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Art tyle

Spring 2016

The only magazine for artists living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016



Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


Editor’s Note

Spring 2016


Art tyle

for artists living The only magazine shire & in Berkshire, Buckingham Oxfordshire

Welcome to the spring issue of Artstyle Magazine. Our vibrant, feathered cover model isn’t just a pretty face he also sets the tone for this edition, which is primarily geared towards helping channel more confidence and colour into your art this season. After all, selfpromotion is an important part of being a succesful artist - as business trainer Pete Moseley explains on page 7. It is something that the late Artist David Bowie was an expert at, with his evolving, attention-grabbing look and style having been the inspiration for many an artist during and after his creative reign. We speak to illustrator Helen Green about her series of Bowie animations on page 4. From one talent to another, you can also catch an interview with our cover artist Angela Mitchell on page 9, before reading on to discover some of the best ways to capture the beauty of the spring season, according to expert photographer Rod Bird (page 10). Just as digital leads the way in the camera stakes, it is also setting a new standard in artwork for which our favourite touch screen creation Arthur the Robot (page 10) has become a mascot in recent months. He was narrowly pipped to the winning cover post by our peacock friend, but we felt the story behind his fruition was more than worthy of sharing. Taking us from the modern art of digital back to our paint and paper roots is Artstyle favourite Stanley Spencer, some of whose artworks are the perfect epitomy of this wonderful season (page 17) which never fails to whet our creative palettes! Artstyle Magazine

Spring 2016





Enjoy the issue!

Caroline Seekings, Editor




Photographer Rod Bird’s photographic tips

Artistic tributes to the late David Bowie

The digital potential for creative expression

10 Spring photography

4 Take a Bow

15. A picture of health

Can creativity influence health and wellbeing?

11 Digi-art

5 Art inklings

12 Dates for the diary

16. Talking point

Examining the predictive capabilities of the artistic medium

Discovering stippling

A round-up of this season’s events

7 Artistic expression

13 News & Views

His reputation continues to soar

14. Art:illustrated

Inspiring new art materials

The importance of self promotion for artists

Interesting reads for artists

9 The winner’s post

A contrasting look at illustration

An interview with cover artist Angela Mitchell


Art tyle


17 Stanley Spencer

18 Material world

Spring 2016

The only magazine for artists living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in ArtStyle Magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, and the magazine is in no way liable for any such opinions. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this publication


is accurate, we cannot be held responsible for any

Produced by:



Editor: Caroline Seekings Tel: 07834 233346 Email:

inaccuracies. No advertisement, article or image may be reproduced without the written permission of the


publisher. All rights reserved.

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


Cover image: By Angela Mitchell

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


Bowie illustrations

Take a bow’

Inspirational creative tributes to the late David Bowie

An interview with Helen Green on the inspiration behind her series of David Bowie illustrations

that look, and Hunky Dory is one of my favourite albums), or Bowie/Halloween Jack with the eye patch from February 1974 when he performed Rebel Rebel in the Top Pop studios.

What inspired you to start the series of David Bowie illustrations? Have you always been a fan? The idea for the David Bowie GIF I think came about during the time I was listening to the 2014 career-spanning Bowie compilation album ‘Nothing Has Changed’. I wanted to make some kind of visual career-spanning compilation of my own, and so the animated portrait came to mind. I also wanted to challenge myself in terms of animating my work, so this was also a bit of an experiment for me too.

What techniques did you use? Each frame of the animation is a pencil drawing coloured digitally with watercolour textures. I used minimal shading in the drawings, except for subtle hatching around the features and cheekbones.

I’ve always enjoyed David Bowie’s music. I have fond nostalgic memories connected to songs such as Jean Genie, Space Oddity and Under Pressure (Queen is also a family favourite here). Me and my sister used to sing Space Oddity; with me in charge of the spoken countdown parts and trying to verbally replicate the guitar and string sequence after “liftoff”. Jean Genie is one of my dad’s favourite Bowie tracks, and possibly one of his favourite tracks in general. We still listen to it together with the same enjoyment as we did while I was growing up, it will never get old! I was also of course captivated by Bowie in the film Labyrinth when I went round a friends house to see it in the late 90’s/early 00’s. It was in the last 4-5 years that I became even more absorbed in Bowie’s work, obsessively listening, learning, familiarising myself with what/who interested him, watching his interviews.. etc. When the ‘David Bowie is..’ exhibition came around in 2013 I couldn’t be happier! It was incredible to see a whole archive of outfits, lyrics, props and paintings in the flesh. Which is your favourite from the series? It’s either the TMWSTW/Hunky Dory early 70’s Bowie with the long wavy hair (I love 4

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

We love...

What are your views on David Bowie as an artist? He was gifted in so many ways. Intelligent, mysterious, restless, visionary. What I loved about Bowie’s approach was that each album often brought with them a different persona, and also a change of musical style too. Bowie seemed to reinvent himself at every opportunity. These changes made him such a fascinating artist and were obviously key to his long-term success. He was a brilliant painter too. Have you always worked as an illustrator? Yes, I started taking commissions whilst studying Illustration at Birmingham City university, and continued pursuing this field of work since graduating.

Above Bowie graffiti by artist Alvaro Petritoli Picasa Below:

What do you like most about what you do? I like being my own boss, and having the freedom and control to choose certain projects, and set my own hours. Ultimately I’m turning a lifelong hobby into a career. How important is the social media side to your work? Social media can be a bit overwhelming at times, but it’s a great way to interact with potential clients. Not to mention, a great way to connect with fellow creatives. Social media is the most effective promotional tool. My work is showcased and shared around on platforms such as twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr which is usually how my commissions and online orders come about.

Art ngs i l k in Discovering the artistic medium of ink and stippling

Stippling 110 hours of inking. Tools used : 0.10mm nib, China ink

RELATED TECHNIQUES Pointillism is an Impressionist painting technique developed by Georges Seurat where a painting is created using countless tiny dots of pure colour, placed in close proximity to each other. When viewed at a distance, the human eye is meant to fuse the individual dots together into areas of solid colour. paintings/glossary/pointillism

About stippling Stippling is an ink drawing technique where you apply tone and texture in small dots. You can adjust the depth of tone and the roughness of texture by varying the density and distribution of the dots. Stippling is rarely used as a technique on its own and is nearly always combined with cross-hatching in order to enhance its effect. A simple stippling worksheet to help you practice can be dowloaded here: pen_and_ink_drawing/stippling_ worksheet.htm

we love...

Benjaman Kyle Stippling Medium: Ink on Paper Dot Count: ≈ 2.1 million dots

Van Gogh’s ‘View of Arles’ - stippling is used to suggest the natural texture of a wheat field

Winsor And Newton Drawing Ink 14 ml Black Indian {auto} £3.50


Need help with ink? Check out this link from Lizzie Harper which offers top tips for using pen and ink! article/33/Scientific_Illustration_ Pen_and_Ink_Techniques_-_Line__ Stippling_-_April_20th

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


mediart A closer look at how creativity manifests in the media

Lenor recently launched a limited edition bottle design that was produced in association with fashion designer Giles Deacon.

ADVERTISING An artistic promotion for Fresh Sugar Sport



Promotional film posters became art the-10-best-movie-posters-ever-made cartoons/archive

MUSIC Stanley Donwood is the pen name of English artist and writer Dan Rickwood. Donwood is known for his close association with the British band Radiohead, having created all of their album and poster art since 1994 For more information visit http://www.nme. com/blogs/nme-blogs/stanley-donwood-onthe-stories-behind-his-radiohead-albumcovers

EDITORIAL CARTOONS An editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is an illustration containing a commentary that usually relates to current events or personalities. An artist who draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. cartoon

Artistic Flare Affordable art for the home and office

T: 020 7736 7921 M: 07854 734 290 www.jacquelinemidgen. E: Visits to studio by appointment only


Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016



Artistic expression The importance of self promotion for artists

Introducing: Pete Mosley

Jacqueline Midgen of Artistic Flare is a landscape artist who works in oils, acrylics and pastels to create her distinctive and colourful paintings and products for both home and office environments. In addition to landscapes Jacqueline also paints still life, beaches and seascapes and has created a selection of products featuring her designs. The designs are ideal as gifts and include: bags, mugs, key rings, caps, greeting cards, calendars, coasters, placemats, mouse mats and women’s t-shirts. Jacqueline is also intending to experiment with ceramics during 2016 by painting some of her more abstract designs onto small ceramic items such as vases. In addition to the line, form, colour and composition/content of her surroundings, Jacqueline’s art is takes influence from the French impressionists and pre-Raphaelite artists. She is also inspired by her imagination and for the last few years has been attending workshops to help her develop a looser and freer painting styte. Jacqueline is also open to accepting commissions. Email: T: 020 7736 7921/M: 07854 734 290 Visits to the Tooting and Fulham studios are by appointment only

Pete is business editor/expert for craft&design magazine and a business trainer for Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme. His book – ‘The Art of Shouting Quietly – a guide to self-promotion for introverts and other quiet souls’, is aimed at creative people who struggle with self-promotion. How important is selfpromotion for artists? Many artists shy away from selfpromotion because they find the whole marketing process distasteful or worry about being seen to be bragging about themselves. The truth is, all artists need to self-promote in order to survive. It’s about finding one or two places where you can shine both online and offline. What would you say are the most effective mediums for helping promote a personal brand and artworks? Video is far and away the most popular medium on the web and new developments in neuroscience show that video connects with an audience in very significant ways – much more so than images and text alone. This is second only to doing artists’ talks. How important are things like a website / business cards?

go to see the work close up – either at a gallery, show or open studio - before purchasing. Business cards or better still high quality artists’ postcards are vital too. People often don’t buy on first viewing, so they need something to take away as a reminder. What one task should artists be doing daily to help push their name? Every artist should do one small thing to connect with his or her audience every day. Create a list of people you want connect with and follow them on social media. Like and share their posts, comment on their events or articles. Then when you want to approach them or email you are not ‘cold-calling’. The ice has been broken. Low confidence and selfdeprecation are often a stumbling block for artists. What are your solutions to this? Many creative people live quite isolated lives. Gravitate towards people who support you and show you warmth. Stay away from critics and those who drain you emotionally.

A well designed and visually appealing website is your personal shop window. The Gallery, About Me and Contact pages are the most-visited pages and should be where you tell the story of your work. The About Me page needs to have a nice portrait image or working shot. This is where your customer connects with the ‘real’ you. However, research shows that customers browse websites, but then

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


The winner’s post An interview with cover artist Angela Mitchell

Have you always been an artist? I have always been creative and interested in colour and design as a child which got me in trouble with my teachers in school because I was always drawing and sketching instead of paying attention. I loathed maths so I would spend most of my classes designing dresses which I sold to my friend’s aunt who owned a boutique. In my teenage years, my brother and I would spend weekends painting weird subjects like aliens and monsters. I went on to study art and design at a local college in Malaysia. Where is your studio? My dining table is my studio and stores my completed paintings. I try to use as much natural light as possible which I get in my dining room. Who/what is your artistic inspiration? I am inspired by the universe and through my spiritual work as a medium, healer and teacher. I use meditation, my dreams and also connection to spirit guides to allow me to visually tell a story which otherwise would remain inside my mind. What was the motivation behind the winning piece? I have always loved peacocks for their beauty, grace but also for their spiritual meaning which is about rising from the ashes, and most of all - self-confidence. They are fascinating and I wanted to paint one which would be unique. I didn’t just want to copy a peacock from a picture; I wanted to make the peacock the star of the show. We often look at the “eye” of the peacock, the feathers and not really focus on the peacock itself. I thought to myself, how would the male peacock feel about all that attention? So I decided to focus on him and let the feathers fan out


Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

as an abstract backdrop. I used very bold strokes for the feathers but was gentler with the peacock’s face and body. Which one piece of your art are you most proud of? When I was about 19, I saw a drawing in Popular Science about the evolution of man. I was so fascinated that I created an oil pastel on white board measuring 36” x 24” and included dinosaurs, endangered species such as the Dodo bird and other animals. I also left space after “man” as a reminder that we humans are vulnerable to change as much as animals. It was a difficult piece to do as oil pastels were not as flexible as soft pastels or acrylic but they provided the effect I was looking for. It took me about 2 months to complete the piece with lots of technical challenges along the way. How many hours a day do you spend in your studio? I have a flexible day job as a Spiritual medium, energy healer and hold weekend workshops so I paint when I have time. Once I start a piece, I can spend 2- 8 hours working on the pieces with breaks. I love layering and texturing my pieces so it takes time to dry. I may put a layer on and then see a client and go back to it afterwards. On weekends I try to start early to make full use of the natural light and finish at 3-4pm. What keeps you going/drives your creativity? I have the music on when I paint.When its energy or spiritually related then I’ll have meditation type music - either chanting which helps to put me in an altered state or something beautiful like Satnam Kaur’s Earth Song. I have a very eclectic taste in music so I could be listening to Vivaldi’s

Four Seasons one minute and Dire Straits, next. If you could own one piece of artwork, what would it be? Moses by Frida Kahlo. It’s such a stunning imaginative piece of work. It captures the essence of life, death and love in one beautiful painting. What are the main challenges / advantages of being an artist? I am still at the early stages of setting myself up as an artist so my main challenge is learning the basics of selling and marketing myself. Space is also an issue as my paintings and materials have taken over my house. It’s a nice problem to have though as I am so happy to be able to express myself through my work. Angela will be exhibiting at the Art on the Street on stand 72 on June 11 2016


Art tyle

Spring 2016

The only magazine for artists living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


Seeing through photographs Although taking, sharing, and viewing photographs has become second nature for many of us, our regular engagement with images does not necessarily make us visually literate. This course aims to address the gap between seeing and truly understanding photographs by introducing a diversity of ideas, approaches, and technologies that inform their making. In this course you will look closely at photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and hear a variety of perspectives on what a photograph is and the ways that photography has been used throughout its nearly 180 year history: as a means of artistic expression, as a tool for science and exploration; as an instrument of documentation; to tell stories and record histories; and as a mode of communication and critique in our ever increasingly visual culture. photography

Spring photography

Capture the essence of spring with Photographer Rod Bird’s top photographic tips Ask people what’s their favourite season: most will say spring.Spring makes us feel good. It brings rebirth and regeneration, the return of warmth and colour, and points to bountiful months to come. But the factor that makes the strongest psychological impact on us is the sudden abundance of light. If we’re to produce a successful photograph that encompasses the essence of spring we need to show the quality of the light. Pictorially, sunlight is most useful when it’s low, so early mornings and late evenings are best. In our region the sun rises just after 7am in February, just after 6am in March, and at a distinctly unfriendly 5am in May – so early spring is the most practical time to go out with your camera. Google “Photographer’s Ephemeris” to see what direction and height the sun will be coming from at any date and time. An early start on a day when the duvet beckons might not appeal, but in the week most of us head for work early, carrying our smartphones. Used thoughtfully a smartphone can produce excellent results. We needn’t restrict ourselves to the natural world either – low light in our city centres can be just as exciting. Try photographing against the light, or “contre-jour”. It can lead to striking images with emphasised depth. If necessary use your hand to prevent sunlight from landing directly on the lens, preventing flare in the image. Hold the camera absolutely still. Camera-shake spoils more photos than any other fault. Steady the camera against a wall or a tree if you need to, or invest in a tripod. Often we want to get in close and concentrate on the detail - perhaps a bud, or a sprig of blossom. Compact cameras and smartphones let us focus on very close objects, and in this regard they have an advantage over the larger SLRs. It’s worth taking a look in the dreaded user manual: check the Specifications section to see how close you can focus, visualise that distance (eg “as long as my thumb”) - and then don’t bother trying any closer. When the subject’s in sharp focus the camera will beep or show a steady green symbol. When it’s not, the indicator will be red or flashing. Mark Twain famously claimed to have counted one hundred and thirty six different kinds of weather in one spring day.With a camera in your hand, and your eyes open to the opportunities, you’ll soon come to see spring as a slideshow of ever-changing pictures. Rod Bird

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016





Exploring the digital potential for creative expression


Art tyle

Spring 2016

The only magazine for art in Berkshir e, Bucking ists living hamshire & Oxfordsh ire

Eastern Eggs was a series of limitededition wooden eggs adorned with artwork by contemporary artists. The designs were tattooed onto the eggs by an ‘Egg Bot’ for a suggested donation of £10 to the British Red Cross tsunami relief efforts. h t t p : / / w w w. t h e a t l a n t i c . c o m / entertainment/archive/2011/04/robotcreates-artistic-easter-eggs-for-japanrelief/237592/

CREATING ARTHUR By Paul Kercal Of all things, it was Facebook that prompted me to draw Arthur: the robot image I submitted to the ArtStyle cover competition. www.arts tylem www.arts tylem

Artstyle Mag

azine Spri

I was on a train to London, scribbling plans for my (Thurs)day job - artist in residence at a Microsoft UK studio. Nothing was coming to mind, so I decided to see what my friends were up to instead. Up popped up a ‘remember this picture from five years ago’ image and that led me to quickly draw a robot. Before the train had arrived the image had jumped from my Moleskine to my iPad Mini for rough colours and then to my Surface Pro for some full on ArtRage playtime. (You can see more of the process at Is digital art still art? The lack of tactility, the occasional overuse of lens flare, the undo button…. does that detract from the craft? Personally, I find touch screen creative tools as joyous and freeing as any


Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

ng 2016


‘I find touch screen creative tools as joyous and freeing as any pen or paintbrush I’ve yet used’ pen or paintbrush I’ve yet used, and the possibilities…. Paper, tablet, Surface. Each with a part to play. As for Arthur? Well, in the painting he’s reaching out beyond his programming to see what it means to be creative. He’s aiming to evolve - just as creativity itself does. Whatever your art material or experience level the important thing, in the end, is the art.

Oliver Deussen and Thomas Lindemeier created a robot in the computer science department of the University of Konstanz in Germany and equipped it with sensors, a camera and a control computer to make this beautiful piece of art (above). medium=social&utm_source=twitter. com&utm_campaign=buffer


Cox Green Community Centre Craft Fair April 16th Arts & Crafts by Megsy Bacon The Chelsea Art Fair N Chelsea Old Town Hall DO from Thursday, April N O L 21st to Sunday, April 24th 2016. Marmalade in Oxford 11th 15th April Lakes Ignite Celebrating art and culture in the Lake District 30 April – 22 May


Reading Contemporary Art Fair 23rd and 24th April http://www. readingcontemporaryartfair.


The Beaconsfield Art Fair 13th and 14th May The Beaconsfield School, HP9 1SJ http://www. thebeaconsfieldartfair. Henley arts trail Running on the first May bank holiday Sat 30th April Mon 2nd May Oxfordshire Artweeks 7th - 30th May Caversham Arts Trail Saturday 7th – Su​nday 8th and Friday 13th*, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 2016 www.cavershamartstrail.


The Olympia ON International Art & Antiques Fair 27th June until 3rd July


Bucks Open Studios Bucks Open Studios will take place from 11th-26th June http://www. Art on the Street 11th June


Reading Arts Week 10 to 17 July artsweek rdgartsweek En Plein Air Windsor Takes place on 16th July this year uk/whats-on/en-plein-air2016-p837751 The Henley Festival 6-10th July http://www.henley-festival. visual-arts



Sculpt at Kew Royal Botanic gardens, 3/9 - 16/10

Wokingham Arts Trail 24th -25th September www.wokinghamartstrail.


@Tuttonandyoun are curators of contemporary visual arts events including #brightonartfair # m a d e l o n d o n #madebloomsbury & #madebrighton

s e t a D e h t for ! y r a i d

Make a note of this season’s events and calls for entries


The Art Market YORK is offering up to 12 Graduates / Newcomers the opportunity to apply for a FREE mentored space at the show in October 2016 along with 9 months support. To be eligible for a space you must have completed your BA or MA in the last 2 years. Current university students due to graduate in Summer 2016 are also welcome to apply.

neo: is very pleased to announce details of the forthcoming, international biennial neo:printprize201 The deadline for online registration is 12 noon Monday 9th May 2016, and for online submissions it is 12 noon Monday 16th May.

The Derwent Art Prize Competition for 2016 is now open and call for entries will run until June 1st 2016. The Derwent Art Prize aims to reward excellence by showcasing the very best artworks created in pencil by British and International artists. Artists can submit 2D and 3D works created with any pencil or coloured pencil as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite or charcoal pencils. An exhibition of the selected work will be on show at the Mall Galleries, London from 19-24 September 201

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016



A round up of interesting reads for artists a rc h i v e / 2 0 1 5 / 0 1 / t h e - d e a t h - o f - t h e ar tist-and-the-bir th-of-the-creativeentrepreneur/383497/ World Recycle Week H&M and artist M.I.A will be joining forces for H&M’s latest global initiative World Recycle Week from 18-24th April 2016.

The Future of Art according to Douglas Coupland

Saving Sandycombe Sandycombe Lodge is a little-known treasure: in 1813 England’s foremost painter JMW Turner became his own architect and built a picturesque small country villa close to the Thames. It is now 200 years since Turner built Sandycombe Lodge, and the house, listed Grade II*, is still almost totally intact with some unsightly later additions. However it is threatened by damp and decay, is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and in need of urgent major conservation. Turner’s House Trust aims to advance education in the arts by the preservation and conservation of Sandycombe Lodge and launched a project to secure the funds which can be viewed and contributed to here:

Children’s Art Week This June sees the welcome return of Children’s Art Week (Sat 11th - Sun 19th June 2016) with interactive events across the nation to encourage children of all ages to get creative. From Scotland to Cornwall event organisers are creating topical & relevant activities to inspire children to get involved in making art of all kinds. Find out what’s on locally by visiting the Children’s Art Week website

Why we are burning out in the arts ticle/career-advice/performing-ar ts/ madeleine-dore/why-we-are-burning-out-inthe-arts-249582

Elephant Artists? Here’s Why Making an Elephant Paint is Cruel, Not Cute why-making-an-elephant-paint-is-cruel-not-cute/ 12

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


The rise of ANIMATED ILLUSTRATION Our top five videos

Discover the most iconic Jimmy Choo red carpet moments in their animated video to celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary. .com/ watch?v=uQLnn18-3PE&feature=youtu. be?cm_mmc=Social-_-facebook-_wallpost-_-2302201620years

2 illustration/drawings-365-husbandspends-a-whole-year-illustratingevery-single-day-spent-with-his-wife-/


https://www.facebook. com/Humanity4Life/ videos/1677705419174875/

GONE TO POT! This summer, the National Trust’s Mottisfont in Hampshire hosts a new exhibition – the only one in the south east of England – that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter.


https://www.facebook. com/VanGoghMuseum/

Set in the sunny gallery space at the top of this country mansion, Beatrix Potter: Play and Childhood features a delightful collection of 30 original watercolours and drawings by perhaps the world’s most beloved children’s illustrator and author, alongside a small selection of vintage Beatrix Potter dolls and figurines. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see these artworks, which, due to light sensitivity, are rarely shown outside of their permanent home in the Lake District.


Can you dedicate an entire year to drawing something new every day? That’s exactly what Michiganbased wedding photographer Curtis Wiklund did in 2011 when he began a daily sketch challenge, documenting every single day spent with his wife, Jordin. The blog, simply called Drawings 365, paints an intimate and charming portrait of a couple very much in love but with all the usual, everyday things we’ve come to expect from our relationships.


A contrasting look a the growing trend of animated illustration and an upcoming celebration of its traditional roots

The collection showcases some of Beatrix Potter’s most famous characters, whilst taking you on a journey into the world of play and childhood, from Peter Rabbit’s naughty antics to the Two Bad Mice as they wreak havoc in a doll’s house. On set weekends over the summer holidays, families can enjoy a host of additional Beatrix Potter-themed fun, including storytelling and drop-in sessions with artists. These will run on 30 and 31 July, 13, 14, 27 and 28 August. Beatrix Potter: Play and Childhood runs from 16 July to 18 September 2016. For more information on Mottisfont visit < mottisfont>, or call 01794 340757.

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


picture A




A closer look at the influence of creativity on health and wellbeing

The Dementia Darnings The series of portraits known as The Dementia Darnings were started in 2011 whilst I was a carer for my mum who was developing dementia. The obligations that this entailed meant that I had to give up my large studio away from home and some work commitments to be available to look out for her. As I developed an understanding of the illness and how it manifested itself, we explored ways of engaging with the past often looking at old photo albums. I started to use stitching to ‘draw’ likenesses of family members onto a sculpture of a long dress made from dress netting. She recognised these familiar faces and enjoyed watching me create these simple likenesses.

The entended health benefits of art

A creative portrayal of modern body image issues

Creating is not just a ‘nice’ activity; it transforms, connects and empowers, according to this article featured in The Guardian. making-activity-transforms-connectsempowers

Artist Jody Steel produced a time-lapse of her abdomen -- we never see her face -- as she paints a rope into her stomach, making it look as though it’s cinched into an unbearably tight knot -- a symbol of the struggles so many women and men go through to achieve a “perfect” body https://www.facebook. com/artistjodysteel/ videos/571858049655525/


Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

Making Art Tied to Fewer Cognitive Problems in Old Age making-art-tied-to-fewer-cognitive-problems-in-

Art & the three ‘M’s According to Columbia University in New York, the rhythmic movements of knitting work in much the same way as meditation. The university notes: “When we have a life-affirming project going on that grabs the self and gets it to work in a positive way, that is an antidepressant.”Coupling pain relief with activity and pleasurable past-times to maximise the three M’s — mobility, mood and motivation - may therefore help to break the pain cycle.

Coupling pain relief with a pleasurable pasttime can maximise the three M’s — mobility, mood and motivation - and may help to break the pain cycle

Art Therapy – when words are not enough I have been an art therapist since 1986 and throughout my career in mental health services for adults, children and young people, my passion for art therapy has remained undimmed. Art therapy has enabled me to witness what art can do for people who experience difficult life events and circumstances. As human beings, we all have a deep need to communicate and be understood – this is true even when we are in the depth of despair and confusion, and finding the ‘words to say it’ is often difficult. This is also the case for many young children who may not have the proficiency to express themselves verbally but still need to process complex and disturbing emotions. Since the 1940s, art therapy has grown in the UK and is now a state regulated profession. Defined as ‘a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its primary medium of communication’ (BAAT), it has developed mostly in public services and charities and has a growing number of private practitioners.

‘At times in life when ‘words are not enough’, the use of art to communicate and understand emotions can be truly life changing’

We’re Crazy about framing

The best evidence for art therapy is its impact on clients: although most initially say ‘I am no good at art’ (a phrase art therapists hear frequently!), my invitation to explore art materials and to not worry about good or bad art acts as a ‘permission to play’ which many take up and enjoy. This enables a deep engagement with the art media and the uncovering of true thoughts and feelings. Another exciting outcome is that many clients choose to take up art in their own lives as a source of creativity and wellbeing. People who had no previous connections with art-making or never visited art galleries connect with this wonderful world and as evidence shows, improve their mental health as a result. This outcome is not limited to people who are mental health service users: research with staff in health and social care on art therapy groups for work-related stress shows similar results! Art therapy is still a relatively small profession but is growing – its best advert is the feedback that clients and carers give about their experience of it. At times in life when ‘words are not enough’, the use of art to communicate and understand emotions can be truly life changing.

The Framing Professionals

Fast Delivery • Competitive Pricing • Satisfaction Guaranteed • 0844 770 1966 • 59 King Street, Maidenhead. SL6 1DU (near the cinema)

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


insight: ART FORESIGHT Michael Rolando Richards Sculptor Michael Rolando Richards cast a mould of his own body and depicted planes flying at it. He later perished in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 Michael Richards (American, 1963-2001). Untitled, 1997. Fiberglass and resin with iron oxide. 72 x 24 x 19 in. (182.9 x 61 x 48.3 cm). Contemporary Art. Anonymous gift in honor of Michael Richards. Image courtesy Brooklyn Museum

Reeva Steenkamp After the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp, the former model’s mother June Steenkamp revealed a picture that her daughter had painted as a teenager which showed a gunman, an angel and a stairway to heaven. The painting appeared to be a stark premonition of Reeva’s fate at the hands of her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorious. Read more: http:// reeva-steenkamps-parentsreveal-painting-that-predictsh e r- d e a t h - a t - t h e - h a n d s - o f b o y f r i e n d - o s c a r- p i s t o r i u s 3826357/#ixzz40VqRdupN

TALKING POINT An examination of the extraordinary cases of artists who inadvertently predicted their own fate through their work

By Angela Mitchell Everyone of us is born with natural intuition, but not everyone is aware of it or knows how to tap into it, or the desire to do so. Some people are unconsciously able to access their intuition, and may be able to do so through dreams or creative activity. In the case of Reeva, she was very young when she painted what we can only assume as a premonition of her death. It would not have made sense to her or her family that time. If you look closely at the Angel, she is wearing a red gown. I find that little detail fascinating because Angels are almost always depicted as wearing white or very pastel blues and yellow coloured flowing gowns. From what we have seen of the crime scene and details from the trial, Reeva’s wounds were devastating. She would have bled all over her body and her clothes. Reeva unconsciously drew the Angel to depict herself and choose the red to signify blood loss. Looking at the Angel’s face, we can see that she is in fact very upset and scared. She was clearly being threatened by an unseen assailant who was looking for her. She was trapped and looking for a way out. The ladder symbolises the desire to escape and perhaps there was a chance but the Angel was looking away from the ladder and focused on the threat. This is unfortunately very close to what happened as Reeva would have been facing the door when she was shot. I don’t know if there was any possibility of escaping from the bathroom but Pistorius said during the trial that he heard the sound of his bathroom window opening. He immediately became sure an intruder had entered. We can only guess that there may have been a way out of the bathroom window. It is particularly interesting that she painted on two different canvases and with different orientation. The gunman was on a landscape layout while the Angel was set on a portrait layout. The gunman stands, on very unsteady legs with a rifle aimed at her. The string of lights at the top tells us they are in the same building or area and that despite the gloomy feel of the picture,


Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

there was enough light for both of them to see each other. The Angel’s space feels like a more constrained area which indicates the space she would have had in the bathroom. The trees have special significance as well. The one near the gunman is tall, older, has a number of strong branches and takes up most of the canvas on the left.The tree next to the Angel is smaller and almost insignificant. This is a very powerful message. Oscar’s family have deep roots in South African society, are well off and being an athlete he had power, money and influence. Reeva on the other hand came from a poor background and would have been intimidated by Oscar’s power and wealth. The gunman was in a position of strength while the Angel was vulnerable. The connection between the creative process and intuition or the spiritual world is not to be underestimated. The creative process allows us, the living, to tap into our subconscious mind, our soul as well as our spirit guides and family. The creative process is a mindfulness one where your mind goes off duty for a while, allowing the other influencers to take over for a while. This is why art therapy is used widely especially with children who have difficulty expressing themselves. There are cases of where art can be used to help abused children to express themselves and at times, the abuse itself. Children respond well to the creative process because they don’t always over analyse what they are doing and can be naturally mindful. Art is also another medium for spiritual people to work with the Spirit world to bring forward messages or even images of people who have passed.This is called Spirit or Psychic art. I always painted as a child but was really misunderstood as my work was seen to be strange. Recently though I had this urge to understand it better and attended a Spirit Art in the Altered States course in Essex. There I understood that I had Spirit Guide “artist” who was helping me to paint. It all made sense and I was able to draw faces of people who are in the Spirit world and using my mediumship, provide evidence of their life. It was simply amazing when the people I was working with could identify the person I drew and understood the information I provided. I now do spirit portraits during spiritual readings and commission spirit guide portraits as well.

Stanley Spencer

His reputation continues to soar

Rock Roses, Old Lodge, Taplow, 1957 Oil on canvas, 61 x 50.8 cm Lent by a private collector Jack and Catherine (‘Cash’) Martineau moved to Taplow, Buckinghamshire, early in the war, after they were bombed out of their London home. On first meeting Spencer, Catherine was delighted by his party trick of un-scrolling a roll of lavatory paper, containing sketches for his official Shipbuilding pictures, across the floor, and a warm friendship ensued. Spencer would frequently drop in for nursery tea, stay to play Bach on the piano or show them photographs of his paintings, expounding the thoughts of the figures. Their daughter Jane recalled how work on this picture was spread over about eight or nine weeks, so that successive flowers - such as tulips, rock roses and roses - each appear to bloom simultaneously in the final composition. The picture’s shallow space and intense focus on the details of bricks and plants led to a composition of startling clarity.

Readers of Artstyle Magazine will be almost the first to know how the soaring reputation of our local genius painter, the late Sir Stanley Spencer RA is to be affirmed and further extended by a proliferation of Spencer celebratory events across the UK this year, commencing on 16 April 2016. Dubbed, ‘a baker’s dozen of a year’, (because it runs for 13 months until 17 May 2017), ‘The Year of Stanley Spencer’ includes four major Spencer exhibitions, the publication of no less than five books concerning the great artist, and an international poetry competition. There will also be a series of Centennial events dedicated to Spencer’s First World War service and related astonishing works, plus educational sessions on Spencer, and numerous other gatherings. In calendar order, the first highlight of ‘The Year of Stanley Spencer’ is the newly-opened exhibition at Cookham’s Stanley Spencer Gallery, which runs daily until the end of October 2016. ‘Stanley Spencer: Visionary Painter of the Natural World’ explores Spencer’s glorious depictions of nature in a series of exquisitely executed flower paintings, garden vistas and landscapes, forming breathtaking panoramas along the walls. These works are punctuated by figurative and spiritual scenes, also set against natural backdrops, movingly reminding us of the visionary element pervading all of Spencer’s work. Stuart Conlin, Chair of the Gallery’s Trustees, expressed his own view that “This is probably one of the most visually beautiful exhibitions that we have ever mounted.” Commencing 24th June, and in due course running in parallel with the Cookham exhibition until late September, will be the Hepworth Wakefield’s major exhibition of Spencer works, encompassing Spencer’s diverse themes: biblical, portraiture, sexuality, domestic life and rural idylls, all re-imagined through Spencer’s own spiritual beliefs. It will be well worth a trip to Yorkshire’s inspiring new art gallery!

Cookham on Thames, 1937 Oil on canvas, 61 x 91.5 cm Lent by a private collector For an artist whose name became synonymous with Cookham, this extensive view encapsulates Spencer’s feelings for the beauty of his native village, as it nestles in a bend of the river. It was painted from Winter Hill, and the tower of the parish church of Holy Trinity, with the flag of St George, is visible amidst trees to the right of water meadows. Cookham Bridge occupies a central position, with a great sweep of trees beyond, flanking one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames. The tall Clock Tower, built at Cliveden in 1861, stands proud of the trees on the skyline. The picture is notable for its sensuous painterly qualities, and its emphasis on texture, as in the individually depicted grasses in the foreground. Spencer’s sophisticated handling of tone focuses on various shades of green beneath a magnificently painted sky.

A particular highlight in September will be the first of three volumes of an astonishing ‘autobiography’ of Spencer, not of course finally compiled by himself (he died in 1959), but carefully assembled by family members and distinguished art experts, from Spencer’s prolific personal reflections in the form of letters and other writings. Many of the selected extracts have hitherto been unseen by the general public and the surprising insights that they include are expected to arouse very great interest, both in academic and artistic circles and amongst the general public The programme for ‘The Year of Stanley Spencer’ is to be found on the website of Cookham’s Stanley Spencer Gallery, where it will be regularly updated. Readers of Artstyle may like to check out all the planned happenings and perhaps may also contemplate the opportunity to swop their painterly hats briefly for poetic attire, thus engaging a further facet of their creativity in the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition, linked to the biennial Cookham Festival. Shez Courtenay-Smith

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


Material world


Green Apples String Art by Cathy Savels


http://www.contemporist. com/2016/03/19/pasta-packaging-turnsproduct-into-hairstyles/

From coins to telephone wire... discover the creative potential of some otherwise uninspiring materials




http://www. prints/banana-1


Coin sculpture by Shaun Gagg

Nails Artwork by Zenyk Palagniuk


Telephone sheep exhibit by Jean Luc Cornec

Building blocks 18

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016

Royal Academician David Remfry, former Vogue picture editor-turned-curator Robin Muir, the Tate’s Head of Learning, Programme and Resources Fiona Kingsman and filmmakers Sarah Cunliffe and Kathy Oldridge are to judge the 2016 National Open Art Competition. Professional and amateur artists aged 15 and over can now submit work to the main 2016 competition. For the first time, a new miniatures category is being offered alongside categories in painting, drawing, original print, photography, wall hung installation, digital art and moving image. Each entry is judged anonymously, making the competition one of the most democratic in the UK and Ireland operating today.

TOP: Gillian Hyland Look Away BELOW: Songe Kaye Asleep

Past winners include Kelvin Okafor, Sarah Jane Bellwood,Vaughn Horsman, Jane McAdam Freud and Harry Borden. Judge David Remfry said: "National Open Art is an important platform for artists and it's wonderful to be involved as a judge in the competition's 20th year. The finalists are always an eclectic mix and a reflection of the impressive talent at work in the UK and Ireland today. I would encourage artists to apply to - it really can make a difference to their careers." The 2015 competition attracted nearly 4000 entries and awarded around £60,000 in prizes and mentoring opportunities to 35 winning artists. For the second year running, young artists aged 14 and under can also enter as part of the NOA children’s competition. This year’s finalists will be exhibited in NOA’s Winter Exhibition at Mercers’ Hall in October where the prize winners will be announced. For the second year, people will be able to vote online for their favourite long-listed piece to be included in the Winter Exhibition when NOA16’s World Vote opens in August. Neil Lawson-Baker, chair of NOA, said: “It is amazing to think the National Open Art Competition has been running for 20 years. We have seen some incredible artists flourish through the competition during this time and I have every hope that this year’s competition will be the most inspiring and thought-provoking yet.” The 500 long-listed entries from this year’s competition will be for sale through NOA’s website and at various exhibitions. NOA16 is open for entries from 1 March until midnight on 10 July 2016. Finalists will be announced in September, and the winners revealed on 27 October. Entry costs £20 per adult entry, £5 per child entry. For more information visit

Artstyle Magazine Spring 2016


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