After a recent visit to EDF Dungeness power station, the AVA have been invited to exhibit their work for a period over the spring and hopefully summer months. This is in response to that visit, one of a small series of prints ..........hope they like them.
Pleased, excited and a little sad that my etching is making its way to a new hot home in Dubai. I hope that the new owner will have as much pleasure from my little prawn as I had making it.
In my endeavours to make art on a daily basis I have focused on one or two things. Colour, texture, shape and form, the basis of all art........but what to feature? Well as I love all things nature I decided to take a shell as my focus. These are Whitstable oyster shells and can be found in their millions on the pebble beaches at Whitstable. My one has been bleached by age but normally they are beautiful greys and blues. That reminds me..... I must go and collect a few new ones soon!
Still experimenting with colour shape and texture. The background needs a little work, but overall I'm pleased with the result.
Trying to create a piece of work every day.........I think I will have to use Paul Fowlers' technique of numbering the artwork!
Summer seems a long time ago now that we have had 2 days of rain and I have had to put a jumper on and wear a coat outside. Poo! At least the weather is making me get down to some work. Small paintings based on oyster shells..... Roll on summer!
After a very eventful and sometimes unpleasant summer, things have started to settle into the seasons turning from the lush greens and yellows to edges crinkling and turning brown. I thought I would try and paint every day to get back into the rhythm of art work and I turned to my garden for inspiration. I knew that this year would be a busy year with my father turning 90 and my nephew getting married, but no one could have foreseen that my daughter would end up in hospital over the summer and a quite worrying month ensued. Now that things are a bit calmer I took to my garden and saw the beautiful artichokes coming to the end of their flowering lives before they set seed. Who would not be inspired by such gorgeous colours and textures?
I had never taken part in South East Open Studios before, and although in the past I considered showing my work in this way, the timing never seemed quite right. That is until I was offered the opportunity to join Ashford Visual Artists and exhibit as part of a group exhibition with them. The group is made up of talented and individual artists, and we showed in a group of 10 artists in Amaltheus Barn near High Halden. The Barn itself is a lovely building in an idyllic setting made from straw bales, covered with daube. The owner of the barn built it himself in a green and eco friendly way and as he put it made all his mistakes on it, before moving on to build a beautiful house next door. In a pen opposite the entrance to the barn were two spotted pigs and in an adjacent paddock a variety of sheep. As we sat and ate our lunch on the days we were open to the public we were greeted with a cacophony of grunts and squeals as the pigs became more and more agitated squealing to their owner to hurry up and feed them. It was funny watching them eat their slop as I imagine they found us just as amusing watching us eat ours.
Here is what I have learnt from my first experience of exhibiting in SEOS:
Guide Picture. It is really important to produce a picture for the SEOS guide that reflects your work. This may appear an obvious point, but unfortunately I did not realise this and relied on older work to make my application and produced other work for the exhibition after the application process. The picture in the guide shows potential art buyers an artist's style. Artists in the exhibition sold pieces that were their thumb nail picture in the guide. Which just goes to show that advertising does work!
Have confidence in your work. In the past I have lacked the confidence to talk about my work and was shy when it came to engaging people when talking about my work. I was fortunate to sell two pieces of work before the private view at the exhibition, and this gave me enormous confidence. As the weeks of the exhibition passed more and more people engaged me in conversation about my work and I was able to explain processes and techniques that I had used and gained confidence. For this, possibly the mantra that I use in making art that helps is.......Practice, practice, pactice.
Choosing your location. When I visit open studios I look at the guide maps and try to fit in as many studios close together with artists that I like to visit and I think that is what many visitors do as well. This was true of the Barn where I exhibited. Many visitors chose our exhibition on route to other studios. Other artists I have spoken to opened up their gardens to walk through and converted their sheds into gallery spaces and some even sold plants as a profitable sideline. Location of your open studio is not necessarily key to visitors decision to visit open studios as long as there is parking, and easy access, visitors come to enjoy the experience of looking and hopefully purchasing art.
I have to say that the experience of my first SEOS was a good one. I talked about my work and hopefully increased visitor's desire to engage with art, and I know that this experience has energised my desire to engage much more with people who have a thirst for creativity through the arts. But summing it all up and asking myself would I do it again? Well, yes I would, and I would recommend this activity to other artists to have this experience of engaging directly with people who are interested in art.
Just a few call outs to new friends and old for coming to visit - Lin Fetcher from the Fish Slab in Whitstable came to visit and Brigitta Wilson, who also took part in SEOS in Ham Street showing her wonderful colograph prints, also came to see us. Thanks to all who came to visit.
Well, the South East Open Studio exhibition is fast approaching. It begins on 3rd of June and finishes on the 19th. Check for opening dates, times and address at my SEOS page .
I am fully in the swing of art production and the card above is a sample of the work that I have produced and will be available. Most of my cards are based on an ancient wood near to me, Thornden Woods. I travel through it often and is a great inspiration to me. As the seasons change so have my mono prints and spring time has influenced me to produce a wealth of vibrantly coloured cards. More of my cards can be seen on my Instagram page. I will be showing my work with the Ashford Visual Artists. A group of contemporary and original artists in the Straw Barn Amaltheus, High Halden. They include Olga van Dijke, Vikky Furse, Harriet Gifford, Jennifer Hedley, Liz Garnet, Cally Carter, Glynis Thomson, Jane Cornford and David Hover.
I am really looking forward to sharing in this experience and hope to meet many artist and art lovers visiting the show.
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All Artwork © 2014 Wendy Murray. Protected by The Copyright Act and the provisions thereunder.