Tuesday, 1 August 2017

School's Out for Summer!

We kicked off our Summer break with a tram ride into Nottingham City Centre to http://www.thinkinng.org where we had been asked to judge the ThinkinNG Summer Open.  


There was an amazing display of artwork but we were both drawn to the same painting so that got our first place vote and many others were mutually chosen too.  The winners will be announced over on their Facebook page  

We had a lovely morning and their Kiosk Cafe serves fab coffee and cake so well worth a visit.  It is nestled in a courtyard off Pelham Street NG1 2ED

We've had a busy year so far both as practising artists and as Purple and Grey with our networking events, workshops, consultations and our lovely art group.  Thank you to our members for their company and new members always welcome

Our next Art Group is a Workshop £4.95  Places limited so please email us to book 

AUGUST 16th 2017 10.30 - 12.30 pm
Water Soluble Oils  - Try before you buy workshop.
Tansley Village hall Church Street, Tansley, Matlock DE4 5FH

We've already got our 2018 diaries full of new events but for now we are away from our desks until 11th September enjoying quality family time,  recharging our batteries and gathering information.

Purple will be mooching around in her campervan with Mr G and Bruno, with Cornwall sure to be on the list of inspiring places to visit, and Grey will be off to warmer climes taking in the landscapes, soaking up the sun and enjoying time with her young family.

We will monitor our emails and reply to any urgent enquires.
If you would like to make a consultation booking for Autumn please email with suggested dates and we will get back to you in September.

We hope you have a fabulous Summer whatever you are doing and wherever you are going.

Purple and Grey
Karina Goodman and Ruth Gray

Please note our Autumn Events

September 20th 2017 10.30 - 12
​£3.00 includes coffee and cake.
Beechenhill Farm

September 27th    10.30-12.30
Art Group Tansley Village Hall
Church Street, Tansley, Matlock DE4 5FH

October 11th  10.30 -12.30 pmThe Big DrawCreswell Craggs Visitors Centre TBC.Be part of the national event The Big Draw - the worlds biggest drawing event details here: www.thebigdraw.org/

For any other information please go to our website http://purpleandgrey.co.uk 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Interview With Artist Liz Wellby

Artist Liz Wellby was one of the first to attend a Purple and Grey networking event and then has consistently used our services as and when she has needed something clarifying. Liz is an established artist, member of Peak District Artisans and Artist in Residence at Scarthin Books in Cromford in her interview below she describes the journey from the transition from working in the public sector to working for your self.

Liz Attending Our First Networking Event in 2015.

Describe your ideal working week and then tell us what actually happens!

That's a great question. 

Thanks to the vagaries of politics, I was made redundant almost 3 years ago and having taught creative subjects for over 20 years, I was used to having a clear focus and a precise understanding of what I was doing each day at any given time. My change in circumstances has opened up something completely different to me and I have been pleasantly surprised with how I have adapted to a less structured work pattern, being far less conscious of the need to operate in blocks of an hour or know what I will be doing the following week.

My ideal working week would include a variety of experiences such as: individual tutoring, running a workshop or demonstrating a particular process to an arts group, developing my work through various drawing and print techniques and having the opportunity to visit a museum or gallery, so allowing time to look, think and consider new ideas. 

However, the reality is quite different. Leaving my full-time teaching post has coincided with selling    one home, renting a second and finally buying a new home with my husband. We were particularly keen to buy a home with space for a studio and workshop, but there were few properties to match our criteria, so we have spent the last year planning and adapting our new place to suit our requirements; I currently spend a significant amount of my week covered in dust and paint, firmly attached to rollers and brushes. Time to develop new work is proving a bit thin on the ground, as I have only just moved back into my studio and a new custom-made work bench is a few months away. I also spend 2 - 3 days tutoring Y10 and 11 students on a one to one basis, which creates a structure to my week; it is a satisfying role and one that I really enjoy.

You have been teaching professionally for many years was the transition to working for yourself an easy one and how is it benefiting your artwork?

Looking back on my time in Education I know realise that, unsurprisingly, I had become institutionalised and I found it necessary to work in a particular manner to ensure that I met the needs of my students and the staff I worked with; I felt increasingly driven by external pressures, rather than spontaneity and creativity, which is not a good thing for an artist. However, as a result of teaching a range of subjects I had developed a wide range of skills and was particularly adept at ‘plate spinning’. The move to working for myself has proved to be easier than I had anticipated; it had always been my intention to do this at some point, so I had already thought about some of the issues I would need to focus on. My art work is already beginning to benefit from having more time to think and make, rather than slotting the time to create into Sunday afternoons and an odd evening each week. I hope to explore more monoprinting, lino and wood cutting techniques, plus larger scale wire sculptures.

We have been working with you for over a year conducting one to one consultations with you on various social media topics how has social media changed or helped your practice?

 Social media has definitely changed my practice. Until relatively recently, I, like most artists, worked quietly away and presented new, finished pieces through exhibitions, as a method of introducing new work to the public. However, it's now essential to promote our work on a far more

 regular basis through FB or Twitter, at least on a weekly if not daily basis. I feel I now show more of the journey and the development of an idea and a piece, which encourages a greater openness about the success or failures we as artists might have. This also creates greater opportunities to promote what we do and I am far more aware of the need to communicate with friends and followers.

As an artist in residence at Scarthin Books in Cromford how has immersing yourself in an environment over a long period of time enabled you to develop a new body of work?

When I first started having conversations with David Booker, the general manager at Scarthin Books, I didn't quite anticipate how interesting and satisfying this journey would be, or how quickly that time would pass, hence adding a second year to the residency. This is the first time that I have undertaken an extended arts residency and I although it is important to have some understanding of what you may do, I don't think you can be certain of where it will lead.

My plan was to make a particular focus with working on my iPad, as it seemed inappropriate to use pastels or watercolours in a bookshop environment. At the start of the residency I felt pretty confident using Brushes XP, but looking back, I now realise how much my skills have developed using this app and I now am able to create far more complex images as a result of this extended period of time to explore and experiment. 

I have found immersing myself in an environment for a period of time has been quite a revelation. I really value the ability to return to a venue and try out new ideas, may that be with composition, a different colour palette or mark types, by simply working in a different room or working on interior views on one visit and portraiture the next.

I have particularly enjoyed creating portraits of the staff at Scarthin Books and really appreciate how they have responded to the outcomes with real enthusiasm and appreciation. I also intend to develop further portraits of visiting authors and visitors to the bookshop.

You have conducted a very successful workshop for us this year and we hope to have you back next year are workshops something you are keen to pursue as part of your business going forward?

Liz Conducting a Monoprinting Workshop for Purple and Grey.

Thank you; that's very kind of you to say so.

The idea of being an artist working in isolation is not something that appeals to me, as for the last 20 or so years I have been used to having people around me. I do enjoy having time on my own, but I also enjoy having contact with other people and the opportunity to share my skills, knowledge, and the passion I have for creating. It is incredibly satisfying to teach people new skills and this will definitely be part of how I want to spend a proportion of my time.

As I tap away, my husband is busily, and noisily, constructing a work bench in his workshop and once this is complete, I will be able to help him make a workbench for use in my studio; this will also be used when I run workshops. I am really looking forward to having a new studio and a lot of time and effort is going into getting it right for myself and for people who want to join me here for courses and workshops.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Images from the Buxton Spa Prize 2017

Yesterday Purple and Grey held another successful Artists Networking event and this time we had the great pleasure of hosting it at the superb Green Man Gallery.
Attendees enjoyed listening to Caroline Small explain the ethos behind the artist led gallery as well as taking part in some fun and winning the odd prize.

Talking of prizes we had the great pleasure of feasting our eyes on some fabulous work by artists from all over the country who had submitted work to the Buxton Spa Prize.

The competition, now in it's fourth year, is for artists working in any 2D media (except photography) who are over the age of 17 on 1st April 2017. The winning artist  receives a grand prize of £5000. The Buxton Spa Prize 2017 is sponsored by ‘The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust’.

The Buxton Spa Prize is also the home of 
The Harold Riley ​Sketchbook Prize. This Prize is an open competition for artists submitting a single sketchbook completed during the last year.​​​
Below are images from the show along with snap shots of the prize winners. for more details head over to the Buxton Spa Prizes Website.

Prize Winners

1st Prize 

3rd Prize and Buxton International Festival Choice

Highly commended

The Buxton International Festival choice

2nd Prize

Highly Commended The Buxton International Festival Choice

The Buxton International Festival Choice

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Interview With 2017 Derbyshire Trophy Winner Mark Langley

Mark Langley

 Our artists interview this month is with Mark Langley a fine artist from Belper who produces amazingly detailed work that takes him many hours of dedication. This interview raises many good points for artists and is very inspiring enjoy.

Could you describe your typical working week?

I have no set order to my working week other than the main priorities, I should do but find it just doesn't work out that way. I get a bit single minded about things, either I get on with something, or leave it hopefully on a to do list for later. It can be a battle to keep away from distractions to actually sit and work on a painting or drawing as I work best submerged by what I do.

I group my jobs together but draw or paint anywhere from 9 am until 10 pm, sometimes on weekends. I find an empty mind where jobs are committed to lists and ignoring the world helps me sit and concentrate. I love to take breaks in the garden to adjust my mind by something as simple as pruning and tidying around. A walk, cycle or riding the horse can help to switch off if I get stuck emtionally.

My artwork can absorb my attention and there is no quick and easy way to produce it. It is technically heavy work to make and there appears to be walls and fence to get over because of the way it is made. I am now moving towards experimenting with my output as I realise I need the change.

Has the economic climate had any effect on the type of art you have been making recently?

The economic times have effected everything I sell as no doubt it has for many. This said I seem to maintain an ok level of existence and block it out. The returns from gallery and show sales is just lumpy and unsatisfying on the whole. I have cut back on more expensive shows about 4 years ago, I will return when I think things have picked up to reduce the financial risk.

My sales have dropped for everything, especially for the animal art. All I do know is there are a lot of animal artists about now and a lot who produce similar work to each other and near enough to what I have produced historically. Quick to produce art has taken over as well. It is a saturated market where it is difficult to differentiate yourself. Unless I was to put myself out there at bigger shows often and work only on animals, I don't think I could take my work forward enough to make a living out of just animal art. I enjoyed my animal portrait work for having a brief to work to and it stays online currently and I am still taking commissions.

I have traditionally got a good amount of my income out of reproductions. I have had to reduce the amount of reproductions in circulation where possible due to cash flow. Sales are not what they had been so close control of stock has proved useful. I check stock lists carefully to keep track of what is where and try to save money by not over producing or I try to swap things around in galleries. It is tough for all of us.

Selling greetings cards has become a shadow of what it had been 4 years ago. My originals go steadily in general and the commission work is unpredictable. I regulate how much of my own work and commission work I produce. I now think commissions are important to do as soon as I can to keep cash flow good if needed as survival is key. There is no set pattern where you can plan what sells best and where in 2017.

The public mood and psychology when shopping has changed in the last few years. There are less serious shoppers and more browsers but hopefully they will become a returning customer.

You had a SWOT chat with us was there any advantages in assessing your career thus far?

The SWOT chat with Grey was a very good idea to see what I had missed. I am full time so anybody to talk to about business is a good feeling especially when isolated working alone. Someone to reflect off and also things I had not thought of or did not know about. Another business mind on art is great. There are a few things I've improved on. just making my direction shifts is all I've needed a commitment on and the rest follows with inspiration as I've gone on. It is about asking yourself the right questions with the help of another outlook. I would recommend it for anyone, self anaysis in the right productive way is the right way to go!

What changes have you made in the last couple of years that have benefited your art business?

A picture at a time is my way of looking at it. Experimentation has been tough at first for me but it is getting easier to move forward. I see the potential within my ideas. I made the mistake in the past that I could be quite commercial but in all honesty I found the idea boring when I compared what I wanted instead. An old tried and tested theme for years is not me.

There is a commitment to sitting and putting the time in to a range of protocols to really fly with promoting myself further with the IT networking side of my business, it seems a science to get it right but a distraction most days. Online selling is an area I am going to improve on.

One thing that is missing from my business is an artist's assistant to work with to make a greater success of everything I'm not good at, don't have time for or simply the missed opportunities I realise eventually. If anybody has those skills to offer let me know?!

Derbyshire Trophy Winner, Pavilion Reflection by Mark Langley

You have won some major awards in the past year could you tell us what they were and would you recommend others have a go what outcomes have you had because of them?

I wasn't interested in going for awards or winning competitions for years with a couple of exceptions. Since 2016 I felt I should try a few exhibitions where the competition element was there. In the past I have sold the originals before they could be entered into an appropriate competition or I wanted to have them in a gallery or at shows instead.

I was very lucky to get 3 awards for my watercolour "Scriviner's View" at the Buxton Spa Prize in 2016 - Highly commended, Buxton Festival Choice and People's Choice. It was my first attempt at entering the Spa Prize so it was amazing to win a prize, but to win three was incredible! It was especially gratifying to win the people's choice award as it is based on a public vote, knowing that my painting got the most votes in such a strong exhibition was amazing.

I also exhibited at the Menier Gallery in London with the UK Coloured Pencil Society for the second time and this time got Best Building and Transport in the annual show for my colour pencil drawing "Haddon Hall II".

I feel very excited to have recently received the top prize in the Derbyshire Open Art Competition - The Derbyshire Trophy, which also means that my picture "Pavilion Reflection" (above) will form part of the permanent collection at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery .

The Derbyshire Trophy

How do you see your practice progressing over the next year or so?

I'm going to carry on with a few animal pictures in future as well as any commissions. I think wildlife appeals but I'm not setting any goals other than keeping the quality and high detail. I will focus more on architectural drawings and natural subjects such as trees. I'm leaving landscapes wide open for experimentation with media and style.

I want to develop a range of small designs purpose made for greetings cards as I also want to experiment with bold and colourful in the small format.

I intend to keep prints in low runs or simply have paintings as one off and no prints.

Apart from trying maybe a new society or 2 I intend to try new galleries where my work will fit in with the gallery's general direction. I will keep my detailed work alongside experimentation. You can follow my progress and process on social media.
Follow Mark on Facebook

Read more about The Derbyshire Open in this great article by Belper Nailed here http://nailed.community/2017/06/28/belper-artist-wins-derbyshire-trophy-open-art-competition/

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Fresh and Unframed

This last weekend saw the first of our Fresh and Unframed events it was a learning curve for us and many of our exhibiting artists who may have never shown their work to the public before.
Saturday morning we arrived at 730 am and unloaded our cars of what seemed like a mountain of easels and browsers.
We with the kind help of Chris from Tansley Village Hall arranged over fourteen tables and many more chairs into position set up our cafe area with the cries of oh no wheres the tea bags!
At 9-10 am our artists delivered their work and Purple signed them all in and handed the art over to Grey to display.
The doors were kept firmly locked until 11 am when as if by magic we had an art exhibition!
We don't particularly plan in detail but we have some kind of vision of how things should be and fun exciting colourful are a few of those things. We hate pretentious events we love welcoming spaces and we hope we achieved that this weekend.
Saturday was very busy and we sold many pieces of artwork the visitors all loved the variety and talent on display with many saying they felt inspired to go home and make art themselves. Sunday although quieter was still steady with a lot of passers by calling in for cups of tea and surprising themselves by taking home a painting.
After the success of this years event we have planned for next year and we have decided that we would like to include the artists much more by having a preview evening on the Friday so that they can meet each other and the public too.
We feel it is incredibly important to provide opportunities to everyone to display their original work in a show without the pressure of professional framing and its associated costs as well as a fear of rejection.
Not all artists sold work but that was no reflection on their talent it is just the way it goes sometimes but by having the work out there in the first place it is a way of gaining experience and confidence. We would like to thank the support from the artists and commend their courage and talent.
So we are looking forward to next years event get painting!

 Dates for the diary
June 14th Monsal head Plein Air Trip Free meet in the car park 1030 am onward.
June 28th Trent Lock Pleain Air Trip meet in the car park 10.30 am onward.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Monoprinting Demo with Liz Wellby

Monoprinting Demo with Liz Wellby

Wednesday 7th June, 10.30 - 12.30

The process of monoprinting dates back to the 1600's and has been explored
by a number of artists, including Rembrandt, Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard.
There are several methods, including direct, indirect and painted methods. We will focus on the painted method, which has lovely spontaneity.

Liz will demonstrate how she explores this exciting process and then it will be over to you to create your own monoprint based upon images of your choice.

Bring List
You will need to bring along the following:
. a range of images, i.e. drawings, photos etc, at approx' A5.
. a dinner sized pale plate or flat palette.
. a pencil case.
. an apron.

Places are limited so booking is essential please email purpleandgreyinfo@gmail.com There is a materials and admin charge of £10
Book & Pay by PayPal - we pay the fees https://www.paypal.me/purpleandgrey/10

About Liz
Based in Derbyshire Liz Wellby is a versatile, experienced fine artist. She currently explores drawing, print making and sculpture whilst producing a variety of outcomes. Following the completion of a Fine Arts degree at Loughborough University in 1990 she returned to the Derbyshire Dales where for the last twenty years she has worked as an artist in residence, art teacher and maker.

The influences on her work are wide ranging including still life, interiors and figures in the landscape. Her most recent work concerns print work and sculpture inspired by birds, animals and the local countryside. She works in a variety of materials and employs a range of techniques. http://lizwellby.co.uk/about/

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Workshops, demo and networking

We've got lots of useful events coming up, but places are limited and they're getting booked up already.  

To make it easier you can book and pay online using PayPal.me which means that we pay the fees.  If you need any more information please get in touch 

Wed 26 April 10.30-12.30 at Tansley village Hall DE4 5FH

Purple and Grey Regional Society Coordinators for the Society for all Artists invite you to come along to this water based materials workshop and try out acrylics, watercolours and inks with a facilitator on hand to guide you.

Paints provided but bring own brushes and paper 

£4.95 pay on the day inc tea/coffee
or book now  https://www.paypal.me/purpleandgrey/4.95

Wed 10 May 10.30 -12.00

Informal free networking with purple and grey at Two Birds Gallery19 Borough StreetCastle DoningtonDerbyshireDE74 2 LA

Wed 24 May 10.30-12.30 at Tansley village Hall DE4 5FH
Purple and Grey Regional Society Coordinators for the Society for all Artists (SAA) invite you to come along to this friendly and informal group to network, learn and create at your leisure.  We meet on selected Wednesday's throughout the year

"Art Chat at 11"  is topical business chat over a coffee

Bring all your own art materials, paints, projects or makes (non painters welcome)

£4.95 pay on the day inc tea/coffee
or book now  https://www.paypal.me/purpleandgrey/4.95

Wed 7 June 10.30-12.30 at Tansley village Hall DE4 5FH

Artist Liz Wellby will be demonstrating the mono printing technique, known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques.  A monoprint is essentially a printed painting. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike; although images can be similar, editioning is not possible.

Liz will first demonstrate then allow you to have a go too. 

Places are now limited so booking is essential 
book now  https://www.paypal.me/purpleandgrey/10

Wed 17 May 10.30-12.30 at Tansley village Hall DE4 5FH

Pricing is sometimes harder than the making bit as I'm sure all artists and makers will agree. This group workshop will give you the opportunity to share experiences and give you a formula to take away and help you price your work to achieve maximum profit. 
We will also show you how to price your work ready for galleries and what questions they are likely to ask 
Places limited £14.95 inc tea/coffee and handout

See our website for our full 2017 Programme to #network #create #learn at Tansley Village Hall, galleries/other venues and on the road

See you soon and have a lovely bank holiday weekend 

purple and grey xx