Welcome to our December newsletter. Thank you for your patience while we've been working on our new website platform, which went live in November. Now that the website transition is complete we will resume producing our members' newsletter on a monthly basis.
November’s exhibition was a resounding success and, in spite of the reduced foot fall in Lacock resulting largely from COVID, the exhibition paid for itself and generated over £1,000 in revenue for our members. Thank you to everyone in the group who played a part in staging the exhibition, in particular to Ken Baldy and Joy Tickell. It was good to see our new members joining in with the set-up and take-down of the exhibition and selling their artwork too.
As you are aware, the demonstration by Soraya French (planned for November) was cancelled due to COVID precautions. Next year’s demonstrations are under consideration currently but we are finding that many artists are adopting a “wait and see” approach in respect of COVID, which makes planning a little awkward at present. However, do keep an eye out on the website for upcoming dates as we issue them.
For those of you who prefer to pay for their membership each term, the 2022 term dates will be released at the beginning of the year. Unless you are in arrears for previous terms there will be no fees due until March 2022 due to the pause imposed by COVID restrictions.
As mentioned above, in November, Lacock Art Group’s new website went live. I am very pleased with how the process was executed and I believe the site adds a fresh dimension to our Group’s online presence. It is certainly much easier and less laborious to manage behind the scenes than the old platform! And it’s more cost effective too.
Four people will be assigned to maintaining the website content; Elspeth is the webmaster and Joy, Karen and Mark are also in the process of training up to perform work on it. You will have or will soon receive an email from one of us, requesting images and short bios for use in the individual members’ galleries. Please respond ASAP to the request, as we have set ourselves a deadline to have all member galleries created and populated by January 6, 2022.
As we move into 2022, the site will mature as we add functionality and automate some of the processes that we currently do by email, which will ensure consistency and expand the site’s following. Once again a massive “thank you” to Elspeth who was the focal point for the whole transition of the site. She will also be holding a session at one of the Thursday evening meetings to show people where to find information etc on the new site.
In the meantime, I will look forward to seeing you on the December 16, if you can attend, for our “Christmas frolics”, which is also the last evening meeting of 2021.
By popular request we have shortened the “holiday” period in December/January by one week so we will resume evening meetings on Thursday 6 January, 2022.
I wish you all a joyous festive break and a happy new year!
Seascape in oils demonstration
Melissa chose grey as the ‘mother colour’ made from burnt umber, French ultramarine and white. She then mixed blobs of this with various blues, red and yellows to give a cohesive range of colour and tone. Her canvas board had been prepared with a ground of burnt sienna in acrylic.
After making a loose sketch on the board in a mid-tone grey with a brush, she then turned to palette knife and started to fill in areas of dark and light from the pre-mixed colours on the palette. The scene really started to come to life at this early stage.
by Paul Fisher
If you are going to use a lot of wet washes on watercolour paper less than 400gms in weight, your paper will need to be stretched or it will 'cockle' and distort badly making it difficult to get consistent colour tones and hard to mount properly. Here you can learn how to stretch paper in 10 quick and easy steps.
The Australian artist Charles Sluga showed me this technique that he uses when he does his overseas tours. It will give you a well-stretched piece of paper ready to be painted on within five minutes.
I have used this method on previously used and un-stretched paper that had ended up cockled and it has allowed me to flatten the paper by stretching it and paint on the reverse side with success.
You will need:
Steps 6 and 7
Apply water to the first piece of tape .... and smooth it down over the edge of the paper - do the same with the other 3 pieces of tape.
We often have impromptu mini demonstrations during our weekly meetings. Some time ago Paul Fisher, former chair and member of Lacock Art Group, gave us a 10 minute demo on painting people to help loosen painting styles based on "Bob's Blobs" - no initial drawing, straight in with the brush and loads of juicy watercolour to create vibrant crowd scenes using the wet into wet technique.
The idea is to be loose, starting with random vertical strokes of colour which are allowed to flow into each other on the paper, which is best kept vertical or at a steep angle. This is followed by 'sketchy' vertical strokes of a dark tone for the legs leaving some shorter than others to indicate walking. You don't need to be exact and have two legs for all the bodies - let them flow together and then finish by 'blobbing' burnt umber for the heads, angling them slightly to indicate 'conversations'.
Finish with a stroke or two for the shadows to plant the people on the ground. In the example painting, note the gap left to accommodate the person closer to the viewer (Paul's 'Bath' lady) and also note that on level ground, the top of her head is the same as the more distant people - it's the body that is longer.
Brian (Sherwin's) picture below of Tower Bridge shows how Bob's Blobs are used for the crowd scene to the left of the painting.
With a little practice you will soon be able to use this style to great effect in your own paintings.
NB this blog was first posted in 2016 by Paul Fisher
During an extended coffee break at one of our weekly meetings John Harris, a Lacock Art Group member, showed us how to cut a mount to display our paintings.
After cutting the mount board to the desired external size John drew the required cut-out shape on the reverse side - see image 1.
Then, using his special guided cutter with angled blade, he cut along the lines - see image 2. A professional finish was achieved, with the 45 degree angle of the blade producing a neat, bevelled inside edge. A number of different models of this type of mount cutter are available, some of them already in use by our members.
There was much interest in this from members, who took the opportunity to gain some practical, hands-on experience.
NB this blog was first posted in 2017