Monday, 29 October 2018

Remarkable News!

Its been a very busy Autumn, I've now started my MA at the University of Derby and I am loving every minute of it, so nice to be back in a learning environment especially when it's all about my favorite subjects of history and heritage. Its only one day a week of taught work but there's a lot of reading to be done in between and writing! The other students are very knowledgeable its great to be around them all. It is giving me a lot of information that will be valuable to my artwork.
This time of year is always about preparation for the Christmas shows and they start next weekend  so please do come along its going to be a lovely event  run by Purple and Grey at The Remarkable Hare  Pub Dale Road Matlock there are about nine artists and makers there will be food and drink available to purchase so you can spend some time chatting to us all and enjoying the ambiance of this wonderful pub.
Below are my November events, I'm looking forward to them all I had my wedding reception at The Farmhouse at Mackworth and it's a beautiful venue so come and enjoy some early festive spirit with me!

November 10th - Belper Farmers Market No. 28
November 24th - Glebe Centre Crich Christmas Fair 1.30 - 3.30 pm

November 25th - The Farmhouse at Mackworth Christmas Market 11-3pm

New Group for the New Year Belper Sunday Painters

For artists to meet and bring along work in all the popular mediums - oil, watercolour, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, and pencil as well as for people with an interest in art. All abilities are catered for and beginners are encouraged to join to further their ambitions.
Facilitated by myself advice given as required and the sessions are a mix of directed and non-directed as needed by the group.
Session Dates Sundays 10.30am – 12.30pm
Block 1
•    January 13th
•    February 10th
•    March 10th
Block 2
•    May 12th
•    June 9th
•    July 14th
Block 3
•    Sept 8th
•    October 13th
•    November 10th
Maximum participants are six, booking for the three two-hour sessions is in advance, taken through Creartii: cost £40 for a block of three sessions. An ideal Christmas gift for yourself or an arty friend!

To book click here

CREARTII Art Studio,17 Green Lane, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1BY
Telephone: 07881 653117

Monday, 8 October 2018

Update Wheres September Gone?

Its been a busy few weeks starting my MA Public History and Heritage at university and getting to grips with all that along with maintaining a business and looking after my family all in that order I'm afraid!
University was something I wanted to do to get my brain into gear but as someone who can't do things half-hearted, I've found myself knee deep reading articles and papers one leads to another and before I know it I've read myself around the world it's interesting but I need to manage my time better!
The trouble is I find everything interesting so I need to focus (perhaps I've exchanged my bad Facebook habits to documents? ) I've already met some brilliant people on the course so I've got two lovely years ahead!
 The upside of all this is now my artwork feels more fun! It was great to visit Tamworth Art Society and spend a couple of hours demoing for them they are such a great group lots of questions and answers while I painted a scene of Ashbourne.

Duffield Art Festival was brilliant lots of customer interest best show for a long time, its a great mix of poetry acting singing and art so the weekend went fast!

Back in Ashbourne at St John Street Gallery, my workshop on simplifying street scenes went down well with a participant  saying:

Thank you once again for the time you spent with me and the marvelous help and advice. I had a most enjoyable day and have been singing your praises at the Matlock U3A painting group this morning.

We concentrated on this wonderful little shop which posed various challenges, but the day was really relaxing. Plein Air painting is not my thing as such but the sketching side of being outdoors I find important and something I like to show to others how they can develop so they can create their own style that is unique to them.

I have been enjoying working to commision and was thrilled to see my last painting in its owners new home.

Now I'm looking towards Christmas so I have created an album on my Facebook page of 21 available prints just contact me if you would like to order one last orders Dec1st.

I will be at
Belper Farmers Market Oct 13th 9-1
Glebe center Crich 1-5 Oct 20th
The remarkable art cafe Nov 3rd Remarkable Hare Dale Road Matlock 10 - 4 pm

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

One Month Later off Facebook

So about one month ago I totally deleted my personal face book account I had to create a holding account to run my pages but that now only connects to immediate family, but over 1300 people have disappeared!

What has happened to me since?
The first week was hard as I kept wondering what so and so was having for diner and if that person I made friends with in New York was going to buy her shoes or not or become a minimalist?
But by week two I realised that those that are bothered about me and those who I am bothered about will contact me when they need me and I don't need to sit for three hours scrolling through time lines full of other peoples kids when I have my own!
It made me wonder why I have been doing that anyway a strange thing when you think about it!

 I've written a few letters to friends and family had some lovely personal emails sent to me I even called in on someone on the off chance they might be in how 1989 is that! and when I have met up with people I find I am asking them how they are what they have been doing the conversation is full of surprises and I haven't uttered the words 'Oh yeah I saw that' and because its just family on my face book now I can see what they are up too (which seems to consist of drinking beer!)
But that is what it was set up for in the first place but over the last ten years face book has grown and grown until its completely overwhelming if not kept in check.

So am I social media free?
No because theres twitter! Now that is another thing all together but I love it short sharp and to the point Ive created lots of lists , galleries and artists I love. Also im  a newshound so I love tracking the demise of Trump its better than any soap. Its a great way to stay informed so long as you don't create yourself a bubble and read all around the stories. Twitter has always been my favourite platform and Ive gotten alot of work from it.

Instagram is good too because its also to the point I can post a picture and keep up to date with friends without getting embroiled in adverts and notifications etc.. I know folk who pour their heart out and write essays on Instagram but the thing is you can scroll without seeing it all if you don't want to. I tend to follow artists only so I do see lots of amazing artwork very quickly!

So one month on and I have no regrets at all I know who my friends are because they have emailed rang or messaged me or found me via Instagram its the best thing Ive done, no more seeing those cryptic posts meant for that certain 'friend'  or political rants meant to change our minds if theres one thing I don't miss its the virtue signalling empty acts of commitment to good causes you know the ones they are coming up soon ' I'm not sending Christmas cards this year.... instead I'm going to save the trees while I sit next to my wood burner and scroll through your timeline' 

No its all good I'm glad I ditched it and can now spend more time writing blogs about how good it is not being on face book and then upload it to my Face book business page because of course I still have that!

Anyway to take up my time Ive joined the Green Party, Ive joined the local History society and started my University MA so Ive taken myself in new directions to meet new people to help give me new ideas to create art from and that is what its all about after all gaining new inspiration and learning new things.

If we keep doing the same we stay the same and we keep creating the same.

The next blog will have some art! If you want to see me in person I'm at Duffield Art Festival this weekend Id love to say hello!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Facebook Deactivation.

Maybe Im not alone in feeling this about Facebook, for a while now Ive been wondering whether to change my social media interactions and today I finally decided to take the plunge and deactivate my Facebook personal profile this is a huge step for someone who has advocated the platform to so many people I still have my business page its a lovely way to keep in touch with my art work and I would always recommend a business to be on there, but as for my personal page I found the lines were becoming too blurred between work and personal.

I loved all my friends on there but increasingly Facebook was pushing events, adverts, groups and suggesting so much that it was difficult to even see anything at all, Also I find the messenger app although useful is also intrusive of personal time, ( I like a nice email sent )

It felt like my head was overloading on information and as someone who feels guilty for not being able to go to every event and show due to family etc it was agonising to feel like I was letting folk down which is stupid I know but I had over 1300 friends and letting down so many peoples invites everyday was awful ... I know no one takes that personally but my personality is such that I feel bad for saying no I cant attend ! Increasingly groups are being used to keep like minded folk in touch but I had been added to so many it became impossible to use them and leaving a group or messenger conversation also became difficult.

So if you were a friend of mine on there please don't think you are blocked or unfriended that is not the case at all its more about creating space for whats important and using the right tools for the job.
I love all of you just not Facebook!

I feel like Ive gone a little old school maybe I will start writing actual letters again! I can already feel the FOMO ( fear of missing out!) syndrome but I will have to deal with that.

So as I adjust to this new world of no endless notifications I will keep you updated here and on the platforms below, with my art news and my foray back into education at Derby University as I start my MA in Public History and Heritage.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Its All About Belper

I'm writing this listening to the rain and how glorious that sound is after some very hot days but the light we have had this Summer has meant that my home town of Belper has looked rather splendid. An evening and some early morning strolls has left me with some great images to work from. I love the stone work of the buildings it reflects and glistens when the light shines on it. These paintings will be framed and available at my solo exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery in December, and I will have prints done as requested. 

Its the Summer Holidays now which means weeks of travel and family fun and then in September I start my university course MA Public History and Heritage, at weekends I will be selling my work at various locations listed here as you can see I'm keeping things very local for the moment as I concentrate on my studies. 

New for 2019 will be Belper Sunday Painters a group I hope to set up to enable a space for six of us to scheduled painting we all get so busy that sometimes having a dedicated time in the diary means we can pencil in a few dates. Details are here about booking and cost. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Mapping it Out, New Work for St John Street Gallery

I sourced an old ordnance survey map of Derbyshire on line, to use as part of a new series of work for St John Street Gallery my intention was to literally tear it up into sections and stick it down and then see what happened next.

By chance I was left with a small corner of the map of the Staffordshire Moorlands and after layering ink and mediums on to the initial layer of maps I again tore up the corner and placed that on to the canvas and from that I looked at the names on those pieces and found some wonderful locations which I have painted below.
The surfaces are full of texture and character of the maps it was certainly an interesting way to create new work.

Near Calton Green

Detail of Near Calton Green

Devils Staircase

Detail For Devils Staircase

Ipstones Edge

Detail of Ipstones Edge

Near Kingsley Holt

Detail of Near Kingsley Holt

Weaver Hills

Detail of Weaver Hills

You can view the new pieces at St John Street Gallery Ashbourne from August 1st. They are all 30 x 30 cm on box canvas £300 each contact the gallery to make a purchase.
My last show before summer is a charity event at The Belper Games where I will be selling a range of greeting cards and my #100dayproject cards.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Be a bit more Rock n Roll!

This weekend and last weekend Ive been attending some big concerts first one The Rolling Stones and then Alice Coopers new band The Hollywood Vampires and tomorrow The Foo Fighters.
The audiences are so old I am happy to take my kids along what they make of it I'm not sure but I think they just take pity on us for liking these Dad bands.

As I was watching Alice and Mick on stage it made me think about the need to keep on keeping on why do these multi millionaire rockers put themselves through night after night of this, they don't have too they could be putting their feet up and toasting a job well done and watch the clock tick by.
But that's not very rock n roll bloody boring actually I listen to folk who cant wait till they retire and I'm like and then what? Do what you should be doing now why wait?
Alice's new band is cool they sing only the songs of their dead drunk friends Keith Moon ,Lemmy , The Doors etc.... the list goes on all those who wasted their talent or fell by the wayside too early.
I'm sentimental and seeing a photo of Bowie while Johnny Depp sang Hero's was too much heartbreaking actually.

So much talent still to share so much creativity not yet unleashed.
Here's the thing we all die yep amazing revelation huh! But seriously what are you waiting for get the knitting needles ,out cross stitch , make music ,paint, make stuff , draw stuff who cares what you do , what it looks like just do something that is for you and not logical or has great depth.

The thing is by making and creating we are giving something to the world adding layers , happiness and increasing the possibilities of meeting other people who also share in your madness. When we meet other creative souls it enriches our lives up and down the country there are folk sitting in village halls doing alsorts of mad creative stuff of no consequence having a great time doing it. It takes effort to get out of the house it takes effort to change it takes effort to create but its a beautiful thing.

It doesn't have to be serious you know all this art malarky is brilliant we don't have to have huge meaning behind everything we do. Don't worry that your workshop leader will think you are rubbish they don't they are terribly grateful you booked on the course so they can buy more paint. 

Imagine the buzz Mick Jagger gets when his songs are sang back to him he keeps going because its a beautiful thing to be heard and to be creative, sod the ageist naysayers who would have him retired what a loss to the world. All the folk Ive been watching on stage have had their fair share of bad press and criticism but the core thing that keeps them going is creativity they would do this anyway it just happens they made it and the critic's are jealous because all they can do is write about them.
I see it on social media too jealousy what a pointless exercise be happy for that friend who makes it help the ones who need it be a bit more rock n roll don't wallow in misery get up and enjoy the party that creativity will bring you life is for living NOW!