A Good Year – 2016

I know that 2016 has been a crazy year for so many reasons but I’ve spent some time going back over the year to reflect on where I started creatively in January and where I’ve arrived at in December.

So here are my highlights.

January to March 2016

What can I say – lots of painting. I really did begin with a bang and managed to keep this up for quite some time.  My favourite painting is this one of my son’s first pair of shoes which I have kept all these years.

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I had the pleasure of participating in the #TwitterArtExhibition which supported Foster Pride NYC New York, USA.  TAE had the biggest number of entries they had ever seen with close to 1000 cards from artists covering 35 countries around the world.  I’m pleased to report that my postcard sold on the first night raising funds for Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Programme, where young women in foster care learn to create and market a unique line of handmade goods.

If you fancy supporting this, click here to see this years event which is being held in the UK.

 

 

April to June 2016

Exhibiting at an Art Fair was a first for me and I took part in the Frome Art Fair in Somerset.  I enjoyed spending the weekend talking to people about art and I’m sure it’s something I’ll repeat again.

I joined Artists 303 in April and now enjoy being part of a formal artist community.  We’ll be exhibiting at the Round Tower in Frome, Somerset in May.

Remember the collaboration project I did with my printmaking friends.  Well, we turned this print into a tea towel and it has sold like hot cakes!  Such a good thing to do with others.

The end of June saw a return to Staithes and the production of my favourite painting of the year.  I’m not sure I’ve even given it a name, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it.

img_5111I started painting this one en plein air (outside) but I got so cold, I packed it in and came indoors.  I finished this at home using my sketches and a photo.  I was really pleased to say that all this painting outdoors is developing my visual memory and I was able to recall quite a bit of detail about the scene.

It sits in my studio to remind me what I can achieve with a limited palette and some good brushes!

 

 

July to September 2016

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#DrawingAugust came around again and although I didn’t get as many drawings done as I’d like, I was so pleased to see so many drawings on my twitter feed from all level of drawing ability.  Great fun!

I took part in Somerset Art Weeks again. This time I shared my exhibition space with two friends and I have to say, it was our best SAW yet.  Lots of visitors, tea & cake, sales, commissions and bookings for workshops.  A great result all around.

 

 

 

October to December 2016

After all the hard work of getting ready for Somerset Art Weeks and the exhibition itself, I flew off to Portugal for a painting holiday.  It was unseasonably hot which brought its own challenges.

I received a number of commissions for artists books during Somerset Art Weeks and these were mainly for Christmas presents.  Nothing like a deadline to keep you focussed!

deerparkAnother commission that meant a great deal to me was for a friend who married the love of her life in November.  They were married at Deer Park in Devon (such a lovely wedding) and so it only seemed natural to combine the name of the hotel with my love of nature.  The Deer Park commission was born.

This was an edition of 35 just for the guests on the day.

 

 

I realise that in doing this post, I have neglected to post so much throughout the year.  An indication of how much has been going on.  Hopefully this year I’ll be more disciplined about posting on my blog.

Happy New Year to you.  Thank you for your support through the many likes, shares, and comments/feedback that I receive.  It means a lot.  I hope that 2017 is a good year for you and that you have a successful year.

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Somerset Open Studios 17th September – 2nd October

Visit Venue 19 Somerset Open Studios

It’s that time of year again when I get my head down and organise the open studios event of Somerset Art Weeks.  I enjoy this event as you get to meet people who have taken the time and trouble to find you amongst the rolling Somerset countryside and ask you lots of questions of your art.  

I’m joined in my studio, this year, by Ann Fagan and Liz Biesty.  We’ve exhibited before and it’s a pleasure to do so again.  I love their work.  Even though we are all printmakers, we are all very different in style and you’ll be able to see that with the work we will be exhibiting.  There will be prints, paintings and cards on display and for sale, as well as cushions.  If we get ourselves organised there might even be some artists books.

If you are in Somerset for these two weeks, it would be great to see you.  Even if you don’t manage to get to our venue, there are plenty spread across the county that you can visit.   Have a look at the http://somersetartworks.org.uk. There’s a digital guide here if you aren’t able to get a paper one.

I’d better get back to the long list of things to do!  I think a cup of tea might help with that!

Somerset Art Weeks 20th September until 5th October 2014

It’s been a busy few weeks getting ready for Somerset Art Weeks but we’re there now and all is going well.  The Banner sits outside the studio to let everyone know that they’ve arrived; it’s a recent addition to my promotional equipment and it certainly makes a statement.  Thanks to Linda Cote for sharing her’s with me to give me ideas of how to design it and for Christian at theprintsellers.co.uk for producing this for me.

The exhibition space took a few weeks to organise.  As much as I would like this to be my studio, it’s not!  I have a very small studio at home which is full of equipment and I wouldn’t be able to fit in many people or hang much on the walls. So, I’ve decamped to the Sun Room at home; making the most of the light to show off the prints.   There’s plenty of room in here for visitors to view my work without feeling that they in the way of each other and that’s so important if you want visitors to take the time to look properly.  I’ve been able to show visitors the linoprinting process and some have even had a go at printing a small sea gull.  It’s always appreciated when visitors like your work enough to part with their hard earned cash and I hope that those visitors who have purchased a print or card enjoy them for years to come.  It’s amazing how many visitors have bought cards and have already said they won’t send them to anyone!

If you can come, it would be lovely to see you.   Have a coffee/tea, have a chat, and have a browse.

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Somerset Arts Weeks

I am still here!  After #DrawingAugust finished it was all hands on deck for the new school year and getting ready for Somerset Arts Weeks.  I’m exhibiting in my studio this year and there’s lots to do to organise some hanging space for all the prints I want to put on display.  It’s been a family affair with all the organising and I must admit, I’m getting quite excited.  With all the organising going on I might not post very much but I’m hoping to do a couple more updates before Saturday 20th, when it all begins.

Here’s some new cards that I collected from Pennybatch last week.  Pennybatch now offer an on line card ordering service and I can’t recommend them enough.  Their customer service is fantastic as well as the quality of their work.  You’ll find them at www.pennybatchgallery.co.uk

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I’ve worked through all the work I have available now and know what I’m going to exhibit.  I just need to begin the jigsaw puzzle that is the hanging space to ensure that they all fit on the walls.  It’s definitely keeping me very busy and this is only half the work in this photo!

2013 – How will you remember your year?

The long and winding road that leads to the studio door has been filled with hopes, dreams, successes and disappointments – but above all, by learning.   It’s been a great year and there have been some notable highlights;

The kick start to the year came with Paul Foxton’s Daily Drawing Challenge which made me commit to drawing every day in January.  Sometimes external promises like this can really start you off in the right direction and give you a real boost, not to mention a sketchbook full of drawings.

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I’ve been building my social media prescence this year too and I have made some great Twitter friends which is where my next highlight comes from.  A conversation with Dean Lewis (@olderthanevil) in May brought about the idea of #DrawingAugust and the take up was huge.  Over 200 people took part in this daily drawing challenge and posted their drawings for everyone to see on Twitter.  There are quite a few posts dedicated to #DrawingAugust and in August I posted 4 sets of drawings on the blog.  I put all my drawings together on Pinterest.

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In July I attended the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and saw a wonderful range of art, it was truly breathtaking. It’s the world’s largest open-submission exhibition and definitely something on the list to apply for.

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I participated in Somerset Art Weeks in September and it was great fun to meet new artists and share a group venue with them.  I spend a lot of time on my own when I do my art, head down, concentrating, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to share my practice with others.

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September was also special for the interest that was taken in #DrawingAugust by publications.  I received two emails asking to do an article about #DrawingAugust and I was delighted!  The Wales Arts Review is a not-for-profit on-line arts magazine and their Senior Editor Gary Raymond asked if we would be interested in doing this article.  This was particularly special – and even more special is that Gary has included this article in his review of the year – definitely worth a read.  I was also contacted by Steve Pill, the Editor for the Artists & Illustrators magazine.  Unfortunately this article didn’t go ahead because of space pressures in that month’s edition – but just to be contacted was great.

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In the interests of developing my practice further, I spent three days in Wales with Ian Phillips, a printmaker whose work I have admired for a long time. It was a great three days although it rained a lot!

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Finally, this year has ended well – I submitted a body of work to the Biophelia Exhibition  and was really pleased to hear that it was accepted.  It was great to see the work in situ on the evening of the private view .

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So, what does 2014 hold … Well, I’ve got an exhibition starting in mid January which I’m preparing for now, and I’m currently writing a small list of promises that I’m making to myself.  It’s going to be another busy year and progress along the path.  It’s a journey that I’m really pleased to be taking and each step helps me to achieve my overall goal.  I hope that you have had a great year and that you are looking forward to every possibility in 2014.

Somerset Art Weeks Exhibits

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Here’s one of my prints that I’m exhibiting for Somerset Art Weeks.  Why don’t you come along and see it on the wall of The Little House of Art, 6 Albert Buildings, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9JN.  We’re open from 11am-5pm daily.

I’m exhibiting with 5 other artists:

Paul Burgess

Lynn Keddie

Rob Sherwood

Tamsyn Gregory 

Wendy Dunt

I’ll be there on Saturday, 28th September and Sunday, 29th September from 11am – 5pm and I’ll be happy to talk through how I design and produce my prints.