Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Salvage Row...

A couple of weeks ago in Scunthorpe I happened across a shop called 'Salvage Row'.
At first I thought that this was a very swanky upcycled furniture shop, but then realised that it was offering a great service to the community.
Salvage Row is a non- profit making, social enterprise shop that offers support, training and help for vulnerable young people in Scunthorpe and the North Lincs.
Training in furniture restoration, sales and social media is offered to the volunteers, and what fantastic results!
I was so tempted by this old tool chest!
Aargh! Selfie alert!
I think that this is such a wonderful idea and such a great opportunity for the next generation.
And I definitely know where I'll be going when I need some furniture...

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Blackbird And The Fight...

Sometimes my painting is a real struggle.
Not just a little tussle you understand, but a full on, bared teeth, bloody minded conflict from start to finish.
In fact, I am rather suspicious of any of my paintings that were 'easy' and simply seemed to flow out of the paint brush.
This is what happened to this one.
I spent the whole day yesterday not putting a brush mark out of place, not even drinking the dirty paint water instead of my tea, and by 9pm I scribbled over the whole ruddy thing.
And after a rather restless night's sleep I was ready for battle this morning.
And slowly a story emerged from the many layers.
(As I paint, I also like to wipe off my brushes on the next support, it 'kills the white' and helps link the paintings together somehow.)
There once was a girl who wanted to know all about the big, wide world.
But she never travelled afar.

So when it was twilight she asked the black bird.
And he had all the answers to her questions in his song.

I think this one will be part of my little 'Winter Time' online exhibition that I'm hoping to have in a few weeks' time.
Happy weekend chucks X

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Open Studios And Exciting Futures...

A couple of weeks ago the Art Foundation, BTEC and A- Level students visited the beautiful Welbeck Estate for the annual Professional Practice Day.
It is so inspirational to meet the artists, designers and makers in their studios and discuss what it's like to work as a creative practitioner.
I never manage to visit all of the studios, but I did meet the wonderful Hilary Bower.
I absolutely love Hilary's work and I felt so privileged to listen to her talking about her work and her personal practice.
To look through an artist's personal sketch books, to see what materials they use and to be able to ask questions about their work is to experience an act of pure generosity.
I can't even begin to thank everyone enough for sharing so much with our students.
We then had a gorgeous dinner at The Harley Cafe, the food is amazing!
Just look at the fish finger sandwich!
And then there's the home made cakes!
Then we just had time to visit the newly built Portland Gallery, it's stunning.
And I had to finish off the day with the obligatory loo selfie!
It was such a great day, I really love my job and I'm very lucky indeed.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Potter's Studio...

Looking back over my summer holiday photos, I wanted to share with you a beautiful day that I spent at the Leach Pottery in St.Ives.
Bernard Leach was a hugely influential potter, and brought Eastern design principles to his practice when he set up the pottery in 1920 with Shoji Hamada.
Leach's ethos has also influenced my approach to abstract painting, and I was really excited about visiting the museum.
There is just something so beautiful about a potter's studio...
I loved these light switches!
There was a film about the working pottery in the 1950's, I could have watched it all day long.
I even had time for a little sketching...
And just look at the first aid cupboard!
Let's just say our purses were a little lighter after leaving the shop!
I'll be back again another time!
Thanks Mr.Leach, your approach to both art and life is a true inspiration,
(and I think you had the best first aid cupboard and light switches ever!)