Discover go to Ivinghoe…

Just a week away now from our Discover Original Art Fair in Ivinghoe, which means a heady mixture of excitement and mild panic as we try to get everything ready in time.

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I know many followers here live far too far away to visit us in person, but if you are near Ivinghoe next weekend, we’d be absolutely delighted to welcome you at our exhibition.

 

 

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We’re here…

Just in time for summer – or so it seems – we’ve opened our latest Discover Original Art exhibition in Datchworth, Hertfordshire.

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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.

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June at Mardleybury Gallery…

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.

The amazing Discover Original Art creators, pretending we weren't freezing!
The amazing Discover Original Art creators, pretending we weren’t freezing!

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.

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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…

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Full gallery details, with opening times below…

 

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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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