Saturday, 30 March 2013

April Artist in the Window Rebecca Louise Wilson Designs

Our April artist in a window is Rebecca Louise Wilson we caught up with her to find out what inspires her work:

1.       Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rebecca Louise Wilson and I am a designer-maker working primarily with enamel.  I work from my home studio in York creating mixed media narrative sculpture and jewellery.
2.       Why do you do what you do?
I studied Contemporary Craft at York College and it was here that I discovered the craft of enamelling.  I love colour and simple na├»ve designs and was drawn to the vibrant glossy colours and the endless effects that can be produced with combinations of layered enamel powders. One of my second year projects was called ‘Smile’ and I instantly had an image of my children and dog at the seaside! This became my first enamel piece and my style of work has developed from there…
3.       How do you work?
   My usual excuse is that you can’t be creative AND tidy! I work in what can only be described as   organised chaos! I tend to be working on lots of different projects at once but it always seems to come together in the end. I usually start with simple doodles and collaged ideas which often find their way onto the finished pieces. I use copper which I hand cut and then apply the enamel in layers. I add mixed media and transfers to enhance each piece.  I have a small office/studio space at home and am fortunate to be able to use my parent’s garage as my workshop.
4.       What’s your background?
When I was 18 I started on an Art and Design Foundation course in my home town of Leicester but wanderlust got the better of me and I went off travelling to Spain, France and Italy, finally coming back and settling in York 3 years later. Marriage, a mortgage and two children followed and it was a few years ago that I decided to go back to college as a mature student and revisit my artistic interests. I studied at York College for five years, gaining a first class honours degree in Contemporary Craft in 2011.
5.       What themes do you pursue?
Everyday life and simple family events inspire my work.  Trips to the seaside, picnics, walking the dog are some of the themes that I have pursued. I like to produce small narrative pieces that will prompt happy memories and make you smile!
6.       Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? 
Whilst studying for my degree I was lucky enough to go to Nice in the South of France where I visited the Henri Matisse Museum and also the Chapel that he designed in Vence. I had chosen to write about Matisse and in particular his Cut-Out work for my dissertation and to see these collages ‘in the flesh’ was amazing. I love to use collage work in my own design process and found the visit truly inspiring. I think it showed me that nothing really beats seeing a work of art for real.
7.       What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Being asked to make my first enamel commission was fabulous! And even better was when the same lovely customer asked for a second piece! Everyone loves a compliment and it’s a great feeling to receive such positive feedback.
8.        Is the artistic Life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
After I finished my degree I found it quite challenging to have to work alone. I think most artists/makers are very critical of their own work and it’s really easy to lose confidence. I’m really lucky to have a very supportive family who keep me on track and offer advice and constructive criticism! I also think it’s important to keep in contact with other artists and designers - I’m quite new to it but I love Facebook, it’s great for seeing what other like-minded designer-makers are doing and for sharing ideas but it can be a bit too distracting!  I have a part-time job as a classroom assistant which offers a complete change from my design work and gets me out into the real world where I can talk to real people!  
9.       What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
(I don’t always do it!) But I think the best piece of advice I’ve been given is to ‘believe in yourself’. 
10.   Professionally, what’s your goal?
I would love Rebecca Louise Wilson Designs to grow steadily and become more established, and to continue to experiment with different materials and methods. I’m lucky to be able to work at home and to be around for my family which is very important to me, but ultimately I am wishing for a beautiful garden studio to escape to!
Thankyou Rebecca!
Our  main exhibition programme continues during April with The Sea and Other Stories by Nansy Ferrett and Jenny Aitken.



Monday, 25 March 2013

Watercolour Tuition and Other Workshops

This weather has not beaten the Friends of Studio 61!! Just disrupted us a bit.. but while we have been in our enforced snow traps plans have been a foot!
Demand for our workshops are high so we have added a few new dates and opportunities for you to come up to the gallery and be utterly creative!
Below are some of the wonderful workshops we have planned.

Come and learn watercolour techniques with tuition by artist Karina Goodman.
Explore your creativity with the fabulous Christine Gray using a variety of mediums to bring you some beauty and inspiration.
And how about a whole day of viewing and reviewing the landscape through photography and then paint. A morning photography walk followed by an afternoon of using the pictures taken and turning them into artwork.
Later in the year we will be linking up again with the charity Campaign for Drawing and asking you to bring your pencils to the gallery!
So please get in touch if you want to join in with any of the above
And if you are still trapped in a snow drift how about some online shopping?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Artists Interview With Jenny Aitken

The Sea And Other Stories is Studio 61 Galleries April exhibition by artists Nansy ferret and Jenny Aitken following on from Nansys Interview in an earlier blog post we thought we would let Jenny Aitken tell us about herself and her inspirations.

I am…. Jenny Aitken – artist, singer, mother, wife, friend and van & duck owner. I do what I do because…. I don’t know how I would do things differently. I’ve always pursued my dreams and passions with optimism. I always wanted to be an artist. 
My background… three words sum it up; art, the sea, and change. My grandfather and great Uncle were both professional artists, and I was always encouraged artistically, growing up. My family roots are in Alderney, in the Channel Islands; but I have moved a lot and lived and spent much time by the sea all along the Western British coastline. Change has been and still is a constant in my life; I find it utterly necessary for my wellbeing…

The art I most identify with… my favourite painters are those who deal with light and vibrant colour. Edward Hopper is my absolute favourite.
My favourite painting… It’s a tie between ‘Regret’ (above) by Joaquim Vayreda (Barcelona MNAC) which isn’t appreciable unless you’re stood in front of it – its huge and heavy with moody light; and The Lighthouse at Two Lights, by Edward Hopper. (below)

What inspires me… the coastlines. Amazing light. Complementary colours! People, who are positive, open and bring energy, humour and life. Ducks.

Most inspirational place…. Ah hard to choose! Places like Tintagel in Cornwall where ancient stories are so deeply embedded in the landscape; the cliffs in Alderney, Crich Lighthouse in Derbyshire, in my van anywhere along the A87 in North West Scotland!

The best pieces of advice I’ve taken on… Whatever you do, do it with passion; making mistakes is part of learning; don’t allow fear to stop you growing.  I like doing things in the face of irrational fear – I started working as a life model last year, sang in front of large audiences, and taught art at a school for excluded kids. They’ve all helped my confidence hugely which just seems to open up more and more doors in my life…: D

My dream project… to paint the internal walls of a school, community centre, hotel, swimming pool – large scale murals. I’ve done plenty of large murals but I’d love to be commissioned to do it on a massive scale!
My goal… to live as fully in each moment as possible.

Thankyou Jenny! Read More About Jenny Here!





Monday, 18 March 2013

An Artists Interview with Nansy Ferrett - Campbell

The Sea and Other Stories.
Aprils exhibition is by two extremely talented artists Nansy Ferrett-Campbell and Jenny Aitken:
We interviewed them both and first up is Nansy Ferrett Campbell

Who are you and what do you do?
Nansy Ferrett - Campbell - I'm a wordsmith. I write words and paint with them, sing them, get other people to sing them, I lull my babies to sleep with them and I SHOUT THEM WHEN I'M ANGRY! I talk to my cats, I talk to my garden, and I talk to the vans and the trucks and the trailers that I've owned. I say them in my sleep. I never shut up. I'm a bit dyslexic but there's magic in them words and I can crack their code and find it.
Why do you do what you do?
 Because if I didn't do what I do I'd go MAD in a BAD way rather than remain so in happy slightly manic way.
How do you work?
Quietly on the outside but the noise is riotous within.
What’s your background?
Derbyshire born, daughter of the most beautiful people who ever lived. Raised amongst cats and coal and worn out shoes and more love than you can fit in a fifty foot phonebox.
What art do you most identify with?
Kids drawings, age between 3-6.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Writing words, painting words, singing words, getting other people to...ah, you get the idea!
 What themes do you pursue?
Cats and caravans, trucks and trailers. It’s a big world and we're small on the surface.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
When my little girl had meningitis at 4, I thought I was going to lose her forever. But I didn’t. As the doctors discussed the life support machine, I took her head in my hands and imagined I was a channel and the horror would come out of her head and out of me. She came round. The whole experience from her becoming ill to well was a big shaky finger telling me we are little - big things happen that we can't stop or control, but we can do little things to try and help, and help moves outwards in ripples. I painted the story but it didn’t feel like I painted it.
 What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
 Hop picking, gardening, arts workshops, cleaning, singing at weddings, working at festivals.
 Why art?
 What else is there?
 What memorable responses have you had to your work?
 The feeling of nostalgia seems to be the most significant response. People say it time and again, it takes them back to a time in childhood or it strikes some chord deep within them that moves them. Not every painting for everyone but the odd person will just be struck by one particular painting, as if it was painted just for them, and who's to say it wasn't?
What inspires you?
Everything. The very ordinary everything’s of everyday life. Every little moment is a story, a clip in time that really happened to someone, who, in a hundred odd years’ time, will be dead and although we preserve the great achievements of a person, who saves the little moments?

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Solitude is not a lonely place. I could spend days alone, given the chance. But I am blessed by two girls who came into my life and were willing to sing the words I keep writing! Together we are’ Red Ruff’. Paint alone, sing together. I also have 3 kids and cats for company. And if they aren’t around, I just talk to me socks.
 What do you dislike about the art world?
There is a level of clickyness. There is some rubbish about things having to mean stuff and great depth and concepts. Big words to make people think you're clever but they just think you're a precocious ****. (Fill in the stars - there’s only 4 so it won't make a clever word!) It’s all crap. Do it cos you like it.
What do you dislike about your work?
I see other painters and I can see they have a painterly skill. People look at their work and think "WOW!" I don't think that will ever be the case with mine. I think it touches on something sweet, special, moving perhaps, but I'm not a real artist. I'm just illustrating moments.
 What do you like about your work?
The process of doing it.
What research to you do?
I look at other artist’s works, old school in books and gallery’s and new people out there in Facebook land. I have managed to personalise Facebook into a kind of arts forum. When I turn it on I see lovely images, not comments on who's eating what. (Not that I'm oppose to documenting the mundane!)
What is your dream project?
To write and illustrate a book with Neil Gaiman, obviously! Isn’t that what everyone wants to do?

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
 Errr... well, I'd love to be compared to Kurt Jackson, or on a local scale, Jenny Aitken and Gareth Buxton, both of whom blow me away, but we're not comparable so it's hard to say!
(Aldernay Light house by Jenny Aitken)

Favourite or most inspirational place?
Moors, forests, hills, anywhere vast but that has a little hut, boat, caravan, etc., in eyesight. Somewhere blasted with weather where the trees have grown into the shape that the wind blew them into.

 What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?  
When you're parents are out, don't cook chips, put money in your mouth or give dad's beer to tramps.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
To support me and my children from my work without having to be crippled by a broken drive shaft or a bald tyre.
Thankyou Nansy!  Read more about Nansy here. 



Thursday, 14 March 2013

Art at the Farm Artists Callout!

On the 19th,20th & 21st of April.

 Studio 61 Gallery will present:

Art at The Farm by Friends of Studio 61

New premises have been secured at Park Farm Allestree for one weekend only.The exhibition is to be curated by Martin Sloman and Karina Goodman.

Artists and Designers are invited to submit up to 4 hanging pieces with space for print browsers and cards. Work can be dropped off... Artists do not need to be present during the weekend.
The last exhibition at Park farm was a huge success!
 Cost is £20 for three days plus 25% commission on any sales.

Email for booking form

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Colour of Spring Exhibition

Karina Goodman and friends present The Colour of Spring Exhibition.

Snow flakes falling outside but inside Studio 61 Gallery its all change with The Colour of Spring Exhibition showing in the main gallery. Gallery owner and artist Karina Goodman is displaying her new collection of spring inspired works along with some selected friends.

The gallery is alive with flowers and fresh landscapes available as cards, prints and beautifully framed originals.
Our artist in the window is Michelle Pearson a long time friend of Studio 61 here she is with her stall at our Derbyshire Open Arts event in 2012.
Studio 61 is again part of the Derbyshire Open Arts event May 25th-27th please save the date in your diaries as we will be hosting 14 top Derbyshire artists in the courtyard and for the first time inside the gallery as well.
Tuesdays are the perfect day to pop up and join in with the meet and make from 10.30am in the snug. Its a great way to say hello to some friends of Studio 61 and have a coffee and a chat and spend some time discussing creative projects with other artists and makers.
Easter is around the corner and the gallery is bursting with perfect gifts by our British designers. 
We also have a wonderful list of workshops coming up too, please take a look at the website for on line shopping and our artists gilcee printing service.