Monday, 10 October 2016

Study in watercolour of Sunflowers and...

Good Morning!   Ahh Sunflowers!

Here is a step by step study of Venus and sun flowers.

Incorporating into the study sunflowers initially came about through reading William Blake's inspirational Poem, 'Ahh Sunflowers'....

There have been so many vivid sunflowers on display this year -  particularly as summer drew to a close and autumn began.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Experiences and ideas of some Artists who participated in the 'Hundred Square Feet' Exhibition- on till Sept the 7th.

    The 15x15cm 100 Installation... of 101 artists works and the 101 Boxes in the Halesworth Gallery Space 2016

'Creative collaboration is awesome!.' Alicia Silverstone (1)

I thought it might be interesting to share the works, experiences and ideas of some of the artists who participated in the Halesworth Gallery's '100 Square Feet' exhibition, which was instigated and curated by the gallery's Paul Cope. I asked a number of artists to share and describe the creative ideas of their journeys... here are a few to start with, hopefully more will follow...

Artist: Ceri Thomson.

Oil Pastel and acrylic on panel.
By Ceri Thomson 2016.
This was a very interesting collaboration. It suited my recent practice which has involved making and re-making many versions of one photographic image to investigate its narrative qualities. I used a ciné film frame of a man proudly remodelling an old doorway as my subject - after all, I was re-modelling the panel of an actual door. I made my panel version of the frame using oil pastel on acrylic, which incorporated variations in the panel's texture.
The box works were printed individually by hand on tracing paper using acetate inked from a scanned copy of my watercolour painting of the same frame. I already know a few of the participating artists, and the panel unites my piece with the work of all the others. I am looking forward to seeing them all hung in the same space and finding out what they did with their panels, and how they made their 101 box works, when I make it over to the gallery in the next few days.

Artist: Peta Hillier.                              

The herald moth, depicted on the board, was chosen for its beautiful colours
and its ability to live in deep, dark and hostile environments.
Herald Moth Mixed Media on panel.
By Peta Hillier 2016.
It began a series of moth paintings that led to a world of curious names that provides a link to the past.
Whoever named these moths in the English
language observed closely and often with humour.
The herald moth is richly apparelled, a representative of a powerful ruler.
For contemporary times it is a barely seen creature, emblematic of climate changes and our lost connections.
So I see this moth as a potent symbol of the edge of extinction and also of beauty in dark times!

Artist: Lois Joy Thurstun.

The idea of recycling the door panels really appealed to me when I heard of the 100 Square Feet exhibition. I had no idea what I was going to do until my panel arrived in the post. Lying in my studio was an etching I had done of the Officers’ Room at Languard Fort.

Officers' Room, Acrylic on panel.
By Lois Joy Thurstun 2016.
It was a close up of the door leading into the room - so it seemed very apt to me - the door referencing the panel itself.
I decided on layers of  bright bold colours which I could scrape away, showing the underlying colours - like the patina and layers of colour on the walls and doors at Languard Fort itself.
The whole area of the panel was painted with white gesso first to hold the acrylic paints and the bevels made a natural frame for the painting so I left them white.

The 101 artworks were more daunting - there was a limit to just how much time ! wanted to spend, but in the end I decided to do batches of prints from an inked up chocolate box tray and then hand paint with watercolour three of the shapes on each print. Seeing all the prints lying on my studio floor gave me some good ideas for further work.
The entire experience of being part of this exhibition has been very rewarding!

Artist: Val Jones.

Looking at Another Place
When Sarah Bale invited me to submit work for the 100 Squares exhibition, I 
was at first a little reluctant as Halesworth is not exactly on my doorstop. But
when I looked into it online it did seem quite an interesting idea so I applied.

Looking At Another Place Mixed Media,on panel
By Val Jones 2016.
My rather beaten up piece of wood arrived with a big split in it…we had been warned that they were scrap pieces of wood. I decided that I wouldn’t try to fill the crack or sand the surface but would use it exactly as it was. It lay on the table for several days untouched as I couldn’t think how I could use it. Eventually I started playing around with the grain and used the flat reverse side as the grain was more pronounced there. 

I began by just washing over the surface with white watered down acrylic to seal the roughness. It immediately took on the appearance of the sea so I next used shades of greenish grey, soft blues and white. 

Then having established a scene I wanted to give it some scale by adding some detail. I remembered seeing Anthony Gormley’s mysterious figures on the beach and in the sea near Liverpool. He called it  ‘Another Place’. I thought the memory of these figures would give a sense of distance as well as scale so I proceeded to put five figures in with a fairly neutral tone of acrylic. I used water-based pens to denote shadows on the water and to outline the figures a little more sharply. 

I usually like to paint on much larger canvases or paper – even walls, so this restricted area was quite a challenge for me. I decided not to overwork it and anyway I had also to tackle the 101 squares as part of the deal. I called it ‘Looking at another Place’
101 Squares.

For this challenge I looked through a lot of old work on paper and realized I could reuse this by selecting small areas and cutting these to the correct size. Once I started I found this very therapeutic. I had a lot of A1 prints and water colour and acrylic paintings on good quality paper which proved ideal. Some of the work had been just stored away with no real purpose ….things which hadn’t quite worked and yet I hadn’t felt able to throw away as parts of them were OK. Once I got started I thoroughly enjoyed the process of editing and discarding bad work. It turned into quite a spring-cleaning occupation. 

When I’d finished all 101 I tied them up like a present and drove to Halesworth to visit the Gallery. I was very pleasantly surprised with the lovely old building and also enjoyed seeing the current exhibition by Margot Noyes. Shall definitely visit again.

Artist: Sarah Bale.

The prospect of being part of a new exhibition is always exciting but what made the 100 Square Feet show especially interesting is that 100 other artists were taking part. Each artist was sent a panel of wood and was then left to let their imaginations do what they wish with the wooden square.

The Blue Hour, Acrylic on panel.
By Sarah Bale 2016
I had only just finished my Fine Art degree at UCS in June, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. My mind had been focused on the uncanny and crime in the home. There’s No Place Like Home (my degree show) had been a dark exploration of female criminals and the home. For 100 Square Feet, I wanted to try something completely different but when you have been so focused on a particular subject for the last two years it can be tricky to adjust.

The first part of the show was to produce 101 small squares. Each square was to go in a box for every artist. The 101th box is going to be raffled off for the Sightsavers charity – a fantastic collector’s item with the money going to a great charity.

At first I tried drawing 101 images but I wasn’t happy with my pieces, so it was back to the drawing board! I decided to work in Photoshop as I often work digitally to come up with ideas. The great thing about Photoshop and similar apps is that you can manipulate and distort images. At a click of a button, lines, colour and a whole image can be changed.

My digital images are from looking at a photograph of Frida Kahlo. She is an artist that I find inspiring and her face is such a beauty. I layered and blurred Frida with poppies and textures. The end result is not Frida, as I have completely transformed the image, unless you want it to be Frida, of course. I made lots of different versions of my original digital art work and printed them for the 101 artist squares. It is from these works I created my panel design ‘The Blue Hour’.

I missed the private view as I was on holiday but yesterday I drove to Halesworth to see the exhibition. It really is wonderful to see a show which features 100 artists, all interpreting a wooden panel in a unique way. Whilst looking around I was struck by the diversity of styles, imagery and colour. If you do have time - go and visit the exhibition, it’s an excellent show in a beautiful gallery.                          

Artist: Rose Voutsas.

I came across 100 Square Feet when I emailed Paul Cope about finding venues around the coast to exhibit in. Paul invited me to take part in the exhibition and we agreed for me to send the work from Greece. I had met Paul in 2012 when I had my degree show at Norwich University of the Arts. He invited me to show at the gallery in 2013 where I partook in the show 'Conversations'.               
Yogis Playing, Acrylic on panel.
By Rose Voutsas 2016
For this exhibition I created 101 pieces 15x15cm which relate to my work which focuses onUtopias and Dystopias. I spray painted the background whilst others were created either by scanning spray painted objects or by drawing with wax crayons. The drawings are of little worlds and were made with felt-tip pens. The wooden panel that we also had to create was inspired by my recent preoccupation into yoga. I chose to use metallic and florescent colours for the background and the figures. I wanted the background to look tranquil and the figures to stand out thus I painted them in red. The title of the painting is 'Yogis Playing' and denotes how playful and creative my yoga instructors have been the past year and how much I love it as a practice. 

Partaking in the exhibition was very interesting as it challenged me to create and innovate. Travelling from Greece for the exhibition and viewing others work at the exhibition was very inspirational and something I wish to do more often. 


           Works on the Gallery wall by Sarah Bale, LJ Thurstun & Ceri Thomson.

The installation of 101 boxes holding a 101 artist's works.

With much appreciation for their contributions, and a big 'Thank you' to these artists who have shared their memorable onto the next artistic encounter with art!

(Further information can be found By Paul Cope)


'As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration...(  ).. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life'. Amy Poehler (2)

Read more at: (1)(2)

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Over the Bank Holiday - Library Exhibition

A continuum  of the theme Rainforest....

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. Pablo Neruda

This week I have worked on some small paintings for this short run week display at the Halesworth Library...

Hoping to paint a couple more for sale works, as major body of works in this project are not being sold. I hope to keep exhibiting the main project through forums or Galleries.

Some works will be made into giclee prints in a limited edition format...
From the previous exhibition Viewing Change,  has come an opportunity to exhibit a body of work at a climate change rally, in October,.I am hoping this idea will continue to evolve ...

I have found the recent painting of vibrant colours based on the rainforest absorbing. The colours seem to dance and bounce off one another...ideas are forming as I experiment with colour and shapes - an underlying tone of exploration of the 'naïve' art form,  has entered into the works I am making,  I intend to pursue these aspects further... here are a few images finished for this weekend.

Read more at:

Friday, 19 August 2016

As one Journey ends...another journey begins

Hello thank you for taking time to visit this art room!...

Art for the fun of it!....

The 100 Square Feet Exhibition is about to begin.... a hundred square wooden works by a hundred artists all under one roof at the Halesworth Gallery.Instigated by Paul Cope  the installation began yesterday, it was great to see the empty walls of the gallery become spaces for creative minds to show case their works as Paul and Sally curated and prepared this show ....The drawing together of 101 15cm x15cm works from each artist also is now  completed a hundred and one boxes in the middle space stand grouped together!

Here just my images to  show the scale of this collaboration that Paul organised !... no small task as it has been dependant on each artist to participate and deliver from the proposed ideas.

A Hundred and One squares Altered Images yf 

                                            The Hundred and One! 15x15cm works -
I cut up past images recycled and added to each gold leaf-  titiled 'Altered Images' acrylic and water colour paint 2016 yf

 The Final work a wooden panel given to each artist titled Blue Haze watercolour and gold leaf yf

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Journey so far and final days of 'Viewing Change' exhibition

Hello welcome - latest posting...

Whilst working along side 'The World Land Trust' as part of my fine art degree course in 2013, I was challenged by the ethos of TWLT, their positive commitment to buy forests in order to reduce the impact created by deforestation within the Amazon.Seeing the effects  of deforestation upon the rainforests inhabitants, is enabling me to develop an ongoing deeper understanding of the issues the rainforest faces.

This set in motion a path for an on going project which focuses on depicting the natural beauty and diversity within rainforest and of it's inhabitants, whilst engaging the viewer with the starker contrasts of deforestation.

I create work as a multidisciplinary artist, responding to the subject matter through print, paint, sculpture and charcoal, seeing the medium as a way of  expressing an idea in order to connect with a situation - for example the use of charcoal - the charred remains of wood - relating to the effects of fire, and the aftermath the destructive elements of fire deforestation.

Initially the idea to create Rainforest images using watercolour as a medium came about through seeing vibrant images of forests, I was particularly struck by Henri Rousseau,s colourful 'Jungle' images (all beit oil) paintings of the 1800's. Along with a visit to the Eden Project Rainforest Biome in 2015, where I was able to  document by photographing rainforest plants and flowers; focusing on close up detail of colours, patterns and textures all eventually informing the works.  

It occurred that by implementing the characteristic qualities of watercolour as a medium, could also partly be instrumental in transferring added meaning to the works, as it carries certain associations to that of the elements of water- water a most essential ingredient for the creating of life, the survival of life and the vibrant colours born out of the abundance of life  particularly found in the midst of the Rainforests terrain - enabling it existence to flourish.

The present an exhibition 'Viewing Change'  is in conjunction with this ongoing project, and is now showing at The Halesworth Gallery in Halesworth, Suffolk till 17th August.This was kindly  advertised and supported by The World Land Trust.

Due to the above exhibition a future opportunity to exhibit this body of work in October 2016 has now arisen at a rally, combining and connecting with climate change issues .

Last year at the Eden Project artist in residence John Dyer worked with artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá
his succinct words resonate concerning issues of deforestation and the effects upon the rainforest....

"The destruction of our rainforest land is terrible, because the forest is alive. It is our life, and the animals’ life. We don’t separate our existence from it, we are all one body and one being: the plants, water, trees and Yawanawá. When we see harm come to the rainforest, it is as if a part of our own body has been hurt. It feels like an illness that rises up in us and needs to be cured." Nixiwaka Yawanawá

Spirit of the Rainforest art project - Eden Project, Cornwall

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Preparing for the 100 Square Feet Exhibition

 Hello and thank you for visiting!...

 At the moment I am focussing on work towards an exhibition at the end of August called 100 Square Feet the Gallery has 100 artists participating each artist has the challenge of making 101 pieces of art work that will be shared amongst the artists. The 15x15cm works will be placed into 100 square boxes to be given to each artist at the end of the show.... with the 101st piece of work being auctioned  the proceeds then going to charity ...Along with the 101 art works each artist has been allotted a square block of wood with which to create an art work for the exhibition this has to be completed by mid August I am thinking of ideas for this at the moment...

I have been working on my 101 pieces just completed today...the last 30 were a struggle to say the least! For these works I recycled old art work that I did at College cutting them into 15x15cm pieces and reworked them adding colour and lines of gold leaf...I had a struggled to know what to name the work threads ...lines 3 lines...then thought of Altered Images simply because that's what they are -here's a few images of the works

My messy paintbox

Some of the 101 works 15x15cm Recycled art....'Altered Images' 2016 yf

Works below some of the recycled work

Time is moving on soon will be the exhibition 'Viewing Changing'...two watercolour images are just about finished...just a few tweaks here and there also finalising one more large abstract acrylic image ...below also the final of  part of the series-  Mourning After V 

Natures Gems- Tree Frog,  Watercolour 2016 yf

Natures Gems- The spangled cortanga

Nearly finished works in preparation for exhibit

Various pieces of art ...the water colours now have to be
mounted yf 2016

Final image part of abstracts Mourning After V 2016 yf

Using photo images from a trip to the Eden Project as reference