Monday, 29 April 2013

Derbyshire Open Arts at Studio 61 Gallery 25th-27th May

Derbyshire Open Arts is going to be a major event at Studio 61 Gallery with 13 participating artists and designers.
Outside we will have our marquee set up with Carmen, Anna Krystyna Casey, Dianna Lee, Martin Sloman,Christine Gray, Helen Rhodes, Mel Anderson, Louise Wright and Gareth Buxton.
Inside the gallery there will be , Karina Goodman, Ruth Gray, Janice Allen and Jenny Oldknow.
The Gallery will be open Saturday25th, Sunday26th, and Monday27th 11am-5pm. With refreshments available to purchase while you browse.
We caught up with some of the artists in the gallery snug prior to the event to find out what they plan to showcase.

Who are you and what do you do?
Christine Gray: I am a mixed media artist making my own work, commission and workshop facilitator.

Martin Sloman: I'm a full time artist and teach art at Murray Park School (adult education).

Jenny Oldknow: I am a watercolour artist living and working in Belper in Derbyshire. My style of painting is loose and expressive, and at times pure abstract. I get inspiration from a variety of subjects, including wildlife, pets, the rural landscape and flowers. I paint for the galleries who represent me, for specific exhibitions (such as the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art) and to commission. I teach watercolour painting at my studio, both monthly workshops and a weekly class. I do arts work in schools and demonstrations for art groups and societies, etc.

Ruth Gray: I am a Landscape artist painting local scenes and seascapes. My main focus in my paintings is to try and make everyday places seem beautiful I have a keen interest in local heritage and history. I also love promoting other artists and I do this by writing about them in blogs and social media.

Helen Rhodes: I'm a designer/maker and textile artist based in South  Derbyshire.
I'm very excited about Derbyshire open arts as it's my first time.  
Janice Allen:  I am an artist with a love of textures which comes through in my paintings, fused glass panels and silver jewellery.

What will you be displaying at Derbyshire Open Arts this year?
Martin Sloman: I will be showing my latest watercolour paintings, along with fine art prints and cards.

Janice Allen: A selection of fused glass and silver jewellery including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, cufflinks and tie pins.
Ruth Gray: I have a wide variety of postcards, cards, prints, mugs, T-shirts and an affordable gift range of original landscapes and seascapes. A lot of work from the last year, where I have concentrated on the south of the Peak area.

Christine Gray: I'll be showing a wide range of mosaic style mixed media, I've been enjoying exploring this ancient craft in a contemporary way that utilises recycled and reclaimed items, ceramics, jewellery, found objects and even fabric. If it holds a memory, I will try and use it, I also use handmade glass & ceramic pieces to evoke feelings of nostalgia in the viewer. Commissioned pieces are a very personal and I work with clients to develop a piece of work that they will treasure.

Jenny Oldknow: I will have a good mix of original paintings, art prints, postcards and greeting cards. I will be concentrating on affordable items, such as unframed original paintings. I am also working on a secret project to be launched at DARTs, complete with freebies! I will also be using the opportunity to paint during the weekend, so visitors will be able to see me splashing the paint around!

Helen Rhodes: I have been experimenting with a new technique combining traditional drawing skills with needle felting.  Literally 'painting' with combed and dyed merino wool.  I had a fantastic response to the first pieces I produced so D'arts will be an opportunity to see if it was a one off or not, fingers crossed!  I shall be exhibiting jointly with the lovely Mel Anderson of MAD designs and our theme is "Under African Skies" inspired by the beautiful BBC Africa series.

What are you looking forward too at Derbyshire Open Arts This Year?

Martin Sloman: I'm looking forward to spending three days with some old and some new acquaintances, enjoying their company, admiring their work and of course having a laugh. Oh and selling lots of paintings.

Helen Rhodes: I'm really looking forward to meeting lots of visitors at the venue and to gauging first hand the response to my work.  It's always lovely to chat.  Having been so busy with this exhibition I'm also looking forward to couple of more relaxing days.

Christine Gray: I'm looking forward to being at studio 61 as it is my first time doing Derbyshire open arts with them, I have made some good friends who are also showing their work at studio 61 and I think it will be a great atmosphere to welcome our visitors into.

Janice Allen: I love the buzz of the event especially when visitors pop over for a chat about what I have created as their feedback helps to shape future projects.

Jenny Oldknow: This is my first year as an artist at DARTs, so I am really looking forward to meeting people who are interested in art, and having the opportunity to share my paintings and the work which I do, and to actually see me paint. Being an artist is often lonely, so it will be nice to spend time with other Derbyshire artists, and see what they are doing.

Ruth Gray: I enjoyed being part of DARTs last year I made some very good friends over the weekend and met many visiting artists that I admired. I can’t wait to meet and greet everyone again it’s going to be such a fun and inviting place to show my artwork.

What are your plans or events planned for 2013/2014?

Jenny Oldknow: Paint, paint, paint! I have a solo exhibition at Studio 61 Gallery in October, so I will be working hard painting for that. I am a member of the Association of Animal Artists, and exhibit with them regularly. I also plan to enter the Derbyshire Open this year, as well as the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art (where my painting last year won an award) and the Society of Wildlife Artists' exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. In 2014, I am also thinking about putting on a week-long painting holiday. So together with my regular workshops and painting class, it looks like I am going to be busy!

Christine Gray: My main focus at the moment is setting up my new studio space. I'll be sharing with Emma Carr from Junky Monkey and we're looking forward to collaborating together on making work and having the space to organise workshops whilst taking our skills to schools. We both have a wide range of experience as participatory artists with knowledge of the curriculum and of working with diverse groups of age and ability.  My next step is to sit down and work out dates for cake & mosaic parties, felt making sessions, textile and other workshops too numerous to list! My love of processes has left me with a wide range of practical skills that I'll be sharing from our new Derbyshire based studios.

Helen Rhodes: In the near future I shall be exhibiting again at the Studio 61 Gallery (again with Mel) for the  month of June, also I shall be at Fabulous Places Summer Fair at the Roundhouse in July and I have entered for another Open Arts exhibition later in the year, check my website later in the year to see if I was successful!

Martin Sloman: Forth coming events are: -
Willington Arts Festival Sun 5th, Bank holiday Mon 6th May. 
Meet The Artist at Cromford Mills on the following Saturdays. 18th May, 1st June, 15th June.
Art & Makers Festival, Cromford Mills. Sat 6th & Sun 7th July. 
The D.H.Lawrence , Museum. Eastwood, Friends of Studio 61 Gallery ‘Winter Inspirations Christmas Art Exhibition’ Nov -Dec 
The D.H.lawrence, Museum. Eastwood, 18th July- 24th August. 2014.

Ruth Gray:  I have a full list of events on my website  I will be a regular at Cromford Mill and Broomfield Hall events as well as those hosted by Banks Mill Studios in Derby.I am also part of 'Flourish' airarts exhibition at Royal Derby Hospital Aug 2013 to Feb 2014 and I have a solo show on at Leabrooks Gallery the same time as DOAs and two more solo shows planned at Studio 61 in November and DH Lawrence Museum in 2014. I am also enjoying working with Martin Sloman and Karina Goodman on our Friends of Studio 61 projects as their arts coordinator responsible for publicity.

Janice Allen: Having changed focus from painting to fusing glass and silver work I am concentrating on developing my skills and combining glass and silver into one piece.

Derbyshire Open Arts has produced a colourful and informative 66-page brochure. The clear-to-read instructions and location maps enable visitors to find and plan routes around the venues over the three days. Brochures are available free in all tourist centres and libraries, and from participating artists. They can also be ordered on the website: 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

DH Lawrence Museum ‘Winter Inspirations Christmas Art Exhibition’ Call Out.

Friends of Studio 61 Gallery ‘Winter Inspirations Christmas Art Exhibition’ Call Out.

We are excited to announce that The Friends of Studio 61 Gallery ‘Winter Inspirations Christmas Art Exhibition’ will take place at The DH Lawrence Museum Eastwood.

In the first instance we are calling out for expressions of interest from artists/ designers to participate.

DH Lawrence was named ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ in Nottinghamshire 2012. The museum is looking to transform The Rainbow Gallery this Christmas with decorations, lights and winter themed artworks for sale to the public in the run up to the festive season.

As part of the Exhibition we will be conducting a people’s choice prize, the winner will receive a month’s free exhibition at Studio 61 Gallery including all promotion that will involve.

The exhibition will be managed by Karina Goodman and Martin Sloman with publicity by Ruth Gray.


Theme: Winter Inspiration: we are calling for expressions of winter themed artworks only.

When: 29th November to 22nd December

Cost: £45 hanging and publicity fee.

Where: The Rainbow Gallery

DH Lawrence Heritage Centre

Mansfield Road



NG16 3DZ

For more information please email:



Friday, 19 April 2013

Art at the Farm in Pictures! 19,20,21 April 9.30-5.00pm

 WHEN: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 19, 20 and 21 April 2013 inclusive 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
WHERE: Following our previous successful Pop Ups at the busy Park Farm Shopping Centre in Allestree, Derby we have secured a new unit within the complex next to Boots.
Nothing to do this weekend well you do now check out the photos below of The Friends of Studio 61 Gallery latest exhibition 

Work began on Thursday by the Friends of Studio 61 Gallery hanging their art in a totally transformed former hair dressers!

Martin Sloman & Jenny Oldknow ensuring everything is tip top and perfectly straight!

Martin Davis hanging his work in front of work by new friend Abi Sawyer.

A wide variety of original art, prints and cards.

 Jewellery and gifts by our talented designers.

Participating artist Andrew Flack admiring the beautiful work.

A wonderful big light venue, come along and browse.

For a full list of participating artists please read the previous blog post it has a full list along with their website details.


Callouts to artists will be announced soon for our two month Christmas Open Exhibition at a very prestigious venue! Watch this space!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Art at the Farm! Friday, Saturday, Sunday 19, 20 and 21 April 2013 inclusive 9.30 am - 5.00 pm


WHEN: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 19, 20 and 21 April 2013 inclusive 9.30 am - 5.00 pm

WHERE: Following our previous successful Pop Ups at the busy Park Farm Shopping Centre in Allestree, Derby we have secured a new unit within the complex next to Boots.  

Check out our You Tube video of our Christmas Pop Up

We have some new friends joining us this time with a wide variety of work for sale.

The Artists are:

Nial Young

Martin Davis
Martin's an ex-fire-fighter producing contemporary landscapes and figures in oils.

Mandy Jayne Alfhors

 Mandy's art work ranges from Dreamy Landscapes, Emotional Portraits, Pop Art and Abstract.

Dolores Slater

Carmen's Cosmikandi Jewellery, One of a kind handmade jewellery, something for everyone!

 Jenny Oldknow

Artist painting a variety of subjects in watercolours and oils

Andrew Flack

Andrew is a watercolour painter of landscapes and steam railways.

Joanne Reay

1970's childhood inspired mixed media artwork using collage and black gloss.

 Christine Gray

Christine's mixed media work is a celebration of memory and nostalgia  

Helen Rhodes

Wildlife studies painted with wool, Original Needlefelted art

Ruth Gray

Landscape artist whose acrylic art work is anything but grey!

Martin Sloman

Martin will be showing my latest watercolour paintings, along with fine art prints and cards.

Janice Allen

A collection of textured artworks, fused glass and silver jewellery

Karina Goodman

Original artwork, prints, cards and gift ranges.

Valerie Dalling

Derbyshire visual artist/photographer and founder of The Image Club

Abi sawyer

A Belper artist who specialises in oil paintings, interior and exterior murals, painted furniture and other bespoke artistic commissions.

Our exhibitions continue in the gallery:


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Artist Interview with Valerie Dalling Photographer,Workshop leader


We caught up with photographer Valerie Dalling ahead of her  exploring the landscape workshop at Studio 61 Gallery to find out what inspires her.
Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, my name is Valerie Dalling, I’m a Derbyshire based visual artist and founder of The Image Club. I try to be creative in my own way, love all aspects of art and photography and spend as much time as possible walking in the landscape with my camera…there’s always plenty to see.

What’s your background?

After sitting behind a desk in various mundane office admin roles, and working in finance for a number of years, I guess I must have been going through some sort of midlife crisis when I said to myself “that’s enough”.

A friend encouraged me to explore my creative side through photography and so I began by enrolling on an evening course which was great, particularly time spent in the darkroom.

Now here’s a story…I do remember feeling particularly proud of a photograph I had taken at Elvaston Castle, it was well ‘composed’ or so I thought, but upon showing it to my tutor he suggested very kindly that I go back to the same spot and look again! Sound advice which has stayed with me ever since.

Well that was about 12 years ago now, and I knew I wanted to know more. So after discussions with my family I made the decision to take early retirement and went on to study Fine Art Photography at the University of Derby.

Despite the fact that I have no regular income any more, it still turned out to be the best decision I could have made.

Describe a real life situation that inspired you.

I am an ideas person, and like many artists constantly inspired by real life situations happening every day, but I do like to go at my own pace, let my work grow organically and just see what happens.

I do have a number of ongoing personal projects, one of which came about in 2010, as a result of a real life situation, when a good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been a constant source of inspiration to me, as has her poetry and faith, and as we continue to work together, I find some of my photography goes much deeper, more spiritual if that makes sense.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Well two immediately spring to mind. The first framed photograph I ever sold was called ‘Through Stones’, a black and white image taken at Curbar in the Peak District. I was taking part in an Arts Market at The Royal Derby Hospital and remember this lady who seemed to like the picture and asked for my card. I thought no more of it until I received a phone call from her asking if she could buy it…nine months later!

The second memorable response was not only seeing one of my photographs hanging in Derby Museum and Art Gallery as part of the 2009 Derby  City Open, but being congratulated by a member of their staff on having one of my ‘paintings’ selected for the exhibition. I didn’t correct him!

 What inspires you?

Other people. I love to listen to others and look at how they see the world around them through their work. Whether they are professional artists with years of experience, or a member of the community, I am fascinated.

What do you dislike about your work?

I think as an artist you find yourself constantly being self critical, well I do anyway. I am continually striving to improve, and while I put everything into my work, I always feel I can do better and will never stop learning.

What do you like about your work?

I like to feel I can help others, whether that’s in a kind of advisory or supportive capacity, or by simply providing enjoyment for them in some way through The Image Club or my own landscape photography.

What is your dream project?

Most definitely to return to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but this time be paid for it.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

This is difficult; particularly living so close to the beautiful Peak District and loving the diverse landscape our country has to offer, but visiting the Grand Canyon had such an impact on me that I would say it has to have influenced my work. I must include North Norfolk though, as I feel this is my second home. I have so many memories of family holidays there, and while the holidays still continue, I am also seeing a completely different landscape now, as in 2004 I started to document the effects of coastal erosion on the village of Happisburgh…this work continues.

What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Oh dear, this is a bit like editing photos, just giving one answer (one picture) instead of several! “Be yourself” my mum.

Thank you for your time. Valerie!
Our April exhibition continues in the main gallery with Jenny Aitken and Nansy Ferrett and our artist in a window is Rebecca Louise Wilson. To read about them click on the links in the side bar.