Exhibition - Black, White and Spring Greens
What have you been concentrating on since your last exhibition at Studio 61?
Over the past year I’ve had a balancing act between working in my day job as a Business Applications manager, designing and making jewellery and painting. Anyone who knows my artwork wouldn’t identify me with specific images but more textured less precise work. Give me some thick gloopy paint and a palette knife and I can fill a canvas but I have always had a block when it came to just picking up a pencil and sketching. I’ve wanted to have the confidence to draw, well I took the plunge and have used some of my new acquired skills for the exhibition as guest artist at Studio61.
Have you visited anywhere inspiring that has had an influence on your artwork?
Last year I was lucky to have a great holiday in Boston and New York to celebrate a ‘Significant Birthday’ ! I have always had a fascination for tall buildings, angles and straight lines and whilst there I had an urge to draw some of the wonderful street scenes and skyscrapers. On my return I was talking with Ruth Gray who offered to share her skill and knowledge. She’s a wonderful teacher despite my results, she was so encouraging and inspiring.
Since then I take pencil and paper with me when I go away and if not sketching as I go along I sketch from memory. My last trip away was around the Netherlands on a bike so sketching on the go would have been dangerous!
Are you working in any new mediums since we last saw your work here at the gallery and why?
Yes I am and it’s certainly a challenge. I’ve mainly used acrylic paint and inks onto canvas, never deviating from this. I have bought cartridge, water colour and canvas papers and using charcoal, water soluble graphite, pencils and oil pastels to name a few. I had a try using these with Ruth Gray and thought if I had them in my workshop I would eventually pick them up and use them. There are eight new pictures at the gallery all using a mix of both, no street or building scenes but local places where I live in Derbyshire and a childhood favorite Dovedale where we used to go a paddle and have a picnic with my family.
Who are the artists that have had an impact upon your artwork?
There are many and I’m no good with names but I do think that anything you see or touch can influence you in some way, shapes, colours, textures etc.
Its funny in my head I have images of clean lines and colour. I love print makers use of the negative space to get the images so clear and colourful on the page.
Usually when I start to work I revert back to type adding ample paint, texture then the inks but with this work using new mediums (and hiding the texture gels) I worked on the theory less is more.
Does working in different types of mediums help evolve / have an impact on / each aspect of the other?
Yes I think it does as each has a differing result. With the new work I have completed 3 views black and white using charcoal, graphite, chalk and the same view using a little of the same but also incorporating watercolour pencils, acrylic paint and ink. This coupled with a mix of the various papers I have started to find out what works for me. Working with anything new and experimenting in my view is how you evolve. If you tasked 3 people with the same items in front of them and asked them to produce an image they would all finish with something quite different in the end. Its great there is so much out there to try.
A little bird tells me you have big plans for the future what are they and how will that impact on your career as an artist?
I certainly do. I am leaving work towards the end of the year, don’t get me wrong I’ve had a long enjoyable working career which has enabled me to contribute to some wonderful inspiring holidays but after 35 years (boy I’m giving my age away there!) I’m ready to hang up my mouse and pick up my brushes, hammers and files.
I have so much I would like to do the hardest part will be for me to concentrate on one area at a time to develop the skill more fully. Asking me the question I've immediately thought of mentioning learning how to be a print maker . . . anyway I can add this to the list of infinite possibilities for the future.
Back to the present I recently purchased a rolling mill as an addition to my jewellery making tool kit and its still in its packaging unused, again this addition will hopefully help bring my design sketches to life.
I am also looking forward to being able to spend more time meeting up with some of you and being able to pop into the galleries who have supported me over the years. I shouldn't forget to mention more time for family visiting my parents and picking my nephews up from school.
Janices exhibition along with her stunning new range of Cornish sea glass jewellery is on until the end of June. We are open Tues - Sun and only just around the corner from Crich Tramway Museum.