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

1 comment:

  1. I love this series, Ju! It's great to "find" other crafters, makers and artists and hear about their work, in their own words. Thank you Anne annd also Ju.