A Cut Above
Following February’s Club Meeting
we were treated to a totally different and original talk demonstrating the fascinating art of paper cutting.
From the earliest images of ancient Chinese dynasties through to Hans Christian Anderson’s paper cut illustrations for his fairy tales (who knew?) to Matisse and his prodigious paper cut gouache artworks, the variety and skill is simply amazing. Paper cutters are everywhere - including some extraordinary modern artists, often undervalued but always in demand.
Irena demonstrated a variety of examples with twice folded paper, cutting simple shapes with very sharp, small scissors and carefully unfolding the paper in reverse sequence to the original folds.
A cactus in a pot made a striking image - by just cutting one side of the paper, of course the other side is identically symmetrical and when carefully unfolded always has the element of surprise
Plus of course it’s possible to achieve two versions – negative and positive which can be used to construct versatile designs in all sorts of interesting ways.
To try this for ourselves, remember that when the paper is unfolded, it’s best to press it flat and place it underneath some heavy books for a couple of weeks so that the finished item can be displayed to full advantage.
Irena concluded with a Budleigh Beach paper cut design including deckchairs and some clever lettering - a fitting conclusion to a fascinating demo.
There are books available to guide the novice, some with ready-made
templates to help things along. Also you may wish to visit Irena’s website for further information: irenaboobyer.co.uk
Contributions to remember
At this years AGM, sadly, three of our members reached their designated time on the committee so have retired to normal membership after major contributions to the Club.
Ralph Bingham has served for several years as both Treasurer and Chairman,
Paul Doughty as Exhibitions Secretary for the previous year, (unfortunately not able to attend today as he was on holiday) and Trish Browne as Secretary, keeping the admin – amongst her other duties – in such good order.
On behalf of the Club, they were thanked most sincerely for their work on the committee by our new Chair, John Washington, and presented with gifts of appreciation for their service and significant contributions to the Club.
The new appointments John Washington (Chair), Katie McDermott-Darley (Vice Chair) and Carol Harris (Secretary), were approved and appointed to the vacant positions at the meeting by a show of hands.
For the first time in the Club’s history, voting resulted in joint winners for this coveted trophy.
Two of our more recently joined members –
Brenda Thomas and Chris Buckland Wright exhibited “Postcard From Devon” and
“The Saxon Church of St Lawrence, Bradford-upon-Avon”, respectively.
These two completely different works – great examples of the diversity of original talent in the Club, along with many other excellent submissions, made for an impressive display with all entries achieving a good number of votes.
Congratulations to the winners –
they now have to decide between them how they share the trophy over the next twelve months as both their names will be engraved on the silver salver.
Life in Budleigh
We’re nearing the end our first course of life drawing sessions
and they’re proving both instructive and enjoyable. For some of us this is a completely new venture and for others, the opportunity to re-engage with previous experiences of the subject.
Bicton House has provided us with a magnificent room for the purpose and
with a variety of male and female models, all of us have enjoyed the challenge of interpreting the human form on paper with charcoal, pencil and graphite.
Artists at both morning and afternoon sessions have sketched and drawn from very challenging short poses – 30 seconds - up to longer ones of an hour or so and the standard is rapidly improving for both first-timers and more experienced members. A fine body of work is materialising on this traditional and at the same time, very contemporary branch of fine art.
Keep an eye on this space for continuing, up-to-date examples of drawings, sketches and expressionist renderings of our wonderful models, Krissi, Nick and Sophia.
Since we started last month, there’s been further interest from members in continuing with the subject, either with classes or simple workshops so we’ll look at numbers to find the best way forward. If you’re interested in joining, please contact John Washington at email@example.com so we can assess how many members might want to participate.
James Tatum's Demonstration
On a very cold and icy morning, it was a real pleasure to see a huge turnout for our monthly demo. We were in for a treat, watching renowned landscape artist James Tatum demonstrate a couple of quick paintings using his very different and dynamic style of painting.
Large decorating brushes, scrapers, old carpenters pencil and even an old chopstick were employed and acrylic paint liberally watered down and aggressively applied to the paper “canvas”.
.James stressed the benefits of capturing his landscapes as small sketches (rather than photos) and creates simple watercolours in his sketchbooks, using them as reference back in his studio. He is very focused on creating a good composition and use of dark and light tonal areas to lay down the basic painting. His style varies from what some people might consider abstract to semi-abstract often leaving the viewers “brain” to fill in the details.
James was awarded South West Landscape artist of the year in 2017 and runs courses and painting workshops from his studio in Chudleigh.
Feedback at the end from an enthralled audience was very positive and several members said that they wanted to get back to their studios and have a go, especially those of us who tend to tighten up and focus on too much detail rather than the overall composition.
I thoroughly recommend looking at James’s website www.jamestatumartist.com and if you want to contact James for more information on his workshops, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Great demo, very inspirational and enjoyed by all.