Another day stewarding at the Drawn to Print Exhibition. The two artists who were the primary curators and managers of this exhibition are not printers. I managed to dig out some old work from my long ago Fine Art Degree and,by complete luck, the act of applying typewritten text to watercolour pulls the work loosely into the Print family.
What a family we have joined! The Printers of Drawn to the Valley have been an amazing bunch of people to work with. Trusting us with their beautiful prints with our invented hanging system.
But they have also nurtured us. Debs my fellow non-prntmaking curator, managed this fabulous trio of prints. Her first in this medium. Printmakers talked her through the process on the phone.
Debs has been commissioned to create several runs of ‘ Smeatons Thief’
This morning I was excited to dive into the world of Tetrapak printing.
Not my finest artistic hour because I had more excitement than talent, but I did create a half decent Tetrapak image and while printing it effectively eluded me, another lovely printer shared her wisdom for future success.
For now I have just applied some digital magic to make me feel better.
The video below is the wall mounted Print hanging.
My almost daily commute for three weeks is a ten minute walk from home. It covers the same paths that my normal daily dog walks take. Without the dogs, who are disinterested, for the most part, in a print exhibition, the familiar walk can be enhanced by taking a slightly different route. These stairs are just off my normally beaten path, but of no interest to the noses of my dogs.
Today was bin day and the big communal bins live in an old military building that has not yet been ‘improved’. The dogs would have loved to be with me as refuse bins and a hot summer day is a heady mix of flavours but I just nipped in to take this lovely old window in a grubby and unbuffed state.
Another love of mine is to see scarring on paintwork from regular use. Although that regular use stopped nearly 30 years ago.
And then there is the redundant heavy duty equipment with warnings , of limitations to men of my grandfathers generation.
Men for whom these numbers on doors had some significance.
I just love them as reminders of slightly archaic fonts.
I will leave you with two of my favourite doors.
One is an old storeroom and the other leads to a suite of artists studios. They are both at the end of the, currently empty, gallery space.
The exhibition today is in safe paws. Ralph is Stewarding this morning. Flushed with my experimentation on Yupo paper yesterday I whipped off a quick play on words this morning before I did the morning dog walk.
The morning dog walk was quite the sartorial revelation this morning. How many people really dress in the morning to match their local pavements/sidewalks!
Further on we sniffed out a fairy tale moment. A swimming Cinderella had dropped her golden slipper.
These are the feet of a woman stewarding in a Grade 1 listed building. The floors and the walls are spectacular.
We are in the second week of our three week run at Ocean Studios and the public response is very positive. Holding an art exhibition in a Grade 1 listed building is not without its challenges. We have had to design a whole new style of hanging system. We also needed to persuade the artists to allow us to hang their work unframed, just simply mounted. So many artists trusted us to treat their work with care and respect.
The artists were also hugely supportive of our £10 ‘ Off the peg’ feature.
Stewarding at exhibitions like this is the perfect opportunity to really take the time to enjoy other artists work. Today I had the pleasure of stewarding with Gilly Spottiswood and Celia Over, we were able to have a good old natter and share hugely interesting and informative tips and tricks associated with printing.
I was trying a new style of plastic coated paper, called Yupo. I painted mussels from memory. A painting that surely has named itself, Mussel Memory.
Gilly was giving Drypoint a try for the first time.
Goodness me, spending time with art and artists is so rewarding. I have belonged to an art group for 4 years, most of that time I have been on the committee and most of that time has been in the time of Covid or post Covid restrictions. Zoom meetings, cancelled exhibitions and the over thinking of all things to comply with the latest restrictions and procedures has been the way all organisations have survived the last few years. For me this has given me a massive disconnect. Drawn to the Valley has roughly 160 members. For the most part their names are familiar to me, their faces and characters less so and often I am unfamiliar with their artwork too.
For the next couple of weeks I have the absolute pleasure of putting a name to a face and attatching a mental note of their style of artwork. I am overseeing the stewarding of Drawn to Print at Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard, Plymouth.
COVID ruined my early involvement in setting up the exhibition but a deliciously negative test allowed me to attend the Private View on Thursday evening.
Two hours of mingling with artists and our guests on a beautiful summer evening with Champagne and the mellifluous sound of Seachanges. Two wonderfully talented musicians who came along to give the evening some glamour and sparkle.
At last an event like this is beginning to feel normal and comfortable again. People being comfortable in the company of one another. Which is why I chose the top image by Fi Smart, I know her name and we have exchanged emails, now I know some of her work and at some point in the next two weeks I am certain we will meet in person.
I met Celia for the first time when she came to a Drawn to the Valley monthly meeting at Ocean Studios. Until this week I was completely unaware of her style of work. Her work is just a fantastic extension of her, she exuded calm and beauty when I met her and here that exact quality is, in a beautiful print.
Here is my last , for now, image with some mystery.
I met Charlotte Sainsbury for the first time whilst I was serving Champagne at the Private View. I have loved her work for ages but never would have known who she was. She introduced herself to me and my mouth immediately gushed ” Oh, I love your work”
Nothing cool or reserved about that comment but , in truth I always love whatever she exhibits.
More lovely prints to share on here over the next two weeks. You are all in for some lovely prints and stories from the exhibition.
What to do on a damp Bank Holiday Monday when the dogs are at the groomers? Take ourselves off to Delamore Arts, a, not dog friendly Art Exhibition set in beautiful surroundings. This year is the 20th Anniversary of the event and I am ashamed to say that we were newbies, never having been before. In our defence we were not living in the South West for much of those twenty years but that seems a poor excuse to miss something so gorgeous and quintessentialy British in the very early summer. Regular visitors probably have a better chance of concentrating on the art,we were all over the place. Wowed by the parkland and the formal gardens before we even thought of looking at 3d or 2d artwork. Open for the whole of May this is an experience not to be missed. Full disclosure, there are lots of Drawn to the Valley Artists and Makers involved. I will only mention one DttV artist in this blog. Tessa Jane, who has been heavily involved in the organisation of this years exhibition as a local ambassador for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, the charity that is the beneficiary of Delamore Arts 22.
The image below is the view looking out of the OMS Carriage Shed Gallery. Curated by Tessa Jane. So much to learn about OMS, the organisation, and Tessa Jane’s perspective as well as the valuable work being done by the University of Plymouth, all contained in a welcoming small space.
OMS seems to me, as an outsider, an organisation that supports people with MS to look outside and beyond their diagnosis. Hence my outside and beyond image.
I suppose in writing this blog without too much actual art I am encouraging local people to go and see this event for themselves. I am also supporting my own decision to go again and be able to write another blog that does talk just about art. Some hope!
Looking at plants like this was both diverting and the perfect preparation for looking at 2d art like this.
Wet Apples by John Hurford catches the eye at the Stables Gallery further away from the main house. Still authentically a stables, horses were being exercised as we exercised our minds. The Stables Gallery was the first one we visited after following the pencil trail.
A trail that took us, two cold water swimmers, past a swimming pond.
You can understand the pull and the fascination we felt towards just a quick sneaky dip in this tranquil water. But like the dedicated art lovers that we are we pulled our attention back to the job in hand and found life imitating art.
Then nature beguiled us into observing the search for pollen, by a very busy bumble bee. Who was up to his many armpits in the flowers of an Ichium.
Time to head off into the woods…
Time to finish this particular Delamore Blog with my favourite sort of pictures. Its complicated…
How wrong could I have been yesterday! The fog and mist cleared quickly, by the time we had done our swimming the sun was up. Not only was the sun up but someone lovely had put up coat hooks at our normal swimming spot.
It took no time at all to fill all the hooks with our swimming stuff.
What a kind thing to do.
When we moved house recently we gained a garage, which in some ways has replaced an art studio and two brick storage sheds in the last house. Inevitably it became a bit of a storage area and dumping ground during the move. It will never actually house a car.
Somehow during the move our cordless drill became disassociated from the charging port. The last place it could possibly be was the garage. And just like that the autumn project revealed itself! I can’t say it will be the most exciting of post-move projects, and would certainly have been better done before quite so many spiders had moved in, before the winter. An hour or so of reorganisation yesterday revealed the missing charger. That small victory became reason enough for me to stop the process. More effort and diligence is going to be needed to see this particular project through. Perhaps next week is the time to really sort it out…
For now I have an exhibition to prep for. How many times will I have to scuttle into the garage today to find missing art stuff!
The sun was out yesterday. I was out yesterday. All was well with the world. Have a wonderful Sunday.
I’m not actually planning to stop there. Yesterday was full of lovely people and great art which I will share as the acceptable face of Saturday. Because nobody needs to see pictures of, or read about, my ranting on the subject of traffic blockages and crazy redirections. Or framers who haven’t framed. The pursuit of Art is not always comfy but it always repays with gorgeousness. Thanks to the artists of Drawn to the Valley for soothing a grumpy driver. The amazing print below exactly represents my head after more than two hours of road congestion. Except my busy head was not filled with such beauty.
Looking and talking about art is very soothing, by the end of the day the traffic and complexities of the day were all forgotten, my life view was much calmer!
Friday in the first week of September in the second year of a pandemic feels like a strange place to be. The end of another summer of uncertainty with summer traditions modified or cancelled. One regular event of late summer that is going ahead with appropriate Covid-19 precautions is the Drawn to the Valley Open Studios event. 9 days of art and making locations, open to the public throughout the Tamar Valley.
Locations and opening times can be found in the virtual brochure on our website.
500 Pandemic Ponderings and the world is still in the grip of something that affects everyone. Currently our planet is still gripped and the Pandemic is far from over.Who knows how this part of our history will end.
@theoldmortuary, just like everyone, is in quite a different place at #500 to where we were at #1. No longer living at the actual Old Mortuary, that was never a plan!
Today though, beyond PP#500, is pretty average. We took a trip out to Tavistock in the rain. The rain gave me all the images for this blog. A rain swollen river + my silky water feature on the phone camera is as good an illustration for time passing as I could muster today.
We went to Tavistock to visit the Drawn to the Valley exhibition again and to visit the Saturday market.
We also had a Bubble Wrap popping and styling date with our grandchild in Hong Kong.
Not something we were planning to do in the street but that is where we were when the call came through. We had planned ahead and just whipped our Bubble Wrap out of a handbag and struck some poses and popped away. Passers by were certainly puzzled! A fine way to spend half an hour on a normal day with an auspicious number.