Monday, 29 August 2016

Old Town Open Studios Map

For the last 3 years, we've had a map of studios in Old Town, it helps visitors plan a way round the venues, so here's this years map:
Great isn't it?

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Jacquie Primrose's Garden Mosaics

As soon as I saw a photograph of Jacquie's mosaics, depicting irises, I wanted to go and have a look at them. I made an appointment to see Jacquie, and not having a sat nav, used Google maps to find a route there. Our Swindon maps showed Guernsey Farmhouse in the middle of fields which it used to be until an estate was built around the original farmhouse, although not so close as it might have been if newts hadn't been in the area. They have to have green corridors to survive, so there are green spaces around the old farmhouse.
It's very easy to find Guernsey Farmhouse, I went through Gorse hill, turned left by Groundwell and then drove past the Orbital Centre and took the next left and just went on and on until I reached Guernsey Lane and the farmhouse.
Jacquie's work is as vibrant as it appears in photographs, very covetable.
Here are my photos:
 They speak for themselves, and look fabulous around the lovely garden
 I like the fact they have their own hanging system.
 A close up

 And there are so many different designs which fit into the garden setting
 And here is Jacquie in her studio, with lots of work in progress in front of her
 The Crocosmias were flowering when I went round at the end of July, they looked so lovely with these colours
 And here's the iris mosaic used in the brochure.
 You can see some of these in Kablooms in Devizes Road, but it's worth going to see everything at Jacquie's house, Venue 30.
Here's her invitation:
Note: Jacquie isn't open on the first Saturday, and I mis-spelt her name and email address in the brochure.

Visiting Deborah Battaglia's New Studio

One of the advantages of being an organiser of Swindon Open Studios is that it enables me to visit people's studios in advance of the 2 open weekends, although of course you can contact artists outside open studios weekends, if you want to have a look around their studio, or after the event want to buy something you saw over the weekend.
Having known Deborah Battaglia for about 35 years, I was happy to suggest a visit to have a look at her new garden studio, and her latest work. I visited about a month ago when the sunflower painting wasn't finished, but I loved it so much, I took a photograph of it:
 Apples taken at a bit of an angle:
 Hollyhocks maybe need rotating 90 degrees?
 And Dahlias
 I also photographed last year's brochure image:
and swimmers on the wall
 and gorgeous fish
 And here's the fab studio:
 There's also a huge garden to appreciate including this delightful garden beside the studio.
 Deb is at Venue 12 on Kingsdown Road,  just past Arkells Brewery and the Kingsdown pub, and a bit further on you will find Bee Operanto at Kingsdown Park.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Last Leg of the Art Trail, finishing up in the Beehive

From in-toto Kitchens, we walked past Richard James Estate Agents where we saw the work of Terry Humphries
 There are prints of 5 paintings on display and a lovely piece about Swindon Open Studios. Great advertisement for us. Terry will be exhibiting with Susan Carr in Old Town Gardens, Venue 39, on Saturdays 3rd&10th September, and Sundays 4th&11th September from their studio in Greenmeadow, Venue 28.
 From there we began walking down Victoria Hill and went into 1801 Cocktails and Coffee for a drink and to have a look at the exhibition of linocuts by David Robinson. Here's Caroline Day looking at them
 And as you can see, there are still quite a lot of people still on the trail.
Final stop was the Beehive, where we saw the tribute print to David Morse:

 and a print of the Beehive by Tim Carroll, Tim will be showing the rest of his 100 Views of Swindon from Venue 45, in St.Margaret's Road:
We are so grateful to all those businesses who are taking part in this initiative to showcase artists' work. Because of the time we looked round, the following businesses couldn't be featured:Minuteman Press, Eastcott Vets and Kablooms, but a massive thank you to them as well.

Further Along the Art Trail

From Old Town Hardware, we had a look in Deacon's window where we saw a piece of David Bent's work:
 David Bent's studio, Venue 42, will be open the First Saturday, 3rd September, and the second Sunday 11th September from 11am-5pm.
From Deacon's we moved onto Young's of Wood Street where we saw a piece by Anna Stowe, 'Olive Grove with Poppies'. Anna will be exhibiting during open studios from her studio, Venue 14, in Liden with Sasha Stowe
 And onto Nathan Pegler in Boots' window. Here he is with his pastel of a white horse. Nathan will be at Venue 20 in Royal Wootton Bassett
 And here below, darkness is really descending, Lizzie Kendall can almost be seen in front of her painting featured in the brochure. Lizzie will be opening her studio, Venue 33, in Prospect Place both weekends for open studios.
 From Blaylocks, we walked past The core and were just able to see Marilyn Trew's work hanging on the walls. Marilyn will be exhibiting her work at the Willows, in Prospect Place, Venue 32, just up the road from Lizzie's studio.
 Further along it looks like daylight in Harmony Brides' window. Dona Bradley's drawing is beautifully lit. Dona will be in the Central Library, Venue 31.
 It must be time for the third drink of the evening by now, into The Hop Inn where Sam Silverton has a display of 2 D ceramics, standing out against the brick wall. Sam will be exhibiting from her studio at Artsite the first weekend of open studios, and with Andrew Tucker in the Mall, Venue 43, during the second weekend.
 And carrying on towards in-toto Kitchens on the corner of Victoria Hill and Wood Street where we saw work by Nadine Gould, who will be at Venue 19, Studley Grange Craft Village, where she has a studio
 there are also pieces by Noriko Macfarlane and Sue Pready in the window.
They are showing their work at Venue 41 with Molly Leslie on Okus Road
There are more ceramic pieces, but I haven't photographed them, do go and have a look at the fascinating stripey pieces.

Old Town Art Trail part 2

From the Croft Gallery, we walked along the High Street taking in GlamoRose Cake shop where Carmen B Norris has 2 pictures in the window:
 More of Carmen's work can be seen at the Central Library, Venue 31, during the first two weekends of September.
 Next to Francis George Solicitors, a few doors away from GlamoRose where we saw David Robinson's linocut for the Swindon 175 art trail  held in May this year. David will be exhinbiting form his studio in Gorse Hill, Venue 23
 On the corner of High St and Wood St, Miller & Holland Hairdressing have a selection of Franc Murphy's work on display, a painting
 and 2 sculptures. Here's Angela Atkinson taking a good look at them and asking questions I couldn't answer. To get answers, go and see Franc at Venue 3, Eastcott Studios
 Across the road from Miller & Holland is BellaJoJo's Pet Boutique & Spa where we saw 3 of Pat Elmore's pieces. Pat is also artist of the month at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
 Crossing the road again, with darkness beginning to descend, here's Sarah Church outside Run Swindon. During open studios weekends, Sarah can be found in the Central Library, Venue 31.
 Getting even more ridiculously hard to see, here's Deb Battaglia's work in Balula's. I'll put some photos of Deb's work in a separate blog post so you can get a better idea. Deb will be opening from her studio in Kingsdown, Venue 12.
 Crossing over again to Old Town Hardware, you can see the work of Christine Tipper who will be exhibiting from her studio in Liden, Venue 15
 And below Christine's work is a tangled ink abstract by Lynne Forrester who will be exhibiting from Bradenstoke Village Hall, Venue 18.
I'm going to stop there, and put the rest of the photos in Part 3.

A Walk Around the Old Town Art Trail Part 1

On Tuesday at 7pm, we gathered on a very warm, Mediterranean style evening at the Marriott Hotel to look around the artworks placed in businesses in Old Town. At this time of year, it gets dark by 8.30pm, you will see in the photos that it begins to get dark, certainly by the time I photographed Lizzie Kendal outside Blaylocks.
Here are some of the party assembled at the Marriott:
 Benoit Philippe is displaying work at the Marriott in a window to the right of the front door, here he is with his 2 paintings, one of the diving board at Coate water, and the other a still life. Benoit will be exhibiting from Venue 16, the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate. Please click on the link for more details.
 From the Marriott, it was a brisk walk to Gilberts, on the corner of Newport St and Marlborough Road, where we saw the work of Niki Harrison who will be opening at Venue 27 in Eastleaze with her husband Mike:
 Also in the window is a landscape by Olivia Frost who will be exhibiting along with 6 other artists at the Central Library:
Almost next door is Appliance World where we saw Naomi Cantillon's work; Naomi will be exhibiting from her studio in Oakhurst, Venue 24:
 From there we went to the Co-op where we saw the cafe walls adorned with Bev Greigs paintings:

 There's a huge difference to the feel of the cafe with art on the walls.
From there we walked to the Royal Oak which has been transformed into a luscious venue, here we found Susie Campbell's large paintings on the walls.
 Susie is at Venue 44 down Mill Lane
 From the Royal Oak, we walked to The Croft Gallery where we looked at Emily May's paintings, and noticed she's Artist of the Week on the gallery's website!
Emily May will be exhibiting her work at Eastcott Studios, Venue 3.