Tuesday, 20 September 2016

North East Open Studios 2016 (2)

Wow, wow,wow.......What an amazing NEOS week it was! I'm still buzzing from the whole experience. I would like to thank the Woodend Barn for giving us the opportunity to exhibit in their spacious gallery, the Gallery Committee for sharing their expertise in setting up an exhibition, Kevin Andrew Morris for the great collaboration and Beate Allerton for her beautiful music performance. But most of all I'd like to thank all the visitors who took the time to come along and have a chat with us. Your positive feedback was overwhelming and has given me the reassurance to continue what I love doing!

Below is an impression of our NEOS week in pictures.

Setting up our exhibition ©Fenfolio2016

My work was mainly on the left hand side ©Fenfolio2016


Smaller items for sale on the right ©Fenfolio2016

Kevin's work was inspired by his grandfather who used to work as a ghillie (=a man who attends someone on a hunting or fishing expedition) on the river Dee.

Pebble sculpture by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Original items on the right and Kevin's work ("priest", to kill fish)
on the left ©Fenfolio2016

Portrait of his grandfather in terracotta by Kevin
©Fenfolio2016

Wooden blocks made from ceramics by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Ceramics by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Ceramics and original items by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Ceramics by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Ceramics by Kevin and woodturned fish by his grandfather ©Fenfolio2016


Stags from terracotta with WWII medals by Kevin ©Fenfolio2016


Fiddle, hat, tweed and army bag from Kevin's grandfather
©Fenfolio2016

On Monday Kevin organised a workshop where plates, vases and cups were being decorated with decals. Once they were fired later in the week we could pick them up. Some very exciting results!


Kevin showing how to use decals ©Fenfolio2016

Kevin showing how to place decal on ceramics ©Fenfolio2016

 On Wednesday I organised a Creative Sketchbook workshop.


Experimenting with various mediums ©Fenfolio2016


Participants used old books to paint and collage in
©Fenfolio2016


Everyone was in the zone and it was completely silent  ©Fenfolio2016


Covering blank sketchbook pages with ink ©Fenfolio2016


This participant was inspired by womens fashion ©Fenfolio2016


Example of what you can do with an old book for children  ©Fenfolio2016


The tutor had an easy task with this creative group! ©Fenfolio2016


My task is to encourage and reassure the participants in their
individual creative journey ©Fenfolio2016
 
Such an exciting double page in a sketchbook!
©Fenfolio2016


Collage, stamping and drawing on a map of Aberdeenshire
©Fenfolio2016


In just two hours they completely transformed their sketchbook!
©Fenfolio2016


Write, draw, paint and collage
©Fenfolio2016

During the week we received a visit from Woodend Barn's photographer who is responsible for the marketing of all their events. For the first time I had a professional photo shoot! I felt a bit uncomfortable at the start as I'm normally behind the camera, but once I had the idea of practicing one of my yoga poses, I was more relaxed! Thank you Graeme MacDonald for the wonderful images.

Upside down and incognito in between my two assemblages
©GraemeMacDonald2016

 
With one of my figurative drawings
©GraemeMacDonald2016
 
A bit posed but it will do for the marketing!
©GraemeMacDonald2016


Me in front of a figurative painting
©GraemeMacDonald2016

The moment I heard I was accepted to exhibit in this gallery I knew I had to work hard to fill the big white walls. I wanted to show a variety of work and mediums such as handmade prints, digital prints, mixed media drawings and paintings and assemblages (for the very first time!) but mainly all themed around nature and texture. It's a risk because it could have been too much for the visitor but luckily it was all very well received. I even sold a few pieces (see below) and may have a commission or two!


Stripped & Stitched; asssemblage of birch bark and dried leaves
handstitched ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up of assemblage ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up of assemblage ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up of assemblage ©Fenfolio2016

Botanical Pattern; papercut by hand in acrylic frame ©Fenfolio2016

Flow of the Dee; mixed media painting ©Fenfolio2016


Ecotone; drypoint print with embossing ©Fenfolio2016


Close-up of print and embossing ©Fenfolio2016

Highland Cottage; collagraph print in handpainted frame ©Fenfolio2016

 So that leaves me with just one thing......


Sunday, 21 August 2016

North East Open Studios 2016

In just three weeks time North East Open Studios will start again. I'm delighted that this year I will have the opportunity to exhibit my work at the Woodend Barn in Banchory together with ceramicist Kevin Andrew Morris.


NEOS 2016 poster ©Woodend Barn

During the week we will be running two workshops; Rag and Bone Chine (Kevin) and Creative Sketchbooks (Fen). More info and for booking your place, please visit the Woodend Barn's website.

You can find my listing in the catalogue under Fenfolio, number 74. A geographic guide of all the artists participating can be downloaded here. One of the artists in my local area created this Banchory Trail. If you would like to have a hardcopy of the catalogue, please contact me as I still have a few spare.


NEOS Banchory trail

I'm currently working hard to finish a body of new work such as assemblage, papercuts and mixed media work. One of the pieces that will be shown is "Fabric of the Land" (a part has been used for our poster), a large collagraph print with collage.

Fabric of the Land ©Fenfolio2016

"Three Trees" is a second print with slightly different colours from a part of the same plate. The print has been handstitched with waxed bookbinding thread (brown and white).

Three Trees ©Fenfolio2016
I very much look forward to the event and hear the feedback from the visitors. Hopefully see you there!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Artistic Explorations: Assemblage (1)

I'm just back from a very inspiring and creative week at Bridge House Art in Ullapool where I did the Alchemy course with Eleanor White. Last year was my first time (see my blog post here) and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to come back again, this time to do something with Eleanor herself. She is an amazing art tutor with boundless energy and her expertise on any art medium is second to none.

Alchemy is the process of transforming the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. The first three days we mainly experimented with the deconstructing process; altering the surface of various materials like paper, fabric, cardboard and old photo film by using techniques such as dying, frottage (= rubbing), tearing, piercing, folding, stitching and spraying. These samples were then used as reference for our main project we worked on for the last two days of the course.

One of my frottage samples on magazine paper
©Fenfolio2016


Buckets of dye with folded papers ©Fenfolio2016

Eleanor giving a demo blotting the dyed paper ©Fenfolio2016

The studio with our experimentations ©Fenfolio2016

Before we started our personal project we went on our treasure hunt picking up any object that took our interest by beachcombing or walking in the forest along the river at the back of her studio. We then laid out our collection of metal, ceramics, glass, wood, seaweed, shells, leaves etc. on the table. Now the hardest part of the process started; selecting your materials, deconstructing them and constructing them with any other materials to create an extra-ordinary abstract artwork!


A collection of found materials from one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Luckily Eleanor also had a collection of found objects we were able to use. My eye fell on one of the old wooden fish boxes, originally from Aberdeen. I had to carefully deconstruct it not to damage the the part I wanted to have and the rest of the wood. I brought some scraps of fabric with me from home and thought the colour and texture of the hessian would work really well with the wooden plank. My piece was too small for what I had in mind but Eleanor had plenty I could use! The cardboard would also fit very well because of the corrugated texture and the ease I could manipulate it.

As my plank read "Aberdeen Inshore" I wanted to compose my piece in such a way that the textures, shapes and lines would reflect the ones found in and along the shore. 

The lower part of the plank was sanded and then painted in diluted white acrylics following the grain of the wood to represent the undulating landscape inland. I replaced some of the rusted nails and bended them to make hooks. I cut three strips of hessian and then distressed each panel by pulling, tearing and some cutting. They were then painted in a thin and later a thicker layer of white acrylics. 
The cardboard was treated in the same way. Once I decided the composition was right I stitched the cardboard pieces onto the hessian panels with a hessian thread (bigger needle opening needed and waxing the end of the thread was very useful!). The lower part of the hessian was then wrapped around the cardboard, cut to length and stitched too. The second part of the hessian was stitched to the back of the cardboard to create a continuous panel.
Finally I made some rope from a few hessian threads to hang the piece on the plank.

Assemblage "Aberdeen Inshore" ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up wooden plank ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up textures hessian and cardboard ©Fenfolio2016

Close-up textures hessian and cardboard ©Fenfolio2016


Close-up textures hessian and cardboard ©Fenfolio2016

I'm not sure whether it's finished yet because I feel it's lacking some impact against a white wall. I consider adding a narrow strip in a 3D shape (representing waves) made from cardboard on the top and bottom of the panels but I will decide in the next few weeks. Your feedback is very welcome!

Below is a selection of works created by the other participants, ranging from collages, mixed media paintings and assemblage (= a work of art made by grouping together found or unrelated objects). Some wonderful works have been made and it really inspired me to create some new pieces for NEOS. Better get started now!
 
Dyed paper with found objects
by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016
 
Triptych of collaged dyed paper with found objects
by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Dyed paper with found objects by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Cardboard painting by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Small handmade books from dyed paper and other papers
by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016


Cover of small handmade book made of dyed paper by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Painting in wax, gloss paint and acrylics by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage and collage by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016
   
Mixed media drawing on an old door by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage of found objects by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Collection of assemblage by various participants
©Fenfolio2016

Installation of various dyed papers by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016

Collage and mixed media
by one of the participants
©Fenfolio2016

Assemblage by one of the participants ©Fenfolio2016