Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Making Handmade Cards With Two Birds!

I love hand making my cards I only sell them on my stall no where else and they are very therapeutic to make. I make them in between large works and they are a way of getting limbered up towards 'proper' work!
 A mixture of paint ink pencil, and powders very messy and pretty to look at.Sometimes its nice not to be too serious sometimes its nice to play.
So I am excited to have been invited to run a workshop at the beautiful Two Birds Gallery in Castle Donington there are limited spaces so booking is essential. 

Two Birds Gallery Christmas Card Workshop November 9th 1030-1230 pm

You can join me in a relaxed and creative atmosphere to design and make two mixed media Christmas cards. I will show you how to paint an abstracted small piece of work on watercolour paper. If you have old failed works on paper bring them to be recycled! You will then be able to embellish it with textures and powders. I will then show you how to tear and mount your work onto cards ready for you to send to that special friend in your life.

No previous experience is required.
£25 includes all materials , plus coffee/tea and cake!
To book a place email ruthgrayimages@hotmail.com or contact Mel or Helen at the Two Birds Gallery

Wear old clothes and/or an apron its messy!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Monday, 25 September 2017

Autumn Colours

 Autumn Colours   A small group workshop exploring acrylic painting  

TUESDAY 3rd OCTOBER 10.15 am to 4.00 pm   on board narrowboat Birdswood on the Cromford Canal   £65 per person including materials and light refreshments 

PROGRAMME: Meet 10.15am Introductions canal side. 
Cruise 10.30am-12.30 Taking the canal as our inspiration we will spend time on the boat observing, sketching, and making notes of the Autumn Colours, thinking of how we might depict them in paint. Hot drinks and light refreshments will be enjoyed as we cruise the canal in Birdswood. 
12.30-1pm leave boat for sandwich/stretch of legs. 
1-3.30pm On our return to the boat on the wharf we will discuss possibilities and come up with some imaginative ideas using the colours we have seen to create an artwork depicting Autumn using our notes and observations. At the end of the day each participant will go home with an acrylic painting and an understanding of how to use colour as a starting point their artwork. As well as gaining valuable knowledge on the importance of using reflection observation and sketches. Time to review our work for the day.
3.30-4pm clear away. 
Suitable for all levels, beginners and experienced.  
Tuition provided as needed during the creation of an artwork. 
Materials will be provided or you can bring your own. Suggested: sketch book, pencil, camera; acrylic paint, brushes, apron, old table cloth/newspaper, palette, water pot, small canvas board about 12 x 16” 

MAXIMUM 8 PARTICIPANTS Reserve your place now— call 07552 055455 or email sales@birdswood.org 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Nearly Thirty Years Later

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of demonstrating at Roche Art Group, they hold their sessions at The Carnegie Centre in Stapleford. This wasn't the first time I had been there because nearly thirty years ago I was presented an award in 1988, by Lord Richard Attenborough.
I had entered a competition whilst I was at school to design the new Coat of Arms for Stapleford Parish council.
I remember the evening in a very vague way I remember not really understanding what was happening and being quite overwhelmed by all the attention and adults around me.
I was totally aware of the importance of Lord Richard Attenborough and didn't actually believe he was going to be there in Stapleford!
But he was and he was lovely (his grandparents used to own a bakery in the town) and I have dined on the experience ever since. These things are wasted on the young although it featured for many years on my CV! But unconsciously I believe it was this achievement that really gave me confidence to give a career in design ago.

 So to return last Thursday evening much older and not much wiser was a real privilege, I was allowed by the Town Clerk to enter the chambers and view the coat of arms in the flesh and view the near thirty mayors who had worn it on their chains. The Town Clerk gave me a badge of the coat of arms and I will cherish it.
The whole revisit was fabulous as now I appreciate what it all meant when I was 15 I really didn't understand.

The demonstration went well and I painted a scene from my recent holiday to Menorca finished piece is below. Above is a picture of me in the chambers with Janette Cordon of Roche Art Group.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Summer Escape

 A couple of months away from it all its been great just what the doctor ordered by the end of July I was feeling completely frazzled I realised the only thing to do was stop.

Emails have been glanced at social media has hardly featured at all I've no idea really what anyone has been doing except those that have been in front of me even the news has been switched off from what I've caught Donald is still tramping around in various slogan baseball caps and we haven't yet been nuked!

So here's what I've been doing for the last couple of months, a trip up to Manchester to see ZZ Top included a short trek into the city of which I was most impressed so we plan to go back and have a proper look around, the architecture is brilliant I spent most of my time zooming my camera about getting excited by the stark contrasts in wealth and old and new.
 Needless to say ZZ Top were cool.

We then jetted off to Arenal De Castel in Menorca for two whole weeks , its a wonderful clean beautiful island with a lot of history and spectacular beaches. We used the local bus a few times to get us across the island and wandered about the narrow streets enjoying the differences of being in a foreign country.
We spent mornings on the beach swimming in the sea which was mirror calm except for one day where the waves toppled me and submerged me all the way to the shore. Our afternoons were spent snoozing in the air conditioned room. Evenings we walked along the seafront and enjoyed the sunsets all very simple and very hot.

No sooner was we back than I had to wash and repack all our clothes and drive down to Southwold where my Mother had rented a holiday cottage on the harbour. A completely different experience to being in Spain for a start the weather was cooler and the focus of the other holiday makers was more culture than getting a tan!
I spent the holiday reading about the local history of the area and found out that Turner had stomped up the whole coast with his sketch books as well as William Morris and Damien Hurst so I was in good company. I attempted an afternoon of painting but too many distractions....
The area is perfect for a nostalgic holiday there's no amusement parks just boating lakes, circus and crabbing.

Back up north after being pestered to go and see the Tram museum for a year we finally did go funny how something ten minutes away is always the last place we go! But I love it there I have a thing for the smell of old vehicles and as it was the vintage car weekend too there were plenty!

A couple of days later we re-packed and headed off to Salts Mill in Yorkshire for my birthday and took in the wonderful work of David Hockney who's vast back catalogue of work made me very happy to note all the media he has experimented with over the years never pigeon holing himself  to one style or just to paint but everything and anything to convey how he felt at the time wonderful stuff.

We stayed near Bingley and I was in my element with all the chimneys and canal architecture needless to say the family were not as enthusiastic as me but hey its was my birthday! I spend my whole year doing boys stuff motorbikes and cars so this week was mine although I'm not so girly myself, a good rundown bit of industrial building is great as far as I'm concerned!

Bradford was a very interesting city you can see how once it was a powerhouse, we took the kids to the National Media and Science Museum and I got to meet Morph my childhood hero :) There was an amazing 9 minute immersive experience where I sat in a circle of deck chairs looking at a moon disk in the dark with strangers you have to do it to understand!

We came home via Holmfirth and the kids were bewildered at our excitement over Nora Battys stockings and Compos house and then I found an amazing road from Holmfirth to the M1 which I think is at the top of the UK as I could see 360 views in all directions fabulous end to the holiday!

Back to work now see you at Number 28 Belper Market Place September 9th 9-1 pm.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Reflection,Workshop Cromford Canal on Birdswood

Yesterday I facilitated a workshop at Cromford.
 We set sail for a day of reflection on the historic canal boat Birdswood its fair to say we had four seasons in one day which perfectly illustrated the different effects the weather can have on reflections in water. 
We spent the 45 min trip up the canal sketching and observing, we then departed for half an hours walk in the rain noting ripple effects and had a leisurely trip back photographing and taking notes.

Once returned to the wharf after lunch we took our observations and used acrylic in a limited pallet to depict any part of our trip that we wanted to capture. It was very sunny and the acrylic paint struggled in the heat but we all came away with a painting and an awful lot of information to take forward for further work.
The photos explain better than I how wonderful this day was.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Anatomy of the Landscape Workshop

I've been privileged to have worked with Shottle Art Group these last two weeks as part of my Fleet Arts / Derwent Wise Project Anatomy of the Landscape. 

The first week we visited the National Stone Centre and sketched and learnt about the geology of the lower Derwent Valley and in between sessions I encouraged the group to find out more and work up those sketches in any way they felt comfortable and last night we met again and worked on the final pieces as you can see from the images below the outcomes are going to be amazing the thought each artist has given to this project is wonderful to see as the aim was to learn about and appreciate the local landscape and these artists certainly have done that. 

I loved the fact that we have collage, printing abstracts and representational work and all individual which is something I strongly encourage in my workshops nothing worse than a room full of the same thing we are all different!

Shottle Art group have an exhibition at Hazlewood St Johns Church in July please visit if you can.