We don't have many demos at Avon Valley Artists but have just had one by the Bath artist Catherine Beale - https://catherinebeale.com/ - at our venue of Saltford Church Hall. Catherine teaches a method she calls 'Gravity Painting' using watercolour. In simple terms this is the application of wet in wet watercolour with the board vertical.
The initial setup
Catherine starts and explains her approach and what she is trying to achieve.
Catherine begins explaining her approach and what she wanted to achieve. However with this type of painting 'happy accidents' do occur and she improvises as she goes along, although having a strong idea of where she wants to end up. In the bottom right hand corner of her board you will see a small photograph of the clump of trees on Kelston Hill, nr Bath. This is a famous landmark and many people make the fairly steep climb up to experience the fabulous view. This was her starting point - but I emphasise not something she was trying to copy, just a guide.
The paper is wet from the top using a one inch Protel flat brush- not the whole of the paper but in stages.. This together with a Protel rigger were all the brushes she used. She told me this is her normal approach and usual brushes. Only five colours were used. Indathrene Blue (PB60) from Daler Rowney, Moonglow (Daniel Smith PG18,PB29,PR177), Phthalo Turquoise (W & N PB16), Sap Green and Raw Sienna. Moonglow has become something of a cult colour, a green, blue and red combination that produces a moody grey-blue, violet colour, perfect for shadows for example. Her overall preference for paints are Winsor & Newton artist watercolours. My choice of PB16 is the Lukas version, called just Turquoise. which is just as good and cheaper. A fabulous pigment and a favourite also of the terrific American artist Bex Jozwiak.
Paper used was rather unusual in that it is Watercolour board from Daler & Rowner, usually A3. This isn't very common. Catherine is also experimenting with painting on wood treated with Gesso.
Paint is applied with the flat brush and allowed to 'gravitate' helping it along but not overdoing the brushwork.
This is now now quite a way along with Sap Green and Raw Sienna being introduced in careful touches - placing paint I would describe this. The rigger has also been used for the tree trunks and the whole
thing is now taking shape. More work will be done on it after further thought and contemplation. She had reservations about the dark colour in the top corners but had yet to decide how to modify it.
The palettes Catherine used.
Salt - which she uses to create effects on her paintings.
Examples of Catherines paintings.
Catherine also paints Portraits as well as landscapes. Her landscape work covers real and imaginary images and arbitrary colours in some instances. Two of my fellow members of the AVA did a two day portrait course with her a few weeks ago which they thoroughly enjoyed. Although my portrait work (modest as it is) is a little different I intend to take a course with her probably in March. I have an open mind and look at different artists all the time, hoping to gain inspiration and improve my painting. You are never too old to learn (I hope!).
Overall this was an excellent demonstration with an articulate teacher. If you live within reach of Bath I would certainly recommend her courses.