With ‘Art in the Gardens’ coming up this weekend I thought it would a good time to update my site. I’m delighted to be a part of ‘Art in the Gardens’ to cap what has been a very creative and productive 12 months. There will be so many talented and wonderful artists on display in the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Sheffield this weekend and I’m so grateful to be part of it. Please do come down to say hello and enjoy the event!
This year, as well as continuing my education consultancy, I have spent a lot more time on my art work.
In November 2015 I had an exhibition at The Framery, Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield, where, for 35 years, I have had work framed. I was really pleased with this exhibition and sold 6 of the 10 pictures. So thank you Sue for agreeing to exhibit my work.
I was then selected for the late April/May ‘Open Arts Studio’, Sheffield, South Yorkshire event where artists open up their studios to the public. Over two weekends I had over 70 visitors, including two old ladies sheltering from a downpour! They enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat but not remotely interested in my work 😉 Nevertheless, I sold another seven pieces via this process which was very pleasing. More importantly were the nice comments written in my visitors book.
All artists struggle to find their voice and the genre/medium they are most comfortable with to send a personal message to those who view their work. Since returning to art, after my retirement 6 years ago, I too have struggled with this journey. Yet I believe I am now getting there.
My husband Tony and I have spent lots of time in the Lake District in good and often predominantly poor and wet weather. Over the years we have taken lots of photographs. Earlier this year I began to look at these pictures again. Many of them were focused on rain, clouds, mist, running water on hills, mountains and streams. To this extent I began to move a small picture frame window across these photographs to find an area of appeal and interest. This is something I did many years ago when teaching art. I then began to draw an enlarged rendition of the focused piece and to transfer this onto a canvas. Thus, my recent interest in running water on rocks and hillsides in a semi abstract form using oils and acrylics.
I have done 15 of these pieces which I will be exhibiting at Art in the Gardens in September. My friends and family like this work. I hope visitors to the exhibition will do likewise.
I have only recently gone back to painting with oils; I enjoy the endless possibilities of texture and movement in using this medium. However, the drying process can often be frustrating when adding new layers. I very often have two pieces on the go at any one time to allow for continued work.
I mostly disturb the canvass initially by using gesso to provide texture and movement. I did this a lot in the ‘water on stones/hillsides’ work which I think was beneficial. Periodically, I will also add hessian pieces and other fabrics to enhance the piece.
So currently I am doing a lot of oil painting and love the smell of oils in my studio. I am still using acrylics and this year have hardly used water colours at all, but I’m sure I will return to this medium again in time.
I have continued to do some work using collage techniques, dying fabrics and using brusho colours, old maps, different papers and card and finally sewing in some of the detail of shapes. These are mostly semi-abstract pieces.
I also continue with textiles pieces and continue to love the randomness of using fabrics and colour. I have had three commissions this year for textile pieces which is pleasing overall. It has been a busy year in creative terms as well as looking after my lovely grandsons, Charlie and Michael, on a weekly basis. I love being a ‘Grandmo’ and taking care of the boys but it is also lovely to give them back!
I like nothing better, however, than being in my studio and focusing on my work whilst listening to music. I can easily lose myself to all of this which is so therapeutic for me. My studio is a hive of paints, canvasses, notebooks, fabrics, dyes etc and is often a creative mess. I do try to have a good tidy up when a piece is finally finished. But friends and family are not too impressed with the ‘tidy’ version, though it suits me and the way I like to work.
Thank you for reading this update on the website. Please do comment on the new work, positively or indeed constructively critical. I look forward to hearing from you.