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.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Wishing All PAW and DAW Venues Luck For Their Events

It seemed so far away and now it is upon us. The fortnight of art, art, and more art. This is such great opportunity to see art in the place of it's origin in some cases. Also collaborations that spring up as a result of shared exhibiting spaces throw up some really interesting shows.

The thing that I find most inspirational personally is getting to talk to all the artists about their work. It isn't often that you get the opportunity to that. This will be the first time that I have wangled some time off to get round and see some of the Open Studios. I am usually tied to the gallery and don't get the chance to see anything.

This week I have been getting some minor refurbishments done at the gallery so that I was ready too. I have had do quite a big repaint as the gaps between shows has been quite short. No time, just make do and mend.

I have a new display stand that I am so pleased about as it will be my permanent fixture of work in the gallery itself. About time too I say. The other bit of news is that my studio gallery is up and running now too. It will be open to visitors all year round. I will be aiming to keep updating it as soon as I produce new works.

I am going to post some pics as I am so happy with it. I have also had the blinds fitted that I have had since January. Better late than never.

I will be writing some reviews of the venues that I visit in my blog over the next two weeks.

I have Synchronicity mixed exhibition at the gallery venue 30 in the DAW Booklet come and check it out.


Friday, 9 May 2014

Why Don't You Take Part and Make Art?

Stephen Powell @ L'Artishe Gallery 

I regularly give artists tutorials and it is a mutually beneficial experience. It is sometimes such a great opportunity to get a better grip on your own work.
I know that seems strange but when you are specifically looking for the strengths in someones work it highlights the strengths and I must add weaknesses in your own. I think that it has led me to be hugely creative and productive this week. It feels good. I know that I have mentioned it before but the truth is I am much happier when I am making things be that drawings, prints or books. One idea generates 10 more. Whether they are good or bad only time will tell.

Is there a key to unlocking creativity?
Yes there is!
What is it?

It is just doing, that is the key. Just start and yes there will be successes and failures but I know that whatever you achieve it will trigger some ideas. In fact my failures probably push me harder than my successes. Sometimes complacency sets in.

Since the beginning of May I have been involved in a Facebook group project called 31 Days of Drawing. I can tell you that not only is it addictive but the need to draw every day becomes so important. I find myself checking to see what the theme is and then having a really good think about how I am going to draw it.

It is also great to see people of all abilities and ages getting stuck in. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and it's not too late to join in. It is not about being a brilliant artist it is about drawing pure and simple.


I have often thought of art in the same way as a muscle. The more you do it the stronger it can become, the less you do it becomes flabby and directionless.
I also know that having time both mentally and physically to produce art is often a difficult one to squeeze in to your average day.

This is why I think the drawing challenge is so successful. Because it forces people to be creative and inventive. People are snatching moments out of their day to be creative. There cannot be anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Please Don't Read This!

It would seem that I upset people with my list of questions that assist in the writing of an artists statement. 
Well, as you can imagine that was never my intention. My 20 years of teaching people how to do it didn't come into it at all. 
I only post blogs to try and respond to questions that I am asked. I apologise for writing something so 'useless'. 

Why reinvent the wheel? I am not going to so I thought I'd share my artists statement with you. Saves me thinking of something useful to write.

iPad Drawing by Sharon James
Sharon James Artist/Curator.

I am a printmaker by training but of late I have been diversifying, due to time constraints. I have a Masters in Fine Art Print from Camberwell.
I am an obsessive in terms of inspiration. I find that I get a subject in my head and have to explore it visually through as many techniques as possible. I have always been keen on the idea of repurposing and I am currently working on a body of work called ‘Naked Birds’ which is looking at defunct objects (bird skulls specifically) and I hope that I make beautiful things allowing them a new life and beauty in death.
I tend to keep multiple sketchbooks but I have also begun to embrace the new technologies out there and have drawn extensively on my iPad. It allows a curious freedom that sketchbooks sometimes don’t.
Due to running a business I find that the only way for me to produce work is to have several projects on the go at the same time to enable me to bits to each depending on how much time I have. I also like to work in 2D and 3D so that keeps it interesting.
I have been drawing forever and in many ways it’s what I love doing best. The other art forms that I use all serve a purpose. I really think the saying ‘go back to the drawing board’ is very true. I feel better when I make art the desire to feel better motivates me.
The materials I use in my work vary to such an extent as I am constantly learning how to use new media, as I need different techniques to realise the work.  I can be using piercing saws and copper one day and pipettes and coloured inks the next.
All artists inspire me; I have a preference for abstract artists. My work straddles the figurative and abstract. The ability to see things from a unique perspective is one of the things I find intriguing about abstract art. Not forgetting that all art is abstraction of course.
I am now at a stage where the scrawled ideas in my sketchbooks are starting to take shape. After many months  (about 2 years) of visually researching I think I know what I want to make and why.  It includes printmaking, installation, sculpture, jewellery, book making, origami and quite a lot of carpentry.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Answer These 10 Questions and You Will Generate An Artist Statement


1. What is your creative background?

2. Where do you look for inspiration?

3. How do you record your visual research?

4. Do you work on more than one project at a time?

5. What motivates you to create ?

6. How important are the materials that you use in your work?

7. Are there any artists that inspire you?

8. What is it about their work that captures your imagination?

9. In just a few words try and sum up what your work is about, what are you trying to say?

10. Where do you see your work heading in the future? What would you like to develop? 

10 Things Not To Forget When Preparing For PAW/DAW

Attention to detail.

Why is it important?

It is such a common oversight, but the truth is that it's the one thing you should not over look when preparing for an Open Studio.

  1. If you are getting work out hat has been stored don't forget to give it a dust. 
  2. Check for smudgy fingerprints.
  3. Make sure your corners are all intact, storage can be cruel on corners.
  4. Business cards, people love to leave with something if not a purchase. An artist statement can also be useful to help people to understand your work. Keep it short and simple.
  5. If you are selling small things, cards etc make sure you have a float. If making bigger sales how are you going to accept payment?
  6. Make sure everything is clearly priced.
  7. When displaying work, remember less is more.
  8. Have a visitors book and encourage people to leave their email addresses so that you can make sure that you can invite them to future exhibitions of your work.
  9. If you are showing near another open studio then tell your visitors about it. Help spread the word.
  10. Remember hosts etiquette, visitors have come to see the work. A warm welcome and then let them look.  There's plenty of time to chat if they start the conversation or before they leave.

Friday, 2 May 2014

I've Got My PAW in The DAW!

Stephen Powell's Work

I have finally worked out why the whole blog writing thing is on a monumental go slow!
Maybe that is a bit of an overstatement.

Maybe the truth is much simpler?

In order to make sure I can continue to put on some of the best exhibitions in the local area I have had to be very creative with my time. Sadly that means spending less time on the other aspects of my gallery existence.

The blog has suffered as a result of this. I am really pleased however to discover that far from having a disastrous effect, people who are new to my blog are reading back dated blogs. Phew!

Open Studio Weeks are very nearly upon us in the shape of DAW and PAW. I see regularly that people are busily getting their venues ready. Welcome to my world people, this is the perpetual story of my life as a gallery owner.
Good luck to all of you taking part, let's hope there are many sales and so many red dots that all the venues look they are ailing with the pox!

If you are doing anything special during that fortnight such as talks, demos etc please let me know so that I can help to spread the word.

My studio gallery is now fully operational I am really pleased with it. It is very inspirational having your work up and around you.  I can't quite believe that I didn't do it years ago.

I took delivery of Suzette Knight's beautiful ceramic pieces today and they complement Stephen's work really well. They have a similar palette and also the idea of multiple pieces joined together marries well with Stephen's conjoined canvases.

Suzette Knight's Ceramics

If you are in Swanage at the weekend then come and take a look for yourself. Hone your art mooching skills in preparation for DAW and PAW.
By the way both Suzette and Stephen will be showing during the Open Studios fortnight. Suzette in Bournemouth as part of DAW and Stephen in Swanage as a part of PAW,