Landscape L1117 Amalfi Series, Looking Towards the Harbour, Vietri Sul Mare, Nicholas Herbert, 2018.

Nicholas-Herbert-L1117-web

Landscape L1117 
Amalfi Series, Looking Towards the Harbour, Vietri Sul Mare 

17.8 x 17.5cm. 2018. 

Mixed media: graphite, colour pencil, soluble crayon, acrylic and pastel on white paper. 
Signed and dated on reverse.

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Landscape L1117 Amalfi Series, Looking Towards the Harbour, Vietri Sul Mare, Nicholas Herbert, 2018.

Landscape L969 Sharpenhoe Series, View into the Distance, The Chiltern Hills

 

nicholas-herbert-l969-web

Landscape L969
Sharpenhoe Series, View into the Distance, The Chiltern Hills

20 x 15cm. 2016. 

Mixed media: graphite, colour pencil, soluble crayon, acrylic and pastel on white paper.
Signed and dated on reverse.

Landscape L969 Sharpenhoe Series, View into the Distance, The Chiltern Hills

An Unexpected Discovery in the Depths of Northumberland

My wife and I have just spent a few days with four friends from the Lake District in Northumberland. While there one of our friends found a book on bastle houses, which are centuries-old fortified houses in the border country, built to give farmers protection from marauding robbers, known then as Reivers. In the book, there was a reference to a small company that made soft pastels located in the middle of deepest Northumbria near Kielder, in the Tarset area. I had never heard of the company and had no idea why it should be mentioned in a book about houses built several centuries ago, but it turned out that the book was written by the husband of one of the ladies who worked there. On their website, no less than Sean Scully says they are the very best pastels you can buy – in the world. He should know. Anyway, we spent a day looking at the bastle houses in the Tarset area or at least the remains of them. The next day, as I use some soft pastel in my mixed-media landscapes, three of us went back to visit Unison Colour at Thorneyburn, which occupies an idyllic property in a truly beautiful area just down the road from Kielder. They were very welcoming and took the time to show us around and talk about how the soft artists’ pastels are hand-made. It was fascinating. I also got to try the range and bought a selection of 15 mostly lightish colours.

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There are several outbuildings in use for the production of these superb soft pastels. This is the coach house. It is set in the grounds of a beautiful period house and behind is the church of St Aidan, Thorneyburn and its tranquil churchyard 

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I got to try out the range. The originator of these pastels was an artist called John Hersey and instead of graduating the colour range tonally, he developed a system of colours that associate together visually by group, and it gives the whole spectrum an individual look and a more purposeful organisation.

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The ultimate room of delight for an artist. Wall-to-wall pastels stored in little cardboard boxes that each shout ‘buy me’. There are apparently more than 300 colours to choose from. Some of the colours we saw here were unbelievably intense and saturated. Really, a visual sweet shop.

It is no exaggeration to say I could happily have bought all 300 plus colours they produce. The pigments used are all natural, which means the finished product is very lightfast and the pigment to binder ratio is excellent, giving very good coloration and the pastels themselves are lovely and soft to use. I have attached here some images of our visit. Naturally, they don’t capture the excellence of the actual product, which now I am back home, I am using in my work and I have to say I should have known about this company and their products because I think they are better than the Rembrandt soft pastels I use at the moment. They just feel and work well for me. There are several buildings used, including a lovely coach house. I particularly loved the room where all the pastels are racked. It’s like a sweet shop for artists! Everything is done by just a few skilled craftsmen and women, one of whom told us she travelled 30 miles there and back every day, a round trip of 60 miles. Guess where she lived – in the village by Hadrian’s Wall that we were staying in and had just come from. When we got back we bumped into her walking her lovely retriever in the lane leading up to our cottage. So, the moral of this is simple; who would have guessed that in a book on a subject that not many people know about nor care about, is a reference to a place we had never heard of and a company we didn’t know existed, but because the reference was there, because we got interested in the admittedly arcane subject matter, and because we eventually looked up the company on the web, eventually we visited and found out about a material that, in my opinion as an artist, is superb. We know social media is all about connections etc but we should never forget that all communication works in a similar way, even a book, that old hat, old-fashioned, thing that we think might have had its day. As it happens I don’t think books are obsolete, I rather value them more. Don’t bother with the book, but do try the pastels……

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The pigments are all completely natural rather than synthetics with the result that apparently the resultant product is light fast and the colour more durable. To me, as a selling artist, this was a very important point, as I want my collectors to be buying work that will stand the test of time.

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Above: I’d love to work in a space like this!  Below: the mixture of clay, pigment, water and any ingredients that are secret to the recipe ( I’m sure they didn’t tell me everything!) is portioned out by hand like little meringues. This takes experience and the skills of someone like a Michelin chef or a master baker making 200 or more items all perfectly identical.

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This lady was expertly hand rolling two types of green pastels. It was fascinating how deceptively easy she made it look. She was doing I think 200 of each. The process takes time do, rolling and cutting, rolling and cutting.

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More pigment jars (because I love them) and more meringues starting out on their journey to becoming as Sean Scully says ‘The best soft pastels in the world’.

 

For more information go to unisoncolour.com

An Unexpected Discovery in the Depths of Northumberland

Landscape L947, Sharpenhoe Series, View Across Fields, The Chiltern Hills.

l947-web

18 x 13cm. 2016. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, pastel and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse.

Landscape L947, Sharpenhoe Series, View Across Fields, The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L946, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking Out Along the Escarpment Past Markham Hill, The Chiltern Hills.

l946-web20 x 15 cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, pastel and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016.

Landscape L946, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking Out Along the Escarpment Past Markham Hill, The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L940, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills.

l940-web19.9 x 14.9cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, pastel and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016.

Landscape L940, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L938, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking Past the Sundon Hills Escarpment. The Chiltern Hills.

l938-web

19.9 x 14.9cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, pastel and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016.

Landscape L938, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking Past the Sundon Hills Escarpment. The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L937, Sharpenhoe Series, Small Group of Trees. The Chiltern Hills.

l937-web

Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, pastel and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 20 x 15cm. 2016.

Landscape L937, Sharpenhoe Series, Small Group of Trees. The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L936, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking towards the Sundon Hills Escarpment. The Chiltern Hills.

l936-web
Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 20 x 15 cm. 2016

Landscape L936, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking towards the Sundon Hills Escarpment. The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L935, Sharpenhoe Series, Sundon Hills Escarpment, Dusk. The Chiltern Hills.

l935-web

Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016

Landscape L935, Sharpenhoe Series, Sundon Hills Escarpment, Dusk. The Chiltern Hills.

Landscape L931, Lake Garda Series, Bay of Salo, looking North. 2016.

L931-web

20 x 13cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016

Landscape L931, Lake Garda Series, Bay of Salo, looking North. 2016.

Landscape L930, Lake Garda Series, Malcesine to Limone Looking North to Monte Brione. 2016.

L930-web

20 x 13cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016

Landscape L930, Lake Garda Series, Malcesine to Limone Looking North to Monte Brione. 2016.

Landscape L929, Lake Garda Series, Monte Livino. 2016.

L929-web

20 x 13cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016

Landscape L929, Lake Garda Series, Monte Livino. 2016.

Landscape L928, Lake Garda Series, Tree on the Beach at Limone. 2016.

L928-web

18 x 13cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016

Landscape L928, Lake Garda Series, Tree on the Beach at Limone. 2016.

Landscape L921, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking out from Markham Hill, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L921-web

Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016. 13 x 18cm.

Landscape L921, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking out from Markham Hill, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L913, Sharpenhoe Series, Beneath the Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L913-web

13 x 18cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016.

Landscape L913, Sharpenhoe Series, Beneath the Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L911, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking North West to the Sharpenhoe Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L911-web

 13 x 18cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. Signed and dated on reverse. 2016.

Landscape L911, Sharpenhoe Series, Looking North West to the Sharpenhoe Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L910, Sharpenhoe Series, Fields Below the Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L910-web

20 x 14 cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk, gouache and acrylic on cream Fabriano paper. 2016. Signed and dated on reverse.

Landscape L910, Sharpenhoe Series, Fields Below the Escarpment, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L909, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L909-web

18 x 13 cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on cream Fabriano paper. 2016. Signed and dated on reverse

Landscape L909, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L908, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L908-web

18 x 13 cm. Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon, chalk and acrylic on white paper. 2016 Signed and dated on reverse

Landscape L908, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L905, Sharpenhoe Series, Near Roberts Farm, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L905-web

Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon and acrylic on white paper. 2016. Signed and dated on reverse

Landscape L905, Sharpenhoe Series, Near Roberts Farm, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Landscape L904, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

L904-web

Mixed media: graphite, soluble crayon and acrylic on white paper. 2016. Signed and dated on reverse

Landscape L904, Sharpenhoe Series, The Chiltern Hills. 2016.

Some images of the gallery yesterday almost ready.

Although not absolutely ready, I took these images of my ‘Silent Spaces’ show yesterday. The gallery really suits my small intimate mixed media landscapes and I feel privileged to have been offered this exhibition by Alan Kluckow Fine Art.

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The main entrance space has a short run of three pieces, then to the right is a run of 9 works towards the back of the gallery.

Gallery Image 2

The exhibition catalogues are on a central table and on shelves at the back wall.

Gallery Image 4

The show has been curated and hung by Alan Kluckow. I got to see my work completely afresh when I walked into the gallery space and saw the hang for the first time.

Gallery Image 3

This run of three can be seen from right up the approach to the gallery, they are the only works in the whole of the front space. The main glazing is on the right and opposite some way away is the main doorway structure. (see previous post).

Gallery Image 1

To the left of the main doorway, is this run of six pieces, with a grouping of four on the returning wall. There are then two vertical pieces just around the corner.

Gallery Image 6

I will be at the show off and on showing people around until May 10th. If you do come, please do say hello. I would love to meet you. Sunningdale is just off the M25 and there is lots of inexpensive parking nearby. The final image below is a bit lower resolution than the others, but it shows the view of the group of three from the door.

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Gallery Entrance 2

Some images of the gallery yesterday almost ready.

‘Silent Spaces’ iBook Format Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition catalogue for Silent Spaces, my solo gallery show at Alan Kluckow Fine Art this April and May is now available as an iBooks download (95MB so will take a minute or two!). It includes all twenty-six paintings being hung in the show, plus index, artist’s statement, and a short biography. If you would like to see which pieces are showing but can not get to the gallery, feel free to download and share. Best wishes, Nicholas.

Catalogue Cover 2

‘Silent Spaces’ iBook Format Exhibition Catalogue

Silent Spaces, Alan Kluckow Fine Art, Exhibition Catalogue

Catalogue Cover 1

Catalogue Title Page
Exhibition catalogue title page
Catalogue Spread 2
Catalogue spread L795 and L796
Catalogue Spread pp4 and 5
Catalogue spread L724 and L730

The proof of the exhibition catalogue for Silent Spaces at Alan Kluckow Fine Art, April 16th to May 10th 2016. 40 page linen casebound book and dust jacket wrapper, showing all twenty-six paintings in the gallery show, plus full index of works, artist’s statement and biography. This is also given to gallery clients on purchase of one of the pieces to provide context and additional provenance.

Silent Spaces, Alan Kluckow Fine Art, Exhibition Catalogue

Exhibition: ‘Silent Spaces’ at Alan Kluckow Fine Art – twenty six mixed media landscapes, April 16th to May 10th 2016

 

L730 300dpi AKFA Screen

My solo exhibition ‘Silent Spaces’ twenty six mixed media landscapes is at Alan Kluckow Fine Art between April 16th to May 10th 2016. This beautiful gallery is in Sunningdale Berkshire. The show will be showing selected works I made between 2013 and 2015, most of which have appeared on this blog. I will be at the gallery on a few days during the exhibition.

Exhibition: ‘Silent Spaces’ at Alan Kluckow Fine Art – twenty six mixed media landscapes, April 16th to May 10th 2016

New Home Page for Duration of Exhibition

NH-drawing AKFA Home Page

My landing page at nicholasherbert-drawings.co.uk has details of my solo show at Alan Kluckow Fine Art, Sunningdale, on the home page for the duration of the exhibition until May 10th. I am showing twenty-six mixed-media landscapes from 2013-2015. There will be a free online exhibition catalogue available on iBooks in a week or two. The link on the home page currently leads to a downloadable Pdf version. This is best viewed as two pages up together. There will be a case-bound book version of the catalogue at the gallery. I often get asked where my work can be seen and anyone who wishes to is very welcome to visit  the gallery from April 18th onwards. I will be at the gallery occasionally on and off until May 10th.

New Home Page for Duration of Exhibition