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″!!!

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Learning To Love One’s Self….

Yesterday I delivered my work to Blue Owl Art ready for the Exploring Place exhibition..

….and even though there is the Private View tomorrow night and the continuing exhibition, it felt a little like ‘well that’s that, now what?’..

I’ve felt loathe to pick up my paints and inks again and I couldn’t work out why….until I realised I was waiting to see how the exhibition work was received…if favourably that was like a thumbs up to carry on, if not, well it was time to go back to the drawing board, excuse the pun…

Lack of confidence in my ability and work is a huge obstacle for me (seeing the work of John Pooler and Kate Robotham, the other artists in the exhibition, started that little, doubting voice in my head,) … it is as if I am waiting for someone else to say ‘it’s okay, you’re doing well’…

So I have been doing a bit of soul-searching, reflecting, reading… regular visitors to my blog will know that I recently went on a Helen Hallows workshop and I was particularly taken with some things she realised when she fell out of love with herself and her art…

‘I need to accept who I am, what I am, where I am’….

Helen also commented on how, after a visit to the National Space Centre and viewing a film there called ‘We are all Stars’, it made her realise that our place in the cosmos is insignificant; in the history of the universe, we are gone in the blink of an eye…

..so why worry the little things…so what if not everyone likes your work….as long as you do…

With that in mind I am working on learning to accept who I am and what I do…and I made a start today by giving myself permission just to play…not expecting anything, just splashing ink around, making marks…getting my fingers covered in charcoal…

…and I know that the majority of the above will be ‘filed’ but that’s okay..

…..because I had fun…and who knows, these experiments might lead me onto a new body of work or they may not…

…but I like them…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Countdown….

Well, I am pleased to say that, after a couple of marathon mounting/framing sessions (huge thanks to my better half for all of his help with this), all the work for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art is packed and ready to go!!

I have tried to select work that I feel best depicts my emotional response to the countryside, whether that be The Dark Peaks of Derbyshire or the flat expanse of the North Norfolk coast. I am really happy with how they look…(and as long as I am happy with them that’s all that should matter…)

                                               ‘ Cei Bach’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Copsewood’                                                          ‘Tangled’

‘Uplands’

                                              ‘Dark Peak II & I’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Pingle’                                                             ‘Roughet

 

                                                 ‘Selvedge’

‘Windswept Sentry’

                                              ‘Boundary Tree’

                                                   ‘Hagg’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Hawthorn I & II’

                                             ‘Suthering’

                                                 ‘Cow & Calf’

                                               ‘Fenlands’

                                                ‘Smeuse’

                                                ‘Norfolk Memories’

……but the doubts creep in – doubts that are common to most artists I should imagine….

Anyways, the PV is on 29th June at 7.00pm – you are all very welcome….would be lovely to see you there…..and the exhibition then runs until October!

(Apologies, wordpress seemed to have a mind of its own as regards lining up the titles  under the work….or perhaps it is more likely to be operator error….)

 

 

 

Opening Night – Inspired by Nature…blog update

Well Thursday 30th April saw the Private View of ‘Inspired by Nature’ at Blue Owl Art, Grantham. Lincs. For ages it just seemed like a date on the calendar but last night saw the materialisation of everyone’s hard work!  The exhibition features the work of nine artists in a variety of mediums, sizes and all importantly prices! And even though the exhibition was themed ‘Inspired by Nature’ – this too, saw a wide variety of responses to the subject.

imageMy work sat alongside that of photographer Peter Roberts, artists Mary Jane Alexander, Jackie Berridge, Jackie Cheetham, Daniel Goodchild, Kate, Robotham and Sue Rowland, and jeweller Sheila Kerr.

imageMary Jane Alexander’s work depicts both landscape and still life in oils. Large and small, the work is rich in colour and texture and possesses a movement, almost rhythmical in nature, that draws your eye around the paintings. I particularly liked The Cherry Orchard and the one of the Downs (the name eludes me for which I sincerely apologise).

imageimageAlongside Mary Jane’s figurative work sat Daniel Goodchild‘s more abstract landscapes. Daniel explores the materiality of the paint, thickly applied (is the term ‘impasto’?) layering marks and textures to produce an abstracted response to the landscape. Standing back from the work, one got an overall feel for the topography and form, but the work drew you closer to explore the textures and colours, to see the detail in each of the marks – luxurious and opulent were the words that came to mind to describe the richness of the oils.

imageimageSue Rowland has a passion for textiles and surface patterns and where better to look for inpiration than the landscape. From her prints and textile piece, you can see she has an eye for the details of the flora and fauna of the natural world – the little things that often get overlooked. The wall hanging was rich in detail as well as colour and textures. My own sewing skills are negligible, so I was hugely impressed with the work and stitching in this piece. Again and again, you were drawn back to the work because you had suddenly spotted another gem – a leaf, a flower, an egg…

imageimageKate Robotham and I studied Fine Art at Loughborough University together so it was great to catch up and hear all the news!

Kate’s work aims to capture some of the mystery of the world around us, encouraging us to investigate further and to take pleasure in our sometimes mundane surroundings. Using composition and texture, her works are rich in colour (I think she has a penchant for blue..) and although two of her pieces in this exhibition were large scale, you were still drawn to take a closer look – just as Kate wants you to do at your own environment….

imageSitting amongst the figurative and abstract works was Jackie Berridge‘s pieces. From a distance they appear naive, childlike even.. but when you investigated further you saw they portrayed a darker side…. Set within imaginary landscapes (inspired by Italianate gardens and English arboretums) which include anthromorphic figures – animal heads set atop human bodies, the work explores relationships both good and bad. Unsettling is the word here…..

imageimage

Now for some apologies…..

 

Apologies to Peter Roberts – I haven’t got any images of your work – but as you know I think your landscapes are wonderful – loving the Seaton Carew sunrise and the Beacon Hill Snowy Rocks (not that I am at all biased…)

Apologies also to Sheila Kerr as I haven’t got any images of her jewellery (my photos didn’t turn out well – I’m blaming my Ipad, glass cabinet and spotlights.. nothing at all to do with the Prosecco!) However, she produces the most beautiful pieces of jewellery; bracelets, necklaces, rings… Well worth a look! (Get saving P – got my eye on a bangle…)

Finally apologies to Jackie Cheetham – no images of your work (second glass of Prosecco and lots of talking…) Jackie works in oils and is experimenting with colour and this shone through in her works on display; Magpie – black and white, and another one of daffodils, vibrant and rich in colour!

Also taking place last night was a performance by Lincoln based artists GAST. Take Heed was a piece concerned with the invention/development of the game of tennis – well the gallery is set within Grantham Tennis Club! Everyday is a school day so they say and I certainly learnt a thing or two about the game. Did you know that the scoring system originated from the winning player taking an egg from a basket at the side of the court. The wiiner was therefore the player who had all the eggs in his basket  The french word for egg is l’oeuf which got anglicised to ‘love’….

These artists must be very fit because they ran around for the whole evening…

imageimageI heard lots of positive comments about my own work and the exhibition in general which is always good! Many thanks Jette and Belinda for all your support and hard work. Now if I could just sell some pieces….

 

Quick, quick, slow…..blog update

It’s been a quiet few weeks for me recently, spending time with family and managing to fit in a holiday to Herefordshire, the Wye Valley and the Brecon Beacons – fabulous scenery, great walks – if you watched the BBC’s Secret Places last week you would get a flavour of the area – wonderful!

imageimageimage

I also had a little trip to Aberaeron in Wales – what a lovely place! Beautiful harbour, pastel painted houses and the sea……… Lovely seafood risotto at The Harbourmaster……………..

imageimageimageimageThat was the slow part! Time now seems to be quickening and the exhibition is looming large! Inspired by Nature at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire has its Private View on Thursday 30th April 7 – 9pm and the exhibition then runs from Friday 1st May to 31st August.

It is the usual flurry of activity getting everything ready to drop off at the gallery next week – it is also the time when the angst kicks in!  You see the list of exhibiting artists and wonder ‘What am I doing…?’ Wish you could buy confidence….

Anyhow, enough of the wallowing – the Private View looks like being a fab evening. There is a performance piece ‘Take Heed’ by Lincoln based artists Dale Fearnley and Laura Mahony. Sheila Kerr willl be exhibiting her ‘Crest of a Wave’ jewellery – I love her work! And alongside me, Mary-Jane Alexander, Jackie Berridge, Jackie Cheetham, Peter Roberts, Kate Robotham, Daniel Goodchild and Sue Rowland will be exhibiting their work inspired by the world around us. It will be fascinating to see how each artist interprets the subject – in a variety of mediums including oils, mixed media and photography.

I will keep you updated as to how the evening went….. Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of some of the pieces I will be exhibiting!

Fragile Lands IIFragile Lands IIIFragile Lands VFragile Lands VIIFragile Lands VI(Apologies for the blue tinge to some of the photos – the light was fading…)

(I hope I managed to get all the links correct – if not – my sincere apologies…)

Drawing Near…blog update

Although the last few days have seen blue skies and sunshine there is definitely an autumnal feel to the early mornings. Sad as it may be to feel that 2014 is slipping away, I do love the changing seasons; blue skies, crisp brown leaves, and, just lately, we have been blessed with skeins of geese flying to and from their nesting/feeding grounds, honking loudly as they go!

The ‘drawing’ in of the evenings also means that the ‘Making A Mark’ exhibition at Blue Owl Art is ‘drawing’ closer – apols for the pun overload! The invites for the Private View are being sent out and the delivery and hanging of the work is in full swing!

Blue Owl Art Invite

I feel very honoured to have been asked to take part in this exhibition, one of eight artists showing their work as part of The Big Draw event. My work will hang alongside that of Steve Dargavel, Amir Ghazy-Noory, Linda Holloway, Barbara Karn, Mary Romer, Kate Robotham and Sam Smith – hoping I’ve got all the links to the correct sites (apols if I haven’t!) Have to admit to feeling more than a little apprehensive. My previous exhibitions have been big site-specific installations; this one feels much more intimate and personal.

Silver Birch TriptychSilver Birch I

 

 

 

 

The Private View is on the 19th September, 7-9pm at Blue Owl Art at the Grantham Tennis Club, Gonerby Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 8HU. The exhibition runs until mid-January 2015.

 

In other news – I was highly delighted to be selected as Creative Leicestershire‘s ‘Artist of the Week’ for this current week! An image of my work appears on the header of their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!

Creative LeicestershireIn contrast to my charcoal drawings, I am, at present, really enjoying working with pastels and……colour(!) …something I haven’t done a lot of since my Foundation Course days!

AuchencairnI have now framed the view of Auchencairn – I will get around to taking a photo… Mmmm, I feel a series of pastel landscapes coming on…watch this space!

Launch of a dream…blog update

Last night Peter and I went along to the launch event of Blue Owl Art, a new artistic venture based at Grantham Tennis Club, Lincolnshire. Blue Owl Art is owned and run by Jette Rasmussen and Belinda Thomas, two very talented ladies whom I met at Grantham College where we all studied for our Foundation in Art & Design (that seems a long while ago ladies!). Whilst completing their Fine Art Degrees at the University of Lincoln, Jette and Belinda were asked what they were going to do with this ‘arty qualification’ and that’s when the seeds of Blue Owl Art were sown! Their aim was to have a gallery space where they could hold exhibitions, sell art and craft based work and run art events and workshops.

Blue Owl Art

After months of hard work and determination, Blue Owl Art opened its doors for business last night with an exhibition supporting emerging artists Chris Bagnall and Kate Robotham. Like Jette and Belinda, Chris graduated from the University of Lincoln. Working in oils and charcoal on canvas, Chris is ‘concerned with the notion that a stranger is an abstract ideal’. Sketches of strangers form the basis for paintings that focus on the ‘form and presence rather than the identity’ of the figures portrayed. I found that the longer I stood in front of the paintings the more I was drawn into them – appreciating the juxtaposition of the fact the figures were represented as shapes, but to me, they seemed to be having a conversation – really thought-provoking!

Chris Bagnall

Chris Bagnall

 

 

 

Kate graduated from Loughborough University. Her interests lie ‘within the cross-over between nature, colour and painting, seeking to express the beauty of nature through the medium of paint’. Taking her inspiration from the landscapes around her, she produces semi-abstract paintings using vibrant colours to portray the abundance and profusion of nature – to such great effect that you feel like diving right in, taking a deep breath and inhaling all the wonderful perfumes the paintings capture!

Kate RobothamKate RobothamAlongside the art exhibition, Blue Owl Art also sell craft based items including jewellery by Sheila Kerr, Gill Pottle and Rachel Jones, (got my eye on some beautiful ear-rings), porcelain ware by Perin Towlson and Katharina Klug, hand printed items by Andrew Berwick, wonderfully quirky objects by Helen Russell and items such as lamps made from re-cycled objects as well as hand-made greetings cards by Carrie-Ann Coupe to name but one of the talented designers . If I’ve missed anyone off the list I apologise – you really need to visit Blue Owl Art to see the whole range!!!

The opening night of Blue Owl Art was a great success; lots of people attended the event and equally as exciting – sales were made!!

Blue Owl Art launch event

This first exhibition runs until the 5th September 2014. Jette and Belinda are planning a programme of exhibitions, events and workshops in the future; see their website www.blueowlart.co.uk for more information – or follow them on Twitter – @BlueOwlArt or Facebook – BlueOwlatGTC – well worth a look!

Well ladies, you’ve done it! Huge congratulations and every success in the future – Blue Owl Art has certainly put Grantham on the artistic map!