The exhibition of my work from ob•serve, my residency on Skokholm Island, is now on show. I am grateful to Arts Council of Wales, The Wildlife Trust South and West Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Oriel y Parc, Dale Sailing Company and Richard and Giselle, Skokholm Island wardens, for their support of this project.
Oriel y Parc
Having finished my residency at Oriel y Parc, December sees me back in my own studio and continuing to process the material and ideas arising from my project, ‘ob•serve’ based on Skokholm Island. I am working deeper into ‘colour extraction’ and am exploring various avenues, so far all in oil paint, but glass is never far from my mind! This work is supported by a Project Grant from the Arts Council of Wales and will result in an exhibition in July and August 2016 in the Tower Gallery, Oriel y Parc, St Davids.
I have also been busy with my online winter sale which features many sketches and studies and is helping me create space for new work.
Even though I am concentrating on paint right now, I have been firing the kiln with Xmas spirit, making glass Christmas decorations with local people who made an incredible 50 decorations during a workshop I ran in the village school hall last weekend!
Happy Winter Solstice to you all, and I look forward to more light in January!
Oriel y Parc
I am now half way through my month long residency at Oriel y Parc in St. Davids. It is wonderful to have such a beautiful big studio in which to begin to process the material from ob•serve, the project I have been researching over six months at Skokholm Island Bird Observatory. The work I am doing will develop over the winter and will be the basis of an exhibition in The Tower Gallery, St Davids, next summer.
I decided to focus particularly on my sketchbooks and the colour “transect” studies. I chose eight sights around the island which I visited every month from April to September and recorded the colours I could see, this now forms the basis of a series of canvases I am painting in oils.
The residency is teaching me some unexpected things: the benefits of having a studio away from home, of having people around and a context to work in which is less isolated (and has an excellent cafe!), the importance of having clear space and the value of having a routine of going out to work and stopping at 5pm. As a result I have resolved to have a clear-out of my studio and gallery and to reorganise my workspace at home, especially to make space for painting. This means that I will be having a massive sale of work this winter which will (hopefully!) free up space.
I will be giving a public talk about this work at Oriel y Parc on Friday 16th October at 6pm, and also welcome visitors to the studio 4-5pm on Thursdays and Fridays (other times by arrangement). On Saturday 21st November I will be running a one-day painting course focussing on colour at Oriel y Parc. To book phone Oriel y Parc on 01437 720392.
I am immensely grateful to The Arts Council of Wales for funding this project which is allowing me to take the risks necessary to develop my work, to The Wildlife Trust, South and West Wales and the Skokholm Island wardens for giving me the chance to work on the island, and to all the staff at Oriel y Parc and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for making me so welcome in St. Davids.
So near and yet so far…
I was supposed to go to Skokholm Island today for 4 nights painting, but nature intervened in the form of high winds, so the boat didn`t run. I ended up setting the kiln and taking off for St. Davids with my friend and Skokholm companion, Rachel. I wanted to show her some amazing glass pieces in Oriel y Parc. These delicate and intricate pieces were made in the second half of the nineteenth century in Germany by Leopola Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son Rudolf ( 1857-1929) and are intended to illustrate underwater life-forms. They look like contemporary glass pieces (Rachel said they could be miniature Cihuly‘s) yet also have an archival quality. Very interesting and lovely to see in the context of my current interest in historical material, landscape and glass.
I also love the fantastic Peter Lanyon painting on show there and this brilliant hounds sculpture by Catrin Howells which is based on the story of Cantre Gwaelod.
We called in to visit Steve Robinson in his glass studio near Solva and Adam Buick near St. Davids. Adam is preparing for a kiln opening event on 29th July, and has lots of new work ready to load into his kiln. He has also recently been awarded a research and development grant from the Arts Council of Wales, and has been busy experimenting with various new glazes made with seaweed. I love visiting Adams studio, his work is beautiful – forms, texture and the very smell of land and sea.
On the way home we stopped off at the church at Little Newcastle to see the stained glass windows there.
So, a lovely day out, and now home to crash cool the kiln and wait for a call from Jerry, the Skokholm Warden, to let us know whether we will be able to get there tomorrow. Either way, I am itching to get some painting done.