Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Our next exhibitions: May 2013

Our next exhibitions will take place at sites around the village from 18 to 25 May 2013, as part of Oxfordshire's countywide Artweeks festival.
Eynsham Square by Graham Rice

Friday, 23 November 2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Tabitha's all ready already

Photographer Tabitha Schenk's photographs are already gracing the walls of the Eynsham Emporium in readiness for this weekend's village arts festival.

As well as the display of seasonal photos on the walls (from £5 to £20 depending on size), Tabitha has homemade cards featuring photos of local views.

She says: "I love it that within a few minutes walk from the centre of Eynsham, you can be out in the countryside enjoying amazing views across open fields, watching the seasons change."

Don't forget that our friends at the Eynsham Emporium are offering all Artweekend visitors (we hope that's you) two for the price of one on hot drinks.  

Monday, 19 November 2012

Autumn fox

Jane Tomlinson has been busy covering canvases in preparation for the Eynsham Winter Artweekend and has just finished her latest.

She says: "I have been observing this autumn more closely than ever before: the conkers, the pine cones, the birds arriving from Scandinavia, and of course, the unmissable change in the trees from green to red, yellow and orange and finally leafless. These observations, together with a few trips to the RSPB bird reserve at Otmoor, inspired me to attempt a landscape almost without any green.

Here it is, Autumn fox:
‘Autumn fox’ - by Jane Tomlinson – acrylic on canvas – 999mm x 405mm – £400
"In it you can see a small deceit of lapwings flying in to roost as the day turns to night.

"Three greylag geese rest in a muddy field near the riverbank.

"The stalks and dried seed heads of umbelliferous plants (wild, carrot, cow parsley, angelica and the like) have intrigued me hugely this year and so these feature prominently. I have also been hugely impressed this year with the crop of bulrushes. Perhaps this is one species to benefit from this year’s deluge?

"I’d like to tell you how I have tried to imbue the whole painting with a sense of the beauty of continuity and flow of the natural world, and something about the inter-connectedness and balance of nature. But I don’t have the words to describe this, which I why I tried to paint it instead. I hope you like it."

Autumn fox will be on show during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend at 18 Newland Close, Eynsham, OX29 4LE.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Eva's passion for clay

Eva Smith is one of a group of potters whose work will be on show in Eynsham next weekend.

Eva became passionate about working with clay after she started classes at Sunningwell School of Art twelve years ago. She learned about pottery in general pottery and later clay sculpture with live models. She says:

"I have always enjoyed experimenting with a diverse range of ceramics, letting the creative and instinctive process, and the clay itself, lead me to sometimes unexpected results! My ceramics range from figurative and abstract sculpture, to more functional but unusual hand-built one-off pieces in porcelain, white stoneware and other clays, to thrown pieces. I love using brightly coloured glazes and a range of finishes, often painting these on the bisque-fired piece.

"When a place was offered in the co-operative Old Forge Pottery, with its historic blacksmith's range, bellows, anvil, tools left intact from when the smithy closed in the1950's, I happily accepted this, as the time constraints of classes limited what Icould do. I now spend a day or two a week in this most creative space alongside the rest of the group who pot there."

Thursday, 15 November 2012

From culinary disaster to artistic triumph

Watercolour painter Julia Loken says: "I painted this purple artichoke after I had tried a new recipe, which involved cutting the artichokes in half vertically, and then baking them in the oven with olive oil and garlic.

"Unfortunately, the result was a complete disaster, as they were so tough that they were completely inedible!

"But I was struck by the beautiful shape and colours of the artichokes as I was cutting them, something that you never see when you eat them leaf by leaf in the usual way. So the next day I bought some more, brushed the cut edges with lemon juice to stop them going brown, and got busy with my pencil and paints. This is the result!"

This painting and many others by Julia will be on show at Myrtle Cottage, Tanners Lane, Eynsham next weekend.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Stoneware bottles by Malcolm Moor

Among the many wonderful ceramic items on show at the Old Forge Pottery on Newland Street in Eynsham next weekend will be these two stoneware bottles by Malcolm Moor.

Malcolm describes how he made them: 

"They are thrown in two parts then joined together when they are 'leather-hard'. The four faces of the base are formed by dragging a finger diagonally along the inside of the thrown cylinder on the wheel to create the four edges then the outer faces flattened with a wooden tool.

"The tops are thrown separately then stuck on using slip (liquid clay) before the faint grid lines are scratched through the semi-dry clay then filled with iron oxide.

"A mixture of iron and manganese oxides are painted on the top and the big brushstrokes. After the first firing, the inside is glazed to make the pots waterproof then fired again at a higher temperature. Sparing use of thin glaze on the outside allows the stoneware texture and colour to remain to maintain a link with the earth where the clay came from."

Monday, 12 November 2012

Folk tree - a festive card for all

Every year artist Jane Tomlinson produces a new painting specifically designed for use on a festive greetings card. This year's design is Folk tree.

'Folk tree' - a greetings card suitable for festive use -
painting by Jane Tomlinson
Jane says: "I asked the followers on my Facebook page what they'd like to see on a festive card - the sorts of subjects and vibe. They suggested deer, birds, leaves and colour - lots of lovely colour. They wanted it to be suitable for anyone, and for all faiths and none. So here it is!"

A pack of 10 cards with envelopes, blank inside, measuring 110mm x 110mm printed on thick, silky card is £6.25, inc P&P.

Get them right now in Jane's online shop or direct from Jane at her exhibition during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend at 18 Newland Close, Eynsham, OX29 4LE.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Potters forge their own workshop

Captain Nemo at the wheel
Having your own personal pottery facilities is expensive and requires a huge amount of space. So at the Old Forge Pottery, 33A Newland Street, Eynsham, 10 potters rent the building collectively and share the workshop, wheels, drying racks and kilns. It's not a shop and it's often open to the public so the Eynsham Winter Artweekend is a rare opportunity to see what goes on inside.
Potter Adrian Moyes

The pottery was the brainchild of Eynsham residents Adrian Moyes (pictured with two of his creations) and his wife Sue Raikes.

"The Old Forge building was not being used, so when we went to have a look at it, we were amazed to see that the actual old forge fireplace, including bellows and flue were still intact! "A nice rough working space like this was just perfect for us and so in 2006 the The Old Forge Pottery began life," says Adrian.

The Old Forge Pottery
The old forge itself
From the outside the building looks pretty unprepossessing, but inside it's full of history and creativity. Indeed, the story goes that it was at the old forge that Cromwell's (and perhaps Charles I's too) horses were shod in the 1640s.

Isn't it good to think that a building once used by the village farrier and blacksmith is still used by local craftspeople to make useful and beautiful things?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Paintings at probably the best shop in the world

'Rainbow over Evenlode DIY'
by Lorna Marrison
canvas, acrylic, oil
18cm x 12cm- £75.00
Much of artist Lorna Marrison's inspiration comes from Eynsham. She especially likes to paint local views and takes care to notice the little things, or find a different way of seeing something.

Here's a view of a rainbow over Eynsham's popular DIY shop on the High Street. You can get everything you'll ever need at Evenlode DIY - from a ball of string, a bracket for a shelf or a bag of bird seed, to custom mixed paint, an inner tube for your bike or a Christmas tree. You'll also get a smile and the sort of customer service that other shops can only dream of!

Fellow artist Jane Tomlinson thinks it's "probably the best shop in the world" and it features prominently on her Map of Eynsham.

Lorna will be exhibiting her work during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend in the window of Evenlode DIY.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Two turtle doves

"On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Two turtle doves..."

'Two turtle doves' by Jane Tomlinson
acrylic on canvas - 40cm x 40cm - £175
Painter Jane Tomlinson is mad about wildlife - especially birds.

She says: "In recent years the numbers of turtle doves in Europe have fallen by more than 60%. Habitat loss, changes in farming practices and shooting these pretty birds for so-called 'sport' are blamed for their decline.

"It's a bit weird that the turtle dove should appear in an English folk song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', because the turtle dove isn't actually here in the UK in the winter. It migrates south... and faces Spanish bullets."

This painting, along with other paintings of birds and animals, will be on display during Eynsham's Artweekend at 18 Newland Close.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tabitha's photos for all seasons

Like so many of Eynsham's artists, photographer Tabitha Schenk needs to look no further than Oxfordshire for inspiration. Indeed all the photos she will be showing at the Eynsham Emporium on Saturday 24 November have been taken in our county. Tabitha is especially keen to show seasonal images. 
"Fireworks are a lot harder to photograph than you'd think," says Tabitha. "With only one chance to capture the moment it explodes you just have to point and shoot, there's no time to think, it's instinctive." This photo was taken a year ago at the annual Bartholomew fireworks display in Eynsham.
"To get the best shots of snowdrops you have to get down to their level," she says. This image was taken in February this year and is available as a print (40cm x 30cm - £20).

The winter thrushes are beginning to migrate down from Scandinavia to spend the winter in the UK. Here's a very handsome fieldfare she spotted. "I took this from my kitchen window, when it snowed in December 2010."

 Many of Tabitha's photographs are available as handmade cards (£2 each or 3 for £5) and are suitable for any occasion.
Tabitha will be exhibiting her photographs and cards at the Eynsham Emporium on Saturday 24 November where you can get two for the price of one on hot drinks while you admire her work.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Maple leaves

In spite of all the recent rain, the trees are finally beginning to look autumnal. Artist Julia Loken picked these elegant maple leaves from a tree just around the corner from her house in Eynsham.

She says: "I thought they were so beautiful, that I just had to paint them. I love using watercolour as a medium partly because of its transparency, and I enjoy the challenge of finding different ways of exploring this. In this painting (fresh from the brush!) I have deliberately kept the paint very watery and delicate, so that the wonderful patterns and shapes made by the overlapping leaves are not obscured, but emphasised.

Maple Leaves ( size 13" x 10") will be on sale, sensitively framed, for £300.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pine cones: small but perfectly formed

'Small but perfectly formed'
Painter Jane Tomlinson has been making a series of small canvases focusing on small things from the big wide world. These form a wall of pictures which Jane calls 'small but perfectly formed' which will be on display during the Eynsham Winter Artweekend.

There are birds and animals, flowers, grasses, conkers, stones and pine cones.

Jane says: "I'm really fascinated by the double helix formation of pine cones - a double spiral around a single axis. You see the same thing in the pattern of seeds on a sunflower head. It crops up everywhere in nature and is the dominent structure of DNA. I thought it would be fun to make some studies of a handful of pine cones I picked up from beneath a Scots pine recently."
Red pine cones - by Jane Tomlinson - £95
Pine cones - by Jane Tomlinson - £95
Each canvas on Jane's 'small but perfectly formed' wall measures 30cm x 30cm and all are priced at only £95.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Roses are reds

Watercolourist Julia Loken is busy preparing for the Eynsham Winter Artweekend. At her home in Myrtle Cottage, Tanners Lane, Eynsham, where she'll be exhibiting during Artweekend, she's currently working on a sumptuous painting of red roses.

Each petal is carefully described in astonishing detail with subtle washes of many different reds, oranges and purples. She builds up the washes slowly to give a resonance and depth to the colours which seem to sing off the paper.

Julia's mastery of watercolour - one of the most difficult of mediums - is breathtaking. Make sure you see the finished painting during Artweekend!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Sparkling creations with silver and gold

Gorgeous textures and shapes
Eynsham jeweller Joanna Ripley has been working on her new collection for winter 2012.

She says: "It is a new and exciting direction for me, as silver and gold chains form the main element. Both metals have a hammered, textured finished and vary in shape in size.  Using the chain links as a starting point, I have adorned them with semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls and crystals."
Check out the shimmer on those freshwater pearls!
The results are rich, detailed and opulent necklaces that can be worn during the day or evening to enhance any outfit.

"It has been a joy to work with different gemstones, pearls and crystals. There are so many colours and textures to choose from, and their organic nature ensures that each necklace is a one-off and truly individual. I have made earrings that match each necklace, as I'm personally a big fan of co-ordinating accessories!"

A gracious combination of gold and blue crystals
Let Joanna's sparkling creations tempt you during  our Artweekend at 27 Queen Street, Eynsham. Prices start from about £20.

Friday, 12 October 2012

At the Emporium

If you fancy a cup of coffee or a pot of tea when you come to Eynsham for our Artweekend, you'll want to know that the Eynsham Emporium at 32 Mill Street, Eynsham, OX29 4JS, is offering all Artweekend visitors to two for the price of one on hot drinks in their coffee shop.

The Emporium stocks a delightful mix of cookware, gifts and flowers, and its coffee shop is a very comfortable place to be refreshed.

Photographer Tabitha Schenk is holding her exhibition at the Emporium so quite apart from the great deal on hot drinks, you can feast your eyes on Tabitha's striking images!

The Eynsham Emporium, 32 Mill Street, Eynsham.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Winter's great beauty

'Frost on Cassington Road, Eynsham'
by Lorna Marrison - oil on canvas
20. x 15. x 1.8 cm - £100
"Winter is considered a drear time of year but there is great beauty in the soft muted colours of this season" says artist Lorna Marrison.
"'Frost on the Cassington Road' is one of my 'seasons' paintings. This small intimate canvas draws you through the dark laced branches into a frosted field. Here is frozen time waiting for sun."
Below is a sketch Lorna made earlier this year. She says: "Christmas is over and I have the January blues waiting for spring. I made this sketch down the Cassington Road in Eynsham whilst perched on some cold agriculture machinery."
Darkness - a study from Lorna's sketchbook


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Anthony gets his hands dirty

Potter Anthony Abrahams is a retired GP who left busy Oxford city life for the peace and tranquillity of village life in Eynsham. He says: "Before I retired, I'd never done anything creative before, but when I moved to Eynsham, I fancied getting my hands dirty and making things, so I joined the Old Forge Pottery co-operative."
Anthony explained that he loves the mysterious alchemy of every part of the process of pottery - from the throwing, to the turning and finally the glazing: "you can never be quite sure how it's going to look when it comes out of the kiln, so it's always a nice surprise."

Recently, Anthony has been creating a number of blue bowls, experimenting with overlaying glazes to reveal unexpected tones and textures. Each bowl is priced about £20. You can see Anthony's work at the Old Forge Pottery, 33A Newland Street, Eynsham during the Artweekend.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Food at the Talbot - discount for Artweekend visitors!

When you come to Eynsham for our Artweekend, you'll see there are many places where you can get something to eat and drink. Today we'd very much like to recommend The Talbot which is offering a 10% discount on food for Eynsham Winter Artweeked visitors - just speak to Trevor to qualify.

The Talbot is on the edge of Eynsham on the road towards the Swinford Toll Bridge. It has a lovely deck overlooking River Thames' Wharf Stream - which may be a bit chilly in November!-  so sit inside and enjoy the warmth of the fire while you choose from a selection of delicious traditional pub food, such as sirloin steak, smoked salmon fishcakes or a slap-up mixed grill.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Julia Loken - painter of plants

Eynsham artist Julia Loken doesn't have to look far for subject matter to inspire her - her garden, in fact - as Julia specialises in botanical subjects. In her charming cottage garden in Tanner's Lane, Eynsham she grows plants and flowers which will, in time, become the subjects of her paintings.

'Down by the fishponds, Eynsham' - watercolour painting by Julia Loken - £295
Julia's painstaking attention to detail records the sometimes subtle differences between species.

"There's something about winter trees, when the leaves have gone and you're left with the wonderful tangle of branches and undergrowth..." she says.

In 'Down by the fishponds, Eynsham' (pictured below) Julia's rendering of the thick, damp green moss on the tree trunks is especially haunting.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Snow scenes are Eric's coolest!

Eynsham artist Eric White is an absurdly talented user of soft pastels. Here he explains why he so drawn to painting snow scenes in this most difficult medium.

Eric shows off one of his many sublime paintings of snow
"Whenever there is a forecast of snow I make sure that my schedule will allow me to get out with sketchbook and camera to capture the magic of a landscape transformed by the white stuff.  Since normal life often comes to a standstill after a heavy fall, no excuse is needed to don appropriate boots and clothing to head off into the countryside around Eynsham and, if the roads allow, a little further afield.

"Part of the appeal is the sheer physicality of the exercise. Seeing one’s breath on the cold air; feeling one’s gloveless hand numb as it grips the pencil; being the first to crunch the crisp new snow under one’s feet – it all adds to ‘being there’ and ‘capturing the moment’.

"Then there is the beauty of it all as contours are softened, all untoward ugliness is masked and the familiar beautified. The key change is with the light. How often is it that snowfall is duly followed by an intensity of sunlight not usually experienced on a regular winter’s day? In this light snow isn’t just white; if you look hard enough into its shadows you will discern a myriad of blues, pinks and purples. If the scene is still overcast and promising further falls, then it is the sky that takes on its own unusual colour spectrum. Everything is seen quite literally in a new light.

"Enjoy each season in turn. Be thankful for the life-giving rain and sun, but above all relish those all too fleeting magic days of snow."

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Graham Rice's firey forests

Graham Rice has been working on a series of glowing and lustrous forest paintings. He says: "I've always painted, I need to paint... Sometimes I simply want to experience the joy of making a piece of art, the solving of the puzzle as you fit all the elements together. Other times I need to express an emotion, or tell a story, I need to get a idea out into the big wide world, I need to make something that will touch people.

"With these pieces I wanted to explore the complexities of relationships, being apart and together. I wanted the specifics of these relationships to be as layered as possible, to allow the viewer to project their own experiences and dreams onto each piece, to step into their own forest.
"The paintings developed through a variety of different stages. Starting with an application of folded tissue paper followed by a loose layer of paint, this is where the bones of the painting begin to form as I find the features I want to build upon. I'll then start to glaze on several layers of paint, some simply rubbed on with fingers, others carefully painted to define the characters or creatures within a composition. Once that's complete the first layer of resin is applied, this forms a very hard and shiny surface which is then painted over further, primarily to add the more abstract foreground elements. A final layer of resin and a polish complete the painting and give the colours their deep lustre."

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Conker time

Painter Jane Tomlinson is fascinated by the natural world; the big things and the little things. Right now it's conker time and Jane has been gathering conkers dropped by the horse chestnut tree in the middle of the Eynsham churchyard to make a study of them. Jane shows us the process of making her painting of conkers. 
1. Firstly, I start by drawing out the composition and block in the colours very roughly.
2. The next thing is to 'anchor' the conkers with shadows,or they just become random shapes floating in a sea of white. I added a few highlights on the shiny nuts and began the leaves.
3. I strengthen the shadows and redraw the top leaves more accurately.
4. More details, including softening the edges of the shadows, the whirly grain on the front conker and the spikes and bruises on the outside of each fruit, and then it's done!

'Conkers' by Jane Tomlinson - 30cm x 30cm - acrylic on canvas - £95

Jane will be exhibiting this and many more paintings of the natural world during Eynsham's Winter Artweekend at 18 Newland Close, Eynsham, OX29 4LE.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Jeweller Joanna tempts with turquoise

Joanna Ripley just loves semi-precious rocks
Jeweller Joanna Ripley just can't resist turquoise, a semi-precious stone also favoured by the ancient Egyptians and the Aztecs.

Jo says: "I love working with turquoise. It has such a wonderful depth of colour and feel to it. It is believed to help protect one from environmental pollutants and negative energies. An extra bonus is that the colour suits all hair and skin types, making it an all-round winner!

"The pieces of turquoise I’ve used for the necklace, earrings and bracelet shown here are nugget shapes. Their organic texture and form really show the qualities of turquoise in all its natural beauty."

Jo will be showing her latest collection of  jewellery during our Winter Artweekend at 27 Queen Street, Eynsham.

Jo is wearing: turquoise necklace - £80, turquoise earrings - £20, and holding turquoise & pearl charm Bracelet - £50, citrine, smoky quartz & gold bracelet - £40.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Beautiful berries

Berries are irresistible to birds... and also to artists!

'Four calling birds' - watercolour - 40cm x 40cm - £195
by Jane Tomlinson

'Berries of the Guelder rose' - watercolour - 40cm x 40cm - £350
by Julia Loken