Thursday, 27 May 2010

I'm off to see the wizard

The private view went well last night. A big turn out and I sold a painting...which is always pleasing. Good to get one under your belt early on!
The Level Best Art Gallery has offered me a date to exhibit in the Autumn which is great news. I will post more details on that nearer the time.

I'm off now to Libya for a week. Am very much looking forward to finding painting inspiration there as well as soaking up the sights and smells of another fascinating North African country. I will paste some photos on my return.

In the mean time I leave you with some photos of truly beautiful rusty, weather beaten walls. Taken when I was down at Brightlingsea last weekend. These will probably be interpreted into some art work at a later date. Locked away in my endless ideas books, to be used a source of inspiration when I need it.

Monday, 24 May 2010

An artful Summer

Essex has many arty projects going on this Summer. Have a look at the website for list of diary events. Something for everyone. I shall be taking part in the Colchester Open Studios weekends in September, which is very exciting. 'Open Studios aims to provide greater opportunity for the public to access the visual arts as well as promote the great wealth of local visual artists in Colchester and Tendring'. It will be the first year I have done this and look forward to meeting like minded people. I will paste more details of that nearer the time.
I shall be starting 'Unlocking creativity' workshops to be held in my studio too. If you think you might be interested please email me, I will be posting details shortly.

Saturday, 22 May 2010


The 'Art at the Marina' show at Brightlingsea only runs for a few more weeks, so if you haven't already been to check it out, go before it finishes on the 13th June. There are lots of interesting works there, including jewellery, ceramics, photography, stained glass and of course lots of paintings. It is a non profit making venture, run by the artists. Commission going to the RNLI, a worthy cause.
I shall be down there today replenishing some work.

I also have to put the finishing touches on works going into the Stoke By Nayland Art Fair this next week. The 'Private view' is on Wednesday (26th) evening, 6-9pm. (Running until bank holiday Monday). Not sure why it is called a private view because everyone is welcome!
Again it is a collection of local artists with an eclectic mix of styles and mediums.

Phase two of this work. I have started to layer coloured paper and tissue now. The door reminded me of a Persian carpet...ooops is that a pattern sneaking in?!!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Works in progress

Here's a couple of paintings I'm working on, could be three. I never quite know when to stop. I get to a point when I'm painting that either I get bored and think that's enough, or don't like what I've done and discard it until a later date and I can tackle it again with renewed vigour. The moment I think I'm done I quickly have to slap a layer of varnish on to stop me from fiddling with it.

I stood and looked at these boards for some time, wondering what to do. I rarely have a detailed plan in my head. I may have an image of a subject, but no idea where to start. In fact the first few marks on a new canvas terrify me. Don't know what to do, I'll make a mess, it'll be rubbish etc etc.
Having trained as a textile designer my artworks quite often have a paterny quality, or I find a repeating patern emerges! It's half the reason why I took sculpture and printmaking try and break the neatness.
Now I throw stuff at the canvas in a very rushed and haphazard way. Or rather it feels that way. frenzied is probably more acurate. It takes ages. I use my fingers to smear paint straight from the tubes. I find if I use a brush I try to be too neat.

The boards above made me think of doors and then beautiful doorways in Marrakech. I have done a collage similar to this before but thought I would re visit the theme again. The North African, pink, medieval city has a special place in my heart. I hold an image in my head, a black eyed man wearing a dark red hooded djellaba. He holds out a suntanned hand offering walnuts to me. Such a magical place.

This one below, I knew I wanted to do an image of this bowl. I have a post card of the original, made by Lucie Rie. It is held in the Sainsbury centre for visual arts in Norwich. The vertical lines are tiny tiny words, written I don't know how, and impossible to read. But give a beautiful depth to the piece. I'm trying give an expression of that using torn French franc notes and newspaper. Not sure how this is going to end up!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Upcycled wood

A by product of moving trees around the country is a mountain of disused pallets. At the end of the season the surplus pallets are broken up and stacked in the yard. The rain and sun slowly dulling the patina down to a beautiful grey. Looking like planks of drift wood washed up in the farm yard.
I started to use the wood to make frames for my pictures. A lot of initial trial and error, my carpentry is rubbish, I'm not wildly practical. The first ones were quite clumsy, but I think I know have mastered the electric drill ans jigsaw! They are not perfect but I think their girlieness and handmadeness adds to their charm!

A wash of white paint, allowed to dry then rubbed back with sand paper, adds to the drift woody effect.

The latest use I have found for the wood is to actualy paint on it.
A few planks screwed and glued together make a great board on which to work.

Nelly Furtado felt the need to come and check out my progress. Then became sidetracked by the need to lay an egg!

Several coats of gesso and we are ready to go. I quite often have a couple of projects on the go at once. Mainly because glue and paint take a few hours to dry. So while I wait for the gesso to dry on this one, I shall crack on with another collage I started the other day.

The sun is shining today...oh joy, how we all need a little sunshine. It has been a long winter.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

A new start

So here we are again, it's that time of year when I have time to be in my studio. It's been a slow start this year as the weather has been sooo inclement!
Not only am I tied up with selling trees in the winter months but my studio is unheated and only one breeze block thick....brass monkeys wouldn't be able to stand the cold. I really must install a wood burner.
Anyway the start of a new blog.... one to show case my art work this time, more than the usual ramblings. I will try and post every week, or at least when I have something new to show. More of a diary for me really.
I have some work in two local exhibitions at the moment..but more of that later.

I'm starting with a glimpse of the work has recently been tidied, so no rude remarks!