Gina Williams chooses her Shed favourites.

Paul J Tiller – At the Mill 

Paul J Triller - At the Mill - Ironbridge

Paul J Triller - At the Mill - Ironbridge

This is stunning, the shot is taken so privately and with no interruption to the subject. It makes you wonder what is going on in his mind (a thousand thoughts)

Rachael Talibart – Autumn path

Rachael Talibart - Autumn Path

Rachael Talibart - Autumn Path

Rachaels work shows some incredibly thoughtful scenes. Autumn path stands out as the warmth of colour that is captured enhances the seemingly quiet location.

Guy Kirkham – Reflection of Fire

Guy Kirkham - Reflection of Fire

Guy Kirkham - Reflection of Fire

Really impressive landscapes work and this piece sits so well. You can view it from all angles and the lighthouse breaks the colouration with minimal effort but essentially finishes the piece.

Rob Coombe – Serenity

Rob Coombe - Serenity

Rob Coombe - Serenity

This piece by Rob really works, the calm vision comes through the picture and leaves you with the same feeling. The colours are so soft, so in no way disrupts or takes away the stillness of the moment.

Timothy Foxx Neal – Roe Deer

Timothy Foxx Neal - Roe Deer

Timothy Foxx Neal - Roe Deer

Captured moment indeed. The colour, positioning and stance of the deer is truly perfect. A real eye catching piece. Just one to one between photographer & wildlife – makes me wonder how long the moment lasted.

Joseph Oughton – Fern Shoot

Joseph Oughton - Fern Shoot

Joseph Oughton - Fern Shoot

Black and white, one single subject. A real delightful piece – nothing busy or showy about this piece. Its shows natures growth in the simplest way.

Chelsea Davine – My working process.

I’m often asked how my paintings are created. Have I always painted? How do you know where to start and finish?

I received a lovely email from my Aunt recently who reminded me that I always ‘made’ things:

You know that I feel somewhat responsible………the artistic “seeds” were sown at Biggin Hill nursery ……. you may not remember but each day you and I would take on the windy airfield to the nursery school and after each session you would present me with your paintings etc and other creations that you had done that day!!   Do you remember that?’

I do. I’ve kept many of the old school books under the house. Portfolios full of GCSE drawings, a huge painting based on a Velazquez, ceramic A level projects still litter my parent’s lawn. I look at it now and see the beginnings of elements I have carried through  my work. There is no fear of scale, lots of steel and lead, highly glossed and varnished ink drawings and the circle reappearing again and again. They also took me a long time. I could never quite manage the off the cuff sketch and envy those that can.

I remember laboriously selecting materials at Chelsea Art College and University, going for miles to run down areas and industrial units looking for the perfect bit of copper, steel or canvas. There is something I find fascinating about the process of industry, raw materials becoming shaped and moulded into something completely different. I suppose to some degree I have ‘invented’ my own rituals, process or way to create my paintings. Selecting the canvas, size of frame, judging the weight and feeling the texture in my hand.

Opening every oil paint to assess its consistency and viscosity, subtle shades of colour change between makes, paint brushes in hundreds of sizes all gauged by their finest or roughness of bristles.

Then when they are in the studio, which is relatively tidy at this point, often delivered all at the same time, the promise of so much work to do. I move the materials around, seeing how they work together, the Belgium linen next to the Italian, the black steel next to the gold leaf, sea water next to sparkling, thinners next to varnish.

I lay them on the floor, hang up high and place against the wall and start to make marks. I never find a blank page overwhelming. There are sculptors that reveal from wood and others who build from scratch. My steel paintings definitely come from within. As I paint on them and leave them nestled on top of each other over night, the alchemy of the water silently works. I come in the following day, separate the layers and see what marks have been made. This informs the next steps. I step back, sit down and look. I spend a long time looking. It’s a strange thing to pencil into ones day! The canvases have also dried overnight if I’m layering up lots of thin washes of colour. However if I’m working with the spatula the oil can take weeks to dry. I’m often working on ¾ at the same time and when you see them in the gallery there is a definite affinity between them, there is that illusive ‘they just seem to work’. I can be lost and impatient moving, turning, rehanging, scratching, pouring white spirit over it, layering gold silver leaf for hours. It’s only when the canvas cannot take any more in that session I have to stop, the fumes can also be overwhelming in the heat. I now see it as a good thing as it gives me distance and forces me to step back and look. A few days away from the studio also gives me perspective and without doubt, a fresh eye. I can be so focused on a detail I lose the whole.

Then the question of how do you know its finished? Once near completion, I hang them up and almost try to ignore them, if something keeps tugging me back then I’ll carry on working.

My work has an essential balance to it, that I find pleasing and yes that’s when it is ‘finished’ to me. They often take between 4 to 6 weeks, 30/40 layers built up and taken away, between sourcing materials to deciding to sign it, tidy the edges, varnish 3 /4 times, sign, date and name the painting on the back.  That’s when they are ready to go and often with a heavy heart.

AOTW – Gina Williams.

I cant quite remember when I first got hooked into the world of photography, I do recall always taking a camera be it film and/or disposable on any trip I went on and this has now become the norm for most days out, in fact I think some of my friends would think I was unwell if I hadn’t got my camera within arms length. I hoped to train as an aerial & ground photographer within the RAF once I left school but sadly this was not meant to be and so the photography interest went back to being just a hobby until about 15yrs ago when it started to become a really important aspect of who I am as a person.

Gina Williams - Idyllic waters

Gina Williams - Idyllic waters

Its hard to choose my favourite photographic memory as in there are so many, this fact is not down to how good the picture is but of what’s within the photo, be it family or friends (or my cats!)

Gina Williams - Charmouth

Gina Williams - Charmouth

Henri Cartier Bresson has to be my favourite photographer. His work is so precise, simple & yet so deep. The photos are silent story books that speak volumes of captured moments of everyday people. Each one displaying beautiful raw emotions of all kinds which leaves the viewer humbled.

I also enjoy John Shaw’s work – I adore wildlife and his photos are vibrant, close but not intrusive as to disturb the natural behaviours of the subject.

Gina Williams - Please...

Gina Williams - Please...

For me I don’t actually have an ideal camera as I seem to only change cameras once I have felt that I have learnt enough about it and that it cant give me the range of shot I desire. But and ideal lens is a different story – the lens world can give you so much more and for this reason if budget was no option then a 300mm f/2.8g SSM II would be like 10 Christmas days in one! I currently use a Sony A33 as (after a long in depth decision making 3 months) found that it fitted my small hands perfect.

What I love about my own work is if I love the results of that shoot on that day. However I am a bad critic of myself and this then can become a thorn in my side as I start to over think and the fluidity can be easily lost! This last couple of years I have really started to push my knowledge and enhance my work and portraits are now what has really inspired me more so, I love grabbing a moment that no one else saw – almost like an anonymous photographer. I have adopted this way of taking pictures at friends weddings / parties and have had some real great responses which in turn assists my confidence and I know then I am on the right track! Most people have a fear of the camera and hate having photos taken of themselves and it because of this I aim to show them everyone can look incredible without even needing to pose. A great compliment in this world of social media is my friends & family using my photos of them for their profile pictures. I feel good that I have made them feel good.

Gina Williams - Evening calm

Gina Williams - Evening calm

I don’t think I have bursts of creativity but I do have a relentless daily cycle of seeing everything as a photographic moment. I cant seem to shut it off and you can usually hear me stating “ah that is a stunning picture right there – if only I had my camera” as contrary to what others believe – I don’t have the camera on me every waking moment! – I probably get some of my best sessions at family/friends events or just a walk on my own. My mood is the part which controls the creative streak so when I am at my most relaxed is when I seem to make it work

Gina Williams - Solo

Gina Williams - Solo

What makes a photo for me is the positioning of the subject within the frame and also with scenery, the details within the shot need to become the natural frame. It has to draw you in and be able to explain itself. Am a sucker for straight lines in a shot otherwise the balance of the picture is compromised. Although if the shot is purposely taken at an irregular angle then this works fine. However, what I have learnt so far is what I think is a great shot, another 5 don’t agree and vice versa. All photos hold memories / moments (good & bad) which is the purpose, to be able to time travel in your mind within a glance to that very place / time.

My favourite photo is one I took in Montana whilst on a working ranch for a week on my own. It was a big trip for me and at the time the only cameras I took were 3 disposable ones! but I still got some prints that told the story of my incredible trip.

Gina Williams - Montana

Gina Williams - Montana

Caroline Collett shortlisted for the 2013 Evolver Prize.

Shed Creative Caroline Collett has just been shortlisted for the 2013 Evolver Prize.with her photo ‘Gaming’.

Gaming - Caroline Collett

Caroline:

‘This is a constructed image, which is unusual for me and something of a departure from my usual out-and-about shots. The idea came from two things.

First of all from my own collection of gaming paraphernalia, mostly from the 30s and 50s, which started many years ago with a domino set my dad gave me advertising Woodbine cigarettes and which has been added to over the years with boot sale and antique market finds. The art deco bridge score book and the thin red plastic travel set of dominoes in the picture are my absolute favourites.

Secondly, from a painting in my mother’s autograph book from a commercial artist back in the 50s called ‘Smoking’, which was a kind of still life of a pipe, matches and ashtray. It just made me think it could work in the same way with the gaming things. I shot it on bright green paper as a nod to the green baize of old-fashioned gaming tables and outside in bright sunlight because I wanted strong shadows. I was pleased with its bright, graphic quality and it’s ended up feeling a bit like an advertising image in itself funnily enough!’

This is the second time Caroline has been shortlisted for this leading SW of England arts prize – the first was in 2004.

The winner and runner-up pictures (fine art and photography) will be exhibited from 13 July to 31 August at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton.

Come into the Light by AOTW Chelsea Davine

It’s all about light. That’s where this body of work began and has been my focus for the past year.

Chelsea Davine - Come into the light

Chelsea Davine - Come into the light

I’m often asked about my inspiration, where does it come from, how do I know what to paint? My subject matter remains the same, the material itself, the coast, the sea, lines of desire that criss-cross the landscape, time and its corrosive effect on materials and finding the beauty in what we see around us. The world filters into my studio: colour, light, politics, religion, people. Conversations remain with me, maps mesmerize me.

Chelsea Davine - Coast

Chelsea Davine - Coast

It’s something I live every day. I see compositions, spaces, textures all around. I collect them in my head, photograph them, store them away and let the ideas germinate, grow and come into the light, one day. It’s not as much about recreating faithfully an image or texture but more trying to express a sense of what it felt like at the time or evoke or prompt a response from the viewer.

In the studio I surround myself with various materials. I think most artists are inquisitive, collectors, hoarders. The rag’n’bone man passes every week and asks if I have anything to give him. He now laughs because he knows that those old bits of steel, random pieces of wood, copper, paper or whatever I have lying around are my tools or I swap with him some rusty old bar. I use them to remind me of something I’ve seen, a fleeting idea or a memory, a place, to lie on the canvas or steel, creating patterns, leaving a mark. The steel paintings lie on top of each other overnight and when I come in, in the morning they reveal the alchemy of water on steel, acid on copper, varnish on paint, water separating from oil.

Chelsea Davine - Silver watermark

Chelsea Davine - Silver watermark

Last winter I flew into the UK, along the coast from France. As I looked out of the window down below was a snow-covered Britain. The green patchwork replaced by white. The ancient white isle: Albion. Hills, valleys, vales, hollows, copses and woods all crisscrossed by liquorice black roads in the snow. From the air the waterways and Thames glistened gold in the brilliant sunlight. It was breathtaking. The perspective from above seeing the outline of the coast as we flew in remained with me. Over the months I worked on capturing the light of that trip.

The leaves of a tree in autumn as they begin to turn, then fall. The warmth and glow of a fire in a hoar frosted winter. Dappled light creating abstract patterns and a deep rich carpet of colours on the ground. The coast around Lyme Regis with its cliff falls revealing hidden strata, changing the outline on the island. Corrosion and erosion, water leaving its mark on the earth, moss on stone, drift wood gnarled, bleached  and ageing. Through the seasons and weather, after the storm moves westwards it reveals the pale light behind across the horizon out to the inky, slick black sea.

Chelsea Davine - Strata

Chelsea Davine - Strata

When you believe spring will never come the first verdant green shoots appear and the light gets warmer when you can lie on the grass looking up through the canopy. Then summer arrives and the golden light that glows warm late into midsummer when the full moons, Hunters, Harvest, Peligree hang heavy over the land. Those twilight witching hours between dusk and dawn when the light is never truly black but shades of blue, mustard yellow, pink and grey and mottled by a sprinkling of stars and far of galaxies.

This exhibition and body of work is a celebration of the things I see around me and live and try to capture or recreate those feelings and fleeting moments of beauty in my studio.

Chelsea Davine - Under the canopy

Chelsea Davine - Under the canopy