Friday, 8 November 2013

Art Connections web site, an old pine cupboard and a new opportunity

My page on the Art Connections web site has finally gone live.

I think they are still working on the site though as Andy Black's work is being used as the thumbnails for the drawing and illustration categories, but his page is not there.   It is beginning to look very good though and I am pleased to have been accepted and placed amongst the other artists represented there.

Art Connections is part of Chrysalis Arts, an organisation that supports artists in Yorkshire, although they rarely seem to reach to the Eastern region of Yorkshire, which is something I think they are working on at the moment.  Their work at the moment seems mainly focused on the western areas of the county.

At the last meeting of Ryedale ArtWorks, a member asked me what I was working on at the moment.  I said "a cupboard", which startled them, to say the least and made us both giggle.  While all the building work is going on at home, it is proving extremely difficult to make work, so at least I am making good use of my time.  I am indeed working on a huge old pine cupboard, which I bought earlier in the year.  It is heavily and badly shellacked, and I had been dreading painting it until I discovered chalk paint by Annie Sloan.  I know, I am sounding like one of those crafting moms on YouTube now!  This paint is making the transformation of my cupboard so easy that I cannot begin to tell anyone who reads this how thoroughly excited and absorbed I am.  I am painting it with two colours, which then have to be sealed with clear wax to protect and seal the paint over which I am altering the colour with dark wax.  I am a painter, so the blending of colours has come quite naturally to me and I am really enjoying the process of bringing the cupboard back to life.  And, if I decide I am not happy with the colours after all, I can just repaint it!  Here are a couple of photos showing the stages of painting and waxing I am undertaking:

This is what the whole of the cupboard is like, with its heavy dark brown varnish.  I removed the knobs on 2 sets of drawers as they were ugly, mismatched ones.  I need to source some replacements now.

Showing the three stages of paint and wax application.  The inside of the cupboard and drawers in Scandinavian Pink, I mixed Old White and Duck Egg Blue to make a blue grey which goes over the pink and when the surface is distressed a little, the pink shows through, and yes, I did also paint the drawer sides on the outside!  The drawer on the top shows how the colour is altered with the dark wax.

The reason I have digressed with this happy tale is because I am trying to set the scene of me, working away on the cupboard in my kitchen singing along to Minster radio with the builders, who are just through the new opening, working away, or upstairs sorting out plumbing, with brief stops for tea and lunch.  After a long day of painting and waxing, (the waxing part is really hard work, but it has kept me warm), I sat down on Tuesday evening to check my emails.  One, from Jayne Lloyd caught my eye as it had "exhibition" and "participate" in the title, although I could not at that moment place Jayne.

Imagine my delight when, on reading it, I realised it was the Jayne Lloyd with whom I had conversed via our a-n Artists Talking web site, and she was offering me the opportunity to participate in an exhibition that she is curating as part of her Chinese project, to be held in Manchester!  I felt a bit sick, but in a good way!  The exhibition is taking place in an emtpy office building, close to the railway station and is in effect, a "pop up".  I am looking forward to meeting the other artists involved.  Jane has requested one of my large paintings, so I shall have to make sure I sort out the transport.  The exhibition takes place in Feb/March.  It is such a good feeling to have another show on the way.  We have been discussing how we can present the work because we are not allowed to drill holes in the walls.  At the moment, the plan is to paint breeze blocks white and rest the painting on those, leaning it against the wall, which will look fine and I happen to have a supply of said blocks in my garden at the moment.

The theme of the exhibition is artists who have visited and or been influenced by Chinese script.  I cannot wait!  It proves that social networking is a valuable tool in the development of an artists' career; if I had not started my a-n blog, read Jayne's own blog and contacted her, which led to her looking at my paintings on my facebook page, this opportunity would never have arisen.  I like the Artists Talking site; it is a fantastic community to belong to, with access to the insights of hundreds of artists.

All rights reserved


  1. Great new header! and looking good over at Art Connections too - congratulations on exhib as well!