It has been a long time coming, but we are now accepting visitors again. But...before you all rush to see us, please remember that there are strict rules in place which allow us to remain open. These include: wearing masks, social distancing, sanitising on entry, completing Track and Trace details and bearing in mind that we can only allow three people at a time in each side of the studios. A bit different to normal but this is the new normal for a while yet. Thanks for bearing with us!
The studios have been busier after a bit of a lull last week. More artists have been in residence and it's had a great feel around here, even though we are staying well away from each other.
I have been continuing to produce iPad pieces as well as watercolours which are hopefully turning more mundane scenes into something a bit more attractive. Again there are some pieces I am not allowed to show as their owners haven't received them yet.
I have also been practicing my animals on the iPad using a different app with really good paint tools. They are shown here.
Here is my gallery for this week.
A quick book update. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had compiled my lockdown sketches into a book with over 130 pieces and accompanying notes from the time. This is taking a while as it's not just a photobook, but needs editing and laying out before printing. Currently the draft is with the printer and I hope to get my hand on the first galley copy next week.
Catherine has been absent from the Studios this week as since the schools have gone back she has had to self isolate. We look forward to seeing her back at her table soon.
Quirky Frog Studio
Allison and Jayne, the sisters who make up Quirky Frog Studio have bee very busy this week. They have been re-stocking from a successful Crafty Vintage event at Hoghton Tower where they sold many pieces which now need replacing. When you make cards and other handmade goods its always the case that the Christmas word is mentioned a little earlier than normal, and I know Jayne has been busy creating cushions, bags and other items with the lovely festive material she has acquired. It might be a good opportunity now we are open, to come down to the Studios and have a look at what they do. I know they are already taking Christmas orders and you can also do this from their Etsy Shop. Allison's cards are suitable for any occasion and if you have a special event or request, she is able to put something bespoke together which would make a super and thoughtful gift.
Masks are proving very popular too for obvious reasons and I have ordered bespoke masks from them and I am looking forward to revealing these once they are complete.
Just Imagine UK
It has been great to see Danielle and Sam in again this week. They have just come through the other end of a hectic six weeks of Summer School which has been very taxing as well as immensely enjoyable. It was time to get back though and regroup, and the first thing on the agenda was to get the place tidy again with everything in it's place. To this end, Danielle dispatched Sam to the loft where after a couple of hours of banging and crashing things were getting back to normal. Reminded me a little of the Mary Poppins characters they perform. I am sure I heard Danielle shouting 'Spit Spot' at Sam!
It is now time for them to concentrate on the Performing Arts Academy which has begun again. Social Distancing rules mean it is a little different, but the experience is just as rewarding for the young performers. Details of this can be seen on the poster below.
Unfortunately I have to mention the Christmas word again, but when you run a company that manage to get the services of the real Father Christmas, planning has to start early, although I do worry that Santa may have to self isolate when entering the country! Danielle and Sam are currently planning their Christmas offering and bookings are already being taken. Please have a look at their Social Media sites to get the full details. But here is an image to whet your appetite in this strange world.
As a post Script to JIUK, we were delighted to see that Sam is a finalist in the 'Enterprising Man' category of the Hyndburn Business Awards for 2020.
The awards evening which was scheduled for November is now being held online, and we wish Sam all the very best. We all know how enterprising he is!
We haven't seen Leo this week as he visited friends down South. Hopefully he will be back in the studios next week and back completing the work in progress piece shown over the last couple of weeks.
Andy has been back working in his studio and experimenting on gold leaf burnishing techniques. His aim is to be able to use the leaf in combination with glass to get a 3D effect just by the way he puts down the gold.
As well as the experimenting with gold leaf Andy has been practicing with lettering techniques in a variety of materials and tools.
Watch out for his calligraphy courses which he is hoping to start again soon.