Laura’s fabulous studio is hidden at the bottom of her garden in Winslow. Throughout the BOS fortnight, Laura has been demonstrating and exhibiting her work with Japanese waterbased woodblock prints and colour reduction lino prints.
Laura was inspired after an 8 week course in Japan, she was able to study the traditional craft of Japanese print making which is such an important part of the country’s artistic culture. Laura discussed with me how Japanese art became popularised by the USA after the Second World War. Although, she suggests that it should be more widely practiced as the artistic effects and characterisitics the process creates is beautiful.
Alongside her Japanese prints are the lino cuts. These are equally as beautiful, yet have a more bold and linear quality than the Japanese soft and dreamy style. The processes she uses to create the artwork seemed very complex to me, though Laura was able to make it seem to effortless! If you are interested in the chance to try out these methods of printmaking, Laura teaches classes, so absolutely worth learning all the specialist techniques she uses.
If you are ever in need of a safe haven away from the stresses of every day life, Lauren provides many workshops designed to improve wellbeing at The Otherworld Gallery in Winslow.
Lauren is a very diverse artist, as well as running these courses and therapy sessions, she paints in watercolour and acrylic, makes candles, greeting cards and shadow boxes. The Otherworld Gallery is the perfect destination for anyone wanting to find a handmade gifts inspired by myth and magick. Lauren discussed the importance of having a community which celebrates spiritualism and paganism with like-minded people.
It was a new experience for me to meet Lauren, the discussion we had was very insightful and I appreciated learning about her craft and interests. The gallery is on Winslow High Street, drop in and see for yourselves!
I recommend a trip to visit Debs and Zoe at the Buckingham Art School by Stowe Castle.
Debs is a contemporary installation artist who has combined her interest in the anatomy with the concept of self-image and beauty. Her latest exhibition has toured the UK ( it can be seen at the upcoming MK Fringe arts festival) and involves a combination of imprints of womens’ bodies in paint onto canvas and highly detailed anatomical drawing. Debs explained to me that her work revolves around the idea of body image and self-worth; she aims to challenged the established notions of what ‘beautiful’ means in contemporary society. It was really interesting to discuss this issue with the artist and learn how she has made her argument into a visual installation.
Zoe is a professional portrait painter and a published illustrator. She paints her portraits in a traditional realist style, while her illustrations are more free and have a modern twist. Zoe is currently exploring a new interest in painting birds, using acrylic paint and cling film to create exciting new effects. I enjoyed meeting Zoe as we shared a love of the old masters, and expressed the importance of looking back at these certain iconic artists for inspiration and direction in our own work. Zoe also discussed the contemporary artists who she looks to for inspiration, such as Jonathan Yeo and Will Cotton.
Zoe and Debs will be running life drawing classes and many more classes across the summer, a perfect opportunity for those wishing to develop their skills.
While there is still time, I recommend a trip to Tingewick to visit Cathy Read and Alexandra Buckle in Cathy’s converted Victorian chapel home.
Cathy’s paintings feature modern architectural structures and buildings which Cathy has visited across the UK. Her method of creating the artwork is both complex and completely original. Cathy begins by drawing out the design onto paper, then draws over it with masking fluid. This is followed by a wash of watercolour, using clingfilm and sometimes salt to create interesting undulations of the paint on the paper’s surface. Finally, she often highlights certain areas of the image by applying ink and blowing the wet ink across the paper with a straw, leaving a painting which ‘looks like something from a dystopian universe’. These paintings are truly original and worth a visit if you have time this weekend.
Alex specialises in relief printing, her lino prints are absolutely worth checking out this weekend before BOS ends for 2014. Her lino prints require carefully planned and cut out sections of lino onto which ink is rolled on and it is pressed in a printing press. Alex blends and rolls out the colours on a separate glass plate, then rolls this onto the sheet of lino, allowing the ink to blend further under the pressure of the printing press. The visual appearance of her lino print suits the subject of nature which most of Alex’s artworks depict. The different layers of colour add texture and a 3D effect to the final piece.
Absolutely worth the visit to Tingewick to see both of these artists at work!
On Wednesday it was wonderful to see Peter Keegan again, Peter is a portraiture and landscape artist who works predominantly in oils and charcoal. Peter is an award-winning artist, he recently became winner of the Artists and Illustrators People’s Choice Award in 2013. It is absolutely worth the trip to Winslow, before this year’s BOS ends, to explore Peter’s studio and see first-hand his latest work.
Peter is very open to taking commissions for portraits, if you have a few hours come and sit for your very own portrait by the artist. I can personally recommend the experience as I was fortunate to sit for a portrait by Peter last summer! It is fascinating to watch an artist work and witness all the stages as he forms the portrait. He also runs one to one sessions in his studio for those wishing to learn the tricks of the trade and try your hand at portrait painting.
Peter is a figurative and representational artist whose style is modern, completely original and refreshing. Peter is beginning to experiment more in colour, using it in a vibrant and bold way to add life to portraits, capturing the appearance and individual characteristics of the sitter with an alla prima (wet on wet) technique. Paint is applied to the canvas with both brush and palette knife, this use of palette knife is clearly identified in his growing collection of landscapes.
It is always a pleasure to discuss art with Peter Keegan. It would certainly be a missed opportunity if you do not visit him at his studio in Winslow before the end of the weekend!
A few days ago I had the pleasure of meeting Paul and Shirley in their medieval house in Winslow.
Paul’s life time of dedication to his art and successful career really shows the moment you walk into his converted barn studio, with paintings covering the walls and floor. Paul works mostly in watercolour with collage and defines the linear qualities of his work with crayon, he also paints in bright oils colours which reflect his work abroad in India, Greece and Morocco. Paul paints entirely from sketches he makes on sketchbooks which he would take with him on his travels, it was interesting to look at the black and white sketches and see them transformed into brightly coloured paintings.
His paintings are mostly on a larger scale and each have their own individual quirky style which is definitely recognisable as that belonging to Paul Millichip. Paul paints in an abstract way, using figurative subjects in dynamic spaces. His vibrant use of colour is one of the most attractive qualities in his work, they were each very beautiful and individual artworks which I would have proudly wanted to display in my home.
Paul’s wife, Shirley took up painting more recently, around 1995, after studying in France for four years. Shirley mainly paints landscapes in a contemporary style with watercolours.
Her use of watercolours is bold and rich, showing characteristics of this medium that many people are unfamiliar with. Shirley explained to me that she preferred watercolours as she believes the possibilities are endless when painting in landscapes, her landscapes at night are particularly atmospheric with large focus on dramatic lighting. Shirley has always kept illustrated journals while travelling with Paul, these are her main sources of inspiration for her work. Shirley runs painting workshop days and courses at their barn studio.
A trip to Little Horwood to see the work of these three artists should be a thing to do in this nice weather. Each artist has her own personal style and subject, meaning that it is definitely worth the visit to see the variety of the art they have displayed.
Clare’s seascapes are perfectly nostalgic of holidays on the English coastline; her work often features recognizable scenes from Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon. She is very open to commissions, and often develops her paintings from holiday photos of family members on the beach.
Helen mostly works on mixed media figurative paintings, but has recently developed a passion for lino prints in which she uses different materials to create exciting techniques when the print is inked and pressed. Helen’s figurative work allows the paint, or water-soluble pencil, to run and express itself on the canvas, leaving atmospheric and emotive images of nudes she has studied at life drawing classes.
Mel’s career as an art teacher led her to develop her interest in painting and explore new methods. Her landscapes reflect this exploratory style. What particularly caught my eye were her paintings of wooded landscape which focus on dramatic lighting as the sun hits the trees.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting each of these artists last week, and would recommend a trip to Little Horwood before BOS finishes this weekend!