Does One Size Fit All?

April 09 2016
The Alfred East Art Gallery, Kettering

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 All'.

One Size Fits All Exhibition in the Alfred East Art Gallery

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. (Below)

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 imagination!

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 Forest.

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 - Jamie Poole Artist.

First Sight of Spring in Northamptonshire!

March 10 2016

“I found the poems in the fields, And only wrote them down.”  

John Clare
A Fox bounding across the meadow!
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 All'

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 Confirmation gifts!
Fish Prayer Cross By Jamie Poole

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 making them!

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! 

A Peasant Poet in Old Northamptonshire.

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 world.

I have used the words from the poem below to create the illustration.

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 erect 

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. 

First Sight of Spring by John Clare, Illustrated by Jamie Poole
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 newsletter right here!

Here are a few more quotes from John Clare that I like...

“Crowded places, I shunned them as noises too rude
And fled to the silence of sweet solitude.” 

“Language has not the power to speak what love indites
The soul lies buried in the Ink that writes” 

John Clare

You can also visit John Clare Cottage in the village of Helpston which opens 12th March.


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