The Garden

Gardens are lovely places. Space to wander, think, breathe, remember, and more. I’m not a keen gardener but I am thankful to have some outside space to escape to.

In my role as Artist In Residence with GameShift – I’ve recently had the opportunity to artistically explore the garden as a place of remembrance. I’ve been working with some good people at Barts Hospital, designing an image to represent an online garden of remembrance. I chose to work in a representational style using ink and watercolour. Not my usual thing – but very little feels usual right now, so I used this as an opportunity to stretch myself and to hone my drawing skills a little too. Here’s what I came up with:

The Garden V1.0

I showed the work to the people at Barts, and I got some positive feedback and was asked to add some flowers into the mix. Flowers eh – good idea. See, I told you I’m not a keen gardener 🙂 A few flowers duly appeared:

The Garden

The design will now form part of Barts Hospital’s online garden of remembrance. I found the evolution of the design and collaboration process very calming, and I hope a sense of that is conveyed in the art work.

Having spoken with the staff at Barts Hospital – we have agreed to raffle the original art work to raise funds for Barts Charity. The art is A4 in size, painted using Winsor and Newton watercolours, and drawing pens, on 300 gsm watercolour paper. The art is unmounted to make it easer to ship – and it will be accompanied by a signed certificate of authentication.

Tickets for the raffle cost just £3 each and are available here until 10.30pm on Friday 26th June 2020. I hope you will consider supporting this idea, enjoy the art, and good luck in the raffle.

The treasure of a life
Is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give

In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect
It’s a measure of a life

The Garden : N. Peart

Wandering In Imagination

We have a garden. I’ve never been a keen gardener and right now, I’ve never more thankful for immediate access to outdoor space. As well as sitting in the garden, I’ve been contemplating outdoor space artistically too. My new role as Artist In Residence with GameShift, has yielded an opportunity to consider the importance and significance of being outside, and the results of a small garden project will become visible soon. For now, here’s a preamble, in the form of an imaginary path.

I based this drawing on a recollection of a magazine cover. I forget the title of the magazine, but it was something to do with wellbeing and contained an article about being outside. I recalled the image and sketched a version from memory. The work symbolises gratitude. I’m going to offer this A4 pen and watercolour sketch as the next online free art drop. If you are interested in taking part – head over to my Facebook page, where some clues will need to be solved.

As well as thinking about gardens for the GameShift project, I’m also taking time to think about how I chronicle my work in this time of lockdown. The heritage department of our local authority has a project underway called ‘The Locals: Diaries’. It’s an invitation for residents in the borough to keep notes in whatever form they want, and submit copies of the documentation for the borough archives. I’m looking forward to supporting this project, both directly through my own contributions, and as a member of Arts Network Sutton too. More to follow…

Howlin’ At The Moon : The Offcut Project

As the lockdown went live here in the UK, I was fortunate to learn about something called The Offcut Project. It’s a great idea being run by Suki at The Print Block.

Suki has invited artists to send designs to her, and she prints off a limited edition of just 14 prints. The edition is returned to the artist for signing and numbering, then it goes back to The Print Block for sales and distribution.

Signing and numbering the limited edition.

1 copy is retained by the artist, 1 stays with the studio. 2 copies go into a pool of prints to be sent out to each contributing artist at the end of the project, and 10 are made available to purchase at a cost of £30. £10 of each print sale will go to the artist, at least £10 of each print sale will go to food banks through The Trussell Trust. The remaining amount will go to covering costs at the studio. What a lovely idea.

I chose to submit my ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ design. The term Howling At The Moon is often used to describe the sense of wanting something we cannot have. In these times of social distancing, that feels apt, whether it be a lack of each other’s company, toilet rolls, or something else! The artwork is inspired by a song by Hank Williams, who wrote the song ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ in 1951 to describe the giddiness of true love. I don’t know about you – but I am fortunate to be experiencing a lot of love too. I’m seeing lots of people doing lots of good, loving things. One of those people is Suki at The Print Block. Thanks for including me Suki.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ or any of the other prints on offer, you can do so here.