Mini exhibition (with not a miniature in sight!)

Every year the Workshop Arts Centre, where I hire a studio each week to paint, gives members the opportunity to be part of a self-managed group exhibition for a weekend. Despite having just returned from overseas, and about to go off again, I decided I would like to be part of it this year. The whole workshop was used for the exhibition, with artists displaying their work in studios and the gallery. The positions were allocated by lottery, so I was very pleased to get a space in the gallery, with proper hanging facilities and good lighting. We were asked to not bring too much work, as in past years there has been more of a garage sale atmosphere than exhibition, so I decided to restrict myself to drawings and small paintings, so no prints or miniatures, but I did bring some of my miniature books. We each manned our own space and were responsible for our own sales and organisation.

Fewer people than we hoped for came through, but I sold some of my small paintings and covered my costs, however, the positive for me was the opportunity to see my work massed together, and most importantly, talk to visitors as they came through. It was fascinating to see which works they responded to, and which artists, as the work on display was very diverse. I was particularly relieved to get a good response to my drawings, with people coming very close and studying them carefully, and showing interest in the inspiration behind the works and the techniques. I am very aware most people tend to gravitate to colour, so to get a positive response to graphite work was satisfying. Next time maybe they will put their hands in their pockets …

My space in the gallery
My space in the gallery
The centrepiece, exaggerated, overblown tulip in coloured pencil
The centrepiece, exaggerated, overblown tulip in coloured pencil
The small oil paintings
The small oil paintings
Pencil drawings, exaggerated flower and pod forms
Pencil drawings, exaggerated flower and pod forms
Three pencil drawings, one pen and ink
Three pencil drawings, one pen and ink
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Sketching

Generally when I travel I take a sketchbook and watercolours, and do sketches when I get the opportunity or when a good subject catches my eye. I have just returned home from a very busy trip to the UK and although I always had my sketchbook with me, time was not always on my side. However, below are a few of the quick drawings I did do. The first one is of women at different tables in the cafe at the National Portrait Gallery cafe. I saw the BP National Portrait Prize there – 55 very competent portraits, but nothing that moved me greatly. I noted that they receive almost 2000 submissions, but hang only 55 works … I also saw a small exhibition of gouache portraits there which I loved. They were by Humphrey Ocean, and were of people who come to his studio, quick, loose and very appealing, they really seemed to capture character.

The next sketch was a woman on a bus, texting, and the last one is of fresh hazelnuts. I hadn’t seen them before, but was told they are delicious. In fact they were fairly bland, but beautiful objects. They were in a tiny organic fruit shop under the railway arches in Bermondsey. There is a proliferation of micro businesses in these arches – bakeries, gin factories, breweries, places that sell coffee or smoked salmon or cheese, mostly only open on a Saturday morning. Wonderful!

sketch09_13NP_web

 

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