Long Overdue Update

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My apologies for having been silent for so long but I’ve actually been terribly busy. Fitting in my roles as Artist, Housewife and Mother can sometimes be quite a challenge and just getting the work done overrides telling everyone about it!  Forgive me.

I don’t think I need to update you on the housewife and mother bit that’s just the same old, same old. Coping with two teenagers both of whom are doing heavy duty exams at the moment and so are somewhat grumpy can be debilitating, constantly trying to stay positive and cheerful in the face of grunts and dead pan looks is quite exhausting.  Plus lots of construction going on at home as we finally have our bedroom refurbished and lovely new brick paths laid in the garden.

At the same time coping with lots going on in my Art World.  I have been hard at work FOS 2017_Frome Festival advert-3rd pagecompleting a book I have published about my work.  Its a small tome that basically gives an insight into what has inspired me to create some of my pieces.  I am pleased to say several copies were sold in my recent exhibition with the Wylye Valley Art Trail and I will be bringing it along to Venue 25 Vicarage Street Gallery in the Frome Open Studios which launches on 8th July in Frome.  Wylye Valley was a very successful week for everyone in my venue and we were chuffed to pieces that over 800 people came to see us, a very successful event for us all.  You can find details of the artists I was exhibiting with on this website.

I have many other irons in the fire too.  I am thrilled to be taking part in Somerset Art Weeks in September with two new artists I have met, Michael Brobson and Joanna Briar.  We met through Love From the Artist where we all sell our images as cards (see link below).  We will be exhibiting from one of my favourite local pubs, The George at Croscombe, in between Wells and Shepton Mallet.  So I am looking forward to spending several days sitting in a pub, oh dear what a hardship!

I’m also terribly flattered to have been asked by Fusion Five to exhibit with them in the Shaftesbury Art Centre in September as well.  It’s a lovely venue encompassing rehearsal studios, theatre which regularly shows both amateur and professional productions with a superb gallery next door where the five of us will be showing our work.  Look out for details of our preview in September.

I’m also in talks with fellow artists with a view to taking part in a specifically surrealist exhibition in the near future.  PLUS I’m very flattered to have been told by Bruton Art Factory, ahead of time that I am accepted for their next big show, The Brut Contemporary opening with one of their usual excellent previews on 7th July.

As if this wasn’t enough I have three pieces of work about to be exhibited in Elm Hayes Surgery for three months with The Old Bakery Artists and further work with them in The Round Tower Black Swan Arts during the Frome Festival.  Finally I’m hoping to be able to show in another prestigious Somerset Gallery in 2019.

So I hope you can forgive me for my silence as there has been a lot to do.  I do hope some of you will be able to find time to visit one of these events, hop over to my exhibitions page for details.

TTFN (for those who don’t know that means Ta Ta For Now)

February 2017 – Skiing! Whoosh!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Anyone who follows me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will have been bored stupid last week with all my posts about skiing.

Yes – I admit it.  I am an artist who skis.  It’s good to have some things that are apart from the day job and by that I don’t just mean everyday things like washing, ironing, kids etc., etc.  Skiing is something I never thought I would take to but having married a man to loves to ski it was either take it up or get left at home.  18 years on and we ski, like many, for one week every year and we go to New Hampshire, USA.  He loves it, the kids love it and yes I love it.

All that fresh air, challenging yourself and whipping down a mountain on two planks with the odd turn thrown in and trying not to fall over, there’s nothing like it.  And the views, my goodness from the top of a snow capped mountain you feel like you can almost see the whole world spread out below you like one ginormous Christmas card.

 

Yes, you get to see pictures of my kids all kitted out at the top of Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire.  This year’s holiday was fantastic, we had over 3 feet of snow in one week, drove and skied through blizzards and rolled around in the soft powder that was snow.  Ate the most disgustingly calorie, fat filled meals and drank more than we do in a month. It couldn’t have been better.  It’s the holiday we all look forward to, a chance for the family to be together, doing something we all enjoy.

Back to the views, well this year with all the snow we didn’t see many views because it was snowing a lot of the time!  Quelle suprise!  It’s hard to describe the fun unless you are a skier, I know when I am talking to other skiers we all get very dull for those around us who don’t ski as we laugh over our worst falls, expound over our best runs and describe what daredevils we have or haven’t been.

I’m not a great skier, what you would call Intermediate, I know my limits and avoid the really tricky stuff.  You need to start almost before you can walk, like my kids, to be good at that stuff.  But at 55 I am really happy with what I can do and it’s an opportunity for me to challenge my age and imagine I am no older than I was 30 years ago.

So whilst we are back now and I will recommence work on a current commission I have on the go, think and prepare for a couple of exhibitions I have lined up, explore new images and ideas I will dream now and again of whipping down those slopes and count the days until we can book the flights for next year.

Meanwhile, please do enjoy a few select images from our hols.

Hello 2017

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

It’s been a mixed year for all of us I believe with worldwide political upheaval, financial worries, a seeming rash of celebrity deaths and quite probably our own personal demons to deal with.

It goes to show that fame and fortune are not necessarily all they are cracked up to be and yet so many of us still strive to attain this goal, whatever it is.  If we as artists became fabulously rich would we stop creating?  I don’t think so, we see most celebrities who appear to have achieved their goal and yet they keep working, keep producing and continue to create.  So money and fame are not the object.

What does fame and fortune bring?  Is it the necessary affirmation that what we create is beautiful to others, partly yes I think so.  This alone doesn’t however seem to bring satisfaction as so many of these famous or infamous people succumb to drug and alcohol abuse leading to troubled lives and sadly eventual early and often tragic demise.

Is this need for constant and yet unfulfilled affirmation of our abilities the sole realm of creatives.  I don’t believe so, there are many out there who are not artistically creative who also seem to suffer from a need to enhance their lives with mind altering substances thus possibly adding to existences full of turmoil. Whilst all around us there are those not seeking artistic recognition, just trying to get on with the daily struggle of life whose lives are full of uninvited disturbance and difficulty who continue to cope many most admirably on a daily basis.

So it seems that just part of the human psyche for some will include these difficulties.  I wonder though has anyone done a study on the proportion of people who suffer with these difficulties that come from creative backgrounds versus more ordinary backgrounds.  I hesitate to say ordinary because I don’t actually believe that anyone is ordinary, we are all very individual, everyone has their story just some seem to cope better than others.

Whatever your leanings I hope your/our 2017 is a good one, that we manage this year each with our own share of happiness and serenity and should trouble come knocking at our door that we have friends to support us through difficult times.

I wish you all the best for 2017.

 

Busy Life

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My apologies it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything for this blog but as I am sure you know I am never short on words, so get comfortable and read on.

It’s been a busy month or so, I am setting up an exhibition later today at The Huntingdon Gallery in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire having been invited to take part by Lisa Metcalfe the owner.  It’s always nice to be asked!  Lisa has proved to be a consummate organiser gathering together an eclectic group of artists with plenty of diversity to offer and efficiently covering all the bases needed when putting on these events.  It’s been a real pleasure to work with someone who has the same attention to detail and standards as my own.  So if you are free this Friday (9th Dec) for our preview 6-8pm at The Huntingdon Gallery, 28a Huntingdon Road, Bradford on Avon please come or visit us between 10th-20th December, 10am-5pm.

fawe-final-small

 

Last week I also had the privilege of taking some of my work into The Good Gallery (www.goodgallery.co.uk) in Stony Street, in Frome as their Artist of the Month for December.  Where, if I say so myself, it is looking splendid on your right as you enter the shop, you can’t miss it, so once again please do go along and take a look.

Not only is this a very attractive and professionally run gallery set up by the extremely capable Debbie Cripps but its unique selling point is that all commission goes directly to the Cancer Counselling Charity “We Hear You”.  A brilliant way to make art really give something back to the community.

In the meantime my great supporters at The Bruton Art Factory once again selected new pieces of mine for their Winter Exhibition “In the BRUTon Midwinter” which is on until 20th December.  A little bird told me at the preview that they will want more work of mine for a show planned next year as well..  The owners Suzanne Bissett and Kale have been so encouraging to me urging me to continue to hone my very individual style in the face of what is accepted as fashionable at the moment by continuing to hang and feature my work on a permanent basis.

 

As if this wasn’t enough I can finally reveal my design that won the Mayor of Frome’s Christmas Card Competition to be sent to all the current Mayor’s contacts and featured on the front of the Frome Christmas Brochure.  On the right I have slipped in my design for my own personal Christmas Card as well, which can be bought along with many of my designs from www.lovefromtheartist.com

 

And finally, as those in the business know organisation for some of the exhibitions we do starts months in advance, none more so that the Wylye Valley Arts Trail coming up in May 2017 (27th May-4th June).  Once again I will be exhibiting and hopefully repeating the success of 2015 by exhibiting with The Frome Collective at Longbridge Deverill Village Hall near Warminster.  Our group is a little different to last time with 4 of the artists from before busy with other things but this has meant we will be able to bring something new to the visitors with beautiful silver jewellery, abstract paintings, silk painting, dream catchers, expertly turn wooden boxes and chopping boards and more plus cutting edge contemporary ceramics to add to hand woven and knitted textiles, surrealism, realism/abstract painting.  I’m really looking forward to it.  You will find a link on my website which is currently under construction with fully details of all the artists taking part so please come back and check.

As you can see, never lost for words.  So on with all the organising, Christmas preparations and festivities.  I won’t wish you compliments of the season as I am sure there will be more to report very soon.

 

Autumn enters on a High

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

With much of the world in political turmoil, people still recovering from the Banking crisis in 2009 and Brexit this year it has been a tough few years particularly for 2D artists.

Whilst those making items with a use I believe may have weathered this period better, please correct me if I am wrong, 2D work is hard for the average buyer to reconcile with their daily expenses.  There is always the problem of how to price work, should it be affordable but then does this devalue your work or should you price high to truly reflect the seemingly invisible hours of work and training that have gone into the construction of your finished piece of work.  Who knows?

fawe-final-small

I, for one, am pleased this time to be reporting that whilst most of this year has been somewhat slow Autumn seems to have heralded some successes for me.  I’ve just completed two successful exhibitions at Starlight Studio Art in Shepton Mallet and The Victoria Hall in Radstock.  I have two highly promising exhibitions in the pipeline for 10-20 December at the Huntingdon Gallery in Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire (see right) and will be the featured artist at The Good Gallery in Stony Street in Frome for December, both excellent well run venues.

To add to this I’m hoping to have my work featured permanently in rather a good hotel locally, I have received a request for a large commission from a client and my design for the Frome “Mayors Christmas Card Competition 2016” won.  It will be featured on all the Frome Mayors Christmas Cards this year and on the front page of the Frome Events Calendar for Christmas.  So rather a lovely local feather in my cap.

So I’m feeling that even if things seem to start not so well and are occasionally somewhat bumpy along the way, it is true that you never know what may be around the corner so you should never give up trying, always be positive and most of all be true to your heart. Somewhere your lucky star is just waiting for you to find it, so don’t stop looking.

Ups and Downs

My mind hasn’t really been on creativity this month as at home we have had sad things to cope with, my husband’s father was hospitalised and very sadly died 2 weeks ago. He had been very ill for many years with rheumatoid arthritis which had compromised his immune system and as anyone who has experience of this debilitating condition will know your quality of life diminishes as time goes by.  However we are privileged to have had him with us for 78 years, for him to have seen his grandchildren grow into lovely accomplished teenagers and to have had him as a seminal part of our lives.

Work however goes on.  I’ve just published today on this site a recent commission for a greetings card which had a very specific brief.

“A blonde woman with shoulder length hair dressed as a nurse pushing a wheel chair.
Accompanied with 2 dogs, brown Labrador and sheepdog
Old woman in the wheelchair smoking
Bag on the back of the wheelchair with £££ on
A power station behind her
A hill in the background with a radio mast on top
House half way up the hill with a big conservatory
Black Audi TT convertible outside the house
music coming from house.”

Thankfully the client was very pleased with the result.

I have had one exhibition at Starlight Studio Art in Shepton Mallet which has just finished and another at The Victoria Hall in Radstock which continues until 20th October.  Both are going well with sales and many lovely comments coming in.  I’ve been invited to exhibit in two further venues in December, The Round Tower, Black Swan Arts and The Huntingdon Gallery in Bradford on Avon – see my exhibition page for more details.

Then to crown this my design for the Frome Town Council Christmas Card 2016 has won the competition.

So all in all art wise things are going well.  So whilst this month has been heavily tinged with sadness as I know my father-in-law would have taken great pleasure in all this news life with it’s ups and downs does go on.  Perhaps that is what keeps us going, taking pleasure from the triumphs helps us weather the storms.

Time I wrote an update!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may think I have been somewhat quiet of late and with regards to this blog page I have.  However, this is not so when it comes to my artistic activities.

Last week with lots of help from Amanda Stone-Outen I set up my exhibition at Starlight Studio Art and I gather so far my work has been received well with sales of smaller items.  My bright colourful work sits well in this small but perfectly formed space.  Mandie has created a beautiful calming space full of lovely eclectic things to see and buy, you can enjoy looking whilst enjoying some wonderful organic juice and or cake.  Her lemon Drizzle is to die for and gluten free too.

I also have many other irons in the fire with work already starting on a group for the Wylie Valley Art Trail in Wiltshire 27 May-4th June, 2017, plus I have plans for Open Studios from home during November and I will be showing work at The Good Gallery in Frome during December.  So life is really rather busy.

Alongside this I’m also looking at creating new images for my portfolio and having a general overhaul of everything.  So if I am not writing much this is why, I am not and never have been Superwoman!

Exhibition News

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am now revving up for my first exhibition for the autumn sadly it’s not at the RA just yet however, in my opinion possibly better! Its a small but perfectly formed gallery which has been created in nearby Shepton Mallett, Starlight Studio Art, 18 Town Street, Shepton Mallett BA5 5BJ.

Organised by Mandie Stone-Outen and her husband Brian Outen, two well known and popular figures in my area, Starlight Studio Art is a gallery with a difference, it is also a juice bar.  Mandie and Brian are great supporters of all the arts and particularly like to feature some of the many talented local artists, so I was very flattered when they contacted me to exhibit.  They have decorated the space beautifully, promoting a calm and joyful atmosphere where people can pop in have some juice, see and buy some beautiful pieces of local art and just enjoy the great ambience they have created.

Having spent a very pleasant hour or so with Mandie and Brian while organising the exhibition that is just what people do.  So I’m hoping that a whole new audience will come along to view my work.  So if you happen to be in the area between 8th September and 10th October they I highly recommend you make time to visit.

In addition to some of my tree inspired paintings I will be featuring my sketchbooks and some videos to help demonstrate just what it is that inspires me to create my work.  Looking forward to it and I hope you are too.

Tree Dance Flyer

Huge Relief!

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Just a little piece today to say how relieved I am to hear that the painting I sold through Saatchiart.com has reached it’s destination safely so I should get paid shortly.

Not, as I have said before, that the money is what it’s all about but remembering the love and effort which went into the original creation of this piece a financial return is rather a nice return.  Plus it will allow me to make further forays into exhibiting and entering my work for competitions and open submissions which as we all know is not free!  Whilst I have never expected painting to make me rich it has always been important to me that it does at least pay for itself and a bit of profit on top is the icing on the cake.

So after several hours carefully and painstakingly packing up this piece of work for it’s long journey across the pond to New York it is a huge relief to hear that it arrived safely.  I do feel sorry for the poor person at the other end who had to unpack it as I think I used almost one and a half rolls of packing tape to say nothing of the amount of bubble wrap. Much as I decry so much plastic in our world these days, it takes 50 years to decompose, bubble wrap is an amazing thing.  Fantastic for protecting paintings it is also great fun to sit bursting the little bubbles in moments of contemplation. I have yet to meet anyone who can resist.

In a complete digression, I remember a very happy morning spent with my son when he was little opening a large parcel at Christmas time which was wrapped in large layers of this useful packaging.  We spent at least an hour or so with me sitting on the kitchen floor while he in deep joy ran and jumped all over the bubble wrap listening with glee as all the little bubbles popped.  Often the simple pleasures are the best.

So to get back on track I’m just glad “The Daily Climb” has a lovely new home, arrived safely and hope it’s release to the world may lead to new sales, perhaps one of these two might be next.

Life is full of surprises!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Just when I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps, paintings have not sold well this year, something good happens.  Well actually, several good things.

Feeling a little exhausted after The Frome Open Studios earlier this month where I did quite well but failed to sell much in the way of original artwork, I’ve been feeling a bit jaded. Questioning whether I’m painting the right things or even should I be painting at all?  I think all artists go through this.  One thinks about should I change direction, should I try a different medium, should I try a different skill?  What can I do to try to get my message across as clearly it is not reaching as many people as I would like.

It’s not that the money is the main stimulus for creating, far from it.  But it is affirmation that somebody feels that what you are doing is worth spending their hard earned money on.  Let’s face it in these uncertain times with a changing political face, Brexit (Oh how I hate that word!), strange things happening in America (who on earth would have thought in a sane world that Donald Trump would have run for President let alone get as far as he has), religious fanaticism, rising bigotry and horrifying terrorism, money is tight on many levels.  So if someone buys your work then you know they truly love and understand it.  So when that isn’t happening you wonder where you might be going wrong.

The Daily Climb Nov 2009

The Daily Climb

However, on a lovely sunny afternoon when I was innocently spending some rare time in the local Beauty Salon getting my nails done for a special occasion, someone spies me there, pops in and says “I’ve been meaning to call you.  You know I love your work and I’d like you to do a commission for me!”  How absolutely lovely!  Then, the icing on the cake I get a message from Saatchi Art, which I have been registered on for some years with no success, telling me one of my classic pieces, “The Daily Climb” has been sold to a buyer in New York.

So whilst round the corner is not always good, on this occasion, for me and just at the right time it’s bloomin’ brilliant. So thank you God (or whoever you are) just now I am feeling blessed and happy and ready to continue creating.