Home Is Where The Art Is

If you are an artist, a lover of art then I hope that I can inspire you to do what you love.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

About Tamlyn Blasdale - Holmes

Now that's what I call blogcation! It's nearly been a month since I last wrote my blog. I don't know why I am so busy all the time. I think the fact that I am busy getting on with my own work has meant that the writing has had to take a backseat.

Today I want to tell you about Tamlyn. He is a self taught artist that has some mad skills when it comes to drawing. He wields the pencil masterfully and the resulting images are breathtaking in their detail and subject matter.
He injects humour and paths into his work and you have to look, look and look again as the images seem to give up a few more secrets each time that you look at them.

Beasts Above The Sea narrates mans wanton destruction both underwater and on the land. His satirical eye captures this theme perfectly.

It is an exhibition that has 'balls' as well as beauty and I know that once you have seen it for yourself you will be telling people about it and thinking about it for a long time.

The artist at work.

He uses nothing more than a mechanical pencil and a fine liner. When you see how he weaves his stories you will find it hard to believe that there isn't the use of computers and some magical replicating device.

Now don't take my word for it come along and see it for yourself.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Can You Be Over Inspired?

The start of an idea.
Do you think it is possible to have too many creative ideas?

I have talked in the past about ways to overcome the artists block that we have all encountered at points.
What about the exact opposite?

What if your head is so full of ideas that the biggest frustration is lack of time? Has this happened to you?

At the moment I have about 5 completely different pieces of work on the go plus about 10 that are on the back burner.

For me some of the most important preparation that I do consists of assembling all the disparate materials before I can do anything. This can be quite time consuming especially when the envisaged piece is quite big and requires several different kinds of object.

It takes me time assimilate exactly what my intention is, in fact sometimes it's someone else who gets where I am heading before I do.

I should add here that the presentation is absolutely key in most of my work. I know exactly how it needs to be framed before I have made the piece.

Here's a good example of what I mean, sorry about the rubbish photograph but it is just to illustrate a point really.

Even as I write I am thinking that I need to probably do a drawing to help clarify my intention. Who knows I might do that, I might not.

What is your process? I am intrigued by how other artists work and which comes first. Please leave a comment about how you start a new piece. Then hopefully the discussion can be continued in further blogs with your input.

Have a great weekend! Be creative!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

About Nick Harris


Nick is known as Nick Hais in a wider art world of galleries and art fairs - but in Swanage he is still Nick Harris. At first viewing his paintings may seem to be purely figurative, but, in fact, they are based on a non-representational compositional preoccupation with line, shape and colour pictorial geometry. Interestingly, Nick's student and early work was fully abstract (non-figurative). The paintings are artificial constructions, where the non-figurative abstract qualities are the artist's primary creative concern. This combining of colours and shapes in structured compositions is what makes painting exciting to the artist and, it is hoped, makes looking at the paintings exciting to the viewer as well.
'Although I have come to the conclusion, after many years thought, that the less said about painting the better I will, nevertheless, point out that I have always enjoyed the brilliance of rich and vibrant light which, when reflected, creates living shadows. I use this quality as it relates to objects and scenes which display inherent geometries, such as buildings and boats. The paintings often depict small parts of larger scenes or objects, allowing me to concentrate attention on line, shape and colour patterns, rhythms and balances, to create pictorial geometries. In particular I often utilise highly resonant and organised colour relationships. The result is that my paintings are structured compositions of enhanced clarity. The paintings are built up in layers of thin paint. This means that they develop slowly, as this way of painting requires precision and time.'             

   NH - 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Changes Are Afoot!

Sharon James

It's been a while I know and there is a good reason for that. I have been thinking and thinking takes me a long time as I like to do it properly.
I started this blog to document my passage of progress of transformation from the bike shop to a gallery, then a gallery owner and I thank all that have stayed with me through that.

Of late I have found that the commitment of finding new content and the time to write my blog has been difficult. The truth is, it is time for my blog to evolve. I feel that I have probably gone as far as I can go with the blog in its former guise so now I am going to use it to discuss the challenges and successes that I have as an artist and a gallery owner.

I have selflessly promoted the artists that I show at the gallery and I will continue to do this on a smaller scale on various forums including here at the beginning of each new show.

That will be all though, I will be using my blog to hopefully interact with other artists and share my work with you and also I will be inviting you to get more involved if you would like to.

I am attempting to fall back in love with the experience of writing my blog. I hope that you will enjoy what I have to say too.

I will be giving some online masterclasses in useful subjects still as I know they were particularly popular.

I am excited about sharing all of my new projects with you via my blog. Trust me there are loads, as my work is also evolving into something new.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to the work of Nick Harris who is currently on show at the gallery and then it's over to me, my work and my inspirations. Hopefully you and yours too.

Friday, 15 August 2014

About Terry Hardy

My Photography

My own simplistic view

Terry L Hardy
Terry Hardy 
I am entitled to have a slightly ‘jaundiced eye’ about photography after more than sixty years of using a camera and having probably taking my first picture in 1938 with  a cardboard contraption and Velox ‘Gaslight’ paper made by my God Father and uncle. How many thousands of images since – pictures and what pleasure.

Photography means, and let us not forget, “Painting with Light”. Yes it means recording an image in a split second using some absolutely extraneous technical and mechanical means. It matters not whether the ‘picture’ originates by a digital or film or paper process – it is the image which has overriding importance. It is the space and the time and the evidence of something that comes to rest in some place for others to see and record and think about that is manifestly of some magical importance.

Terry Hardy
So, does it matter that the….. ‘light intensity varies inversely with the square of the distance’ ? Does it matter that the …… ‘focal length in some unit times the enlargement divided by the distance in some unit’ …. can help us to derive some factor for the establishment of a speed to set our camera shutter to accurately record a moving image? There is a book somewhere which will tell us so and try to educate us. I very much doubt that Don McCullin had too much time to work on extraneous formulae during the recording of his images of war in all its ghastliness or Cartier Bresson worried too much about working out some formula before recording an image in time, never to be repeated. Robert Doisneau did not, I am fairly sure, care too much about such matters as he recalled the scenes in Les Halles Market at night time. If they had done so then we would be the poorer because the image would have passed within that split second and it would have changed in appearance. And the digital world has not escaped this mania for the irrelevant either. I have noticed that a well known photographic magazine tells me that the light falling on a surface is called illumination and that the relationship between the exposure and exposure time is expressed as E=it. I am so pleased to know that when I am on Waterloo Station mixing with the crowds to capture the anguish on their faces as they see that the homeward bound train is cancelled. And what about the shadows and the highlights and the greyness in between and noticing that he light is going to change unless one gets a mighty move on!
Terry Hardy 
Of course it depends to some extent on the type of photography and the objective in establishing and preserving the ‘happening’ for all time. The great portraitist will leave little or nothing to chance – the sexy glance, the highlight in the yes and on the lips. The ‘table top’ photographer recording for commercialism will get it right and has the time, and the payment beckoning, to do this – but even then so much will depend on experience - and some gadgetry to help to get it as right as possible. The Landscape photographer will assess and observe and work fast or he or she will lose that cloud formation or those sea waves crashing. So experience and personal objective is paramount. 

There is so much truth in the simple answer to the question “how do I take better photographs?” answer – “take more”.

Some of the finest images I have seen go straight back to the Pinhole Camera – yes the cardboard box with a hole at the front and some means of holding a sheet or whatever of light sensitive material at the back. No Lens, no shutter, no diaphragm just the operator’s enthusiasm and observation and experience and need.
Terry Hardy
Of course there is a happy medium and some form of focussing and lens and diaphragm and shutter are obviously needed as a basic requirement and oh yes, a box to contain it all. “Ah, a box camera” did I hear you say? What no mega pixels, no ultra fast f  this or that and no high shutter speeds and no brass knobs or strutty bits for the rising and cross frontage devices?

But then there is another form of photography the sheer pleasure of playing with and handling a camera. If the camera is from bygone days there is the question of who held it, what did it capture? Did it rest in someone’s pocket as he climbed over the trenches in the Somme or did it fall in the sand as couples ‘played’ with much vigour on the beach or get forgotten at the picnic? So there are the collectors and the enthusiasts “this had a Zeiss coupled ‘thingimybob’ with a bi-convoluted toggle switch and it was made in 1902.”

Of course much depends on the objective and recording. Capturing life on the streets is certainly a very different prospect to attempting to make a banana look absolutely exquisite as it nestles on a plate of something for a magazine advertising exotic underwear. So it is certainly a case of ‘horses for courses’ and choosing the tools for the task and satisfying the customer.

Terry Hardy

Out and about photography, now called Street Photography, cries out for simplicity. Avoid flash like the plague and tripods are for tripping over; lens changing takes time. Eyes must be ever on the move and a degree of forward thinking is a must. “That individual must surely cross the road at that point over there – so I will position myself.” “Quick, that bus is coming and will obscure the very idea I want to capture in my ‘box’. ” “Why is that old lady sitting on a box cutting her toenails ? – she will go in a few moments”. That building is going to be torn down next week. Awareness is vital and some idea of just what may be where and preparedness for the unexpected around the next corner.

If at all possible every picture should tell a story. This is a fundamental whether catching the unforgettable of Aunt Meg wearing that ridiculous hat or the smoke and dust milliseconds after that explosion. But it is not always possible to be in a position or to think out the story before pressing the shutter – but some planning is essential.

What happened to the phrase and description of photography being an art form?

Seeing an enticing image in the first place is an art in itself but for those in the fortunate position of having a wet darkroom …. this is where the art truly takes place.
The pleasure of watching an image slowly appear on a sheet of chosen sensitive paper in the dish of D163, or whatever, is inestimable. Here the art really begins. A touch more exposure, next time try tilting the base of the enlarger a scrap, use the piece of cardboard stuck to the knitting needle with Plasticine and wave it with loving care under the lens to decrease the exposure …. just here…. take the wet print and use a little … just a little … ferri-cyanide on that highlight. Then the drying and glazing and trimming and the framing. Then and only then do we have a piece of art unique to itself and to the artist. All made with that rather special paint brush called a camera and the happening of a bit of light – and  luck.

TLH  December 2012

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Terry Hardy A Photography Retrospective

Terry was a street photographer way before the genre was considered cool. He has been taking pictures in earnest from the 1950's to the present day.
He has managed to capture both history and modernity in such a visually eloquent way.

His subject matter is so wide ranging that it would be difficult to categorise exactly what he takes pictures of other than the cliche which would be to say 'life'.

Terry is as interested in modern urban culture as any 20 something hipster. He has catalogued some of most thought provoking graffiti as well as some down right funny images.

The exhibition totally does have something for everyone. With books, a film reel as well wall mounted images there is plenty look at and engage with in this exhibition.

This blog is illustrated with some of his pictures to whet your appetite, tomorrow I will be posting a blog about Terry.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

How I Price My Work.(The Agony and Not The Ecstasy)

Sharon James (A5) £150 Framed

What I neglected to tell you about last time was that I was going to be having a mini break from the gallery. Sorry about that, not single word was typed last week. Now I am back and it is I believe my turn to spill the beans about my pricing system. That's Sharon the artist not the gallery owner.

I suppose in order for you to fully understand the method then I should explain how I make my work.

I am predominantly a printmaker, and print mainly collagraphs. I have been doing lots of drawing of late, more about that later.

I have quite a holistic approach to my practice as I like to make everything myself wherever possible. I make all the paper that I print on as I can control the thickness, exact colour etc. I have been known to make my own frames too.

That being said I have to factor all of this into the pricing of my work. I have a tendency to work quite small. I love the challenge of producing almost miniature works. This ramps up the time spent generally.

Sharon James £225

I also work using multiple images quite often, as I like the narrative of using more than one image.

My drawings range so hugely in time spent in the production of them. Some take under 10 minutes others literally take me months.

Here's how I price my work.

  • A guesstimation of time spent 
  • Cost of frame
  • Reflection of prices that I have sold at historically
  • A chunk for experience/reputation (I am a realist but I do have some regular buyers)
  • Cost of materials used (this can vary wildly for me as some of my installation pieces have £100's of items in them)
  • I also outsource pieces to bookbinders etc so I have to factor their costs in too.
  • I ask myself what is the least amount of money I would be willing to part with a piece for. (always a tough one). It keeps your head out of the clouds though.
  • If the work itself is historical I am more inclined to lower my prices a little.
  • Scale is a weird one for me as I work between 5cmx5cm to A1. So I rarely use this as a way to price my work. I have sold tiny things for the same as much larger pieces. 
  • I pay myself about £25 per hour.
Sharon James (A5) £150 Framed

So there you have it, that's how I do it. If I have to factor in any kind of commission I will take that away from the prices you see. I will not add more as they are worth what I charge for them. I will take a hit but I would always hope that wherever  they were the person selling them would be doing their best to sell as many as possible on my behalf so the ouch of losing out in the short term is soothed by multiple sales.