Artist and Designer Fair in Buxton

I’m delighted to be exhibiting at the newly renovated Octagon Hall in the Artist and Designer Fair on Saturday and  Sunday 20th and 21st October,  10am til 4.30pm.    An elegant and spacious venue, the Octagon Hall has room for upwards of 30 exhibitors.  Exhibitions include art, jewellery, furniture, glassware and other designer led products.  The renovations on the the Octagon Hall, part of the Pavilion Gardens, were completed earlier this month. It’s a stunning venue situated in 23 acres of award-winning Victorian Gardens where you can take a gentle stroll amongst the autumn leaves and then rest, relax and recruit your energies with something to eat and drink in one of numerous cafes and tea rooms.

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The Pavilion Gardens

I will have a selection of new work with me completed in the last few weeks, where I have been continuing to explore colour and form in abstraction. My work and inspiration is about the archaeology of place and experience.

As the end of October approaches I’m thinking about something for the early Christmas shoppers so I will have  a selection of smaller works, prints and my quality boxed notecards available, as these items make unique and individual Christmas presents.

The weather forecast is good with sunshine predicted on Saturday, so why not drop in and take a look around.  I’d love to chat to you about my work, workshops and coaching.

Open Arts: What a Scorcher!

Wasn’t it just?  Fabulous weather over the Bank Holiday weekend and a thoroughly successful show at Spring Bank Arts Centre in New Mills.

We had a steady stream of visitors over the three days and a wide variety of artists and IMG_20180528_101031makers for them to meet and talk to about their work. The raffle and cake sale raised over £200 for the centre to help support this great community initiative.

So who was there and if I missed it where can I see their work?

I took a selection of work that showed my development as an artist from some early impressionistic oil paintings through mixed media and to my most recent abstract work. The next opportunity to meet me and see what I have been up to will be at Art in the Pen at Skipton on the 11th and 12th of August. I also have a  limited number of tickets available for the preview evening on Friday 10th – email me if you would like one. First come first served!

Michela Griffith was exhibiting with a selection of prints from her creative photography.

Cath Dunn.  Cath paints watercolour and mixed media semi-abstract work inspired by the Peak District Landscape.

Howard Levitt was also an exhibitor. Howard is a professional artist and illustrator.

Our final artist and jeweller was Emma Sidwell.

Hannah Dodd was there with a selection of interesting textile work,  and ceramics from

Pentimento , the creative partnership of Jaki and Catherine who are based in Glossop.

Finally Adele Kime who not only brought a fabulous selection of her jewellery for sale but was also the main organiser for the group. Thanks Adele!

We had a great time, some pretty delicious cake, great coffee (felt like an early start for one or two of us) and met some lovely folks and sold some of our work.

Support for these kinds of events is invaluable for practising artists as we get to meet and begin to build relationships with people who may become collectors of our work in the future.  Even purchasing something small like a greetings card helps small business owners and artists to continue.   I’m reminded of the Just a Card campaign which was started with this aim.

Thanks to all who came along and for some great conversations and feedback, and finally, hope to see you again next year.

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Afternoon pastels

I’ve been experimenting with working with pastels recently.   Getting used to the properties and techniques.  Here’s a colour study of some silver birch trees on Curbar Gap during winter. Dry pastel on cool blue grey paper 160g 30cmx22cm.  This is going to sit for a while now while I evaluate it.  I’ll be looking at mark making, colour, composition. I’m already thinking of using a damp brush to give more definition to some of the branches in the trees.

Silver Birch - dry pastel
Silver Birch – dry pastel

Hue

I put up a post a few days ago about working with triads of colour.  I said I was looking forward to trying out the principles with acrylic paint to see what that might be like and it’s been great fun.

Peak District

I have found painting the landscape in the Peak District to be an interesting challenge.  Moorland can be pretty bleak and uncompromising and although this is contrasted with some lovely rolling green  hills interspersed with rocks, trees, and dry stone walls, the composition and use of colour becomes more important,  otherwise I find I can end up with a just a very green painting.  I think this is one of those times when, because I’m not painting something that is particularly beautiful of itself, unlike the Isles of Scilly for example, it can become beautiful through the expression of the artist.  There is a wildness and bleakness that I do find appealing and compelling, but that doesn’t make it something that in my view works as a painting, so the challenge is how convey something of the bleakness and the wild openness in a way that is visually attractive.

Scotch Pines at Longshaw

Scotch Pine at Longshaw

The chance to play around with some colour seemed to fit well with this, and here are my first couple of attempts.  The first painting is of scotch pines in the grounds up at Longshaw.  This was from a walk on a lovely bright winter’s day.  I was particularly struck by the deep shadows in the foreground and the light in the distance.  The walk we did on this day took us through Grindleford and Padley Gorge where I took lots more snaps to work on back in the studio.  Longshaw is a National Trust property between Sheffield and Hathersage.

Snow on Stanage

Heather Hills

The next couple of paintings are both around Stanage, one of the many grit stone edges that can be found in this area.  From the tops the moors stretch out before you into the far distance and all there is to see is mile after mile of rolling heather, bracken and grass moving in the breeze. Here’s something from a day with the heather in bloom and another when there was snow on the ground.

Snow on Stanage