The work above is by E.A.S.T artist, Susan Canfield, inspired by Edward Bawden, one of the Bardfield Artists and part of Threads of Time. Now Bawden and the Bardfield Artists are the subject of a new exhibition at Braintree Museum, Essex, Life in an English Village.
Susan and I were lucky enough to go along to the private view of this exhibition of prints and drawings. Here I learnt how Edward Bawden RA and his friend Eric Ravilious had visited Great Bardfield as students, fell in love with the place and decided to move there. Although the Bardfield Artists as they came to be known, along with John Aldridge RA, Kenneth Rowntree, Walter Hoyle, Sheila Robinson and Bernard Cheese, never saw themselves as a group or colony, they had a close connection which inspired ideas and techniques.
I had really only learnt about the artists from seeing Susan’s work and discussing them at our E.A.S.T meetings so it was really good to go together to see the exhibition. Luckily as our meetings are held at Braintree Museum I will get to see the exhibition more than once – exhibitions are always more interesting when seen on several occasions.
The exhibition continues until 15 April 2017. Braintree District Museum is in Manor Street, Braintree, CM7 3HW and open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. Their website (www.braintreemuseum.co.uk
) gives details of admission charges and events related to the exhibition.
In order to improve my drawing skills I have been going to watercolour classes(!) and while everyone else has battled with colour I have focused on light and shade with pencil, charcoal, pen and ink. Some of my efforts have reached my Following a Thread sketch book whilst others, although I have kept them, really should be binned.
The skill on which I have tried to focus, is to look at how the light falls on the object. It seems fairly obvious really but I haven’t always found it easy to void areas and then work around them. When I first began the City and Guilds course (quite a while ago) we did lots of mark making exercises using different media and I found it a lot easier when the marks didn’t have to resemble anything. Now I am expected to recreate nature’s bounty in two dimensions.
As you can see from the pictures below, a rose and a shoe made it to the sketchbook as did a hollyhock and a dried poppy seed head.
This close-up of an acorn has yet to find a home.