Thursday, 19 February 2009

'Number Nine Rock'

At last I can show the commission I've been working on for the last few weeks. The customers picked it up yesterday and I can safely say they were really pleased. It is an assemblage of three panels -mixed media on wood. It is based on Shipley Glen a beauty spot near Bradford very popular in the past as a day trip destination for workers from the textile mills. Until a few years ago much of the old fairground still existed, now there is just a Tramway and a disused dodgems ride. It remains though a beautiful and atmospheric place

This is the piece closed -

and open -
and in detail - Its always lovely to make artwork for friends and really heartwarming to find that it makes them happy. This was a particularly enjoyable commission as it gave me the opportunity to do something I'd had in mind for a while - to make something that was very much about the history of a place and using old imagery and found objects. I'd love to do more work like this.

Talking of historical places, here's my very own time team on Tuesday exploring Vindolanda - an ancient Roman site near Hadrians wall. Its not far from Charlies mum and dads house but the first time we visited here. The girls seem to be just at the right age for it now - both mad about history and old things. What lovely enigmatic smiles.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Cold morning light, Widdop road.

It has been pointed out that there has been no mention yet of my other half . Well here at last is confirmation that he does exist . Hi Chas, thanks for picking up my work from the Bowery yesterday (and for all your 'tireless' support with my work.)
This is the biggest piece - the show stopper which I knew was not guaranteed to sell in the run up to Christmas when everyone is shopping for those little gifts ( especially in current times.) Glad I created a good number of little 20cm square pieces -they did pretty well on average across the four Galleries that showed them. Have done more since and they can be found in my Etsy shop.
Well tis half term and we are taking the opportunity to visit both sets of grandparents. Off to Charlies mum and dads in Cumbria today. Its a lovely part of the country beside Hadrians wall. I'd really best get packing.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Cold light of day, Hebden Bridge

Managed to spend the whole day working in town today - mostly at the studio finishing off a commission which I'm really pleased with . Cant post an image yet though until the client has seen it - nerve racking time this. So heres my interpretation of a typical street in the town. This is one of a set of paintings i'm retreaving this weekend from the Bowery Arts centre exhibition in Leeds. From next week they will be on display at the Calder Gallery in Hebden. This image has proved quite popular in Giclee print format. I make Giclee prints of most of my work - my aim is to upload them all to sell in my Etsy shop when I get time.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Suburban Chintz

I braved the temperature back in the studio yesterday, just for a couple of hours. Thought it was time I touched base and saw what was 'occurring'. Well not a lot it seems, I think everyone has been finding cosier places to be. Hopefully this year we shall get some insulating canopies put up. Anyhow I re-acquainted myself with the pieces of work I have stored there. This one is a few months old but I have not exhibited it yet. Have been choosing the right location and I think its probably the Manchester Gallery Artzu on Great Ancoats Street who I exhibit with on a regular basis. I would like to make it a series really. Its based on my middle-England suburban roots - I am interested in the way interior decoration stylised the natural landscape which the housing estates replaced. My aim is to make a study of this decoration by reflecting it back on the outside world. Its also a great excuse to play around with collage and some lovely patterns from the 70's and 80's!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Artist Cards

Went on a tour of junk shops looking for supplies this morning - fairly successfull trip but by the time I returned there was little time left to work on the commission. So I made another ATC instead. Really pleased with these, i'm going to put them in my Etsy shop. Don't quite want to part with them yet though will make some more first.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Old Town Mill

The view from my bedroom window this morning. I'm glad the snow has lasted till the weekend- its somewhat easier to appreciate it when not struggling to get the kids down the hill to school. We had a great time sledging yesterday then home to do crafts with the kids. We were making 'ATCs' (Artists trading cards) a bit of an American thing -not many people know about them here in England. They are basically mini artworks 7 x 9 cms designed to swap with your friends and its great to be able to create a couple of finished pieces in the space of an hour. The kids did some great ones using old comics to collage with and I did a collage of a bird.
Would quite like to do some more similar ones soon, just been watching the birds from the french window in the workroom- they look so lovely silhouetted against the snow.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Endorphins boost creativity

Im working at home at the moment as the studio is so darn cold! My aim yesterday was to stop for an hours hours break so that I could go for a run ( my new years resolution started off so well with, I think five runs in two weeks...but then I had a little break of about three weeks, hmmm.) Anyway, yesterday was not looking promising. I was struggling with a commission piece that was lacking focus and I couldn't leave it alone. Eventually forced myself out into the cold, wondered for about first twenty minutes why I was putting myself through such hardship, then in a sudden flash of inspiration the point of focus dawned on me. Not only that but being so eager to get home and crack on with my work I ran extra fast to finish the route...Now it may be that I dont go running again for another three weeks but for yesterday at least I felt great and my commission is progressing.
Trying to have a break fom work for the weekend now -which is difficult when the piece is here at home, but i'm going sledging with the girls now so what could be more fun.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Snows up at Old Town

For my first post I thought I'd show you my interpretation of the kind of weather we're having at the moment. I did this a couple of years ago but it shows that we're not strangers to heavy snow up here. The painting is called 'Snows up at Old Town' and it was worked on canvas in acrylic and collage. Went for a walk on the snow covered moors today. We were periodically up to our knees in snow and it was extremely misty but totally atmospheric. Will try to post some photos later.