Sunday, 17 September 2017

Open Studios Visits

This is my last post on this blog because I'm leaving the committee after 9 years of being involved with Swindon Open Studios, it's been wonderful seeing the organisation grow, and of course this is just the beginning, I'm sure it will go from strength to strength.
The blog was started in 2012 by Benoit Philippe and has had 112,000 page views since then, and 768 posts. It hasn't always been exclusively about Swindon Open Studios, but I've really enjoyed writing it and posting lots of photos. I am continuing writing a blog at and ,so please have a look at those and sign up to them when you can do so. I think the newly formed kasmaty one needs some additional things before it's fully followable.
I visited 5 studios yesterday, and will give a flavour of the visits below.
I walked to all studios form St.Margaret's Road, firstly to Anthea Hilson and Mollie Gratland at Linley Close. Mollie had made the fabulous silk sail banner outside
 the open studios was held in Anthea's garage
 Here are Mollie's silk scarves
 a bag
 and vibrant delphiniums
 And some of Anthea's work.
 From there I walked to Galen View where Lamorna, Chris and son Dominic Waddell were exhibiting, 3 artists over 3 floors. I got some nice photos of father and son together, I've added two, must send the rest to them:

 I was given a guided tour of the house by Dominic and then went and took a few photos, Dominic has done quite a few portraits of his girlfriend and himself as you can see above:
 Chris has taken photos of piers and just brought a book out, I loved this wallpaper in his office
 Some photos of piers
 Lamorna makes ceramics as seen below
 and drawings
 Chris's panoramic photos of New York
 and the view from the top floor studio
 Lamorna in the centre with two visitors in the studio
 From the Waddells, I walked to see Sue Pready and Noriko Macfarlane in Sue's garage studio:
 Noriko's pottery above and below

 and more
 A visitor to the studio with Sue's cards in the background
 and Sue in the picture
 with lovely Helianthus from her garden
 more lovely things
 from there to Hannah Dosanjh also in the Mall. I've included this painting below of Posh Rupert because I've admired him for a while now. I bought a pencil case type bag with his image on to make up for the fact he'd been sold. I also sat down for a cup of tea and discovered Hannah doesn't have a Twitter account which explains why @hannahdosanjh hasn't responded to my tweets to her!!
 The pencil cases can be seen above, and below visitors
 Hannah's cards
 and a painting with Sarah's hair
 and below Hannah and Sarah
 From Hannah's onto Andrew Tucker a few doors down in the Mall with Samantha Silverton
 Above Andrew's wooden items, and below Sam's ceramics
 and her newer ceramics
 and this covetable plate.
Walking home, I thought to myself, isn't open studios wonderful?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Recent Local Additions to the Swindon Collection

 I haven't yet communicated via this blog the great news that Ken White and David Bent have both had works bought for the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
This was made possible by the Creative Wiltshire Project, they say:
'Creative Wiltshire is a Heritage Lottery Funded project running from 2014-2019 which aims to collect and celebrate the work of the county’s creative people.
The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Chippenham, is working with project partner Swindon Museum & Art Gallery and other participating museums, archives and local studies libraries to widen collections and ensure that creativity is better represented.
Wiltshire has been, and still remains, a great source of inspiration for us all.'
If you look at their acquisitions page, you can see what has been purchased via this excellent initiative.
Visiting the museum, you can see Ken's painting, The Riveters in the downstairs room as part of the Made in Swindon exhibition. The accompanying panel gives a lovely short resume of Ken's work, and says they have acquired two large paintings and three prints. it also says 'The large painting shows the riveting workshop of the GWR works and reflects Ken's ability to capture life in the Works. The painting is strongly atmospheric with deep strong shadows and active figures. And here's a photograph of it:
 The museum website has a new acquisitions page, they say:
'These new works by David Bent include a stunning landscape painting and prints by local artist David Bent.  The painting, Beach House West of Looe, from David’s Landscape Geometry series and two prints from his innovative Aerobot photo collage collection which were first exhibited at the nearby Royal International Air Tattoo.
David can be seen here beside his painting at the opening of the Lie Of The Land exhibition in the main gallery at the museum.
The exhibition which runs until 18 November is as the title suggests a landscape one, this is what they say on the museum website:
'The landscape is one of the most powerful and atmospheric themes in art. It can capture shared experiences of the land, transport us to new locales or challenge us with new interpretations of familiar scenes.
Many modern artists have depicted the landscape. They have sought to capture atmosphere and emotional response as well as trying to describe the topography of the land.
This exhibition brings together modern landscape paintings by Christopher Nevinson, Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Mary Fedden. It also explores more experimental approaches to depicting the landscape by Richard Long, Kathy Pendergast and Joe Tilson. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints and photography, dating from the 1920s to the present day.'
Both artists are taking part in Swindon Open Studios 2017. Ken took part last weekend, but David's studio is open this Sunday 17 September 11am- 5pm . If you click on the link, it will take you to the Old Town page and you will find more details there.

Monday, 11 September 2017

More SOS than Ever - Lots of Artists Opening on Wednesday 13 September

In a bid to offer more flexibility for visitors and artists, we're trialing Wednesday opening this year. Let's see how it goes, almost half the studios are opening this Wednesday 13 September.
Some are opening the 'usual' opening hours of 11-5pm, any others, I'll make a note of; I'll list them in order of their studio number:
Town Centre
1. Val Gibbons and Martin King both at Artsite, Theatre Square, SN1 1QN
2. Dona Bradley in the Central Library, SN1 1QG 10am-4pm
3. Lynette Thomas has an exhibition on the wall at The Beehive, SN1 3JS, you might want to go and have a look, nearly all sold I believe!
4. Jo McAree Eastcott Studios SN1 3JG
6. Swindon Artists Forum in the Brunel Centre,
In Highworth
9. Keith Panting is open at 15, Eastrop, SN6 7AP
In Wroughton
Mary Mathews at 14, Moormead Road, SN4 9BY 
North & East 
12. Every Cloud at Stanton Farmhouse open 10am-3pm 
15. Linda Read at 1. Lotmead Cottages, SN4 0SN
16. Anna Stowe 11, Ullswater Close, SN3 6LH
16. Sasha Stowe
20. Stratton Community Centre off Grange Drive, SN3 4JY
where Marilyn Trew Ruth Wintle and Lisa Lane
will be showing their work.
North & West
22. Naomi Cantillon also open on Friday 15 September at 11, Herschel Close, SN25 2HX 
25.  Jacquie Primrose 1, Guernsey Farmhouse, SN25 1UZ
26. Ann Parker-Griffiths 24, Southbrook St, SN2 1HE
Why not consider a trip out to Longcot on Wednesday? All three Longcot artists are open 1pm-5pm
29. Sharon Rich at Henleaze Farm next to Farmer Gows
30.Pat Elmore at Nutford Lodge on the same road, next to the King and Queen pub
31. Emma Ablitt at Priory Gate, Kings Lane, SN7 7SY
Old Town
32, Caroline Day 74, Goddard Avenue SN1 4HS
33. Chris Waddell 12, Galen View, SN1 4GF
41. 3 artists at the Swindon Evangelicla Church, 17-19, Devizes Road will also be open from 1-4pm.
They are Clare Saunders, Hazel Nicholls and Don Elliott.
44. Tim Carroll 52, St.Margaret's Road, SN3 1RX
Hope to see lots of people out on Wednesday.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Swindon Open Studios Art Draw 2017

We're very excited to announce that we're giving away £200 this year as a contribution towards an artwork of the winner's choice. All you have to do is pick up a card at one of the places you visit, and then visit 5 more venues, making sure you get it signed at each one by the artist. You then have a 'full house' and can fill in your details and post the completed form to the SOS secretary at the address given on the form by 23 September.
To stand more of a chance to win, the more entries the better, so if you visit 12 different venues, you can enter 2 forms. Terms and conditions are on the form, and the draw for the winner will be in The Beehive on Monday 2 October at 8pm.
The loyalty cards look like this:
Artist's signatures needed on the side above, and below your details before you post the card off.
Couldn't be easier could it?

More Art Trail Pictures

For various reasons, there wasn't a complete record of all the Art Trail pictures in the last blog piece about the evening we went round, so I have since been back to take more photographs. Firstly I walked past Kablooms and the Flower Basket and photographed Jacquie Primrose's garden mosaics. There are 2 butterflies and one bee. I have a bee one among the flowers in my garden where it looks fabulous, changing colour with the changing light levels in the garden.
 From there I walked to Eastcott Veterinary Clinic and hospital on Bath Road where I found The Duchess and Lord Nelson, a painting by Hannah Dosanjh
on display in the waiting room:
And then  I went to 1801 to photograph David Robinson's work, at 11am, it was closed, I was maybe too early, I'll try again later on today.
 Above Ushma Sargeant's piece in Willoby's Furniture Company shop on the corner of Wood Street. Ushma will be exhibiting in the Brunel as part of Swindon Artists Forum
 Above Susan Carr with Klimt inspired portrait in her 'Paint Me This Way!' exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery This exhibition shows how portraiture can be used to help individuals rediscover and celebrate their identity, even when facing the greatest challenges. It comprises 29 painted portraits, 6 sculptures and 80 collages, all designed collaboratively with 7 patients living with severe illness.
The last day for seeing this amazing exhibition will be Sunday 10 September until 5pm as part of open studios.
 From the museum, I went to Ray's Ice Cream in Devizes Road where Sasha Stowe's picture, 'Sunrise Over Avebury' inspired by the beautiful Avebury stone circle is hanging .
 Lots of people have seen this inspiring collection of work, and I'm hoping will come and visit open studios this weekend, 9/10 September, the middle Wednesday for some studios, and the second weekend of 16/17 September.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Photos from the Art Trail Evening

Caroline Day organised this year's Art Trail in Old Town brilliantly, with 17 businesses taking part, it's a fabulous advertisement for open studios. We celebrated the trail last night by meeting at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery at 5pm, looking at Terry Humphries' work and then proceeded to look at the work on show in Old Town.
Lots of people turned up, including the featured artists, friends and Tom Seaward reporter at the Swindon Advertiser who stayed with us for the whole trail, had a drink in the Beehive and still managed to get the photo taken outside the museum, at the beginning of the trail, and the article published online today, and in the paper tomorrow.
I took as many photos as I could, and managed to Tweet a few as well during the trail onto  @swindonopen .
 Above Terry Humphries with his 2 paintings in the shop at the museum and art gallery, and below Dona Bradley outside In-toto Kitchens with her bandstand picture just about visible in the background!
 Moving onto Willoby's Furniture Company where you can see Dona talking to Tom Seaward
 I've included this photograph because it gives an idea of how many people there were on the trail.
Next we walked down Wood St to Young's where Cheryl Willis has 2 pictures, just visible to her right as you look at the photo.
 Here's David Bent outside Deacons Jewellers, there was a problem with the fact that the picture is lit up, so either we could see David, or the picture and he opted for the picture, so it looks as though it's gone dark suddenly.
 And onto Balula's Delicatessen and Cafe where Caroline Day has her work displayed inside, I took 3 photos because she seemed convinced I'd missed something out, this was the best I think.
 It was lovely to meet Hannah Doasanjh for the first time last night, she has a painting in BellaJoJos Pet Boutique & Spa, here she is with the lovely dog.
 At Wilson's Family Butcher in the High St, we couldn't really see Naomi Cantillon's picture, but I went in this morning to buy some pork, apple and leek sausages and photographed it
 We then visited the Midcounties Cooperative and saw Anna Stowe's beautiful photograph.
 While in there we also looked at the exhibition on the main wall organised by Marilyn Trew and Ruth Wintle
 and talking of Marilyn Trew, she has 2 pictures in Minuteman Press in Newport St, across the road from the petrol station. James and Sarah Beckwith were still working, so we were able to go in and have a look at the pictures.
 We then proceeded to Kablooms and the Flower Basket where Jacquie Primrose has some mosaics, which we couldn't see because they were closed, but will photograph and add soon.
By now it was definitely time for the first drink of the evening which we enjoyed at the Hop Inn, across the road form Kablooms. Carmen B Norris has an exhibition currently in the Hop, although she's not the art trail artist featured in there, here she is below.
 The featured art trial artist in the Hop is Alex Coppock-Bunce whose work is seen below
Refreshed, we looked in Ray's Ice Cream where Sasha Stowe has a fused glass picture, another visit needed to go in and photograph it.
 We crossed the road again to look at Mollie Gratland with her silk painting in the window of The Core.
 We then walked down the 1801, thinking we could have a cocktail, but they were closed, so I photographed David Robinson, who has work in there, outside 1801.

 From there it was a short walk down to the Beehive where we met Lisa Lane who hadn't been able to join us earlier with her 2 paintings.
 and on the other side of the window, are 2 of Anthea Hilson's paintings
 Ruth Wintle's watercolours are also in the top bar at the Beehive
 and 3 of Tim Carroll's prints, although by this time, I'd stopped taking photographs of artists, so Tim isn't standing beside them.
 I'll include the Adver photo because it's very sweet and nicely organised

 Here's the link to Tom's article:
Oddly enough on the way home as we walked up Prospect Place, past The Castle, we saw a Ken White painting in a living room!!
A brilliant evening, thank you to all who joined us. One last mention for Eastcott Veterinary Clinic and Hospital who have a painting as well.