Friday, 31 July 2015

Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Light
It is the last day of July.  Summer seems to be slipping away very quickly this year.  If you were happy, wrapping yourself in the blissful warmth of the summer sun, only to find it swept away by driving rain and autumnal temperatures, you can probably blame me.  We had scaffolding erected at the start of the month, to carry out works on the roof and dormer window of my studio.  From that moment on, the weather has been unpredictable and disappointing.  Sorry.
Looking back, it has been a really busy month for me, with lots of getting out and about, which I love.

July has brought sunshine in other ways.  You might recall that I painted a ceramic hare for the Cirencester Hare Festival (currently on display in Framemakers Gallery, in the town).  Well I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of The Names of the Hare exhibition at the New Brewery Arts centre. The exhibition features work from some of my favourite artists ( Catherine Hyde,  Hannah Willow, Tamsin Abbot, Karen Davis, Celestine & The Hare and Gloucestershire's own fabulous Dinny Pocock).  
But I am sure the other ladies wont be offended if I were to say that the real star of the show was, of course, the amazing Jackie Morris. During the evening, Jackie treated us to a reading from her brand new book, The Wild Swans (a companion piece to East of the Sun, West of The Moon). She shared some of her new, beautiful illustrations and anecdotes upon life as a writer, illustrator and artist.  I even got the chance to leaf through some of her sketch books.  What a treat!  
The exhibition really is stunning.  I would highly recommend going along for a peak.  The atmosphere is warm and magical and the work is simply gorgeous.  I cannot sing its praises highly enough. It runs until September 19th.  So plenty of time to get there.  Cirencester is a beautiful town too (okay, I am pretty biased, I know...)  Here is a couple of photos of some delicious Tamsin Abbot pieces, which I covet badly. Badly...


This month also brought an unexpected but lovely invitation from Gordon and the team at the Prema Arts Centre

Gordon got in touch and asked me if I would like to come and visit, meet his team and consider the prospect of an exhibition with them.  The centre is in the next village to me, Uley, and has an enviable nationwide reputation for staging some amazing live music events, exhibitions and workshops. Housed in an old methodist chapel (and currently under-going some incredible refurbishment), Prema really is an amazing space : workshops, studios, a breath-taking exhibition space and a fabulous cafe.  I had a great morning with Prema, they were welcoming, warm and collaborative.  So now I just have to get my thinking cap on : I know the where, I just have to work out the when and the how!


Much time this month has been spent hand embellishing the Green Man prints in readyness for the Big Big Train  concerts at Kings Place, London, next month.  In fact the last of these prints  will be taken down to my framers this afternoon, to be put into their mounts.  
They are a limited run of 25.  Each print is unique in some way and all have been signed by me and come with a certificate of authenticity.  Once in their mount, they look really great.  I do hope the BBT fans like them! 
Note: at the end of August, I will be running a competition on this blog to win an Artist's Proof of this print. the competition will only be available to members of this blog.  So don't forget to sign up!


New collections of my pieces have gone into Framemakers Galleries (throughout the South/South West) and also The Acorn Gallery (Pocklington, Yorkshire) this month, which is great.  It's so nice to refresh my displays with new work.  I have launched a number of smaller pieces, which I am hoping people will respond well to.  The new works are primarily 8x8" or 12x12" (image size).  This makes them not only easier to find space for on your wall, but they also retail at sub £500, which has got to be a good thing.


So I am currently working on a selection of new pieces for a brand new gallery chain in Scotland (more to be revealed on that very soon).  
I am also turning my thoughts towards Christmas (yes, a bit of a swear word when you consider it will be August tomorrow!).  However, I have to plan early and am scheduling new small gift pieces (hearts, pebbles etc) for my Etsy shop (nice stocking fillers) and also working up some Christmas Card designs.  I would really like to have everything in my Gifting line in my shop by mid October. We will see!!


I can't let my round up of July close without mentioning the most fantastical, magical night I spent at Giffords Circus - who decamped on the village green at Frampton On Severn yesterday ( just up the road).  Giffords is a wonderful old-fashioned Victorian circus, without the animal cruelty.  As soon as you step on the the site (let alone into the big top), you are whisked away to a simpler time, a magical time, a place from somewhere deep in your memory.  Here is a quote from Nell Gifford, which says it all:

"I held the jewel of my childhood up to my eye,
and through it I saw ponies and a dressing-up box
and a tent.
And that was Giffords Circus"


So that's it from me for this month.  Try and enjoy the moments of sunshine, where you can (don't worry, the scaffolding comes down on Wednesday.  Summer will return then!).
Love & Light
Sarah x

Audiobooks I have enjoyed in the studio during July:
- A Boy & A Bear in A Boat - Dave Shelton
- The Behaviour of Moths - Poppy Adams

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