Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Exhibition of Etching & Engravings

Starting this Saturday 2nd October is an exhibition of etchings and engravings by printmaker Arthur Hackney (1925-2010). Arthur Hackney died earlier this year after a life time printmaking, painting and teaching.

His early etchings and engravings made in the late 1940s and early 1950s are particularly beautiful. There are scenes of life from another time - with potato pickers, allotments, woodmen people feeding pigeons or selling chestnuts. The copper plates on which he made his etchings and engravings had been carefully stored by him over several decades and some of the editions have just recently been printed.

The exhibition will have prints available for sale and on display will also be some of the copper plates - beautiful objects in themselves.

"Arthur Hackney; etchings & engravings" 2nd - 23rd October 2010
The exhibition is at the Emma Mason Gallery in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Emma Mason will also be exhibiting work by printmakers including Arthur Hackney at the Palace Art Fair in October.
Emma Mason Gallery (open Thurs, Frid, Sat 10-5)
3 Cornfield Terrace
East Sussex
BN21 4NN
Tel. 01323 727545

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Monday, 27 September 2010

Artist of the Week - Dan Llywelyn Hall

Dan Llywelyn Hall's paintings from his most recent series including 'Heads of Women' and 'Juxtapositions' will be exhibited at the inagural Palace Art Fair.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I trained at the University of Westminster, Harrow Campus. I was fortunate to have a printmaking workshop at my disposal and spent most of my time screen-printing. I suppose I learnt that I really could live as an artist and that there are many ways to do so. It was a luxury to go to the studio each day and not worry a jot about where the money would come from. I only wish university taught me how to handle money more wisely!

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
One night around 5 years ago I was begining to feel a little disillusioned with painting. I remember one night when there was this most spectacular red moon that seemed huge outside my pokey flat window. I literally spent the next two hours chasing it from street to street with watercolours and a roll of paper in my arm. I simply had to find a spot to paint it! By the time I completed the painting sat on someone's driveway I felt prettry sure I could keep myself busy for a lifetime doing such things.

One favourite living artist?
George Condo. He strikes the balance well between reverance of the past, playful in his medium and visionary in his outlook.

One favourite historical artist?
Chaim Soutine. His paintings seem to be a direct translation of his soul. I am totally gobsmaked when I study his surfaces and always learn more about painting.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Travel is always a great way of rejuvinating the ideas bank. I like exploring the world and seeing how I fit in amongst it - it helps to broaden ones horizons.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
I was fortunate to be commissioned to paint some murals on the island of Mustique in the Caribbean. I even managed to thumb a lift by Paul McCartney after some painting on one of the beaches. It was a surreal place and certainly a paradise island. My murals - although a physical challenge - were a success and adorn the guestrooms in 'Taliesin' for those of you fancying a visit.
Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
I have worked on several collaborations with writers and visual artists. My first serious exhibition was a touring exhibition in collaboration with poet Owen Sheers. I found the interchange of ideas refreshing and helped open up new perspectives on my work. Apart from exhibitions designated to a collaboration I find the only way to actually go deeper into ones ideas is to spend time alone and avoid distractions!

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
At 18 I guess I was very drawn to the illustrations in a book called Masquerade. I was perplexed with the images as they were essentially a visual puzzle. It demonstrated how powerful and multi-layerd images can become. In terms of painters, I guess Rembrandt was my first exploration of another artist's work. I loved isolating sections of his paintings and seeing how rich the surfaces were and the potential of paint.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
I have thought about it once or twice with certain paintings being 'popular' but fortunately always steered clear of bending my vision.

Who would you say buys your work?
They are (thankfully) usually interesting people who have a knowledge about painting. People I enjoy talking to. My work does not tend to scream out so they are normally quite observant, sensitive people... I have to say that!

Where and what is your studio?

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I think I do. I probably try a little hard at squeezing life in around my work - this generally means late nights!

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Playing the piano in an exotic bar somewhere hot.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
The Guggenheim in Venice. It's a very beautiful meandering space that is manageable and intimate. Plus Venice hits all the right notes for me.

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
'BP Portrait Award' - National Portrait Gallery, London
'Transfiguration' - National Gallery of Wales, Cardiff
'Transfiguration 2' - Guildhall Art Gallery, London
'Juxtapositions' - Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School

Any other relevant information?
I have work in the collection of the Imperial War Musuem, Royal Collection, National Museum of Wales and Contemporary Art Society of Wales.

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Photography exhibitions across Sussex; October/November 2010

This weekend saw a major exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe open at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, East Sussex. There are 60 of Mapplethorpe's most defining works and they look great in the new Towner. Mapplethorpe is considered on of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. The exhibition runs from now until 21st November 2010.

To read about it see the review in The Guardian newspaper:

The exhibition coincides with the Brighton Photo Biennial 2010 - a celebration of contemporary photography and the largest curated photography festival in the UK. There are lots of events and exhibitions across Brighton & Hove and related events at galleries in Sussex; Towner, Pallant House, De La Warr Pavilion. It runs from 2nd October to 14th November 2010.

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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Brighton Art Fair 2010

We're recovering after a busy and mostly successful Brighton Art Fair. (and gearing up for the inaugural Palace Art Fair)

Visitors said BAF10 was the best fair so far, in terms of the quality and variety of the art on show and like the atmosphere and friendliness of the event.

We managed to get round before the show opened and before it filled up to take some of the highlights.
Above Kate Walters earthy, grounded and rather pagan paintings.

Lisa Traxlers abstract paintings and Matthew Chambers geometric stoneware sculptures.

Sarah Young's yearbook paintings, and prints.

and Guy Holder's transformational ceramic sculptures. Made up and impossible annimals, some silly some verging on the unsettling but all exuberant and fantastical.

Thanks to all the artists who came and made the show a visual success and to the visitors who come each year in increasing numbers.

See you next year?

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Artist of the Week - Elizabeth Ockford

Elizabeth Ockford works with images that relate closely to her childhood memories, and which demonstrate her love of colour and mark making.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had
taught you?
I trained first at Chelsea School of Art in Textile Design, in the 1980's. It was an excellent course, very commercially attuned, and it gave me a good basis to move into my first job as a fashion fabrics designer. What they can't teach you at Art School is how to work to a commercial deadline, how to remain creatively inspired while still delivering something on time. I think you can only learn that on the job.
I then went on to work in Interior Fabrics and Wallpapers at Osborne and Little, and working under somebody as inspiring as the founder of that company, Antony Little, and alongside a group of talented designers - you learn so much .
The biggest thing I learnt as a designer that I wasnt taught at Art School ,though, was an appreciation of colour, an eye for good and 'bad' colour choices, and most importantly how to mix colour, in paints. This skill has stayed with me throughout the years - and now is invaluable in my work as an artist.
When I went back to Art School in Brighton as a mature student, I was amazed at how little colour knowledge some of my fellow students had - and it made me realise what an important skill it is. I think its a real shame that Colour Theory isn't taught at most Art Schools these days.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
Going through school I always wanted to make my living in a creative way - I cant remember when I decided that - perhaps it wasn't a conscious choice. I chose Textiles when I was 18 , and on a foundation course having just left a very accademic Grammar school - I thought I had found Heaven! I first realised that I wanted to go back and study Fine Art in 2000, when I went to Italy to study watercolour painting as my summer holiday. I realised that this was the missing element in my life, and I haven't looked back since.

One favourite living artist?
Peter Doig- because he PAINTS. His canvasses show the marks he has made, include gestural marks, drips, blobs, runs etc. His images have something ethereal about them, they make me want to know more about the story behind them. And because he is a clever colourist - one of my favourites is of a man in a long orange canoe, on a deep blue lake.

One favourite historical artist?
Milton Avery - an American artist who came to prominence in the 50's and 60's. Because his pieces have such beautiful colours and simple compositions I find them inspiring, but I can never make my work as simple as he did, no matter how I try- I get an irresistible urge to add more!

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
For the last two years I have been painting things that are in my 'back yard'- the landscape and animals around my studio in Sussex. They are my most direct source of inspiration- but when I travel I get excited by different cultures, landscapes, different light, and that always has an impact on my work when I return to my studio.
There is also an undercurrent in my work of my memories from childhood- of bedtime stories, narratives, little sayings and superstitions, and of nostalgia for good times, and places that I fondly remember.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
This is it, now. I get to do such a diverse number of things - sometimes I'm designing wallpapers, another teaching a teenager who wants to improve their art, or making a large brash painting for a hotel lobby in Saudi, as I did recently to commission. Now I have the best of all worlds in my life.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related
I work on my own when painting and designing. But recently I put on a show in Lindfield as part of the Arts Festival there last May, and that was a good collaboration with 8 other artists- putting the show together.
That is how it will be at the Palace Art Fair in Fulham - as Memo, I will be showing my work, but also that of my colleagues and friends, who I respect and admire.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
Ooh- Talking Heads and Meg Ryan ! Maybe also Matisse, and David Hockney and Peter Blake, both of whom had retrospective shows in London at the end of the 80s' , and seeing those had a big impact on me.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
When I am working to commission, then I have to 'bend' to accomodate what that client wants- be it a painting or watercolour... But generally I am lucky in that my work seems to appeal to a broad range of people.

Who would you say buys your work?
Its too diverse a bunch of people to describe!

Where and what is your studio?
My studio is a converted cowshed, in Sussex. Its made of large stone bricks though, with high windows, a wide door that I leave open when I am working, and inside it is double height- which is great for the scale I work at. Recently I met a man in my village pub, who happily told me that he had once owned the farm and buildings where I work- and that he had tied his bull up in my studio! I love living somewhere with such a sense of community, and where people have lived and worked all their lives.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Probably not- my work invades my life, (its an intrinsic part of me) but having my studio away from my house (it's in the next village), is definitely healthy for me. It means I have to switch off sometimes!

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
Meditative. I'm in a different place when I'm working- cut off from all that is going on around me.

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
I'd enjoy running a B&B somewhere hot like southern France or Italy- I like meeting people. And I'd be able to decorate it using all the lovely fabrics and colours that I know are out there.
But I'd have to be able to paint as well!

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Aiming high - the Met in New York- because then I'd be next to some of the best pieces of work in the world!!!

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
Memo at Lindfield Art Festival 2010
Showing at Ingo Finke Clapham, on a regular basis, and they also took my work to the Affordable Art Fair in 2009.
Graduate show- Camberwell MA, July 2009

I set up Memo with my Partner, Margaret Meldrum, last year. We want to enable artists to get their work into the public eye, and to enable the public to see and experience work by upcoming artists, who otherwise would not have been given exposure. We both want to use our commercial experience to work in partnership with the artists, to assist them in achieving their dreams, and in making the best work that they can. Its no fun being an artist, but being unable to earn a living- we want to help them along that road.

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Brighton art fair

Well all the artists seem to have turned up. It's been a reasonably relaxed set up, no major problems (yet) no collapsing stands or artists forgotten.

It is looking absolutely fantastic, really great artists bringing in new and interesting work.
I think it's looking like being the best fair yet.
Brighton Art Fair private view opens in 2 hours.

-- Post From My Phone

Location:Pavilion Buildings,Brighton,United Kingdom

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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Brighton Art Fair - nearly built

Just a few hours after we started, the show structures are almost built.

And the electrics are going in ready for the first artists to arrive first thing in the morning.

With Sarah exhibiting again this year I'm heading home at 6.00 to finish framing and mounting new work.
-- Post From My Phone

Location:Blenheim Pl,Brighton,United Kingdom

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Nice coverage

Came across the latest7 magazine with a nice article featuring images by Ele Pack, Steve McPherson, Frances Doherty, John Akehurst, Luella Martin and two images by Andy Beck - the also called us 'highly acclaimed, friendly and welcoming!'

Sarah's lovely artwork with Madame L'art riding from the art fair on a Whale (of course) was used for the cover - looks great. And the puns weren't too excruciating this year "MAKING WAVES - an ocean of great art and artists at The Brighton Art Fair 2010" (usually it's puns on art, arty, arting, the art of or fair, fair enough, fair play etc)
-- Post From My Phone

Location:New Rd,Brighton,United Kingdom

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Brighton Art Fair - setting up

Early start (for me) overseeing the build for Brighton Art Fair....

At the moment we've got a huge empty, cavernous hall which our guys from South Wales are filling up with stacks of partitions to build the stands.

The artic' lorry is getting empty, and the electrics men have just arrived to get the cabling in place before the stands cover the access.

Sun's out and should be for the art fair, so hopefully I can lounge in the pavilion gardens in-between interfering with the contractors doing their job.
-- Post From My Phone

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Julia Trigg-Next Private View at Castor and Pollux- Friday 17th

Come along from 6pm on Friday.

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Artist of the Week - Luella Martin

Luella Martin works and lives in Brighton. She paints urban and rural landscapes from Sussex, France and further afield. Luella will be showing her work at the Brighton Art Fair this week.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I trained in London, where I grew up. First Hornsey, then Byam Shaw and my Post-graduate studies were at Goldsmiths College. I felt at the time that the more I learned, the less I really was sure I knew and that is probably still true. I should have liked more preparation for life after Art School.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
I was in the Tate Gallery (there was only one in those days) with my mother - I was about 5 I think. I really loved the Mondrians.

One favourite living artist?
Peter Doig because he always surprises and delights me and because he is so generous about sharing his ideas and inspiration.

One favourite historical artist?
Pierre Bonnard - he draws me straight into his luminous world.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
I do love to travel and have done quite a few paintings of France, but I'm just always looking around wherever I am. Recently I've noticed that the sea is often in my work, not surprising because I live on the coast, but I have also got other connections. I've sailed across The Bay of Biscay & I've lived on board a 35 ft steel ketch in Australia. I had a tiny little triangular cabin at the 'pointy end' which was my studio and had to work very small on paper to get over storage problems.
Recently I've had quite a long spell in Brighton and have been concentrating mainly on round where I live - Brighton, the Sussex downs & coastline, piers, gardens and the local allotments.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had.
I loved lecturing part-time in London. I worked mostly with interior design students helping them design and print fabrics - it was hard work but very rewarding and we had a lot of fun printing the lengths of fabric on a long padded table.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
I paint on my own in my studio at Phoenix Brighton. It can be quite isolating so I do make an effort to get together with other painters regularly for a chat or to go to see exhibitions in London. There are around 100 artists who work in the building, so there's usually someone around. I also do quite a bit of printmaking and love that because it is very sociable.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
At age 18 I was bowled over by Abstract Expressionism, Jack Kerouac and all things American.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
Not at all really, I think it would be a disaster if I tried, I just make what I want to make.

Who would you say buys your work?
The ones I've met have all been lovely, but I haven't noticed any particular type.

Where and what is your studio?
I have a beautiful studio at Phoenix Brighton - it is a large L- shaped room at the front of the building and overlooks The Level. The light is great for most of the day and I very much enjoy working there. We also have a gallery downstairs and there is generally a very good 'buzz' in the building.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Probably not quite as good as it should be yet. I tend to either be working or thinking about work most of the time, but that seems to go with being a painter for me. I can't just turn it on and off so sometimes I do miss out on other things. I do try and get as much exercise as I can and love to swim laps - I can work out all sorts of things while I'm doing my mile. I feel very lucky to live in beautiful Brighton with a very understanding husband, my cat and a studio I can walk to, so no complaints.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
I don't want to do anything else.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Tate Britain, where it all started.

In the last 12 months I have exhibited in mixed shows at:
Enid Lawson Gallery, London
Saffron Gallery, Battle
Greentree Gallery, Borde Hill
Open House - The Dog House, Hampstead Rd Brighton
Brighton Art Fair 2009 ( with Saffron Gallery)
The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea (with Saffron gallery)
Rye Art Fair 2010

I recently sold some paintings from my 'Allotment' series to Brighton & Sussex NHS Trust.

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Friday, 10 September 2010

Lisa Traxler on Grand Designs

Artist Lisa Traxler who is exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair next week is being featured on Wednesday's Grand Designs.

Here's what Lisa says...

'McCloud blowtorched our home.... Channel 4's new series of Grand Designs kicks of with a forest bungalow on the Isle of Wight, varnished in an unusual way.

We have been converting our home on the Isle of Wight for the past year and along with this re-build we have been followed every step of the way with the tv crew from Grand Designs! We have moved back in to our home now, build complete - exhausted but happy & the project will be shown on Wednesday, 15th September on Channel 4 at 9pm when the new series of Grand Designs airs - gulp!!!! Just thought we would share that with you if you fancy a giggle as we embarrass ourselves on national tv!'

Photo Credit: Sunday Times Newspaper

The Sunday Times Newspaper ran a piece with the project on Sunday 5th September in the Home section and Grand Designs Magazine will be running a piece on the project in the November issue (out October 2010) (website goes live from 15th September 2010)

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Brighton Art Fair Banners.

The erection of the Brighton Art Fair banners along the seafront, by the Pavilion and down from the Station marks the official start of panic amongst the artists (and organisers) of Brighton Art Fair. Across Brighton framers are working overtime to clear the backlog in time for the BAF Private View next Thursday and artists are painting their last pictures hoping that the warm weather keeps up and the paint will dry in time.

We think it could be the best Art Fair yet - we have some fantastic artists coming from around the country and we think you'll find lots to buy or want to buy.

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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Artist of the Week - Natalie Martin

Born in 1972, Natalie Martin grew up in an environment dominated by art and literature. Graduating with a degree in sculpture, she continued to work in conceptual installation until discovering a talent and love for painting. Focusing primarily on depictions of urban architecture, her painting has developed into a highly detailed, representational style that still retains painterly qualities.

Where did you train?
People are often quite surprised to find out that I studied sculpture rather than painting. I went back to university as a mature student and managed to get a place at Brighton. It was quite a big step coming to a place where I didn’t know anyone and dragging my eight-year-old son with me seems crazy now. It’s still one of the best decisions I ever made.

What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
The course at Brighton was more about conceptual art rather than carving wood or chipping marble so it was great to be in an environment where people were doing so many different disciplines; photography, sound installation, performance, everything. I think there were two main benefits for me. Firstly, learning the language of art, learning how to talk about art in an academic way and to not be afraid of doing that. It’s not something I would do everyday but it can be daunting expressing your feelings about something visual in words and it’s nice to have the confidence to do it when I need to. And secondly, learning how to work with other artists. We’re not necessarily the easiest bunch of people to organize, so learning how to hang a show, get the work straight and working together, and for everyone to get the maximum out of it was invaluable.
They didn’t give us much guidance on making a living though, but I guess any subject in the academic world is removed from real life to a certain extent but it made it pretty hard to figure out how to survive financially as a practicing artist.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
After leaving university, I tried various disciplines but concentrated mainly on making conceptual installation and sculpture. About three years later, I made an abandoned dollshouse, all moldy and disgusting. I had thought several times about doing a project about staircases and making the stairs for the dollshouse reignited that idea again. I had also picked up a couple of canvases along the way and thought, “Well, lets try a bit of painting and see how that goes.” I knew the basic principles of painting, just got on with it and really loved it. The feedback I got was incredible and managed to get a place at Brighton Art Fair on the strength of the first three paintings I had ever made. That’s when I knew painting was definitely the thing I was supposed to be doing. The dollshouse was part of the Selector’s Choice “House” exhibition as part of Brighton Open Houses in May 2009.

One favourite living artist?
This might be a bit odd but I quite admire Damien Hirst. I quite like his work but I love the fact that he’s so successful. There are plenty of really talented artists out there but you really have to combine that with luck, tenacity, a good business head and a hell of a lot of cheek to get what he’s managed to achieve. I don’t know if it’s a route that I want to take but knowing that he’s achieved what he has makes me smile and want to keep on keeping on.

One favourite historical artist?
Vilhem Hammershoi. He was a turn of the century (not the last one the one before that) Danish painter who did a lot of architectural interiors and exteriors, as well as portraits. The quality of the light in his work is astounding and his brushwork brings dynamism to the most mundane of scenes. I went to see an exhibition of his work at The Royal Academy and I had a tear in my eye going round as it just seemed impossible to ever achieve anything like that myself. Now I keep several postcards of his work on my easel to remind myself that I too could make something that beautiful if I put my mind to it and keep working hard. I also have to mention Norman Rockwell, as I love his illustrations and when I found out that he used photographs to paint from, I didn’t feel so bad about not painting en plein air.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
I think its light that actually inspires me. Sometimes I’ll walk past a building or place that I’ve walked past a hundred times before but the light hits it in such a way that I’ll notice it and really see it for the first time. And architecture is such a great thing to paint, there are just so many different flavours available, I never get bored of painting it.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Boring, but being a mum is the most fun and interesting job ever. Having kids really keeps you focused on what’s important and what’s ridiculous about life at the same time. Whatever’s going on, kids will bring a perspective to it that blows your mind. My son’s speciality would be walking in on me when I was at the point of tearing my hair out over a particularly tricky creative point, take a quick look at what I was doing, blandly come up with an outstanding, yet simple solution and then walk off again, leaving me open mouthed. I’m so lucky that I got the opportunity to be at home with him through his childhood and now that he’s a grown man, I’m so lucky that we continue to have a good relationship and spend time together. He still drives me crazy.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
I don’t think I’d do very well at collaboration. I find it hard to paint with someone else in the room and I find it very hard to take suggestions. Criticism yes, suggestion no. I guess I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my work. I do like to contribute to group shows with a theme though. It’s quite liberating to step out from your safety zone and try something different and I find that kind of exhibition a good excuse to try new things. The last show like that was “Outpost”, a small exhibition organized by Cat Ingrams of Blue Monkey Studio as part of the Eastbourne Festival. She managed to collect a fantastic selection of small works on the theme of ‘outpost’ to compliment the “Archipelago” theme of the open studio work. I made some questionable lino-cut prints which she managed to hang and look lovely. The whole thing was really good fun.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
I don’t think I had any style at 18. I find it bizarre to think of myself at that age. Life seemed so overwhelming that it was too hard to not be influenced by anything and everything. I think it took at least another decade before I even began to figure out who I was and what was important to me.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
Before I started painting I tried that but as soon as you start trying to second-guess the “market” you lose something in your work that makes it saleable. Trying to emulate what someone else is doing just because they’re successful is never going to work because it won’t be authentically you. I have found that the paintings that people like the most are the ones that I’ve most enjoyed painting so I just try and stick to doing what I love and loving what I do.

Who would you say buys your work?
I’m not sure. Quite a few of the people who buy my work seem to be collectors and very often come back and buy more work later. I think my paintings are contemporary but they have a bit of a traditional feel to them, which can make them more accessible to people who like different kinds of art.

Where and what is your studio?
My studio is in the corner of my bedroom. Not very glamorous but it works well for me. I don’t need that much space and I like that I can get to work early in the morning, still in my PJ’s if need be, plus there’s an enormous window so the light is just brilliant (in my bedroom not my PJ’s). I have a couple of shelves for small canvases and tools, a great big box full of canvases, a table for my paints and brushes and a standard easel. All the rest of my art stuff (and there’s quite a bit) is squirreled away in drawers and cupboards in the rest of the flat. I’m pretty lucky that I don’t have to trudge to work in a studio and my musical taste means that none else would want to share with me anyhow.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I try really hard to but it’s difficult when one of the things you love doing most is actually your job. I try and make sure that I work set hours during the week and take the weekends off unless I have a really urgent deadline or an event but I always end up sketching or sorting through images when I’m not supposed to. I try and console myself with the fact that being self-employed means I can take the day off to sit on the beach whenever I like which offsets the midnight emails. I can’t remember the last time I actually did that though.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
I can’t decide whether it’s “Contentment” or “Anxiety”. I guess a combination of the two would be “Excitement”. I love the process, preparing the images, laying out the composition, actually putting the paint on the brush and smearing it on the canvas, it’s very gratifying but it’s nerve-wracking sometimes, not knowing how it’s going to turn out, whether you’re doing the right thing or knowing this stroke could ruin all your hard work and you’d have to start over. But “Satisfaction” sounds right too, as whether I’m planning which painting to do next or washing my brushes at the end of the day, that’s the feeling that underlies everything.

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
If I could be doing anything else…swimming…on a tropical island or just somewhere hot, in a private pool just before lunch. I love swimming, I hate being cold and I like eating so this would be perfect. If I could be doing anything else for a job…I wouldn’t. I don’t expect to do this forever but at the moment I’m so glad to have the life I live I wouldn’t want to give it up right now.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world, which would it be?
I think it was Picasso that replied to the question of which of his paintings was his favourite with the answer, “The next one” and I think that applies to this too. The next thing you’re doing is always the most exciting. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regional show in a village hall (Art and Soul in Falmer Village is next on the calender) or the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy (it was really very cool) whatever is coming next is and should be the focus of 90% of your attention.
If I could have one thing that I’d really want and aspire to, I wouldn’t care which gallery it was in but to have a piece of my work hang next to a Hammershoi, that would be my absolute moment of perfection.

Exhibitions in the past 12 months.
• Cambridge Art Fair with The Liberty Gallery
• Life In the Cotswolds: Iona House Gallery, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
• Trinity: Bath
• Bristol Affordable Art Fair with The Liberty Gallery, Bristol
• The Claremont, Artist Open Houses: Hove
• Outpost: Eastbourne Festival
• Blue Monkey Open Studio, Eastbourne Festival
• Glasgow Art Fair with The Liberty Gallery
• Art at The Claremont, Hove
• Blue Monkey Christmas Open Studio, Eastbourne
• Windsor Contemporary Art Fair, Windsor Racecourse
• The London Group Open Exhibition, The Menier Gallery, London
• Brighton Art Fair, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Natalie will be exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair and the Palace Art Fair.

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Friday, 3 September 2010

Artist of the Week - Janie Ranger

Janie Ranger originally trained in fashion and textiles and worked for Mary Quant as a designer for five years in the early seventies. Her husband was in the RAF and so Janie spent the next thirty odd years as a camp follower. She went back to art school in 2004 and did a degree in Fine Art. Janie works from an interesting studio in Cheltenham where she livse in an 1830's house. She has just completed a commission of 15 drawings for the Coda Restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall, is involved in Am Dram, travels quite a bit and is a 61 year old fat but energetic granny!!!

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I've trained twice! Firstly back in the late 60's I did Fashion and Textile Design at Ealing School of Art (Freddie Mercury was a student there then!) In the noughties I went back to Uni and studied at the University of Gloucestershire for a BA in Fine Art.
Apart from practical and academic stuff I learnt never to pass up either an opportunity or a glass of something bubbly. I wish I had learnt how to make more money - to pay for the bubbles of course.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
From the age of around 6 I spent hours making clothes for paper dollies and never wanted to do anything else but design or paint.

One favourite living artist?
Difficult to chose. Probably Cy Twombley because whenever I see his work I always wish I had made it.

One favourite historical artist?
Vermeer. Because he could paint quite well and Colin Firth played him in a film.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
A lot of inspiration comes from my collection of animal and human bones, dead insects and other detritius.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
I worked as a designer for Mary Quant in the early seventies. Breakfast Press Shows were enormous fun. I used to help dress the models and got one (still well known) model's pubes caught in a trouser zip. No I won't tell who it was.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
Work on my own. I'm quite a private worker although I would like to take a leap and do a huge collaborative drawing somewhere.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
I was quite individual and think I influenced a few others.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
Usually not at all with my fine art practise. But I do design as well and that is often working within a brief. I enjoy both.

Who would you say buys your work?
Not enough people

Where and what is your studio?
In Cheltenham in a lovely old quirky building that was once a sail makers loft.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Very much so. I can work quite quickly under pressure if necessary. I like to travel, spend time with family and friends as well as participating in AM Dram.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Forensic pathology or an undertaker

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Tate Modern. The Turbine Hall.

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
Nov 2009 ING Discerning Eye at Mall Galleries
March 2010 Cheltenham Art Gallerly and Museum Cafe
August 2010 Ludlow Summer Exhibition
Janie will be showing her work at the Brighton Art Fair.

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Susan Laughton - Solo Exhibiton

Thought provoking solo exhibition ‘Measured Space’ by painter Susan Laughton, at new contemporary gallery Duckett and Jeffreys, explores elements of land and sky and the marks we make upon them.

Susan says;
“The landscape is my starting point, not as a picturesque static view, but as a space travelled through and experienced often on the edges of the urban and the rural. It is a source of man made and natural structures, surfaces and colour that allow me to construct my own pared down responses to capture memories of land and sky and the marks we make upon them.

I make drawings of remembered details seen from the corner of my eye, fleeting juxtapositions elusive to photography or more studied compositions. These feel like a search for my own language of marks, signs and symbols to bring order, balance and control to an often chaotic visual world. Man made structures, in particular, impose their presence on the sky: power lines, telegraph poles, fences, bridges, cut hedges, an isolated building.”

Opened in 2010, Duckett and Jeffreys Gallery presents an exciting rolling programme of solo shows from national and international artists. Artists are chosen for their confident aesthetic and an imaginative application of concepts and materials.

Measure Space runs from Thursday 9th September - Saturday 16th October 2010.
Private View: Thursday 9th September 7 - 9pm.

Duckett & Jeffreys, 2 Old Maltongate, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 7EG
Mobile: 07772 993759 Tel: 01377 236008

Wednesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm; Or by appointment

Susan will be exhibiting her work at the Palace Art Fair in October.

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