NEWTON St Cyres Art Club members were very pleased to welcome Matthew Davison to demonstrate his use of mixed media during his "Raw Earth" demonstration on September 29.

Mr Davison currently teaches at the Honiton School of Art and Wellbeing, but for much of his career worked in film and television as a Directory of Photography, and originally studied art as a student in Bradford.  

Matthew sees these demonstrations as "a kind of speed painting", which is invaluable as it avoids procrastination, helps limit palettes and can produce "lively" artwork. He suggested challenging ourselves to speed paint.

Interestingly, Matthew’s opening question was to ask what subject should be demonstrated and what elements should be included. Poetry is often his source of inspiration, but today we agreed on an early morning, snowy, landscape-scene of Killerton.

To achieve this Matthew would encourage the use of memory, rather than photographs, as this utilises "other parts of the brain" and leads to more "exciting" artwork, which is "not too descriptive" and where the "natural world is suggested".

Matthew advised standing back to frequently review progress, and "consciously work to avoid detail" - switching focus to different areas can help with this.

Using a palette knife, "a valuable mixing tool", the trees and hedge-lines were "bodied up" to indicate the direction of the light and to provide depth.  

To complete the painting, Matthew hinted at clouds and a touch of snow on the hedgerows.

An area of the painting which was suggestive of a building was left untouched and provided an interesting focal point.

This was a very useful reminder that a limited palette doesn’t result in a limited painting, and that white is never just white!

Nicola Hussey