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  • Jane Storr

Open Studios - an opportunity to review a year's work

Updated: Apr 13



Troubled Waters?


Yep, I opened up my studio and kitchen for Chapel Allerton Open Studios - again! Second year running, and so much less stressful this time. Why do so many artists hover between the desire to show our work and the fear of exposure?


Last year my energy focussed on tidying, cleaning and discarding. This year with the help of a Redbrick painting pal, I was more considered. I used it as an opportunity to review a year’s work and share it. As a result I found I had created a welcoming space to have a really productive conversation about the work itself.


I do life drawing and draw and paint in the Dales and on the Pembrokeshire coast all year round. But since lock down I occasionally also take an on line course. This year I used short, sometimes free, courses to develop my ideas about abstraction through studies in tone and fabric and collage. I’ve also been exploring the working practises of Paula Rego, an artist I have always admired. Selecting pieces across all these activities for the Open Studios has been an interesting and affirming process, seeing how all these influences have come to bear on my paintings


We work with some wonderful life models in the Dewsbury studio, whose energy, professionalism and desire to collaborate stimulate a wealth of ideas and emotions. For me life drawing is the most intense exercise in looking at ‘the other’ with curiosity and empathy. Alice Neel, an American painter whose work I love, calls it ‘ideas wrapped in beings’. When I draw in the life room I find ‘stories’ inevitably suggest themselves both consciously and unconsciously and stealthily creep into the process of drawing.


Painting the landscape outdoors is more a form of escapism or meditation. And I am always searching for new ways to bring the two practises of landscape and life drawing together. Abstracting from life drawing this year I have produced a range of often unsettling images which suggest feelings of growing uncertainty and displacement. The rapidly eroding Pembrokeshire coast line is also a vivid reminder of global warming.


The sea and the journeys people make across dangerous waters are recurrent and related themes. Troubled Waters as a title for a year’s work seemed to sum this up and I decided to donate 20% of any takings to Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS), a Leeds based charity.


Over 150 people visited during the two days and I learnt so much from their responses and engagement with the work. We were also asked to give a talk or demonstration for 15 minutes. I chose to host a conversation about the life of this painting (Finding a Voice) with photos taken at four stages of its development. . It was a rich discussion with many different perspectives from artists and from those interested or new to looking at paintings. I am still buzzing…


(With the help of my granddaughter’s home made lemon cordial we were also able to donate £200 to PAFRAS)






59 views4 comments

4 Komentar


Catherine Morris
Catherine Morris
30 Agu 2023

Interesting Jane and a great start to the blog!

Suka

Sue D-Y
Sue D-Y
30 Agu 2023

Really interesting and informative blog Jane. And really enjoyed your exhibition 😊

Suka

vivien.hughes
29 Agu 2023

I'm really sorry I was away and missed it, sounds fascinating!

Suka

jackie potter
jackie potter
29 Agu 2023

So interesting Jane. Thanks for sharing. And well done on the fundraising for an excellent cause.

Suka
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