2020 was to be my third time taking part in Warwickshire Open Studios Summer Art Weeks event, this time along with grid studios (plus a couple of dates at Compton Verney) but Covid-19 has brought a halt to all events for the time being.
Exhibiting at grid studios would have been a really lovely event. We are in the countryside in a former maternity home (at least two of our artists were born there) and the two wings are divided into bays which form studio spaces. Altogether there are 20 artists at the grid and 10 were signed up for Summer Art Weeks.
There’s something special about seeing artists at work in their own space, surrounded by the materials they use and the things that inspire them. I was looking forward to that part myself – grid artists use the studio at different times according to our schedules so some of us meet there a lot and others hardly at all.
You can still find information on all the artists who would have been participating on the WOS web page for Summer Art Weeks (we are venue 68) and also on social media with the #artweeksfromhome hashtag.
In 2018 and 2019 I was with five other artists and makers at The Barn, Houlton.
I was sharing with:
Ruth has been working with fused glass since 1998 and now combines it with silver to make jewellery reminiscent of sea glass or pebbles. She creates collections of necklaces, pendants and earrings, all for people who love the colours and textures of the sea shore. Ruth is based just over the Warwickshire border, in Crick – a long way from the sea that inspires her!
I first met Ruth many years ago when I joined glass fusing workshops she was running in Rugby.
Sarais is an award winning wildlife artist with a passion for watching animals, seeing how they live and behave, and for the wild places where they can be found, both near her home in the countryside near Rugby, and further afield.
I first came across Sarais when she was demonstrating as part of Rugby Festival of Culture in 2017, and I have since admired her work in the Rugby Open art exhibition.
Jennie paints in oils and has previously exhibited with Grid Studios, based at Harborough Magna. She now enjoys painting in her garden studio. For 2019 she added handmade, hand painted papier mache jewellery to her range under the name De Terra.
Gillian paints in watercolours, producing much of her work while travelling the world on cruise liners, inspired by the beautiful and amazing sights seen on her travels. She moved to Rugby from London a few years ago and has previously opened her home studio for Warwickshire Open Studios.
Sarah is a ceramicist and illustrator and is much inspired by the animal world. She makes tiny ceramic pieces as well as large sculptures. In her illustration work she is the creator of the Gloomicorn.
Sarah was a new addition to our group in 2019, taking the place of Carol, who was unable to join us that year.
Carol has been a ceramic artist for many years, and has now become immersed in mixed media, acrylics, collage and some printmaking, especially gelli-printing and more recently also “eco printing” using gathered leaves to print silk scarves. She remains interested in colour, texture and pattern, and also some floral themes.
I met Carol when she exhibited with Ruth and felt artist Karen Wyeth for Warwickshire Open Studios in 2017 and I have since joined in with Carol’s ArtLab group held at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.