Does One Size Fit All?
April 09 2016
One Size Fits All!
The Northampton Town and County Spring Art Exhibition at the
Alfred East Art Gallery, featured the usual high standard exhibits
this year in the Long Gallery. Every artwork from each artist was
presented in the same sized frames hence the name 'One Size Fits
Clusters of Distilled Talent
The paintings, prints and relief artworks were presented in
clusters of refined, and distilled images from the members of
the Northampton Art Society. This show was a new idea and challenge
as the artists were asked to create a piece to fit a pre-purchased
frame (A4 sized). This gave everyone the chance to display work in
a relatively small space.
John Clare Text Art!
This show gave me the chance to get cracking with my new
project to create a series of paintings based on the poems of John
Clare. I spent the week preparing the words of the poem and
researching the colours and spent most of Friday night painting
this artwork showing a red squirrel in an English Landscape. I was
really pleased to find on my visit, that my little painting
was one of the one's sold! Hooray!
Enchanted Woodlands and Landscapes
Landscapes were a strong feature in the exhibition showing
inspiring and imaginative colours, textures and techniques. I
decided to choose a few of my favourites to show you here.
Landscapes are a great subject for artists. The immense
spaces, undiscovered corners, peaceful paths, shaded
woodlands full of flowers all give the opportunity to represent the
details of real places or scenes straight from the
The first painting I chose, by Elaine Warden reminds me of the
mysterious, ancient vistas painted by Barabara Rae
, one of my all time
favourite artists. It shows deep layered colour and atmosphere
whilst providing texture that suggests a place hiding forgotten
history. Something Northamptonshire has in abundance.
'Seeds in the Snow' by Willie Martina Gardener, shows the
silence of a winter landscape with the flurry of activity from
wildlife like a bird. This is the kind of detail and character I am
hoping to incorporate in my John Clare series. The simple style and
clean shapes Gardener uses are perfect for the collage technique I
use with poems.
The 'Enchanted Woodland' by Rae Flack has the
bold, contrasting colours and impressionist light you get in
a forest in springtime. But I really like the texture and marks
made with acrylic paint that reminds me of the sound of snapping
twigs and crunching leaves when in a place like Salcey
Open Exhibition 2016
The current exhibition at the Alfred
East Art Gallery
is the annual open show, which also has a
youth category. This show runs from 9th April to 14th May. I have
one of my landscape paintings on display amongst a host of other
great paintings and exhibits.
Go down and have a look! Please let me know which paintings
you enjoy by leaving a comment here or posting on my facebook page
First Sight of Spring in Northamptonshire!
March 10 2016
“I found the poems in the fields, And only wrote
Its March, the daffodils are coming out, snowdrops are in
abundance, the birds are singing and things are starting to happen
out there! Hooray!
The Northampton Town and County Spring Show ' One Size Fits
This week on Saturday 12th March the latest Town and County
Spring Art show is opening. The exhibition, 'One Size Fits all' in
the Long Gallery at Kettering Alfred East Art Gallery features the
artwork of the Northampton Societies talented artists. They are
showing artworks in the same sized frame and at the same
price! A great idea!
A New Approach to Poetry and the Word in Pictures
Recently I have been exploring how I can use my text painting
technique to produce new and decorative artworks that could be used
to give as gifts.
I began making illustrated crosses with different themes that
inspire me, such as nature, landscapes and animals! I took Bible
passages, prayers and poems, then added colour to them and created
some neat looking little designs. Right now, these are being
printed onto different gorgeous wood so I can sell them to
people for special occasions like Weddings, Christenings or
Foxes, Hares, Birds and Red Squirrel!
These little crosses got me wandering if I could turn this
style of work into landscapes that have an element of fun in them.
So, I made a series of four landscapes showing bounding animals
like foxes, and hares and the occasional bird. Then I used
photographs of gorgeous places to set the scene. I really loved
Now for the next challenge!
Could I make one of these based on a poem? On the suggestion
of a friend, I decided to try working from a poem by John Clare
called 'First Sight of Spring'.
Yes! A chance to paint a squirrel!
John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was
known as "The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" and was
from the village of Helpston which is now part of Peterborough.
What I really liked about his poems is how he used local
Northamptonshire dialect such as "pooty" (snail),
"lady-cow" (ladybird), "crizzle" (to crisp) and "throstle" (song
thrush). But the inspired and spontaneous poetry really illustrates
the change of the seasons and the beauty of the natural
I have used the words from the poem below to create the
First Sight of Spring
The hazel blooms in threads of crimson hue
Peep through the swelling buds and look for spring
Ere yet a whitethorn leaf appears in view
Or March finds throstles pleased enough to sing;
On the old touchwood tree woodpeckers cling
A moment, and their harsh-toned notes renew,
In happier mood the stock-dove claps his wing,
The squirrel sputters up the powdered oak
With tail cocked o’er his head and ears
Startled to hear the woodman’s understroke,
And with the courage which his fears collect
He hisses fierce half malice and half glee,
Leaping from branch to branch about the tree,
In winters foliage, moss and lichens, dressed.
The plan then, is to make twelve of these illustrations
and turn them into a calender and a set of cards, prints as well as
other smashing gifts! I will keep posting them as I go, so
look out for new additions to the family!
You can find out what I make next by signing up for my
Here are a few more quotes from John Clare that I like...
“Crowded places, I shunned them as noises too
And fled to the silence of sweet
“Language has not the power to speak what love
The soul lies buried in the Ink that