Bold & Expressive: Mixed Media From Life Art Workshop with Denis Clarke

Mixed Media Art Workshop in Norwich

Australian artist, Denis Clarke, is in Norwich for Paint Out‘s art competition and events the week of 19-23 October. Before hitting the streets of Norwich with over 40 other artists and some 80 artists on Thursday at the mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ he will be delivering an art workshop on Monday 19 October. Open to artists of all abilities, why not get enthused and inspired by this rare opportunity to be taught by a visiting experienced artist and art teacher.

Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life

Denis Clarke, People Moving in Laneway, Mixed media
Denis Clarke, People Moving in Laneway, Mixed media

The workshop is titled “Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life” and is an introduction to some diversions from habitual ways we look and draw from a subject. Methods might be challenging to get your thinking more attuned to a practice of learning to see form and space using drawing media as well as paint. Expressive use of mark and gesture will be encouraged.

Matisse proclaimed that to see things fresh and as if for the first time, “as if with the eye of a child” was a constant effort. Drawing is an ongoing dialogue in which you are being encouraged to suspend disbelief so as to encourage all the senses to respond. The sense of touch or imagined sense of touch seems to be as present in all good drawing as the sense of sight. Clumsiness and refinement, accident and control, may interchange in the process.

The otherness or impact of nature seems to be our ongoing goal to a realization of a meaningful statement in a mix of drawing media as well as paint.

Denis is renowned for devising and delivering innovative master class courses linking observational drawing to creative and experimental methods with drawing and mixed media. This is a rare opportunity to learn from an international artist and art teacher.

View more of Denis Clarke’s landscapes and urban artworks on his website.

About Denis Clarke, the Artist

Denis Clarke Austrlian artist art lecturer
Denis Clarke Austrlian artist & art lecturer

Denis Clarke is a well established artist who exhibits and teaches in Australia and the UK. He studied at the National Art School Sydney, St Martins School of Art, London and Byam Shaw School of Art, London. He also taught in Switzerland and was awarded a studio scholarship at at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. He has been both the  recipient of major awards as well as judged several prestigious art prizes.

From 1975 to 1998, Denis lived, exhibited and taught in London and Switzerland, teaching at the Camden School of Art, London and exhibiting most notably in London at Gillian Jason Gallery, Boundary Gallery and three one-man shows at James Colman Gallery at Montpelier Sandelson, Knightsbridge.

In 1998 Denis returned to live and paint in Sydney, where he exhibited with the Harris Courtin Gallery in Sydney. In 2003 he was awarded the Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive. He has collaborated with several premier arts organizations such as Opera Factory in London and Switzerland, Warwickshire Arts Festival in the UK, and most recently as the artist in residence at Wollombi Valley Arts Council.

Denis has lectured at the National Art School, Sydney Australia, for ten years, and runs master classes and summer schools at numerous art institutions, universities and colleges.

Art Workshop Booking

 

Denis will offer the following art workshop on Monday 19 October in Norwich:

  • Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life with Denis Clarke

Offered, as part of Paint Out Norwich 2014 local and visiting amateur, aspiring and experienced artists, as well as members of the competition, are all welcome to take part. The workshop will take place from 10am and includes lunch in the £50 package price. You will need to bring your own art materials.

There is also an oil painting workshop with Paint Out veteran Michael Richardson if you prefer to work with traditional oils instead of mixed media.

Please book here.

Pop Artist Colin Self joins Paint Out Norwich events

Colin Self, Waiting Women and 2 Nuclear Bombers (Handley Page Victors), 1962, Oil on board

Pop Artist Colin Self joins Paint Out Norwich events

Colin Self, Large Harvest Field with two Hay Bales at Happisburgh, Norfolk, 1984 Oil (with some straw in paint)
Colin Self, Large Harvest Field with two Hay Bales at Happisburgh, Norfolk, 1984 Oil (with some straw in paint)

It is with great pleasure that Paint Out Norwich welcomes the involvement of the well known Norfolk and internationally acclaimed artist Colin Self. Colin was a judge at Paint Out Norwich 2014 and this year he has graciously agreed to be a guest artist at both the Tuesday and Wednesday evening nocturne competition sessions and at the public mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ which is already expecting some 70-80+ artists of all ages and abilities to paint Norwich from the Heath on the Friday afternoon (22 October). Colin envisages basing himself around Norwich Castle for the two nocturne evenings 6.30-9.30pm on 20-21 October.

In 2009, Colin was invited to create a new graduation mace for the Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA, now NUA). Its handle was made to resemble Norfolk reeds to be “reminiscent of this beautiful place,” said Colin.

“We chose Colin to design the mace because he has an international reputation as a fine artist and is an ex-student from the old Norwich School of Art and Design.” – David Girling from NUA

About Colin Self the Artist

Colin Self artist
Colin Self

Colin Self is a draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and painter. He is best known as a ‘Pop Artist’, whose work addressed the theme of Cold War politics. He studied first at Norwich Art School and in 1961 he entered the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. Artist Richard Hamilton called him:

“the best draughtsman in England since William Blake.”

Whilst at the Slade, he met artists, David Hockney and Peter Blake, who greatly admired Self’s paintings. He went on to become one of the forerunners, along with the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, of the ‘Pop Art’ movement.

In 1962 and 1965 he travelled to the Canada and the USA with David Hockney which heightened his consciousness of Cold War politics. Events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and CND marches led him to create highly-innovative works including a series of drawings that had imminent nuclear destruction as a theme whilst others contained Art Deco cinema interiors or hot dogs.

He also produced works “featuring apparently harmless motifs from contemporary life and consumer society which at times convey an unexpected atmosphere of violence and sexual threat. His intention was to produce a detailed record of his society which, in the event of its destruction, would convey its essential qualities to anyone coming across his work in the future.”

Return to Norwich, Norfolk

Colin Self, Norfolk Landscape with Cow, 1984 Mixed Media, Oil and model cow
Colin Self, Norfolk Landscape with Cow, 1984 Mixed Media, Oil and model cow

In 1965, disillusioned and suspicious of the commercial art world, Self returned permanently to Norwich and spent most of the 1970s in artistic solitiude where Norfolk has been his “spiritual and visual inspiration” which he has portrayed in watercolours, charcoal, and mixed media including a toy cow!

“The landscape in some ways is my visual script. Hidden in there behind the lie of the land is not only my past but the past of everyone, my future and my energy.” – Colin Self, BBC interview

During this time both “his subject matter and his repertoire of techniques continued to expand, taking in atmospheric Norfolk landscapes, still-lifes and quirky observations of human behaviour.”

In the politically charged 1980s he visited the Soviet Union for inspiration returning to produce some surrealist collage works which seem “remarkably prescient in the light of events” such as 9/11, and yet he also created works with humour and a lighter touch.

Since 2000, he has worked on his ‘Odyssey/Iliad’ multiple-plate etchings series aiming to re-tell Homer’s classical story using contemporary images.

He has been exhibited at the Tate Gallery (1995) where several of his works reside in their collections, and Pallant House Gallery (2008).

Stephen Fry selects paints & art materials as Desert Island Discs castaway luxury

Stephen Fry and Vincent van Gogh

Stephen Fry chooses canvases & paints for Desert Island castaway luxury

Stephen Fry book signing by vpjayant via flickr
Stephen Fry book signing by vpjayant via flickr

The long-running BBC Radio 4 programme, Desert Island Discs – and its current presenter Kirsty Young, have secured Norfolk and national treasure Stephen Fry, for a second time, to quiz him on his castaway music, literature and luxury choices. One of his biggest regrets, it turns out, is that he feels that he cannot dance or paint, and rather than take a dance teacher as his luxury item he’s opted for the easel life of a marooned and abandoned artist.

After choosing T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets, alongside the supplied Bible and Shakespeare, he opted to take as a luxury item on which to spend “all the time in the world”:

canvases, and easels, and watercolours and oils and acrylics, I think, and all the brushes and turpentine and linseed, that go with them, and possibly an instruction manual.” – Stephen Fry on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs

Stephen Fry’s love of art & artists

Fry admires art and respects artists, as revealed to Kirsty Young:

“Well it’s is a whole area of endeavour that I admire enormously, is art, yet I can’t paint.”

When younger, at the Groucho Club, Fry recalls meeting a young artist and being fascinated by his confidence.

“I can’t paint… except use words, use language, so that’s what I’ve poured all my joy into…I’m not an artist and I really respect artists. I can remember… Damien Hirst…he just has some strange gift in his head that allows him to look at one thing and one thing only and decide upon it and think about it, hard and not get distracted by what people think… But you can’t be an artist if you care about what other people think.”

Learn to Paint by watching other artists

Stephen Fry has given us such joy with his use of words and language. Perhaps, Stephen will get his chance to explore art in his home county of Norfolk. As James Colman and Will Buckley of Paint Out have said:

“There is no better way to learn how to paint than to be able to watch and talk to people actually painting. It is the opposite of watching paint dry.”

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea secures Albatros Ship as Artists’ Hub

The Albatros at Well-next-the-Sea Quay, Norfolk

All Aboard the Albatros!

The Albatros moored at Wells-next-the-Sea, Photo © Katy Jon Went
The Albatros moored at Wells-next-the-Sea

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea is to board the Albatros during its inaugural September Plein Air arts event on the North Norfolk coast. The Albatros is a late 19th century Dutch cargo ship built in 1899. The North Sea clipper, being of Dutch origins is spelled Albatros, not the English ‘albatross’.

She is one of the oldest sailing ships still afloat, albeit now permanently moored alongside the quay of picturesque Wells-next-the-sea. The quayside coastal mooring provides stunning 360° views of the fishing village, salt marshes and historic harbour area, and now provides on-board accommodation in the old crew quarters, a bar, restaurant, and music venue.

The Dutch Captain, Ton Brouwer, serves many authentic dishes from the Netherlands including pancakes and his mother’s homemade soup recipes. In addition, he serves his real ales from his adopted home-county supplied by Woodforde’s Brewery in Woodbastwick. Woodforde‘s was originally named after Parson James Woodforde of Weston Longville in Norfolk, whose personal diaries described his 18th century passion for fine food and hearty ales, often home-brewed.

Albatros as Artistic HQ for Paint Out Wells

The Albatros will provide a suitably quirky and historic event hub during the Paint Out artists’ painting days of 9th-11th September and will hopefully inspire their creative output and sustain their endeavours with the ship’s supplies of food and drink! Artists can still register or apply to take part in the juried-entry competition by 31 July.

The Albatros Ship, Dutch speciality menu, Wells, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship, Dutch speciality menu, Wells, Norfolk ©KatyJon

The Albatros: web | facebook | twitter

Ship’s Log – Dates in Albatros History

The Albatros was first built as a cargo clipper for Captain Johannes Muller of Middelharnis, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The Albatros, rigging detail, Wells, Norfolk © Katy Jon Went
The Albatros, rigging detail, Wells, Norfolk ©KatyJon

Surviving World War I, the ship changed hands in 1920 and under Danish ownership gained her first engine in 1993 to augment her sails. In 1941 she was sold again by then Captain Lolk to another Dane, Captain Rasmussen, who kept her trading throughout World War II.

Rasmussen also used the Albatros to rescue Jews and carry political dissidents from Nazi-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden returning on those round-trips with guns and explosives for the Danish Resistance secreted among the cargo.

Albatros purchased by Ton Brouwer

Rasmussen retired in 1978, but after a couple of years laid up in Copenhagen, in 1980, Ton Brouwer purchased the Albatros and sailed her to Amsterdam, in his native Netherlands. Brouwer, originally from near Gouda, had started life as an academic teaching German literature in Amsterdam but was determined to not be –

“trapped between four walls for the rest of [his] life…and wanted to do something with [his] hands.” (Source: EDP)

After four years of complete restoration the Albatros was recommissioned in 1987 as a sailing cargo vessel and over the next decade become “Europe’s last cargo ship under sail in the Home Trade and the Baltic trade”.

The Albatros Ship below decks, Well-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship below decks, Well-next-the-Sea, Norfolk © Albatros

Her first cargo after restoration was sailing soya beans to Macduff, Scotland. Brouwer took to recommissioning lives as well as the ship by taking on disaffected young offenders as crew.

Albatros visits Wells-next-the-Sea

From 1990 the Albatros became a regular visitor to the port of Wells bringing in over 100 cargoes from Europe. On September 5th 1996 the Albatros “delivered 100 tons of soyabean meal from Rotterdam to the North Norfolk port of Wells-next-the-Sea. Those who stood on The Quay two days later and watched her sail back to Holland were present at an historic moment: The Albatros was the last sail driven cargo ship in Europe and this marked the end of her 98 year career as a freight carrier.” What finally finished the cargoes to Wells was BSE – mad cow disease, and the closure of Wells as a commercial port.

Albatros as Education Afloat

By 1998 the Albatros was re-licensed as a passenger ship and until 2000 was chartered by Greenpeace for children’s environmental education along the coast of Holland.

Albatros returns to Wells-next-the-Sea

From 2001 the Albatros became permanently based at Wells-Next-The-Sea, still sailing but as an educational venture under the auspices of The Albatros Project Trust.

The Albatros Ship-Restaurant, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship-Restaurant, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk ©KatyJon

The Trust dissolved in 2005 and the Wells Harbour Commissioners and North Norfolk District Council granted Ton Brouwer his license to trade as a dining and entertainment venue. In as interview with the EDP he said:

“From the first moment I felt at home in Wells…I think it was a combination of things. It is a lot like where I come from in Holland. There was a lot of reclaimed marshland there and there is around Wells as well. The people were very open and very friendly to us. I think it is because they have always been open to visitors from the sea.”

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2015

This September, 9-11, the Albatros sees yet another temporary shift in purpose as it becomes the daily hub for up to 30 artists across the 3 production days of the Plein Air arts competition that comes to Wells for the first time this year. Paint Out began with Paint Out Norwich in 2014 during the October Hostry Festival and this year has chosen Wells-next-the-Sea as an exciting satellite event opportunity.

The Paint Out team hope that the Albatros will serve as an original and spectacular hub location and celebrate the Norfolk-Netherlands connection and shared traditions of  both the ship and en plein air painting.

UK’s new Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell advocates a sketch a day

New Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell

Congratulations to Chris Riddell, the UK’s new Children’s Laureate! Chris is the author of the prizewinning Goth Girl series, and a collaborator with Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen, Neil Gaiman and Russell Brand on works such as Barnaby Grimes, GulliverMuddle Earth, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, Pirate DiaryThe Edge Chronicles, and The Sleeper and the Spindle.

Chris Riddell Children's Laureate illustrator workng in his studio
Chris Riddell 2015 Children’s Laureate

He is devoting the 2-year post to promoting creativity and visual literacy, the joy of artistic drawing and doodling. He spoke to the Guardian, saying:

“I want to show how much fun you can have drawing … I want to bring drawing back to the basics, make it about the pleasure that it can afford and remove the notion that it’s some kind of precious or difficult activity. It’s another way of telling a story.”

He plans to post a daily drawing and encourage others to do the same. His YouTube channel offers insights into how his illustrations come together.

“Do you have hands? Excellent. That’s a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great. If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle. Take a line for a walk, as Paul Klee said. Lose your inhibitions about drawing and just do it.”

Inspiration in a Norfolk Studio

Chris Riddell Children's Laureate illustrator at work in studio
Chris Riddell at work in his studio

The Observer‘s political cartoonist, adult and children’s book illustrator and author Chris Riddell writes from studios in Brighton and Norfolk. He has described the pleasure of writing in his converted outbuilding Norfolk studio, where he can take himself off to –

“sit in quiet contemplation in my flower meadow. It is one of my favourite places in the world. White and blue campion, ox-eye daisies, and skylarks flying overhead. It also has the most spectacular sunsets.”

Similarly, in an Independent interview in March, 2015:

“I am currently in my studio in Norfolk, looking out onto the woods as I sit at my desk. I’ve just spotted a Muntjac deer and its impossibly tiny fawn!”

Norfolk Artist – Jo Riddell

Chris is married to Norfolk raised and educated, artist in-her-own-right, Jo Riddell. As well as studying at Great Yarmouth Art School, Jo has a Brighton University B.A. in Illustration. She also worked in children’s books, publishing some twelve books over the course of a decade. She has since returned to printmaking and painting where she has found:

“a welcome freedom to express herself, inspiration coming from family, found objects, and the landscapes of Sussex and Norfolk.”

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