August

The last few weeks have gone past rapidly: the Frome Open Studios Art Trail was enjoyed by all those who visited as well as the participating artists.

The Skeleton Woman series No 5: ‘Tangled Bones’, (Section)

Since then the Black Swan Guild have been preparing for the September Exhibition in the Round Tower in Frome. BODY:art will present works by the Guild members plus three guest artists. The exhibition will run from 6th September to 21st October and I will be showing three pieces based on the story of the Skeleton Woman

Firebird and Golden Apples, unfinished

‘Firebird and the Golden Apples’, unfinished. Oil on board. August 2019

The Artists’ 303 group will be exhibiting at CICCIC, Venue 27, in Taunton as part of the Somerset Art Weeks (SAW)- Contrasts: Old & New. In both exhibitions I will be showing two new pieces based on the traditional Russian folk story The Firebird and The Grey Wolf.

During SAW a selection of my paintings based around the theme of water, as a nod to the overall SAW theme of Silver, will be shown at The Old Stores in Evercreech, Venue 87. There will be a number of artists exhibiting so will be a worthwhile venue to visit.

Blackstone at Kimmeridge Bay

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June

June is turning into a busy month – I have finally started painting the commission from Australia, which I will work on over the next few weeks. Alongside there are paintings to finish for the July Art Trail in Frome or for Somerset Art Weeks in September.

Four paintings are going to the First View Summer exhibition starting on 15th June at Stourhead.  Including a new one of Cessford castle and of Old Wardour.

I have some new ideas to work on too, inspired by the Artists 303 on the theme of Contrasts. We’ve been asked to take a couple of older paintings and respond by making new pieces, and I think It may be time to add people or animals – while at Heavens’ Gate recently I sketched to the sound of howling wolves! No doubt waiting to be fed at the safari park.

Meanwhile, the new Black Swan Guild is finding its way including putting together a mission statement and a constitution. We have a second exhibition in September around the theme of Body or Body Art, so that’ll be a bit different! Maybe a wolf or two…

Preparations are going ahead for the Frome Open Studio’s Art Trail, part of the Frome Festival, 6-14 July. There are 23 venues this year with 6 artists at my house, and 64 artists altogether. The brochures have mostly been distributed and posters going up. And of course artists and makers are busy making sure they have their pieces ready for exhibiting.

 

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May

May started with the inaugural exhibition of the Black Swan Guild which continues til the 21st May at the Round Tower, Black Swan Arts, Frome. The newly formed Guild has 13 founder members and I have been chosen as Chair. The work on show includes ‘Heatherhope’ and ‘Re-emergence’.

‘Heatherhope’, Cheviots oil on canvas 3′ x 4′ 2016

‘Re-emergence’, Sydney Botanical Gardens 2016 acrylic on canvas 24″ x24″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over last weekend I spent time at the Frome Art Fair selling cards, prints and paintings. ‘Orange Ground’ went to a happy couple of friends in Frome.

Now I am sorting through some much older paintings for an Exhibition in Mere at the Beaumont Gallery, raising funds for the Kilmington Church Tower – 25th May to 2nd June.

Also coming along soon will be the Summer Show at First View Stourhead, 15th – 30th June at which I hope to show two paintings.

Apparently St Abb’s Head is now twinned with fictional village of New Asgard from Game of Thrones….

‘Orange Rocks’, St Abb’s Head, acrylic on paper, 14 x 20cm 2016

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April 2019

March has finished when I spent most of the time setting the Art Trail brochure for the Frome Open Studios. Off to the printers on the 10th April with the brochures out in time for the Frome Art Fair on first weekend of May.

Early in March I sent a design to an Australian client who has requested a Heritage Painting of her childhood home, church and school house. Now I wait for confirmation so I can go ahead and do the final painting.

The Fifty bees III exhibition in the Brewhouse Taunton has been very well received, and is open until 6th April. Meanwhile I am preparing for giving an Art Demo on acrylic Inks in Yeovil.

‘Arcane Ruins’ Berry Pomeroy 2018

My painting ‘Arcane Ruins’ has been pre-selected for the New English Art Club exhibition at The Mall, so I will find out soon if it is to be selected!

At the end of March the 14 founder members for the newly created Black Swan Guild were chosen including myself. Works of high quality have been chosen from a wide selection of disciplines such as jewellery, wood carving, weaving, as well as paintings, which is unusual for a Guild. Now we work on setting the constitution, identity, roles, when to meet, etc. Our inaugural exhibition will start on the 4th May in the Round Tower in Frome, so much to be done. On the same evening as the Guild Preview I will be setting up at the Silk Mill for the Frome Art Fair taking place on 4th & 5th May! So will need to be mega organised!!

‘Castle Silhouette’, Laugherne, mixed media, 21 x 30cm 2016

My next event though is in Exeter for the WESC Foundation Weekend Art Show 13th & 14th April so I will be taking a selection of smaller paintings, prints and cards.

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February 2019

Now we are in February and my first 5 weeks of teaching about pastels in Trowbridge Town Hall is already finished. Much was learnt and all went away with pastel covered fingers and tables!

Blackstone at Kimmeridge Bay

The painting for the 50 Bees III Project is completed and at the framers, so will be ready for delivery on Friday, with the preview on March 9th. The Exhibition is at the Brewhouse in Taunton 9 March – 6 May.

 

 

Two of my ruined castle paintings have been pre-selected for the RI Annual at the Mall Galleries.

The Beaumont Gallery in Mere has asked me to join their group of artists and I will be concentrating on trees in the local landscape.

‘Early Spring Avenue’, Acrylic on board

One of my paintings has sold through First View Gallery, Stourhead where I will continue to exhibit from time to time, either ruined castles, packhorse bridges and scenes from the Stourhead Estate.

Over the next few weeks I will be working on a large commission featuring three buildings from Cranmore set in autumn. The work for the Frome Open Studios, including setting up the entries in the brochure will continue and I will be considering paintings on a theme of Silver for the Somerset Art Weeks in September. Then I will be exhibiting with the Artists 303 Group in Taunton.

There are a few Art Fairs along the way in Exeter, Frome and Poundbury, so much to do…… and I realise I have a number of existing paintings I would quite like to finish!

 

 

 

 

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End of 2018

High Power’, Ludlow, acrylic on paper, 2019

Over the last few weeks I have finished some paintings.

‘High Power’ is of Ludlow Castle, commanding the River Teme from the high promontory. It was the first stone castle to be built in England around 1066.

‘Under the Stones’, Harlech Castle, acrylic on canvas 2019

 

Harlech was built by Edward 1 in the late 13th century,  and keeps watch over Snowdonia seeming to grow naturally out of the rock. One of the most formidable in an iron ring of fortresses though it was taken by Welsh leader Owain Glyn Dwr in 1404.

In between I have been working on the Frome Open Studios – updating the website with copy and a new theme for 2019.

And having prepared a pastel drawing for my upcoming course ‘Urban Landscapes’ in January Trowbridge Town Hall, I am now ready to start work on  a painting for the Fifty Bees project 2019!

‘After the March’, Trafalgar Square, pastels, 2019

 

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October & November

Looking back through the diary I see that I did little in the way of painting with more time online and in the garden. At the beginning of the month I finished the Somerset Art Works Open Studios at Batcombe Lodge where I enjoyed spending time with Moxi, and meeting many visitors.

The Big Draw at Stourhead was a very cold rainy day unfortunately, though the artists set up their stations in the Gallery and enjoyed a day painting.

I spent some time with a few members from the A303 group responding to a still-life of colourful items. So good to work and chat together.

The Wokingham Art Group were happy to watch me demonstrating a painting in acrylics on board. I took the subject of trees from a photo taken at the Hirsel Estate near Coldstream with beautiful pollarded willows in apricot oranges – there is a lovely write up which can be found on the Wokingham Art Society website.  where you can see the colourful under-painting and the start of the actual painting! It is still waiting in a queue of half completed paintings though.

Planning to finish some paintings before starting on any new work – Harlech Castle with rocky ground is nearly done, then Ludlow Castle above the river….

Meanwhile, my focus has been finding new team members to enable the Frome Open Studios to take place again next year during the annual Frome Festival. We have a good enthusiastic group so putting ideas forward for our 2019 new look.

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September

After a quiet August there is much to look forward to over the next few months! Firstly I am now at Batcombe Lodge for the Somerset Open Studios, Venue 159. We have had some lovely visitors and I have managed to complete a painting – the basement of a watchtower at Berry Pomeroy Castle near Totnes.

On 6th October I have been asked to be one of the artists taking part in The Big Draw at Stourhead.  I will be stationed somewhere in the grounds and hope to sketch and paint the view, or work on an alternative view if we are in the gallery cos of rain!

In October I am due to run a workshop for the Phoenix Art group in Bratton over 2 sessions using gouache with the theme of ruined castles.

And with thanks to the local art scene The Courtyard Gallery I have been asked to do a commission for an Australian client. The request is for a large painting featuring her childhood home in Cranmore as she particularly liked my painting style. It will incorporate a few other buildings with autumn colours. Once finished I will need to take it off the stretchers to post to Australia!

Also, I will be thinking of work to do for the A303 exhibition next year, plus I have been selected to do a piece for the Fifty Bees project 2019. My given bee is the Broad-faced Furrow bees which live in soft cliffs from Seaton to Kimmeridge on the Jurassic Coast. We have been asked to do a piece based on the habitat or ecology of ‘our’ bee.

 

 

 

 

 

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August

August has been a quiet month in terms of painting – mostly been away and starting to sort and the studio. Anyone want a lot of pen nibs for drawing?

Sorting the studio means finding unexpected items like a lot of oil crayons and a sketch sent to my grandmother from a Scottish artist Nancy Graham, plus far too many pencils and pencil crayons. And too many tables.

All in preparation for the Somerset Open Studios: I will be at Venue 159, The Studio at Batcombe Lodge working alongside Moxi Lovegrove.

I will be working on Berry Pomeroy 2a few unfinished painting such as this one of a ruined tower interior at Berry Pomeroy, Totnes. I started it for an Art Demonstration last year and I think the group would like to see it finally finished! It is gouache on paper. I will show the process of my paintings from the first idea, research and various stages to completion.

There will be drop-in mini workshops too in colour and composition using geometric shapes and coloured paper!!Coloured Squares

Ruined Tower interior, Berry Pomeroy

 

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July

The Frome Open Studios went well with around 300 visitors calling in to see the artists and their work at the house. We had Bridget Beattie and Kristen Vincent’s paintings, Quentin Fleming’s metal sculptures in the garden, Wendy Wood showing her glass and Bill Grant’s pots. Despite the very hot first weekend, the Art Car Boot, Tennis, Football and a the Frome half-marathon we were impressed by the number of visitors!

Hall Walls

‘Hall Walls’, Brough Castle 2017 oil on canvas 64 x 64cm

Two paintings were shown at the Ilminster Arts Centre in their Summer Open, now collected and waiting at home for another outing. Three are still at The Artizan in Torbay and I will go to see them on the last day before collecting them on the 17th August – unless they sell of course.

Coming up is the Somerset Open Studios, 15 – 30 September with the theme of Process. I will be painting plus offering some hands on work at Moxi’s studio in Batcombe Lodge, Venue 159.

 

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