'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Monday, 27 August 2012

Herts Open Studios nearly here

Herts Open Studios runs throughout September and Harpenden members of the HVAF held our usual stall at  Harpenden Farmer's Market to promote the event. The stall looked wonderful and we had a huge amount of interest, although it was hard to concentrate with a stall near us cooking wonderful deli sausages and onions. By about 11.15 I was ravenous and finally succumbed to a 'full English breakfast sausage' about 12.30. Although we couldn't tempt people over with sizzling sausages a lot of people stopped by to ask about the event and it's good to know how many people in the area look forward to Open Studios each year.

To launch Open Studios there will be an exhibition of work from artists right across the County at Harpenden Public Halls this coming weekend (1st - 2nd September). Here is a taster of some of the work.

There will also be a small display of work by Harpenden artists in the Methodist Church Cafe. This is a taster exhibition which will run from 1st - 21st September. It's all happening in Harpenden!!!!

Don't forget that our own exhibition and Open Studios will be upstairs at Artscape in Southdown:

You can learn more about Open Studios and the HVAF here. You can also download the full brochure and visit artists at work right across the county here.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Return from 'Return of the Ring'

Gandalf the White © Sue Wookey

Well, I'm back! As Sam so neatly put it. Actually, I've been back from the Tolkien Society's Return of the Ring event for several days now, but life often gets in the way of blogging. So - was it the best party ever? Yup, I think it was. I loved every minute of it and if I'd managed more than 10 hours sleep over the four nights I was there, I would have loved it even more! But I spent the best part of Sunday looking for matchsticks to wedge my eyelids open.

It was great to take part in the Art Exhibition and nice to find myself in such a lovely catalogue - a wonderful book of Tolkien inspired art in itself. I've been waving it in front of everybody since I got back. 'Look... I've been ISBN'd!' Strange the little things that make you happy. I also really enjoyed spending time again with other artists that like venturing into Middle-earth - some old friends that I've exhibited with before and some new ones like Jenny Dolfen and Jay Johnstone, who both had a really successful time at their first Tolkien Art Show. Everyone has such a different approach to Tolkien's world and it made for a wonderful exhibition. But best of all, for me, was the chance to meet Cor Blok and his wife, and hear to hear him talk about his work. I admire his paintings so much because of how much emotion he can convey in just a few sweeps of his brush and with simple blocks of colour. He had some of his originals on display and it was a huge thrill to see them.

Along with some excellent speakers - especially Verlyn Flieger's challenge to see the influence of French 'aventure' in The Hobbit - we were treated to Charlie Ross's One Man Lord of the Rings, direct from the Edinburgh Festival. Honestly, I laughed so much it was hard to breathe and, given the difficult stage conditions he was performing in, a real tour de force. I have a horrible feeling that I will never be able to take the films seriously again. Actually I'm sure I'll never be able to watch Elrond without corpsing 'You shall be..... The Name of a Book'. 'You have my Hair.... and my Beard'.

Congratulations to the whole Return of the Ring team for working so hard and making sure everything ran smoothly. You bow to no one. Well, maybe except The Professor himself.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Return of the Ring

 Tom looks through the Ring © Sue Wookey

It's Tolkien time again. The Tolkien Society are throwing a hobbit of a party at their  Return of the Ring event in Loughborough and the festivities will include a huge Art Exhibition. I'll be taking all the usual suspects and will have a range of prints there for sale. As well as yours truly, there will be Ted Nasmith, Cor Blok, Anke Eissmann, Jay Johnstone, Ruth Lacon, Tor Fauskanger, Jenny Dolfen, Maike ‘LĂșthien’ Dulk. Cor Blok was featured in the last two Tolkien Calendars and it will be an amazing opportunity to see his work.

There will also be a chance to hear Ted Nasmith, Anke Eissmann, Jenny Dolfen and Ruth Lacon all talking about what it’s like to be a Tolkien artist.