Saturday, 20 January 2018

Festooned in Plastic

A chance thing happened last year I was incorrectly included in an email that went out to Hertfordshire Artists, it was a call out for artists to participate in Earth Day Exhibition,  Ending Plastic Pollution at Mill Green Gallery Bush Hall Lane, Mill Green, Hatfield, April 22 - May 20th.
I was interested immediately as the subject matter is important to me and I feel quite strongly about plastic pollution. So I replied and have now been included its very exciting.
I decided to submit a landscape that depicts the kerbside as you drive down the A61 into Derby the trees are festooned in plastic bags and debris from the fast food restaurants and general blown in rubbish from the city.
 Plastic now seems to be part of the landscape at first you don't notice it but then you do and when you start looking for it you realise it is everywhere in the trees in the grass twisted around weeds little bits floating about its all over the place. Its something we are all aware of but seem to have put at the back of our minds is only recently due to awareness raising programes on TV and action on social media it is beginning to dawn on us that the problem is bigger than we thought.
So this exhibition is very timely indeed, please take time to read their mission statement below.

Festoon Kerbside 10 x 14" Acrylic on canvas board.



 22.April 2018, Earth Day Mission Statement
EarthDay takes place on 22 April every year and celebrates the value and beauty of the natural world.
More than one billion people in 192 countries take part in Earth Day events, ranging from community
fayres and film festivals to this impressive exhibition by local artists.
This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Ending Plastic Pollution’.
Plastic is seriously bad for our environment. It is seriously bad for our health.
**
The first Earth Day was held on 22 April 1970, a year after the infamous three-million-gallon
Santa Barbara oil spill off the Californian coast. More than 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals
and sea lions died because of the pollution.
The stage had been set by the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s bestseller, Silent Spring.
With awareness heightened, thousands of people, horrified by the Santa Barbara carnage, were
spurred into action.
Environmental regulation, environmental education and … Earth Day followed.
Initially activists envisaged a teach-in day for US college students but the concept took on a life
of its own. Earth Day is now celebrated across the world with events demonstrating support for
environmental causes.
**
A number of environmental treaties have been agreed on Earth Day, most notably the Paris
Climate accord of 2015, which was backed by 195 countries.
It was the world’s first legally binding deal aimed at tackling climate change. It obliged signatories
to limit global warming to below 2°C.
**
Earth Day is widely recognised today but what does ‘protecting the environment’ or ‘celebrating
Earth Day’ actually mean to us as individuals?
Is it enough to recycle our rubbish? Is it enough to ban glitter and microbeads?
Does it count when we enjoy a stunning sunset or marvel at the swans in the park?
Does it count when we let the end of the garden become a bit of a wilderness to provide a home
for hedgehogs and insects?
**
The answer of course is yes and no. Everything counts yet is never enough: our environment is as threatened
now as it was when Earth Day was conceived.
Species are going extinct at a faster rate than ever before; the pace of temperature rise is
unprecedented – all because of human activities.
While it’s important to enshrine environmental protections into our laws, it’s also important to
contribute ourselves to protecting our Earth and everything that lives on it.
We can act individually. We can act collectively. We can pressure those with influence and those
in power to act on our behalf.
Let’s not wait for another disaster before doing so.
**
Local Artists Ruth Goodman, Suse Nielebock, Susan Chester, Chloe Valerie, Audrey
Bowling, Dana Mallon, Judith Menges, Fiona Chaney, Mitzie Green, Ruth Gray, Priscilla,
Chantal Ridings, Jill McMaster, Vanessa Byron , Deana Kim Page , Natalie Mills, Stephen
Hill, Peter Fraser and Richard Wheeler are reflecting upon our natural environment in tribute

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Some Thoughts on Loyalty

Its half way through January and I've weaned myself of mince pies and am learning what vegetables are again, we have had Angus's birthday and this week is my 15th wedding anniversary of which I am rather proud.
The first seven years of marriage was all about who could wear the other one down and dominate as well as have some children and build buy and sell about five houses we crammed in a few losses too parents, aunts, uncles and our own son, as well as moving abroad and back oh and I did a degree started around six different jobs and gave up a career.

It was exciting but also exhausting and we came back to the UK a shadow of our former selves.
Here we were back in the UK freezing to death in one of the coldest winters living in a house on a steep hill having to push a screaming baby around being smacked on the head by a toddler too.

Unhappy oh you bet we were it was like war of the roses on steroids everything was bloody difficult.
We had some time apart about 18 months but we saw more of each other than when we were together and the distance gave us space to recoup and work out how we wanted our life to be.

The thing is we never gave up on each other at all not once we could easily have killed each other many times over but we never gave up and these days I see so many people give up.
Its easy to imagine that the grass is greener that if you run away everything will be solved, that if we knew this person instead of that person it will make your life better, but sometimes you already have everything it just needs work and understanding.

No body is perfect I've never met anyone who is we all have our ups and downs I cherish friendships and feel grateful to those that stick around through thick and thin, life has a way of bringing people together when the time is right. Loyalty is something I am really into my Dad has been a shining example of loyalty being dependable and honest. Its something I try very hard to be loyal to those I care about.

Its a rather boring trait but something I try to maintain, obviously there are occasions when you are tested by people, pushed around demanded of and even rejected but I always think if I have been true to myself loyal and honest then I have no obligations of guilt.

We can only do what we think is right and we have no responsibility for another persons happiness we make our own happiness and it is for us to share with others to bring them joy.

In the early days of a marriage we think it is our responsibility but it is not, it is our responsibility to lift each other up and support but we cant change a person or demand of them. These are the things you learn if you stick something out, so although we have fought like cat and dog we have come to some sort of unspoken agreement that we are now fairly equal in our dealings with each other and I'm happy to say 15 years together is brilliant we still fight over stuff mainly the washing up, but these are the small things in life.
So here's hoping we have many more years to come life is not predictable but only you can decide whether you are loyal.

So what has any of the above got to do with art?
Well the same principals apply to your work as it does to your relationships if you keep at something remain true to yourself and loyal to your craft you will reap rewards a plenty. If you chop and change reject, make demands , let down ,wallow in misery and think the grass is greener it will all be very hard indeed and often very lonely.



Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My Twitter Art Exhibit #TAE18

Happy New Year everyone I've had a fantastic Christmas of visiting friends and family and generally not doing much of anything when I'm on holiday I do nothing work related at all, tempting as it is, but we all need a break in order to refuel for the new year.

And to ease myself in gently I have completed my Twitter Art Exhibit Postcard I've never missed one yet and was determined to fit it in before the new year madness kicks in.

Punting Cambridge #tae18

My image is of Punting at Cambridge, we visited last weekend as part of a trip to see my step sister in Ely, it was lovely crisp winter weather and the tourists were enjoying the boat trips on the River Cam which  runs through the heart of Cambridge enabling you to enjoy fantastic views of the world famous Cambridge College ‘Backs’ from the comfort of a traditional Cambridge Punt including
King's College Chapel, The Wren Library at Trinity College and the Bridge of Sighs.



Below is a small bit of information about TAE but do get involved its always for a good cause and this year my postcard will exhibit in Australia!

'#TwitterArtExhibit utilizes social media and public engagement to generate income for charities and nonprofit organizations. 
Artists worldwide donate postcard-sized, handmade original artwork to the TAE
TwitterArtExhibit organizes a local, physical showcasing of the art.
The public is invited to buy the art at an affordable, flat price.
100% of proceeds go to the charity.
This provides artists with new exhibition opportunities, new audiences and benefactors, and appeals to art enthusiasts all over the world.
More information on their website: http://twitterartexhibit.org/

Follow @twitrartexhibit on Twitter, Following the #TAE18 hashtag.'
Words by Founder David Sandum

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas Just Do it!

I'm sitting here surrounded by twinkly lights so many that I don't need my main lights on i have them in the kitchen the living room outside and all the way up the stairs my radio is tuned to magic Christmas and is pumping out all the hits not one surface in my house hasn't been tinseled or glittered.


Some may say I'm sad some may say ah well its nice when you have kids to do that but I did it before kids I tinseled and sparkled through many a Christmas when I lived alone.
Truth is I love this time of year so much , dark nights pj's on by 4 pm cold outside good I'm not going out darkness is my thing get the candles out and huddle in a blanket what could be better, no wishing I was on a beach or any of that.

I have now been celebrating Christmas for weeks giving out cards and handing over gifts looking at tree displays in country houses listening to Bing Crosby on a loop, mostly because I've been selling my art at shows and that demands that I am stood with a festive spirit listening to old classics.



Im not one to moan about Slade or Roy Wood  in fact I am transported back to my childhood everytime I hear   Noddy Holder I think of our old silver christmas tree and masses of presents all underneath our family always did a great Christmas no matter what was actually going on in our family and believe me there was alot going on (we just didnt know!) it was fab cider, peanuts crap TV we got to stay up late. I want that for my kids too not the cider but all the rest of it the memories etc...
My motto is more is more and at Christmas we can all extend some kind of happiness and festive fun, when folk say I dont like Christmas I am sad for them as its the only bloody time of the year we get to cover everything in pastry and have bucks fizz for breakfast as well as decorate the towns and smile at each other come January we are all moaning again and thinking about joining a gym or something equally stupid.

We spend all year being careful, tasteful, mindful watching our weight, watching the clock ,watching the budget ,watching each other keeping up appearances, ....blah blah Christmas is a time for hugging friends waving at the neighbors wishing people well being generally less miserable.



Obviously there are some who cant crack a smile and for some its a painful time of year for many reasons and that's a shame but generally if your health and well being is good and there is an excuse to partake in a week long twinkling time of kindness then why not because in a couple of weeks it will be January and our streets will be back to rain soaked dullness living rooms bare again and it will be fish fingers for tea.
Enjoy if you can be thankful for friends and family extra bone for the dog and let the cat in.
We get one chance at all of this living stuff have fun merry everything and see you in the new year x
http://ruthgrayimages.net

Friday, 1 December 2017

Exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery Starts Today!

Whitby 30 x 30 cm 
I know I've gone a bit coastal here but I do go on holiday! See this work and my other new pieces at Cromford Studio and Gallery Joint exhibition with Martin Sloman on throughout December.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Oeuvre Now There's a Word.


Sometimes you just want to have some fun and for years I have wanted to paint Goose Fair but I've been working on commissions or series and it just didn't fit my oeuvre (pretentious word for body of work) Anyway what to paint for my joint exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery in December instead of painting to a theme I went with what took my fancy and Goose Fair is one of those things.
So here's a couple of works I have completed absolute joy to not have earth colours on my pallet but massive juicy pinks and yellows. Roll up Roll up I can smell the toffee apples!

Goose Fair 2 30 x 30 cm

Goose Fair 30 x 30 cm

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Peak District Artisans and Banks Mill!

To visit the Banks Mill Artisan Fair you have to set a side a whole day its a big event its probably now the biggest event of its kind in Derby.



For a start you have the beautiful Banks Mill Studios themselves set on four floors filled with amazing artists and design companies its such a treat to see where an artists works and then to be able to buy from them too.



Once you have tackled the four floors you walk across to the Enterprise Centre next door which use to house just the affiliate members of Banks Mill but now it also incorporates that prestigious group Peak District Artisans who fill the first floor with their professional booths, upstairs in the wonderful glass ceiling atrium are the Banks Mill Affiliate members.



Im exhausted writing this so be prepared bring loads of cash and time as its all so mind bending you will have to pause for coffee and possibly cake... I know terrible but so worth it as all your Christmas could be literally wrapped up for you in one day!