22 Nov 2016

Black Friday at the Black Sheep

Just a few days to go before I open my gallery to the public!!! Right now, I feel a bit like the proverbial dog who`s bitten off more than she can chew, but hopefully things will ease up once I get it all started.
I really wish we adopted the Thanksgiving holiday over here as well, rather than Halloween, which I`m not a fan of, but who knows.

I can`t offer huge discounts on televisions and dishwashers, nor thankfully the horrendous, hypocritical stampedes that often accompany them (it is the day after Thanksgiving, after all, so being thankful one minute and almost killing someone else over a blender the next, is hypocritical, imho).  However, I am offering 20% discount off all original artwork and my husband, of HF Photography, is doing the same on his photographic prints

There`ll be shortbread and mince pies, tea and coffee, and the stove will most likely be lit. It`s getting cold!! So please come in for a look.  There`s no pressure, I`d just really appreciate the support of you coming, and if you see something you fancy, even better. 

We are now able to offer card payments with my new SumUp Card reader, which many other artists and stallholders have told me they are very happy with, and it is one of the top 3 on the market, so you can feel secure with your purchases. 

Hopefully, you can make it. Times are as follows:

Friday 25th November: 10.30 am to 9pm (I`ll be the one high on caffeine by 6).
Saturday 26th November: 11 am to 3pm

125 Knockan Road, 
Co. Antrim, 

Even got some Christmas deco out for a festive feel!! But the house will have to wait till December for its.

11 Nov 2016

News In Brief

Nearing the end of another busy week, with a heavy cold thrown in. But looks like I am at the end of the tunnel, and might be able to get the trainers outside again soon. I digress.

Just thought I`d share some news with you. Of course, I`ve been meaning to do it for ages, here. But better late than never. 

My 1st group show as an Associate  member of the USWA (Ulster Society of Women Artists, which if you Google it, you will probably find the United States Wrestling Association !!) is coming to an end on Saturday 12th (the day after tomorrow), so there`s still a bit of a window to see it in The Crescent Arts Centre in the University area of Belfast. I believe there are 120 works on, most for sale, all of different styles, so there should be something for everyone. I`m also chuffed to say that one of my 2 entries, High Tea, won The New Member`s award. Here`s some pics of yours truly receiving the award from President Kay Cullen and looking rather pleased on the opening night last week!

While I`m busy trying to organise (and in some cases, finish) work for Christmas shows in various galleries, scheduling a few things in for next year, trying to market smaller pieces in my online shops and deciding which competitions to enter, etc,  I`m also getting my own studio open to the public as of November 25th!! Am I mad? I`ll still be offering viewing by appointment, but as the kids are all at school for most of the day now, I`m out there most days anyway, so we decided to just do it: put a sign up, advertise a bit and hopefully get more people popping in. (As long as it`s not in the middle of a flat watercolour wash: should be interesting!) So, we`ve been busy little elves painting walls, and me, once again, upcycling yet more used furniture, even getting the Christmas decorations out! I hate doing anything like that in the house before December, but I suppose that`s business. The B word for artists.  I`ve even ordered a SumUp card reader to be able to offer card payments. Yep, dragged kicking and screaming into the modern, digital age.

To celebrate, we`re having a special event called Black Friday at The Black Sheep Gallery, which will run the Saturday after also, offering a whopping 20% off all original artwork and photographic prints. So if you`re looking for an original Christmas gift, please don`t buy another print from IKEA that everyone else has, or spend hours in a traffic queue at the newly opened Range in Ballymena, just because everyone else goes there. Be original and shop local. I try to. You`ve probably heard this before, but anyway: "Buy art from living artists. The dead ones don`t need the money." Enough said.

Event times:  Friday November 25th:     10.30am to 9pm
                     Saturday November 26th:  10.30 am to 3pm

Tea, coffee, a lit stove, and mince pies, if you can stomach them this early, will be on offer. 

Black Friday event on Facebook: 

You will also be able to find me at a stand at The Ballymena Academy Fair this year again, on Saturday the 10th of December. More on that in a later post.

Also, for those who don`t yet know, I  just started uploading some videos on YouTube a couple of months ago, mostly product reviews, some tips and techniques, etc. Please take a look at my channel, give any videos you like or find useful a thumbs up, and subscribe to be kept up to date with new videos as I post them. This is my latest one on Winsor and Newton`s pigment markers:

And before I forget, since I`m trying to free up some studio space for more recent work, I`ve been offering some older pieces at big discount prices every Thursday on my Facebook page for the last couple of weeks.  Look out for the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday and there are still 2 more weeks of these special offers left.

And since it is #FolksyFriday after all, pop over to my Facebook page where I`m doing a wee promo to get others to share my event, by offering this wee #folksy piece from a few years back to one lucky winner drawn from all those who like, share and tag a friend on my event. For obvious reasons, THIS PROMO ONLY APPLIES TO UK RESIDENTS.

The prize is this wee original pen and ink with a watercolour wash, which I did when Nathan Jess asked me to design the cover artwork for his album, Love Stands Forever. This was one of the preliminary designs I had in mind.  The leaves are a lovely copper colour which doesn`t show up very well in the photograph. It`s unmounted and unframed, but I will send it anywhere in the UK free of charge, in a sealed cellophane envelope, and with some hardboard for protection, and you can frame it as you wish.

 Dawn Chorus II,
pen and ink, with watercolour wash on paper
10 x 7 inches

I might even throw in something else, too, as a wee surprise. Hope you have a nice Friday and a restful weekend folks. Speak soon x

7 Oct 2016

#folksyfriday When Copper Met Turquoise official blog

Oops -  didn`t manage to get a #folksyfriday post written last week, but I`m glad to announce that today I`ve gone one better and written the official one over on Folksy`s own blog page! So, I`m feeling a little bit chuffed. (love that word, the sound of it, the onomatopoeic quality of it - now there`s a big word harking back to my A-Level English Lit days. I digress..)

Anyone who knows a bit about my artwork will see I have a thing about turquoise, and when you pair it with some coppery tones, for me, it`s a match made in heaven.

Here`s the link to the blogpost, and I hope you enjoy :)


23 Sep 2016

Autumn Colours for #FolksyFriday

Hi all! Just popped by to let you know that I now have a shop on Folksy, too, where I`ll be selling some smaller original artworks, original artist linocut prints, and some limited edition giclée prints and cards.

Since yesterday was the first day of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, I posted my acrylic piece, with some hand embroidery detailing, "Autumn, The Four Seasons" to celebrate the start of my favourite season.

In this blog post, I`d like to share with you some of my favourite Autumn-inspired finds on Folksy.  As always folks, please remember that copyright belongs to the artists and crafters.  If you would like to use these images on social media, you must credit them back to their original author.  I`ve posted links to all the respective shops beneath each image so you can go straight to their Folksy shop.  Happy Autumn all!!

I just love the colours and the composition of this beautiful collograph print,  "Autumn hare" by Suzi Thompson Printmaker.

I`m a bit of a bookworm, (I confess more so before the advent of the digital age, but paper isn`t going anywhere soon, imho) and who could resist such a quaint bookmark? I love it! "Autumn Embroidered Landscape Bookmark" by Lynwoodcrafts.

"Tree Pendant in autumnal orange" by Tanith Rouse Jewellery is simply gorgeous! I absolutely love the colours!

 And this is one of four pieces I did, each measuring 20 x 50 cms on box canvas, called "The Four Seasons". Look closer, and you`ll see "Autumn" is holding a small hedgehog in her hands, complete with hand embroidered spikes. She`s available in my new Folksy shop, Judith Logan.

This is a beautifully crafted pendant, showcasing the amazing, graphic qualities of seedheads and pods that are so typical of the season. You can find this and more in Claire Gent`s Folksy shop.

And finally, Autumn just wouldn`t be Autumn without some rust coloured leaves. Why not have one all year round, in the form of this lovely "autumn leaf brooch" by Lotus Blossom?

or in the form of this beautiful, porcelain leaf decoration? Made by Pelin Hanley ceramics. 

Thanks for taking the time to look at my autumnal selection. I really hope you enjoyed it. I had so much fun choosing what to post, I think I`ll be posting more for #FolksyFriday !! Have a great weekend folks. Enjoy the changing colours, stop to look at the glistening spiders`webs in the morning dew, breathe in the aroma of a brisk walk in the fresh air, and make some jam or a pie!

If you like a bit of poetry, make a coffee, sit back, and enjoy John Keat´s classic: #odetoautumn

4 Jul 2016

New YouTube Channel!

Mega short post to let you know that I have started to post some art-related videos on Youtube. The first one needs a bit of polishing up, but with practice, I hope to get better! This video shows a little bit of my working process, which varies quite a bit depending on the piece, and I hope to post more like this, using different techniques and media, and also reviewing and comparing products, art books, etc.  So please take a look, and of course, if you like it, please give me a thumbs up, and don`t forget to subscribe!!

20 Feb 2016

A bed of roses......

Before I forget how to use blogger completely, I thought I`d better write a post asap.  So sorry to all those who follow me here,  but life is so busy and these days I generally use Facebook and now Twitter for most of my social media networking, etc.  If only I could afford an agent to do all that for me, lol!  Then maybe I would have more time to actually paint!!

Well, to get straight to the point, I don`t know if any of you read my post a while back about entering competitions, but for me, 2016 got off to a great start.  One of my pieces got accepted for the Royal Watercolour Society`s Contemporary Watercolour Competition!!  Even though it is one of my favourite waterbased media pieces I`ve done so far, I was actually a little shocked that it got through.  It`s a pretty high profile art show and the competition is huge.  For many, open entries are a bit of a taboo subject. Usually there is an entry fee, and if you live across the water like I do, or even further afield, delivery of artwork can cost a small fortune.  Fingers crossed Rosa (below) sells!! As much as I love her, I hope I don`t ever see her again (except for the opening night on the 3rd March, which I`m really hoping I`ll be able to attend, even though that`ll be even more expense :/ )
For the last few years now, since I started to work in watercolour, I have been in awe of many of the society`s members, bought a few of their painting videos and books, while finding my own path on this watercolour journey.  It`d be awesome to meet some of them in person!


Saying goodbye to Rosa before she heads off to The Bankside Gallery in London. Please excuse the reflections in the glass, the big white label stuck on the front,and the rather bad model! but you get a better idea of the size of the painting this way.

But whatever your opinion, the fact remains that getting through to these events can only be positive in an artist`s career.  You never know what doors it might open, and it feels nice to have some kind of formal recognition of your work.  That said, rejection is part of life, and on the flipside when your email reads "unfortunately, on this occasion..." you need to get past that too. I entered three into the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy) in Dublin.   It was my first time, and none of them got accepted. Should I feel disheartened? I probably wouldn`t be human if I didn`t a bit.  Should I feel envious of those who did get accepted, or as so many artists sadly do, praise them to their faces and then stick a knife in their back later: gossip about how on earth they got in when your work is so much better? No, I shouldn`t.  Maybe their work is better, maybe it`s just different.  Maybe....
Beauty, and talent, are often in the eye of the beholder, nowhere more so perhaps than in the visual arts. 

As I grow, and grow older, as a human being and an artist, life has taught me that being happy for others`successes can be every bit as gratifying as enjoying one`s own.  I often feel like life is in fact a bed of roses.....there`s so much beauty to be had, but thornpricks are inevitable.  I suppose it`s how we deal with our triumphs as well as our defeats, that make the difference.

It seems I have had quite a thing about roses lately: a few of my pieces using the iconic flower, all of which were initially inspired by an old porcelain jug with a pattern of pink roses on a black background, which I found on Ebay.

Yours truly working on The Housekeeper, now SOLD
 Rose In The Night Garden, oils on canvas, SOLD
Rose And The Magpie
coloured pencils

21 Aug 2015

Jackson`s art competition

A short blog post tonight: my piece "Swan" got shortlisted for an acrylic painting competition with renowned British Art Supplies company, Jackson`s.  I am pretty pleased, since it was literally a last minute entry because I only found out about the competition on Twitter, where I  just opened an account a few days ago and am still learning the ropes.  If you`d like to follow me there, my user name is JudithLArt, by the way.

Anyway, here is the link to the online voting for The People`s Choice Awards.  It is only through Facebook, so that people can only vote once (but for as many pieces as you like) to therefore ensure against cheating apparently.  
If you like mine, I`d really appreciate a wee vote.  Goodnight and sweet dreams, Judith x


19 Aug 2015

tweet, tweet, short and sweet

Ok, like I really need another social site to eat away at my precious time......but I have finally given in to peer pressure and opened a Twitter account. As I am a very open person, I have no qualms in revealing that I have very little clue about how to use it, and wish that I didn`t need to.  But as a self-employed artist in the big bad world out there, I now feel I can hardly afford not to.

(I will just try to ignore the tweets about what so-and-so had for dinner last night, who they are with now, etc and hope that it helps give my art good exposure and me to meet likeminded individuals albeit in a virtual manner).

Should you care to follow me there, my user name is JudithLArt

Oh, and before I forget, I am offering 15% off across my entire Etsy shop until August 30th!! Just type LEAVES in at checkout.  And thanks to Folt Bolt for another plug posting my work on her Facebook page today. Please have a nosey if you feel so inclined and have a monent to spare. She showcases an amazing array of colorful artworks and crafts from all around the globe and it is amazing to be included.


20 Jul 2015

Call For Entries

How many times have I paused for thought after reading those words in art magazines, and now more commonly, in Facebook posts, etc? Lately, I have decided to enter more competitons or calls for entry to exhibitions. It is a gamble, it costs a lot of money, and the fear of rejection is ever present, but if an artist wants to gain greater exposure, or a bigger audience for selling their work, then he or she needs to have quite a few eggs in quite a few baskets. 

 The problem I face is I live on an island :/ 

The biggest and probably most sought after show in Northern Ireland is the RUA`s annual exhbition. I am pleased to report that I have again been shortlisted for this year`s after getting accepted last year and being fortunate enough to have my piece sell on the opening night.  But being true to my rather unconfident self, I am not very happy with my offering for this year, but hadn`t time to finish other new work, and work previously exhibited here was inadmissible, so... I feel I rushed it, but to my great surprise, it got accepted, at least, it passed the first stage.  And I should probably try for some in the south of Ireland, especially since I am now in a really good Dublin gallery called The Doorway Gallery, but like everything else, I just haven`t gotten round to it yet....maybe next year!

But whether us islanders like it or not, we really want (and need, probably) to try across the Channel, and that for us is even more expensive.  We can`t just fly over or hop on the ferry every time we want to enter a painting in some exhibition or other, so we have to use carriers, or even Royal Mail, (and keep our fingers crossed).  Financially, it`s no picnic.  Artists aren`t exactly on the top of the pay roll, (unless we make installation art masterpieces of our unmade beds, dare I write this?) and entering competitions is expensive and with absolutely no guarantee of any return.  But as Gatsby would say,
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

On the one hand, we would all like to make it, whatever that means, but on the other, entering work in these sorts of exhibitions makes us even more vulnerable, open for criticism, judgement, and art is a highly personal matter.  I think developing a thick skin is an essential requirement for anyone in the visual arts.  Let`s face it, you aren`t going to please everyone, nor should you try. 

 White Tulips Remind me of You,
watercolour, and other waterbased media on paper,
56 x 76 cms

So this one didn`t make it in my first attempt at entering The Sunday Times Watercolour competition this year, but I like it, and for anyone who knows how hard I am on myself, that says a lot!  I think as long as the artist likes his or her own work, then basically that`s what matters. Be true to yourself, and don`t fall into tthe trap of trying to make everyone else happy.  

So, I have entered it into Artists & Illustrators Artist of The Year 2015, along with a few others, and since I am a member of their Portfolio Plus, at least this one was free, so to speak.  But it may not get accepted, in fact the statistics are against me, but rejection is part of life, and actually, something I think our younger generation need to be taught to weather better. Not everyone can win at Sports`Day, not everyone can play the leading role in the school play, not every child will be able to play the trumpet, the violin, be great at rugby or football and get 90% in their tests.  Ok, so I am getting a bit sidetracked here, but my point is, we are all different, and nobody can be ourselves like we can.  And if one artist gets accepted into a competition, good for them, and if I don`t, or you don`t, well, we can always try again.  I think accepting other`s successes as well as our own (and the times we don`t succeed), is a crucial part of growing up and growing, and something we all need to work at, if we were only a bit more honest about it.

10 Jun 2015

Please come and visit my online shop!

Thought I`d plug my Etsy shop a little. I opened it about a month and a half ago, and had my first sale of two lino prints to Washington State, USA! Fingers crossed they get there ok...The post office always says 5 days, but I think that`s wishful thinking? Still, when you consider how nowadays we can send, buy and sell things all over the world, it`s pretty awesome!!

My Etsy shop is primarily for my art cards, giclée prints (fancy French word for lightfast, fade resistant, archival, digital reproductions of my original paintings and drawings), my original artist prints (so far, monoprints and linocut prints) and some smaller original artworks. Here`s a wee taster of some of my offerings:

Unfortunately, the would-be buyer for The Bride, below, couldn`t finish the sale, so it`s still up for grabs, and I think it would make a lovely wedding present, and we are entering the favourite season for tying the knot! But an anniversary would also be good, or maybe just because....as good a reason as any, sometimes.

The Bride, oils on canvas,
20 x 50 cms 

These 2 are from a wee while back, and are at a very reasonable price, and are done on beautiful Khadi paper: a work of art in itself!

mixed media and hand stitching on Khadi paper
Image: 20 x 20cms

Tree With Stripes
mixed media and collage on Khadi paper
20 x 20 cms

There are many more, so please have a browse by clicking on the link to the right, that says Etsy, or here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JudithLoganART

And remember, I offer worldwide shipping, and service with a smile!  

6 May 2015

News in Brief...

Keep getting behind in my social updates.......but I always get there in the end, usually, anyway...

So, just a little news in brief for anyone who`s interested, (or just wants a few minutes respite from the pre-Election mania).

The UKCPS International Open Exhibition is now underway. The private view was tonight, but please check out the society`s website or The Menier Gallery´s, hosting this year`s show in London.  I really wish I could have been there in the flesh to catch up with some new friends and acquaintances I met in Birmingham last year, but sadly it wasn`t to be.  Glad at least, though, that one of my coloured pencil pieces, Rose And The Magpie, did make it.  Some giclée prints and art cards of my other works in the same medium are also available there. So, if any of you live in London, or will be in the area within the next couple of weeks, please go and have a wee visit.



Rose and the Magpie, is now at this year`s UKCPS Open International Exhibition,
The Menier Gallery, London

And finally, I got around to setting up my new Etsy Shop. The whole Etsy experience is pretty amazing, but what a lot of work setting it up: sorting out listings, photos, and worst of all, postage prices: the bane of any small-business owner!! A few nights staying up until the wee small hours of the morning was called for, (not much new there, then!) But I am hopeful it will be worth it, although it may take some time, and work, like other social media sites I suppose, to generate traffic, etc. With all of these things being juggled around, it`s difficult, at times nigh impossible, to actually MAKE new artwork! I know I`m not alone thinking/feeling that, but I suspect I may as well get used to it, and try to find a balance in the chaos, like the rest of you ;)

Here`s the link to my shop, and please do drop by often or follow me to see new listings as I post them. I will be selling mainly giclée prints, art cards, original artist prints (so far, only linocut prints) and a few small originals.  And if Royal Mail stays on my side, I aim to post all over the world.

One of my listings in my Etsy shop for ANY 4 art cards (you choose) for £10.00 plus P&P

Bon soir! Judith x

2 Apr 2015

The small print(s)

Finally, I got round to finishing my series of 5 lino prints (all 180 of them, in total), and I have the arm muscles to prove it, since I had to use the wooden spoon method.  One day, I would love to own a printing press, but for now the spoon prevails. All those years lifting weights and toddlers have not been wasted.

I even have 5 finished collagraph plates, lying waiting patiently in a drawer, some of them from 2 years ago or more.   In vain, I have tried to print them successfully without a press....but the intaglio method, it seems, requires an etching press. So, if any of you are in the know, please do leave a comment. I have looked endlessly on google and priced around, but it is a big investment, so I want to make it wisely and I will see how these relief prints go first.  

These have all been made using, I think they call it, softcut, from again, I think, Lawrence Art Supplies, or maybe it was Jackson`s.  This close to my solo show, which opens on Saturday and the kids all off school for what seems is going to be a very wet Easter, have turned my brain to mush. 

Here`s the link by the way, to my solo show: http://www.gallery1608.co.uk/gallery/?aid=229 

The paper is BFK Rives, which I love, but I am going to try some Somerset more, too... and the inks are either Caligo Safe Wash or Lawrence`s own, but both are oil-based, which I have to say I prefer to water based, even if clean-up is a tad messier.  I am not a seasoned relief printmaker, by any means, but I really like Lawrence`s oil-based inks, a bit cheaper than other perhaps more well known brands, but every bit as good in my humble opinion. Maybe one of them will read this blog and send me a free sample pack of inks.......or maybe not.......

Here is the motley crew....

 La Sirena
Hand-pulled lino print
Greyblue oil-based ink on BFK Rives printmaking paper
(also available in black)
Edition of 30

Like a Fish out of Water
  Hand-pulled lino print
Greyblue oil-based ink on BFK Rives printmaking paper
(also available in black)
Edition of 30

Hand-pulled lino print
Red oil-based ink on BFK Rives printmaking paper
(also available in black, Indian red and greyblue)
Edition of 40

Hand-pulled lino print
Black oil-based ink on BFK Rives printmaking paper
(also available in red, Indian red and greyblue)
Edition of 40

The Gossip
Hand-pulled lino print
Indian Red oil based-ink on BFK Rives printmaking paper
(also available in black, red and greyblue)
Edition of 40

Once we get the show on the road, I will be taking a few days break from the old easel/art table, and then it will be back to the grind, finishing off paintings for other exhibitions, etc, and I  will be putting these lino prints on what will hopefully be my new Etsy shop. So stay tuned! I think I have now got the printmaking bug, so I will definitely be trying to fit in more around my paintings, and hopefully the 2 will "feed off" each other.  Now, I need a cup of mint tea........... Bon soir! xx

19 Mar 2015

First Solo Show getting closer..

Just a wee post to let you know that I have my first solo show coming up at the beginning of April!! 

Gallery 1608 Bushmills
4th to 18th April 2015

(It has been pretty consuming getting everything ready, especially trying to balance things with family life that involves young kids, and one of them hasn`t been that well lately....Getting tests done soon to find out if my suspicions about Coeliac disease will be confirmed...My mum is coeliac, has been for as long as I can remember, and apparently, there`s a gene...)

Anyway, I am pretty much there, but looks like there might be a bit of a last minute rush, just to get the last hand pulled (literally, because I`m using the wooden spoon burnishing method still, since I haven`t gotten a press yet) lino prints done, signed, numbererd, etc, and dried in time for them to be mounted and a few of them framed. 

I will be showing new watercolours, a series of 5 (maybe 6!!! if I can find more hours in the day!?) lino prints done in a varied edition, which means the same print is available in different colours, as well as a collection of other paintings,  (oils, watercolours, artist prints and mixed media) most of which have been completed in the last year and a few have never been exhibited in the north of Ireland yet.

I decided to call my show Interlude, because I want my work to give the viewer a bit of breathing space, a time to just be still, quiet.  The world is a noisy enough place.  At least that is my intention, but hopefully the work will speak for itself...........

Here is one of the pieces I will be showing:

Mary and Jim sat here
watercolours and acrylic ink on paper

Do you ever notice the names engraved on some park benches? Ever wondered about those people that sat there? This is my homage to them and their faithful love to each other. Maybe next time you sit down on a park bench, take a look and see if someone`s name is written on it and think about what their lives might have been like, what they did, and why someone took the time to engrave their memory into a seat in a park. It`s actually quite humbling.

lino print

The Gossip
lino print

And here are a a few of my lino prints.  Please excuse the poor quality iphone photos, but I have yet to get my other half at Hfphotography to take proper photos of them.  These are Pocahontas and The  Gossip, and both will be available in red, Indian red (as in The Gossip print above), black and bluegrey. They are all oil based inks, either Caligo or from Lawrence Art Supplies, and are all hand done from start to finish, printed by hand on BFK Rives 250gms white printmaking paper.   

So, I hope to see some of you there, but for now, it`s back to the studio and down to the wire......

23 Feb 2015

Mary Fedden

Yes, I am back in blogger land.......
and I will try to be back more often. Yes, I know you have heard that before!
(Facebook has stolen too much of my time, lately.....and let`s not even talk about Pinterest....)

Since I post most of my artwork on Facebook now, I thought I would try to do more blogs here about artists who inspire me, art products and materials, techniques and so on...

My interest in other artists and admiration of their work, past and present, spans a wide genre. But one who I discovered a few years ago, by way of APV films, was Mary Fedden, who has since sadly passed away.  While I watched the film with interest then, my curiosity in her work has really only been aroused lately. Perhaps partly because I am more interested in still lifes now than I was then - one of the subject matters she is best known for.

Many people pigeon hole her work as Naive. There is something about that word in the artworld that troubles me slightly, or better said, something about labelling art as Naive.  I myself, have no trouble with the term nor the art itself, per se, and know some fine artists who call themselves Naive, whose work I love. But many people will dismiss Naive art as something childish, immature and distinctly not Fine Art enough.  I feel it can be misunderstood..... I `d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Personally, I think this is a huge mistake. Surely art can just be for art`s sake? Something just to make a viewer smile, escapism from our sorry, sad world. Does it have to be political, symbolic, thought-provoking?  Quite a bit of my own art is symbolic, but probably in the most part known only to me. There is always the danger that critics read far too much into a painting and come up with a raison d`etre that was never the artist`s intention.

Anyway, if you like Fedden`s work, then I recommend this book by Christopher Andreae.  One of the best art books I have ever bought, as much for the beautifully reproduced artworks as for the honest, unpretentious text that accompanies it. For me, a breath of fresh air.

Her still lifes especially intrigue me.  It is not a common genre for me, but little by little I am starting to incorportate more personal objects into my own work, and am beginning to accumulate a somewhat Magpie`s nest of cups, feathers, fabrics, etc which have caught my eye, in a corner of my studio. I particularly love how some objects in Fedden`s work crop up again and again in many different paintings, sometimes, changed quite dramatically, other times, instantly recognisable as a Fedden "prop". I have always loved old objects, quirky objects, pattern, all things vintage and retro, and have always esteemed sentimental attachment over financial value, so it kind of makes sense that this becomes a part of my artwork.

 As homage to the little jug which appears in the painting on the book cover and in the one above, I was inspired to do a little linocut, (well actually this is not lino, more akin to Speedball speedycarve, but not that either!) I have been doing a series of relief prints, which I hope to include in my forthcoming 1st solo show in April in Gallery 1608 in a little tourist village in Northern Ireland`s beautiful North Coast. (Bushmills, as the town is called, is famous for being home to the oldest whisky distillery in the world! But more on that another time.) But this is very different to the subject matter of my series.

I think I`ll call it Mary Fedden`s Jug. This is not my best lino cut, by any stretch.  I certainly wouldn`t include it in an exhibition.  Unfortunately, as is the case with relief carving, it is hard, nigh impossible, to rectify any mistakes, and after a slip of the blade, I carved away too much here, especially underneath the jug, but still, a lesson has been learned, and that is always valuable. So, hopefully, the next attempt will be better. I am adding it here, since the subject of this post inspired me to try it, and I haven`t gotten around yet to doing a second one. Still very much a novice printmaker, the discipline is something which really excites me as an artist, and offers a different dimension to my paintings. I often include my handmade stamps in them, so it seems a natural progression for me to consider printmaking more as an art form in its own right.

Some of my handmade stamps, and pattern plates, as I call them, which I use, often again and again, in my paintings in several different media.  Inspired by the handmade stamp guru, Gennine Zlatkis, (Hope she doesn`t take offence to me calling her that!) to start storing them flat in a drawer.

My trial and error, off-the-cuff relief plate and print inspired by Mary Fedden`s work. Sometimes I just go in for the kill, (it was late, and I was feeling lazy and spontaneous) and on this occasion it didn`t work.  But the seed has been sown, and I will draft the next one more carefully now.

While watching the APV film,  I discovered that she used her late-husband`s  (Julian Trevelyan ) discarded etchings as collages in her mixed media work and I especially like how she lets parts overlap the edge or frame of the painting, as can be seen above in Two Lemons. It adds another interest to the piece as a whole.

If you are a Fedden fan, or indeed would like to recommend I research another artist whose work is best known for still lifes, I`d love you to leave a comment, thanks!

2 Dec 2014

Christmas Shows 2014

Just a wee reminder to those of you interested in my art, that I will be exhibiting in the following galleries` Christmas Shows this year:

Charles Gilmore Fine Art Dealers, Belfast
The Yard Gallery, Holywood
Gallery 1608, Bushmills
The Doorway Gallery, Dublin

I still have some framed giclée prints available in Designer Home Interiors shop in Broughshane also, or you can buy from me direct!!! 

Here are a few of the prints and cards I have for sale.  You can buy from me directly with Paypal or BACS, if you prefer.  I will unfortunately not be restocking my Folksy shop in the foreseeable future, but hope to try out Etsy soon. There should be a link to the shop from my web site when I get it up and running properly again.

Mainly due to this, fairs I have had stalls at, and other demands on my time, I will not be having an Open studio this year, (but perhaps something in the New Year?!), before I knuckle down to continue making new work for my first solo show in Bushmill`s Gallery 1608.  I do still have work available from my own studio/gallery. You can see which pieces are available where, if you browse my albums in my Facebook Page.  Apologies, but I am getting my webpage revamped and updated, and it might take a wee while! I will keep you posted ;)

In the meantime, I`ll leave you with this short video that The Doorway Gallery made for their Dublin Christmas show.  I know quite a few of you like to do a bit of Christmas shopping there, so why not pop in and have a  look?

I am last in the video, but not least, or maybe they just saved the best till last!!! haha, only kidding! Anyway, it`s a beautiful song, too, and reminds us of the real meaning of this time of year! Speak soon, folks! Judith x

13 Nov 2014

Afternoon tea, anyone?

I am one of those people who love the fact that vintage china tea cups are back in vogue, (even if my fingers are generally too big and clumsy to hold the handle properly, the way you are supposed to!)
So, I had been mulling a few ideas over in my head about a painting based around our revered tea-drinking culture.  And this is what I came up with.

Ladies Who Lunch
Derwent Drawing Pencils on black pastel paper
Image: 42 x 29 cms 

I did this smaller piece in coloured pencil, primarily as a trial of composition before I committed myself to doing a big oil, but I like it as an artwork in its own right, and it`s no secret that I am a big fan of Derwent`s Drawing pencil range. The palette, while limited to only 24 colours, is gorgeous, and who can resist those creamy pencil leads?  
For the oil, I made a few changes to the colours and patterns, etc, but essentially it`s the same, oh and I added visible seats!! (In case you`re wondering, the ladies above are sitting on a bench ;)

 High Tea
oils on canvas
With frame: 42 x 32 inches

 I seem to have a bit of a thing for turquoise blues, greens and coppers....I do paint with other beautiful colours, you know, but this seems to be my favourite palette............ 

Anyway,  this is currently hanging in one of Northern Ireland`s plushest hotels: Galgorm Manor Resort and Spa, in their River Room, where it just so happens they serve very fancy high teas.  Actually, my sister and I are taking our mum and aunts there for her birthday in December.  If you fancy giving that someone special, a special treat, it`s a really lovely gift, (and if you fancy buying my painting, even better!!)

Please get in touch with Charles Gilmore Gallery, Belfast, 0044 (0) 28 9031 1666 if you are interested.  As Mrs. Doyle would say, "Agh, go on, go on!  you will, you will, you will..............." (You have to know who Father Ted is to get this, and if you don`t, look it up and watch an episode, and give yourself a laugh).  By the way, Mrs Doyle likes her tea, "just so!"