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.

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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!  

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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