Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Mulberry Tree

Here is the invite for the 'Land and Sea' show at the Mulberry Tree in Swanage. I'm hoping to get down there whilst the exhibition is on if I possible can...
Emma, the gallery owner, is absolutely lovely and would surely offer you coffee if you visit!

We've also planned a visit to the Scotlandart gallery in Edinburgh on the way up to Skye, hoorah... we'll be there on the morning of the 24th, if anyone happens to be up that way!
I can't wait to wake up, make coffee and stare at the sea.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Exhibition month!

So ALL my current work is wonderfully framed by Anna at The Little Gallery in Belper and I have two exhibitions this month!

The first is at the Edinburgh ScotlandArt Gallery, from the 22nd October. It includes 'From Here' below, and 'In Mind', above:

The second is at The Mulberry Tree in Swanage, from late October to mid November. Hoping to get down there whilst its on. I've just booked a cottage on Skye for the half term week in October - we're all going for a much needed break. Hoping to see the northern lights and stare at the sea a lot.

The coast is a wonderfully reflective, expressive subject to paint! I spend a small percentage of time there out of my Derbyshire year but it continues to dominate.

Wandered into the hills yesterday with Heather. Tramped up Curbar but missed the ridge behind it due to my consistently poor sense of direction. Still, deserted and beautiful valley walk through the grass looking across the edges to the north west. Popped into Gallery Top in Rowsley on the way home and met Gill, the owner, a lovely lady. They had some great work in there... including a drypoint called 'Breakwater' by Ross Loveday, which came back with us in Heather's joyous possession.

Met Colin, Gareth and Heth tonight for drinks at the Duffield White Hart... yummy Talisker :) As ever an encouragement just to be around them.

Tomorrow I am sorting out all my work ready for transport to the North and South. It is brilliant to see it all gathered. I'm so used to things living in my studio and moving on relatively quickly. I'm excited about these exhibitions and hoping I manage to see them both in situ...

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Regular blogging obviously doesn't come naturally.... been busy out in the garden trying to grow veggies, control falling walls and getting into the studio when I can. Not really been away this summer, which is unusual. Consequently I am desperately missing the sea. Hoping to head up to the Lakes at the end of the month with Heather Duncan so perhaps I'll grab a day to go perch on a rock and stare.

Much good news this month - sold work from Scotland Art and about to send up ten new pieces for the October exhibition. They are also going to take my work to the Affordable Art Show in London in March, which is fantastic.

I'm also having an exhibition at The Mulberry Gallery in Swanage in October - six paintings to produce for that. Suddenly nicely busy! I will post images of the new pieces as soon as I'm utterly happy with them all. Any day now, I'm sure!

The girls went back to school this week so been back full time in the studio, watching the georgeous September weather over Alport heights and listening to Turin Brakes, Dave Matthews, and the Raconteurs. A lovely life..

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

See - they've got all my work up there and me (alphabetically!) at the top of their list of represented artists. A great experience with them so far. Lots of courtesy and communication - I've found this to be a rare thing where galleries are concerned. I am now working towards their new artists exhibition in the Edinburgh gallery in October - hopefully at least ten new pieces. Think I might have to make a trip for the opening of this one, Edinburgh is my favourite city!

Working on seascapes at the moment following the Alderney trip. Full of paintings! I'm going to need some more time by the coast this summer I think. Sadly missing Cornwall this year - our friends are travelling round Europe so we're hoping to visit them en route in France instead.

Its a beautiful day outside...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Well, it’s been a fabulous last few weeks!

Busy with change, good friends, beautiful places, painting and great news on the art. I got a call from, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, having spent a few days submitting work to galleries all over the UK. Spoke to the lovely owner, John, who has asked me to send six pieces for the gallery and eight more over the summer for a landscape exhibition. I also had several positive responses from other galleries, so feeling like I need to lock myself in the studio...

I've recently started having things framed, and am really pleased with the result. Anna at the Little Gallery in Belper has done a great job...

I also discovered that ‘Treasure Hunting’ sold from Tregoning Gallery in April – news I’ve been looking forward to for a while! Should afford my new framing costs!

We spent the half term week in Alderney with Heather Duncan and family – a truly wonderful holiday. It is always great to return ‘home’… but to be there with such like-minded close friends was just fabulous. A tiny conglomeration of spectacular cliff and coast, eight miles from France, it is the place that inspires a large amount of my work.

Hoping to head to France over the summer holidays to visit our friends, Tony and Becky; currently In mid tour of Europe for six months in their campervan. I spent many holidays there when I was growing up and am looking forward to potentially heading down the Southwest coast. Heather’s family has a holiday house near Carcassonne (beautiful medieval walled town) that we might try and visit. All good inspiration!

Friday, 8 May 2009

So... a long gap between blogs, thats not good!

Things have been fairly busy in my non-art life, but I have finally moved back into my studio, having spent the colder months painting in the conservatory. I no longer share the barn with a drum kit or sound system, and the room is entirely my own, to mess up as I like...

I have a large square canvas sat on the easel, some brushes that could do with a clean and a fantastically huge amount of paint that I seem to have accumulated and stored all over the place. I also have a headful of paintings from the holidays in Scotland and Devon, till recently blocked by the 'how do I paint?' question. It is a difficult issue for me, as someone who listens to people so much and allows so much influence in! I have been really enjoying painting out with Mark and Colin and will continue to do that (on bus & bike, as I now have no car) but the work I get excited about is the more abstract such as Of Sea and Shore, see below. These paintings just say so much more about me. It has to be said that the more representational work has, so far, been more saleable, but I've never wanted that to affect the way I paint. I want the work I exhibit to be the work that I love and am proud to show...
I've contacted several galleries this morning, in London, Edinburgh and Cornwall, and am just really keen to promote the work I feel is good and get it out to a wider audience. Feeling inspired by the marketing skills of my fellow artists! I had a great night out last night with Gareth, Heather, Mark, Colin and Julian - it was great to hear positive news about their respective exhibitions, galleries and work.
Anyway, I have a few hours left in which to paint! Will try not to leave it as long this time...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


The next couple days are going to be spent sketching, as I'm still waiting on the canvas delivery (which grew in my renewed enthusiasm into a canvas, paper, oils, acrylics, brushes and graphite delivery.)

This painting is the result of an afternoon last week, sat by the river Wye in Bakewell. Initially it was an overly detailed acrylic, lacking in colour and movement.

Its progress was greatly aided through the couple more hours spent in a warm studio with oils and tea! This is an important aspect for me; to come away from the scene and let the impression of a place grow in my mind, and develop on the canvas.

I've not worked on a lot of river scenes in the past, and I'm enjoying the challenge of less horizon and smaller focus. In contrast I spent the day on Curbar edge yesterday; all birdsong, distance and barren moor... that might fend off the river scenes before too long!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Day 1...

I’ve just reached the end of a full week; painting, working, gardening and friends, and now I’m attempting my first blog.

It’s taken me a while to come around to this idea. I love the new way we perceive each other’s lives through photo sharing and the status update. I’m just still trying to work out the exact purpose of this more time-consuming communiqué.

So, news.... I’ve been out painting around Derbyshire – such a beautiful area – with fellow artists, Mark Preston, Colin Halliday and Julian Mason, and a
m hoping to go out sketching with my close friend Heather Duncan this week. It’s been invaluable, connecting with other painters. I’ve tended towards isolation within the artistic side of my life, as in other areas, and I’ve missed out on the benefits of sharing the highs, lows and other developments... Thanks to the organisational intellect of another artist friend, Gareth Buxton, we get together once a month at the Hollybush Inn in Makeney. I’m not sure quite what happens or what we talk about but I always come away feeling happy and encouraged!

Over the last two years, my work has been developing into more of an emotional response to a captured moment. I don’t want to leave this behind but am hoping that my accuracy with colour and paint evolves alongside it. I went to see a David Tress exhibition up in Manchester this week and found his work exuded exactly that – abstract expressionism but with such an accurate use of colour that his experience of a place, visually and emotionally, was communicated perfectly. And some on such a huge scale – it was fantastic.

His sketch above is of Loch Kishorn, in the Torridon area of North West Scotland, a sublime location... A couple weeks back Matt, the girls and I stayed in a loch-side cottage up there for our yearly wilderness fix. It is a spectacular place. I would love to live there, with the rain and midges. It was the perfect holiday, nestled under the mountains; sipping morning coffee whilst watching the girls beachcomb in pajamas and wellies. We tramped through the landscape, had fresh seafood looking out to Skye, sipped whisky, read books and spotted deer, dolphins and eagles.

Next we’re off to Devon, where I’m hoping to use some of the oils and thirty six small canvases I just ordered. Leaving behind the large scale beasts for now... I’m looking forward to painting the sea again. In May we head off to Alderney, with Heather and family, which will be a celebration of sand, sea, path, food and pub. Can’t wait.