22/12/12As usual all meetings start at 7:30 pm in St Anne's Church Hall, Penarcau
Darjeeling (NB venue School of Art
Friday 25th January 2013
Simon Pierse – “Darjeeling”
The first monthly talk for the Ceredigion Art Society was a great success and an excellent way to start the new year. The speaker was Simon Pierse, who hosted the evening at the School of Art in Aberystwyth. Simon trained in painting in oils at the Slade, but now prefers the medium of watercolour and mixed media to work with.
The talk was entitled “Darjeeling” and Simon presented a wonderfully descriptive picture of his memories of Darjeeling, inspired by the stories his father told him when he was a child. He used photographs and a slide show to convey to us the beauty of the area. The mountain Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas inspired him to visit to see this mysterious spectacle for himself.
Simon showed slides of his works based on memories of both his father and grandmother, incorporating photographic transfers and pieces of packaging from Darjeeling tea. He described his ways of layering and under-painting to create atmosphere and to evoke memories of the past. He uses colours to describe the way of life, the people, Buddhism and the shapes of the mountains. Simon had displayed a selection of his works on memories of Darjeeling and we were able to get a closer look at them to get a real feel for how he puts them together. This was all accompanied of course, by a cup of freshly brewed Darjeeling tea!
Floating ink, the art of marbling
Our guest speaker for this evening (Friday 22nd February 2913) was Jude Riley, an accomplished artist making art through the media of marbling. Jude gave an insightful talk accompanied by a slide show to give a brief history of the art of marbling. Jude has been marbling for nearly 25 years, having begun as a textile artist, spinning, weaving and dyeing textiles during a three year time period in Mexico. She became fascinated by marbling which took over from her textiles.
Marbling originated in Japan in the 12th century, this was the art of Suminagashi, which translates into "spilled ink". This art was kept secret and used ink made of pine soot floated on water with handmade Japanese papers which were highly absorbent. Often these pieces contained calligraphy and painted images - Jude displayed a slide which demonstrated this beautifully.
Marbling then took off in Turkish Islam and was used as a base for calligraphy and book binding. This art was called Ebru (cloud art) and you can look at numerous video clips of how this is done on YouTube.com . Marbling became popular in Europe in the late 1600s and was later displaced in the late 1900s by machine printing. Interestingly marbled paper was commonly used on financial ledgers so that it prevented the fraudulent behaviour of tearing out pages!
In the 19th century, the secret of marbling was finally exposed in a book which encouraged further knowledge of the process.
During the short break we were able to have a look at some papers that Jude had brought with her to share the beautiful colours and patterns that are achievable through this fascinating art. She also showed some planters that she has marbled using exactly the same process as marbling paper. She has made some of her marbled papers into stunning jewellery, samples of which were on display this evening.
After the break, Jude gave a demonstration of how to marble paper. She showed us the carragheen seaweed that she boils to use the liquid as a size (or medium). This gives a slightly thicker consistency to the water which enables the ink to float on top. The inks used were acrylic inks, with cartridge drawing paper prepared with alum. The alum helps the ink bond with the paper. Once dropping and splattering ink onto the surface of the medium, Jude gently laid a piece of paper onto the surface, then lifted it off. The colours and patterns were beautiful and unique. Several of the Art Society members were itching to have a go, so a few of us got stuck in and were amazed at the patterns we made! We even got to take our pieces home! Another thoroughly enjoyable evening - thank you Jude!
Painting without brushes
Despite the appalling weather on Friday 22nd March 2013 there was a good turnout to hear Mike Laxton talking about painting without brushes.
He told us how during his early training at Art college he concentrated more on technical drawing, eventually becoming a furniture designer and cabinet maker. This precise drawing technique taught him how to really see objects rather than just looking at them.
After moving to Wales from Cornwall 7 years ago he decided to turn to painting and joined Roy Marsdens class, where he was asked to draw apples without using brushes. During this process he found he had to build a relationship with the tools he was using, to create the affects he was looking for. Something which was entirely new to him after having to be so precise with his former work.
Mike works mostly in acrylic on card or paper, and because he lives in the Rheidol valley, has done many paintings of the river there, showing the relationship between the solid ever present rocks to the transient and fluid water. This was shown in a slide show of his work, from a very detailed and precise drawing of a boat to the very loose paintings of water. He told us how he would walk up the river towards Devils Bridge to see the changing terrain as it got steeper.
He loves to experiment with paint and the various tools he uses, and has no rules in his painting, which makes his work very fluid and, as he put it, gives him a unique experience of every wave or fallen leaf that he paints. We were able to see some examples of his work which he had very kindly brought with him.
After a break for tea we were all given the opportunity to try painting without brushes for ourselves, using a spatula, rag, sponge or our fingers with acrylic paint on coloured card. We all enjoyed this and were pleased with some of the results which we were able to take home. Thanks to Michael for a very liberating experience and an interesting talk."
Friday 26th April 2013
This month’s guest speaker was Tracy Anne Smith, a local artist who may be recognised by many for her rooftop pictures around Aberystwyth.
The title of the evening was “Interactive Session” which was intriguing to all. We were delighted to have a “guided” tour of Tracy’s visual diaries, which are wonderful books full of ideas and techniques. It was wonderful to be able to handle these books and look at how an idea develops into something more. Tracy works with collage and brought a variety of pieces for us to have a look at, ranging from cards to framed pictures.
After this introduction is was time for us to do some work! Tracy set us all off with a piece of paper and a variety of painted papers in different colours and textures to start our own piece of collage. Some of these “scraps” were old sketches done by Tracy and practise pieces. It almost felt wrong to be tearing these pieces up to use for the evening. After each collage piece was chosen and stuck down, we then had to pass the piece onto the next person round the table to place the next piece and so on. After a number of passes the collage piece was complete – no-one could claim it were theirs as it was everyones!! All done with pieces of torn up work by Tracy! A fun evening!
Photography - Moments in time
Phil came to talk to the group about the art and craft of photography. Some may think that photography is not an art, and that anyone can take a photograph, but by the end of the talk it was quite obvious that there is a huge art of taking a picture. Phil described photography as “painting with light” and proceeded to show the group just how he uses his camera to its full potential when composing a picture. He led us through an entertaining start to his interest in photography in his younger years, followed by the technical aspects of how to take a photograph and what the camera can do for you. He gave a good explanation of technique and the processing of raw images on computer software. He described this as rather like processing a photograph in a darkroom, although the computer software is called Lightroom!
Phil then showed us what he can do with his camera with a comprehensive portfolio of black and white, landscape, fish-eye, British and African wildlife, award winners, published photographs and 3D photographs. During the break we were given the opportunity to look closely as Phil’s book, “The Ceredigion Coast Path”, some A3 and A4 prints and some 3D pictures. The 3D pictures were particularly entertaining!
All in all a great talk – thank you Phil!
September 20th (Note change of date)
Kiln formed glass
Friday 26th October 2013
Our guest speaker tonight was Ali Scott, who was able to step in at the last moment to fill a vacant slot in our programme. Ali is a feltmaker and creates vibrant felt “paintings” using natural fibres.
Ali brought along samples of different types of wool and other fibres that she uses in her feltmaking, including silk and cottons. She also brought along some beautiful finished “paintings” of vibrant landscapes mounted on canvas frames, making them ideal to hang on the wall as they are.
After a brief history of feltmaking and some witty anecdotes and old myths, Ali got straight down to the art of feltmaking, by giving us a demonstration of how to felt together some wool fibres. Using wool tops in a variety of rich colours, Ali laid pieces in several layers at opposing angles to each other in a variety of patterns to give what looked like a mound of wool. She then showed us the felting process using simple olive oil soap, hot water, bubble wrap and an old bamboo blind! After quite a bit of work, a lovely piece of felt was produced which was looked incredibly strong but yet beautiful at the same time.
Ali’s work can be viewed at http://www.aliscottfeltartist.co.uk/home-news.html
Thanks Ali for a great evening!
Annual general meeting and Mystery speaker
Friday 29th November 2013
The Art Society Annual General Meeting was held tonight amidst a good turnout of members. Perhaps the reason for the good number of people there tonight was the excitement for our mystery speaker for the evening! The group was delighted to welcome Peter Henley, a former member of the Art Society in fact, so a familiar face for most.
Peter rather aptly gave us a talk about the works of Hywel Harries who was the founder member of the Art Society. This year of course saw the 50th Anniversary of the Art Society and what better way to celebrate than seeing Hywel Harries’ work to mark the end of this year for the society. Peter gave a good insight into some of Mr Harries’ work by showing us slides of paintings, many of which were instantly recognisable for the places in and around Aberystwyth. He even brought two original paintings of Hywel Harries’ work for us all to have a look at. Peter also showed slides of other artists who over the years had appeared to either influence or be influenced by Hywel Harries’ work. All in all, a very interesting talk – thank you Peter!