Fun Fridays…..

A couple of interesting art related meetings have happened over the last week…leading to some things being updated, planned….slightly more confident that my aspirations for this year will come to fruition… more of which in a later post….

As part of my new found insight into the creative process I have decided to assign Fridays as fun days….days that inspire, whether that be a walk, visit to a gallery or exhibition…or just a day where I give myself permission to ‘play’ without being hard on myself….

Today has been a ‘studio’ play day… I know I want my next body of work to be based around the marker buoys and patterns on the mudflats of the Menai Straits… but I have been getting a bit ‘hung up’…cursing because I couldn’t reproduce the freedom and expression of my sketchbook work onto paper…so, today, no pressure, just playing in said sketchbook or on random scraps of paper…

….using whatever medium comes to hand…ink, watercolour pencil…

…playing with Photoshop…

…interesting seeing the different effects of the various paper…

It’s been fun..and interesting, providing an even more abstract idea for work….roll on the next Fun Friday…

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A Creative Show & Tell Night….

Friday (28th July) night was ‘Show & Tell/ A Creative Talk Night’ hosted by Modern Painters, New Decorators (MPND). MPND started in February 2017 and is a not-for-profit organisation based in Loughborough, Leicestershire; art and community are at the forefront of their aims, one of which is to give artistic people the chance to come together for workshops, advice, talks, as well as provide artists with the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.

The ‘Show & Tell Night’ is the second event they have staged, the first being their ‘Top Dollar Affordable Art Sale’ in June. Held at loc8me in Ashby Square, ‘Show & Tell’ brought together three guest speakers – all Loughborough based creatives working at both local and national levels.

The first was Chloe Hardisty who runs Cotton Clara; she designs, makes and sells colourful, bright, craft décor. On Instagram under the name cotton_clara as well as having an etsy shop, Chloe’s talk was about how she has finally taken the plunge and handed her notice in to go full time as a designer, maker and craft writer. Very honest in what she has sacrificed to get to this point, and making no bones about what a commitment the work entails, she then provided six tips that she had had to learn, sometimes, the hard way…. The one that really struck a chord for me was ‘just to start – forget about your perfectionist tendencies’ -(I got a nudge from my husband along with a knowing look at that point…)… Other tips included arranging a mentor/business advisor, developing your brand, saying yes to things as well as researching successful businesses, listening to creative podcasts and practice, practice, practice….

Second speakers were Kev and Gill, (apologies if incorrectly spelt) members of a consortium trying to regenerate (apologies for the pun) The Generator Building, Frederick Street, Loughborough. Originally owned by Loughborough College and now by Loughborough University, at present, the building stands empty, decaying…. The aim is to create an artistic and creative hub; a place that has workshops, studios, offices, café, exhibition space – a flexible space to provide maximum opportunities for the arts in Loughborough. This is the third time that an attempt has been made to gain funding for this – and the present climate of uncertainty doesn’t help – and both Kev and Gill were open about the hoops they have to jump through, the time and money it takes along with the frustrations…

It would be fantastic to have such a space in the town centre; there is such a vibrant art scene in the Charnwood area – Charnwood Arts being the local community arts and media organisation – and if this project came to fruition, it would be a real focus of attention where the multitude of artistic,creative people and endeavours could come together in one inspiring space….fingers crossed.

Last to speak was Liz Clark, Artistic Director of Turned On Its Head; Liz, along with Oksana Tyminska, created Turned On Its Head, a dance company specialising in creating creative movement and dance opportunities for young children and their families both in the community and theatre settings. The hearing loss of her young son, drove Liz, a dancer and choreographer, to look for alternative ways that he could engage with his surroundings. A workshop with Oksana lead to a light bulb moment and the rest is history as they say….

They now run workshops and classes in Loughborough, Leicester and Nottingham as well as performing their shows up and down the country, from the Drill Hall, Lincoln to the Barbican in London…

Question and answer sessions followed each speaker, and as the event was well attended, there were quite a few questions…..

The next event for MPND is the Sun Goddess Crouching exhibition, a solo show by Loughborough alumni Colette Griffin. The show opens on August 12th in Unit 33, Carillon Court, Shopping Centre, Loughborough….everyone welcome.

Modern Painters, New Decorators are on Facebook and Instagram (mpndprojects) – definitely worth a look!!

 

Taking Stock….Part Two…

Back in June I wrote a post called ‘Taking Stock’; having delivered the work to Blue Owl Art for the Exploring Place exhibition, I was contemplating how to move forwards….

As well as continuing to experiment, I booked myself on some workshops….the first of which was Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook Workshop….a thoroughly enjoyable day; the overriding ethos I took from this course, was to be kind to myself, to be patient…

…and eventually I will produce work that begs further development…

I am going on another course at the beginning of August; Caroline Chappell’s two day Abstracted Landscape workshop….

I am really hoping that the course will give me the inspiration, and the tools, to move the work forwards…..

 

(apologies for the blurry photo…)…charcoal beginnings…

I quite like the above, so will be interesting to see what I take from this workshop and how I integrate it into my work…

Channelling……

Inspiration for my work comes from many sources…..number one is the countryside, both the coast and and the hills/mountains…

…the large scale…

…and on a smaller scale, from my own garden…

I just love the colour of this plant – Santolina Lemon Fizz… the nearest shade in my selection of watercolours is Daniel Smith Rich Green Gold….so I decided to channel, not only the colour, but also the memories of late evenings in Norfolk…the sunlight filtering through the reed beds…

….so here’s my effort…

…I really like the initial wash so am loathe to add any more to it – perhaps just intensify the colour?

Inspiration also comes from literature…. At the moment I am reading ‘The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland’ by John Lewis-Sempel. Included in the book is this quote from Richard Jefferies’ autobiography, ‘The Story of My Heart’:

‘I want to be always in company with the sun, and sea, and earth. These, and the stars by night, are my natural companions.’

Sounds like my kind of guy!!! This love of the landscape is something I try to convey in my work – whether  I am successful remains to be seen…

Having said that…I am pleased to report that, in the first week of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire, I have sold FIVE paintings….

 

 

Studies in Blue…

Perhaps it is because I am a thalassophile that I love using blues in my work….

…plus the two that sold recently at the Blue Owl Art Exploring Place exhibition…

Cei Bach

Norfolk Memories

….always love the sea in all its guises…

..although I have recently discovered that the word for a lover of mountains is ‘acrophile’ – (n) ….

….and I do like mountains….

 

…although they have yet to figure as prominently in my work…as yet…

‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.’ John Muir

Flabbergasted……

Last night saw the Private View of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire…..Three artists, John Pooler, Kate Robotham and yours truly are exhibiting works ranging from John’s architectural watercolour scenes of local churches as well as views of Venice, Kate’s more illustrative ink and wash images of France and Norfolk, and my own ink, charcoal and watercolour works inspired by the Welsh coast, Norfolk and The Peak District.

A steady flow of people enjoyed the music, wine and of course the art…

Each of our styles as artists is different which adds an interesting variation to the exhibition; it certainly provided lots of discussion…

….I received lots of positive feedback and compliments…but the thing that truly had me flabbergasted was that I sold not one, not two, not even three…but four paintings….and that was on the first night!!!!

If you follow my blog you will know that confidence in my ability and my art is something I do not possess in any great quantity, so the positive feedback and the sales have been a wonderful boost…do you know, maybe I can do this!

A big thank you to Jette and Belinda for having faith in me and to those people who fell in love with my work …it has made this artist feel slightly taller than her normal 5′ 2″!!!

Calming The Butterflies……

 

In an attempt to quell the butterflies multiplying in my stomach (with regard to tonight’s Private View for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham Tennis Club, Grantham, Lincolnshire) I am continuing to play and experiment with the long, tall format…

I am using a roller and old card to move the ink and watercolour around… this produces some unexpected and pleasing results…sometimes..!!

I don’t feel that the two ink pieces above have worked particularly well…the left hand one became too ‘fixed’ in it’s composition whilst the right hand one needed more tonal variation….in my opinion…

The watercolour pieces showed interest so I persevered further with these two and I quite like the results….

…also, after some judicious cropping and inverting even one of the ink efforts got a slight thumbs up..

We will see if this experimentation leads to some new work but for now it is a great distraction…..