Coming up

Coming up:
*** Thu 19th October: Social Evening at The Blue Boar ***
*** Thu 2nd November: End of Year Celebration & Review, with Demonstration of Encaustic by Fiona Miles

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Spotlight: Earth, Fire, and liquid sunlight

How will the sun set? How will it rise?
What are your pigments, and do they change with the seasons, as light does, and the fruits and vegetables brought from nearby farm holdings, and displayed on market stalls?
What is the palette of Autumn? If Autumn has an element, it seems to be Earth tones, yellows and browns of leaves and fields, before Winter’s pale air and freshness. 

'Autumn Sunset', Brian Pier, oil on canvas
Autumn also has fire: blazing reds of berries and maples, mottled apples, and the smell of bonfires.
 
Summer and Autumn harvest clearly inspires extra-terrestrials to do a bit of imagery too, typically choosing wheat as their medium.
Cley Hill, Wiltshire, 18th July 2017
Tintoretto was the son of a dyer. He used carmine, the insect-derived pigment, rather early in the pigment’s history, and overtly unblended in paintings such as ‘The Miracle of the Slave’ (1548) for his pinkish-reds which, at the time, would have had novelty appeal as well as visual drama.
Indian Yellow, was once produced by collecting the urine of cattle that had been fed only mango leaves. Dutch and Flemish painters of the 17th and 18th centuries favoured it for its luminescent qualities, and often used it to represent sunlight*. Indian Yellow’s apparent glowing quality may have had something to do with the unusual way it was applied at the time, in pure form between layers of clear varnish rather than as regular oil paint. However it had another peculiarity. Colours fade in direct sunlight: “photodegradation”. Ultraviolet rays break down chemical bonds, fading and bleaching colours, and this can be seen as part of natural decomposition, returning to earth, and returning pigments to less intense, more dusty hues. 
The odd thing about Indian Yellow is that its intensity faded more in darkness than in sunlight. A painting left in subdued lighting would later appear dull, whereas one which had stood resplendent in a brightly windowed room would retain its glowing vibrance. Which is chemically mystifying, but may make some sense when we consider that sunlight nourished it from the beginning – thin cattle in the baking sun of India, and as foodstuffs go, you can’t get much more sunny than mangoes. Mango leaves are designed specifically to catch sunlight, and turn it into mangoes. It seems no surprise that, as a pigment, sunshine yellow fades in darkness, but thrives in light. Like most of us.
It is by taking in light that we see paintings. 
Have fun choosing your palette, considering your pigments, and touching the paint, the powders, the apples on the market … all that comes from light, and makes you glow. 

* Indian Yellow is now made synthetically, from magnesium euxanthate, the original methods having been deemed to constitute animal cruelty in the late 19th Century, and the import and its small industry vanished soon after.

Sources : Wikipedia, of course
Crop circle Cley Hill, Wiltshire, 18Jul17: Wrekin crop circle 2012, 400m: The circle appeared on the weekend of 21st, 22nd July 2012, with confirmed reports from local farmers that it appeared between the times of 2300 hours on 21st July and 0600 hours on the 22nd July. Read the full article via shropshirelive.com at: https://www.shropshirelive.com/2012/07/26/mystery-crop-circle-appears-by-the-wrekin/
Crop Circle from above – Photo: Jim Holmes Copyright 2012

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Oct 5th Talk: Stephen Glendenning on Book Art

This one must surely rank as one of the most fascinating talks we've had for a while. Stephen will take us on a rich and colourful journey through history as we look at a variety of artists who have engaged in book design over the past 300 years. It's difficult to know how to interpret this, other than to look at some pictures, but for some reason I can't seem to add any here so please take a look at this link: 
http://www.boundbooks.co.uk/artists

Talk starts at 7.30 at Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Everybody is most welcome to come along (non members £5.) See you there!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sam Manley Sprays Cheltenham ...

 
 

The Cheltenham Graffiti Festival was something brand new, a push organised and run by artist Andy 'Dice' Davies with the aim of getting quality street art into Cheltenham, and he managed to do a phenomenal job. I signed up a few months ago, as I'd really wanted to get back into stencil work and paint jams but hadn't been able to for a couple of years. I was a bit nervous, but I did my usual preparations of colour sketches, test sprays to make sure the stencils lined up correctly, and making sure I had enough paint (I always overdo it with cans, but it'd be quite embarassing to not be able to finish a design due to running out... and you can never be quite sure how absorbent a new surface might be).

My piece was of the ancient Egyptian god Anubis - at school, in year 3, the class had a term-long project on the ancient Egyptians, and the mythology and art stuck in my head. This seemed a good time to do something with it, with a character that I found particularly striking.

Anyway, I headed out to my spot, a bridge on the Honeybourne Line, where I'd been given a space next to artists StencilShed and IWalkADifferentPath (many stencil artists prefer to be known by names they've chosen). I got a fair way into the work - masking off a space, getting the black and red layers down (pic1), and then getting the scale arms and the corner decorations down (pic2, and those circles are the magnets I used to hold the stencil down on the metal surface) before the rain began. Oh my days, did the rain begin...

The three of us headed for cover, the best we could find being a bit of overhanging foliage, and waited it out. When the downpour ended, it was time to carry on. I was pretty impressed with the Kobra paint I was using - it dries almost instantly, even in a somewhat moist atmosphere; my previously-used Montana Gold paint had never fared so well in the damp air.

I was able to start the final layers (pic3), but then the heavens opened again, this time so badly I feared that my stencils (cut on 300lb paper) might get ruined - I had tried to cover them in plastic, but it was an impromptu and imperfect solution. Passing joggers and walkers huddled with us under the sparse shelter, as they didn't even want to brave the short journey back home.

It drizzled on and off for the rest of the day, so I had to just keep on running out and doing what I could (part of it done with a sheet of taped-together bags I draped over the surface and myself so I could carry on in a light shower). It got done, though!

And in case you're wondering, that's Captain Viridian from the game VVVVVV, hanging upside down. He's there purely to stop the main Anubis piece from being such a po-faced picture.

Sam Manley

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A Good Summer Exhibition

Our summer exhibition has drawn to a close after ten busy days in St. Laurence's church. The preview evening was well attended when the mayor, Tim Gill, formally opened the exhibition. It was pleasing to see more diversity than usual in the types of exhibit, with textile art, stone carving, illustration and abstract painting all represented. There was even a painting that incorporated recycled parts from a computer (and it sold, too - congratulations to Jacquie Langham). It was also lovely to see work by several new members. Our tribute to Marcel Duchamp helped gain publicity in the local press, and this was reflected in the large number of visitors that came to the exhibition. Perhaps the uncertain economic times led to fewer sales than we might have hoped for, but nonetheless we sold over £2,200 of exhibits and we managed to break even financially, despite having hired additional lighting for the exhibition.

Many people deserve a big thankyou for their hard work in making the exhibition happen, not least the exhibition team of Lesley Connolly, Ruth Tune, Anne Fox, Pat Innes, Val Turner. Also Val Alexander for help with hanging (no small job), Samuel Bebb for painting the large poster board, Dave Tedham for taking away and storing all the bits and pieces, Helen Jarvis for counting the "favourite exhibit" slips, plus all those who stewarded and all those who provided the artworks which of course are the whole point of the exhibition. We are grateful to our sponsors for the prizes awarded as follows.

Castle Bookshop (£20 voucher) - Golden Glade by Val Littlehales
 
Chang Thai Bar & Restaurant (£20 voucher) - Lem Brook by Sandra Graham

Ludlow Brewery - In Mevagissey Harbour by George Loades

Mayor's Choice - Flower Power by Steve Foxx

"Favourite exhibit" counts of 3 or more are listed in order as follows:

Votes Artist
Title
41 George Y Loades In Mevagissey Harbour
25 Sandra Graham Lem Brook
24 Val Littlehales Golden Glade
21 Mick Pavey Cotswold Winter (Nr Malmesbury)
21 Mick Pavey Steamy Shed
17 David Tedham Zagerlite
16 Sandra Graham Fading Light - Wilden Marsh
15 Sandra Graham Dowles Brook
14 Sandra Graham Spring Morning
14 Rob Leckey South Stack Lighthouse
14 Mary Phillips West Still Life with Chinese Jar
13 Martin Dutton Jasper Johns in Beguildy
12 M. A. Broad Port Isaac
12 Rob Leckey The Grand Canal - Venice
10 Valerie H. Alexander Bridge at Brantôme
10 John Jarvis Castle Gate at Dusk
10 Val Littlehales Shoe Collector
9 Martin Dutton Autumn Beguildy
9 Wilfred Langford Jugs & Lilies
9 Val Littlehales Autumn Gold
9 Val Littlehales Moving On
9 Mick Pavey Cartshed & Sheep (Bagden Farm)
8 Valerie H. Alexander Sunny Day, Pinmill
8 Sam Bebb Consumed
8 Val Davies Best Friends
8 Gretchen Ind Woman, Bristol
8 Val Littlehales March Moon
8 Val Littlehales The Reader
8 George Y Loades Above Dhustone on Clee Hill
8 Mick Pavey After the Snow
8 Anne E. Priest Handsome
8 Anne E. Priest Mai
7 Valerie H. Alexander Shade and Stillness
7 Valerie H. Alexander Side Street, Skiathos
7 L.J. Connolly Owl
7 Val Littlehales The Old Road
7 Val Littlehales Hare
7 Mick Pavey Jackson
7 Ruth Tune ...Shepherd's Delight
7 John Willetts Snow on the Stiperstones
6 Valerie H. Alexander Shopping in Skiathos
6 Arthur Davis High Street, Leominster
6 Tresi Hall Cardingmill
6 Rob Leckey Mallaig Boat Repair Yard
6 John Willetts Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia
5 Rosemary Charles Greek Holiday
5 Val Davies Morning Glory
5 Stephen Foxx Flower Power
5 Tresi Hall The Mill
5 Gretchen Ind Lydia
5 David Tedham Electric Boquet
4 L.J. Connolly Eider Ducks
4 Martin Dutton Strong and Stable
4 Lynda Emery Norfolk Windmill
4 Stephen Foxx Julie's Dream - part one
4 Tresi Hall Windhover
4 Gretchen Ind Woman, Barcelona I
4 Gretchen Ind Sisters
4 Andy Nash Chilli Peppers
4 Mick Pavey Cosy Chat by the Gate
3 Valerie H. Alexander Deep Snow at the Knowle Turn
3 L.J. Connolly Hare
3 Tom Crowe Labrynth
3 Lynda Emery Baby Elephant
3 Sandra Graham After the Rain
3 Anne Holding Brexit
3 Jacquie Langham Colour of Light 2
3 Val Littlehales Track to the Mountains
3 Val Littlehales Homeward
3 Charles MacCarthy Cecily's Cupboard
3 Anne E. Priest Mother and Lambs
3 Ruth Tune Horses of Camargue
3 Ruth Tune Thrushes
3 John Willetts The Stiperstones

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POTENTIAL STUDIO WORKSHOP IN LUDLOW

Ludlow Art Society has been offered studio space in Harvest House, for a limited period of about 9 months before the building is demolished....