Sunday, 3 September 2017

Setting up Home in my Orchard Square Studio

On Thursday afternoon I got the keys to my new work home for the month. First thing Friday morning, John and I filled the car and took everything into town. I was still frantically finishing the last bits of stitching on this map-based piece on Thursday evening. Just got it done and mounted in time - phew!

It certainly got us both fit, carrying all my mounted artwork, fabrics, drawing and painting gear and miscellaneous studio paraphernalia upstairs to the studio space. The security guys were very helpful and fetched me a couple of long tables and a chair from storage, to set up my workstation. I am going to sit in the window, for maximum light. I was surprised at how much space I'll have.

The next job (after a cup of tea - luckily I remembered the kettle) was hanging the artwork. This was less physical, but it's always a slightly tricky business.

It was even more tricky this time, because we couldn't make any holes in the walls, so had to use a combination of 3M Commander strips and Velcro. Luckily all the work was pretty light.

There are two rooms - the one I am working in, which has the most wall space for the artwork, but also a little anti-chamber. Despite being tiny, it's very light and bright, as two walls are windows. This is where I am exhibiting my very first adventure into hand-stitched textile work:

It all went up pretty quickly once we got going. I looked great! It's the first time I have seen my textiles work mounted up as a body of work. It makes such a difference.

John had just said goodbye, left me to it and headed home, when a loud bang frightened the life out of me. One piece had fallen down again. By the time I was ready to leave, a couple of hours later, half the artwork had fallen back off the wall. The Velcro adhesive just didn't like sticking to the canvas back of the work. Hmmm....

I was a bit despondent at that stage, especially as I was full of cold and feeling pretty grotty. We had a bit of a think that evening and came up with a new plan. We got up early on Saturday morning for an emergency dash to good old B&Q. Back at Orchard Square, John attached wooden batons to the back of each piece and we used super-wide Velcro. It was all up again for lunchtime, just in time for my first few visitors. 

It all felt pretty firm still when I left that evening. I am crossing fingers it's all still up when I go back in on Monday morning.

Although I was still feeling really grotty on Saturday, it was a glorious, sunny day, with lots of shoppers about, so I felt like I ought to make at least a token start on work, while I was there, so I sat on a bench and did my first couple of sketches, which I taped to the studio wall before I when home:

My aim is to walk into the city centre each morning (unless the weather is hideous - always a possibility), for some much-needed exercise. It'll take just over half an hour. Then I'll stop and work until about 5.30 - 6.00ish most nights. 

Do pop by and see me. The exhibition will be open any time I am in there working. If you are coming especially, I'd wait until after Sept 13th: from then on, I will be there every day and should be spending most of my time in the studio, rather than out sketching.

My place is just on your right at the top of the stairs. By the way, if you have trouble with stairs, there is a lift inside Waterstones. There are still a few small stairs down, but nothing major.



Karen said...

Oh how I wish I could come and see this evolving body of work in person (but currently not feasible to travel there from western USA). I can begin to imagine how stimulating this emphasis on abstraction, combined with translation into a different medium, must be for your being after so much of your career in illustration. All best wishes for this precious residency period!! Thanks for sharing so much on your blog.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you so much Karen. Yes, abstraction is a whole new area which I have always struggled to get my head round before. Very exciting times for me, creatively!