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 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).

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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.

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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.

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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…

Discover Ali Mesley…

I’m always intrigued by the way artists express themselves through a variety of media. Today I wanted to show you the work of Ali Mesley, who is also exhibiting at our Discover Original Art Fair in November.

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Ali is a visual artist, inspired by colour, texture, line and form, who expresses her thoughts and feelings through a whole range of techniques and materials, including textiles, glass, papier-mache and found objects.

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Her work is process driven, with all sorts of things inspiring her to create.

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Most recently, she’s been exploring her responses to books and colour families.

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You can see more of Ali’s work at her website, and if you’re near Ivinghoe on 29th or 30th November, come along and meet the artist herself.

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Discover Victoria Johns…

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No stitching today, instead I thought I’d show you some of the work of artist Victoria Johns, who, like me, is based in the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire borders, and will be exhibiting her range of original art, prints and greeting cards, at the Discover Original Art Fair, at the Ivinghoe Community Hub during the last weekend of November 2014.

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Victoria’s works frequently develop from her interpretation and response to her location photography.

Having trained as an artist specialising in glass, she now works predominantly in mixed media and print, but her fascination with glass and the translucent quality it produces is evident in the many delicately layered, subtle and dramatic effects she creates.

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There’s a gorgeous tactile quality to Victoria’s artwork and you often feel you could hold it up and see light shine through.

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One of the best things about coming along to Discover, is having the opportunity to meet and talk to all the artists, who’ll be there on both days, delighted to talk about the processes and inspirations they use, so if you’re in the area, please come, I’m certain you’ll find much to enjoy.

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Discover…

I am absolutely delighted to be part of the forthcoming Discover Original Art Fair.

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If you’re anywhere near Ivinghoe in November, please do come along. There’s some seriously fabulous talent in the group and who knows, you might even find the perfect Christmas gift is just waiting for you there…

Dates for your diary…

Well it’s official, we’re off to Ivinghoe again with a fabulous selection of original art for sale, just in time for Christmas. If you’re in the area, please come and join us at the Ivinghoe Community Hub on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November 2014, between 10.00am and 3.00pm on both days.

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Eight talented local artists will be there with a wide variety of artworks, including paintings, gorgeous original prints, amazing creations in polymer clay, glass, textiles and even some new stitched tapestry items from yours truly.

The CuriosiTEA cafe will be keeping us all in the Christmas spirit with hot tea and cakes – I’m hoping for mince-pies…

I’ll let you know more about the various artists involved between now and November, but as things get hectic leading up to Christmas, do please save the date now if you’re going to be in the area.