I've been 'keeping my head down' of late. It's a conscious thing-I've felt the need, as I'm sure many of you do, to 'withdraw' a bit. I've always been ok with my own company as I have so many things I can be getting on with, and this is one of them. This is number 1 in a series of 3 that I am painting. I wanted to expand on the strong image I produced in the Thriftwood mural entitled 'Support and Friendship'. They are still very much a work in progress, and are taking a while as I am fitting them around other things, but I am thoroughly enjoying using the new Cobra water-soluble oil paints that I received for Christmas. They are just gorgeous to use and I can use them indoors because they don't smell! They're really easy to clean too. Sounds like I'm getting commission on this! I'm really not, I just love them-go take a look: https://youtu.be/wwda32jh9sA
As time goes on, I will add images of these paintings to my blog, but if you want to see the progress as it happens, please 'like' my facebook artpage:
or my instagram art profile:
where you'll see everything as it happens.
Guess where I'm going tomorrow? I've been a Grayson Perry admirer for a while now, and to be able to see his exhibition "The Life of Julie Cope" just a few miles away, is a great treat. I've been to see him talk and even have photos of him signing my book for me. As well as being a fantastic artist, he is a great orator and very entertaining. If you'd like to go and see the exhibition being held at the First Site gallery in Colchester, here's the link:
So, no only do we have a wonderful exhibition by Mr Perry nearby (he does hail from my home county after all) but we also have, in a small gallery in the tiny Essex town of Maldon some original Picasso! Eeeeeekkkk!!! When I have told people I am taking students to see original Picassos in a gallery in Maldon, they haven't quite believed me! It is such an incredible coup for such a small gallery and perhaps a once in a lifetime experience for the students. The exhibition shows some of Picasso's etchings, linocuts, lithographs etc. Well worth a visit:
Chelmsford Creative Collective
Chelmsford is an affluent city and is often seen as a 'sleeper town' for London, having such an easy access to the capital. Unfortunately, this has meant that it is sometimes passed by when it comes to art and cultural events, as you can soak all that up in London itself. However, a growing group of artists and craftspeople are coming together to make art and culture more visible in Chelmsford. I feel fortunate to have been involved in the Ideas Hub which seemed to draw these people together and I have made some good friends in those connections. The Chelmsford Creative Collective has recently started as a group of creative people to share skills, ideas, events, promotions in order to push creativity forward in Chelmsford.
If you feel you would like to get involved, take a look at the facebook page and come along to the next meeting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131835237362801/
Chelmsford Festival of Arts and Culture
One of the events on the horizon is this new festival. It will take place 23rd June-1st July 2018 and there will be lots to do and see. Just the start of things to come! Edith from the Ideas Hub is very much involved in making these things happen and this is no exception-she is virtually a wonder-woman in my view!
To find our more about this festival, 'like' and 'follow' the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chelmsfordaacf/
Chelmsford Arts Trail/Portrait Artist competition
The Art and culture won't stop with the festival though! Beth (find her here: https://www.facebook.com/B.Coutinhoartist/) who I also became friends with at the Ideas Hub, will be re-starting the Chelmsford Art Trail. The last time this took place was several years ago and with Beth alongside another local artist James Mackenzie (find him here: http://www.mackenzieart.co.uk/) it is sure to be an amazing annual event. The Art trail will take place 23rd July-5th Aug 2018 all across Chelmsford. As part of this event, published author Kate Tenbeth (find her children's books here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-Tenbeth/e/B0052FRB8W) and I will be organising the Chelmsford Portrait Artist of the Year competition. I am so excited to be involved in this, particularly with Kate, Beth and James on board. Once we have finalised details, I will post the links to all social media. It's shaping up to be an incredibly creative Summer!
Creative Arts Degree
If you have read anything about me, you will know that although I went to Art College, I stepped away from art and took a long, winding journey back to it. This meant that I never managed to get my degree. I have looked at so many different options and had just about decided that, at 51, it is ok for me to not have an art degree-I have plenty of life experience instead. However, I came across an 'open' BA (hons) degree course recently that not only can I do alongside my other commitments, but I can combine my love of art and my love of creative writing! As I write, I am currently applying for funding (wish me luck!) but if that leads to a positive outcome, I will be studying my BA (hons) Creative Arts degree asap! I am too excited to explain in words what this will mean to me, suffice to say that things are looking up.