Friday, 27 November 2009

Stockings & Flowers

Finally it has stopped raining so I have taken some pics of the first Stockings on our festive trail. At Bella-Fleur Floristry the Stockings are pink and glitzy. The girls will be dressing up for late night shopping on December 4th and offering mince pies.

Stocking Fillers

Herstmonceux is well known for its Castle, Observatory, Trugs and of course its Sweets. The Willows Pharmacy window is full to bursting with shiny giant sweeties.

Stockings Red

Our knitted stockings have been made by Chris, Annette & Scottie. Bea our little blue greyhound, has helped by making some extra holes for the tinsel! Next door at the Eastern Promise a very dashing snowman stocking has appeared bathed in dazzling golden lights.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Christmas Stockings - Made In Herstmonceux

As featured in this weeks Hailsham Gazette preparations for the 'Christmas Stockings - Made In Herstmonceux' village trail have begun in earnest and I will be posting pics here. To start - my contribution. I have created monoprints of our dogs and their friends as 'Santa's Little Helpers' each with knitted socks and stockings.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Christmas at Arts Hut

You are invited to our festive treasure trove, ‘Sussex Landscapes & Livestock’. Fresh out of my studio are paintings of Herstmonceux Castle, Pevensey Levels & life size cattle portraits. Our guest painters Lis Lawrence, Pat McNamara, Rachel Widdows, Susan Ashworth, and Virginia Griffith-Jones show contemporary landscapes and character hens, cockerels, geese and pigs. Printmaker Charlotte Matthews shows her limited edition linocuts, with Graham Sendall presenting Giclee prints of Sussex landmarks.

For 2009 we have sourced goodies to suit all budgets, in addition to larger paintings, we have a wide range of gift items and stocking fillers.

In The Gentleman’s Corner:
Forget jumpers & socks! Why not opt for a unique Walnut or Mulberry Bowl, a Pig Painting, Tractor Print or ‘man-size’ Coffee Cup.

For £30 & under: Annette Bowman, Katie Smerke, Rachel Ward-Sale and Sarah Rickard show woolly hats, scarves, slippers, leather bound books, plus ceramic hares and chickens - some with dangly legs!

For £20 & under: Barbara Lawrence, Liz Padgham Major and Ruth Fisher show dotty pots, mugs and egg cups, robin cushions and hanging glass panels.

For £10 & under: Country Living Guides to the South East, the 2010 Court Lodge Organics Calendar, hearts & home grown notelets & Christmas Cards.

Our Christmas show opens the weekend of December 4th/5th/6th
Friday late night shopping until 9pm.
Saturday 9am – 5pm
Plus a special Sunday opening 12 - 4pm

Monday, 23 November 2009

Artichoke Gallery, Burwash

I am delighted my prints & cards are included in Vicky's two week Christmas exhibition of contemporary paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, jewellery and rugs. Wander along Burwash High Street with its knobbly trees and step into Vicky and Peter's front room, transformed into the elegant Artichoke Gallery. The show is open 22nd November to 6th December 2009, 10am - 5pm daily.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

School Fair

Today I set up my stall for the third year running at the Herstmonceux Primary School Christmas Fair. I am feeling pleased as punch that I can anticipate, a little more, what people want. Annie's tractor cards sold out!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Art Barn At Wartling

This weekend we lunched at The Lamb Inn and lingered at Karen's beautiful Art Barn. It was a real pleasure to see my little Christmas cards in such an inspiring venue. The Show runs from 14th - 21st November and is open daily 11 - 4pm. Look out for the red dot signs. The Art Barn, Coopers Farm, Wartling Road, East Sussex BN27 1RX.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

This Week

I have been printing the Fishing Huts on Hastings Seafront and packing work for sale at Green Tree Gallery, Artichoke Gallery and The Art Barn. Friday Nights are spent wine tasting and eating delicious nibbles. Pictured above Helen and Dan.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Christmas Art Trail 2009

This post is for locals, who we hope will join in this years Christmas Art Trail. The theme is 'Christmas Stockings - Made In Herstmonceux'. The idea is to have fun and make the village look even prettier than usual, for visitors over the festive season. Joining in couldn't be easier, simply decorate a window, door, roof or garden with a Christmas Stocking you have made or decorated. Then send us a pic of your creation, either a photo by email or drop one into the Gallery. The trail will start on Friday December 4th with late night shopping in the village until 9pm. Pictured are Knitted Stockings by Annette Bowman, aka the woolly hat woman.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Christmas Art Trail 2008

In 2008 our Christmas Art Trail theme was 'The 12 Days of Christmas' and the School made a tremendous window display. On a similar scale the Pipers in nearby Wartling were life size. Having rummaged through my old photo's, I must include the very first Angel from 2007, who turned a vivid electric blue after dark.

Christmas Art Trail 2007

The previous owners of the Old Sweet Factory organised the village Christmas Extravaganza and when we opened Arts Hut in 2007, expectations were high that this tradition might continue. We listened to glowing reports of road closures, festive stalls and street dancers. Having spent the past 20 years organising community events, I was less than keen. However the idea perculated and I settled on a simpler arts trail, where villagers decorate their windows and doors on a theme. It seemed a fun idea to make the village look even prettier than usual. I had not taken into account the wealth of creative talent in the village or the number of men keen to dig deep in their tool boxes, climb ladders and light their displays with olympic flare. So before I start enthusing about 'Christmas Stockings - Made in Herstmonceux' this years trail, here are a few of my favourites from the 'Angels' trail in 2007.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A Winter Walk

On a beautiful sunny day in Herstmonceux.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


At the Brewers Arms Pub, next door but one, viewed from our kitchen window.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Friday Night Wine

Bring your friends for a festive Friday night out with a difference. Wine Tasting with Helen Tate and Dan Elswood in the Studio, with late night shopping at Arts Hut. The photo above was taken just before last nights crowds arrived, braving the stormy weather.

Book your place and for £20 you can sample a wide range of wine, splendid nibbles, with time for questions and discussion. Yesterday following ‘Sizzling Sparklers’ from around the world, guests went on to the Eastern Promise next door.

The programme all Fridays 7 - 8.30pm

Nov 13th Wines of the Americas
Discover exciting new world wines from the Americas, enjoy a taste exploration of a range of styles and grape varieties from USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina and accompanying nibbles.

Nov 20th Pinot Noirs of the World

Sample world renowned wines from this iconic grape variety, from Burgundy, USA, and New Zealand to exciting emerging countries and accompanying nibbles.

Nov 27th Cheese and Wine

Indulge in the ultimate in taste sensation and experience a broad range of cheeses and wines. Learn to appreciate the concepts of cheese and wine matching.

Dec 4th Wines For A Perfect Christmas

Delicious Sparkling wines to compliment smoked salmon starters, classic and alternative red and whites to suit a range of festive feasts with delectable dessert wines to follow and accompanying nibbles.

To Book Call Helen 07799532172 or Dan 07720709044

Friday, 6 November 2009

Whippet Art

"It is really difficult to find good Whippet cards" an Arts Hut customer mused out loud one afternoon last summer. After a fascinating chat, I learnt she used to breed Whippets and I found myself promising Whippet Art by Christmas. This happens a lot at Arts Hut and I am happy for customers to suggest subjects, although some never make it out of the studio! Horses for example, are not my strong point. Whippet models are like buses, you don't get to meet and photograph one for ages and then four come along at once. So I hope my customer returns, as I have created Whippet Christmas Cards featuring Aalto rescued via Battersea. Plus Monoprints featuring the stunning silver brindle Gilbert. All this and it's only November. Smaller items can be bought in the Christmas Hound mail order section on my website.
Still in my sketchbook, but making it into print soon will be Rendall, an older gentlemanly Whippet who popped into Arts Hut before lunching at the Woolpack Inn, where dogs are invited to curl up on the carpet.
Last but not least, I include a recent photograph of Ruby, my first close encounter with a Whippet. As one of my favourites I am tempted to paint her, on a huge canvas. She races enthusiastically across the fields to say hello and then obliges me by sitting for her photo.
What's not to love?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Lovely Limousin

This morning at 7am we admired the views and the remaining Limousin. Soon they will all be gone. Last week in the mist I noticed how woolly and dark they had become, since my first calf painting - 'Thorndean Cliff'.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

In The Studio

In September my studio was transformed for just a few hours into a Court Lodge Organics Farmers Market with yogurt smoothie sampling and echinacea tincture. 40 people came to sample. Word has spread and this Friday Helen & Dan, two students at nearby Plumpton College, will host the first of five Friday night wine tasting evenings. As I am monoprinting at the moment, my studio looks relatively tidy. I love its grand fireplace, huge drawing desk, reclaimed butler sink and view to outside.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Eastbourne Group of Artists

September, seemed a good month to grasp the nettle and start to exhibit my work more widely. So I applied to join the Eastbourne Group of Artists, my nearest exhibiting and networking group. Herstmonceux is directly north of Eastbourne, separated by the beautiful Pevensey Marshes. Our views with the South Downs in the distance are fantastic. The town is also our nearest seaside destination. We love the seafront, Edwardian architecture and spend many hours in and around South Street; at Clarissa's, Garnish and various independent clothes shops. Mr PWP particularly enjoys a trip to his favourite haunt, the Dickens Tea Room, where they serve his bacon super crispy. Fortunately I survived the interview questions and am now preparing for my first exhibition with the Eastbourne Group at the Casson Gallery, Eastbourne College, Wish Road, Meads. December 5 - 11. The theme is ‘Painting Poetry’ and I shall be stewarding on Monday December 7 between 11am - 2pm if anyone fancies popping in. To find out more click on their link, look right.
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