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

Friday, 22 August 2014

Raven's Flight

Raven's Flight © Sue Wookey
Nice shiny new painting! Well - nearly new anyway as I had it on the wall at my exhibition at the Eagle Gallery in June, but I've finally got around to making prints of it. It will be one of the paintings I'll be exhibiting at Open Studios in September (see poster on the right!).

Raven's flight is inspired by the Native American legend of Raven stealing the sun so that mankind could have warmth and light, but the painting also symbolises hope and the eternal birth of light from darkness. The words I've written to go around the border read:

If you are a true lover of the Hidden Light, 
welcome the night wings of Raven as he brings you the Sun.

You can see that I've gone a bit mad with real and suggested circles (nothing new there) and have stylised the trees that Raven is flying over so that they are very abstract (nothing new there either!). And for once I managed to do a painting without the moon in it.

Limited Edition giclee prints of Raven's Flight are available from my website at www.galleyhillart.com.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Encounters at the Eagle Gallery

We have an interesing exhibition opening at the Eagle Gallery tomorrow. Encounters features work by members which have been created as a response to works by well-known artists. Great for knocking you out of your comfort zone and into a different groove! As well as creating a work for the exhibition (it certainly knocked me out of my zone!) I also designed the poster (see below).

So... what did I come up with? After a lot of thought I decided to take a look at one of my favourite artists, Chagall, because I share his love of personal symbolism, unreal spatial juxtapositions and use of shapes and geometry to carve up the canvas. It wasn't hard to pick his 'I and the Village'. Running with the theme and the idea of strong attachment to place, I came up with something filled with my own personal symbolism, I and the Hill:

I and the Hill © Sue Wookey
We have each been asked to write a piece to go on the wall with our artwork, explaining why we have connected with it:
Painted the year after Chagall came to Paris, I and the Village is his nostalgically symbolic response to his childhood in a Hasidic community outside Vitebsk. It is painted in his personalized version of Cubism. "For the Cubists," Chagall said, "a painting was a surface covered with forms in a certain order. For me a painting is a surface covered with representations of things... in which logic and illustration have no importance."

I chose I and the Village because my own work also uses symbolism and geometry to reveal the inner life below the surface of the ordinary world. So my response, I and the Hill, is also a deeply symbolic reaction - in my case to the Chiltern Hills which I’ve grown up amongst and which are a constant source of artistic inspiration for me. I’ve used personal symbols and my love of harmonious shapes and circles to weave my own ‘surface covered with representations of things’.

19 July - 16 August

The Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Reflection: The Show's Open!

Eagle Galley with our poster
Well - we're open! Pat and I hung our work on Friday and have spent the last two days chatting to visitors and actually selling some work, so we're off to a good start. Thank you to all of you've come along so far - particularly those of you who've travelled some distance to support us. It's been lovely to see you all and to hear your comments. It's made all the slog getting the stuff actually on the walls and hanging straight worthwhile! I wish there was a magic word for artists, like Abracadabra, that just floated them all into place without stepladders, levels and fighting with twiddly bits of hanging cord!

But, it's up, open and we're both very pleased with how it looks. We even made the local paper : -).

Here are a few photos of the Exhibition:

My side of the Gallery

Pat's side of the Gallery with my small pieces in the foreground

End of the Gallery with my B/W photos

4 of the rather quirky B/W photos and the small acrylics
The rest of my paintings and the colour photos near the door
My colour photos
More of Pat's work
 We have 6 days left to run and it would be lovely to see a many of you as can make it. Full details are on my Exhibition Page here. Hurry while stocks last. Just kidding - the stuff on the walls will be there until the end (hopefully with some red dots on them) but I am getting rather short of those lovely little painted hearts...


Saturday, 7 June 2014

One week to go!

My exhibition at the Eagle Gallery with fellow artist Patricia Ellis is only one week away now, so it's all systems go sorting everything out, making labels, bagging up stuff for the browsers and generally wrestling with mountains of bubble wrap.

I have a few more painted hearts, nice big chunky ones which I've really enjoyed decorating:

© Sue Wookey
All you owl lovers will be well looked after, I have owls on everything! And I have another small, mystical 6" x 6" acrylic called Every Heart Holds The Sun which has gold highlights to lift it:

© Sue Wookey
We are hanging the exhibition on Friday and will be open on Saturday 14th for our Open Day when we will have some refreshments to entice you over. Both Pat and I will be there all day Saturday and Sunday and through the week I'll be there in the mornings with Pat covering the afternoons. Saturday the 22nd will be covered by both of us again. We are really looking forward to seeing those of you who come and talking about what we've done.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Reflection Exhibition at the Eagle Gallery 14-21 June

Only two weeks and a bit to go! I'm starting to get very excited about our Reflection Exhibition at the Eagle Gallery as my floor gets covered with all the miscellaneous artworks I'm putting together. They're stacking up everywhere! Patricia and I have worked hard to make this exhibition as full of variety as possible. We both have a mixture of paintings, drawings and photography, with Patricia adding in her prints. I'll be showing off my new Owl painting (used for the poster), Lunar Owl:

Lunar Owl © Sue Wookey
This is the latest in the series of paintings of Animals with the moon. The words around the border are by me and read: 'Owl goes hunting, soundless, white, hunting moon floats over fields of night. Bright feathers, bright bow cleave the dark with light.'

As well as my usual watercolours I will have the small acrylics I've been showcasing here, both black and white and colour photography, small paintings in watercolour and in ink and wash, and painted wooden hearts, so something for everyone at every price range. I'll also have my sketchbook for people to leaf through. Here's a little preview:

From our Exhibition blurb:

"‘Reflection’ is an exhibition of work by Eagle Gallery artists Patricia Ellis and Sue Wookey. Using a range of media to capture their experiences, Patricia and Sue present both a reflection of the world seen in the mind and heart of the artist and also challenge us to reflect on the world with its tension between urban life, landscape and nature.

In 2012 Patricia and Sue exhibited together in London at the Gallery in the Crypt, St Martin in the Fields, along with four other local artists. They realised that they both had a similar approach to how they work with their cameras and what captures their eye, and the idea of a joint exhibition started to come together which has now expanded to include paintings, prints and drawings. The work includes both urban and natural environments, people and wildlife, the external world and its inner reimagining.
Opening times: Saturdays and Monday to Friday 10am – 5.30pm, Sunday 15th 11am – 4pm 
Meeting the artists: Saturday 14th June will be a ‘meet the artists’ Open Day with refreshments.
Both Patricia and I will be present at the Gallery all day Saturday 14th and 21st and Sunday 15th. From Monday – Friday I will be at the Gallery from 10am – 1.45pm and Patricia will be there from 1.45pm – 5.30pm." 
14th June - 21 June 2014
Sue Wookey and Patricia Ellis
paintings    photography    prints     drawings
The Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP

Monday, 26 May 2014

Mud, mud glorious mud

Jo, Patrick and Linda man the pitch
Well, I survived the Hertfordshire County Show! Six of us from the HVA manned a pitch over the Bank Holiday Weekend, showing off the wide variety of art that comes under the organisation's umbrella. It was a chance to talk to a lot of people about what we and the organisation does, and also occasionally get out and about and enjoy the show itself (thus avoiding Tent Fever). The Herts County Show is great. There were a lot of lovely cows, sheep posing on plinths, Cossack Horsemen charging about, 30 different places to buy Australian Outback All Weather Hats (yes I bought one) and a dangerous doughnut stall that was just too close for comfort (yes I ate one). Oh, and I fell in love with a horse.

Charging Cossack
I Love This Horse
Although we ended up having a huge amount of fun it didn't start too well - I got up at 5.30am in pouring rain and it kept on pouring all Saturday morning and off and on throughout the afternoon. The marquee had been pitched over wet grass and by the time we'd all gone in and out with our stuff we'd created a mud wallow that a hippopotamus would enjoy (possibly the only animal not at the show). We had the mud wallow all weekend and had to throw wood chippings at it to avoid sinking. I have never loved my walking boots so much for keeping my tootsies warm and comfy despite standing in a bit of a bog. Still - we got everything up on the grid-wall without disaster and then managed to arrange ourselves from complete chaos to order in about 30 minutes flat. Those do-it-all-in-an-hour reality programmes have nothing on the members of the HVA when they've got the paint brush between their teeth. When it was all up it looked surprisingly fab, despite the swampy atmosphere. In fact our whole tent was full of interesting stuff. We decided that the Made In Hertfordshire Tent was one of the Best Tents. If you had to be in any tent it was the tent to be in.

Our stall in all its glory
Hilary does her stuff
Sunday was lovely and warm and sunny. There were many more visitors, and they were all happier and more interested because they weren't sodden wet and seeking tent-refuge. We all had a much better day, made Open Studio converts and sold a bit of art. I went and stalked the Eagle and Vulture show because they had a Barn Owl. In fact I stared at the Barn Owl so much trying to memorise its feather patterns that the poor thing tried to hide from me behind its little podium. To give the Barn Owl a break I wandered over to the junior show jumping and ended up trapped in a cul-de-sac of horsiness and jodhpurs where I was distinctly Wrongly Dressed.

Strange Sheep Olympics Medal Ceremony
Latest News: Man's Head Eaten by Shire Horse
Although the weekend was, without doubt, a huge amount of work we all felt that the HVA should have a presence there, showcasing the arts 'made in Herfordshire' along with the produce and crafts. It was also a great showcase for those of us that took part and a chance to talk to a lot of people about what we create. So, a special Art Medal of Honour to the intrepid Hilary Taylor, Sarah Poppleton, Suman Gurjal, Linda Gifford, Patrick Joyce and, of course, myself, for taking it on. And an even bigger one to Jo Atherton for organising it and manning the fort (if only it had had a moat!) with us even though she wasn't showing her work. Guys - you all rock!!!!

Sarah captures the evening light
Baby Shire Horse!
Balloon wrestling
All photos: © Sue Wookey

Friday, 23 May 2014

Herts County Show

I think I swore I would never do another event-in-a-tent, but here I am again, this time taking part in the Herts County Show along with other members of the HVA (Hertfordshire Visual Arts). You will find us over the weekend promoting the HVA in the Best of Hertfordshire marquee (of course), along with a mini-exhibition of our work and assorted cards and what-not.

The Herts County Show is a humungous event with plenty to do and see. There are full details on the show website. Personally I can't wait to see the Vintage Farm Machinery. Just kidding. I really hoping to escape the marquee to see the wonderful shire horses, eagles, crafts and the Parade of Bassett Hounds. Who could resist? All that and Art too : -)

Hertfordshire County Show
24th -25th May
8.30am - 5.30pm

The Showground,
Dunstable Road,

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Harpenden Art and Craft Fair

We're Taking our art to market! Members of the Harpenden HVA attended the Harpenden Art and Craft Market yesterday - the second time our group have set up stalls there. Despite having to unload in the rain the weather brightened up and we had a lot of visitors throughout the day. We set ourselves up as a group on the stage area of Harpenden Methodist Hall and although it was a wee bit of a squeeze (I had to breathe in just to get out from behind my table) plenty of people came up to see our work and learn about the HVA's forthcoming Open Studios in September.

We'll be attending several more fairs this year:

Sat 5th July
Sat 20th September
Sat 18th October
Sat 8th November

I'll be at the July and November ones with the usual prints and cards.

All photos © Sue Wookey

Thursday, 17 April 2014

More small paintings

I'm still working hard getting ready for my Exhibition with Patricia Ellis at the Eagle Gallery in June, and have another mini-acrylic ready to hang:

Every Tree has its Gifts © Sue Wookey
I've called this one Every Tree has its Gifts and the words run round around the wide edges of the canvas, just like the previous ones I've posted. I'm really having fun mucking about with acrylic, but am not ambitious enough to produce something big just yet. And fun though it is, it will never be as much fun as watercolour. How could I live without that frisson of knowing that the next wash might ruin it all, with no going back? Watercolourists live only a few Siberian sable hairs away from disaster. Watercolourists say 'Arggggggh' a lot. Well, I do anyway. But sometimes it's nice to slap thick paint on knowing you can scrape it all off.

And talking of watercolour, I've done a couple of little ones for displaying in the browser:

Squirrel and Sun Hare © Sue Wookey

I paint a lot of hares, as you know. But this is my first squirrel and he's a nice red one. Not one of the ones who dig holes in my lawn because they've forgotten where they've buried their nuts.

I do have six of my usual larger paintings up my sleeve, ready for the Exhibition, and I'll post some of them here nearer the time as teasers. At the moment I'm saving them so there will be some surprises to look forward to!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

3D Tour of the Eagle Gallery!

© Google

You can now visit The Eagle Gallery (the Bedfordshire Artist's Co-operative) virtually by taking a 3D tour on Google! Just on the image above. You can just see my painting Grove hanging in the centre of the screen grab, and I have Sacred Landscape 5 on the opposite wall as you click your way around. Isn't technology wonderful?  :-).