I haven’t updated my website for a while. So after such long and lovely sunny weather which has encouraged my creativity in my studio, I thought it was timely to do so.
This year I have been pleased to have had some of my work exhibited at the Derwent gallery, Grindleford, and Leabrookes gallery, Somercotes, as well as The Framery in Sheffield.
I also exhibited at ‘Art in the Gardens’ and ‘The Great Sheffield Art Show’ in the Autumn of 2017, and sold several pictures at these shows. In May 2018 I had a very successful ‘Open Up Studios in Sheffield’ event and welcomed over 60 visitors to the studio over the two weekends. So my husband, Tony, was very busy making tea/coffee for visitors and tempting them with chocolate brownies and carrot cake! Both weekends had good weather and it was lovely to welcome our visitors.
Because of a foot operation in March I was largely immobile for 12 weeks and unable to work in my studio. This was most frustrating for me, but I am back on both feet now and recovering well.
I’ve done quite a lot of work recently, mostly inspired by pictures taken locally in Bradfield and Worrall and also the Peak District. Our recent holiday in Kefalonia gave me considerable inspiration with the lovely skies, seascapes and mountain views. I have done four pictures based on Kefalonia photographs.
I have also done a few commissions this year as well as some private art lessons and have enjoyed all of this.
Recently I have gone back to working in oils, a medium I love but also get frustrated due to the drying time. In this respect I have worked on 2/3 pieces at a time to allow drying and to rotate the work. I continue to work with acrylics mostly and periodically veer into multimedia textiles work and pastels.
I have included some of my recent work in this update. I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures and I always welcome feedback.
Please contact me if you are interested in any of my work or indeed to discuss a commission.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.
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.
Thank you for visiting my website! This is my first post to the site and something I’ve wanted to do in a while. Ever since retiring as a Headteacher in 2010 I’ve rediscovered art and my creative side, something I’m very grateful for having back in my life. As a girl and a young woman art was incredibly important to me, a way of exploring the world and my creativity. However, as often is the case when life and your career gets more intense, my artistic side was marginalised as I devoted myself to raising my children and leading Firth Park Community Arts College as Headteacher for 15 years.
After a much needed rest (plus a few holidays…) following my retirement in 2010, I began painting and drawing again. Having not practised my skills for years, I felt that my arts skills needed refreshing and updating and so in 2011 I began attending local and regional courses in painting, drawing and textiles and indeed quilting – something I never dreamed I’d be doing but they do say we all turn into our parents so there you go! Indeed, the quilting was so enjoyable skill to develop and I’ve loved learning new skills in all areas of my art.
In 2013, my husband and I moved to Oughtibridge, a lively and lovely village to the north of Sheffield. I now have a lovely studio, in a building adjacent to our main cottage, a place of sanctuary for me – and I suspect Tony enjoys the peace whilst I am there too! The studio looks over a large pond, surrounded by trees and with resident ducks and a kingfisher. I get lots of creative ideas and solace from the pond and also the lovely hills and scenery from our local area.
Now I mostly work in acrylics and watercolour but have just completed my first oil painting in many years, based on the dramatic scenery whilst in Cornwall recently on a coastal walk. My artwork includes collage, printing and creative machine stitching using the recent acquisition of a Janome machine.
Quilt making is new to me and I find it compulsive and so creative. I have done lots of classes with Trish at the ‘Patchwork Garden’ in Sheffield and learned so much from these excellent workshops. I have, to date, made 6 full sized double/king size quilts and lots of baby quilts for grandchildren and those of friends – it is cold in Sheffield after all!
I continue to do some educational work as a consultant and enjoy this as education was my life for many years. But now my greatest passion and love is returning to my original roots and spending time being creative in my studio. In the last 3 years I have had my work exhibited at the ‘Great Sheffield Art Show’, ‘Art in the Gardens’ and a local design shop in Oughtibridge. I am thrilled to discover that others like my work – it’s nice to know you’re still capable of something once you retire – other than looking after my wonderful grandchildren!
I also take on commissions and offer Art lessons on an ad hoc basis for GCSE/A level art and to local friends who want to explore or update Art skills.
I hope you enjoy looking at my work and if interested speaking further about my art then I would love to hear from you.