Under the Spotlight: Jane Pinder

This time in ‘Under the Spotlight’ we have been talking to talented local jeweller Jane Pinder. Her work is very much inspired by natural forms and she often takes a mixed media approach to her pieces which gives her jewellery a unique and very wearable style.

Jane Pinder web

‘I am a 3D thinker so I always prefer to work in metal and will try some designs out in copper and brass before working in silver. I love working in silver although I do love textiles and free motion machine embroidery too. I sometimes incorporate them into my work to add some colour.’

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

Very negative, as the art teacher only encouraged the artistic ones so I dropped art as soon as I could and pursued more academic subjects like chemistry and physics.

 

What would your school report have said about your art?

She tries but does not have natural ability.

 

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I liked knitting and in my twenties made lots of knitted mohair picture jumpers making up my own designs. About five years ago I decided I would like to make silver jewellery and took a qualification based evening class and gained a distinction for this course. I was hooked. I loved making jewellery although I wasn’t a natural and found it really hard to start off with. I am a very determined person and once I put my mind to something I will not give up. My sketchbook was very poor and I still find getting my ideas down on paper hard.

The work bench

The work bench

 

What or who has inspired you over the years?

Jewellers I admire are Charles Lewton Brain for his fold-forming – hammering and forging folded sheet metal, then opening out the piece to reveal the three-dimensional form and a Spanish jeweller, Carlos Codina for his casting.

 

What Artists do you admire?

I admire the work of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists Barbara Hepworth who created sculptures in bronze, stone and wood. Her Sculpture garden in St Ives is a tranquil and inspiring place to be. I also love the work of Antoni Gaudi who was influenced by forms in nature and this is reflected by his use of curved construction stones and twisted iron sculptures. Gaudi also adorned many of his buildings with coloured tiles arranged in mosaic patterns.

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

My favourite work is a range I have been working on for the last couple of months and I am still expanding the idea. It has developed from something I made last year and I have now modified the design.

I love the work of Paul Wells, an artist blacksmith of Anvil ironworks in Brighton. He does large metal sculptures of flowers and plants. http://www.anvilironworks.co.uk/

Another place I feel inspired by is the CASS sculpture foundation at Goodwood. It is very peaceful and amazing to walk around the sculpture.

I love trying out new things and learning new skills and techniques.  I am starting on a sculpture course in the Autumn and looking forward to working on a larger scale.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

Applying for my sponsor mark and registering with the The Goldsmiths’ CompanyAssay Office was a highlight for me so I can get my work hallmarked (silver above a certain weight, legally has to be hallmarked). I am proud to show my work on art trails and in galleries and it amazes me when people want to buy my work. It is a real achievement that people consider me an artist when I do not have an artistic background. It‘s not something I even wanted until quite recently! A couple of months ago I had an image of a piece of jewellery accepted for the Creative Waves Art on the Pier project.

Working on Silver

Working on Silver

More Silver Work

More Silver Work

What have you sacrificed for your art?

Money, I now work part time so I have time to work on my jewellery and new ideas. This is very self-indulgent but my husband has been really supportive. I am at an age where it is quality of life rather than material things that count.

 

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Believe in yourself.

Being encouraged to get involved with the Worthing artist open shop and art trail has also helped me a lot.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Go for it and follow your dream.

How do you start a piece of work?

It can be a quick sketch or it might be a sample paper or metal mock-up of the piece in a base metal. I work in a very spontaneous way. When making jewellery you need to keep cleaning up pieces after soldering in a ‘pickle’ solution and this takes time so inevitably you work on more than one piece at a time. I often go off on a tangent and start working on something else. This means sometimes I have lots of half-finished pieces and have to stop and finish them off!

Jane will practise on copper with her design ideas..

Jane will practise on copper with her design ideas..

 

When is it finished?

It is finished when I am pleased with the end result. I have gone back on designs and modified and changed them to make them better.

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

I think it would have to be ‘Carpe Diem’.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I usually have the radio on for background music when I am in my workshop although I am quite noisy when hammering, sawing and soldering.

Making some noise..

Making some noise..

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I love working in silver although I do love textiles and free motion machine embroidery too. I sometimes try and incorporate them into my work to get some colour. I love printing on fabric and stitching into the surface. I have combined some of my textile work with some of my metal work to make pictures.

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

No.

 

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

No, jewellery for me will never be more than an enjoyable hobby. It is a very competitive field and not many people are able to survive just by making jewellery, they do other things as well. I always strive to be better and more accomplished and it is not often I say I am truly happy with something, I am a bit of a perfectionist at heart and set myself unrealistic targets and then get demoralised if things don’t turn out how I imagine.

 

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Drawing. I am a 3D thinker so I always prefer to work in metal and will try some designs out in copper and brass before working in silver.

Tools of the trade....

Tools of the trade….

 

Thank you Jane, just loved taking pictures of you at work…. 🙂

To find out more about Jane and her gorgeous work visit her website link below…

 www.naturallysilver.co.uk

 

 

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Under the Spotlight….Tom Freer

 “I like to make things.  Sometimes they are good enough to look at.”

Tom Freer Web

 

‘Thomas Freer was born on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, famous for its stone quarries and fossils. Spending his early childhood surrounded by traditional sculptures in stone taught him the importance of immersing oneself in a material and understanding it entirely.’

 

 

Tom now lives in Worthing, where he is a trustee of the Worthing Arts Trail, involved with Brighton Open Houses and works alongside Creative Waves Community Arts. His work is highly sought after by individual collectors, and has found its way to New York, Rome and Berlin to name but a few, whilst being featured in exhibitions around the world. Thomas’s next exhibition is scheduled for Summer 2014, at a venue to be revealed soon.

 

We at Worthing Art have been to photograph Tom at work and ask him a few questions….

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

My art teacher when I was 7 really believed in me. She facilitated my curiosity and never put up barriers, even though I often strayed from the brief. I owe her so much but never got the chance to say thanks. She gave her life to teaching art, in the end quite literally.

 

What would your school report have said about your art?

I have one here. It reads “…yet despite Thomas’s apparent lack of ability to focus on anything or anyone for more than three seconds, in that time he is capable of producing some quite reasonable work.”

Cutter used for those cute Gulls....

Cutter used for those cute Gulls….

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I took degrees in art and engineering, with the ambitious goal of understanding both the abstract and the concrete. I was eventually felled by applied mathematics and nearly gave up altogether. Fortunately I have good friends who picked me up and gave me a good shake. Everything since I have taught myself via friends, inspiring characters and the internet.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

The craftsmen who work from the stone quarries in Dorset where I grew up study a single material for their whole lives. Their skill, knowledge and dedication inspire me to concentrate on what is in my hands and ignore the shiny things that are all around.

What Artists do you admire?

I admire anyone who challenges preconceptions, challenges themselves, challenges me; anyone who ever made a mark on a piece of rock with a burnt stick or embarks on an intimate study of social beliefs in order to tear them apart.

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

My granddad had an unsigned painting of some blue-green stormy waves which mesmerised my entire childhood. I secretly tucked a piece of paper with my name on it into the back of the frame in order to claim it one day.

My favourite piece of my own work is a small ceramic sculpture which my mum mended and saved for me. I don’t remember making it but apparently I was five and cried a lot when it broke.

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What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I’m cautious of pride but always happy when a piece of work brings joy, especially in unexpected ways. A rather sad lady once bought an entire flock of paper seagulls for her Christmas tree so she could finally let go of a generation of bequeathed decorations. We both had tears when she left.

What have you sacrificed for your art?

Sometimes money has been short and I’ve missed out on fun things my friends have afforded; and my family openly wondered when I was going to get a ‘proper’ job. But none of this has really mattered to me deeply and I’m pleased to be able to say I am sticking to what I believe in. Also I didn’t really notice when a girl I loved left me during a particularly intense bout of painting. I just looked up one day and she had gone, which was sad.

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Keep at it, you’ll improve.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Stop procrastinating and get on with it. And get rid of your tv, it’s far too distracting. Also, don’t listen to me. Lastly, when you approach a gallery or a shop for the first time, hold your head up high and be bold. Don’t do that awkward, shuffling, shy thing; you’re better than that.

How do you start a piece of work?

Usually by doing the washing up.

Then the laundry, tidying up, dusting, take the rubbish out, clean the bathroom, make the bed. Weed the patio, oil the bike, build a shed… you get the picture. Everything has to be tidy before I can concentrate, otherwise my mind… ooh look, a beetle with only five legs!

When is it finished?

I have ruined countless projects by obsessing over unnecessary detail so now I try and stop working on a piece the moment I realise I’m fiddling.

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Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

The words I try to live by are: Focus, work hard, be kind, have fun.

 

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I mostly work in silence and my studio is dark and quiet. I can’t have the radio on, because the talking distracts me too much. Occasionally I listen to deep filthy house with the volume turned up loud, and then I dance and paint and laugh at myself.

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What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I have a generalised worry that my creativity will run out suddenly and without warning, so I tend to work in materials that provide rapid results. When I’m painting I use acrylics which I mix with chalk dust and acetone to speed up the drying time; if I’m sculpting I use accelerated resins and composites. Right now I’m working with the heating turned up full because this so-called fast-set plaster takes up to an hour to cure and that just won’t do.

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

My beloved ‘Art Box’ is a treasure chest of collected items since I was born. I have my first nappy pin (perfect for unblocking glue nozzles), a set of tiny screwdrivers from a cracker (general spectacle repairs), school reports, my dad’s old stopwatch, some dried-out platignum ink cartridges, a protractor, a huge mobile phone from the eighties, coins from Germany and Thailand… The box is a physical map of my life so far and I take it everywhere I live.

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Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I’m making a living from my art, which is part one of the dream. But my good friends and relatives keep moving to more and more exotic places as we get older, so I have to keep upping my game to be able to see them as often as I’d like. My aim is to be able to balance work and travel, which I don’t think is unreasonable.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Although it’s not particularly artistic of me to admit this, I do try and avoid conflict. There are plenty of admirable artists who provide intellectual contradiction or vulgar statements and whilst I enjoy having my balance upset in many respects, I prefer to play with harmonious aesthetics and simple observations.

Thank you Tom, it was a real pleasure to photograph you at work and so interesting. If you would like to see more about Tom Freer then visit the links below or you can meet him in his Studio next to Coast Cafe.  

www.studiofreer.com

https://www.facebook.com/studiofreer

 

 

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Under the Spotlight….Erica Sturla

“I loved watching Tony Hart as a child, I think he (and Morph) may have influenced my work hugely.”

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“Erica creates colourful scenes and funky characters from polymer clay”

It’s difficult to appreciate the work that goes into one of Erica’s pieces of art as they are so effective, the details can be taken for granted.  Erica plans, paints and makes to create her scenes……..

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

I always remember Art as being my favourite lesson and art teachers as the most interesting ones, so very positive memories!

What would your school report have said about your art?

Enthusiastic and hard-working, but often in too much of a hurry to finish and start the next thing.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I studied Fashion illustration and journalism at art college.

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 What or who has inspired you over the years?

My mother always painted, she took us to art galleries, exhibitions and I even remember her taking us on residential art holidays as children. I’m not sure we appreciated it at the time, though! I loved watching Tony Hart as a child, I think he (and Morph) may have influenced my work hugely.

What Artists do you admire?

I love the work of Beryl Cook, Quentin Blake and Anita Klein. They seem to achieve colour, form, movement effortlessly and always manage to inject a little (or a lot) of humour. Recently, I’ve been admiring Andrew Macara’s paintings – his treatment of light and shade is masterful!

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

That’s almost impossible to answer as I’m always finding new ones. If I had to choose an old favourite of mine, it would probably be “A Walk in the Park”. If I had to choose a favourite from another artist’s work, “Sabotage” by Beryl Cook is pure genius and “Children running” by Andrew Macara, is simple but beautiful.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I suppose I’m most proud of my greetings card ranges. Highlights would be the happy reactions of people to their portrait commissions and having my digital illustration, “The Menagerie in the Tower” shortlisted for the Serco Illustration Prize 2014 and having it sold in the London Transport Museum shop.

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What have you sacrificed for your art?

A neat and tidy house. In all honesty, I would never have had that anyway!

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

If you love it and believe in it, just keep doing it. If you keep doing it, you’ll get good at it.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

As above, but also to learn to use criticism, rather than be deflated by it.

How do you start a piece of work?

For a painting or portrait commission, I start by making a few small thumbnail sketches of composition, then a full size plan before starting in the clay. It’s always clay first, paint second. For digital work, I just get stuck into drawing straight on to the virtual page. The delete button is a beautiful thing!

When is it finished?

When I say it is.

Erica blogweb

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

Not really. Well, it sounds cheesy, but maybe “spread a little happiness”

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I always work to Radio 2. Ken Bruce and Steve Wright are my favourite companions during the day. If I’m working into the night, lately it’s been Paolo Nutini, Fleetwood Mac or Paloma Faith.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Polymer clay. I love it because the possibilities are endless and the results are often surprising.

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

I still use my A1 drawing board every day that I’ve had since college. I don’t think it’s lucky, but it’s very useful.

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I strive never to have a dull day job ever again. Ever.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Depicting people without smiles.

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Erica it was an absolute pleasure to photograph and watch you at work…just love those little people!  Thank you 🙂

To see more about Erica and her work visit:

http://www.ericasturla.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erica-Sturla-Original-Art/279603642156776

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Under the Spotlight……Peter Allwright

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“The main aim of my paintings is to produce a feelgood factor. Illustrating warm summer days at the seaside is a great way to achieve this as a lot of people will have fond memories of days spent at the beach and hopefully my paintings will remind them. A feature of my style is the crowds of people, painted in strong, bright oil colours.”

Peter has work in many galleries nationwide, bringing his wonderful, joyful paintings to an increasingly large audience. He has certainly brought the ‘feelgood factor’ to us at WorthingArt and we feel very privileged to have been allowed a look at some work in progress.

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

I only have positive memories. Art was my favourite subject.

What would your school report have said about your art?

It would have said that I should put as much energy into my other subjects!

 Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I am self-taught, although I have attended several adult art courses over the years.

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 What or who has inspired you over the years?

My art teachers have always inspired me. My wife Mandy has also been a huge inspiration to me. Without her help and support I would never have been so successful.

 What Artists do you admire?

I have always admired Lowry. I also like the impressionist artists like: Monet, Sisley, and Pissarro. Another big favourite of mine is Edward Hopper.

 What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

A favourite piece of my own artwork is Pier and Prom, which was my first oil painting in the Naïve style. With regards to another artist’s work, Chalk Cliffs on Rugen, by Caspar David Friedrich is a painting that I love looking at and anything by Edward Hopper.

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 What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I’m proud of getting my oil paintings into various art galleries around the Country. Also being recognised by art buyers, especially when one art collector came to my studio and bought two large originals on the spot. Being asked to exhibit with the ABNA at the prestigious St Ives Society of Artists, Cornwall was a nice achievement.

 What have you sacrificed for your art?

Weekends with my family, although I always try to make sure we all go out for a walk in the woods or along the seashore with our dog, whenever possible.

 What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Accept rejection as part of the creative process. Also to make sure that as an artist one markets oneself as much as one creates. Without marketing, no one gets to know of your work.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Accept rejection, learn from constructive criticism and move on. Get yourself known.

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 How do you start a piece of work?

I always start with a quick thumbnail sketch. I then take photos for reference and build up a detailed drawing (to the canvas size) on my computer, using Photoshop. I print and trace over the major details and then transfer these direct to the canvas.

 When is it finished?

Usually when I have tired of adding all the little people!

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Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

No, not really. I just try my best to instill a ‘feel good’ factor into my paintings.

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I like to listen to music whilst I am painting. My taste is quite eclectic, so anything goes, depending on my mood. My wife will tell you that she always knows when I am actually painting, for I will usually be whistling along to music. Conversely, I prefer silence when I am coming up with the actual idea and initial detailed drawings.

 What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Oil. I tried acrylics but I found they dried too fast for me. If I need to speed up the drying time with my oils, then I use Liquin.

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

No, I haven’t.

Although this chair has been with me a very long time..

Although this chair has been with me a very long time..

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

Yes, I am living my dream through my art. I believe it was what I was born to do.

 Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Conflict, sadness, suffering, etc  I believe there is enough of such things in real life, so to counter balance this I aim to put a feel good factor of happiness and sunshine into my paintings and hopefully by association into other people’s lives.

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Thank you Peter what a pleasure to meet with you in your lovely studio and capture you at work, just had to finish the interview with a splash of colour… 🙂

To see more about Peter and his work visit:

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Under the Spotlight……Sarah Sepe

My practice has become a series of explorations in time and space where light has become a material to be worked with and is an integral part of the more haptic manifestations.”

Sarah Sepe. webtif

This week we will show you Sarah Sepe in her studio. Her work is a beautiful and an inspirational take on traditional textile techniques. She ‘knits’ with drawn line, with paper yarn, with wire and in doing so she draws our attention to the light and space within.

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On the surface, knitting is ostensibly an ordinary activity associated with the domestic sphere ….yet because knitting is so firmly associated within popular culture through its iconology and iconography, it is an ideal genre to exploit, manipulate and challenge’ (Turney, 2009, p80)”

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

I remember Art as being very prescribed, we were told what to do or make. I don’t remember particularly enjoying it. I have much more positive memories of the dressmaking class, however I dropped both subjects when choosing O’levels.

I did a lot of drawing/painting at home and spent hours making clothes for Barbie dolls out of scraps of materials. That always felt different, I was exploring and creating for myself.

 

What would your school report have said about your art?

B+, Sarah tries hard but……….

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I started Adult Ed classes at Northbrook in Experimental Textiles in 2000 after discovering Textile Art at Davison – both my daughters did GCSE in Textiles. I then went on to do a Foundation course in Art & Design followed by BA in Surface & Textile Design, both at Northbrook. After that I completed a MA Fine Art at Chichester. Ultimately I think the formal education gave me a chance to find my own practice and ways of working.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

Life generally, family, countless trips to Italy over the years,

 

What Artists do you admire?

I’ve just picked out a few and for different reasons; Gego, Eva Hesse, Rachel Whiteread, Anselm Kieffer, El Anatsui…….the list goes on

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

Mine – my head is always focussed on the next piece so that’s a  tricky question, probably a long drawing on Mylar that I did as part of my MA – about 15m long a simple line drawing called Palimpsest. It started off a new way of working that I’m still exploring.

Someone else’s- I love ‘The Virgin at Prayer’ Sassoferrato in the National Gallery – the quiet stillness the picture evokes.

 

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

Just being happy with the way I am working now is a major achievement. I’m really proud to have been part of the Artists Open Shop (and all the spin offs from that project still buzzing in the town) and being part of the group setting up Worthing Art Studios of course.

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What have you sacrificed for your art?

Nothing important – it’s been a means of finding a way of living that works for me and for my family. It feels so positive most of the time.

 

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

To focus my energy at what makes me happy

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Be true to yourself, enjoy your work and keep learning!

How do you start a piece of work?

I make marks continuously, in and out of sketchbooks with pens, pencils, threads…… Every so often something happens and I am inspired to take an idea further. The catalyst may be the size and shape of a piece of MDF to use as a blackboard (big thank you to Wenban Smith’s offcuts bin) and an idea fermenting from one or more of the small pieces I’ve made. It always feels like a coming together of various ideas and thoughts – pieces of work find their own time to be made.

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When is it finished?

When I can’t think what else I can do to improve it, I hang it up in my studio or at home and live with it – it’s totally instinctive.

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

‘Active flux and Mathematical Fixity’- a quote from writing about Gego’s work- this looks quite weird written down here but it’s where my head is with my own work at the moment.

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Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

Whilst I tend to have the radio on (Radio 2) to block out the rest of the world; I don’t actively listen to music. When drawing I often listen to talks – often TED talks – I find that concentrating on the spoken word helps the drawings to flow and to find their own space.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Materials I use are quite limited – paper, paper yarn, black ink, white ink, black wire, fishing wire, Mylar (transparent polyester film), aluminium wire, aluminium etching plates. Not much more than that. It has to feel right.

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

Not really, although I have kept a ‘lucky pine cone’ on my mantelpiece that my son put there about 15 years ago and I would hate to lose.

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I’m just happy with my own practice, seeing where it leads me.

 

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

I think the big elephant in the room with me is Painting – I don’t do it, anything else goes. But I have now discovered paint marker pens so maybe, just maybe……..

Absolutely fascinating Sarah, a real pleasure to visit, chat and photograph you,  thank you very much.

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 To see more of Sarah’s incredible work visit the links below….

http://sarahsepe.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.sepe.5

http://www.worthingartstudios.com/

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Under the Spotlight…Rich Spicer

“I certainly am living the dream. I have the opportunity to create all day whether through painting or landscape design. How can that be anything but the dream?”

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Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

At grammar School I was lucky to have great facilities and my teacher gave me a studio easel when I left. I did get a slap on the leg once for dismissing some modern art but I guess it worked as I learnt to look beneath the surface and I now appreciate a very broad range of art. .

What would your school report have said about your art?

Back at school it was mainly about realism and accuracy as well as history. Which I appreciate now but at the time I just wanted to paint, so I think I remember some comments along the lines of ‘energetic student but needs to slow down’.

A bit of a blur...

A bit of a blur…

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

Both, I studied my degree at Kingston Uni and graduated in 1995, but you have to try and learn from every painting so I try to be aware of that too.

What or who has inspired you over the years?

My oldest friend Neil, who I have known for 35years. We were thick as thieves and did some great work together. Other than that I’ve had some fantastic tutors over the years and have met some amazing friends. I think now my kids inspire me the most.

What Artists do you admire?

How long have you got? The range is from Michaelangelo and Carravagio to Turner, Picasso and Hockney. I also like guys like Ben McLaughlin. Im sure anyone could list 100’s of artists they like and admire but I kind of admire every artist I meet. I really like the guys down on Worthing Seafront, creating a little artistic community. Anyone who has decided to dedicate their life to artistic pursuits gets my admiration.

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What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

With me it’s always the last piece I’ve done. Someone else’s would probably be Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, Caravaggio’s ‘Supper at Emmaus’ and ‘Bacchus & Ariadne’  more for personal reasons than artistic, although they are all incredible masterpieces. I have a strong connection to these 3 particular pieces

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

Without being flippant, I think to still be painting and not having given up is my biggest achievement. Well, that and answering these questions!

What have you sacrificed for your art?

The life of an artist is essentially a solitary one so the biggest sacrifice for me has been time with friends and family, sleep and sanity at times.

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

The best advice is the same advice I pass on to my students and that is to keep producing work and learning from it.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

I think to be honest I would say it’s a long road with no guarantee of financial success but if you are a creative, there is no greater happiness than making. If you love doing it go for it. The hardest thing is switching from artist to businessman and seeing your work as a commodity to be sold. That switch can be tough. I know I find that aspect the hardest. Finally I would say it will help to develop a thick skin and use rejection to motivate you but that art is purely subjective and that someone out there will love your work. Good luck!

How do you start a piece of work?

I usually work out some thumbnail compositions first then go straight in an attack the canvas with a large brush to position the main shapes.

 IMG_5208 web

When is it finished?

I’m sure that most people realise that paintings are never finished. I have to get my wife to hide them or I’m forever revisiting. .

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

I don’t really but music generally plays a big part of studio life. Maybe “giving up food for funk” James Brown?

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

Yes definitely. I listen to music constantly depending on how I feel. It could be Pink Floyd, Classical, Stevie Wonder, Hip hop, anything apart from Thrash Metal.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I really enjoy any paint medium but I’m currently working in Acrylic, Charcoal and Spray Paint. I’m also starting a series of collages very soon which I also really enjoy as it needs a very different mind set.

IMG_5244 web

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

I know a lot of artists have little pots and trinkets that they have with them but sadly I can’t even make something up, so no. Sorry, just not superstitious.

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I certainly am living the dream. I have the opportunity to create all day whether through painting or landscape design. How can that be anything but the dream? I am very lucky to have a wonderful supportive wife and family.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

I try to avoid being too fussy so the freshness of brush work is apparent and I definitely avoid being a slave to reference material such as photos. Its easily done but my imagination and memory of a subject will always be better than a photo so I only use reference for positioning and sometimes scale etc.

Thank you Rich, wonderful to meet with you and watch you paint in your lovely studio, gorgeous work!

In the studio

In the studio

Rich has a website that is under construction at the moment but you can follow him on facebook and twitter…

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rich-Spicer-Artist-Garden-Design/491443070868681

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Under the Spotlight….Vanessa Breen

” The perfect place to paint and capture the sea’s beauty and ever changing mood”.

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How can we best describe Vanessa… chilled, funny and a lovely lady, passionate about her art and keen to inspire others to explore their artistic ideas.  We photographed her at home and on Worthing Beach outside Hut 42.

Nature influences her work, a rich depth of colour and a tactile surface is created by building up layers in various media. She enjoys the commissioning process, working closely with clients to meet their expectations, whether it’s to create a unique painting tailored to the client’s interior or to design and produce innovative artworks for commercial spaces. She also offers a professional installation service.

We gave Vanessa our Q and A so we could find out a little bit more about her :

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

All positive, had a great art teacher, thank you Mrs Roberts.

 What would your school report have said about your art.

“She has potential if she stops daydreaming”

 Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I left school and went straight to art-college, 2 years studying graphic design; I then opted for an Art Foundation course rather than an advertising HND. It was the best move I made; I loved the course and went onto Staffordshire Uni to specialize in glass as part of a Design degree.

As for painting, I’m self-taught.

Artists Palette

Artists Palette

What or who has inspired you over the years?

LIFE…..brilliant friends and family, travelling, scuba diving, architecture, sky, sea, landscapes…..etc. I’m easily inspired.

 What Artists do you admire?

Hundertwasser, Klimt, Hockney, Gaudi to name a few of many.

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

One of them is “the Kiss” by Gustav Klimt, seeing the original in Vienna was stunning.

My art – I don’t have a favourite, just some I love more than others.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

Moving to Worthing and meeting/working with so many inspiring artists, has given me the opportunity to sell my work in galleries and exhibitions. Setting up Creative Waves with Nadia Chalk and turning our ideas into a reality, especially Art on the Pier.

On East Beach

On East Beach

 What have you sacrificed for your art?

Sleep and housework, (which is not much of a sacrifice!)

 What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Live your dreams because life is short.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

ENJOY what you do, experiment and don’t give up, because you’ll never know what would have happened.

 How do you start a piece of work?

I splash a wash of colour to get rid of the blank canvas, and then start…..

Starting a piece...

Starting a piece…

  When is it finished?

I never know! I try and stop but I love tweaking little areas, sometimes this improves the painting and sometimes I wish I’d stopped an hour ago.

Tweaking...

Tweaking…

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

 No

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

Yes, love it, at the moment I’ve been painting to Daughter, Massive Attack & Goldfrapp.

 What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I love using acrylic paints, their quick drying properties mean I can quickly build up the surface combining colour washes with other materials. 

Using sand to add texture

Using sand to add texture

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

My left hand and a broken bracelet: I’m left handed and in my early twenties I had an accident where I fell on broken glass and lacerated my left wrist. A couple of weeks before the accident, I made a beaded bracelet which luckily prevented more damage being done to my hand.

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I’ll see where the future takes me, I don’t have a set plan, but I will live my dreams.

 Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Putting it to close to the fire!!!

Working from home....

Working from home….

Thank you Vanessa the pleasure was all ours, fascinating, and thank you for a lovely lunch, home grown tomatoes on toast yum!

To find out more about Vanessa and her work visit these links….

http://www.vanessabreen.co.uk/     http://www.creativewaves.co.uk/  https://www.facebook.com/Hut42

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