We Are All Artists

Saturday 19th August, Midday. I’m unloading (what feels like) a ton of art materials at The Wallington Arms, to get ready for our first We Are All Artists community art workshop and exhibition. Jon, Rachel and the rest of the staff are on hand, the doors are opened and the set up begins. Carole and Keira come down early to help – that’s much appreciated. Will anyone show up? I’m quietly confident that there are enough curious people in and around town to make this a worthwhile afternoon. We’ll see…

We are due to start at 2pm, and just before then, our first guests arrive. They are quickly followed by more, and more, and more. In a short time – the huge room is full and we are busy playing a drawing game called Finding Lines. The game loosens people up for a brief conversation about community and what that means to our guests. We ponder a while – share a few ideas, then get down to work. Our intention is to create art for our own evening exhibition.

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Artists at work. Thanks to The Wallington Arms for this excellent photo.

The pub very kindly provided some snacks as people worked, and boy did they work. The room became an outpouring of colour. Acrylics, water colours, Sharpies, pastels, crayons, pencils and more came to life across the room as the art works began to emerge. Jason Goldrick kindly demonstrated a technique involving water colours, salt, clingfilm and a hair dryer (you had to be there). There seemed to be no end to our creative experiments – credit cards were used as brushes, so were fingers and hands. 4pm arrived in the blink of an eye – and our guests departed. We now had just two hours to turn the room from a fully functioning workshop, into an exhibition space. No pressure!

With more help from Carole, Keira, Helen and Aissa, the transformation began. We worked hard, and once the clear up was finished we then had the job of curating the work. I think we did a pretty good job – I hope you will agree.

The exhibition opened at 6pm and our guests had a great evening viewing all the art and having conversations about community. I met Lindsay who recently guessed the location of a Spanish art drop which I was able to hand over, and Stacie came to the exhibition with a piece of free art which I placed in Spain a year ago. She correctly guessed its location at the time – and it was a lovely coincidence to spend time with two people who had both found Spanish free art. The project is full of lovely coincidences like this.

We closed up just after 8pm and I’m heading back to The Wallington Arms in a while to finish taking everything down. I expect the two large murals will stay on the wall for a while, why not pop down soon and take a look at them?

Thank you to everyone who came and made art, and attended the exhibition. Thanks to Carole, Keira, Helen and Aissa for helping with preparations. Thanks to Rachel, Jon and all the staff at The Wallington Arms for being such great hosts, and thanks to Arts Network Sutton for supporting the free art project and providing a grant so this event could take place.

#WeAreAllArtists

Edge of The River : A Progression

On our recent visit to Spain I took this photo. I like the pattern the leaves make, and the way the green contrasts with the blue.

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A day or two later, this small sketch appeared in my notebook.

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In readiness for next weekend’s ‘We Are All Artists‘ free art workshop and exhibition, I wanted to adapt the design to connect it to the workshop theme, ‘our community’. I’ve painted this version of the design, titled ‘Edge of The River’, inspired by many walks along the Wandle.

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This piece will be the next free art drop.

Spanish Roses

My head was filled with images of roses whilst on holiday in Spain recently, prompted by a line from John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell’s cover of ‘Spanish Harlem.’

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This little sketch was the first image to emerge from brain to paper. It’s a bit messy, and recognisable as a rose, I think?!

I let the shape of the flower rest in my mind for a day or two before first putting pencil to paper to create an outline. Next I worked in several shades of red, intentionally leaving the pencil lines visible. The stem, thorns and signature followed.

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This finished piece will be my next free art drop.

Wallington Weather

A huge lightning storm rolled over our town (and much of Southern England) this week. I slept right through it! Subsequently I’ve seen a few photos of dark purple skies crackling to life in the storm. I thought this would make a good subject for this week’s free art drop, so here’s what I made. Watercolour and silver leaf. 

Elemental Art : Solar Flare

After a crazy busy few weeks making art in Berlin and taking part in the Carshalton Artists Open Studios, things are resuming a slightly more ‘normal’ pace. Having exhibited several elemental art pieces during the open studios, I’ve been wanting to return to making again, and I’ve been playing with a new design.

Here is the image, unmounted. It’s painted using watercolours, spray paint, acrylic, and gold leaf. With all the fine weather we’ve been enjoying lately, this feels like a timely new design in the series.