Friday, 23 November 2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Tabitha's all ready already

Photographer Tabitha Schenk's photographs are already gracing the walls of the Eynsham Emporium in readiness for this weekend's village arts festival.

As well as the display of seasonal photos on the walls (from £5 to £20 depending on size), Tabitha has homemade cards featuring photos of local views.

She says: "I love it that within a few minutes walk from the centre of Eynsham, you can be out in the countryside enjoying amazing views across open fields, watching the seasons change."

Don't forget that our friends at the Eynsham Emporium are offering all Artweekend visitors (we hope that's you) two for the price of one on hot drinks.  

Monday, 19 November 2012

Autumn fox

Jane Tomlinson has been busy covering canvases in preparation for the Eynsham Winter Artweekend and has just finished her latest.

She says: "I have been observing this autumn more closely than ever before: the conkers, the pine cones, the birds arriving from Scandinavia, and of course, the unmissable change in the trees from green to red, yellow and orange and finally leafless. These observations, together with a few trips to the RSPB bird reserve at Otmoor, inspired me to attempt a landscape almost without any green.

Here it is, Autumn fox:
‘Autumn fox’ - by Jane Tomlinson – acrylic on canvas – 999mm x 405mm – £400
"In it you can see a small deceit of lapwings flying in to roost as the day turns to night.

"Three greylag geese rest in a muddy field near the riverbank.

"The stalks and dried seed heads of umbelliferous plants (wild, carrot, cow parsley, angelica and the like) have intrigued me hugely this year and so these feature prominently. I have also been hugely impressed this year with the crop of bulrushes. Perhaps this is one species to benefit from this year’s deluge?

"I’d like to tell you how I have tried to imbue the whole painting with a sense of the beauty of continuity and flow of the natural world, and something about the inter-connectedness and balance of nature. But I don’t have the words to describe this, which I why I tried to paint it instead. I hope you like it."

Autumn fox will be on show during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend at 18 Newland Close, Eynsham, OX29 4LE.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Eva's passion for clay

Eva Smith is one of a group of potters whose work will be on show in Eynsham next weekend.

Eva became passionate about working with clay after she started classes at Sunningwell School of Art twelve years ago. She learned about pottery in general pottery and later clay sculpture with live models. She says:

"I have always enjoyed experimenting with a diverse range of ceramics, letting the creative and instinctive process, and the clay itself, lead me to sometimes unexpected results! My ceramics range from figurative and abstract sculpture, to more functional but unusual hand-built one-off pieces in porcelain, white stoneware and other clays, to thrown pieces. I love using brightly coloured glazes and a range of finishes, often painting these on the bisque-fired piece.

"When a place was offered in the co-operative Old Forge Pottery, with its historic blacksmith's range, bellows, anvil, tools left intact from when the smithy closed in the1950's, I happily accepted this, as the time constraints of classes limited what Icould do. I now spend a day or two a week in this most creative space alongside the rest of the group who pot there."

Thursday, 15 November 2012

From culinary disaster to artistic triumph

Watercolour painter Julia Loken says: "I painted this purple artichoke after I had tried a new recipe, which involved cutting the artichokes in half vertically, and then baking them in the oven with olive oil and garlic.

"Unfortunately, the result was a complete disaster, as they were so tough that they were completely inedible!

"But I was struck by the beautiful shape and colours of the artichokes as I was cutting them, something that you never see when you eat them leaf by leaf in the usual way. So the next day I bought some more, brushed the cut edges with lemon juice to stop them going brown, and got busy with my pencil and paints. This is the result!"

This painting and many others by Julia will be on show at Myrtle Cottage, Tanners Lane, Eynsham next weekend.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Stoneware bottles by Malcolm Moor

Among the many wonderful ceramic items on show at the Old Forge Pottery on Newland Street in Eynsham next weekend will be these two stoneware bottles by Malcolm Moor.

Malcolm describes how he made them: 

"They are thrown in two parts then joined together when they are 'leather-hard'. The four faces of the base are formed by dragging a finger diagonally along the inside of the thrown cylinder on the wheel to create the four edges then the outer faces flattened with a wooden tool.

"The tops are thrown separately then stuck on using slip (liquid clay) before the faint grid lines are scratched through the semi-dry clay then filled with iron oxide.

"A mixture of iron and manganese oxides are painted on the top and the big brushstrokes. After the first firing, the inside is glazed to make the pots waterproof then fired again at a higher temperature. Sparing use of thin glaze on the outside allows the stoneware texture and colour to remain to maintain a link with the earth where the clay came from."

Monday, 12 November 2012

Folk tree - a festive card for all

Every year artist Jane Tomlinson produces a new painting specifically designed for use on a festive greetings card. This year's design is Folk tree.

'Folk tree' - a greetings card suitable for festive use -
painting by Jane Tomlinson
Jane says: "I asked the followers on my Facebook page what they'd like to see on a festive card - the sorts of subjects and vibe. They suggested deer, birds, leaves and colour - lots of lovely colour. They wanted it to be suitable for anyone, and for all faiths and none. So here it is!"

A pack of 10 cards with envelopes, blank inside, measuring 110mm x 110mm printed on thick, silky card is £6.25, inc P&P.

Get them right now in Jane's online shop or direct from Jane at her exhibition during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend at 18 Newland Close, Eynsham, OX29 4LE.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Potters forge their own workshop

Captain Nemo at the wheel
Having your own personal pottery facilities is expensive and requires a huge amount of space. So at the Old Forge Pottery, 33A Newland Street, Eynsham, 10 potters rent the building collectively and share the workshop, wheels, drying racks and kilns. It's not a shop and it's often open to the public so the Eynsham Winter Artweekend is a rare opportunity to see what goes on inside.
Potter Adrian Moyes

The pottery was the brainchild of Eynsham residents Adrian Moyes (pictured with two of his creations) and his wife Sue Raikes.

"The Old Forge building was not being used, so when we went to have a look at it, we were amazed to see that the actual old forge fireplace, including bellows and flue were still intact! "A nice rough working space like this was just perfect for us and so in 2006 the The Old Forge Pottery began life," says Adrian.

The Old Forge Pottery
The old forge itself
From the outside the building looks pretty unprepossessing, but inside it's full of history and creativity. Indeed, the story goes that it was at the old forge that Cromwell's (and perhaps Charles I's too) horses were shod in the 1640s.

Isn't it good to think that a building once used by the village farrier and blacksmith is still used by local craftspeople to make useful and beautiful things?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Paintings at probably the best shop in the world

'Rainbow over Evenlode DIY'
by Lorna Marrison
canvas, acrylic, oil
18cm x 12cm- £75.00
Much of artist Lorna Marrison's inspiration comes from Eynsham. She especially likes to paint local views and takes care to notice the little things, or find a different way of seeing something.

Here's a view of a rainbow over Eynsham's popular DIY shop on the High Street. You can get everything you'll ever need at Evenlode DIY - from a ball of string, a bracket for a shelf or a bag of bird seed, to custom mixed paint, an inner tube for your bike or a Christmas tree. You'll also get a smile and the sort of customer service that other shops can only dream of!

Fellow artist Jane Tomlinson thinks it's "probably the best shop in the world" and it features prominently on her Map of Eynsham.

Lorna will be exhibiting her work during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend in the window of Evenlode DIY.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Two turtle doves

"On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Two turtle doves..."

'Two turtle doves' by Jane Tomlinson
acrylic on canvas - 40cm x 40cm - £175
Painter Jane Tomlinson is mad about wildlife - especially birds.

She says: "In recent years the numbers of turtle doves in Europe have fallen by more than 60%. Habitat loss, changes in farming practices and shooting these pretty birds for so-called 'sport' are blamed for their decline.

"It's a bit weird that the turtle dove should appear in an English folk song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', because the turtle dove isn't actually here in the UK in the winter. It migrates south... and faces Spanish bullets."

This painting, along with other paintings of birds and animals, will be on display during Eynsham's Artweekend at 18 Newland Close.