ART FOR EVERYONE
The new BBC1 series ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’, presented by Nick Knowles, is bringing you 45 artists from across the country working in different mediums. Over 15 episodes three artists will be competing to produce a commission for a ‘mystery buyer’.
I am taking part in episode 12 which airs on Tuesday 23rd April BBC1 at 3.45 pm.
The series started on 8th April. and can be viewed on the BBC i player.
“What a brilliant idea and a great experience to take part. I joined the two other artists to be filmed looking around the home of our mystery buyer for clues as to their taste and personality, before being given a brief for the commission. We then had time to produce an idea to pitch to our client in the studio, while our process was recorded. It was so interesting to be a part of this production and I can’t wait to see the other 14 episodes and all the art that was produced.”
Plans for 2019 are underway, including a new timetable of watercolour courses at my home and drawing workshops at All Souls Church which you can see on the tuitions page.
Calderdale has a wealth of artists and events that can sometimes be hard to find. In 2018 many conversations between artists and art spaces formed the idea of a new space in which anyone could easily access the arts happening across Calderdale, with all of us working together to promote the area through art. VisitCalderdale.com will be supporting our events but the information is now building on The Art in Calderdale, #jane_austin_art, #theartincalderdale.
It is a year of anniversary celebrations for The Churches Conservation Trust and All Souls at Haley Hill, HX3 6DR where I will be part of the many events planned during the year in my role as 'artist in residence'. I hope to engage with the local community, gather stories and photographs from people who were married or christened in the church many years ago and run drawing workshops during the summer.
The National Heritage Open Days and the Halifax Heritage Trail in September will showcase events from these celebrations as well as my third solo exhibiton 'Time & Place' on 14th/15th and 21st/22nd September, each day 11-3pm.
The exhibition will focus on the heritage of All Souls, Akroydon and Halifax.
On Sunday 23rd June I will be having an OPEN STUDIO, 1-4pm at my home, Punch Bowl House, HX3 6UB. Weather permitting it may extend into my garden as work on show will be inspired by the garden and the local wildlife around us.
Holmfirth Artweek 7th - 13th July I am to take part in the main exhibiton at the town hall but I am also holding a joint fringe exhibition with Holmfirth artist Rosalind Anis at Helen J Bray Studios.
On Sunday 14th July I am holding a watercolour workshop at The Piece Hall 10-3 pm. For details and booking contact the venue directly.
In July of 2019 the next hardback edition of the American watercolour series 'Splash 20' is due out and my painting of the interior of All Souls is part of the publication.
Apart from my usual business I had three major public events in 2018.
The first was in June when I took part as a wildcard in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year at Studley Royal, recently shown in the new series as Episode 4. I was a wildcard last year at Knaresborough but in this episode I am interviewed with others as we battled the weather.
The filming day starts early with registration at 7am, your paper/canvas is stamped and wristband attached. A shuttle bus ferried us all a distance through the estate as the fine rain began. Before we were settled in our spot for the day after 9am the wind had picked up to strong blustery downpours. All the wildcards struggled with many umbrellas turning inside out and broken, including mine from the off and equipment held down with every limb. Typical spirit we all battled through, having a laugh about it. Brushes, sponges and waterpots were blown into the water along with a young man's painting which was picked up by the wind, whipped over the heads of others and landed face down, to be blown to the other side of the water. My watercolour paper turned into a wet blanket and until the sun finally broke through at lunchtime I could barely keep any paint on, despite putting it under my table in the worst of the rain. My friend Sue rescued me at one point, holding everything down while I stretched my legs.
Mottled is my new style! Tai took interest in my battery powered fan which I used to attempt to dry the paper out in order to put some darker tones on before time was called. An experience to say the least.
I learnt from this experience with unpredictable weather. When I was asked by The Piece Hall in Halifax to help them celebrate the anniversary of their opening on Yorkshire Day by painting a giant watercolour of the Yorkshire rose live in the courtyard I was sure to be under a gazebo. It was a glorious day, packed with people and this time I needed the shade.
As I paint with many wet layers over a detailed drawing I had to do much of the preparation before the day to ensure a finished painting in front of the public. The size gave me many issues, eventually resorting to pasting over 6 full imperial sheets of watercolour paper to a thick MDF board. Without a frame it JUST fit into my vehicle but now framed it needs to travel by transit van, measuring 127 x 235 cms, just short of 8ft tall.
Here are a few photos showing the journey to the finished painting now on sale for £1400.00.
In September I held my second solo exhibition at All Souls 'There & Back' as part of the National Heritage Open Days, Halifax Heritage Trail and the European Year of Cultural Heritage. This year it covered two weekends and the second candlelit preview evening when the building looks even more amazing. The volunteers were brilliant in helping making it a great success, looking forward to more events next year.
I can't believe that it has been three years since I was showing 'Smell the Roses' at The Mall Galleries in London as part of the exhibition Artist of the Year held by the Artists & Illustrators Magazine in 2016. It acheived the Watercolour MaimeriBlu Award and a global three year contract with Woodmansterne Publishing Ltd which led to the sale of the original to Scotland via contact from Italy.
Also eleven years since I closed my gallery studio in Northowram.