Wednesday, 24 April 2013

RAW Directory Launch and Other Plans

I have a car full of boxes containing the newly printed Ryedale ArtWorks Directories plus 23 boxes stacked up in what will be our new sitting room once we finish the building work. I aim to deliver the ones in my car to Sawmill Studios this evening, so that they are in place for the launch meeting on 25th, 7 pm.  I think it is the best Directory we have produced so far; there are some new members both in the gallery and the artist/makers section and the standard is very good.  I hope the members like it as much as we do.

As membership secretary of Ryedale ArtWorks I have been working with the other committee members, Andy Dalton,  Liz Bailey and Jenny Pepper  and we are delighted to be able to announce some exciting developments for this year that will benefit all members.  Lots of stuff has been going on behind the scenes as it were and we are very excited!

Unfortunately I will not be at this meeting because I am going to see singer songwriter Tom McRae in York - really excited about this because I have followed him for years but not seen him live for a while.  I love his work, very dark and beautiful.

It is the last few days of my exhibition, which comes down on Monday 29th.  Tricia, who bought Winter, is arriving on Sunday to collect it and so I will go over to the museum to remove it from the wall and wrap it ready for her. It will be nice to see her again.  I have also sold one of the pieces in the browser, which a lot of people think are prints, but they are all original paintings/drawings, so a snip at £85 for the largest ones and £45 for the small. I will reflect on the experience of creating this solo exhibition in a later post, once I have allowed the dust to settle.

A few of the pieces in the browser, the top piece is actually the only print and consists of 3 mono prints on Chinese paper mounted on paper, the rest are all original paintings/drawings.

The work has been well received from both artists, whose opinion I value and the general public.  I have spent the last couple of days making space in the outbuilding at home, which is where all my work is stored on racking.  I think there is just about enough room for History Painting, which is eleven and a half feet wide, it will be partly on the racking and partly on blocks of wood as it is too long!

During the next few weeks, I need to get my storage units out to my studio and reorganise the space properly.  These storage units, plus plan chest have been in storage since I moved up here and they will enable me to use the space much more efficiently and will provide me with more work top, which will be great.

After that: I am planning to spend the rest of the year making two more large canvases that will complete the quartet; two are already in the show at the moment:

New Beginnings (Spring) acrylic on canvas, 5' 7 1/2" x 7' 5"

How Many Endings (Winter) acrylic on canvas, 5' 7 1/2" x 7' 5"

Then I will develop a series of prints; at the moment I am not sure which methods of printmaking I will use, I will spend some time thinking about this and experimenting.  It may also entail visiting some printmaking workshops in order to fulfill my intentions, I have experience of all the different types of printmaking but am very rusty.  I have in my possession a vintage folding screen printing table, so it would be fun to get that up and running.  I will probably start with lino and collagraph as these are simple and I can use my mangle to print them with.  

Alongside the prints, I am planning to make a series of artists' books and this excites me a lot.  I have been interested in these for many years and I even planned a module of work for the AS/A2 students when I was teaching that developed an artist book alongside their contextual study.  It was really successful; interestingly I was looking at the facebook page of Cleveland university yesterday and they run a similar module for contextual study too.   Most of the books I have made in the past I gave away as presents but I do have photos of most of them in an album on my facebook page:

Some shots of the exhibition, before it ends this Sunday:

all rights reserved

Sunday, 21 April 2013

More Pieces From My Plan Chest

The last two posts have been very wordy, so here are some pictures to balance it out.  I am always in favour of more pictures than words as a rule, being a visual person!

Some more studies that I found in the plan chest that's been in storage since we moved up to North Yorkshire:

Autumn Notebook, 1 - 4, mono print and coloured pencil.  The dimensions of these is about CD case in size:

Monoprints - landscapes:

Small paintings with graphite on paper, landscape studies:

A couple of landscape based studies that were part of the work in a browser for my degree show in 1995:

There are more of these somewhere, I'll have a rummage!

Thursday, 18 April 2013


I Left Kirkbymoorside to drive to Harrogate with Janet on Tuesday, but somehow, being unfamiliar with the route via Sutton Bank, we ended up going via Thirsk, York and Knaresborough - don't ask!  It was a lovely day for a drive, and I sort of saw things I'd never seen before, so hey, it was worth it. . .    

Mercer Art Gallery is much smaller than I expected, the ladies on the reception desk were lovely and friendly, dealing very well with our garbled request on behalf of Anne Thalheim, to check the fitting of a projector cable.  

Anne's work is interesting, intriguing  disturbing.  This exhibition entitled Encasement, continues to be so.  Since I last saw it, the framework for suspending pieces has been swapped for a vastly superior structure, which improved Mr Boldwood's Cache  no end.  Some of the pieces suspended are exquisite in their delicacy, amazing for work made from industrial and DIY materials really.  I would have liked to have seen more made of the shadows created by the works suspended from the shiny new framework, perhaps by having this ensemble further away from the wall with low lights creating shadows higher up the wall.  The space is not particularly large however, which is probably why the decision was made to place it where it is although I think that one of the larger floor standing pieces Crinoline, could have been left out of the show to enable the other piece to "breathe" better.   

Some of the works on the walls are wonderful, one in particular (I cannot remember what it is called), which reminded me of a religious prayer relic, like an out-sized set of rosary beads with its looping structure with an artifact on the end.  I found it very moving somehow.  Other pieces on the walls were reminiscent of body armour and were confrontational in their blackness and slightly menacing. 

It's an interesting exhibition with its references to the politics of femaleness, the psychology of space and communication and with the use of black red and white that touches upon the use of charcoal, red ochre and chalk; some of the basic pigments available and well documented as used by human beings across time and the globe.

Where Anne's work is confrontational, in contrast, Serena Partridge's intimate pieces for All Dressed Up, draw you in; their soft beautiful colour,  smaller scale and protected within their frames, Serena's pieces reveal their meaning only with close scrutiny.  New marks in the form of stitch made upon the reclaimed material reflect upon ideas to do with loss, both emotional and physical.  Stitch, forming architectural drawings of important buildings within Harrogate  and topographical areas redolent with memories are made on beautifully crafted gloves, made from remnants of the same garments that had a previous existence. Delicately stitched flowers on some of the gloves hint at the lives of beauty and leisure lived.  Stitched words provide us with the names of the buildings and sometimes with information about things that happened in an area, which leads the viewer into a reverie about a time long gone and a lives lived at a different pace.  

Like Anne, Serena is using things that existed for another purpose/in another life; she chooses to recycle garments and the stitching is made with yarns discovered whilst rummaging in junk shops, she re uses paper patterns too, as well as human hair.  These choices strengthen the links with history, human lives lived and communities made.  The fact that Serena chooses to present her work as if curated by a museum with labels hand written with faded ink reinforces the sense of a time long gone and creates an ambiguity within the work that is intriguing  who has curated this work, who has made it? 

Both artists are referencing women's clothing as a way of reflecting on women and society and the contrast between the two women's work is considerable but the messages are strong, from each; we are all human, we all have a history.

If you are in the area, these two bodies of work are well worth going to see.  I have not included picture of the artists' works, but use the links to see some.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I'm Back!

It's a good few days since my last blog and I thought I'd just note a few things that have been going on.

  • My Meet the Artist evening went well, (see last blog) and since then a few people who were unable to make it have taken the time to go and see the exhibition and either left comments in the book or emailed me.  The comments as far as I know have all been very positive and the emails I have received also.  I am particularly grateful to the established artists from Ryedale and beyond who have been so positive in their response.  The consensus is that I have made a really good exhibition that looks totally professional and is very well hung within the space, which is what I set out to do.
  • I have spent most days since the evening event drumming up some publicity for the exhibition and writing information for the reporters who contacted me.  I think it may have paid off, but I won't know until the papers come out tomorrow.  I would like to get it reviewed in publications that go further afield than Ryedale, any ideas as to how I should go about this please, anyone?
  • I went to see Sue Slack's new paintings on Sunday, which are displayed at Helmsley Arts Centre.  I was impressed with Sue's use of colour; it is developing from what I remember of her work last year.  My favourites were the ones using seen colour that is heightened in key and Pete's favourite was the one on the end of that row, which showed heather in the foreground softening across the landscape using aerial perspective and softer colours.  It was a more gentle painting and very lovely.
  • Yesterday was spent making 4 different designs all on the same theme, that my builder Lee and his fiance will choose from to use as their wedding invitation.  I was a bit daunted to start, even though I had drawn a couple of designs; I am not a graphic designer really but once I got into it I enjoyed the day.  All 4 are now window mounted, ready for delivery tomorrow.
  • Today I am going to Harrogate with Janet Hayton to see Anne Thalheim's sculptural works and Serena Partidge's exquisite tiny costume installations at the Mercer.  I'm sure we'll have a good wander and find some other interesting stuff too.  The sun's shining, so it should be a good day.  I'd better get outside and clean the passenger seat before I pick Janet up - my car is a disgrace, my only excuse is that it has had to serve the role of my work van for the past few months and I am ashamed to say I never clean it!  It's nice to have a day off, I'll post my thoughts on the works we see later.  

Have a good day everyone.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Successful Evening!

Thanks to everyone who came to my Meet the Artist last night.  It was great to receive such positive feedback.  Considering the lack of publicity provided by the gallery, the evening was quite well attended with a steady flow of people from the time it opened at 4 pm to a bit of a gathering at the end.  My youngest sister drove all the way up from Warminster especially - thanks Rachel!  I am glad I wore the Rupert Bear earrings you made me and which everyone admired.  

Thanks to my photographer for these pics, which were taken towards the end of the evening as unfortunately he had to go to work, otherwise there would have been some different groups of people!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Meet the Artist, Cake and a Free Gift!

Quite a few people have said they are coming tomorrow, which is lovely!  Everyone is very welcome!

I have spent this afternoon making cake for anyone who comes and the air around me as I type this smells delicious!  There are 3 different flavours. . . .

I also promise a free gift to all who attend tomorrow, at The Gallery, Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole, North Yorkshire, YO62 6UA between 4 pm and 7.30 pm followed by the pub next door!


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ryedale ArtWorks - The Directory 2013 and Website

So, after a pretty painless process this year the new RAW Directory has gone to print!  Well done to all of the committee and thanks to all the members for proofing their individual entries - made it so much easier.  

Thanks too, to Andy Dalton who is in the process, as I type this, of updating the web site and it is looking good.  

Use the links above to check both out and let us know what you think!

We are looking forward to some very exciting developments for RAW this year so watch this space.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Marking Time Workshop

The work station, complete with drawing media, examples of mark making by other artists, hand wipes and chocolate!

There were not that many people about, but we had fun!  Jim Moir, aka, Vic Reeves was in the gallery briefly; I was talking to a lovely lady at the time so did not have a chance to say hello or ask him to sign the visitor book.  Never mind, he probably didn't want to be bothered anyway.  It would have been interesting to hear what he thought of the show though, particularly as he paints and exhibits his work as well.

These lovely people were engrossed!

People have been genuinely interested in my work and all the ideas I have incorporated; it has been rewarding chatting to them.  There are some lovely comments in the book so far, (not all of them by my family!)

Interestingly, none of the adults wanted to participate, and no one was interested in drawing onto the canvas; in the end I collaged the work left behind onto it and carefully worked over and around the pieces to produce a piece of work to reflect the day.  I would quite like to paint into it, but it isn't mine - it is hanging in the education room at the museum for now.

Lovely marks, on the floor, before I washed it!

To see the complete set of photos that I took during the workshop go to:

All rights reserved

Monday, 1 April 2013

Recent Activity

General view of my show at The Gallery, Ryedale Folk Museum, this shot has had 653 views on my facebook page, which I find staggering!
  • Saturday: visited Gallery beyond. . . at the North York Moors visitor centre to see the latest show, From What Has Been,  where I met Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller a print maker whose work, with it's urban imagery combined with the natural forms of trees, water and foliage is very interesting.  Azad Muhammed's sculptural installation, consisting of uprooted tree roots, a metaphor for his own rootless existence is striking and very moving.  Nicola Taylor's photographs are fantastical and gothic.  
  • Sunday: visited the studio and tiny corridor gallery of Moira de Lavenu in Pickering where we had a lovely chat and a good look at Moira's drawings and painted studies.  I particularly like her small tree studies that she has been developing recently.  I then met my family in the Ashfield Country Manor Hotel, where they had gone to see my work that's on the walls there, we had a drink and played some card games before going home.  Preparing a late dinner, I managed to stab my own hand with a newly sharpened knife!  There's no A&E open in our area outside office hours any more so I will get it looked at on Tuesday.
  • Monday: nursed my hand, read my new books on painting, which I was lucky to be given for my recent birthday.  I chose them as I have been a bit out of touch with developments in painting for many reasons since I moved to North Yorkshire seven and a half years ago: 
Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, Phaidon

Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting, Phaidon

Both books are very interesting, featuring artists' work and brief biographies and info.  They contain more illustrations than writing, which to my mind, for books about a visual subject, is the right ratio.  The work featured is really varied, which strengthens my resolve to keep to my own path.

  • Plan for Tuesday: get my hand looked at.  Purchase remaining things I need for teaching the workshop on Wednesday and do final prep.
  • Weds: deliver the workshop, which I am looking forward to.  It will be a drop in format so will include participants of all ages and abilities.  We are going to explore mark making, pattern and surface in relation to my work in the exhibition.
Still to decide what to do with the rest of the week, but it will involve some walks with my husband and some planning for reorganising the studio and house.

After that I have 2 new canvases to paint as companions to the ones in the exhibition.  Once these are completed I have plans to make some artists' books, some prints and drawings as well as some new ideas for paintings, so the rest of the year will be very busy with all that as well as searching for new and appropriate galleries to show my work in.

Thanks to everyone who has looked at my facebook page and sent me good wishes for the show, I hope that many of you will come to the "Meet the Artist" on April 10th, 4 pm - 7.30 followed by the pub!  I promise a small free gift, wine and cake. . . .