Monday, 31 October 2011

Phew!


Today has been mad... I've driven to Leeds to collect work from an exhibition there and then popped down to Chesterfield to meet with one of my other stockists and now back home again, dog is walked, paper work done, emails sent and tea is eaten. I just need a few minutes for a breather before I'm off out again!!

Whilst I was browsing in the Bowery in Headingley I noticed some gorgeous wood blocks with beautiful images of birds, trees and houses... and the more I looked at them I realised I had to buy one. I've learned over time that when you see something you really like you should just buy it!! So I did. And I have been trying to find a little more about the artist, Fiona Wilson as i must admit I do want to buy some more and make a feature on my living room wall. I found Fiona's blog, which you can see for yourself here and also her website which is here. She shares some of my passions for print, textiles and stitch, and her work is just divine. I'm looking forward to being the proud owner of some more!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

london


I'm just back from a lovely weekend in London with my husband, who very kindly booked us tickets for the War Horse on Saturday night. We spent the day wandering around the Portobello Road Market, sampling the wares at the Farmers Market and wandering around Kensington and Notting Hill (wow, the house prices!!!). Just near our hotel in Russell Square the Bloomsbury Festival was taking place and we had a little wander around there in the morning and then also later in the afternoon, listening to the music and taking a look at the activities going on as well as perusing the Craft Stalls in the autumn sunshine. One part of it that caught my attention was this interactive walk way of poetry, strung through the trees , encourgaing people to take part and add their own words to the banners. It made me think about words and trees and how I could incorporate them into my own work.

A few of my prints seem to be selling really well at the moment, especially 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' and it made me think about titles, and how the words in the titles of my work can maybe sometimes mean more to the buyer than the actual image..... it has just made me think more.....

Friday, 21 October 2011

bring on the charcoal





Last night I attended my first Life Drawing Class (a course of ten which my lovely friends bought me for my birthday!!). I turned up an hour late as I had to work yesterday, so could only make the last two hours. I was kind of nervous as I haven't picked up a piece of charcoal and drawn a 'person' sinced I was doing my Foundation Course about five or six years ago. So, as you can imagine I was a wee bit nervous. I wondered whether I'd have forgotten how to draw! I've been spending so long working on my intricate and detailed bird illustrations that the thought of drawing anything else apart from trees filled me with a bit of panic!!

But, what a great evening I had. The course took place in the function room of a pub in a village near where I live, so not too far to travel. There was a wide range of ages and experience and everyone was so lovely and friendly, I needn't have worried! I'm going to take some pics of my work every week so I can look back at the end and (hopefully) see an improvement!! Anyway, here are some of the sketches I did last night, not brilliant, but I felt quite pleased with them (ie you can tell that the subject is human!!). I haven't forgotten how to draw I just need a bit more practice!!

It felt great to draw again, to get charcoal all over my fingers and not have to worry about smudges, and it was lovely to flex the hand-eye co-ordination again, very enjoyable and very relaxing, a lovely end (well nearly) to quite a shitty week!!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

ta dah!!





These are the final pics of the pop-up shop taken yesterday at the grand opening. We had a very successful first day and made plenty of sales, which is great news for us makers!! The Opening evening was also a great success and we hung around for a drink or two and watched MissImp, a fab comedy improvisation act, and also listened to some live music by Chris McDonald. All in all, a lovely evening!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Ready for the Grand Opening tomorrow


This is the way the pop-up shop at Number 55 Chilwell High Road looks now. After only a week we got the keys and started our venture Creative 10 have transformed the downstairs of this old house into a wonderful gallery space. As I've said, this is part of The Carnival on Monsters the largest Contemporary Art Festival that Nottingham has ever seen, taking part from tomorrow for two weeks in the old Bartons Bus depot in Chilwell. I really can't wait to see the whole thing at the opening tomorrow evening. I'll definitely be posting more pics.... Very Very exciting!!!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

more furniture


This is the view from the front door towards the back of the shop (courtesy of Sue Crawford). Display tables are in, lighting has been installed and even a rug to cover the floor area in front of the sales desk (oh, yes and the sales desk!). There was a big feature on BBC Radio Nottingham on Tuesday and they spent a while in the Shop chatting to the group about the ideas behind the shop, development and plans for the coming two weeks. You can listen again here on BBC iPlayer for the next week. The work is all being delivered today so I'm hoping to be able to get my hands on more photos so I can share the images of how Number 55 is shaping up!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It's coming together



These are some photos from yesterday, sent by Rachel Carter, who is kindly leading the project of the pop-up shop and is doing a fantastic job of keeping the momentum and organisation going. It's really coming together as you can see and I'm so pleased with how it's all looking. Who would have thought that in less than a week we have made it look so nice?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pop-up Shop - the story so far





So, the painting is nearly finished and we now have a brown paper panel along the main walls which I have added some of my images to today. I can't believe how much we have got done in only two days, I think by the end of this week our little Pop-Up Shop, as part of the Carnival Of Monsters Festival of Contemporary Art, will look amazing. We have to install the furniture and display cabinets and then get our work hung on the walls (which will have to be left to my lovely colleagues, as for the rest of this, I'm at work!!) ready for the grand opening on Saturday. The Carnival runs for two weeks and takes place at the Bartons Bus Depot Site in Chilwell, Nottingham. Simon (the site owner) gave me a guided tour of the site today and I'm amazed at the space and how it is filling up with lots of beautiful art. From light installations to metal sculptures, huge canvasses to small mosaics, I think there will be something there for everyone, whatever your taste!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

New A3 Prints


Today I'm off to do some more painting at our Pop-up Shop in Chilwell so I'll let you see the pictures tomorrow. For now I'll just leave you with a photo of my new A3 prints, which will soon be available to buy from my shop. I'm really liking the new format of larger work and I'm really pleased with how they have turned out, Not all of my range will be available but I'm working on getting my range together (in between exhibitions, pop-up shops and working at my day job). This month will no doubt fly by in a flurry as there seems so much I have to do....

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Inspired Exhibition at Seed Gallery










I had the great pleasure to visit Seed Gallery on Friday evening and meet the lovely Sarah Jennings, Gallery owner, for the preview of 'Inspired', an exhibition of work from the Creative 10 group I am involved in. There are ten of us and we came together through the Nottinghamshire Creative Scheme I took part in 2010 (hence the name) and eight of us are taking part in a month long exhibition at Seed.

Seed Gallery is nestled in the beautiful village of Crich, famously known for its Tram Museum and the location of Peak Practice. If you have never been to this gorgeous part of the countryside then it's definitely worth a visit. It's like stepping back in time when you drive into the village, with its quaint stone houses and narrow streets. The gallery building is about 200 years old and has a beamed ceiling and although compact it has been filled with a fantastic selection of works by UK artists and designers. To see a selection of works click here.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Developments at the pop-up shop








Yesterday I spent the day with a couple of friends from my Creative 10 group cleaning and tidying the hosue we have occupied for our Pop-Up Shop as part of the Carnival Of Monsters Festival for Contemporary Art in Nottingham. This was the first time I had seen our 'house' and my first thoughts were 'Oh my goodness, how are we going to transform this place within a week' ready for opening next Saturday. Thankfully Rachel had seen the potential of the place and within a couple of hours we had cleaned away the cobwebs and even managed to get a lick of paint on the walls. I'm back there on Monday to finish off the painting and I'll have more photos to show you. It's all very exciting and I'm constantly amazed at what you can accomplish when you put your minds to it!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

a busy week

so this week started off sluggishly slow, recovering from birthday celebrations, lots of good food and wayyyy too much vino!!! The diet started Monday and an alcohol ban for me until the end of the month (ok, let's not get carried away, maybe I'll allow myself a little glass or two once a week!!).

I have lots of projects starting soon, an exhibition at Seed Gallery in Crich opening on Friday with my Creative 10 group and also a pop-up shop which will be part of the Carnival Of Monsters Festival of Contemporary Arts in Nottingham. Then in November I'm taking part in a Weekend Fair called 'A Christmas Cracker' at Woodclyffe Hall in Wargrave (I'm not actually going to be there but the lovely Jo from JoJoJewellery will be selling my work) and then it's off to 'The Magic of Christmas Fair' at a beautiful Georgian Country House in East Bridgford for one day only!! Very exciting, and also I have a few online opportunities up my sleeve too, which I'll tell you all about when they are up and running. So as well as all of this i have been doodling some new ideas for owls too (see above, do you like?)

Busy day tomorrow, and then off to clean out the house we are taking over for our Pop-Up Shop in Chilwell on Friday ready for painting on Monday! I think I should have an early night, I've just started reading a new book and also Our Kev's on Grand Designs in a min... hmm, decisions, decisions!!

Monday, 3 October 2011

A new character





My lovely nieces bought me this owl for my birthday and he's going to take pride of place on my bed. As soon as I saw him I knew I had to draw him, and here are todays sketches of Mr Owl. It's great to get the sketchbook out again and just doodle and develop ideas.

This weekend was 'the' weekend of the BIG birthday, and also our 12th wedding anniversary. I spent the weekend up North with the folks and it was just perfect. It was nice and quiet and just what I wanted. I got loads of lovely pressies, including a 10 week life drawing course from my friends and a two day screen-printing course, as well as a gorgeous new watch and a spa treat from my sisters. *I'm a very lucky girl indeed!! So I look forward to my course starting in a couple of weeks time and I'll let you have a peek at my efforts when the time comes!!

For now, I'll leave you with my sketches from today and go back to writing my big to do list. I ahve a very budy few weeks coming up with an exhibition starting Friday and also I'm taking part in a Pop-Up Shop in Chilwell soon too. Details to follow.....

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