Friday, 24 April 2015

To print or not to print?.... That is the question.

A Miller's eye view of The Thrum, Rothbury
I painted this view of the River Coquet at about this time last year. My viewpoint was the rocks right next to the newly restored water wheel of Thrum Mill- which you may have seen on "Restoration Man" even if you haven't actually seen it in reality. The Thrum is owned by my friend Margaret and her husband Dave, who gave me the full guided tour that day. This culminated in walking out onto the rocks next to the mill race and the large wooden water wheel. The light was warm, bright and low- and it seemed to emanate from the trees on the opposite bank. It was a beautiful, magical, almost theatrical lighting display.

 Since then, I've been vacillating about whether I should make this painting into a print or simply have it framed up to sell as a one off. It's a lovely place which has been a great favourite for generations of residents and visitors to Rothbury.  But does this particular image, with these colours and these unusual lighting conditions, speak to people who have never seen it looking like that? I just can't decide!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Lovely, loyal customers.

Today I had a visit to the gallery from a lovely couple, who I recognised as soon as they  entered. But it took me a few moments to place them in my mind and to realise that the reason I knew them was because they'd bought this triptych from me a couple of years ago. 

The assembled triptych

It's one of my own favourite views- a wide sweeping vista from Flotterton, which takes in the pattern of fields sloping down the hillside towards Rothbury on the left; the glittering lakes of Caistron, ploughed fields and distinctive peak of Simonside in the centre section; then the exuberant heather hills of the Simonside hills on the right. Regardless of the weather, season or time of day, I always stop to look at this grand view. 

I composed the three canvases so that together they made up the full scene- but also so that each individual canvas was a well balanced image in its own right- capable of being hung separately. 
Left section with manicured fields and Caistron lakes.

Middle section with Caistron lakes, ploughed fields and Simonside

Right section with heather clad hills and wild flowers
My customers enthusiastically told me how much they love the painting, which hangs in their dining room, where they can look at it every day and be transported back to Northumberland. We had a long chat of this and that, and eventually said our farewells.

I was just contemplating how lovely my customers are, and how it's a real privilege to be part of people's daily lives like this, when the gallery bell rang and to my surprise they came back in.  They just had to take a pair of my small oak framed paintings that had been hanging in the gallery window (including the one pictured) of daffodils to compliment the triptych. 

I hope these give them just as much pleasure!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Spring 2015

Spring is well and truly here and to celebrate this, Crown Studio Gallery has a bright new colourful window display crammed with artworks that reflect the season. 

Taking pride of place is my white paper sculpture peacock, guarding his Easter egg like a proud father. This sculpture was inspired by childhood visits to Barnard Castle's wonderful Bowes Museum,  in County Durham, where they have a silver automaton of a swan. I've enjoyed watching that exquisite bird, glide elegantly through its watery choreography for a lifetime. Perhaps I've spent a little TOO long watching it? But when I came to create my own version those hours of observation certainly helped. 

You can watch Mr Peacock shake his tail feathers here My Paper Sculpture Peacock shaking a tail feather! 

My paper sculpture  peacock in his natural habitat

Blooming Lovely- Acrylic on canvas by Imogen Skelley

Butterfly Arc Glass sculpture  by Gregg Anston-Race

Anodised jewellery printed with botanical images by Gillian Arnold

Glass dish by Gregg Anston-Race

 I've got a selection of vibrant floral paintings by up and coming painter Imogen Skelley, new fused glass by Gregg Anston-Race, anodised printed jewellery by Gillian Arnold plus resin and decoupage jewellery by Sarah Kelly. I've also got work by my regular artists... plus new pieces of my own acrylic landscapes.  
I hope you'll come and see us soon.