Paintings on show, art fairs, racing, and Christmas treats

art show in York UK

Art& show, York, October

Mea culpa, it’s been a long time since the last blog post.  What with Instagram and my Facebook artist page it’s difficult to keep up, let alone make paintings and show work and do all the other things.  Yes, I know we all have similar problems whatever our line of work!

Painting: Looking from the Cliff

Looking from the Cliff – sold at the Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair came and went.  I was thrilled to sell a large piece to someone who’d bought a favourite painting of mine there in 2013 and kindly contacted me through Instagram to let me know.  (There, I knew it was worth doing those updates.)  Also a brand-new Harvest Moon on which the paint was barely dry.

York Art Fair Oct 17

Jill’s work at Art&

I travelled north to the lovely city of York to take part in the Art& Art Fair,  which took place in the large, attractive and well-lit Knavesmire Grandstand of York Racecourse.  (‘Knavesmire’  makes me imagine a muddy medieval apprentice jockey!)  I wrote about the Fair in my Wolf at the Door newsletter – link here.   Last time I visited that racecourse was long long ago when I was seven, wearing my new party dress and a family watch from my grandmother, which fell off and got lost.  Disaster!  I was so lucky – it was found and returned to me  and I still have it.

long greenhouse

Peach House, Allerton

Afterwards we had a quieter few days staying in an air b’n’b on the estate where the Secret Garden was filmed.  (Once seen, never forgotten….)  Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/diner and…a glass peach house all to ourselves  which must have been 100 feet long. Only half of it shows on the photo!

Artists' Open House on the seafront

Nigel Rose Gallery, Christmas Open House

I’m lucky enough to be part of the Nigel Rose Gallery‘s Christmas Artists’ Open House – which is  a lovely trouble-free way to to do this three-week stint.  A complete rehang; seven of my paintings are there for the next two weekends at least.  The gallery is right on the Brighton/Hove sea-front right opposite the beautiful skeletal West Pier.  You can watch a murmuration of starlings, browse Nigel’s collection of local art plus artefacts from all over the world – loads of affordable Christmas presents.  Next you might try the i-360 for an aerial view of the city,  and finally stop off for a meal at Murmur restaurant next door. If you still have any dosh.

Siobhan's treats

Siobhan’s goodies at the Wolf at the Door

We may not have the stamina for a full Artists’ Open House, but we are going to pop up for the Wolf’s Winter Weekend – make a note for your diary if you’re anywhere near us. 9th-10th December, 11-5, 49 Hove Park Villas (just up from Hove Station). Mention this post and I’ll give you a couple of free cards!  An attempt to add a bit of joy to life in these complicated times – no need to buy anything – you’re welcome just to come and have a look round and a chat.  There will be glorious refreshments (plus edible and culinary gifts) from Siobhan of Table Brighton. And paintings, books, sculpture, jewellery and kinetic art from talented friends and neighbours. As affordable as we can make it.

I have so much to catch up with.  I’ve also recently joined Rise Art, an excellent selective and supportive online selling platform: do check it out  here.     And I’ve  begun the long task of inventorising  all my present and past work on Artwork Archive. This should  make entering work for exhibitions and competitions, preparing catalogues and list of work and making labels a lot easier.

My next significant art date in the New Year will  be in Hampstead at the lovely Burgh House – taking part in an exhibition of seascapes by women painters.  But that’s next year… .

 

Gallery opening, papermaking and new prospects.

gallery opening on Brighton beach

Nigel Rose Gallery opens

Gallery opening! Last Saturday saw the official opening of Nigel Rose’s lovely new gallery on the Brighton/Hove seafront.  Nigel first opened his doors in May for Artists’ Open House but access was difficult.  Building works were still in progress and the paving in front of the Arches incomplete.  Now there is a wonderful fibonacci-curve lighting spiral in place, made from columns of the iconic but doomed old West Pier, which you can see in the background.

Lighting spiral by the gallery

restored column

Lighting column

The chic new restaurant Murmur has just moved next door and the area is full of life and interest.  The gallery, as well as featuring local Brighton-based artists, also holds a fascinating collection of artefacts and objects from all over the world. You can spend ages in there just rooting around.  I’m lucky enough to have ten pieces on show there at present, and will be providing new work regularly.

artwork by Jill Tattersall

Jill’s work at the Nigel Rose gallery

By a coincidence we also went to a wonderful wedding right by the gallery; the marriage actually took place  in the i-360, the still controversial ‘doughnut’ which rises into the air and gives beautiful views all round.  It’d be perfect to combine a trip on the i-360, a visit to the gallery and fish soup at Murmur!

vview from the new BA tower

View from the i-360

In other news, my painting Murmuration 2 didn’t make it to the last stage, but many thanks to all the people who took part in the vote for the National Open Art Competition. I’m in good company, but it’s always disappointing.

new art sea-view with starlings

Murmuration 2

Never mind, there’s someone keen to buy it – once you tie up work in competitions and exhibitions it can often put them out of play for months.

I came back from holidays in France with a mysterious muscular complaint, having beem lashed by vicious cold mistral gales then roasted alive in temperatures of up to 42 degrees. This has rather limited my movements and I’m really behind with my papermaking.  But at last I’ve made a start, though I’m now running out of the high-quality cotton  fibresI use to make my larger-scale pieces.  As usual the cat has been getting in on the act.  How to stop her? I really don’t know.

The cat is on my new paper

Cat on new paper

I’ve been asked to show work again in the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea by the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery, always an honour,  in early October.  Not so far ahead now; I have another large Night Sky nearly ready.  I sold one of these at each of the last two AAFs, each one very different in detail, but there is a continuing fascination with gazing up into that dark sky.  Here’s a picture of one of the pieces in the early stages.

Painting in progress

Early stages in making the painting

Very excitingly, I am doing an art fair in York at the end of October. This is the wonderfully-organised Art&, which looks like being an excellent event.  I’ll post more about it shortly – lots to organise and decide. We nearly moved to York instead of Brighton, and visit regularly, so it will almost feel like home.

York Art Fair

Art&

So now – it’s back to work.  Lots of it!

 

Public Vote – National Open Art Competition and more murmurations.

new art sea-view with starlings

Murmuration 2

Not another public vote!  Just a quick post this time – summer is galloping past.  I’m delighted to say that this painting, Murmuration 2, has been shortlisted for the National Open Art Competition (@tnoac).

If you like it,  would you consider casting a vote for it?  It would be much appreciated. To make it simple for you, here is the direct link:

http://www.nationalopenart.org/gallery2.php…

Official description: Semi-abstract attempt to capture the light and endless horizon of the Sussex coast. Starlings, making those elegant, perfect formations which repeatedly dissolve and re-form. Science meets art.   Mixed media and silver leaf on my own handmade paper.

You can vote for as many paintings as you like; the complete list is here – it’s a long short list!  But they do get an awful lot of entries…. World Art Vote.

I guess most artists have mixed feelings about these competitive events, as I’ve said before. They can be expensive and time-consuming, and often your paintings are  tied up for months so you can’t display or sell them meanwhile.  And it’s always demoralising to be turned down.  But this  is a competition I really rate. Each painting is presented anonymously to the judges so it doesn’t matter who you are or who you know. The standard, to my eyes,  is alarmingly high. It’s beautifully and efficiently run by courteous and helpful staff.

Alongside the official judging there is also a ‘people’s vote’ – that’s the link above – the winning piece goes through whether or not the judges like it. These votes are a bit embarrassing for those of us who don’t have thousands of friends and followers on social media, but there you are….

In other news, I’ll post a link to the most recent Wolf at the Door newsletter (which is not very recent!) and will do a proper update after the Bank Holiday.

The Wolf closes his doors

Yes, our doors are closed – though we’re always happy to see people by appointment. And, please note… .

Nobody famous lived here!

Absolutely nobody famous…

Night Sky Battle of Hastings - on the London Underground.

Open House, Art Underground, Chelsea Exhibition.

 

A shock to realise how long it is since my last post.  Open House has been and gone.  The art too!

Artists' Open House

Jill’s paintings, Wolf at the door 2017

It’s not just laziness/busyness The run up to the May Artists’ Open House is always phenomenally busy. Then in the first week or so,  my old computer kept crashing and finally hit the buffers. I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to hunt for a new one and start retrieving  files. I’ve been functioning on an old borrowed one without my stored data and email addresses.  Everything has taken ten times as long.

newly-restored garden building

The upcycled workshop!

AOH 17 is just a memory!.  It was as ever a great experience once up and running: lovely  appreciative visitors, fascinating conversations, new connections, potential collaborations…and a lot of pleasure evident all round.  Everyone loved the new-style workshop/garden room.  Will I do it again? I don’t know.  it’s such a lot of work mostly of the boring kind. But then again…

New collage work

New work in the garden room: ‘New Life’ series.

Night Skies have played a big part recently. The large canvas at the top of my last post sold at the Hampstead Affordable Art Fair.  Another may be going to Canada.  A whole lot of little night skies on reclaimed board have gone to new homes during Open House. And my giant Night Sky 1066 (made for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings) is – guess where – on the Tube!

Night Sky Battle of Hastings - on the London Underground.

Night Sky Oct 14th 1066

To be precise, an amost full-size poster of it is, at Regent’s Park Station in London, a brief stroll from the Planetarium. The original has just gone on display at the rose&king Gallery in Brook St, Mayfair, as part of the ArtBelow exhibition. It’ll be there till 1st July (Private View is this Thursday, 22nd.)

I now have a brand new computer and lots to catch up on – things are still really busy.  I need to get in that studio – the longer you leave it, the  more you lose momentum. At present it’s too hot even to make paper – which is a summer activity for preference since it involves a lot of water sploshing about and a lot of mess.

If you’d like to see the latest Wolf at the Door newsletter you can see it here (sign-up is on the home page): Wolf news .   I’ll leave you with a picture that needs no words.

 

sleeping cat

Exhaustion

Art fairs, galleries, preparations, workshop renovation….busy times

I’m managing a March post by the skin of my teeth.  It’s been a busy month. Weather hasn’t been good enough yet for papermaking when I’ve had a day free for it.

the sky in winter

Night Sky, Late Winter

March 8th-12th saw the Battersea Affordable Art Fair.  Three of my paintings went there with the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery,  This one, by far the largest, was sold: Night Sky, Late Winter, mixed media on canvas.  I wonder where this is hanging now?  To my mind  galleries earn every bit of their commission when you know what a lot of work, expense and planning is involved in doing a big London art fair.  The downside, though, is that you don’t know who has bought your work.

art fair stand

Jill’s work at TAF

The following weekend, 17th-19th March,  saw another art fair, the brand-new Talented Art Fair for established artists wanting to sell directly to the public – which addresses my last point.  It takes a lot of effort to prepare, make, frame, string and label your work. And then…pack it, transport it, hang it, label it…and try to sell it.  It was very enjoyable, though: beautifully organised and well publicised, with a really friendly and helpful team.  I chose work with a rather muted palette to hang – my new tree quartet in the middle there.

Near Tower Bridge

Towpath near Tower Bridge

 

Night view from our air b’n b  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was buzzing in Spitalfields with markets in full swing and people out enjoying themselves. Then a bus across Tower Bridge and a walk along the towpath to our air b’n’b, near where Dickens placed Fagin’s hideout, and Bill Sykes supposedly met his end in the Thames ooze.

 

swirly patterns

Blue squiggles

small paintings on board

Offcuts series: little paintings

 

blue on white

blue squares

 

small painting

green shape on blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I don’t have time to do much else in the studio I nowadays try at least to paint a small something.  At the moment I am using offcuts of thin MDF boards, cut to 15x20cm, to use odd bits of mixed-up paint, try out patterns, make some instinctive marks or do pretty well whatever comes to mind. Or, rather, fingers: I try not to think too much and just enjoy myself.  Overthinking is the devil!

Coming up soon: three major events in May.  Artists’ Open House, for the duration of the Brighton Festival.  The Hampstead Affordable Art Fair (with the Nicholas Bowlby Gallery); and the opening of the Nigel Rose Gallery on the Brighton seafront, under th Arches, where I will be having work on regular display.  Lots and lots to prepare and to share – but more of that in my next bulletin. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a progress picture of our workshop refurbishment:  real progress.  It’s so light!  Come and see us,  and it, in May!

workshop refurbishment

The Workshop – light and bright!

Exhibitions, events, Fairs and art

Stormy light on trees

Over our garden wall: just before sunset.

I imagined myself going into an enjoyable hibernation during January and February, emerging at intervals to paint a picture here and there.  Instead life has been a hurly-burly since well before Christmas. Not all stressful; I’ve been to some very interesting exhibitions and  other good things. The Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion exhibition (picture below) is on for some time yet, in an extraordinary house near Temple Station on the London Embankment,  built  in grandiose style by Lord Astor.  I went to school just round the corner so a lot of memories (best expurgated).

The Sussex Modernism show

Sussex Modernism , 2 Temple Place

We stayed overnight opposite my long-ago university  Hall of Residence (more memories), after an amazing concert by the pianist Mitsouko Uchida.  We also enjoyed a meal overlooking the Thames.  The illuminations always lift my spirits. You might have noticed I’m keen on blues….

Illuminations by the Thames at night

South Bank at night

In the usual feast-or-famine way, art events are bunching up and approaching fast.  Some of my new work is going to the Affordable Art Fair on 9th-12th March, and some more the very next weekend to the Talented Art Fair in the Old Truman Brewery, East London.  This is rather exciting as it’s the inaugural event, intended for established artists,  by the dynamic team who have organised the very successful New Artists’ Fair.

 trees in the mist

Tree Quartet, Hove trees in the mist

On the downside, it means getting into Central London by car and doing all the donkey work (bar the main publicity).  Hanging, labelling, being there…of course that’s why we normally pay galleries such hefty fees to do it for us, and I do believe it’s  worth every penny!

However this is a chance to meet the public – a new public – and, should I sell any paintings, actually know where they’ve gone. If you sell via a gallery you rarely know.  And I love it when a buyer sends me a photo of my painting in its new home. Where will this painting of trees in a misty Hove Park end up, I wonder?

2017-02-22 12.14.37There’s lots more in the pipeline – a new gallery and Artists’ Open House just to name two –  but I’ll report more on future plans when this particular  challenge is over.

New year, new horizons, new art.

view across the water

Winter reflections, Sheffield Park

A very happy New Year to all friends, family, followers, readers, and also the much-appreciated owners of my work. (Many people have kindly sent me  photos of my work in its new home, and I cherish these.) New art is made and  in the pipeline – see above.

Owing  to various crises in the Wolf household I’m behindhand with the greetings, but here’s a belated link to the Christmas Wolf at the Door/Jill Tattersall newsletter. However, now the bogeyman has led off all the naughty children to heaven knows where,  it’s time to think ahead and plan.

procession of children with the bogeymen

Bogeyman leading naughty children off to their fate (thanks to the Public Domain review and RA Littlewood)

Brian Eno has written a thoughtful and positive  article  suggesting that 2016 marked the bottom of a (post-Thatcher) trough. This makes sense to me; the decline has accompanied my working life.  So,  just maybe, 2017 will mark the beginnings of beneficial change.  As an operating philosophy, I’m going along with that.  We need to  be constructive, collaborative and optimistic for the future’s sake.

Ok, we’re enslaved by our screens and phones, but we’re also revolting against our Kindles.  We long for something tactile, something we can feel and touch and smell and feast our eyes on. Art and craft in all their forms.  Look how beatiful and innovative book design has recently become.  What a pleasure to pick up one of these supposedly endangered species!

Books with beautiful covers

Some Christmas presents – lucky me

On a personal note, just befor Christmas I showed work for the first time at the exquisite Amanda Aldous Gallery near Basingstoke.  We delivered paintings travelling through a mysterious, misty landscape to a beautiful light-filled barn in Tunworth.

AAF art gallery near Basingstole

Amanda Aldous Fine Art Gallery

It felt like an allegory!  We also ate the delicious local Camembert-like cheese, baked, and visited the restored George and Mary Watts Artist Village nearby –  fascinating and strongly recommended.  If you ever wonder how much volunteers can achieve, here’s your answer.

I have just done  the basic entry for 2017 May Artists’ Open House – i.e. paid the dosh – so now I’m committed. (I always think, never again….)  But then, I meet so many wonderful visitors, exchange all sorts of unlikely and useful information, work alongside lovely colleagues –  and usually shift a fair number of paintings. Which has to be good, or we’d have no room to sit down in the house.

night sky, moon and cloud

What’s ahead for us?

More about concrete plans in newsletters to come. Meantime, warmest greetings to all.

 

1066, Night Skies and the Battle of Hastings.

detail from large Night Sky 1066 painting

Night Sky (detail)

1066 and all that

The last few weeks have been dominated by preparations  for my  exhibition in the Sussex town of Battle which opened yesterday.  It’s not called Battle for nothing. If you don’t already know you soon will: Friday marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 – the one date every English person knows. (Or do they, still?)

The centrepiece is the largest painting  and has borders inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry.  You can see Halley’s Comet in the top left-hand corner.

Night Sky, Oct 14th 1066

Night Sky, Oct 14th 1066

The exhibition

…is called ‘Reading the Heavens: Night Sky, October 14th 1066’.  It’s composed entirely of night skies.  The centrepiece, above, shows what William and Harold and everyone else would have seen if they’d gazed up into the sky around then.  I’d better avoid tasteless jokes  on the lines that Harold must have looked up or he wouldn’t have got an arrow in his eye -it’s a long time ago  and it isn’t even certain he did.

 

detail from 1066 painting

Halley’s Comet (detail)

Stargazing

From earliest times people have gazed up into the stars  What does it all mean? Where do we belong in that immensity?  Around Easter in 1066 Halley’s Comet appeared in the sky.  It’s even shown in the Bayeux Tapestry.  People marvelled at it and what it might portend. What did both sides feel on the eve of the struggle? What were the omens? How much were they like us?

Why this subject?

Before I was an artist I taught medieval French language and literature.  After the Conquest, William ravaged the North and gave  the English nobility a rough time. French became the language of the wealthy, educated and powerful in England.   Many  early ‘French’ poems and stories were actually written in England.  And the Bayeux tapestry – which tells the story of the Conquest from William’s point of view of course – was probably made in England. My interest in the events of 1066 and the Bayeux Tapestry goes back a long way.

Night sky in late winter

detail from large painting

Night Sky (detail)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Sky, Aquarius

 

Astronomy and astrology only parted company recently. 

Newton took an intense interest in astrology and alchemy. Early Arabic and western astronomers gave poetic names to the constellations.  Dragon, lynx, scorpion, bear, lion, bull…Quite a few of my paintings take particular dates or events and show  the constellations and stars at that moment.  Roughly.  (It’s art, not science!)  Some of them use more artistic licence than others.

the paintings

Exhibition pictures

visitors at the show

The Town Crier at the exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a lovely piece about the painting and my work  in the current edition of Sussex Life:

1066 Sussex Life article

Here are some tiny night sky paintings on reclaimed cedar blocks made specially for the exhibition.

2016-10-06-16-51-14 2016-10-06-16-49-50

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Moon, Flight of Birds                                           Black Moon

small night sky painting

 Eclipse

small night sky painting

Ring Around the Moon

Vote for Murmurations: my painting is in a national art Public Vote

Starlings in flight near Brighton Pier

Murmuration, Before the Storm

An unusually quick update.  I realise I hadn’t even uploaded this new painting to my website gallery although it’s visible hanging in the sitting-room on the header picture showing our Open House in May

This painting is actually in Lincoln at the lovely Harding House Gallery on Steep Hill.  (Which is indeed very very steep.)  However it’s shortly coming south because it’s been shortlisted for the National Open Art Competition.   Friends and readers of my blog and Facebook postings know I have mixed feelings about entering these competitions. It costs in time and money and it ties up work, sometimes for months. Especially as you want to show your newest and best, But this is one I really rate, and I haven’t succeeded before.


2016-05-09 10.56.55

Two Murmuration paintings at Wolf at the Door

Two Murmurations

 

 

 

 

 

Detail, Murmuration, Before the Storm

 

 

I love watching the endless sweeping and swirling of the starlings as they move in and out of complex geometrical  formations.  Brighton Pier, near where I live, is one place to see them. I have just sold an earlier ‘Murmuration’ (which you can see on the right-hand picture above) which used some decriptive jottings from Coleridge’s diary.  There’s even a wonderful Facebook page where people post their own photos and videos of the birds.

The painting is of a particular moment when there was a storm brewing and it felt as if the air was charged and something was going to happen.  There was a sulphurous tinge to the sea – I used a yellow underpainting among the many washes.

 

work in progress

Washes drying

painting detail

Close up of washes in early stages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do like the painting I’d be very pleased if you’d vote for it here on the NOA website:

Murmurations Vote

in the  unlikely event it wins it’ll save it going through the next stage of selections.  Here it is  as it looks on the wall.

Paintings by jill at Artists' Open House 2016

Wolf at the door 2016

Art and Gardens, travel and catch-up.

 

flower and plant paintings by Jill Tattersall

Jill’s botanical paintings at ‘Art and Gardens’ July 2016

Where has the time gone?

More than a month has gone since the last post.  Such a busy month.  Taking down and returning art and sculpture after five weeks of Artists’ Open House (five weeks is TOO long).  A brief week in, reputedly, the hottest spot in Europe – which was itself experiencing a heatwave. Andalucia, so beautiful,  so so cripplingly hot for early  June. Then straight into organising our weekend event, Art and Gardens, here at the Wolf at the Door.

Art and Gardens

This happened on 16th/17th July.  Art indoors and out.  Above you can see my ‘Botanica’ series and on the left the beautiful plant-and-garden-based scrolls by Rea Stavropoulos. (Rea’s own exhibition, based on the art of Helen Allingham, is currently on at Burgh House, Hampstead.)

We wondered if we’d get many visitors as it was an unofficial happening, but it was well attended, the weather was beautiful and everyone really enjoyed themselves, including the participants.  Idyllic, really – which is what makes it all worth doing.  Though each time I think, never again…such a lot of work to organise.

 

Wolf at the Door garden

summer garden colour

Copper Seedheads

Si Uwins sculptures: Seedheads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To do or not to do?

It’s the eternal dilemma. How much time to spend actually making work:  painting and looking and thinking and planning?  How much time for publicity, that ever-proliferating demand on our efforts ? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging…let alone press-releases, approaching galleries, seeking out exhibitions and opportunities, a never-ending list? Workshops and talks?…not to mention updating the website…

white bird cane-toppers

White birds by Terri floating above nasturtiums

garden path with blue door

Down the garden path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra events

How much time to give to purely voluntary events like ‘Art and Gardens’ – collaborative and community-orientated,  intended to bring pleasure to all and opportunities for the artists? Very time-and energy-consuming, though.   Is it a luxury?  Should I do any more,  I ask?  Do I spread myself too thinly?  Writers have agents (though some fear they’re a dying breed); few artists have the benefit of a firm but kindly (we hope) external eye to comment and guide.

Jestergrass by Si Uwins

Sculptures  by Si Uwins and Andrew Jones

Seascapes in Lincoln

I omitted to say that straight after Art and Gardens I promptly set off with eight paintings for an exhibition in  Lincoln, where I had my first sizeable solo show way back in 2003.  Just in case you live or are going anywhere near there, the exhibition is at Harding House Gallery in Steep Hill, thus named for a purpose! – let’s not detail the difficulties of delivering large pictures up a near-precipice in another heat-wave!  On till 27th August, called I must go down to the Sea Again, curated by Soo Durham. No pics as yet.

There’s quite a lot in the pipeline, including some more far-flung locations for shows so I’ll try my best to post again soon. If you’d like to see our tallest kinetic art exhibit, click on Andrew Jones’s weather-vane video below!

Andrew’s weather-vane