Oriel y Shed Exhibition Opening!

I presented my week’s work on Skomer to all the inhabitants and occupants of Skomer island on Thursday evening in a show in my temporary studio space (better known as the Volunteer’s Lounge and Sue`s Potting Shed!) on the island. Everyone came and the opening was probably the best attended, noisiest and most friendly I have ever had!

Thanks to Chris and Sue for letting me use the space, to Mary Jo for the delightful canapes, and to everyone who came along and made the event a success.

Here is a selection of the work on show:

A great day sketching on Skomer!

My Skomer Bluebells painting course is under way and today we spent the day on the island sketching and making notes to bring back to the studio tomorrow.

I have been coming to Skomer for 18 years, I even lived there for a while when Den was Assistant Warden, but it was the first time I had been to the island this year and Skomer was resplendent in its cloak of bluebells and campion. The island has been so influential on my work and holds a special place in my heart. The colours, atmosphere and wildlife of the place are amazing. I am staying on the island next week to paint and am really excited about it.. Next year I really want to run a residential course on the island – anyone interested?

The season is two weeks ahead of normal schedule due to the warm weather in April and there was a lot of Puffin activity all around the island.

Congratulations to Kenny Gainforth, the boatman,who has just won the individual European Federation of Sea Anglers Trophy in competition in Ireland. Although somehow he didn`t have any mackerel to spare today! Well done Kenny!

Easter painting days in my studio.

“I haven`t had so much fun with paint since I was four years old!”, said Gill, one of the students on my painting course today.

My next course runs 10-13th May and includes a day sketching among the bluebells on Skomer Island.

Easter orchids and cuckoos…

Heard my first cuckoo yesterday above Rosebush and this morning I saw my first orchids down at Llandeilo, spring has truly sprung!

The weather has been amazing and the sunsets have been fantastic. The colours this landscape produces are awe inspiring.

This morning I walked in Llandeilo woods past the old mill and over the quarry, evidence of the past everywhere, mulling over ideas for new glass pieces….

Today I am preparing my studio for students who are coming on a weekend painting course, looks like being a great weekend!

London revisited

Having spent Sunday drilling and beading the glass pendants, I hot-footed it to London on the 7.58 train on Monday morning to deliver some work to the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition. I took these 2 paintings down so let`s hope at least one is selected!

"Turbulence", Acrylic on paper, 20 x 20 cms

"Spring Flood", Mixed Media on Card, 35 x 40 cm

Thanks to Phyllis at Briar Walk B&B for a welcoming and comfortable stay in her lovely house in Putney.

A highlight of my visit was seeing Tenby artist, Naomi Tydeman`s, paintings at the R.I. exhibition at the Mall Galleries. It was lovely to catch up with Naomi and see a bit of Pembrokeshire in the heart of London, and her work was definitely the best in the show!

It was great to catch up with some friends and to have a chance to see the fabulous Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain. It is a mind blowing overview of watercolour from the 16th century to present day and contains some real gems.

I also saw the Susan Hiller show, which was a revelation in terms of how Hiller uses visual art conceptually to convey and evoke meaning – brilliant!

I also went to Contemporary Applied Arts Galleryand was absolutely bowled over by the work of Colin Reid – unbelievable skill and artistry with glass.

So, I returned with lots of inspiration and loaded with pigments from Cornelissens for making up some new glass enamels and working on some new pieces.

Japan Workshop Success!

Thanks to everyone who took part in the glass pendant making workshop on Saturday to raise money for Save The Children Fund in Japan. The workshop was great fun, and drew people from a wide area. It was lovely to hear Japanese being spoken alongside Welsh and English in the studio, with everybody making something to support the Japanese people at this difficult time. Thirty five pendant were made in the day and we raised 500 pounds!

The pendants before firing….

after firing…

finished and beaded and ready to wear!

Special thanks to Sara, without her help I would have struggled to manage, and thanks to those who sent donations even though they couldn`t come along on the day.

I will definitely be running more glass workshops in the future.

Glass workshop for Japan

Kaori in the hot shop at Liquid Glass Centre

Come and make a fused glass pendant on 26th March, all proceeds to Japanese Disaster Relief. Details are on http://www.linda-norris.com, you need to email me to book a time slot.

One of my fused glass pendants, you could make something similar.

Glass donated by Liquid Glass of Trowbridge and Warm Glass of Bristol.

Out of the chaos…

Collage is helping me relax with the chaos of having so many different parts to my work. It helps me leave spaces and combine and overlay colour and texture.

Just as well I am finding ways to live with chaos because Den and co are rebuilding our kitchen and right now the gallery is a chaos of kitchen implements! Two weeks until we open and I really need to move the cutlery out guys!

It is all a process…I know!

Bathing in glass…

Just back from a weekend in Liverpool with my mum and sister. The place was inspirational! Such a mix of old and new. The enclosed expanses of water in the docks and the tidal reaches of the Mersey afford fantastic vistas that are like collages of maritime, civic, industrial, historic and contemporary elements side-by-side, reflecting and enhancing each other.

The very best thing was a visit to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. The coloured glass work was incredible – it reminded me of the power of colour to speak directly to feeling unhampered by imagery. Just being there instills a feeling of deep peace and contemplation – not bad for an atheist! This cathedral has the biggest expense of coloured glass in the World, evidently, but it isn`t in any way overwhelming, it is almost sparing.

We also enjoyed visiting Antony Gormley`s sculpture installation, “Another Place” sited on the Mersey beaches between Waterloo and Crosby Sands. The cast figures taken from his body are reminiscent of Giacommetti and are placed alone at varying distances from the water. At high tide some are completely submerged and so are covered in barnicles, others are always at least party on view. Walkers interact with the work both intentionally by embracing them (with varying degrees of intimacy!) and having their photos taken, and unintentionally, just by sharing the space. The sculptures are so popular that there was a local protest when they were supposed to be taken to New York, so the sculptures stay – quite something for a contemporary art installation!

I was delighted to find that Diana Dias-Leão’s glass dresses were on show at the Walker Art Gallery. I heard Diana talking about her work on Woman`s Hour ages ago and have wanted to see these pieces ever since. She worked for years in the fashion industry and moved to glass later in life, she is an inspiring person, very down-to-earth and enthusiastic about fashion but also critical of the idealism of women`s bodies and eating disorders that come with it. Her slogan is that the dress is beautiful but “you are priceless”.

So, Liverpool is a fantastic city and I want to go back and explore another time. It was lovely to spend time with my sister and mum and now, I return inspired to continue my research and experimentation with glass and collage.

Heavenly blues…

…on the walls of the derelict 13th Century Mounton Chapel

…reflected in the overgrown moat of the mediaeval ruin of Castell Coch