Monday, 14 September 2020

Somerset Open Studios Starts September 19th

I had the pleasure of moving some of my studio to the Yeovil Art Space this week in prep for the upcoming Somerset Art Weeks.  It's a fantastic annual event celebrating a huge variety of artists from all over Somerset.  I am really grateful that the event has found ways to proceed and that I will be in a venue that can be open to the public.  There is a large space here to share work that I have produced this year, as well as ongoing projects, some studio bits and bobs and of course space for good social distancing.

There is something about seeing your artwork out of its usual location that refreshes it and gives it a new perspective and I'm looking forward to what the next couple of weeks hold creatively.  I will be sharing plenty digitally during this time but if you would like to come and visit you are very welcome.

Saturday 19th September to 4th October. Venue 51. BA20 1EX.
Open 10am-2pm Mondays and Sundays
Open 10am-4pm Wed, Fri, Saturdays
Closed Tuesday and Thursday 
(Exception Monday 21st 10am-12noon)
See www.somersetartworks.org.uk  for more info and a digital map and www.yeovilartspace.uk to find out more about the venue.  

   


#YeovilCreatives #YeovilArtSpace #ApartTogether #SomersetArtWorks #SomersetOpenStudios #VisitSomerset #Somerset #CultureMatters #LetsCreate

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Somerset Reacquainted

When lockdown began I felt very grateful for a series of events from Somerset Art Works called 'Get Together'.  A variety of artists giving talks and holding workshops on different aspects of their practice.  I was able to attend all of the sessions which strangely if we hadn't been in lockdown and online I probably wouldn't have been able to.  The very first of these talks was by an artist called Sara Dudman and so followed a project called Somerset Reacquainted which I have been so delighted to take part.  My contribution can be seen below and on the SAW website where all the artworks are being exhibited together.  Please visit www.somersetartworks.org.uk/somersetreacquainted to find out more and see all the other amazing responses to this project.


Taking one day at a time.
Noticing the small things.
Feeling grateful for what I have.
Fragments of time.
Scattered thoughts.

Time has moved so strangely in the last 3 months, sometimes just one day has felt like three different lifetimes.  I look back over photographs from the last few months and see different stages of knowledge and emotions.  The influences and impacts of life from outside our refuge of home and the movement of life within it.

I find solace in taking photographs.  Tiny snaps of creativity when I find myself unable to draw or paint.  Along the ebb and flow of my creativity, working from home and looking after my child during lockdown has meant time painting and drawing is restricted.  I have in some ways found parallels with my maternity leave 4 years ago when creativity also found it’s way through in almost compulsive photography.   I found a fascination with my immediate surroundings and the garden and the seasons happening around us.  I photograph the garden, our walks, our creations, meals, drawings and ourselves.  Compiling and editing and playing digitally in fleeting moments.  Recording, documenting, remembering. 

I find solace in my sketchbooks and mark making, I use watercolour a lot and particularly when I feel the need to work with paint and time is short.  So when I began to review my photographs and compile these collages, thinking in a kind of Instagram language of squares and grids, I saw the images become smaller dashes of colour and I thought of emulating the overall image in watercolour.  This grid that I have produced in small squares of paint has been a kind of meditative process, mind absorbing and relaxing.  I have been able to pick it up whether I have one luxurious hour or five fleeting minutes.  It has been a marking of time and reflection.


            

            

            

            

Monday, 29 June 2020

New Beginnings: Starting the Creative Pathways Bursary in Lockdown


I have been so delighted recently to announce that I have been awarded with a Creative Pathways Bursary a fantastic initiative from Somerset Art Works to support emerging artists, I am so excited about what this entails and not least the chance to really expand my art practice and my understanding of it.  This feels like a bit of a landmark event and so strange to be starting it under lockdown circumstances.  I have included here below text from my first post on the Somerset Art Works Artist Development blog and will aim to keep some updated going here.  If you would like to see more regular sketches ideas and discoveries then my Instagram account is like my online sketchbook and you can find me @jess.egan.art




It’s been a strange time recently hasn’t it...   understatement of the century.   And what feels like it might be the strangest year to be a Creative Pathways artist.   My first ever Zoom experience was the interview for the bursary back in the first weeks of lockdown; and potentially all the more nerve wracking for that.  Creativity in recent months has ebbed and flowed but being involved with Somerset Art Works and aiming forwards in a project has been an unexpected lifeline.   

The project that I had in mind for this year and had decided to focus on and develop with the Creative Pathways bursary is essentially about Place and Wellbeing in my art.  On the one hand a fortuitous choice, it has encouraged me to be mindful of my mental health and how my creativity helps with that and on the other hand a very reflective one as I have been thinking about the places that I would usually be visiting to explore and absorb and feel good and obviously haven’t been able to do so.

I have gone about these early stages of the project and early weeks of lockdown by planning, experimenting and writing.   I gather my sketchbooks and photographs and found objects from previous excursions around me... I’ve included an image here of some of the work gathered so far.  My sketches and notes are scattered at the moment, a bit like my thoughts on a day to day basis in lockdown, but here I am exercising a little control and pulling everything together, organising, tidying;  a coping mechanism perhaps.   I am feeling grateful this thread is here to pull at and occupy me and remind me of all the places out there in the landscape waiting for me.


Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Ongoing exploration


Ongoing exploration into Places.  Theses are places that set my mind and body at ease.  I have been going over my archive of photographs and pulling out captures of views that mean something. Combining wellbeing in landscape and wellbeing in art.  I am enjoying indulging myself in the view and indulging myself in drawing.  Drawing and experimentation and play can have wonderful meditative qualities.  This practice in art has become extremely important under lockdown circumstances and there is an important layer to this as these places which I would normally visit on a whim to blow the cobwebs away and improve my mental health but have been quite unavailable for the last couple of months.  



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Earlier in 2020...


Earlier in the year I was having a think about what ideas I wanted to explore through my art in the coming months. I have a few 'projects' running but one of the directions I wanted to go in was creating a series of work around the places I head to in the landscape to make myself feel good. Where are my wellbeing landmarks...? Where do I go when I need to breathe in and absorb the view and feel calm and peaceful? This idea came about pre-lockdown and so it has become a little ironic that I'm exploring the places that I could really do with visiting and can't. But, it has been a valuable thread to follow. This is a little lane running alongside Eggardon Hill, near Bridport, Dorset. This incredible hillfort is one of my places, this is where the land opens up wide around me and I feel I am on top of the world. 🌿 Hope you are all ok xx

Please see my Instagram page for frequent posts and pictures @jess.egan.art
#ontheland #ofthisplace #exploretocreate

Friday, 27 September 2019

Days beginning I, II & III

So no posts for ages and then two in one week!  But these are very current and I must write a little about them now, so a good excuse to get typing again.  These photos show two of a series of three paintings which I have called Days beginning.  They have been present in my mind for much of this year and have come about from watching the horizon lines around our town.  It started really at the beginning of Spring, when we are up early in the morning and the mist is still hovering over the hills and trees that we can see through the houses.  There is a glow in the mist and an undercurrent of expectation for the day ahead. There is a dynamism in the waking of the town and the waking of my mind, but still the softness and ethereal calm of the sky above, shrouded in haze or drizzle or whatever the British weather might hold for us that morning, either way atmospheric and beautiful.  The colours are important here for this, they may not be natural to the scenery but they represent the light that I see and the freshness in the air.  There is a particular part of my journey in the mornings,  just as we crest a hill in the town, drive down a dip and then rise up again the other side and we look right through lots of red brick houses to the countryside on the beyond and I feel like it reaches through the town to us.  We are seeing a framed view into the canopies of trees and woodland and it feels so close, there is an ebb and flow to this.  An ebb and flow to the physical route, the road, the routine of the day and the repetition of thought, one day flowing into the next but always with a slightly different vibe, a different nuance and different events on the horizon.  The scenery is at core the same but so many different elements to observe changing each day and so the marks I have made are rhythmic yet varied, active and flourishing but presided over with a dreaminess.   The paintings are very much a reflection of my thoughts and feelings and they had to be abstract, but for me the paintings also reflect the physicality of my days beginning and what I'm seeing in the nature of the town and countryside in transitional seasons like Spring and Autumn.  




Thursday, 26 September 2019

Summer in a snapshot

It has slightly amazed me that the last time I posted on my blog was June! But, when I really think about it, the last few months have filled with family life and work and days out and finding gaps within those times to paint or draw and so it was only inevitable that something would drop.  Still here I am... I promised myself that this year I would write more and chose my blog as the avenue for that and so keeping tabs is important to me but under the mindfulness rules of acceptance and kindness and 'no pressure!' I sort of made that last one up but it's in there in some way, you know what I mean.  

So I've picked two snapshots here (er technically 24... I know!) showing a little bit of my Instagram grid.  This is where most of my recording and writing goes on a day to day basis.  Instagram is like my online sketch book, which is what I had originally intended for this blog but that was before I had a decent phone with Instagram and knew of it's potential and immediacy and the amazing community that I was yet to meet.    It looks a little bit like the below.  I have only really been using it for a year and I enjoy the value in looking back at the changing colours and ideas that I have recorded.  It quite naturally follows the seasons which was only loosely an idea but has retrospectively been quite clear.   It's a bit of an eclectic feed, I have never been able to stick to one kind of art,  some days I like to record something as meticulously as I can in a drawing and others I like the challenge of a painting and others the only thing my soul needs is to throw paint at a canvas and express abstractly how I feel or what I see.  I also like to record gallery visits, other people's art, sketches and beautiful places, like a diary it keeps me thinking, reflecting and holding myself accountable to continuing my creativity which is pretty vital in my world.  My Instagram feed will show me that my summer has included art exhibitions - my own and others, beach trips, driving through the New Forest, selling artwork(!), blue skies and fresh produce, colour and caterpillars and boat rides and more.  And painting, definitely some painting!

So, if you come across this article and you fancy following my strange little adventures and ideas and seeing my drawings and paintings evolve then @jess.egan.art is the Instagram feed to look for, I look forward to seeing you there.