26 October 2012

Discovered Artists - Part 3

Over the last couple of weeks I have been sharing with you some artists that we recently discovered while on holiday in Dorset. If you missed those, you can catch up here and here.

This week is a bit of a treat, as I showcase some of our most favourite finds which were all discovered in one amazing gallery - Lazyhill Gallery. The name may seem familiar because we had recommended Lazyhill to you in our first post from our holiday, here.

All images sourced from Lazyhill Gallery - lazyhillgallery.co.uk - or the artists' websites themselves (see below).

1  Sarah Jane Brown, 'Detached' and 'Boat with Anchor'sarahjanebrown.com

Sarah Jane's work is a very interesting mix of driftwood, wire and paper, working together to create all kinds of curious little scenes. I just love the quirkiness of her work, and the fragility of it too. She also has some really beautiful full wire work, which is definitely worth a look at too.

2  Sally Pawson, 'Leaf Stud Small' and 'Bangles'sallypawson.co.uk

Sally Pawson caught my eye with her vibrant, funky jewellery which is unlike any that I have ever seen before. I love the clean, sleek designs, which are so fresh and modern. I'm not a big jewellery collector, so things have to really grab my attention, and these certainly did.

3  Dr Bean, 'Owl' and 'Shoes'drbeansbags.co.uk

There are many bags similar to this in the collection by Dr Bean - each has it's own little saying on it, and they come in a variety of colourways and shapes. Bags seem to be more popular than ever at the moment, but I thought that these were really different and charming.

4  Gemma Wightman, 'Tealight' and 'Espresso Cup & Saucer'gemmawightmanceramics.com

I first laid eyes on the tealight by Gemma Wightman, and fell in love with it. Her ceramic pieces are so dainty and soft and I just love the gentle hint of turquoise that has been taken through each piece. She has many more pieces to be adored - each so elegant and charming - so do take a look.

5  Clare Mahoney, 'Medium Porcelain Heart' and 'Medium Porcelain Pebble'crmceramics.co.uk

Lastly, are the stones by Clare Mahoney. Painted stones have become quite popular of late, but these aren't just painted, they are impressed, giving a very tactile relief to the designs. The plant and flower patterns are just so beautiful, and I love the tranquil feel of the colour that has been incorporated too.

Next week will be my final post on the discovered artists from our holiday, and again, it will be based on a completely different medium to what you have seen so far.

24 October 2012

Halloween Inspiration

Halloween…. what does it mean to you? To me it is all about imagination and creativity, and it is a time of year that I feel at my most creative….

From special themed food & drink and atmospheric decorations, to special centrepieces and moody lighting, there really are a lot of ways that you can transform your home into an explosion of your imagination. Let this inspire you and your own private celebration of All Hallows' Eve - however big
or small.

Image Sources

Halloween Cocktail Table - amazingdesignforless.wordpress.com
Bat Decorations - countryliving.com
Pumpkin Vases - pinterest.com
Spooky Bunting - diynetwork.com
Pumpkin Candles - rebeccacalagna.blogspot.co.uk
Halloween Pom Poms - apartmenttherapy.com
Halloween Candy Bar - amazingdesignforless.wordpress.com

19 October 2012

Discovered Artists - Part 2

Last week, I shared the first of this series of posts on artists that we recently discovered on our travels
in and around Weymouth. If you missed that, you can catch up here.

This week, I'm sharing a couple of artists with you, who we discovered on a visit to a recommended exhibition, which was housed at the Allsop Gallery, Dorset. The exhibition housed a range of mixed media, and from the work below, you will see just how varied it was. These two particular artists stood out to us.

Tiffany Scull

Tiffany Scull - 'Humming Bird', 'Yellow Bird', '2 Wrens', 'Sun Bird' and 'Nested Bird'.
(All images sourced directly from www.tiffanyscullstudiopotter.com)

We fell in love with these beautiful watercolour paintings as soon as we saw them. They are soft, detailed and romantic, and the character of the birds has been captured beautifully.

Tiffany not only produces watercolour paintings, but clay work too, where her detailed designs are transformed onto beautiful and striking vases, plates and lamp bases. Pop on over to her website to find out more about her, and to see more of her majestic work.

Steve Barrett

Steve Barrett - Animal & Bird Sticks
(All images sourced directly from www.walkingandworkingsticks.co.uk)

Both Jay and I have a huge appreciation of wood work, and so when we set our eyes upon Steve's work, we were really impressed - what a master at his craft! We loved the detail and shape that he gained with his beautiful hand carvings, depicting the beauty and the character of the wildlife so wonderfully.

Steve has won a number of awards in competitions both locally to him and nationally, and these are just a few examples of his vast portfolio. To see and find out more, head on over to his website.

Next week I will be sharing even more amazing artists with you, from other galleries that we visited on our inspiring travels.

12 October 2012

Discovered Artists - Part 1

Last week, I shared a few great shops / galleries that we discovered on our recent travels in and around Weymouth. If you missed that, you can catch up here.

This week, I want to start sharing with you some artists that we also discovered on our travels, through a number of other great galleries that we visited in Dorset. This is the first of a few posts, since we found many gems!

Leighton Gallery, Weymouth

The Leighton Gallery houses the magnificent work of two particular artists that caught my attention when we visited. The first being the gallery owner himself, Martin J Leighton, and the other being the late artist Trevor Lawrence.

Martin J Leighton

Martin J Leighton - 'The Gathering', 'Submission', 'Gwen in Laced Blouse'.
(All images sourced directly from www.leightongallery.co.uk)

Martin Leighton may very well be the best figurative artist I have ever seen. When my eyes first found his work - the original of 'The Gathering' - I was blown away. Like with any work of art, the pictures I have displayed here really are nothing compared to the real things - especially because they are low resolution - but I'm confident that you can nevertheless get a really good feel for how good Martin is.

So what is it that I love so much about his work? Above all, I would have to say the tones that he manages to capture with his brush - the contrast between light and dark, and the depth of shine and shadow. As you can see from the bottom two pictures, he thoroughly enjoys painting women - particularly naked women. In fact, his gallery was mainly decorated with that kind of subject. But when you see how truly brilliant he is at capturing the tones and intricacies of the body, you can really appreciate why.

Having worked within a Fine Art course for 2 years, I can really appreciate figurative painting - it is something I myself enjoyed most. It may be somewhat down to my own appreciation of this subject that I find Martin's figurative work so captivating, but nevertheless, I would challenge anyone to look at these magnificent pieces of work and not be overwhelmed by his ability. Martin has quickly become my favourite figurative painter - and more so every time I look at his work.

I must lastly mention that although Martin clearly specialises in figurative painting, he also paints landscapes, seascapes, still life and wildlife - and very well too. His talents are by no means restricted
to the figurative style - he is a certain all rounder!

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence - 'Windows of Light', 'Stairway to Nowhere', 'Making the Best of it'.
(All images sourced directly from www.leightongallery.co.uk)

Trevor Lawrence really caught my imagination in the gallery - again, these pictures really do not do the work justice, compared to the real things. I was stood, transfixed for many minutes, absorbed in the busy, colourful paintings.

The inspiration for his work is said to come from the beautiful Dorset coastline and events such as kite flying festivals and the Weymouth carnival. Other influences include his own life experiences and his own creative mind, which I must say, sit much better with me, since his paintings only spell out one thing to me; Asia.

I was very surprised to read about his influences, as I had imagined from his work that he had travelled well, and had a deep fondness of Asia - it is funny how the viewer can interpret pieces of work so differently to how they were perhaps intended.

The paintings tell me about the shanty towns that you might find in India and the like - the slums even. But it is very happy - the activity, the vibrancy, and the atmosphere of the pictures... even the beautiful sunset. It astounded me that up-close, they looked like a vast mass of colourful little marks, yet as I stepped back, I saw form and definite structure - figures jumped out at me from every nook and cranny.

The sad fact is that I may never find out why I see Asia, and it is a fact that makes these paintings so much more valuable than they already are. We were very sad to learn that Trevor recently passed away, which is a tragic loss I think.

It isn't very often that I find an artist so different to any other I have seen before, and one that captivates my imagination so much. I feel better travelled to have seen this work - and honoured really, considering they will now be in short supply.

Trevor is right next to Martin at the top of my favourite painters list, but obviously for very different reasons. If I could ever own just one piece of their original works, I would be one happy lady!

Next week I will be sharing more discovered artists with you, from other galleries that we visited on our inspiring travels.

05 October 2012

Dorset - A creative's guide...

Sunny, creative Dorset - this is where we spent last week, on our break. It was much like St Ives for creative buzz, and we visited many brilliant galleries, exhibitions and shops, meeting some really great people along the way. Here, in the first of a small series of posts from our travels in Dorset, I want to share with you a few little gems that we would highly recommend to any creative people visiting the region.

Before we went away, we had done some careful research on the hidden gems of Weymouth and the surrounding area - hidden because they are not huge tourist sights. Since the following gems were all found on blogs rather than tourist information sites, we thought it was really important to carry on this exposure to places like this - they deserve to be found and enjoyed by everyone.

The Full Gamut Gallery, Weymouth

The Full Gamut is situated just outside the town of Weymouth, and what a little gem it is. Arriving in the cold of late afternoon, we stepped into a warm, cosy, creative space. It was one of those shops where your eyes don't know where to look first - just brimming with goodies from local artists.

Not only is The Full Gamut a creative gallery, but a coffee shop too, and the talented owner Kimberley, even makes her own amazing cakes to sell with her drinks. Of course we settled down to rest my heavy aching self, and enjoyed a hot drink - complete with a huge chunk of cake to take back to our cottage for the evening.

We talked to Kimberley for a long while - about her shop, local creatives, other local galleries and places to visit, and about art in general. She is such an interesting person to talk to and was such a pleasure to meet. We hope to have made a valuable contact in The Full Gamut, as a fantastic independent company, and a fellow creative.

If you are at all creative, or if you simply appreciate a tasty beverage / chunk of cake in quirky surroundings, The Full Gamut belongs at the top of your Weymouth to-do list.

Lazyhill Gallery, Abbotsbury

Lazyhill Gallery is situated in the peaceful, chocolate box village of Abbotsbury. We had been recommended to visit this gallery by a couple of local shops that we had struck up friendly conversation with - there are so many of these around.

It is a really beautiful, fresh and modern gallery - a space for local artists to sell their precious work.
The owner Rachel, was a pleasure to meet - someone who really appreciates quality and creativity. Luckily for us, we joined the list of creatives appearing in Lazyhill Gallery, as Rachel became one of our new stockists for our 'Garden Bird' range. We couldn't be more thrilled to be stocked in such a perfect place for our cards.

Again, Lazyhill Gallery is a must-see for creatives visiting the area. In fact, Abbotsbury itself is a gem
of a village and reminded us very much of the Cotswolds.

Dansel Craftwork Gallery, Abbotsbury

The Dansel Gallery sits just down the road from Lazyhill Gallery in Abbotsbury, and is deceivingly vast inside. Everywhere, carefully sculptured wooden treats adorn the walls - from gifts and kitchenware, to amazing children's toys and home furnishings.

It is always exciting to come across creatives that are just so amazing at their craft, and the use of wood is such an exciting, natural and quality material to work with. These are the very things that attracted Jay and I to visit this gallery.

The Rural Farm Shop Company Ltd, Wareham

Moving away slightly from the galleries here, but we had to tell you all about this wonderful shop. Obviously we are very much into local produce, and this was a perfect place to visit to get a taste of
the area.

The Rural Farm Shop is very new, and a real treat for visitors. With a spacious and modern-farm-style interior, it feels very clean and exciting inside - this is in great contrast to the outside, since it is situated on a real working farm, with chickens roaming free, and hungry pigs to be fed! Just as exciting of course, but a little more rustic!

For us, their star product was their hampers, which we thought were genius. The hampers contain a mixture of local products - from fudge and crackers to Jam and drink - and also contain a map with information on where each of the products come from, within Dorset. We thought this was a
wonderful idea!

Also inside is a gorgeous cafe area, where delicious drinks, cakes and snacks can be enjoyed.
The owner was a pleasure to chat to, and we highly recommend a visit for a real taste of Dorset.

The next post in this small series will share some fantastic artists that we discovered through a small number of other galleries and exhibitions that we visited in Dorset.

Since releasing this post, Kimberley at The Full Gamut gallery has been in touch to inform me that their opening times have changed. The gallery will now be open at weekends only from now until Christmas - please pop on over and show her your support, which she would really value.
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