Sunday, 18 March 2018

Meet the Artist: Linda Sharman, Saturday 10th March 2018

Gallery panorama with Tim x2!

I took my friends along to see Leicester and LSA artist Linda Sharman at the Cank Street Gallery last Saturday.  It was a bitterly cold day so my friend’s enjoyed a hot drink and a piece of Linda’s homemade cake! (the chocolate marshmallow was to die for!)
Linda is such a lovely lady; we spoke about how her father, a successful artist, had inspired her technique.  Her exhibition ‘Visions through Light’ features a series of landscapes of Venice and Norfolk.  I’ve always liked the impressionistic quality of her work, which stands alone without any reliance on detail.  The viewer feels like they are there, present in the moment, underneath a vast expanse of sky or looking out from a Venetian bridge. There are remnants of the great impressionists Turner and Monet and like them she creates an atmospheric moment of time. 
‘Visions through Light’ exhibition runs until 21 April.
Artist's Linda Sharman (left) and Louise Ellerington
A New Day by Linda Sharman

Anetha Hunte, Tim Noakes & Lizzy

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas at Cank Street Gallery

Lizzy with Andy Ward
Welcomed by news that the gallery had sold another one of my paintings made celebrating with friends even more special. HAPPY CHRISTMAS and many thanks to all those that have supported me throughout the year!

Andy Ward
Anetha Hunte & Andy Ward
Artist Paul Hainsworth (R)
Rob Flude
Cank Street's Maryam (R)
Dayle Flude, Cank Street Gallery owner
Zara, gallery friend
Visitors invited to a glass of Christmas sparkle!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

'Tall Limes' for sale at the Cank Street Gallery

Tall Limes by Lizzy Hewitt

Thrilled that my picture is for sale at the Cank Street Gallery together with an article published on the Friends of Victoria Park website and Facebook page and the Leicester Clarendon Park Community Online Community Facebook page!  Excited and slightly anxious at the prospect as I’m not a writer, I put on my best writing head and got some words together! Biggest thanks to their Chair, Doug Smith for publishing it for me. Hope you like it!  Here’s the link:

I think the biggest thing I learnt from oil painting classes was not necessarily getting the technique right but opening up my mind as an artist to be more expressive and explore new subject matter.  Taking a fine art approach and painting things I feel strongly about, issues such as mental health and evoking feelings and emotions is somewhere I’d like to go with future work.

The fundamentals of oil using expressive brush marks and applying thicker paint, I feel has made my watercolour work better and contributed to the success of ‘Tall Limes’.

My paintings of Victoria Park available at the Cank Street Gallery can be found here:

Friday, 23 June 2017

Leicester's Cank Street Gallery Summer Prize Giving, Thursday 8 June 2017

Cank Street Gallery was full to bursting for the occasion

Lizzy Hewitt with artist Louise Ellerington & Bev Hart
Lizzy with Dayle Flude, Cank Street Gallery owner

Max Ewen with Lizzy's watercolour entry, 
Sunbathers, Victoria Park

With Mark Hewitt, Lizzy's brother
Paul Berrand and his work, With Every Hour
Tim Fowler with his entry, Princess Leia

With singer, Anetha Hunt

Lousie Ellerington's, Equine Head Study in Red

Lizzy with Cank Street's Maryam

2016 winner, Christine Johnson-Hume, with this year's entry, on screen, Derry Crows in Flight

With mum, Christine Denoon

Lizzy, Paula Robinson & artist Max Berryman
Sue Graham with her paintings

2017 winner, Signpost at Burnham Deepdale, by Peter Clayton

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Jali Yankuba Conteh, the Konte family and the kora

Jali Yankuba Conteh
Music fans we most definitely are but neither Max nor I had heard of the kora, until my friend Mitch recently returned from The Gambia

In The Gambia Mitch met and befriended a 'Jali' or praise singer, storyteller and guardian of the oral tradition. This Jali, Yankuba Conteh, makes and plays the kora, which turns out to be a 21-stringed instrument that looks a little like a guitar, but is played in front of the body by picking and strumming the strings, like a harp.

The body of the kora is bulbous, usually light coloured, and traditionally decorated with nails or studs. The guitar-like neck rises out of the kora's body with the strings raised on a substantial bridge. Unlike the guitar the traditional kora has no tuning heads. Instead the strings are adjusted by hand, by pushing leather rings to which the strings are attached, up and down the instrument's neck.

Jali Yankuba plays the 21-string kora,
made from a calabash traditionally covered in goatskin.
From this elementary description it's possible to appreciate the difficulty of playing and manipulating such an instrument competently. It seems Jali Yankuba is a 'master' kora player and comes from a family of master kora players. 

Jali Yankuba makes & plays the traditional Gambian kora
The kora originates from The Gambia, so Gambians say. It certainly comes from the mandinka tribes of West Africa, though whether The Gambia, Senegal, Mali or quite where is lost in the mists of time. Several of the most renown kora-playing families, and traditionally Jalis only come from the male line of these few families, come from The Gambia.

Jali Yankuba's grandfather is listed on Wikipedia as the 'Godfather of Kora'. Alhaji Bai Konte was the son of Burama Konte who composed the best known kora anthem or 'boom' made famous across Senegambia by kora star, Mansumaneh Yundum. This was in the 19th century. And according to their oral accounts, the Konte (Konté, Konteh or Conteh) family's kora-playing history goes back many generations prior to this.

The sons of Alhaji Bai Konte are both kora stars. Dembo and Sherrifo Konte appeared on stages across the world and recorded extensively. Dembo's joint CD enterprise, Jali Roll, released in 1989, was named World Music Album of the Year by British music magazines.

Jali Yankuba playing the kora
Dembo's son Bakary now lives in the UK. He too is a Jali and kora master. Jali Yankuba is also Dembo's son, stepson to Sherrifo and Bakary's brother. His kora pedigree is without question yet he was left behind in The Gambia as his father, stepdad and sibling soared to musical aclaim across the globe.

Perhaps conscious of this apparent inequality, Mitch has assisted Jali Yankuba to complete the build of his new Bai Conteh Music School, named in honour of his grandfather, which is hoped will become a popular centre for the teaching of kora and traditional singing, welcoming music students from around the world to Gunjur on Gambia's 'smiling coast'.

Mitch is also assisting Jali to find a music agent, to enable him to play and spread word of kora overseas as other members of his family have done. I hope they are successful. The kora's sound is evocative and quite beautiful and having heard Jali Yankuba play the kora online, Max and I have become genuinely interested in the instrument.
Jali in performance rehearsal

The Kontes and their musical traditions go back many generations. The family's fortunes have depended on the storytelling and oral history of their songs. Jali Yankuba is now composing a song of thanks to my friend Mitch, which he will sing throughout his life and pass 
to his own children as part of their ongoing ancestral story. I wish Jali Yankuba all possible luck with his Music School and look forward to seeing him perform with his kora soon!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Five go to Suffolk!

View from Southwold Pier
The family, that's Max and I, mum and John, and brother Mark, recently took a short holiday in Suffolk. We had a grand time though the wind never dropped to less than a gale. Nonetheless we enjoyed a good number of local attractions and Max took some interesting photos, as you'll see.
 Felixstowe Seafront Gardens
Mum & Mark on Thorpeness Beach

The Scallop on Aldeburgh Beach, created by Maggi Hambling & commemorating Benjamin Britten
On Aldeburgh Beach
Lizzy at Sutton Hoo

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Progress in oils - Vicky Park in yellow!

About time I brought you up to date with my efforts in oils.
My first picture eventually suffered from over working; the sheer versatility of the medium seduced me so that I kept on changing things until, frankly, all the freshness and originality that had been in the painting at the beginning had been painted out. 
The efforts which followed went in the same direction, but more slowly. Bearing in mind that I'd never worked in oils before this and you'll understand that I had more than a little to learn!
All the same, lessons with artist and friend, Louise Ellerington, were beginning to get me somewhere, although until lately I didn't know exactly where!
My most recent painting has something interesting in it. I think. It isn't perfect but I'm not ashamed to share it with you! But see what you think for yourself.

Victoria Park in yellow & mauve, by Liz Hewitt, 2017