Demonstrations July 2017

I  was demonstrating last weekend at an Arts festival near Nottingham called Patchings,working for St Cuthbert’s paper mill who make Saunder’s Waterford paper. A treat for me because it is one of my favourite surfaces. I worked on  140lb Not (CP)  paper which I didn’t stretch before hand because I find that is , for me, an inhibiting process. If I have  prepared my paper in that way it means I have to perform and get it right! If I just take a piece of loose paper and play on it- I can be more spontaneous and experimental. That’s how it works for me anyway. Everyone was asking why my paper does not cockle as I work with quite a lot of water and  I think it is because these demonstration pieces are relatively small. . I use heavier weight paper if the painting is bigger .On any rare occasions that the painting needs flattening ,  I wet the back of it when the picture is dry , cover it with a protective layer and weight the whole thing down until it dries. That squishes out any  undulations. The other reason I like to paint watercolour on loose sheets is that I can curl up corners and move the paper about in an organic way in order to manipulate the paint and have more chance of  all the happenings- happening where I want them to!

Here is one of the demonstration pieces of an atmospheric woodland corner. It started out as two dark trees but I quickly realised that the  negative space between them was reading as  one pale tree . I decided that I rather liked this, changed tack and added some further details to explain my new focus. I used some Daler Rowney ink  to add the suggestion of a sun and I must admit there was a  bit of a   gasp when the ink  went on and everyone leapt awake! I did several more demonstrations over the three days and met lots of people. I really hope that if you came you enjoyed it and I am sorry that I sold out of books on day 2! I thought that  you had all already got a copy – but apparently not! I will be extremely well prepared next year when I hope to go back again and will take lots of copies of  my new book with me.




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