Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Opening night at BADS

The opening night for Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society last night at the Bilton Theatre was a great success. The audience loved both plays and responded really well to all the humour. We were very happy at the end of the evening. One of the nicest compliments we received was from two members of our Youth Section who watched it. They said that they hardly recognised Keith - not because of how he looked, but because he seemed to be a totally different person. Well, by any standards that must be a sign of how well he acted, so I am obviously proud of my soul-mate and co-actor!

Tonight is the night that we are performing in front of the Vicar of St Peter's Church in Bilton, Rev. Richard Major - hope he likes the plays and comes back next time!!

It's looking likely that word of mouth is increasing the numbers of audience members, too - I've had several messages today asking if people can come along tonight without booking! My artwork has taken a bit of a back seat this week, but I am really enjoying being in the production, as is everyone else involved. Keith and I walked to a local village this morning to do some shopping and on the way there and back we just went through our play - we like to try and be word perfect, so we believe that you can't over-rehearse, even during the week!

Carol and Dave Hawxwell in a scene from "For Starters", which is the first play of the evening in our production this week.

Below is another photo taken from the production of "Purvis" that my husband and I are performing in:

Sunday, 27 June 2010

BADS dress rehearsal time!

I can't believe we are at the dress rehearsal stage already! It doesn't seem long ago that we first read the script for our play- here we are getting ready for opening night on Tuesday! I only hope the weather cools down a tad, otherwise we will be sweltering on stage! No air conditioning in our little theatre, I'm afraid - we're lucky to have central heating in the winter months!

Anyway, I thought I'd share the publicity we had recently in one of the local newspapers - the Holderness Gazette. They used a photo we took at rehearsal a couple of weeks ago and have given us a good feature that may well bring in a few more audience members. We usually don't need to do much in the way of advertising, as we have a mailing list of patrons who are very loyal and support every play we perform. However, every little helps, to coin a phrase!

Here's the article:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

East Yorkshire Open Art Exhibition

Today I have dropped off two paintings to be judged ready for the East Yorkshire Annual Open Art Exhibition. It's the first time I've entered this exhibition so I am really hoping my paintings get selected. I've opted for two similar sized, framed works - "Red Rocks" and "3 Wise Men and an Interloper" so fingers crossed! The exhibition runs from Saturday 3rd July until Sunday 29th August and is held at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Sewerby Hall is a very popular tourist attraction and has some lovely landscaped gardens as well as a children's playground, cafe, gift shops and animals to look at.

I have a space in my hall where "Red Rocks" normally hangs which I am hoping will need to be filled by something else before the end of August!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society

One week to go!

Well, I can hardly believe it, but exactly one week today I will be performing on stage once more at the Bilton Theatre. I have been a member of this particular society in East Yorkshire for 20 years now and it is where I met my husband so I have an extremely strong attachment to the theatre and society. We are lucky (some may say) at BADS in that we have our own purpose built theatre in which to perform. The building itself is held in trust for us as long as there is a dramatic society in operation. The downfall of having your own theatre, of course, which most people don't even think about, is the fact that we are responsible for every aspect of running it. As members are so thin on the ground these days, that often means that a lot of the work falls on Keith and I since we do not have to go out each day to work. Today we have spent the morning down there tidying up the stage and wings, dressing room area and main auditorium. We also cleared away a huge pile of horse manure from outside the stage door - something I'm sure no self-respecting professional actor or actress would ever have to do prior to performing! We were only going to spend a maximum of one hour down there, but as ever we see things that need doing and promptly get on with them - such as the sign that we put up to advertise the fact that we've got a play on.

Oh, yes, that's what I was writing about - I got side-tracked with telling you of the pitfalls of owning your own theatre and having to maintain the place yourself. We also share the land with some horses - these are usually in a fenced off paddock at the side of the theatre, but every now and then, the owners let them roam on our grassed car parking area. We had a rehearsal the other week on a bank holiday, during the day, and were greeted by three horses at the gate when we drove up, so had to leave our cars in the drive until we left. I took some photos of them - they were quite curious about the step-ladders we'd left outside momentarily and even managed to knock them onto the ground at one point! I find horses fascinating, yet am also slightly scared of them. They are magnificent creatures and I can appreciate their beauty, but they tend to nut you with their head and when they search for food as you approach them, it's quite intimidating.

This is the scene that greeted us that day:
That's enough about horses, now, I think. We just have one more rehearsal before the Dress Rehearsal on Sunday and I am hoping that we get some good houses next week. We have sent photographs to the local press and our Publicity Officer, Nikki Grannon, has been working hard contacting the local radio stations as well. Any press cuttings that we get will be posted here for future reference! It would be nice if we got a review from the local newspapers, like we used to years ago, but it's not always guaranteed. A critical review would be the best so that we can see where we are going wrong (unless, of course, we are doing everything right).

This time round, we are doing two one-act plays. Each play is a comedy written by Nick Warburton and features a husband and wife team as the two characters. The first one, "For Starters" is set in an exclusive hotel restaurant where a new waitress, Daisy, is learning her job and getting to know one of the hotel guests rather well. Dave & Carol Hawxwell are the stars of this play - at the moment they are enjoying a week's holiday so will not be rehearsing on the stage until the Dress Rehearsal, but I have heard that they have both been going over the play on the beach this week!!! The other play, "Purvis", is set in St Peter's Church vestry. It just so happens that the name of the church in Bilton (where our theatre is) has the same name! We couldn't let this coincidence go by un-noticed, so we have invited the Vicar of St Peter's, Bilton to come along and watch the production. He has booked his seats for the Wednesday night I believe - I'm looking forward to hearing what he makes of it! The play features a woman called Rachel (played by me) who is the Vicar's wife, and a new parishioner by the name of Mr Purvis (played by my husband, Keith). Rachel tries to welcome Purvis to the community and somehow ends up giving him the job of Health & Safety Officer of the church. This action sees many accidents occurring and Rachel getting more and more exasperated as time progresses. Purvis is very accident-prone but also completely unaware of is, which only makes matters worse!

I have thoroughly enjoyed learning a play with just two of us in it - particularly since the other character is my husband, Keith. It has meant that we have been able to rehearse at home in between our regular rehearsals, which is so much easier. It is probably the only time we will ever get to act in a two-handed play together again, so we've really enjoyed the experience. With our acting membership down to just 6 members now, it's really hard to cast and produce anything other than small cast plays now.

If you need to find out any more about our society or the play - click on the title of this post to be directed to our website. Here's the poster advertising the production:

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Wolds Village Summer Open Exhibition

Earlier this week I paid a visit to the Wolds Village Summer Open Exhibition in Bainton, near Driffield. I was very inspired by seeing all the works on display, and especially so at the works from the children at Pocklington School.

It was nice to see work from people I know in this area, too - and interestingly, two of my paintings were positioned next to Lorna Storey's and Rob Soar's! I managed to to take a few photographs to show you some of the work on display.
I don't recall whose paintings are the large ones in the photo above, but the brightly coloured one at the top on the right is one of Rob Soar's, then mine is just below it (We Will Remember Them) and below mine are two by June Hammond. I have met June a couple of times, I remember her doodle styled ink drawings from the Beverley Art Fair we both exhibited at in May 2009.

Pupils from Pocklington school, aged 13 & 14, were displaying works that they'd created using the starting point of African Masks. I particularly liked this area of the exhibition and thought that the children had all done an excellent job. Some of their creations were very reminiscent of my time spent in Africa, therefore I felt a connection to these pieces:

There was also a selection of paintings from younger children - I think also from Pocklington, although I may be wrong as last year's exhibition featured work from children at Warter Primary School. Whichever school they were from , I loved seeing their work. They had all written comments next to their pieces, some of which were priceless! One child had written "I like the art group because I like drawing" - that says it all, really, doesn't it? Another child had put a joke onto his written accompaniment which I really can't resist sharing. As all these children's works were related to the adult exhibition theme, coastal, the joke was along those lines, too. "Why did the sand cry? ............................Because the Sea weed" I did actually chuckle at that! Here are a few of their paintings:

The children's work was all in the smaller room at one end of the gallery, along with a few entries from adult artists, too, as can be seen in the next photograph:

Here you can see my work (Coastal Contemplation) sandwiched  between two of Lorna Storey's pieces - coincidentally, two of my favourite paintings of hers, which look even better in real life than on the computer monitor, as artwork always does in my opinion.

The painting above ours, of the penguins, is done by Frank Thompson, inacrylic. I haven't managed to find a web-site for him, so you will just have to enjoy this lone image for now! I think it is a lovely painting and I like the visual impact of his landscape shaped canvas against our much smaller ones beneath. In fact, I think the layout of the whole exhibition was really well done.

Another of my East Riding Artist colleagues whose work was in the exhibition was Debbie March. I have met Debbie several times at various fairs and exhibitions in the area - she makes some gorgeous jewellery as well as creating glass paintings, which are stunning. I'm afraid the photo in this instance really does not do her work justice. However, you can see more of her work here.
Debbie's glass paintings are hanging on the left of the photo, I don't remember who did the other pieces, although I have a feeling one of them may well be Sally Brealey who runs the Wolds Village Gallery.

My painting (Spurn Point Inspired) can be seen towards the left of this photo, above. Also on here I can see a painting done by one of my ERA colleagues, Steve Dove. Steve works very quickly in acrylic - I watched him complete a painting in a couple of hours one afternoon at an exhibition last year in Beverley, and photographed him at various stages of the process. I then created a slide-show of the process with suitable captions and gave it to him the next time I saw him. He has paintings in galleries across the East Riding of Yorkshire and is a very active exhibitor who also happens to be really good company. He usually exhibits with two other ERA artists, Penny de Corte and Selina Fennell. I like and respect both these artists and their work. Penny creates some lovely tactile ceramic pieces which she loves with a passion that just pours out of her whenever you speak to her. Selina is a very talented pet portrait painter, but she also creates really unusual "found object" style paintings, using many items she finds on the beach in Hornsea, where she lives.

You can see two more of Steve's paintings in this photo top and bottom in the corner position. The painting sandwiched between the two of Steve's was a very intricately painted acrylic painting which was very delicate and calming to look at. The artist was one I've not heard of before and I've even forgotten her name, I'm afraid!

Penny's ceramic work was on display throughout the gallery in various glass cases, also she had this lovely bowl on the table in the entrance area.

Here are Selina's driftwood styled creations:

You can see more of Selina's work on her personal website here.

The exhibition at Wolds Village lasts until 1st July and is open daily between 10am and 5pm. It's worth a trip to the gallery, but be warned - there's also a very fine restaurant/cafe on site, as well as a wonderful gift shop that you could spend a small fortune in! It's always busy, especially in the summer months and it has a great atmosphere, too. I am very happy to be part of such a varied exhibition.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Paper Cup completed

As can be seen by the Event of Facebook here, the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe are hosting a paper cups exhibition to highlight the environmental concerns surrounding the use of disposable packaging in takeaway food, as well as breathe new life into the humble object that would normally be thrown away.

This morning, with the aid of a mini hot glue gun and my acrylic paints, I have completed my entry for this exhibition. I'm afraid you will have to wait until the exhibition opens before I show my photograph of it on the web, but suffice it to say I now have many more ideas for creating other paper cup works of art! I really enjoyed the challenge of something different like this,and look forward to actually visiting the exhibition to see what everyone else has done!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

New creations

I have been working on lots of different items recently in order to try and build up my stock for forthcoming art & craft fairs over the summer (wet as it is right now). I have not yet uploaded any of these items to any web-sites, or onto my Etsy shop, as I want to keep them exclusively for exhibitions. However, I thought I'd at least take some pics to show you what I've been working on, as it's been a while since I posted on here.

These two little trinket boxes are ready for selling and will be added to my collection next month at the Burton Constable Country Fair, along with the following new creations:

I am working on 3 of these magnetic shopping pads, but  the third one only has a base coat on at the moment so I thought I would leave that one out of the shot.

As you can see with these decorated A6 sized note-books, I appear to have developed a style of almost mosaic-like qualities! I am a bit obsessed with dots and circles actually, and often incorporate them in my abstract paintings - these particular decorations have been applied using a metallic acrylic craft paint. I love the 3D effect they have.

Alongside these, I have been working on a background painting (now complete, ready for posting) as part of a collaboration piece between myself and fellow rogue gene collective artist, Kosana Marton.  Also, I have made a start on painting a paper cup ready for an exhibition to be held over the next couple of months. No more details on that as yet - I need to experiment with a few to begin with, I may enter more than one if allowed and will need to decide which design works best. The idea is to decorate a paper cup in any way you like, but to retain the basic shape, i.e. it needs to still be recognisable as a paper cup. It sounded like a fun idea so I thought I'd join in!