Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ryedale ArtWorks Beginning to Make Its Mark!

I am truly delighted that Ryedale ArtWorks  have featured in the local press along with other arts organisations that have been awarded funds by Ryedale District Council.  We featured in a recent copy of The Press:

And this week we are in the Gazette and Herald, on the front page!

Gazette & Herald

Windfall for arts and jobs in Ryedale

PROJECTS aimed at boosting the local economy and creating jobs have been given a major funding boost.
Members of Ryedale District Council have backed a series of projects with employment and economic benefits, ranging from museums and the arts to science and engineering.
Awards of up to £25,000 will be made towards the development of the Milton Rooms, along with a grant or loan to MaltonLivestock Market to progress the relocation proposals.
Further funding was approved for the Government’s Food, Environment and Research Agency (FERA) at Sand Hutton towards the business case to support grant bids for junction improvements.
A further four projects – employment land in Pickering, investigation of a possible Kirkbymoorside Engineering Park, high speed broadband to Ryedale business parks and expansion of Derwent Training – were deferred for further information.
Julian Rudd, Ryedale District Council’s head of economy, told the authority’s policy and resources committee that in total, £100,000 of New Homes Bonus funding had been allocated to progress projects as part of the Ryedale Development Fund.
“It is not to go to construction work but for research and investigation work into the various projects,” he added.
Coun Luke Ives (Cons) welcomed the schemes, adding that the FERA complex, being on the border of Ryedale and York provided major job opportunities for both areas. “It is a unique site,” he added.
Coun Lindsay Burr (Lib Dem) said: “For a relatively small amount of money we could see enormous benefits from these schemes. We need to be ahead of the game to attract new businesses to Ryedale.”
Further funding has also been given to six new creative projects in the area to create more jobs and encourage economic success. The commissions will enable the organisations involved to draw significant match funding.
Organisations which will benefit include:
• Ryedale Art Works
 Helmsley Arts Centre
• Rural Arts and The Shed which work with communities to support event management
• A collaboration of Ryedale’s four major museums, to improve visitor numbers
• The Ryedale Open Art Exhibition.
Linda Cowling (Cons), leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “Council budgets are under extreme pressure and we want to prioritise investment where this will help create and sustain jobs and make a difference to the lives of local people.
“We have looked closely at the impact of creative businesses on providing jobs and drawing visitors and investment into Ryedale and this has shown it to be a valuable and expanding area.”
Sue Gough, chairman of Ryedale Art Works, said their aim was to establish a programme of development initiatives to encourage artists, both professional and amateur, to create sustainable businesses and provide further opportunities for artists, makers and galleries.
“We are excited at the prospect of further developing Ryedale as a destination for quality art and design and creating a business network that our artistic community can benefit from,” she added.

All we have to do now is get to work and plan the delivery of our three objectives which are to deliver high quality, more useful meetings, arrange training for would be mentors and deliver a programme of mentoring for members, and finally to organise and deliver a "pop up" exhibition, which will be of exceptional quality and that will advertise RAW to a wider audience.  All three of these things will develop even further Ryedale district as a destination for visitors to experience and purchase quality arts and crafts.  
The first meeting of our new programme took place last Tuesday, with Alice Fox delivering a really interesting and inspirational talk, RAW members words, not mine!  Alice has since been praised in feedback for delivering a fascinating talk, for being really approachable and for her willingness to share information, something that not all artists/makers are willing to do, I've found.

Alice, right, talking to Ryedale ArtWorks member Moira de Lavenu

RAW members really enjoyed the opportunity to scrutinise one of Alice's large cloth pieces from her Spurn Point residency.

To see more of Alice's work go to:

(Press, please note that ARTWORKS is all ONE WORD!)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013



I forgot to mention in my last post that on the day we arrived home from Lanzerote, we went across to Nunnington in the early evening for the private view of Jonathan Pomroy's latest exhibition at Gallery Beyond.  Jonathan makes very sensitive paintings of birds in their natural landscape as well as closely observed studies of birds and wildlife, and landscapes. (Image courtesy of Jonathan Pomroy and Gallery Beyond)

It was the evening of the summer solstice and turned out, quite unexpectedly to be a very beautiful one.  There was a very good turnout of people for the opening and Jonathan took us all off for a stroll round the village to show us a wide variety of birds.  It was warm and sunny and we strolled slowly down the hill and back up, stopping often to look at swifts, house martins, swallow, sparrows and, I am told, a spotted fly catcher by the river, although I cannot honestly say I saw a bird so much as a certain movement amongst the dappled light amongst the green leaves.  We watched a pair of wagtails by the river bank warily trying to avoid us seeing where their nest was too.  Jonathan is passionate about the birds that visit us each summer as well as those resident in the UK and I learnt a lot about swifts in particular.  I recommend that you visit his blog on the link above for more information and some wonderful photos taken from within nest boxes.

End cover 1

Meanwhile, I have packed up my two sketch books that I am submitting to Sketch 2013,   and posted them off.  I finished them just before we went to Lanzarote as I knew I would not have much time once I got back.  They should have arrived, so fingers crossed!  

End Cover 2

This is another of the Chinese sketchbooks that I bought while I was visiting Hong Kong last year.  The paper is not very good, I bought cheap ones! In this particular book,  I found that when I tried using wet media (watercolour wash) the paper just lifted off, leaving a horrible shiny card type surface underneath.  This is another concertina format and this time I used both sides of the book so that once it has been viewed from one side, you have to simply flip the book straight over and begin again from the other.  I added some arrows inside the covers at each end to try and avoid confusion because it took me many tries to work out how to see each side!  This is another visual notebook, exploring the theme that I have been working with for over a year, that of time passing, memory and loss.  I am going to continue with this work, allowing it to develop and change as I do so and I aim to produce some prints towards the end of summer.

Some images from this book:

This is the other book, images of which I have already posted in an earlier blog and on my facebook page, :

Front cover

Back cover

A few images of the contents:

Last night Ryedale ArtWorks  welcomed Alice Fox,  who gave a really interesting, inspirational talk about her career and work.  It was a big hit with our members, many of whom have left really positive comments on RAW's facebook page.    Alice talked about making prints and mentioned a company that produces screens, which made quite a few of us prick up our ears.  The company is Thermofax Screens, and they are going to provide me with the solution to a problem I have been pondering in my mind for a few months, whilst I have been mentally preparing to produce some prints later in the summer.

My plan had always been to produce some multi layered prints using collagraph and monoprinting but I wanted to find a way of producing a fine tally mark layer and possibly some text, as I had used in my drawings and paintings and I had not realised that to have a screen made with my imagery or text was so cost effective.  I could have tried lino, but I know that, being impatient and out of practice, I would have wasted more lino than I could afford before I managed to produce a usable block.  So thanks for the tip Alice, I shall be making some images to the required size over the next few weeks and ordering screens in readiness for print making later in the summer, once my work for Ryedale Open is complete.

I was informed while I was still in Lanzarote that my application to be featured on a web site for an arts educational charity has been accepted, so I shall be preparing my written piece and images for this in the next few days.  Once I am sure it is going live, I will post links.  I am quite excited about this opportunity, and hope that it will generate more.

Art exhibition 2013The Ryedale Open exhibition looms, held in the Milton Rooms, Malton from 13th July - 20th and my work for this, supporting Yvette Turnbull, Creative Economies Officer for Ryedale District Council, extends either side and takes up a goodly chunk of July.  I am looking forward to being involved again as well as the cheque!  My favourite part is the selection of the work, but I must try harder not to comment as the selection takes place this year. . . 

Nearly forgot - I've just signed up for this:  I am looking forward to the delivery of my sketchbook, so that I can start filling it.  Once it is complete, I will then send it off to the States, where it will begin its tour.  I opted for the fully digitised version as I figure there may be more opportunities generated from it that way; well, I am ever optimistic!

I am also thinking about finding other galleries with large enough spaces to take my large paintings, planning to make two more large paintings, and starting my print making work, so I shall be busy for the rest of the year.  Oh, and our building work, that ground to a halt due to lack of funds, is about to resume, huzzah. . . . I think!  We are about to order a wood chip bio mass boiler and solar panels, so we get ever closer to achieving our "green" home.

All images copyright the artist, unless otherwise stated.  All rights reserved

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Farewell Lanzarote and a visit to PASH, Easingwold

Lanzarote is not a place I would choose to visit, but it has some redeeming visual sources that I have collected over the years and which are likely to turn up in paintings in the future, now that I am making work regularly again!

Just to prove the fact that the sky is not always blue and the sun not always shining in Lanzarote!

I returned in the early hours of Friday morning from four days of hard work, clearing my mother in law's villa in Lanzarote and bringing her home to the UK, where she can be properly cared for now she is frail.  I am still feeling very tired from the ordeal, so it was really great to escape this afternoon.

I drove over to Easingwold, to PASH,  where Andy Dalton was running a printmaking workshop using his old mangle.  I printed a hare from one of his small relief vinyl cut outs.  It is interesting that Andy has developed a series of these cut outs from ordinary household flooring vinyl, which, depending on how you ink them up, create images of varied richness and texture.  His introduction of gold leaf into the mix of drawing and print is bringing another dimension to this series of works.  Take a look on his web site:

After the stress of last week, it was good to engage with my world again!  It was nice to meet Shelley and Paula, who run PASH from a wonderful old warehouse building; we at Ryedale ArtWorks dream of having such a building for communal workspaces and gallery facilities!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Isn't Glasgow Brilliant?

Poor old Wellington, with a traffic cone on his head, outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

Thanks to Chris Thomas for taking a day to show me round some galleries in Glasgow last weekend, and good luck with your assessment!

I taught Chris in one of my adult ed. classes some years ago; he went on to do a degree first class hons. and is now studying at Glasgow School of Art, printmaking.  His work is really interesting; highly conceptual and at the same time really visually interesting.  Check out his web site:  although his latest prints, utilising photography and the use of Excel programming to plot colour, are not on there yet.

We went to lots of galleries over the weekend and, apart from the Hunterian, on the Glasgow University campus, where we saw some of the Scottish colourists and many Whistlers, painting was pretty much conspicuous by its absence.  All the more reason for us painters to crack on!

Here's a taster of Glasgow, a fabulously vibrant city:

The new painting studios for GSOA, under construction, they will be fab!  There's 3 light pipes, feeding natural light into the studio spaces.

Cornelia Parker has nothing on me!

To see more of the photos I took while in Glasgow, go to my facebook page:

All images copyright the artist, all rights reserved.