As the swallows gather ready for their journey south, I am catching up with myself after a summer spent largely away from my home studio. I have spent five weeks on Skokholm Island gathering material and inspiration for my project, ob•serve.
I have been continuing my colour-collecting transects and have been getting involved in the scientific research that is taking place. This is all part of trying to understand different approaches to observation and to gathering material and inspiration to work with over the winter.
In addition I ran a week-long painting course in August to share my approach and techniques with artists who wished to broaden their experience.
The artists who came and had a thoroughly good time exploring the fantastic landscape and geology of the island and getting to know the place. The light house engine room was our superb studio base and I ran daily workshops in aspects of painting, which were punctuated by sketching trips and dolphin watching from the studio windows! Superb food was provided by Shirley Matthews, a regular islander and fantastic chef. Everyone left the island equipped with plenty of inspiration and ideas to take their work forward in their own studios. Thank you to all my students, everyone entered in to the exploratory nature of the work wholeheartedly.
I am delighted to say that two of my Cyanotypes have been preselected for the Society of Wildlife Artists( SWA) autumn show at Mall Galleries in London. It is part of a joint initiative between the SWA and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and I have submitted two works which feature bird netting and ringing and aim to promote more understanding of the scientific value of the bird ringing scheme.
Meanwhile my piece, Bonne Maman, has been on show at London Glassblowing Gallery in Bermonsey as part of their Essence exhibition.
I continue to run community workshops, this one was a cyanotype workshop for young people at Narberth Museum, where participants worked with objects from the collection to make stunning cyanotype images.
I am proud to say that I have been selected by The Arts Council of Wales to be a Creative Agent in their Lead Creative Schools Scheme which is about to be rolled out across Wales. The scheme is a major investment by Arts Council and Welsh Government and is designed to support teachers and learners to develop new creative approaches to learning by collaborating with artists. After four days of intensive training in Cardiff I am hoping to be matched with a school soon.