Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pre-Christmas panic

A few weeks before Christmas I received an e-mail from a lovely lady who had accepted the unenviable mission of finding a piece of artwork for the communal lobby of the office building her company is based at in central London. The site was a 7 meter long wall opposite the elevators in the modern buildings elegant entrance lobby. Not only did the piece need to suit the space, but also the style needed to be agreed upon by the many companies who also share the building.
Her CEO had seen my artwork at The Sofa and Chair company and particularly like Urban Wetlands at Night. They realised that the original didn't have the scale they needed to fill the space and asked me if it would be possible to make additional panels. When I went to measure up it became clear that the most suitable option was to start from scratch and create a triptych. On paper the perfect sizes were two end canvases 1.5m wide by 1.75m High and a central canvas of 2.65m wide by 1.75m high. I came up with a couple of solutions for my client, but she agreed with my assessment and we went with the triptych described.

For the first time I had to go hunting for studio space as my workshop was woefully too small..... and cold....and dark (actually this was no new discovery and I had been waiting for the planets to come into alignment for my bank manager to grant me funds for a new studio, but that's the next blog story!). I discovered that this is not an easy task to find space, light and a reasonably controlled environment for less than top rental prices! Not surprising there is precious little available in Worthing and what there is is aimed more at the "cleaner" artists who work on smaller pieces at an easel or desk. Then there is the issue of finding somewhere with access - for loading large heavy objects straight out onto a vehicle, but also big enough doors to get the work out through! It was looking more and more like I was headed for big rental prices in Brighton with many journeys back and forth. Then a friend on Facebook mentioned a new gallery opening  with large studio rental space at the back- I called Siobhan, the gallery owner, and asked if they still had studio space to rent? Yes? Fantastic! I shot down there and put down my deposit! Siobhan and her partner Danny really couldn't have been more helpful or welcoming - supplying cups of tea, mince pies and even a glass of mulled wine :)

I had my materials delivered to the studio then humped all of my tools down there. The wood for the panels arrived first thing and 4 days of frame construction began. I was really glad that the permanent  space renter wasn't there whilst I had my power tools out making a racket! I have to work on the backs too as  I always seal and finish both sides of the panels to help protect against warping and give a nice finish to them, but even in a good sized space it's  a challenge to flip and turn nearly 5 sq meters of mdf and wooden frame!

It took me just under 2 weeks of painting and drying time. Then a local courier with his 2 burly assistants arrived and vary carefully loaded them onto his van and took them up to the Sofa and Chair warehouse. A couple of hours later I set off up to London myself and met John from the warehouse at the site. We unloaded the art quickly and John kept an eye out for evil christmas traffic wardens whilst I fixed the hangers to the wall. John helped me hang the large central piece (with a couple of scary moments and a final hug of relief when we knew it was straight and not going anywhere) then he went on his way and left me to get on with hanging the final two. No parking tickets and all 3 were hanging solidly AND straight AND in time for the visiting CEO of the company to see them before flying back out of the country the same day.......a minor christmas miracle in my mind!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Amethysts everywhere

Ever since my work went into the Sofa and Chair company showroom I've had a steady flow of repeat orders and commissions. It's been a wonderful place to showcase as there is a steady flow of interior designers, stylists, property developers and private clients looking for furnishings and fabulous accessories for their glamorous projects.
Here is the latest version of "An Unlikely Matrix". Light affects how gilding looks so much...the first image is in daylight and the 2nd was taken at night with the room lights on!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Art For Showhouses

A little over a month ago I was contacted by the interior designer of a property development company who had an urgent need for some bespoke artwork for their latest showhome. There really wasn't very much time for development so I had to pull out all the stops to make "Wetlands III" - a triptych for the dining area in polished plaster and lacquer. It is so much lighter and brighter than my usual work and incorporates the key colours the designer has chosen for the interior....mink, aubergine, silver, taupe and pearls.

 I also managed to make a textured and gilded piece for the entrance hall which was inspired by a photograph I came upon of a magnified cross-section of the stem of a sapling.

 Available to buy through my website.

Which means that I now have time to develop a couple of ideas which have been fighting to get out of my mind and into reality for a couple of years now....I can't wait!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Busy bee

Thanks to the wonderful photography department at The Sofa And Chair Company I finally get some quality photographs of my work.
My range is now available in their Homeware department and to date they have updated images of 4 pieces from their bespoke collection

I managed to slip this one in between commissions as I was desperate to experiment with a lovely blue colour I'd used for a clients feature wall. This will be available to purchase from my website.

I'm also completing three pieces for a property development busy, so exciting!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New Art outlet with The Sofa & Chair Company

I have neglected my blog again! I get caught up in a whirl of creative activity and time flies away from me.

Several months ago I received an enquiry from the interior designer at The Sofa and Chair Company in London. To be completely honest I didn't believe that the e-mail enquiry was genuine, but followed it up like a polite and sensible girl.
A phone call led to a meeting with the companys directors and the heads of design and sales to which I took a selection of artwork. A couple of weeks later I arrived at a further meeting (which I attended at the end of a busy day without having eaten ....choc chip cookies were gratefully received just as I thought my eyes were about to roll back in my head). Then we narrowed down what they were looking for to make their first collection of artwork to furnish their Acton showroom.
The 9 pieces commissioned range from 90cm x 70cm to 300cm x 240cm. The 3 largest were created on site as getting them through the workshop doors would have been impossible!
In the very near future there will be an official launch of this art collection, but it is already displayed in the showroom for customers to purchase....actually, I'm in the process of creating because 2 of the pieces as they have sold already and they need replacements! It's all very exciting.

As soon as the launch date is announced I will post pictures of the pieces I've created for the collection which will be available in-store and on-line.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Grand Designs 2013

The director of my new glass suppliers liked my most recent splashback so much that he commissioned me to do something on one of the kitchen displays he is exhibiting at the Grand Designs Live Show starting on Saturday 4th May in London. It was really short notice and the learning curve was furiously fast on this as I had to get the two pieces done in a much shorter amount of time than I'm usually happy with , but a challenge is hard to turn down!
I'm quite pleased with them despite the finickety problems which arise from trying to force materials to dry ahead of shedule etc. I inherited the shapes of the glass I was given to work on and worked up a design from there. I can't wait to see my work at the Grand Designs show for the first time! If you are going along my work is on the Southern Counties Glass stand
                   This is the countertop. The large squares you can see are a reflection from the ceiling!

 Unusual Flower shaped breakfast bar floats above the counter with transparent areas so that you can see the surface beneath.

Abstract Dandylion Splashback

I've been so busy. It's very exciting. I was contact by a lovely lady who had been trawling the internet for months trying to find inspiration for the large splashback in her beloved new kitchen. She initially contacted me thinking a commission would be out of her budget, but happily I came up with a design for her which we were both very excited about.
The finish involved a mix of white gold, palladium leaf, 22 carat gold, silver and various shades of grey all backed up with a minky perlescent.
I contacted a new glass company to template the work, delivery it to my workshop and do the final fitting. The whole process went like a dream and everybody involved is really happy with the results.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Patinated White gold

A detail showing the mink coloured basecoat and the patination on the leaf
I recently had an exciting meeting with a potential new client. Having looked through the work I was taking to show them I realised it was an opportunity to finally create a piece I had in mind for a commission several years ago. I ended up with 2 pieces...the 1st shows white gold chemically patinated and showing the base colour with one only slightly aged square of palladium leaf.

The 2nd piece is based on the growth of a kind of Lichen. I want to play with this again with a more flaky texture which is proud of the surface, but it's a good start and they really liked it at the client meeting.

James Bond Inspired Bedroom!

I've been a busy little bee of late. I recently completed an interior styling commission for a client who wanted their bedroom to have an elegant James Bond chic about it. We worked with the existing features such as the   very large wooden curtain pelmet which I covered in Silk, draped white voile panels behind and created feature lighting along it's length in warm white. The walls are painted in an ultra matt warm taupe. The main feature is the wall behind the bed. The finish for this was created last year during an experimental sample session using a perlescent paint which looks and feels like a soft silky fabric. The client is ecstatic and I am really happy with the results.