Socially Distant Studios 2020
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I have just finished my first year of studying Fine Art & Art History at University of Leeds, and below have included some of my most recent paintings. These acrylic paintings and one chalk pastel piece have all been completed over the lockdown period and I believe reflect my passion for surface pattern and colour combined. Whilst at university this year I worked with more traditional portraiture and progressing my oil painting technique, however when the pandemic struck I no longer had access to models or people-saturated environments in the way I would’ve liked, so I had to find alternative ways of working.
For me these paintings have been a really interesting process and reflection of the situation I have found myself in, as normal face to face interaction ceased, I began to really explore my home environment for inspiration in a completely new way. Initially I continued with my portraiture work, which stemmed from a classic “lockdown clear-out” where I was sorting through old photo albums and selecting photographs of times which have been very important to me with people I love (including my wonderful labradoodle!) and bringing these portraits to life with the use of bright colours and expressive brushstrokes. I then moved away from portraiture into more figurative work, whilst still aiming to keep the colour and vibrancy sustained. The result of which is the multicoloured fragmented nude and the chalk pastel piece. Both of which are large scale works drawn from previous life drawing sketches which have them been distorted to fit together, centred around the theme of proximity and interconnection through colour between people- something so vital that we have been deprived of during this time. A great inspiration for these pieces was my studying of Picasso’s Demoiselles D’Avignon during my final term of university.
In still life paintings, I am naturally often drawn to decorative objects that contain surface patterns and various colours, objects that are often found within household interiors whilst bringing in elements of nature from outside such as the large leaves that feature in these paintings. Through the lockdown I spent the longest uninterrupted time in my house and garden, and was able to fully appreciate the transition from spring to summer in a completely novel way. I was struck by the changes in light and how it accentuated certain colours which I really wanted to capture in the vibrancy of these paintings. I also recognised that everyday objects within my home that I had often overlooked were potential vessels for reflecting light around my paintings, for example the metallic jug/vase. Although this work has been very different to my previous university work, I believe this has been an invaluable time of experimentation and adaptation for me as an artist.
Here are a few drawings I’ve been working on recently, to do with endings.
I am based at Raven Studios on Smithfield Road, along with 8 other creatives. We were in the process of establishing Saturday afternoon drop-in studio time for young people when the pandemic hit, so it is rethink time.
We are now running a Tuesday morning Zoom drawing (or whatever you’re working on) meet up if anyone is interested - please email in for the link email@example.com
PABLO BELDA SANCHIS
Photographer & Filmmaker
Spanish visual artist recently moved from Madrid to Shrewsbury. I’ve developed my career for more than ten years in Spain and travelling around the world, particularly to India.
I'm always looking for unique places and moments in time that I can catch with my camera and that allow us to experience and read our reality in a different way.
Nature, music, cinema and dreams are definitely my main sources of inspiration. Specifically the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky and David Lynch, jazz music and of course Rock ‘n’ Roll. And since I live here, Shropshire landscapes.
Nowadays, I’m developing different projects (documentaries, fiction short film, video art..) and eager to collaborate with Shopshire-based artists; actors/dancers/filmmakers.
Instagram – @pablob.photography
Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
A fragment of a documentary filmed by Pablo in India
Lindsey Kennedy Portfolio
Originally, I trained as a jeweller and silversmith at Birmingham School of Jewellery and now work from a studio in Shrewsbury, making the move from metalwork to mosaic. My technique has developed out of my gem-setting skills, using small pieces of coloured stained glass, tiles and drops to create decorative, embellished two-dimensional surfaces.
Recent work has focused on mosaic floristry, using the garden as my inspiration, with sinuous trailing lines and floral shapes bursting with colour, everlasting flowers. Current influences are the landscape paintings of Gustav Klimt, which shimmer with tiny spots of coloured paint and inspired new work based on miniature mosaic gardens.
Faye Pearson Jones
People and faces are my main preoccupation. I spend a lot of time painting portraits and get a lot back from connecting with people in this quiet and reflective way. But it is animals where I find my spiritual connection. They bring out the unrefined essence of who I am and remind me of what is important. My grandparents had a farm, so I spent a lot of time around animals and wildlife as a child. I learned early that to get the best from nature, you need to treat her well.
I began sculpting a year or so ago. One of my first subjects was an orangutan and her baby. It took a day to sculpt from a block of sculpting wax, using some old tools for mark making. These ancient tree-dwellers are having a tough time of it. Commercial palm oil plantations are gradually replacing the forests where they live. Unless people feel a connection, I doubt much will change for the orangutan. I wanted to depict the sacredness of motherhood not just in the human population, but across the animal kingdom. The piece is called, very simply, 'Mother and Child'.
Jamila Walker - Artist Statement
Midlands based Artist, Jamila Walker's practice uses found objects and demonstrates a fascination with minutiae of the everyday. Implied self determined narratives, wit and humour suggest her ambivalent feelings toward her chosen subjects.
Jamila creates candid work, from a vibrant palette of ideas, using various textures and colour.
Digital manipulation and mixed media enable her to construct visual worlds and characters. Jamila's use of photography is an opportunity to challenge the classic theory that "the camera never lies", for Jamila "the camera always lies".
In addition to being an exhibiting Artist, Jamila is also involved in Community Arts, commissions, a member of various creative collectives, including; Natural Outsiders and Elixir Arts . Jamila was an Arts for Health mentor for Telford Mind, Jamila has been invited to give artist talks at various galleries. Jamila has undertaken various artist residencies and had various creative roles within the heritage sector. Jamila has undertaken web layout and image design for Participate Contemporary Artspace.
Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery – Education Steering group from August 2019
Designed By HMA
This is my ‘hare moon’ painting. Painted at the start of April 2020 using acrylics on canvas. Inspiration for this painting came from the Netflix series ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’. There was a recent episode involving pagan rituals etc. I later read that pagans believe that the hare moon was a promise of growth and new beginnings. Which I thought was a nice, hopeful message during these coronavirus times.
This is a painting I complete in late March, acrylic on canvas. I haven’t named this painting yet, if anyone wants to contact me with their suggestions, that would be wonderful. I decided to paint a leopard for a number of reasons, the first is that I read they symbolise elegance in the face of adversity and danger. Secondly, they symbolise strength and finally, I love leopard print right now! 🙂 As with the hare moon painting, I thoughtfully picked this animal to share a positive message while we are all dealing with coronavirus on top of any personal battles we might be facing.
I completed this painting at the end of March, also acrylic on canvas. This was my first painting of 2020, in fact my first animal painting in 12 months. I got married in January 2020, so the wedding planning had taken over my life a bit! I had experimented a bit with abstracts, created many wedding decorations and even painted my own wedding dress (picture below)! So despite not painting animals in a while, I was still finding a way to be creative 🙂 I chose a wolf as it is an animal that is so often requested when I attend stalls etc. A name for this painting is alsoneeded still, please send me your suggestions!
My wedding dress that I painting myself!! My favourite ever piece of art. Made possible thanks to My Little Wedding Shop in Bridgnorth, who made the dress and assisted me in painting etc. It was a dream come true!!
I also created a colouring sheet of my giraffe painting ‘Acacia’ that I completed in 2019. This was created as an activity for people at home, to keep them entertained while in lockdown. For kids & adults to enjoy. Just download, print off and paint/colour in!! I hope that it helps in some small way 🙂You can find the download here
And finally, I created my very own rainbow and message for all the key workers out there and all the people doing everything they can to keep us all safe during the pandemic, even if it’s something small like staying home or painting a rainbow! It’s currently hanging in my kitchen window and I hope that it shows my appreciation and support in some small way. This was created with acrylic paint, on thick smooth watercolour paper, using a wedge. There are videos on my Instagram @designedbyhma and my Facebook if anyone would like to see or wants some inspiration to create their own! 🙂
One of our Committee members, Susan Mann, shares the journey of an idea to a photograph and how she then developed it into a drawing in charcoal and soft pastels.
A WALK WITH AN ARTIST
The inspiration for my painting came about because of a deep connection with a landmark in the Shropshire landscape. I travel regularly to the Greenwood Centre and for as long as I can remember, the towers have figured in my mind’s eye whenever I think of Ironbridge. It felt strangely sad when I heard that they were being taken down. It seemed strange because they were just massive man-made structures which masked the landscape. I had no personal connection with them other than a series of stored images in my mind. They had become part of what I expected to see en route. There was something grand about them, something quite iconic in their shape. As I heard news items about them, I reflected on the fact that people in the area must have mixed emotions too. It felt as though someone was taking away part of our heritage and replacing it with yet more modern housing.
I made a mental note of when the detonations were to take place.... Friday 6th December 2019 at precisely 11am. I decided that I personally didn’t want to watch it from afar, but I did understand those who did. I began to plan a drive over there in the final week to make some sketches and record them for myself. On Wednesday 4th December I knew that this would be the day. The afternoon was fine and sunny, and I drove at a leisurely pace, hoping to find somewhere that would give me the views that I was looking for. It was quite frustrating that the surrounding lanes were very narrow and didn’t offer either the view or the parking opportunities that I needed. I began to realise also that I should have set off earlier as the winter sun sets quite early. I did a couple of quick sketches and then quickly began to photograph as much as I could, soon noticing more and more people who had come out with their cameras to do exactly the same! I felt a sense of disappointment that I hadn’t captured what I was hoping for.
Now it was about 3.40pm and I decided to park at Dale End car park and walk along the river. This was precisely what many other families seemed to be doing after school.....taking the opportunity for one last look! The atmosphere had changed completely as the sinking sun was setting behind the towers and it was becoming much colder and quite dark. As I walked along the path that skirted the river I felt as though I had stepped into a completely different landscape. Massive trees either side of me created a canopy of black branches stretching up and over the pathway. A beautiful mist hung over the river and was beginning to gently roll over the bank to my left. Everything seemed to have changed into silhouette....even the people who had come to say their goodbyes.
I quickly took a whole collection of photographs and felt excited that I was in the right place at exactly the right time. It seemed to completely justify my desire to be there. As I looked beyond the path, the magnificent structures loomed up into the distance. They almost hid the sinking December sun, whose rays just caught the very edge of each tower with a warm orange glow. I’m not sure how many paintings I will do of this subject, but I know for certain that I need to do at least one. Sometimes artists try to capture a sense of something...the atmosphere...the light...and almost what you were feeling when you were there. It is the difference between illustration and expression. This is my way of saying goodbye to those towers and acknowledging what they represented to local Shropshire people. I had hoped to enter this picture into our 2020 Bellevue Art Exhibition, but at least now I have a new opportunity....an opportunity to share its journey in a new and more personal way. Maybe next year you’ll see the finished painting and it will remind you of the story behind it!
About me - Since Wildlife has inspired my artwork through my life, this year’s Belle Vue Arts Festival’s theme is very appropriate for the work I’ve been creating. A lot of my inspiration comes from visiting local nature reserves (such as Venus Pools near Cross Houses) where I can study the visiting birdlife and other local wildlife/plants that can form the compositions of my pieces. Nature documentaries and magazines (BBC Wildlife being a key source of both visual and factual information) also feed into a lot of the work I create. I like to think about both the abstract and concrete, and how the two link and merge together to create a midpoint, which the mind can interpret in different ways. I finished an Art Foundation Course at the Hereford College of Art last year, and I’m currently freelancing while I’m waiting to return to my job at a Severn Hospice charity shop when the lockdown ends. Since there’s not much to do at the moment, I’m trying to make the most of this time by challenging my artistic capabilities and starting new projects all the time.
Tiger - Tigers are the largest big cat in the world, and one of the most distinctive and popular animals in the world, featuring prominently in the media, folklore and logos. Having endured over a century of persecution and habitat loss, extensive conservation efforts have stabilized and even begun to increase their population again, but they are still threatened by conflict with humans, poaching and habitat loss. This painting is a response to human interaction with the natural world, currently fighting against instead of living alongside nature. We should be breaking down the barriers and living more sustainably in order to create a better world for all the life on Earth.
Bee-Eater - Any birders in Shropshire may remember the lone European Bee-Eater that turned up in Condover in 2013, the first ever seen in Shropshire. Unfortunately I missed out on seeing that particular individual then but I was lucky enough to see them a few years later in Greece whilst on holiday. Their bright colours make them a distinctive and easily identifiable bird, which inspired me to paint this whilst I was practising colour work.
Zebra - I created this piece in support for the NHS and all the essential workers helping us in these unconventional times. Zebras are a symbol of community and protection in many African countries due to their tendency to stay in tight-knit herds; although we can’t gather in groups at the moment we can still support each other and help those who need it.
Pangolin - These unusual creatures are the most trafficked mammal in the world, with an estimated 100,000 caught and killed every year for their meat and their bizarre scales. The scales are used in traditional medicines in some parts of the world; however they have no proven medicinal value and are only made from keratin (the same material as human fingernails). I drew this after pangolins made headlines recently, being investigated as a potential source of the pandemic due to the illegal trade giving people close contact with the endangered mammals. Perhaps this is a lesson from nature, warning us about the consequences of exploiting the planet we live on?
Sparrow - When we think of wildlife, the images that come to mind are often of exotic species in far off jungles and plains, when we often forget the creatures living in our own backyards. About a year ago we set up a nest box on the side of our house that was specially designed for swifts to nest in, but in typical fashion our local house sparrows moved in first. Now every morning I wake to the sound of loud chirping outside my window and tapping on the other side of my bedroom wall. Watching the sparrows perching on the roof and squabbling over the birdbath inspired to draw this piece; out of flight their movements are jerky and bouncy, almost like tiny little clockwork machines!
Jeremy Keeling: "Tidemill Swan"
This linocut print is titled "Tidemill Swan" and is loosely based on a view glimpsed during a visit to Woodbridge in Suffolk last summer. Little trips like that seem such a precious luxury now. We climbed high onto the railway bridge and looked across the Deben estuary towards the tidemill itself. The design began as rough sketchbook drawings which I then developed on the iPad before transferring onto a lino block for carving.
I like the way in which a "finished" machine image becomes transformed and given new life when it becomes a handcrafted piece again. My linocut work takes influence from mid-century artists such as Enid Marx, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
Jeremy Keeling: #theoffcutproject
Really pleased to be involved in #theoffcutproject a terrific idea organised by @theprintblock
A range of artists have submitted their responses to the Covid 19 crisis which have been reproduced as limited edition screenprints on offcuts of paper. Each original piece costs £30 with at least £10 of that being donated to the @trusselltrust
Visit the @theprintblock website to reserve or purchase and support a very worthwhile cause. https://www.theprintblock.com/index.html
My piece is based on 18th and 19th century embroidered samplers, referencing a return to a slower more simple and isolated way of life
I am Marie and I am the lady behind ArtteaShrewsbury – tiny paintings on teabags.
Why teabags? It’s the first thing I am always asked, but I am still not entirely sure why I decided to use them as a canvas.
I have always liked to recycle/repurpose objects. I have drawn and painted and designed since I was tiny (art really is my life). And yes, I do love a nice cup of tea!
I recently moved to Belle Vue in Shrewsbury and have loved being able to walk into town to enjoy the architecture, the history and the independent cafe culture. I suppose the link between the lovely cafes and the actual teabags may have come from there.
Shrewsbury has been my initial inspiration for the teabags – starting with cafes and pubs, but I have already had commissions from around the country and abroad, have painted pets, flowers and vehicles... and am always open to requests, ideas and suggestions.
And if you wondered about the tea leaves?… well, they all end up in my compost bin, ready to be used in my garden (my other great passion).
Euryl Stevens - "Animal Mystiques"
Euryl Stevens, co-founder of the festival, is well known for her irreverent, playful artwork.
Using a mix of materials, from stitchwork, to wool and paint, her exhibitions are always full of colour, comedy and energy.
In the 1960s, Euryl studied at Birmingham College of Art and then at the Royal Academy School where she was awarded a silver medal for landscape painting and a scholarship to study in Rome.
A friend to the late artist LS Lowry, Euryl went on to teach at the former Shrewsbury College of Art and has been a vibrant supporter of arts organisations and festivals across Shropshire for many years.
Her work is often influenced by her upbringing in the Rhondda Valley, Wales and the characters she remembers from her childhood. She also does landscape paintings of Wales, and other more surrealist works such as her Animal Mystiques series here pictured.
As quoted from an exhibition write up:
“Her work stops you from taking life too seriously. Her characters are full of warmth and humour. They make you smile.”
The English Bridge Workshop
Coleham based ARTS enterprise
And for framing...previously Coleham based picture framing company GET THE PICTURE, is now setting up as a home based enterprise. Click on the image for more details