Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Ouseburn Open Studios

There's just a few days left till the start of this years Ouseburn Open Studios. Beginning this Saturday 24th November, the creative venues of the Ouseburn open their doors to the public. The event offers a unique chance to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the regions most creative artists. This year will be my first from 36 Lime Street, where I've been based for past 6 months. I took on an unworkable space on Level 5 in May, and set to work making huge structural repairs, removing and replacing mezzanines. Creating a functioning space thats inspiring to work in, and large enough to display my paintings and prints. I would love it if you could come down this weekend and take a look at my new studio, and see my recent paintings and prints. My work will also be featured in the gallery, as part of the 'New Blood' exhibition, which will showcase the newest members to 36 Lime Street. Other artists in the exhibition also include Sarah Blood, Laura lancaster, Stevie Ronnie, Laura Johnson, Theresa Easton,and Rachel Lancaster. I will be exhibiting You Were Here, a series of painted crab claws. Hope to see you this weekend. Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th, 10 - 6pm, free admission.

New paintings

I've been working on lots of new cityscapes and landscapes, inbetween working on on going commissions. I've just finished 2 Edinburgh cityscapes, which were meant for the Edinburgh Art Fair, but weren't finished in time. The first is From Arthurs Seat, the other of the Grassmarket. With Quayside Night, I've revisited some of my classic takes of the River Tyne at night. Other Road to Bamburgh is the second in a series of paintings, capturing the journey towards the coastal castle. Last month I also began working on a series of small oil paintings. A challenge, as I'd never worked in oil before, but an interesting departure from the all too familiar acrylic paint. I will be showcasing 18 of these small oils, of cityscapes and landscapes, at this weekends Open Studios. Other work will also be available.

New prints

I have several new limited edition giclee prints to add to my portfolio. I've battled with the composition of 4 Newcastle Bridges for years, in sketch form. Always challenged to get the composition just right, to show the Swing Bridge without being hidden by the High level bridge (in the foreground) . I'm finally happy with the result. The original painting is now in Australia. My latest print, (being printed right now), is Summer Road to Bamburgh. I sold it at last years Ouseburn Open Studios, when I was exhibiting with Mushroom Works, but only recently got it back to get a good print of it. It's one of my favourite paintings, and much thanks to Steve and Shirley for letting me borrow it. Other recent prints include Ouseburn Dusk, Revisited and 2 Newcastle Bridges, where I wanted to return to some of my early, favourite views of Newcastle. The originals paintings can be found at the Balman @ Discovery Museum exhibition.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ouseburn Open Studios

24th & 25th November. The last weekend in November see the creative venues of the Ouseburn open their doors to the public. The Ouseburn Open Studios offers a unique chance to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the regions most creative artists. This will be my 7th year taking part in the Ouseburn Open Studios. previously I've been based at the Mushroom Works, but this will be my first from 36 Lime Street. 36 Lime Street is the oldest and largest studio group in the North East, housing over 40 artists, makers and designers. I look forward to being a part of this years event, and hope you can make it. It would be great if you can come down to my new studio, and see my recent paintings and prints. My work will also be featured in the Gallery, as part of the 'New Blood exhibition, which will showcase the new members to 36 Lime Street. I'll be taking part alongside Sarah Blood, Stevie Ronnie and Laura Johnston. Saturday & Sunday, 10 - 6pm. Free admission.

Studio @ 36 Lime Street

I moved my studio to 36 Lime Street five months ago, just in time for the Late Shows (the late night cultural event around Newcastle). The space needed a ton of work doing to it, and within the first month, I had already stripped it back. Stage 1 involved removing an unsafe mezzanine floor, fixing plasterboards to walls and ceiling, and replacing all the electrics. The studio's much more spacious now, since removing a whole floor and knocked four rooms into one, but it still doesn't function as well as it could. So in a couple of weeks, I'm commencing Stage 2, which involves constructing another smaller mezzanine. This change will bring order to the space, and help create a better working environment, aswell as give me plenty more room. There's also the addition of a pool table, which helps when I'm taking a break from painting. It should all be finished in time for this years Ouseburn Open Studios.

To Wooler and Back Again

An Exhibition of Landscapes and Cityscapes by Jim Edwards and Natalie Bell. Mushroom Works Gallery Exhibition from 20th - 28th October 2012. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 - 4pm. By appointment from Monday - Friday. Preview 19th October, 7 - 9pm. Last year, Jim and Natalie returned to Newcastle, after a year spent in Northumberland, which inspired a more rural direction in both their painting. Living on the edge of the Cheviots allowed them to immerse themselves in the landscape, to fully experience and explore the changing environment. "Through the changing seasons, it was the agricultural changes to the landscape that were the most dramatic, and seemed to make my surroundings come alive. I was inspired by the contrast between the flat angular farmlands and the gentle roll of the hills, yet they flowed seemlessly together." Natalie "Being accustomed to the complex structures of a cityscape, it took some time to interpret the open landscape. I became drawn to the man-made structures in the Northumberland landscape, of isolated farmhouses and the network of geometric walls stretched over hillsides." Jim Following their return, they have reconnected with the city, the experiences of last year have inspired them, and allowed them to appreciate both environments from a new perspective. This exhibition is a showcase of their new work, and a visual record of their experiences.

'Northern Artists' Exhibition

Balman gallery @ Discovery Museum.
Opening weekend Saturday 13th October, 10 - 5pm. Meet the Artist between 12 - 2pm. Sunday 14th October, 2 - 5pm. VIP preview 18th October, 6 - 8pm. Balman Gallery is pleased to be opening their new gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, Balman Gallery @ Discovery Museum. The first exhibition , "Northern Artists" features some of the best artists from the North East including Jim Edwards, Mary Ann Rogers,Gavin Penn, Natalie Bell, Sue Moffit and Alistair Lovett. I'll be showcasing my recent paintings and will be discussing my work, during the opening weekends 'Meet the Artist' event. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

New Objects - Crab Claws

Continuing the nautical theme, I've also been painting Crab Claws. The work stems from a series of portraits I did on Snail Shells called You Were Here. I was interested in how the shell represents home and protection, but also identity and a sense of self. The empty shell becomes a marker, a reminder of what was here and what's been left behind. Painting the surface of the shells emphasises the anatomy and structure of the crabs external skeletons, and redefines their purpose as objects for display. They also make for a very satisfying surface to paint on. That is after I've drilled holes in them, and left them outside for a few months, till nature hollows them out.

New Painting

I took a break from painting cityscapes, between working on commissions, and decided to paint some fish. Alot of fish. The novelty soon wore off after painting fish no.25, but stuck with it. It's hard to make out the image from this thumbnail, but the original has more clarity. We all Float Down Here is painted on a 31 x 31'' canvas, and available to buy for £1800. Prints are also available. For those wanting to know, there are: 2628 fish, 1 shark, 14 sea snakes, 1 eel, 6 jelly fish, 3 octopi, a message in a bottle, 1 car tyre, 1 life ring, 2 squid, 2 rays, 24 starfish, 1 fish skeleton, 2 seahorses, 1 fairground fish in a bag, 2 molluscs, 1 turtle and 1 human.

New Prints

I've been working on a new range of limited edition Giclee prints, which include: Towards The Tyne Bridge, We All Float Down Here, Langdale Pikes II and Last Light on Hills Over Windermere. Printed on Breathing Colour Elegance Velvet 300lb archival paper. Print run of 145, image size 16 x 16'', £265 framed. I painted Towards the Tyne Bridge in 2008 and sold it the same year at the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair. It's one of my favourite paintings, and I've been kicking myself for not getting it printed. I recently got in contact with the owners, who kindly let me borrow their painting, to produce the limited edition prints. Thanks to the Hughes family for their help.
The originals of Langdale Pikes II and Last Light on Hills Over Windermere are available from the OCG Gallery in Ambleside. Hopefully I will have more prints over the coming year, including London, Edinburgh, York, Low Newton By the Sea, Alnmouth and New York. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Late Shows

The Late Shows, NewcastleGatesheads legendary free culture crawl, returns for its 6th year on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May 2012. This year I'll be based in my new studio at 36 Lime Street, whereas previous years I had a studio at The Mushroom Works. It's a great opportunity to see my new work space and discuss my work over a glass of wine. There are quite a few flights of stairs to get to my studio on the top floor, but I'll make it worth your while. Perhaps I should run a piggy back service. Collaboration is the theme at 36 Lime Street, as the resident artists invite you to step into their studios, and contribute to some communal work. As part of the event, I'll be working on a large canvas painting of Newcastle. And I'm inviting anyone to come along and help me paint the cityscape. To add there own mark of colour. Who knows, it may help me see Newcastle in a different light, using a different colour palette. Hope you can join me in a painting.

New Studio - 36 Lime Street

Following last years move to Wooler, then back to Newcastle, I'm moving studio once again. Staying in Newcastle, I'm relocating to 36 Lime Street in the heart of the Ouseburn. I've spent 8 good months at Kingsland Church Studios, but ready for a change, and to put some roots down in a new space. It's a great big studio that needs alot of work, from repairing the roof, removing a floor, and eventually putting in a mezzanine, but it's got great potential. I'll be moving in over the next couple of weeks, fixing the place up, and seeing how the studio inspires me to paint some exciting new work.