News

Discover goes to Mardleybury Gallery…

I’m absolutely delighted to be able to break my stitchy purdah, with the news that the Discover Artists are going to be exhibiting together again in June – this time we’ll be at  Mardlebury Gallery, Datchworth, near Knebworth.

For this exhibition, we’re also being joined by a couple of new artists – more details  coming soon.

We’ll be showing a whole range of original art, from paintings and prints, to glassware, mixed-media pieces and of course stitched tapestries from your’s truly.

Mardlebury Gallery is hosting our group for the whole month of June and it’s open from Wednesday to Sunday every week, so if you’re in the area, I really hope you’ll come along to see what’s new.

The added bonus is the gorgeous vintage tea-room within the gallery, which I can confirm, (having naturally tasted for myself), serves delicious cakes!

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Stitchy Purdah

Well, all that frenetic activity back in the autumn seems like such a long time ago now. I think it’s safe to say that I took the slow practice of hand stitching to the edge, in the run up to our exhibition last November, which with Christmas following hard on its heels, made for a decidedly busy time chez Pawley.

This week, the Discover artists met together to start making plans for our exhibitions in 2015. Much too soon to be talking about any of them here, but I’ll post details once we have definite confirmed events in place. Suffice to say, we’re all pretty much buzzing with excitement and looking forward to the spring.

As for stitching, well, for the last few weeks I’ve been relaxing and trying to free up the flow of creative juices – for which read playing. I’ve daubed acrylics and watercolours on a few bits of paper – and generally tried to stop thinking too much. I’ve been playing in stitches a little too, forgoing my ubiquitous spirals and moving around in straight lines instead. It feels quite liberating – so liberating in fact that I’ve let the whole long straight stitch thing get a bit out of hand. I’m waiting to see where that takes me.

Oh and there have been beads – just a few. We’ll have to have a think about that too.

So, more playing for a while longer I think, and then it’s down to grown-up planning and a period of stitchy purdah while it all gels together – I hope!

I do hope the first shoots of spring are starting to push through in your own creative endeavours! Stay tuned.

There’s more random stitchiness over at my blog Dreaming in Stitches, along with my motley ramblings about nature, history, books and occasional smatterings of everyday life.

Do wander over and have a look around if you fancy.

Back in the frame…

Well, the first Discover Original Art Fair was a great success! Very many thanks to everyone who came along to Ivinghoe and supported us. We couldn’t have asked for a friendlier or more enthusiastic audience – you’re all wonderful.

But for now, it’s time to pack the exhibition kit away and get back to stitching.

I’ve been promising myself a trip to the The Handweavers Studio in London for months, and yesterday I finally managed to squeeze it in.

Over the last few years, as I’ve experimented more and more with alternative yarns for tapestry stitching, I’ve constantly been on the look out for suppliers who can offer yarns that will suit my style of stitching, in a range of colours that gives me the total palette I want. Every so often I find something wonderful – mainly dyed by artisan dyers, who create some astonishingly beautiful effects, but as these tend to be designed predominantly for knitting, they’re rarely available in quite as large a range of shades as I’d really like to have, and so I end up delving into the dark places of my yarn stash, hoping to find complementary tones.

My search for some elusive colours for my newest piece was getting pretty desperate, so I was really hoping, as I braved the grotty weather along The Seven Sisters Road yesterday, that I’d find something suitable at The Handweavers shop.

And I think you can see from the picture above – it was a very successful trip.

Apart from seeking specific colours, I was keen to spend time looking and crucially feeling the different yarn bases available. Although their website is very informative, I find that I have to touch a thread to know if it will work for me. Which is why I spent such a long time, studying every option and writing notes for myself for future reference – at least now I should be able to order online and be certain about what I’m choosing.

So, a very happy and successful few days all round.

Too soon to show you the new piece – but now you know some of the colours that will feature…

Happy stitching.

Don’t forget to pop over to my blog dreaminginstitches.wordpress.com for stitchy and occasionally non-stitchy updates on life around here.

It’s the final countdown…

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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.

Discover Sarah Russell

 

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So thrilled this morning to highlight the work of local artist and participant in the forthcoming Discover Original Art Fair, Sarah Russell.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

You can see more of Sarah’s evocative art at her website Sarah Russell Fine Art

Visitors to Discover will have the opportunity to meet Sarah in person and enjoy the experience of loosing themselves in those enigmatic layers.

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Discover Jenny Smith McOnie…

I’m delighted to introduce you to the artist Jenny Smith-McOnie, who will be showing her sublime work at the Discover Original Art Fair on the 29th & 30th November.

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Jenny Smith-McOnie creates original hand-made prints on paper and specialises in the collagraph and drypoint printmaking techniques.

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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.

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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.

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The method produces unpredictable results and enables Jenny to create dynamic, textural, vibrant prints.

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Pond Reflections

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.

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You can find out more about Jenny and her art at her website JennySmith-McOnie.com Follow Jenny on Facebook: Jenny Smith-Mconie Prints and Twitter @SmithMcOnie

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Discover Jan Drury…

Visitors to our forthcoming Discover Original Art Fair, will have the wonderful pleasure of seeing ‘up close and personal’, the abstract works from artist Jan Drury.
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Jan creates superb pieces, using many different media, gradually applied in layers, each contributing to the overall beauty and mystery of the finished work.

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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.

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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.

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Discover Joanne Bowes

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).

View Over Luton Hoo

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.

Ain Mountains Solarprint

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.

Ain Mountains, France

She is currently developing a range of up-cycled garments and accessories using natural dyes and eco leaf prints.

You can see more of Joanne’s work at her website Joanneshewan.wordpress.com,or find her at Facebook Joanne Shewan Textiles and Twitter @JoanneShewanTxt

We’re all excited to see the work she’ll be showing at Ivinghoe, so don’t miss the opportunity to come along and meet her in person if you’re in the area.

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Discover Judy Youssef…

Today I want to introduce you to my wonderful, multi-talented friend, Judy Youssef.

Judy is one of those amazing artists who seem to be able to turn their hands to a whole raft of techniques always finding a way to express themselves that is both unique and inspiring.

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Originally from the Isle of Wight, Judy has in fact spent many years living in remote parts of the Middle East, a fact that has undoubtedly greatly influenced her career in art.

Today Judy is based in Bedfordshire and will be one of the eight local artists exhibiting at the Discover Original Art Fair, at the end of this month.

As Judy herself puts it,

one lifetime isn’t enough to try out all the ideas jumping around in my head

But visitors to the exhibition will be able to see Judy’s latest work, including exquisite abstracts in alcohol inks – pieces that really do ignite your imagination…

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and also her superb new jewellery and accessory pieces in polymer clay – Judy’s expertise in this material is renowned, do come along if you can and see what she creates, I guarantee you’ll be amazed.

There are lots of Judy’s finely observed paintings on her website, where you can also see examples of her jewellery and details of the other fascinating projects she’s been involved with during her fascinating career.

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Preparations…

There’s something you need to know about slow art…

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it doesn’t like to be rushed.

Preparations are going on at as fast a pace as I can manage for Discover.

I’m going to be showing a selection of my large stitched tapestries at Ivinghoe, and in addition, I’ll be introducing two new stitched triptychs.

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You’ll notice that spirals feature – yet again.

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I’ve been enormously happy recently to find a new supplier of hand-dyed silks. People keep asking me if want to try dying myself, and of course there is a part of me that is very interested, but there are only so many hours in a day and I use most of them for stitching – so when I discover someone already creating exquisite yarns, I’m just delighted to try them out.

There’s quite a lot of the new silk worked into the blue triptych, which is providing a gorgeous sheen that I find both lovely to look at and which feels beautiful too.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets a thrill from the sensation of stitching with silk – and it’s definitely not something you’d want to hurry…