‘layers’. These layers have now become an important element in her work. Originally, she began her art career producing realistic drawings and paintings but despite being popular, became unfulfilling after a time. A change from oil painting to acrylics helped make this transition and enabled her to build up her important layers. She often leaves her work alone to dry and after a period of careful consideration returns to a painting to add further layers as and where needed. Her initial layer sometimes makes reference to things observed or incorporated fragmented shapes. She has a preference for dark backgrounds on which she can apply subsequent overlays. Semi obliterating previous layers and responding to the changes she makes is key to the development of her painting. Using the wrong end of her paint brushes to draw into wet paint creates lines that work with shapes left from the layer underneath. “Letting things happen and reacting to change is an important part of the creative process”, Lisa explained. Her work uses a variety of techniques applied on top of previous layers. Texture and colour interact with form, shape and composition to create an overall ‘visual conversation’. Some of the different materials like oil bars, acrylic ink, Brusho dyes and collage all create interesting and unique mixed media sensations and outcomes. By the end of an enthralling evening everyone had gained a real insight into the working process and practice of a very accomplished abstract artist who had entertained us with her witty and engaging persona.
John Patchett, IEA
January 2020 - Andrew Pitt
"Reflections in Water" - watercolour
Using a simple diagram, Andrew explained the basic principles of drawing reflections in perspective. He explained how mirror images tend to go down vertically into the water; however, we also see reflections which appear on the surface of the water. As surfaces have ripples, the reflections often become distorted, elongated or broken.
Another important "rule" to be aware of is that the reflection of a dark object appears slightly lighter in the water and a light object makes a slightly darker reflection. There is no substitute for direct observation but knowing these simple rules will help you to see these things taking place before your eyes. Andrew began to draw his composition using a simple line sketch. He explained the range of colours he used, demonstrated how to start a watercolour painting and offered tips as he went. He emphasised the importance of retaining the freshness of a piece of work; don't overwork any area and try a mark just once.
Throughout the "demo" Andrew kept everyone entertained with humorous anecdotes as well as explaining the "do's" and "don’ts" of using watercolours. Andrew's watercolour style is confident and assured and everyone was treated to a highly entertaining and informative evening.