Friday, 27 April 2018

Introducing...Tabitha McBain

Tabitha specialises in creating paintings of animals in the style of medieval illuminated manuscripts. She paints in gouache or egg tempura and gilds with 24 ct gold leaf.

She has always been interested in the natural world and has been drawing and painting animals since childhood.

She was a self-taught and self-employed taxidermist for 15 years before moving on to sculpt animals in clay. More recently Tabitha has gone back to her paint brushes, painting botanical and entomological subjects as well as reptiles and amphibians in oils, acrylics and water colour.

The works displayed in "Through the Eyes of a Child" have all been created especially for the exhibition.

"These paintings of Animal Alphabets are reminiscent of a child's introduction to the joy of books and the wonders of the natural world," says Tabitha.

"Through the Eyes of a Child" runs until Saturday 12th May.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Yas Hussain, from Finance to Woodturning

"I have always been drawn to the look and feel of wood, its natural lines, the grain, the smells and its warmth as a raw material," says Yas. "Every piece of wood is unique and every turn of the lathe uncovers something totally new."

Yas had the opportunity to train as a wood turner back in 2015 and realised very quickly that he had a real passion for turning.

"I purchased my own lathe shortly after and decided I would throw myself into woodturning. I quit my job in finance and spent the next two years covering myself in sawdust."

Wanting to do something different, Yas decided he would use resins with his pieces as a way of capturing the beauty within the wood.

"My current pieces all include resins to either complement the wood or create something unusual," he says. "I love the way colours can be added to accentuate the piece or clear resins can be used to magnify the grain or create a feature within the wood."

"Flaws like worm holes, cracks and decayed wood are all beautiful to me and capturing these with resins creates something truly unique."

"Through the Eyes of a Child" runs until Saturday 12th May.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Sally Scott, bringing colour, vitality and a joy of life to her painting

"In my paintings I want to share my love of nature and the countryside and bring the joy of life, colour and vitality into every picture," says Sally, whose favourite subjects are landscapes, flowers and trees.

"Most days I walk and absorb the landscape, looking, photographing and jotting down ideas for new paintings."

Then back in the studio, Sally draws out a rough idea of the painting's composition with masking fluid before using acrylic inks and spraying water to give a natural flow and energy to her work.

Sometimes she floods the paper and manipulates the colour, carefully moving the paint in a "thoughtful but imprecise" way.

"Waiting as areas dry before moving on, and learning to walk away to let the painting embed, is always a challenge," she says.

"As the piece dries, I think about the light: the contrast of light and shade as the depth and form of the piece emerges. I mark, use brush ends, scrape or etch patterns, blot with tissue and add details to give structure, sometimes layering on pieces of tissue paper to give a further dimension."

"Through the Eyes of a Child" continues until May 12th.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Victoria Coleman and her Crazy Critters!

Victoria has led a diversely creative life. After her degree in metalwork and jewellery, she began a career in the prop-making industry. She enjoyed making costume props on Star Wars and Gladiator, fabricating crazy critters at Jim Henson's Creature Shop in Camden and painting Disney characters for their flagship stores around the world.

With a great fondness for animals, Victoria is fascinated by the humour and personality they show through body language and expressions. It's this that her work is primarily based on - creating images that are slightly off-beat, bold and occasionally humorous.

"My painting technique is all about the detail achieved in the layers which are built up until the essence of the subject has been captured," says Victoria.

"I use a mix of water-based paints including emulsion, which work well both for blending and spraying through an airbrush."

Victoria works from her home in Shropshire with her two dogs Daisy and Bailey for company.

"Through the Eyes of a Child" continues until May 12th.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Introducing.....Naomi Frances, Glass Maker

Naomi has been working with glass for about 25 years.

"I love the colours and the textures that glass provides and the long history that accompanies it," she says. "I like the structure that the making of stained glass gives me, but I am always looking for ways to push the boundaries."

Following a Graphic Design/Illustration BA from Norwich University College of the Arts and an MA in Sequential Design/Illustration from the University of Brighton, Naomi took a short course in Stained Glass.

"Texture, contrast and colour are things that inspire me, whatever medium I am working in," she says. "I enjoy putting colours and textures of glass together on the lightbox and I like to contrast colours both in glass and in illustration."

Following many thumbnail drawings in her sketchbook, Naomi makes each glass piece using the copper foil stained glass technique developed originally by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 19th century.

"This gives me the flexibility with the forms my work takes and allows me to take liberties with the objects I include. I make decorative glass landscapes and beach scenes using a collage of shells and found items from local beaches as well as semi-precious stones."

Naomi's work forms part of our exhibition supporting Chestnut Tree House children's hospice, "Through the Eyes of a Child".
The exhibition continues until 12th May.