Friday 29 June 2012

RAKU Workshop Wednesday 27/06

After many weeks of work participants in Christie's classes were well prepared for a Raku workshop with Noel Monmarson. For those that don't know him, Noel is an artist who works primarily with clay. You can see examples of his work on his website:

6 participants started the day at Noel's studio in Biot. It was an extremely hot day and the cicadas were chirping away. The inexperienced participants didn't bring hats - so the first exercise was making paper hats.

Recognize her ? and check out the hat !
Next exercise was glazing the pieces. All parts that were to be smoked black had to be protected. After that glaze was added to the piece - either by dipping, by painting or by pouring. It looked so easy when Noel did his demo - but everyone soon found out that there was more to it.

A demonstration by Noel
Next step was to stack the gas-fired kiln. Noel uses one he has made himself. When working with glowing hot material it is necessary to wear protective clothing. Check out what Noel was wearing when the temperature outside was around 30 (and a lot more next to the kiln) gloves, jacket etc. This is definitely an activity better suited to the winter months.
Noel in summer (30 degrees C) with all his protective clothing
After spending time in the kiln the pieces were taken out while it was still glowing hot. They were placed in metal containers filled with sawdust. As soon as the hot piece met the dry sawdust with enough air - the sawdust took fire and the lid was put on. The container acts as a reduction tube. When the lid is put on, the container induces a reaction between clay and oxygen. The air inside the box is starved of oxygen and begins to pull it out of the glaze and the clay. The result can be beautiful. Where there is no glaze, the clay goes black. Where there is glaze - it can take on the most wonderful colours. Once ready (and here experience counts) the pieces are taken out. For a quick cooling, pieces are dipped in water. This stops the chemical reaction and fixes the colours. 

The result were some beautifully fired pieces. 
The works of Theresa, Tracy, Titia & Christie

 But there were also those that exploded. You never know what's going to happen - although it's a little easier to predict when you are as experienced as Noel is.

Participants were also lucky to be shown Noel's studio and could follow a demo of how to work a potters wheel.

Noel giving a quick demo

Participants looking and learning
Noel has decorated part of his cellar as a small gallery, where he has his pieces on display. Take a look for yourself - the work of a true master:

Rhino in Raku by Noel Monmarson

If you ever need a very special present for someone - I highly recommend contacting Noel and picking out a piece from his showroom.

Everything was ready to be taken home at around 18:30 - so it was one very long - and interesting - day.

Thanks to Noel and Catherine for the use of their location and to Noel and Christie for arranging the workshop !!!

Thursday 28 June 2012

Atelier libre Oil painting with Nelly van Hijfte - Tuesday mornings

Great work from the oils group
'Hand' by Chris Herliq

'Tulip' by Gabrielle Col

'Indian dancers 1' by Charmian Murley

 'Indian dancers 2' by Charmian Murley

'Rooster' by Vanessa Rea

Monday 25 June 2012

Aquarelle Tuesday 2pm

Cathie & Candy

Last week I couldn't join the aquarellistas and Cathie van der Stel took over the organisation. Although I wasn't there, from the work I gather that the theme involved candy...
Brigitte Jansen's plastic bag of sweets - the candy is nice and very round and shiny, with highlights

Georgie Hole's beautiful free interpretation of wrapped candy
Colourful sugarhearts by Mieke van Papen

No candy, rocks and a cave that inspired Sandra Seymour-Dale to this colourful image

Lunch with the oil and watercolour group

Last Tuesday, Nellie's oil class and Marina's watercolour class came together for their annual summer lunch.
On a beautiful June day, over twenty classmates, along with Arie, Sherry (back from the States) and Rosemary, Brenda's guest, enjoyed an al fresco party.
Everyone contributed a plate of food or wine resulting in a delicious spread and a very good time was had by all as you can see from the photographs taken by Brenda.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

In Memoriam Titia Buter

It is with great sorrow that we have to report the passing away of our friend and fellow Hangar member, Titia Buter, early on Sunday, 17th June, 2012.  She was a member for many years, took part in several painting and sculpture courses and attended all of our social events.  We will remember her as a friendly, caring person, always interested in fellow members, and she will be sorely missed by the Hangar community.

We send our condolences to her husband George and family and wish them strength during this period of great sadness. 

The cremation will take place on Friday, 22nd June at Le Crematorium de Nice - Cote d'Azur, Colmars, from 15.30 - 16.30.

Hangar Board and Teachers

Monday 18 June 2012

Plaids & stripes

Brigitte Jansen 

Last week 4 of us did an excercise that all participants hated - and in the end were very happy about. Working on the plaids and stripes is a combination of counting, and keeping track of logic order and at the same time working with flowing colours and being generally creative... And that is very hard on the brain! So Brigitte, Gaby, Edith and Mieke were moaning and groaning and confusing themselves - but ended up with this stunning work! They're just exercises but don't they look SUPER!
Edith Alborni

Gaby Berendsen

Mieke van Papen

I'm proud to see how this worked out... Very well done... there was more from these artists and others - and I'll post about that later!

Friday 15 June 2012

Marina Kulik made ​​the winning design "Big Rose" for the Crowdbag!

Every year the Dutch NGO: StopAidsNow comes out with a new Artbag to raise money and awareness for their activities to preventaids in developing countries, - focusing on women, adolescents and children. The bags are on sale around World AIDS Day (December 1st) for 5 euros each. They are sold under the slogan: "Buy a bag and save a life". Over the past 10 years, 750.000 bags have been sold.

This year, the contest for the best design was run via Internet and social media. Marina Kulik saw the call for submissions and decided to enter with "Big Rose" (one of her big watercolours - 100x70 cm). She (and about 400 other artists) uploaded a photo on to In addition to people who stumbled over the Facebook page and picked their favourite, artists recruited friends -and their friends –and their children and classmates,etc. to vote. More than 4000 people voted. Marina ended up in the top 10. A qualified jury (of well known Dutch artists) then picked the winner.

I am proud to say, that the artist I voted for won - our very own Marina Kulik. She now joins other famous artists and designers such as: Dick Bruna, Henk Schiffmacher, Viktor & Rolf, Marcel Wanders, Keith Haring, Erwin Olaf and Piet Paris in having her artwork on an artbag.


Marina Kulik with her contribution: BIG ROSE

We will have to be patient, the bag will not be produced before week 42 and will be ‘launched’ on World Aids Day, the 1st of December. The price of the bag is 5€, you can pre-order it through Marina or (for the Dutch) via

Marina: Please reserve 2 for me !

Monday 11 June 2012

Aquarelle Tuesday 5 June, 2 - 4.30pm

Onions & Irises, Volume & a Falcon

The 5th of June was the first Tuesday this year that we all agreed that it was better outside than inside... We were sitting underneath a roof of fresh green leaves from the trees on the Hangar terrain, the sun was hot and bright but we didn't feel it, it was just right, not too cool not too hot! And the tea was great as always. The weather inspired many to work on new subjects - while others were working on the cover of Chris France's new book. This means that we don't have much to show for yet, as the book cover needs to be judged and therefore is still top secret and most of the new subjects are not yet in a stage that we would like to show  it to you! They will be the 'before and after' images for next week...
However - there is one that, although not finished, is already looking mighty fine:

Onions & garlic by Brigitte Jansen

 Georgie worked on a commission, a friend who saw the iris she had painted last week for mothersday, immediately commissioned her for a 'male' version... Here's the result:
Fathers' Day Iris by Georgina Hole

There was only one starter present - Rose-Marie. She worked on her volume exercise and discovered the power of shadow, and the difference between a smooth and hard transition (as in the blue resp. yellow stripes). Also the shadows she put underneath the whole object give it a clear volume. Well done and that's enough, on to the spheres...
Patterns and shadows to show volume in objects by Rose-Marie Duclos

The stunning picture of a falcon is painted by Edith. She created it as a gift for her son's birthday and it is really very well done! You can appreciate the detail even more if you enlarge the picture (by clicking on it...)
Blue Falcon by Edith Alborni

Monday 4 June 2012

Aquarelle Watercolours Tuesday 29 May 2 - 4.30

Flora & Fauna
Because I was travelling, there was no time to post about the work of the Aquarellistas last week. That's why you get an overview of what we did the past 2 weeks right here...

Anna-Karin Fast
Above you see an abstracted impression of a plant by Anna-Karin. As you can see she uses different contrasts and colour combinations: she has been painting outside, with a Swedish artist (the name escapes me - I will give it to you later) and she has learnt a couple of new techniques that she promises to share with us when she returns from Sweden.

Sandra Seymour-Dale
Sandra is studying this subject, interesting in many respects, the effect of light through the fence, the shadows, the contrast... It is not yet quite finished but it deserves to be seen in this stage!

Barbara Kinsella
Brenda's twin sister Barbara visited us last week - and although she has no experience whatsoever with aquarelle (or painting in general) she clearly has the talent of her sister! Shown above are her waterlilies - very well done!

Cathie van der Stel
This lovely happy (smiling?) horse was painted by Cathie, with the help of masking fluid and salt, which gives it the 'ruffled feathers' look...

Agnès McLAughlin
And last but not least, here's the peacock that Agnès painted, as an experiment: she used a 'dripping' technique, where you hardly have control, which means more risk, but the result is spontaneous and original! And as you can see it worked out very well - I also love the background - the yellow on the right hand side has a very thin wash of paynes's grey over it, which suggests distance... the yellow also works well as a good contrast with the violet of the bird...

And then to top it all off - a couple of 'before and after' images!
...See what a bit of shadow can do! One of the first illustrations for our future cookbook, a recipe for 'Fleurs de Courgette' by Edith Alborni...
...Same here - with a very thin wash of Payne's Grey, Lesley Bufton made her already interesting parasol a very beautiful composition - that feels like it really protects you from the sun...
 ...And here you see Mieke van Papen's rhythm of glass bottles! With the background added, you believe that they are for real - transparent and subtle...