Monthly Archives: March 2013

Artist Spotlight – Jose Heasman: Leaded Glass

My creativity comes from the natural world around me, particularly light. The best time of day for me is dawn or at sunset. The colour changes are just magical.

My processes or development of work varies. It can either be as simple as spotting a little wild flower in the hedge row or finding a piece of glass that is just sensational that sparks off the idea. I don’t really have a process I just scribble ideas on backs of old bits of paper then I research my subject matter. Then I go large!

Inspiration feeds the soul and mind clearing the way to creativity. Working without being inspired, work becomes monotonous and very hard work!

When ideas are not flowing, I always go for long walks with my lovely dog Ted. Taking my old camera we walk the downs and the river banks looking for the light and shadows.

My mother was very inspiring to me, she taught me to paint in oils from a very young age. She encouraged me to enter all sorts of competitions.  But being an artist was not on the cards with my parent, so having got my 60 words a minute in typing and finding my first job in a  ‘Personnel Department’ for a large retail company, I soon became very scared that this could be ‘it’ for the rest of my life! I lasted 6 months! I then retrained and became a graphic artist.

Being an artist or craftsperson gives you a special quality to life; I feel it makes you appreciate the smaller/simpler things. Most artist sacrifice a financial loss in life, but their souls and minds are much more likely to be happy.

 

I make my glass work because I am inspired to make it, not just to sell. I like to sell my work to only happy people who will display it to all its glory. Once I sold a beautiful lamp to a lady who informed me many months later that she wraps it up and keeps it in a cupboard as she was scared her cats would break it. That made

me sad to think my lamp would never be seen. So when this lady came back to buy another I refused her.

My work is impossible to repeat exactly, as no two pieces of glass are ever the same. So every item I make is unique, may be to the same original design but I always add something different, so my customer know for sure that no other person will ever have the same.

I personally find it difficult to wear two hats one as a creative person the other a salesperson.

I am far from money rich but I don’t make work to sell to make money. If money was no object my artist creative choices wouldn’t change.

The future for the artist will be the same as it’s been for hundreds of years …. Difficult!

If I had one wish, I would wish that art could be taught more creatively in primary schools, encouraging young children to feel free with expression at a young age.

I would love to master painting in water colours. The passion and freedom of water colours are just so inspiring it scares me silly!

Ones working environment is so important. To start with you have to clear your head so your working pace has to have that ability to flush all the family life politics out! Good music, good light, warm and friendly pictures all around, a strong cup of tea, it’s a great start.

 

 

Artist Spotlight – Rebecca Vincent

Printmaking for me is a compulsion. I don’t feel myself unless I’ve had a couple of good printing or plate-making sessions in a week. The excitement of the process works in tandem with the feeling for subject.

I look at loads of photographs and drawings, selecting the ones with strong composition possibilities that relate to the specific qualities of etching. These get scribbled down as thumbnail sketches and the best of them go forward to full size drawings planning out either a one or two plate composition. The drawings are just outlines – all the details are drawn onto the plate. The plates are etched sequentially over a long period – it’s a slow but satisfying process. Next it’s proofing time which means trying different colour combinations and seeing what’s going to work well. Finally it’s editioning the etching which means printing it the same way a number of times. This last stage takes a lot of discipline but it’s worth it to see a pile of completed prints.

Inspiration is very important and I’m at my most switched on when I’m drawing out new ideas as fast as I can. At the same time, I’m a working Mum and my studio time is strictly regulated by the school run and other factors so I really just have to get on with it however I feel. Once work is underway, I usually get back my inspired feeling and it’s difficult to stop!

To deal with a lull with the flow of creative ideas, I just look at my files of inspiration images and I soon get going again. I push myself to find new subjects and new ways of interpreting the familiar ones.

The visual is very powerful in all aspects of my life – from my children’s faces to the world around me. Working independently and often, but not always, on my own gives me a freedom of thought and action that few enjoy I think. Being an artist was always who I was from the youngest age and I was fortunate to have parents who never tried to divert me from

this path. Indeed they encouraged me and supported me through art education.

I run a programme of printmaking and mixed-media courses – I teach some myself but I contract 3 other artists to teach their specialisms. This is very important to me because I can bring the highest standards to bear on the quality of these courses to make them an enjoyable and instructive experience for all.

Printmaking is all about the multiple so there is a happy correlation between making a good piece and having a number of them available. I also do monotypes which contradict this as they are unique prints and I never have enough of them. But I do have reproductions available which gets around the problem.

I prefer to let other professionals do the selling for me – I’m not one for fairs. I enjoy good working relationships with galleries and feel that this liberates me to focus on the making. Having said that, I am always marketing my courses through the Horsley Printmakers website and a monthly newsletter. I also hold twice-yearly open studio events which I see as a valuable opportunity to get direct feedback from the public.

Selling work is important to me and I need to know that what I make is going to find a home and not languish in a drawer. It’s hugely inspiring when people show how much they like the work by buying it and that spurs me on to make more.

There will always be artists! I know through my course programme that being able to express yourself creatively is hugely important to a lot of people.

I always longed to have my own spacious print studio – my wish became reality 8 years ago so I’m a bit stumped! I’m doing everything I want to creatively. I guess my thoughts now are about bringing what I do to a wider audience as I’ve been very locally based. So I’m very happy to be in Twickenham!

 

I love ceramics and textiles and used to sew and knit a great deal. I have a lot of experience with photo-etching and would like to apply that to my patchwork landscapes.

Environment is very important. I need to have enough work surfaces to spread out everything I’m using. My studio is used by a number of artists and is part of an arts centre with 8 studios so I’m fortunate in being part of a lovely creative community.