2018 looming – aargh!

Is that the correct spelling? Anyway, when I decided to commit to producing a 2018 calendar in time for Somerset Art Weeks I made the usual mistake of assuming that I would easily find 12 suitable seasonal works among my Oeuvre (spelling doubts again…)

Then I soon realised my calendar was as full of holes as a colander  (spelling doubts now getting boring). So here are some of the new ones:

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Somerset Open Studios 2016

It’s not Somerset Arts Weeks now, it’s Somerset Open Studios. If you click on that title at the top of the website you’ll get a selection of the new work I’m showing, under the headings ‘Winter and Spring’ and ‘Summer’, for reasons which I hope will be obvious!

I’m very happy  to say that I’ve been so lackadaisical about keeping the website up to date that I’ve already sold Four pictures!

Summer came today

…and that was timely because I attended Chandos Society of Artists  En Plein Air day at Steart Marshes,  at the mouth of The tidal River Parrett. This is a vast, atmospheric area where the Hinkley Point pylons have just started their hissing, crackling march across Somerset.

 

 

P1030632 Dry mud

No artwork worth displaying yet – just a couple of scribbles  and lots of photos and ideas. Some of the sights are enough to tempt the very deeply hidden abstract artist in me. This is the mud dried out on the edge of the channel.

There are many intriguing patterns here:

P1030635 The Grid

I walked over to the village of Combwich which presented itself almost as a french village in Champagne:

P1030638 Combwich Village

But, to stop me being fanciful, this is what I found – actual Glorious Mud!

P1030653 wet mud

And to complete the range of artistic possibilities, how about a bit of Sci-Fi with this Somerset Dalek?

P1030643 Combwich Dalek.jpg

To be continued….

 

 

 

May – just in time?

Just spotted the calendar (hi tech, me). So nearly failed to achieve my target of posting at least once a month.

I had to wait to publish my most recent work which is a painting of our local, the good old Ring O’Bells, Moorlinch. This was a wedding present for Trish and Clive the landlady and landlord, handed over at a wonderful party at the pub last Friday. I’m sure I was not alone in feeling I’d perhaps had too good a time on Saturday!  (Actually I typed ‘satyrday’. That sounds like the title for a Nancy Farmer http://www.nancyfarmer.net Painting so I must suggest it to her).

Anyway it was a while since last ‘did’ the pub and it was quite difficult to avoid being spotted, but I think I got away with it:

P1030425 Pub cropped

A couple of weeks back I finally decided ‘it is what it is’ , photographed my latest version of ‘The impossible View’  (as described in my April post) also known as ‘Looking out out over the Levels,’ and took it off the stretching board:

P1030438 cropped

I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll tackle this one!

I did discuss this project with a very sympathetic artist and her colleague who came to our Moorlinch Art Group and gave us a memorable workshop on creating sketchbooks: Sue Lewington and Jackie Hichens run excellent classes that really made us look differently on our sketchbooks   http://www.travellingartclassesandholidays.co.uk

I couldn’t resist buying one of their handmade sketchbooks and ‘christened’ it straight away:

P1030427
photo 4They brought masses of resources with them and we all got stuck in. Thanks Sheila Jones for organising!

 

 

An irresistible and impossible view again

Last Sunday, I found myself at the top of ‘our’ hill. After some very Aprilish weather, it was a day of huge sapphire skies with luminous clouds – oh, and beneath the sky the flat patterned fields with the mauve smudge of hills on the horizon behind the Levels.

And there’s the difficulty : the view is panoramic, miles wide from side to side….and from my point of view, holding up a pencil to measure, a mere six inches or so from top to bottom.  This is about half the panorama!

I’ve attempted it may times –  two years ago, later in the year, I did some ‘extracts’:

So I don’t know really know if I can add anything else. But I’ve started, as Magnus Magnusson used to say… but will I finish?

So far I’ve done two small sketches:

They’re about 5″x 7″.

The next step…will be reported…in due course!

Within these five walls

…as I sit in my gallery for the Somerset Arts Weeks 2015 exhibition. The shape of the room and the different areas of paintings gives me at least five areas of work. As they’re in different media and styles they sometimes need to be kept well apart from each other.

Then there is the work of my colleague and friend Sheila Jones though on the whole her silk paintings harmonize pretty well  with my work.

So here I am surrounded by my ‘stuff’:

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

In the cider barn gallery, Spring Farm, Moorlinch

The ‘Field and Moor’ series has more then usually vibrant colours that sit happily with Sheila’s butterfly wing designs:

colourscape: scarves and pictures

colourscape: scarves and pictures

Even bolder, and definitely corralled on another wall are two collages and mixed media flower pictures: Holly hocks and Poppies, plus a painting of Sweet peas:

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Hollyhocks, Poppies and Sweetpeas

Sandwiched between  the two bright painting walls comes a restrained black and white collection, drawings made in Troutbeck, near Ambleside, in the Lake District:

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

By the postbox i, 2, and 3, and other buildings

Just a couple of walls to go: new work from ‘just around the corner’: barns at Spring Farm, and Swans and Pollarded Willows down on the Somerset levels:

Ferguson Tractor - 'Hidden Trasure' in the barn, assorted barns

Ferguson Tractor – ‘Hidden Trasure’ in the barn, assorted barns

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

Dancing Trees, Fishing nets ion la Rance, Quantock Ponies and Glastonbury Abbey

And that’s it: walled in. Quite enjoyably, actually!

 

 

 

Link

That’s what I feel I’m doing at the moment. Not literally in fact, but metaphorically  paints, brushes, palette, water pots are whizzing round my head. Yesterday was time to meet up again with Moorlinch Art Group, a delightful collection of women artists of a certain age. Not that we practise any age or gender discrimination, it just happens to look that way at the moment. We meet once a week in Moorlinch Church Hall. The surroundings are truly inspiring : ancient church, apple orchard with fully laden trees and sheep jostling over the windfalls, views way out over the Somerset Levels and a clear blue sky.Took the photo because it wouldn’t hurt to encourage a few more member, so I’ll put a little piece in a couple of local magazines.

Some members of Moorlinch Art Group

Some members of Moorlinch Art Group

Last week it was all Chandos Society stuff – another group which has me as Chairman, but never mind. OUr exploits are recorded on www.chandossociety.wordpress.com .We’ve recently opened one of our two exhibitions this year at Bridgwater Arts Centre.

Finally of course, there is Somerset Art Weeks with just over a week to go to my preview on 19 September. I’ve been spending time with my pictures, juggling them from wall to wall too.I’ve delivered all Nancy Farmer’s work and bits and pieces so now it’s just me and my work – scary!

Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – some pictures on the wall!

Not only do I have to decide how to display my new paintings for Somerset Art Weeks 2014 – I actually have to come to terms with a new gallery. Nancy Farmer (we’re related) has left me the Cider Barn Gallery at Spring Farm and gone home to The Old Farmhouse where she will be displaying her Somerset Art Weeks exhibition in her studio there – don’t think she’s given it a name.

In fact, though she may have left there are quite a few Nancy Farmer artefacts lurking. So for the moment I’ve pushed most of the stuff into the middle and made a start at hanging work on the wall.

I started with my Meadow and Fields pictures: scenes of field patterns seen from the hill above Moorlinch at harvest time, looking out over the Somerset Levels. You’d never guess this was a vast lake at the beginning of the year.

Meadows and fields was also the first theme I illustrated in my Gallery page, sharing the title of ‘ Somerset Art Weeks 2014 collection’. I’ve gone on to do a page called ‘House in the woods’, another of my 2014 themes.

The picture so far:

DSCF6182 resized

 

And on the other wall:

DSCF6181 resized

 

It’s a start!

Branching out

I’ve feverishly been trying to take advantage of the last of the winter trees when it isn’t raining – an infrequent occurence until about three weeks ago. Leaves on a tree turn it into a differenbt object entirely. I know fresh young green leaves are gorgeous but they lack the drama and definition to my mind. And they are so…well, green, and I don’t get on too well with green.

First came the ancient cherry plum tree. Word has it round here that this is a Somerset invention (older even than the floods). Certainly everybody’s garden round here has one of these really early-blossoming beauties. Never mind that the fruit is a bit of a trial to do anything with except eat straight off the tree. (The fox collects the fallen ones.)DSCF4843 Desirable residence cropped and resized

 

I cal this ‘Desirable residence’ – spot the bird box! – although nobird has moved in yet.

Then a trip to norfolk provided House in the woods, aagin with flowers, this time snowdrops:

DSCF4841 House in the woods 2 cropped and resized

Then I found House in the woods 2, in the lane behind our hill:

DSCF4839 House in the woods 1 cropped and resized

 

See – loads of lovely branches!

The thing with Winter trees is that you see more through them, especially roofs. So  worked on a ‘Roofscape’ of the village before the leaves crowded in.

DSCF4844 Moorlinch roofscape crop 2 resized

Some left-over cherry plum blossom in that one.

Meanwhile I had been metaphorically branching out into collge with the barn roofs on the farm. It was fun to do, and moderately successful. Spot the crossword!

DSCF4847Barn collage crop 2 resized

 

Finally for something completely different – we went to a preview of Jackie Curtis’ current exhibition ‘Birds of a feather’ at Bridgwater Arts Centre. A stunning show of lino-cuts, prints, collagraphs and some amazing huge woodcuts. This flock will be winging its way into our home since my husband really fell for it:

Flock copy WAP resized

Jackie is a fellow Chandos Society member so her work appears from time to time on the header of my blog of that name (I would have used the word ‘eponymous’ but it’s a bit scary).

Flood tourism

OK -guilty (of flood tourism). I’ve just taken a turn a few miles down the A361 to Burrowbridge and I wasn’t the only photographer there! You have to gather your material when and where you find it I suppose. Earlier posts show quite a lot of flooding in my work – you could say it’s part of where I live. My excuse also is that friends form all over (even from New Zealand) ring to ask if we’re all right and ‘What’s it like?’

The Bridge is barely ‘over troubled waters’:

Brid

Bridge nearly under troubled water

I’ve never seen a more obvious siteDSCF4534 resized for a protest message!

This is the A361 just the other side of the bridge:

DSCF4525

And on the bridge I met Ravi and his colleague from Slough:

DSCF4521 resizedRavi (Ravinder Singh) has come to help out, and has rung mates from Birmingham too. He’s been helping evacuate residents and is the founder and CEO of Halsa Aid, an organisation that seems to have the aim or tackling disasters anywhere. ‘We’re not used to needing it here’, he says ‘But people everywhere need the welcome, and the warmth of someone helping out.’  Cheerfully he gave me his card with the motto ‘Recognise the whole human race as one’.  ( http://www.khalsaAid.org )