I can't believe how quickly time has flown, and here we are, on the eve of the Taster Exhibition at the Forum for Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios 2014.
My piece for the exhibition this year was inspired by our local pantomime, 'The Green Man'. Having done some research I found the following quote which meshed perfectly with my quest for inspiration.
His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist.
He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood.
The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one’s normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures,… one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of inspiration.”
My medium is sheeps' fleece, which I needlefelt. This is a labour intensive method of dry felting fleece using a sharp barbed needle which meshes the fibres together without the need for water, soap and friction. By repeatedly stabbing the fleece with the needle it is possible to sculpt in the same way as you would with clay.
He started to emerge slightly spookily from the fleece quite quickly...
In view of the fact he is a 'Green Man' I began to colour him with green fleece, but quickly realised that what he needed to be was bark coloured. I took my inspiration from the cherry trees in my garden, which are grey rather than brown, with green shadows.
The green aspect would be the leaves, which is where dyeing came into the picture...
Each leaf was created individually using the dyed fleece to create the colours and shades...
To add a little texture and light I also created a few leaves with silk velvet which I painted with dye...
...and intermingled these with the wool leaves...
And this is the result...
The 'Green Man', along with other pieces of work from members of The Two Rivers Trail and other artists taking part in Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios will be on exhibition in the Forum, Norwich from Friday 18th April to Wednesday 23rd April 2014. It's well worth a visit, there will be a huge variety of work, something for everyone.
I will be there, wielding my trusty felting needle, on Friday morning. Do come in and say hello!
...part of the Two Rivers Trail.....
Across the meadow garden full of oxeye daisies, speedwell and buttercups.... Liz's lovely garden studio, where she is exhibiting her life studies, landscapes and flower paintings as well as some Raku pieces and prints....
Ali, designer of 'Norfolk Map' is also showing decorative pieces using recycled materials finely stitched and woven in ingenious ways...
Beautiful jewellery designed and crafted by Fiona, inspired by Broadland surroundings and her travels in Greece....
For our Art Trail FREE Prize Draw, we all agreed to produce a card. I came up with several possibilities & finally chose one that I thought would have the most general appeal. However, there was one feisty little fellow that I was sad to reject, so I thought I'd give him his moment of fame & put him in this blog. I painted his wings with a real feather! He will be here at the studio, waiting for anyone who'd like to say hello!
In my last contribution to the Two Rivers Trail blog I was excited about tulips in a jug. Inclement weather meant cutting lino in the kitchen and waiting for the belated Spring so I could get printing in the studio. Well, the days have happily been warmer (even if the nights here in north Broadland have been a bit nippy) so inks are now more amenable and 'ready to roll'!
Armed with a cup of coffee and not quite so many layers of clothing, I was off across the yard.
In my usual fashion, I mixed colours and printed in what is an apparently random and experimental way. I do have a plan but it's not always clear to anyone else, and I do diverge! This also means that I rarely print an edition (i.e. a limited number all the same and numbered accordingly). I know that's a printmaking tradition but it's not my thing. I like it when each print has its own atmosphere and development of the composition.
Here are some of the results from my recent engagement with tulips in a jug. Their lovely curvy shapes and celebration of spring will ensure I look again. Not my first or last tulip design.
I do hope you will visit our trail during Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios which is warming up nicely. Just under a month to go.
Next weekend we have a stand in the Village Hall at the Horning Boat Show - 4th May- where you can pick up a brochure for NNOS, a trail map and an insight into our individual work.
The following Saturday 11th May we'll be at the Farmers' Market at the New Victory Hall in Neatishead , with a display and brochures for the county-wide event.
Come and meet us at either event.
We are a group who have a wide diversity of styles and media but enjoy and admire each other's work.
We'd love to share this with you.
'April is the cruellest month.......'. Oh no it isn't.
I love the lengthening days when the clocks have gone forward; primroses and daffodils all over the place, violets secretly getting on with it and all the finches in our garden and beyond auditioning for Gareth Malone!
However the studio across the yard is still a bit spartan, and so I've been drawing, tracing and cutting lino in the comfort of the kitchen; near the coffee and the biscuit tin.
(Let's hope supper has no lino shavings by way of flavourings.)
I've brought in some daffs from the garden in bud and also nipped down to the farm shop along the main road for tulips. I love their curves. You can draw them in continuous lines and develop lovely patterns.
In the cupboard next the pantry are jugs (various) and one I particularly like was given to me by Chris (youngest daughter's boyfriend). It's a practical shape and pretty, and just right for Spring flowers among other things.
So from notebook to lino come the tulips in a jug, abbreviated and developed but essentially what's sitting at the end of the kitchen bench.
Now, if we could have a day or two of slightly warmer weather so the inks will roll and I don't get frost bite........... I might be able to show you a proof or two.
Watch this space.......!!
I have had to change my strategy - which is not really the point!
Every Artist that shows their work for the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 2013, is invited to show one piece in the fabulous venue of the Forum in Norwich for a week at the end of April. This piece should be typical of the Artists work & is of restricted size.
Here lies my problem. I can do less typical & small, or more typical & large!
To make a picture smaller (than usual), means that you have to restrict your movements & gestures & often you need to use different equipment. This doesn't always help of course, as I have found that odd limbs seem to migrate of their own will to the edges & further!
My new strategy is to concentrate on one interesting area & to allow the rest to be lost if necessary. I must confess to loosing most of a torso recently , using my new ways!
So, finally I have chosen a piece, which means that this Sunday I can indulge myself with my big brushes!
Eight diverse artists living and working between the rivers Ant and Bure.