Newsletter: July 2020

Newsletter: July 2020

..including some very exciting Gallery news, read on!

Staveley Carr Nature Reserve

Hi and welcome to this month’s Newsletter-hope you’re all keeping well!

Throughout the difficult period of lockdown, and especially when things were eased a little, Staveley Nature Reserve became a very important place for me; close enough to justify getting there, quiet and usually deserted when I’m there, which admittedly is very early! It is genuinely an amazing place with a very particular atmosphere, the picture above was taken in the last few days, so the grasses have grown long, and the sky is deep summery blue, but I’ve been collecting material from Staveley for a couple of years now, so the resulting paintings reflect different conditions of light, weather and seasons.

I’ve been meaning to do some work developed around Staveley for ages, and suddenly it clicked into place what I wanted to do. My work tends to be abstract or semi abstract, but always with a landscape base…for this Staveley work I decided to go quite minimal and abstracted. I’m not quite sure why, but as I began trying out ideas and developing sketches, the direction I needed to go became really clear.

Early experiments for Staveley work

The picture above shows my early experiments for the Staveley pieces. You can see that the focus here is on developing some interesting linear work, and on blocking in key shapes and an early idea of colour palette. I know they are very simple; rough even, but this stage really helps me clarify an idea, and is a great starting point for the way I work

I decided to develop a 61cm square canvas initially, and then realised they would work as a small group or triptych…

Blocking in and developing colours and textures

The image above shows how I start to block in and develop colour and also the beginning of texture. Working on these canvases has been a slow and painstaking process of building translucent watery glazes.

In this image: Tools, colours, palette etc…with the first canvas on an easel and the other two in process.

The canvas above is the first one I worked on, and you can clearly see the development from the earlier photo.

This second canvas is about deep dark pools, and reflected light bordered by reeds, grasses and a scrubby plantation of Willow
The third canvas is deeper in it’s darks, focussing on the water, reflections in the water and patches of light punctuated by the shapes of floating pontoons for the birds to nest upon.

All three canvases are now ready for some final work; finishing edges, sealing and hand waxing, which is actually a very soothing and enjoyable process, especially as I usually use this time for catching up on Podcasts or listening to music.

*My very exciting news is that I am delighted to be able to reveal that I will be exhibiting with the very wonderful Bils and Rye Gallery, which I’ve admired for many years…they are in the process of relocating to an exciting new gallery space in the centre of Harrogate. These new canvases and much more will be available from then as part of an exhibition later this year-details tbc soon.

Meanwhile if you don’t already, do please follow me on Facebook and Instagram where you can find me as Jo York Art.

Until next month take care and keep in touch!

Jo x

*All text and images copyright Jo York 2020

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