Thursday, 26 July 2018

Hot off the press

Just four months ago it seemed like Spring would never come. In some ways it never did and we leapt straight from the freezer onto the barbecue. For us lucky enough to be here in North Norfolk there have been few complaints, sea breezes making our lives disproportionately easier than those who live and work in cities. However, it is now finally getting to us here, with everyday seeing the fire service rushing to extinguish another field fire, whilst most gardeners hereabouts are starting to realise the havoc being wrought by such a long period without rain. Sadly, I imagine the coming months will also reveal how many trees have succumbed.

For the gallery, the good weather has brought more visitors but even they are now starting to find it a little warm, particularly in the middle of the day. Our artists are similarly affected - the memories of being too cold to work now seem like a dream - and many are understandably taking time out from the studio.

Particular problems face the printmaker, with inks adopting unusual characteristics in persistent conditions of high temperature and humidity, even if the maker can cope. Fortunately for us, our current exhibition of wonderful prints by Louise Davies was made before the onset of the current heat. Louise is one of the artists who has shown with us for many years, firstly in Norwich and subsequently here in Burnham. Her work is characterised by vivid colour - hot reds and oranges and also the cooler greens and blues - and offers the chance to acquire some seriously good art at very affordable prices.

Writing about the process of her work Louise says "My prints are created from immediate drawings that I do from my sketchbook. For me, the sketchbook is a vital tool for the beginning of my work. I feel very connected to the landscape and to the seasons and try to convey the feeling, shapes, lines and colours of being in the landscape either at a certain time of day or at a certain time of year.

My prints are often created with three plates and sometimes include a collagraph. I love colour and use the different plates, with Aquatint, to pursue a final print, which I hope will have luminous colour and depth in it. The proofing stage can take weeks as I keep trying different colour fields. It can therefore take a while to finally finish the image. My overall mission is to make something that I feel has a balance pictorially. Nature seems to do this effortlessly and this is what I would like to achieve in my work"

The exhibition "A feel for the land" was due to conclude at the end of the month but given the interest - and the weather - we have decided to allow it to run on into August, with the closing date being posted on the website in due course.