Just in time for summer – or so it seems – we’ve opened our latest Discover Original Art exhibition in Datchworth, Hertfordshire.
I’m still pinching myself, I’m so thrilled to be hanging out with the rest of these brilliant artists.
We’re at the Mardleybury Gallery until 28th June, open Wednesdays to Sundays – and most of us will be demonstrating or explaining our techniques on Thursdays and Sundays over June, so please come along if you’re in the area.
Only 48 hours away now from the opening of our latest Discover Original Art exhibition, at Mardleybury Gallery, Datchworth, Hertfordshire. Excitement is now taking over from panic – although it’s perfectly possible that panic may set in again before we finally open to the public! Only joking, I’m sure everything is under control…
There will be a Private Viewing on Friday evening, 5th June, and we’d be delighted to welcome any of our friends and followers to come along then and say hello. If the weather is good, we’ll be enjoying wine and nibbles in the gallery’s bijou garden – do pop in if you can.
Throughout June, the artists will be holding demonstration sessions, where visitors will be able to see for themselves how some of our artwork is made – there are techniques here that will amaze you, I’m certain – details of times and dates below.
Now, my version of slow art isn’t the most technically challenging of the group, but I’ll be at the gallery on June 21st, stitching, and talking to visitors about the process and the benefits of engaging in this extremely tactile process. I hope to see some of you then.
Well, time to go off and check that I’ve got everything ready (for the umpteenth time) – I’ll leave you for now with a picture of my stitching buddy – managing very well indeed not to get himself over excited…
There’s a wonderfully informative and motivational book I once read, called ‘I’d Rather Be In The Studio’, by Alyson Stanfield. (You can read her blog here). When I first discovered the book, I was just beginning to recognise that I’d found my preferred medium, and was simply stitching, all the time, so I read Alyson’s ‘how to market your work’ advice as something of an outsider – maybe hoping that one day I’d be part of that world.
Roll the clock forward a couple of years, and how things change. For someone who’s art definitely counts as slooooow, I can tell you that the last couple of weeks have certainly seen a change of pace for me, as I prepare to take part in the Discover Original Art Fair this weekend.
Until fairly recently, I’ve been happy to just do the stitching, and the moment the last stitch has gone in on a piece, it’s straight on to the next one, with no thought given to mounting or framing or, let’s be honest – selling.
But with a real-life exhibition to prepare for, all that has had to change and at last I’ve begun to realise that making art is only part of the story. Now I’m rapidly learning a whole new set of skills and finally getting to put into practice some of Alyson’s advice. Inevitably it all takes far longer than I’d anticipated and for someone who regularly takes 3 months to make one piece of stitched tapestry, having a deadline can feel both exhilarating and intimidating.
Nevertheless, at the moment, excitement is outweighing the fears and although I’m beginning to understand how it’s important to strike the right balance between making and marketing our work, I’m now really looking forward to spending a couple of days out of the studio, and having the opportunity to show visitors to the Fair what I’ve been up to!
If you’re in area this weekend, please do come along and meet the artists – you’re sure of a warm welcome.
So thrilled this morning to highlight the work of local artist and participant in the forthcoming Discover Original Art Fair, Sarah Russell.
Sarah describes her inspirations…
I am interested in creating a place where I would want to be. I aim to portray an emotional response to landscape…and my journey to the studio and the weather is usually reflected in my days work.
I am currently using monotype and monoprint (a combination of permanent marks on my plate and instinctive colour added for one print only). My decisions which prints to keep and which to destroy are crucial to my work as an artist.
The marks and layers can appear random but sometimes it takes many attempts to achieve the effect I am after. Layering is important to me, I want to be able to return to the work again and again and still find something new.
Jenny Smith-McOnie creates original hand-made prints on paper and specialises in the collagraph and drypoint printmaking techniques.
Much of Jenny’s time is spent in Wigtownshire in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. Her work explores the region’s diverse coastal landscape and she is particularly interested in the rich textures and constantly changing colours that can be seen in the area.
The word ‘collagraph’ is taken from the word ‘collage’. Prints are produced from collaged plates with a highly textured surface, resulting in an embossed print.
The method produces unpredictable results and enables Jenny to create dynamic, textural, vibrant prints.
Talking to Jenny about her work and processes is absolutely fascinating, so if you’re near Ivinghoe over the weekend of November 29th & 30th, don’t miss the opportunity to meet Jenny in person.
Jan creates superb pieces, using many different media, gradually applied in layers, each contributing to the overall beauty and mystery of the finished work.
These layers draw you into the experience, some would convince you they’re still wet, and you’ll find yourself wanting to touch them. Which is fine, because Jan encourages people to feel and touch her art.
Viewing Jan’s work in person, getting so close you can see every layer, texture and colour, is how Jan intends her work to be enjoyed. Come along to Ivinghoe and take a close look – what will you see?
You can read more about Jan at her website Jan Drury Art. Do pop over there and see other fabulous examples of Jan’s lovely abstract creations.
Landscapes and the patterns created in nature, feature prominently in the delicious work of Joanne Bowes, who will be one of the eight local artists exhibiting at Discover – 29th & 30th November.
Joanne is an established, professional artist, who achieved Foundation Diploma (Best in Year End Show), and Fda in Fashion and Surface Pattern Design, both with Distinction, and BA (Hons) in Contemporary Applied Arts (Textiles).
Joanne loves natural forms, colours and textures, working with them to create drawings and paintings, which she then manipulates to develop her unique textile designs.
She focuses on the use of natural materials, combined with traditional techniques, such as dyeing, knitting and weaving.
Joanne’s mixed media landscapes are created using a range of techniques, including naturally dyed textiles, collographs, ink, wax resist and watercolour, and are often embellished with hand or machine embroidery.
She is currently developing a range of up-cycled garments and accessories using natural dyes and eco leaf prints.