Exploring
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Exploring

Today is a lazy Sunday, I’m sitting with my family we have Netflix on in the background, and I am thinking about the last eighteen months since I started working on being a painter as well as a potter. It has been a journey of exploration, of finding myself. Though I have been drawing every day for the last six years, it wasn’t until I started this as a business that I really considered what it was I actually liked to draw, I just drew.

somedays I drew what was on my desk, from life fruit, jars, tins, packets just everything and anything. one day I realised I wanted to draw landscapes and buildings, so I started to work from my own collection of photographs.

A view I had never seen before in Fleetwood.

As part of Tram Sunday (Fleetwood festival of transport 2022), I went out with my camera in hand and started taking pictures of the festival but also bits of buildings and found an alleyway that I have never noticed before bear the market, and as plenty of people were walking around the town with cameras I didn’t feel weird as I had done before and I really love the alleyway as an image. There is so much going on from rendered walls some with iron oxide drips, the weeds growing, the cobblestone wall which morphs into a brick wall, and the random little lamppost ties it all together in a nice neat vertical element.

When I wanted to explore further afield I didn’t have the time to really travel, so I started using google street view to travel. I still use it at times but I don’t use it completely in my drawings, I use it as a jumping point, imagining the buildings from a different angle, a different perspective.

I want to keep exploring, keep developing my skills, keep painting and move further afield than I currently can. I also would really like to experiment with woodblock printing, recently as part of my super secret project I did some printing off of some driftwood I have collected over the years and I really want to play about with that some more.

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Why I draw and paint daily

If I don’t draw and paint every day I don’t know when I will. I started trying to teach myself to draw and paint properly in 2011, but it was a side project to help fill the walls of my pottery studio. And over 2011 and 2012 I would fill quite a few sketchbooks, especially at the start of 2012, when we had another had our second child due, but my eldest was at preschool, so when we went out together I would take a sketchbook and practice and practice from life.

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My youngest was born in the summer of 2012 and I decided to professionalize my teaching skills, I had been teaching ceramics and that was the main earner but I wanted to get better at teaching. So I applied for a teaching qualification and got into the program and despite the fact I was teaching art at a sixth form I rarely picked up a brush, pen or pencil.

In fact between caring for my young family, and doing teaching prep and assignments for my university course, I was working in placement four days a week, and on the fifth day, I was at University in classes. I forgot how much I enjoyed it over that year and didn’t really pick up on drawing much at all till I had finished my Master’s degree which was a completely different course.

first three days of acrylic painting in 2016

By this time it was 2016 and four years had escaped me, and I knew I was probably going to have to find work so ceramics was out of the way of finding the calming influence of the flow state, where you forget everything else apart from what is in your hands with a narrow focus and the world is blinkered without care.

As a teenager, my dream had been to be an artist and create spaceships for Lucas film and with my pottery, I was also looking at doing sgraffito through layers of slip on my pottery and loved drawing boats and bins, so threw myself into practising those days by day.

I quickly found my pace and I got up at 5 am every day so I would have some alone time without the children to paint. I also found a day job working in a school so then I was term time and school time so then I was around with my children and I did that until getting furloughed in early 2020 and then never went back after my furlough ended.

I also really enjoy drawing and painting every day it is the highlight, of my day. For me the drawing is the more challenging stage, laying down watercolour I can reach the flow state where you forget everything around you, and honestly it is so relaxing.

I honestly wish that all I had to do day by day was to paint, just relaxed not worry about everything that needs to be done from marketing to trying to sell all the work I am producing on a day-by-day basis. Eventually, I will find a way to be prolific and sell enough to remove the stress of selling.

Another reason I draw every day is because it helps me improve, I am always trying to push what I can draw, the quality of the marks that I make, and most importantly whether I focus on ceramics or painting it helps improve my fine motor skills which because I am very dyspraxic and clumsy by nature, and had Occupational Therapy as a teenager where I worked on my gross motor skills and learnt to finally catch by sitting on a chair and through a can of deodorant hundreds of times till I could throw it and catch it without landing on my head.

There was also a void without painting in my life and I don’t want that void back again. I always felt like I was missing something, which is why I am currently working on a secret project, make sure you are on the mailing list to be one of the first to here about the project when it gets launched soon!

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Rainy Day Thoughts

Rainy Day Thoughts

It’s a cold wet Friday Bank Holiday in June, it is also the middle of half term for my children. A few years ago and it would have been my half term too. I would have had four weeks left till summer which was mainly spent cleaning the classrooms and workshops in the school I worked at so if there were visitors over the summer then the spaces would be tidy and safe.

I did that job for many years, there was a time and a season for everything. First term in the September was spent preparing all the projects and materials for the first three years of the high school, whilst they settled into the theory. The second term was a hectic one of ordering materials for GCSE and A-levels, helping them with their projects, it was all hands on deck and I ended up working a lot of Saturday mornings too to help them get through all the practical elements of their course. The Third term was exam prep for the A-levels and GCSEs so I had some support in the first three years of the high schools ages but with all the course work being finished my hectic schedule died down to getting everything neat and tidy.

But what does this have to do with art you may ask. Well I find working easier when I have the house alone, especially as it means I’m not always having to monitor my youngest who is type 1 diabetic but it means I can crank up the music, immerse myself in the noise and paint.

Painting of skippool Creek

But once the painting is finished , there is a flow of things, photography, editing in Photoshop, writing copy, copy and more copy and then sharing everything on social media and uploading it here to the website. I dreamt for years that I could get someone to do it for me, to get my work out into the world, as I am a quiet sort and don’t really enjoy drawing attention to myself.

What I mean to say is that I think I need to create a time and a season for marketing, for actually getting my work out into the world. To get more people seeing my work, as if they don’t see it they can’t know it exists, they can’t buy it.

On this rainy day all I the thoughts I can think is that my old way of trying to just use social media isn’t working out for me, I need to switch it up, I’m not doing this for fame or fortune, I am doing it as I enjoy it and each painting that I sell allows me to keep making, as painting can be expensive from frames, to paints and canvas, it all adds up. And the more I sell the more I can get my head down and just keep painting and drawing.

Painting of Blackpool's Giant Mirror Ball on the prom, against a background of a blue shed and plain timber foreground

So yes, if you are reading this please consider buying something from the shop, even if it is just a print.

Every Month is Star Wars Month
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Every Month is Star Wars Month

Is May and as I write this the new Obi Wan Kenobi series has been released and I am excited to watch it, and am staying away from social media until I have had chance to watch it with my other half after she gets home from work this evening.

Star Wars was a pivotal point in my teenage years it made me want to draw, to paint, for many years it was my passion, it is my teenage drawings that going me accepted to many different courses after I initially went to university to study chemistry.

I still want to be good at drawing and painting to live up to those teenage dreams of working on a Star Wars film. I want to keep painting.

Even when I was doing a degree in ceramics I would write about painters, I would go on trips to look at landscape painting and illustration. My jumping point for ceramics was always painting as a frustrated painter, want to be able to draw better and for years I painted and drew and kept it to myself.

I will keep going but it can be hard at times, frustrating but I’m getting better and I will keep painting and drawing.

These two watercolours are probably my favourite Star Wars things I’ve painted this month, and they are available in my shop for sale, Luke’s Landspeeder and Rebel Snowspeeder

Visibility Fair 2022

I am part of an online fair with Handmade Hour and Just a Card. This is part of trying to get my name out into the the world and be more visible of what I do. This particular event is The Visibility Fair 2022 and I keep getting distracted and going and making pottery instead as I have am exhibiting at the Green Loop Eco Makers Market as Red Fox Pottery, which is 30th April at Whitehaven Lake in St Annes.

To find out about future events including in person events please subscribe to my mailing list:

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Views of Preston

Views of Preston

Views of Preston is my first ever book, it has 56 pages and is all the drawing I did to prepare for Derelict Art of the City micro-residency. I’m really excited to share it with people, and it is available in the shop

My favourite pieces in the book I also made into a series of 5 prints It was amazing working with Derelict themselves and was an amazing opportunity to draw and I will be making my own drawings in combination with workshop participants into a digital book.

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Derelict Art of the City

 

Derelict Art of the City

In September I will be an artist in Residence at Preston Bus Station with Derelict Art of the City. So between now and then the goal is to draw and paint 50 small A5 images, to explore Preston in preparation for my time there.

These Two posted here of the same set of buildings behind the Harris Museum represent the first two images I am making  in preparing for the project.

 

1st – 4th September

Joseph Travis 

A New Perspective

Join Joseph Travis in a journey recording Preston through a forest of drawings made by himself and members of the public. Aiming to show that anyone can draw, Joseph invites you to reimagine a Preston skyline of the past, present and future.

Joseph is a Lancashire artist working across a variety of media.

https://redfoxpottery.com/

 

 

 

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Behind the Houndshill

Gone now but I can’t forget

  • All these shops were demolished
  • Now it is a car park
  • A site of future development
  • Buy Here

Behind the Houndshill


Or what used to be there

This block still feels so familiar to me despite being gone for a number of years, and I still consider Beatties being behind there and that has long since gone and I think was even a Toymaster at some point. My internal map of Blackpool is so weird and is mix of present and the 90s and a lot from the 90s just isn’t there any more like Electronics Boutique inside the Houndshill.

 

Original A3 drawing on kraft card.

 

 

 

 

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Blackpool Burger Bar

Blackpool Burger Bar


Burgers, Donuts, Fish and Chips

Blackpool is a hive of activity, selling food to holiday makers along the seafront is a lucrative business. every space is taken up between food and B&Bs and even entertainment.

Original A4 watercolour painting with drawing in ink and posca markers.

 

This screams Blackpool

  • Lots of buildings, huts
  • All serving food, sweet treats
  • Along the seafront
  • buy here