Friday, 23 August 2013

A Sudden Flurry of Admin. Work

Drawing, How Many Wondrous Days, seems apt for this post today!

Having been informed I had been selected to appear as a featured artist on a web site some months ago, I excitedly emailed off all the information they asked of me.  I was a bit disappointed not to hear anything for what is, I think, a couple of months but it is not in my nature to hassle people unduly, so I didn't email and enquire if all was well.  I just philosophically assumed that perhaps, after seeing the work, they thought it was not for them!  (Artists' low self confidence kicking in, you note).

Imagine my delight yesterday morning, when I received an email from them apologising for the delay and asking for some more info., with links to the proof pages as they appear so far for me to look at!  The pages are looking good; only a couple of minor mistakes and I am very much looking forward to having them go live.  Once they do, I will post details so you can see for yourselves.

Meanwhile I have also spent considerable hours filling out an application to be considered for an entry in Chrysalis Arts' Directory.  

Chrysalis Arts' Rick Faulkner came over last Wednesday evening to the Dutch House  to give Ryedale ArtWorks  a presentation about the work they do.  I have to admit that I had previously been very confused about all the different aspects of their work but now feel I understand the organisation much better.  I am pondering on some ideas that they might be able to help me with. . .

The next application I am going to make (and I have been prevaricating on this one for over eighteen months or longer), is to AXIS.  This is to me, a very important step; serious artists are here; the site gives artists access to wider recognition and I consider it time for me to join their ranks.  I know I don't have as much experience as many of those represented on this site but I know my work is good enough now, particularly since I was accepted for SKETCH 13.  It is remarkable how a little success boosts my confidence and sense of myself as an artist.

Gouache study, no longer extant, because it got painted over, but which I still refer to with thoughts for a large painting. . . .

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to visit my blog; I have just had my 9000th view!  I really appreciate the fact that you are interested in what I am up to.

Speaking of which - since I last posted, my studio is now back to being a tidy (and clean) environment in which to work.  I have spent three solid days vacuuming, wiping, sorting and generally organising everything into the new storage units.

The studio has gone from this:

To this:

So, once a family weekend is out the way, I shall be sharing my time between home, where I still have some window frames and doors to paint, and the studio, developing ideas for some prints and artists books.  Should keep me out of mischief for a while!

There are still one or two things I want to do in order to improve the insulation and make the space less draughty in the winter, but the most important thing is; I can get on with my work.

I have a contact who might actually be able to work with me to produce a web site as well; the last one turned out to not be particularly reliable so I am glad I found that out before I had handed over any of my hard earned cash.

There are some old paintings I found packed in a large box, which had been in storage since I moved to North Yorkshire, and I shall spend some time cleaning them up a bit and think about getting some of the better ones framed up.  They are more landscape based than my current work, so they might sell; I need to buy some paint.

If you are a regular visitor to this blog, why not become a follower?  You would be very much appreciated.

The next blog will contain lots of pictures; I am a fan of more pictures than writing, much more interesting!

Friday, 9 August 2013


My purposely trashed studio, with everything from the open shelves or beneath my trestles now on the floor!

I've been wittering on about getting the studio organised so that I can find things instead of endlessly walking up and down looking for them, wasting precious time, for a while now.

The guys came out to the studio the other evening to assess what extra materials I need in order to get the job done.  I am really excited, because the job won't take them too long to complete (it would have taken me and my not so willing assistant ages), and it is not going to cost me too much - I'll have quite a sum of my precious earnings from the Ryedale Open left!  Work starts out at the studio on Sunday morning, they don't think it will take them long; I hope not, because I am going out to Stef and Ian Mitchell's (Duckett and Jeffreys), in the afternoon to the Andrew Tyzack talk about mezzotint and to see their print show.

I will soon be the proud owner of 4 units, each about 1m wide, on casters so that they can be moved about easily, each with shelving for storage and worktop.  Is it wrong to be excited about storage units?   I have been going to bed planning in my head where to put things, the best use of the space etc.  Sad.  But not, because it will make such a difference to how I can use the space!  And I will be able to put my huge pin board up on the wall above where the units will be, which will hide the stone wall, making it even lighter!

After discussing my requirements with one of the sales team at Castors Online,( , I ordered medium strength ones with the front two of each unit having locks to keep them from shifting while I work.  The order was with me within 24 hours of placing it and I can heartily recommend this company.

I am really looking forward to getting everything put away and starting my new print work and artists books.  Feeling strangely gleeful and excited at the prospect.  

Clearing the wall space, in preparation to receive the new storage units.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A Trip to a Scarborough Artists' Studio

It was hot and sunny last Thursday as Sue Slack, Andrea Bailey, both artists and members of Ryedale ArtWorks and I set out for Scarborough.  The purpose of our trip was to visit Andrew Cheetham, a painter, whose studio is on West Pier, in a fisherman's shed. This shed just happens to have a ladder as its only access and I have to admit that I was worried that Andrea might have trouble getting up it as she is an elderly lady.  

Andrea made it up the steps with no problem!

I need not have worried - Andrea mounted those metal steps with much agility and care! She is indeed a most wondrous woman and artist.  Not only that, she had baked some lovely buns at about midnight, to go with the tea and coffee that Andrew so kindly provided.  I love that woman - she is so full of the joy of life and such a talented painter!

It was good to finally meet Andrew properly; I have been aware of his work for some time, I have seen it at various venues, usually at open exhibitions and it has always drawn me to it.  There is something about the way Andrew uses paint that shows someone who relishes the very stuff of it, and who cares about tonality and colour.  We chatted about the difficulty of finding decent gallery spaces to show work because all the existing ones up here in North Yorkshire are geared to showing a broad range of artists and makers, geared to tourism, and who can blame them, especially in this difficult economic climate? Andrew has the added problem of needing to earn a living, which means he undertakes commissions and this is preventing him from developing his practice as he'd like.  We talked about applying for funding and bursaries, a little desultarily if I'm honest but we managed to have a laugh too.  I found it interesting that Andrew prefers, like me, to paint on a solid surface; we both hate the "bounce" of a stretched canvas and the fact that if you are not careful, you pick up the edges of the stretcher frame with the paint.

Andrew's studio, with a painting at the underpainting stage and a canvas ready to be started.

We left Andrew in peace to start a small canvas, which is a commission and made our way to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where Sue Slack is showing some work.  I helped her put the new labels on and then we went for some well earned lunch before we set off for home.  It was only the second trip I have had out with fellow artists since I moved up here and I realised just how much I have missed it.  I am delighted that my new blog on the Artists Talking section of an's web site has had 3 comments posted already, and they are all very encouraging so my instinct that a blog on a site for artists would elicit more of a response was correct.  Why did it take me so long to gather the courage to go for it?

All images copyright the artist, all rights reserved.