Ready for the Rites of Spring!
Well, nature has cast off her white cloak and we are noticing earlier, brighter mornings and slightly less freezing cold temperatures, and that lovely "stretch in the evening" thanks be to God.
It'll soon be Easter, so here's a little Easter Bunny for you. I snapped this little fella last year in Hawes during the Easter holidays. He seemed to love the camera!
It's been a Winter of ups and downs for me, on one hand things have been going very well career-wise, with plenty of sales and interest from galleries - more on that later. On Boxing day, or as we call it in Ireland, St. Stephen's Day, we said goodbye to my uncle Mick, an amazing character full of charm and musical ability, who passed away in the night after having had, as he put it just before he died "the best crack on Christmas day in years!"
Mick was one of those one in a million, larger than life characters, whose warmth and sense of fun touched everyone he met, and his prowess as a musician and entertainer in the local scene in Kilkenny and for many miles beyond made him practically a celebrity. His influence on myself and my brother has been immeasurable as his presence radiated a creative energy throughout our family and shone a light that showed the importance of music, art and drama in life and what a blessing it can be, and his role in inspiring me to pursue a life and career in the creative arts can not be understated. I still can't write about him without a lump in my throat, but he was "some man for one man" as they say at home and I would like to dedicate this post to his memory.
Now, it may have been something to do with Mick's passing but my brother and I are in a band, a traditional Irish and Folk group, and this year we have put an extra surge into this project - made a new website, committed to weekly rehearsals, and even bought a new powerful PA system! We had a spate of gigs over the St. Patrick's Day period which all went very well it has to be said and I hope this purple patch continues. Our next outing is in a venue in Middlesbrough called the Twisted Lip, it's a new micro brewery in the trendy part of the town currently experiencing a lot of regeneration, that's on Easter Sunday, so check that out if you can. Last time we played there was an absolute belter - a tiny intimate venue, sweaty, electric atmosphere, if that kind of thing floats your boat - it certainly does mine. Here's a link to the website, if you want to know more
Getting back to art, and as I said earlier, things have been really busy for me with quite a few galleries asking me for work. Gallerina in Darlington have been working the magic again over Christmas and managed to find homes for some of my very large works, including the two shown below, and I am looking forward to strengthening our business relationship in 2015, beginning with a bumper load of drawings I've been working on for them over winter, which I'll be delivering this week.
Same went for Saltbox Gallery in Helmsley, I submitted some work for their winter exhibition last November and it has proven to be very popular and they've asked to hold on to the work that hasn't sold as yet, I'm in very good company there, they have a wide range of other excellent art so if you're out on the moors with a spare half hour, why not drop in and have a look around?
I visited Coast gallery at Burniston, on the outskirts of Scarborough in January and they took five pieces from me.
I will also be submitting some work to the excellent Zillah Bell gallery in May, looking forward to that show. August will see me travelling down as far as Lincolnshire with my work for an exhibition in a really lovely new-ish venue called The Steel Rooms in Brigg. This is a gorgeous building with a cafe and craft gallery downstairs and upstairs is a really airy and calm fine art gallery space. I'll be sharing this space with Lincolnshire based artist Hannah Dale. Hannah is the artist behind the extremely popular Wrendale Design and she specialises in animal and wildlife imagery rendered in her own unique stylised way and this will be the first time she has shown her original drawings in this type of setting. There are some lovely parallels between Hannah's work and mine, and we are great admirers of each other's work and we all thought that this would be a show to get excited about.
So, I have a lot of work to do between now and August - better get on with it! I'll leave you with one of the pieces I'm taking over to Gallerina this week, a wee spring lamb. He will be available to buy if he doesn't find a home too quickly. I'll try and write some more in the summer, enjoy your spring everyone!