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Studio Life

It's been a funny old week which started early on Monday morning with a huge game of Musical Studios. Due to Bernadette Daly (Bee) deciding to leave...more on this below.... a space opened up and we all moved around one studio. I moved to the window seat whilst Catherine Lansdale moved into the space I occupied. The change to be fair was done quite smoothly once Catherine had decided where she wanted to place all her furniture and her massive chest! Plan chest that is. Don't ask about her sparkly knobs! Moving the studios meant that there was some display boards going spare and Leo Crabtree snapped them up and changed his exhibition space. You can see the result lower down the page. I do have to say though that I'm loving the new studio and the natural light that comes with it. I'm going to have to be clever in winter though in keeping out the draughts, but I do have a plan. Here is the final result after the move.

In amongst the melee I have also been able to produce some art. I was out and about again, this time in Bolton...time for a car sketch and this is the result from the car windscreen. I also spent some time on Saturday sketching in Blackburn town centre whilst the wife did a spot of shopping. This was very quick at around 10 minutes. I love combining my two passions or sketching and people watching.

I did also have a commission piece to do. This was a watercolour of a well known huge local pub, Grants Bar. I've never seen a building with as many windows as this. The person asking for this also wanted a fancy frame and I enjoyed hunting around for a blingy frame. It did look good in the end.

I can now reveal the second commission now it's been delivered to the new owner. This dog took some doing and is an acrylic canvas rather than a watercolour. The dog being white gave a challenge in making it look 3d. I am glad with the way it eventually turned out but it did need some adjustment under the guidance of the dog owner.

Finally I wanted to have a go at another black background two foot canvas of an animal. I found a royalty free image of a cheetah and started throwing paint at it on Wednesday. I nearly abandoned this one and gessoed over the canvas, but perseverance eventually paid off and two days later it was complete.

Finally from me is two more iPad paintings in my series of local hostelries and pubs painted from photos taken at night. These are two more and were done with different iPad apps. The Royal pub was painted in the Artrage App and the Sparth House hotel underneath it was done in the Procreate app. Two very different experiences and I'm starting to lean towards Procreate for the rest of this series . A few more to do yet.

The Royal on Sparth Road Clayton-le-Moors

Sparth House Hotel by night


What else has been happening?

As mentioned above, Leo Crabtree has changed his studio space and made himself much more accessible and reorganised his exhibition space. Up until now he has worked behind a barrier and people haven't really been able to see into his studio and see all his work. He gets a lot of very positive comments and the most sales in the whole building to be honest. This is due to his quality of art mainly, but he also has silver tongued charm to back it up. Visitors can now see into his studio and see more of his work on display. I'm sure you agree it looks like a nice space.


Just Imagine UK had a very frenzied few hours of cleaning and tidying to get their space back into order this week. They have been very busy of late, and with such quick changes of costume and props, it's impossible to get everything in it's place. Sam Newsam managed Emily, Millie and Jessica as they sprang into action and just like Mary Poppins, with Sam shouting 'Spit Spot' they had the place looking neat as a pin by adopting the Poppins philosophy of... 'In every job that must be done there is an element of fun......'

Just Imagine UK held one of their pamper parties on Saturday afternoon for a luck 9 year old girls birthday. The theme for this one was 'Sparkle and Slime' and Just Imagine brought in their slime specialist for this one as well as Danielle and her team attending to the pampering. Again there was lots for the girls to do and loads of special treats to eat and drink. To find out more about these events and to book one for your little charges, please visit the Just Imagine UK social networking sites or just pop into the studios to pick up information.


It was good to see Hannah Roach in the studio this week, well at least for half a day as she managed to get some time back from work. She is currently working on a series of digital works in the form of posters which she has had printed. When I asked for an example for the blog along with a few words, this was her response..

I’m interested in creating environment’s that allow the viewer to create a narrative of a fantasy world. My drawings are initiated from an interest in the relationship between the body and the city, the way they simultaneously grow while we build upon ourselves and the world around us.

Here is one of her latest pieces that has already been converted to a print run. I'll post more once they come online.


And Finally....

The main element to this post has been the moving around of the studio spaces. This has come about by the departure of Bernadette Daly, AKA Bee AKA Busy Bee. Bee was one of the longest serving tenants and had occupied Studio 1 whilst in residence. She made the decision to leave and establish her practice in her new home studio following a house move to larger premises. Bee will be missed by everyone here. Personally I have spent a lot of time with her as we were next door neighbours and spent many a happy day chatting when we should have been arting, but that's the great thing about working in a small environment with fellow creatives. I will miss her skill as an artist and her ability to turn the everyday into beautiful objects, I particularly like her insect creations which have been displayed at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, a perfect outlet for her work. I am looking forward to seeing her new work as she is active on social media, we will also see her regularly as she will still be working at the main house and running her free drop in workshops every second weekend.

Good luck Bee and I hope you are happy in your new environment and that the creative juices continue to flow.