Tuesday 16 June 2015

Meet the Artist - Lyle Dayman

Lyle Dayman is one of my top favourite artists,  self-effacing, modest and exceptionally talented. It is a great thrill to have him as my featured artist of the month.

I discovered Lyle a few years ago when he first started his Facebook Page, became completely smitten with his art and followed his work and adventures with great enthusiasm since that day.
He has led a very interesting and creative life and is now happily retired and living on the beach in Adelaide, Australia. (Well, perhaps not ON the beach itself!)

I'm lucky enough to own some of Lyle's art. My heart always skips a beat when I look at the paintings on the wall, I shall never,ever tire of them. 

BTW...Lyle sent me a few images for the blog post but I've taken the liberty of adding some of my favourites too! They are too  good to miss out.

I shall be very forward here and say go 'like' his Facebook page; if you like a particular image and would like to purchase, then  just ask him if it's still available! Thats exactly what I did. He posts worldwide.  You will NOT be disappointed. 
So, let's see what Lyle has in store for us....   

Tell us a bit about yourself - what’s your background?

I went to South Australian School or Art when I was around 16/17 and learned to draw. My first job as an artist was in the display studio at a department store where I worked happily for a few years. Because I was able to draw I went into advertising as a layout man. I never met or heard of a “layout” woman. I was eventually offered a job with a large national ad agency to work on the Berger Paints account as the local rep in Adelaide.

The agency Fortune (Aust) Pty Ltd was about to lose Berger and asked if I’d like to transfer to their Melbourne office and I said yes. In 1964 Brian Monahan and I started our own agency Monahan Dayman Advertising and 6 years later we became Monahan Dayman Adams. 

The agency grew to become the third largest in the country, the largest Australian owned agency and the first to become a public company. I retired early and moved to a small Victorian country town called Yea. It was here I began to learn how to paint and had lessons from some of Australia’s top watercolorists. 

In 2003 we moved back to Adelaide and I began my journey with pastels. I joined Pastel Artists of SA, later I was elected President and earlier this year I was made a Life Member of the art society.

Where do you work?

I haven’t earned a salary since leaving advertising I am thus unemployed. I paint because I love the process. I paint at home in the garage (pastel) and occasionally inside the house (watercolours). 

The garage/studio

What do you wear when painting/creating?

Pastels can be a grubby pastime, so old clothes and apron have become my uniform. I paint in the garage because of the dust. Painting in the house with pastels is strictly forbidden.

Tools of the trade!

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I tend to work in short, intense bursts - only in the afternoon but every day. I never know what I’m going to paint until I go down to the “studio” where I browse through sketchbooks, old watercolours and photo references.

Describe the view from your desk.

I have no desk and stand to paint. When the garage door is shut there is no view. When open I see the esplanade, the walking path, the seat opposite, sea and horizon. 

View from the studio when garage door is open!

What couldn't you live without in your studio?

The two walls of the garage where I tape a new painting every day. I call these walls Lyle’s Walls of Industry.

How would you describe your art?

Vaguely impressionistic with emphasis on colour.

Has your art changed over time?

Yes, incredibly so. I once thought it necessary to paint everything I saw and put these details in the picture. Now I completely ignore detail and try to keep pictures very simple.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

I enjoy everything about painting and have no particular dislikes. I don’t paint subjects I can’t handle, like portraits. 

What mediums have you experimented with?

Charcoal, pen and ink, watercolour, pastels, watercolour and pastel combined.

Do you ever get artists’/makers block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Not anymore. 2 years ago I began painting every day - one smallish picture. Amazingly this practise actually encourages me to keep painting and avoid the dreaded ‘artists’ block’.

What is your dream project?

Like the Berger Paints slogan “Keep on Keeping on.”

Is the artistic life lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?

Never lonely with a handful of pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

I’m inspired by my Wall of Industry as I can track my progress accurately. I try to improve my work every day and the Wall tells me when I succeed and when I fail.

My favourite living artist/maker is… David Hockney
I can't live without…my pastels
I love…painting daily
I need…to post every painting on Facebook every day
I hate…missing a day from the easel.
I want…to keep improving and see if it is really possible to become a very good artist.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Never try and copy skies and sunsets from nature or from photos”. Greg Allen, watercolour painter, Melbourne.

Professionally, what are your goals for the future?

I try to approach art as a professional but I don’t consider myself as such because I paint for my own amusement. I make little attempt to sell work and like to show what I do on Facebook. If viewers like what they see they can buy and many do. 

Where can we buy your art?

Facebook (Lyle Dayman Artist)
PASA exhibitions.
Pop Up exhibitions (I had one in 2013)
Directly from my ‘Studio/Garage” always open -weather permitting - many just walk in from the street.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

MEET THE ARTIST - Anne Omand from Country Bazaar

Is it almost the end of April? Where did that month go?
I've got a whole ton of things to blog about but sadly no time at present.

I've been very busy getting work together and framed for two Galleries - Lazyhill Gallery which is in the beautiful village of Abbotsbury, Dorset and just up the road from them, The Mulberry Tree Gallery in  sublime Swanage.

 Ahhhh... Dorset. *goes off into dream sequence*
 For me it's the best place in the world and my home county.

I'm also exhibiting some work up in Stratford upon Avon at the 'Stratford Art Fair' which will be held in the Town Hall on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May. Should be a great event with lots of local and national artists exhibiting. 
BTW..I'm a 'national artist' seeing as I don't live locally. Sounds pretty grand, eh? *titters*

This month's artist in 'Meet the Artist' is someone I've never had the pleasure of meeting (yet) but have got to know her through Facebook.

Anne is a multi-talented and skilled artist working in various mediums and was recently selected to work on the famous Scottish Tapestry! Her ethical, eco-friendly accessories and homewares are as diverse and unique as her talents.

Over to you, Anne!

Tell us a bit about yourself - what’s your background?

My formal training is totally remote from anything arty or crafty. I studied Catering and Institutional Management at college and adult education teacher training. However, from early childhood, as soon as I could hold a pencil, knitting needles, or use scissors you could find me engrossed in some form of making or designing.

Where do you work?

I work from home. I recently moved from my tiny wee characterful cottage set in an ancient wood, to a newer house with much more space. I now have a designated work area (studio might be pushing it a bit). 

A wee peek at my workspace

What do you wear when painting/creating?

Comfort is key. I love wearing my favourite yoga trousers and a loose fitting soft organic cotton top.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I start my day as soon as I’ve seen my youngest off to school. First thing I do is check my Etsy store to see if I’ve had any overnight orders from another time zone (Ooh, hark at me). Next it’s emails, Facebook and Twitter. I prefer to get the practical things like admin and parcels etc out of the way in the morning. I’m much more productive creatively in the afternoon and evening. My creative day varies depending on what I’m working on. When hand embroidering I am dictated to by the light pretty much. I like to use the sewing machine in the afternoon and early evening, and knitting I do later in the evening

Describe the view from your desk.

I have a lovely view of a wooded hillside from my work table. Very typically Highland – lots of heather and Scots pines. 

The view from my work table

What couldn't you live without in your studio?

That’s a hard one. So many essential things. If pushed for an answer I think it would be my trusty old work table. It’s very forgiving when I bash it, or spill stuff on it, and, like a good wine, it gets better with age.

How would you describe your art?

Ooh, now you’ve got me thinking. Hmm? Earthy and organic with a bit of quirkiness thrown in. I’m influenced by an eclectic mix of sources so it’s tricky to pin it down. 

A commissioned hoop

Has your art changed over time?

Very definitely. It has evolved naturally over time. When I first began developing designs with a view to offering them for sale I had a very definite colour palette and ‘look’ in mind, but as things have developed I find myself creating work I could not have envisaged at the start. It is an ever changing journey….. 

What work do you most enjoy doing?

I enjoy all apects of my work, but my larger (less commercial) woven wall hangings are probably what does it for me. I love working with wool and weaving in treasures that I’ve found on woodland walks or beach combing expeditions.

What mediums have you experimented with?

I have tried my hand at pottery (wheel and freeform), water colours, pastels, pencils and pen and ink. 

Daisies - click here to go to my Etsy Shop

Do you ever get artists’/makers block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Yes. Not too frequently thankfully. The first thing I do is PANIC! And start thinking “I’ll never have another creative idea again” Then I calm down and get an inspirational book off the shelves or trawl through my Pinterest boards and pretty soon my head is so overfilled with creative stuffing that some of it has to come out…

A best seller seedhead brooch

What is your dream project? 

I’m very fortunate to have taken part in my dream project. I had a long held secret ‘fantasy’ to be part of a major embroidery project (like that was ever going to happen). In 2013 I stumbled on ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ website and the rest, as they say, is history. I registered my interest on the site and was chosen to be one of over one thousand stitchers from across Scotland to work on this massive undertaking, to show the story of Scotland from prehistoric times to the present day, entirely in stitch. It was a very proud moment when I attended the stitchers preview at the Scottish Parliament Building in September that year. 

The panel I worked on for the Scottish Tapestry

Is the artistic life lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?

It can be. I’ve found connecting with other likeminded souls, whether through my local art group or social media to be very helpful and fun. 

Feathers -click here to go to my Etsy Shop 

Who or what inspires you most?

The who would be Kaffe Fassett. He has been my most consistent long term influence.

The what would be the natural world, and more specifically woodlands, mountains and beaches. 

My favourite living artist/maker is... Kaffe Fassett

I can't live without... my friends and family and good food

I love... my children and good food

I need... love and good food

I hate... cruelty, injustice, arrogance, pretention and bad food

I want... a dog, cats, a studio in my garden and a giant loom 

My favourite coasters

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never give up….

Professionally, what are your goals for the future? 

Ultimately I would love to have a studio/shop to stock my work and the work of other local/UK artists and makers. In the meantime I’m content for things to grow organically and see where it takes me. 

My mascot Fiona, who oversees all the important stuff!

Where can we buy your art?

My Etsy Shop

Social Media Links 

My Facebook Page 

My Pinterest Boards

Many thanks Anne for a great insight into your world of creating and making. I'm very envious of the view from your workspace and still covet the Red Riding Hood wooden hoop!

Jules xxx

Saturday 28 March 2015

In search of a plug

Don't you just love it when you stumble upon handmade goods and their designers?

It happened to me this morning.

I'd headed out purposefully to visit a plumbers merchants to replace the rubber seal on the bath pop up waste that has been leaking water at a rate of knots. (A posh chrome plug thingy that pops up and down to keep in or release water). I can tell you're impressed at my specialist knowledge, non?

At 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning I had the undivided attention of the dyed in the wool owner who searched high and low in his ancient 1950's shop for a replacement rubber ring, peering into numerous drawers, boxes and bins; all to no avail. 

However, we did put the world to rights and concluded that you basically can't go wrong with a bog-standard plug for 65p. 
He didn't hold out much hope of me finding my posh one either.  Apparently, it's an Italian make and they change designs on a whim, possibly in a lunchtime or whilst they're having their much needed siesta. *sighs*

Having had the no-go on the plug situation, I decided take a trip out to the only art shop within 30 miles and re-purchase specialist invisible tape to attach my fine art prints onto mount boards. Re-purchase, because the last lot I bought three weeks ago I 'hid' in a safe place so no-one in the house would be tempted to use it for other less important, purposes. It's clearly back-fired because I can't remember where the 'safe place' is, despite turning the house and the shed upside down at 7 a.m.

There was a craft market in the town in full swing and I'm a sucker for handmade, so enjoyed perusing the stalls.

Jo from https://www.facebook.com/uniquelyyoursbyj  hand paints a variety of wooden goods including crafted boxes using the lush Farrow & Ball paints.

 FYI - As a youngster, my grandfather was part of the start up sales team for F & B when the fledgling Dorset-based company was just a twinkle in the eye of John Farrow and Richard Ball so I feel a certain loyalty towards it. They were initially suppliers of paint to the Admiralty, the War Office and the Colonial Office and I like to imagine that my grandfather had an employee's discount and therefore painted his whole house in what may have been Battleship Grey, or Frigate Blue or perhaps Tea Platation Green.

Beautifully displayed on Jo's stall was an array of boxes, hearts, mirrors, frames and plaques and I opted for three gorgeous boxes in Pavilion Grey and Blue Ground. 
Each one painted inside and out, finished with a hand-painted stencil in a contrasting colour and removable, wooden dividers. 

Now you know me, I got talking to Jo and by the end of our chat we exchanged business cards with a promise to arrange a meet up at some point in the future.

Coincidentally, her neighbouring stall was run by Diane McClatchie of 'Danuta Bags' and Diane lives in the same street as Jo. What a small world.

I was completely taken by a capacious 'Craft Bag' that Diane had designed and made. It could quite easily be used as a knitting bag, to store magazines, toys or even used as a 'tidy bag' in a sitting room. It's fully lined, padded and has little individual pockets sewn into the inside in the contrasting, floral fabric.

I discovered she has a long standing connection with the textile/interior design industry, having trained in Fashion and worked for clients such as Colefax and Fowler and G.P. and J. Baker.  Each bag is unique - she never makes the same bag twice and she makes everything from scratch including designing and making her own patterns.

The attention to detail and standard of work is outstanding and her fashion background is clearly reflected in her eye for colour and fabric combinations.

MY bag (I bought it of course...what did you expect?) is made from two complementary linen fabrics by Jane  Churchill and I LOVE it. 
Diane can be reached via email - danutabags@gmail.com

After chatting to Diane, I tentatively suggested that we three meet up at some point in the future perhaps for lunch to brainstorm and get together as three creatives. 

I have to say I'm very much looking forward to arranging a meet-up and hopefully, in the interim, I will find the elusive rubber seal for my pop-up plug...


Sunday 15 March 2015

MEET THE ARTIST - Judith Yates

 February came and went and not a blog post in sight. That makes up for writing thirty blog posts in January, i reckon!

I've just about recovered from the 'Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days' challenge and have been bevearing away behind the scenes on some coastal paintings and commissions.

Now you're probably sick to death of my ramblings on here so I thought I'd introduce a new monthly blog post where some of my favourite artists and makers are featured.
Hopefully you'll learn a great deal about the person behind the art!

Kicking off the first one is Judith Yates. A seriously mulit-talented artist in her own right who over the years has worked with some of the best design studios and galleries both in the UK and abroad.
Not only does she have a wicked sense of humour but she's one sassy lady, kind with words, generous with support and advice and I'm proud to say, a good friend.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your background?
Well, I already feel as though I’ve already had 3 careers in the art world one way or another. But in the end, I’ve always made a living creating images of different kinds.

So to be brief -I did a fine art degree in Newcastle upon Tyne moved to Brighton and sold work through galleries in London and Brighton for 5 years.

Worked in design studios, as a designer / illustrator for 8 years producing designs for high street companies . I then worked freelance, from home for 20 or more years designing for all sorts of products, scarves, ceramics, book covers , jigsaws, kids toys …the list goes on …I also created repeat fabric designs for an agent who sold to furnishing companies in America.

Then 4 years ago, I returned to my painting, I have never been so happy in my working life as I am now and part of me wishes I had never left it.

Where do you work?

I work on my dining room table, have done for 25 years now. The last 5 years have seen it filled with canvases of all sizes and art materials spread from one side to the other. I would love to have a real purpose built studio, who wouldn’t ? All sky lights …and huge white walls ….but back to reality … I know I am lucky to have the entire room for my work and I love my little studio!

Describe the view from your desk.
It looks out onto our small back garden, bursting with lush, jungly greenery and deep borders and weeds……lots of weeds, my bird table is strategically placed to spy on visitors, but so far so few!

What do you wear when painting?
Fabulous and chic clothing at all times of course! Slarted in oil and acrylic paint and fraying at the seams. I have never been one for a painter’s apron.

What couldn't you live without in your studio?
My huge, central, solid table, space to spread out everything around me, jars, paints, equipment, reference the whole lot.

How would you describe your art?
I'm really not sure.. ooohh now you’re asking. It is honestly not something I think about, nor do I aim to create work in a particular vein, but if I had to call it a name, possibly “Contemporary Impressionism” at a push, oohh that sounds flash!I’ll leave that to others and hope they are kind!

Has your art changed over time?
It changes all the time, because I left my painting for 20+ years, when I picked it up again 4 years ago, I went back to where I left off so many years back, but I am getting more confident every time I pick up a brush and closer to knowing what I want to put on the canvas, I do wonder where I would be if I had never left it for so long ……..I’m playing catch up, but catching up daily.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

My seascapes, all dramatic waves and shimmering light and my atmospheric landscape all wild places and subtle suggestion.

How do you know when an artwork is finished?
Well they do say it is finished when one more brushstroke would not improve it! But I know it’s finished when I’ve looked at it countless times and nothing more suggests itself to me.

Do you ever get artist’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
No I can honestly say I have never got artists block, annoying though that may be! In fact quite the opposite, I get artist's overload, it’s the new term for it, I’ve just decided! I always have so many ideas for series of works buzzing round my head, that I have not got enough hours in the day or days in the week to complete them ……it’s like my head will explode with them if I don’t get them down on canvas, I can exhaust myself thinking about them all and even paint them at night in my head, I’m used to it now, its always been that way since being very young. If I could grow 4 sets of arms I’d be fine.

What is your dream project?
I think it would be a big exhibition, of my seascapes / landscapes on very large canvases, so large that you feel you're part of the painting standing in front of them.

Describe a typical day in your studio.
As soon as I walk in, I sit straight down at my computer in the corner of the studio and catch up with my fellow artist friends on Facebook . A day would not be complete without the usual cheeky banter of a supportive, witty, talented bunch, I always think it is an artist's version of a football dressing rooombut enough about those terrors!

After that catch up, I answer emails and try to start work at 9.00. Any later and I think I’m slacking.

The sweetest kind of day for me is when I am just painting all day, and I will work through until 4.00 just stopping for a very quick snack for 10 minutes and a chat with my husband who is tucked away in his own studio upstairs. All this is supplemented with copious amounts of very strong coffee, loud music and me singing along like a demented thing …I stop at about 4.00 utterly exhausted, no longer able to see what I’ve painted!

Is the artistic life lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?
Back in the days before Facebook, I used to go to the village shops and find myself telling the local butcher my life story, his face a mask of feigned interest mixed with pity! But now, I get on the party that is Facebook and I'm never alone, it’s like one big open studio with the advantage that you can politely close the door and say …see you later!

My funniest moment...
In life - too many to remember in detail, so many things about this life make me laugh out loud, most of them I can’t recall once gone and those I can, I couldn’t possibly repeat in public!

In work - my young self - hilarious!

My favourite living artist is...
Now this is tricky because I admire so very many for quite different reasons and all with vastly different work. But some I keep going back to, they are those who’s work makes me yearn to able to do what they do with the same incredible skill …..one of those is Robin Mason, he has magic in those hands!

I can't live without....


I love...
My kind, sweet, funny, understanding, partner of 28 years, my husband Colin……….PS can I use your best paints now?
To have time to look at the sky with nothing to do………
Being by any stretch of water, coast, lake...Must have been a fish in a previous life.

I need...

Food, sunshine, a large glass of white, a big easel, a new set of brushes! Some decent clothes to paint in, a long lazy holiday …but not necessarily in that order.

I hate...
People who take themselves too seriously, cruelty, pomposity,
Not being able to paint for longer than a week.

I want...

To be 20 with the mind and wisdom of a 50 year old!
Time to just be still and breathe.
To become a really good competent painter and keep painting into my old age .
To end my life knowing I really lived at least some of it as I wanted to!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Personally -Always be yourself, you’re good at it and it is much easier than trying to be someone else.
Professionally – Paint what you love and others will love what you paint.

Professionally, what are your goals for the future?
To be represented by one or two great galleries, and paint happily for ever more. I don’t ask for much!

Where can we buy your art? 

My Facebook page where I chat and post all new work and work in progress.




My website - where I put new work and keep up to date weekly http://www.judithyates.com/

Thank you so much Judith, I just KNEW this was going to be a great introductory blog post for my 'Meet the Artist' feature.

If you haven't already 'liked' her Facebook page, get over there right now and when you see an absolutely fabulous painting on her page that you just HAVE to have, all you need to do is ask! (I've done that already and it's now on my wall!)

Jules x

Saturday 31 January 2015

A wonderful Journey

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge'
DAY 30

'Brook Beach'  Isle of Wight

oil on board 8" x 8"

Well, that's it folks!
The oil paints are put away, the easel and table are cleaned and I've finished my 'Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge'.
Feels good.
I'm just putting the finishing touches to the canapés and the champagne is chilling in the fridge for the showing tonight at 7pm sharp.
The Isle of Wight - a much maligned holiday destination, but I beg to differ.

We spent a fabulous week in Ventnor in a wonderfully preserved 1960's dwelling which was designed by a rather eccentric woman and her sister. Not your regular house either. The living quarters are all on the first floor and you access them via a wrought iron, spiral staircase. Everything was authentic 1960's and austin Powers would not have looked out of place.
The views from the balcony that ran the full length of the house were to die for.
The week was spent bimbling round the various coves and beaches.Trust me, no two are the same.
The island is famous for it's range of coloured sands, though I declined to have a go at layering them into various receptacles. 
However, Isle of Wight rock was purchased along with a 'Kiss Me Quick' hat. I

 know what's 'on trend'.

Why not join me over on my Facebook page where it's all happening and get regular updates in your newsfeed and information regarding up and coming sales and exclusive offers?

Jules xxwww.facebook.com/jujuandbubba


Friday 30 January 2015

End of the Day

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge'
DAY 30

'End of the Day' 
oil on board 8" x 8"

I'd like to gain just a wee bit of pleasure from the last couple of challenge paintings, so I'm pleasing myself with regards to subject matter and there'll be no more angst ridden posts. Yay!
(OK...you lot, you don't have to shout, woo and clap THAT much!)

This was a relatively enjoyable one to paint. 
Against the clock once again and after another stressful day. (Anyone got any wine?)
I stuck some lute music on the old CD player in the shed and lost myself.
 Kynance Cove is just 2 miles from Lizard Point. They should re-name it Rocky Cove as it's full to the brim with magnificent, towering, majestic stacks of granite and serpentine. It's like a cavernous cathedral without the roof.

I adore a beach that is bereft of crowds and selfishly want it all to myself. Families have slowly disappeared from this one and headed back to their accommodation, carrying tired, weary toddlers covered in sticky sand and smelling of the salty sea.

I'm learning that it's what I leave out of a view that's just as important as what is left in so rather than painting everything slavishly, it's good to give certain things the elbow. 
I'm not aiming for photographic reproduction, more a sense of place, the weather, a feeling, a time and a moment.

Do you know what I'd REALLY love to do tomorrow night when it's all over?
I'd like to exhibit the thirty paintings and invite all you lovely folk that have stuck with me and commented on the posts, round for a soirée with champagne and nibbles.
My first EVER exhibition.  
Wouldn't that just be grand? 
Jules xxx

Why not join me over on my Facebook page where it's all happening and get regular updates in your newsfeed and information regarding up and coming sales and exclusive offers?

Jules xxwww.facebook.com/jujuandbubba