GUEST artist demonstrator at the March 22 meeting of Newton St Cyres Art Club was Owen Williams.

Although he works mainly in oils, Owen used a limited palette of acrylics for the demonstration and explained the relationship of colours to each other, showing how it’s possible to mix a wide range of colours using just three or four (a red, a yellow and a blue, and white).

He encouraged us to experiment and press on even when the results were disappointing or unappreciated by others, because the knowledge gained while experimenting would prove invaluable.

He paints on wood or canvas first primed with an orange colour - this, if allowed to show through in places, adds zing and makes the greens in a landscape vibrant. Influenced by Fauvism, Gauguin, Schiele and Kandinski, he focusses on colour and form.

His technique consists of simplifying the scene so that a few lines and silhouettes sketched in at first form the composition, and paints negative spaces to great effect. 

His painting of a gnarled tree, fields, distant hills and a fence gradually emerged.

It was almost backwards painting, as the tree was painted first and the sky added last. He paints with flicks and dabs and occasionally a flowing line, welcoming the accidental shapes that appear as well as the intended ones.

He has a great eye for shapes and patterns in the landscape and acknowledged that his years of work as an illustrator have influenced his style.

For those of us who tend to overwork a painting or fuss over details, this demonstration was a helpful way of showing us how to create drama and atmosphere with minimum paint.

A most enjoyable morning. We look forward to a possible workshop with Owen later this year.

Jenny Hallam