Printmakers Exhibition at Avocet Gallery

 

Shooting Star over the Long Man by Ian O'Halloran
‘Shooting Star over the Long Man’ by Ian O’Halloran

We popped along to Avocet Gallery and Tea Rooms the other day to have a look at their current exhibition – Printmakers.

 

I have always been drawn to printmaking ever since my dad showed me a book of Aubrey Beardsley’s work when I was quite small, I know maybe something a little odd to show a small child? I never really understood what I was looking at back then, I just loved all the swirls and trails. I think it could be responsible for my love of Art Nouveau.

 

Much as I like printmaking  it’s not something that I have ever really tried. I like to go and look at prints and am especially drawn by work with lots of texture, I love texture.

 

The textures in this print ‘Shooting Star over the Long Man’ by Ian O’Halloran called out to me. Even though I know it is depicting the countryside around the Long Man of Wilmington (well I hope it’s that Long Man!), to me it feels like I am looking at a roiling sea shown in that beautiful red light you sometimes get at sunset. All the patterns and textures allow your eye to flow around the image, it took me quite a while to find the shooting stars as I was a little bewitched by following the flowing and turning of the earth.

 

Another by Ian O’Halloran that drew me towards it is ‘Folkington Hill’. The fantastic texture of the ploughed field pulled me right into the print deep enough to follow right to the back and make me wonder what is around the corner behind that hill. You could spend quite a while just sitting and wondering that, working out the wondrous things that are hidden just out of sight.

 

Folkington Hill by Ian O'Halloran
‘Folkington Hill’ by Ian O’Halloran

 

Hester Cox’s ‘Autumn Field’ is also depicting a ploughed field, see the textures are just sucking me in. The ploughed furrows lead your eye straight to the horizon at the back of the print, again making me wonder what is there just over the horizon, tucked out of sight. It looks like a pretty desolate landscape and to my eyes a very flat one, I wonder if he spends any time on Romney Marsh at all. The round circles in the ‘sky’ of the print are actually the lights in the gallery reflected in the glass, they are not a part of the print, though it does make it look like it is an alien world with several suns in orbit. I am completely fascinated by ploughed fields, there are so many round here, I think maybe one day I should try carving one, but that is a topic for another time.

 

Autumn Field by Hester Cox
‘Autumn Field’ by Hester Cox

 

This is, I think, the first time I have seen work by Flora McLaughlin and I seriously have to wonder if she is a field archer. A couple of the prints shown here are so like archery shots it is uncanny, made me stop and look for a very long time, especially ‘Deer Drop’. This print makes me feel like I am standing in the heart of the forest in amongst where the trees are the most ancient and densely packed. Sneaking a look around a tree and seeing the deer in the clearing ahead, the dew drop caught on the branch right in front of me, threatening to drip onto my nose.

 

Deer Drop by Flora McLachlan
‘Deer Drop’ by Flora McLachlin

 

‘Hastings Old Town’ by John Russell is not strictly a print, being described on the label as a ‘paint-ink collage’. It watched us while we ate and I spent quite a long time looking back, I’m not sure what it is I like about it, maybe it’s the colours, maybe it’s the slight randomness of the buildings. It’s something I know that I could live with and spend a lifetime looking at. Sadly at the moment I can’t justify the purchase so it will have to stay where it is.

 

Hastings Old Town by John Russell
‘Hastings Old Town’ by John Russell

 

Looking back at the photographs I have taken of the work in the exhibition I have realised that I have done the one thing I hate about images in art books, I have left out the frames!!! Considering I am a frame maker I think it’s terrible of me, I must try to remember next time to include the frames.

 

The exhibition is on until the middle of October and the gallery is open Wednesday till Sunday from 10.30am – 5pm. Go along and have a look, Avocet is a lovely gallery and the owners are so welcoming.

 

And finally, as they say, as mentioned before yes we did eat while we were there. I mean who can resist the lure of homemade cake? A stronger person than me obviously. I succumbed to the lure of my favourite fruit cake and Mum can highly recommend the cheese platter, yum.

 

Cheese platter at Avocet Gallery
Cheese platter at Avocet Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .

 

 

Avocet Gallery 4th Anniversary show

'Slapton View' by Caroline Raffan. Painted and fused glass panel
‘Slapton View’ by Caroline Raffan. Painted and fused glass panel

 

I visited the Avocet Gallery the other day to have a look at their current show which they have put on to celebrate their 4th anniversary (fantastic news that they have reached this milestone) and I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw.

 

The first thing that caught my eye was this painted and fused glass panel ‘Slapton View’ by Caroline Raffan. It is hanging in the conservatory part of the gallery where we were sitting having our hot drinks and cake (more about that later) as you are allowed to bring a dog into this part of the gallery. My dog loves it there as he gets loads of cuddles!

 

Anyway I digress. I have no real clue where the landscape is, I’ve never heard of ‘Slapton View’ but I could sit and look at the panel for a long, long time. I love the way that you can just about see the sea between the two far away hills.

 

There is another panel by the same artist ‘Apple Trees’ in the other room of the gallery. I’m finding at the moment that I am very drawn to things with trees in them, I think its as I’m planning a few ‘tree based’ pieces of my own so it is always at the front of my mind when I go anywhere.

 

'Apple Tree' by Caroline Raffan, fused and painted glass panel
‘Apple Tree’ by Caroline Raffan, fused and painted glass panel

 

Another piece that took my eye is ‘Owl and Twigs’ by Emily Goddard, sadly my photo does not do the piece justice (apologies for that its the reflections you know, and yes that is me in the reflection!). In real life the blue is really intense and the barn owl just pops out at you.

 

'Owl and twigs' by Emily Goddard
‘Owl and twigs’ by Emily Goddard

 

Sometimes I like work just because I like it, I have no further explanation. This is one of those times. ‘Dungeness Colours III’ by Geoff Cooke is something that I just like, the colours and textures appeal and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

 

'Dungeness Colours III' by Geoff Cooke
‘Dungeness Colours III’ by Geoff Cooke

 

Last but by no means least, the cake recommendation this visit is the Apple and Walnut upside down cake. Thoroughly recommended by both my mum and myself (it was actually her slice I just ‘stole’ a corner) and 100% homemade, if you go to the gallery do try it.

 

Apple and walnut upside down cake
Apple and Walnut upside down cake

 

Once again a lovely selection of work by Peter and Morgan, if you’re in the Rye Harbour area go check it out , its a lovely friendly gallery. This exhibition runs until 12th May 2013 and the gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am – 5.30pm, for further information visit the Avocet Gallery website.

If you do visit do come back and tell me what you thought and which piece was your favourite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .

Coastal Summer Show at Avocet Gallery

Ammonite & Shell vases by Laura Hollis
Ammonite and Shell Vases by Laura Hollis

 

I popped down to the Avocet Gallery just before the weekend to have a look at their current exhibition ‘Coastal Summer Show’, and to sample some more of their yummy cake.

These vases by Laura Hollis were amongst my favourite things in the exhibition. She is a new artist for the gallery and I think that her work fits in very well.

I must admit that I like her pieces that are not completely covered in texture like the dish/bowl below more than those covered completely but I do like them all, if you see what I mean. I also love the deep blue colour that Laura uses on her pieces.

 

Sea Shell dish by Laura Hollis
Sea Shell dish by Laura Hollis

 

There is something I love about textured/tactile pieces, must be something to do with the kind of work that I do and the love of texture that I have had since I was little.

While we were sitting eating our cake and drinking tea and coffee I spotted these lovely little chaps deciding whether to take the leap off of the top of the shelving unit or not. They are by wood carver John Mainwaring and are full of character.

 

Carved wooden painted Penguins on driftwood by John Mainwaring
Carved wooden painted Penguins on driftwood by John Mainwaring

 

Another of his pieces peeked at me from the top of the jewellery cabinet. The little Blue Tit looked for all the world as if it were about to launch itself off of the cabinet down to a bird table just like they do in my garden. All it really needs is a cat sitting at the bottom looking up watching the bird.

 

Carved wooden painted Blue Tit by John Mainwaring
Carved wooden painted Blue Tit by John Mainwaring

 

Although I do find myself generally more drawn to three dimensional work I do really like the work of Meriel Ensom who paints onto driftwood.

 

Birds painted on driftwood by Meriel Ensom
Birds painted on driftwood by Meriel Ensom

 

They are so finely painted I really don’t know how she does it for the price. Beautiful pieces. I especially liked the fish piece below, though I’m not quite sure why.

 

Fishes painted on driftwood by Meriel Ensom
Fishes painted on driftwood by Meriel Ensom

 

I do like visiting Avocet Gallery as the owners have such good taste with the pieces they pick, I know that there will always be something there I will like. There is more to see in the show than what I have spoken about here,I just couldn’t put pictures of everything in this post!

The show is on until 9th September 2012 when it will change to the next exhibtion, if you’d like more details have a look at the Avocet Gallery website and check their opening times as they are not open every day.

As for the cake I went for the fruit cake again, and thoroughly recommend it, and my mum can heartily recommend the coffee and walnut cake, she said it was lovely and all home made too.

If you’re in the Rye area pop along and have a look at the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .