I’m very excited to be one of the artists exhibiting & working at the Artist Studios at the Meadows (unit 32) for 7 weeks.
A bit about my creative background – way back in the 1980’s, having an Art A level, I completed an Art Foundation Course at Thurrock Tech. where I ended up specialising in textile design. Then I went to work in the Finance Industry! I took up art again in 2004, when my youngest son started school, & since then have sold pictures at many open exhibitions around Essex, & taken lots of commissions for pencil drawings.
In the past I also printed different designs (realistic, colourful, cartoon, abstract etc) on to stationary & cards to sell at local fayres & retail, & have taken commissions for hand made, personalised greetings cards.
I’ve also taken part in the Billericay Art Trail a couple of times. My drawing of The Railway Inn now hangs permanently above the bar, and my David Bowie pictures were popular, raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK (the illness to which I lost my dad).
I’m hoping to participate in the Chelmsford Art Trail, and also the portrait artist competition, next year.
I love to take on creative projects & these have included illustrating a poetry book, having pictures printed in a calendar, needle felting for Heritage Week, various competitions (happily with some success), Inktober, a piece of community art & using my artwork to raise funds for charity.
In 2010/11 I took a drawing course with the Open College of Arts which helped me to become more experimental & improve my technique. I also went along to painting sessions at Hylands Artist Studios.
When drawing I do probably prefer working from life, but if I am using a photo to draw from, if I have a choice, I like to use one that I’ve taken. I’ll also watch music videos & take stills from those for my drawings of rock stars, so I have created a unique image.
If I am doing realistic, detailed pencil commissions I have a different method of drawing to many pencil artists, I don’t work methodically from left to right copying each section of a photo. I suppose I use the photo almost like a live sitter- in that I work on the whole thing, gradually building the detail up.
During lockdown, from 2020, I drew many portraits with on line groups – the Chelmsford Collaborative Portrait Project, Billericay Art Collective (which I still do), Sky Portrait Artist of the Week (exciting to have a couple shown on ’the wall’). It’s been a great way to experiment with different media & styles, with a variety of people to draw – from famous faces to local heroes, to unknown but interesting characters, many of them having to be completed within a 2 hour deadline. Also good to have contact with other artists of all skill levels on line.
Back out in the world, I’m now joining 6 other artists in the Artist Studios at The Meadows. Initially I’ve put together a selection of work mainly from my sketchbooks & my on line drawing sessions. These range from portraits of well known people to animals to buildings & landscape, in a variety of media & for a range of prices, so there’s something for everyone. I‘ll be adding pictures to my wall, & will also possibly have some drawings available as prints, so please register any interest. I’m also doing some unique hand drawn cards in the studio & working on my drawing of macaques.
Other artists/crafters with me are a needlefelter, painter, illustrator, AI artist, encaustic artist (who works with hot wax) & a potter, with artworks also on display from some guest artists. There is a great selection of work to view & buy – from traditional to contemporary, cute to controversial – which will be added to over time. Every day there are artists working there, happy to demonstrate their skills & have a chat.
There are also workshops for adults & children taking place which should include pottery, encaustic art, window painting, calligraphy, cardboard engineering, together with arts awards & a drop in portrait session for Heritage Open Days. Details, as they become available, are being shared across social media including on Chelmsford Creative Collective pages.
The studios are open 7 days a week until mid-September, although exact times may vary, there is usually someone there by 9.30/10 am and on through the day.
Having lived in Chelmsford for about 30 years, it has been exciting to see how the city has gradually started to embrace everything creative & become so openly inclusive. There is an amazing team of people constantly organising events for everyone – things to see & to get involved in.
You can keep up with any of my new work by following me on: Instagram – art_by_jane_f & Facebook – Art by Jane F