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Author: Jan

Audlem Mill and The Guild of Waterway Artists

New paintings will have to wait!

I felt that a catch up was needed, as lots of things are going on here both on The Art Boat and in The Art Boat Studio.  This is the time of year when I put my head down and work on commissions and new work.  Travelling has slowed right down, and studio time is my priority.  The one thing I had planned to do was have a Christmas open studio in my new space in  Marple. But I’ve decided that an open studio without many paintings probably wouldn’t work!  Most of my work is either in Audlem Mill in a joint exhibition with Christine Rigden, or still down in London on Barge Fiodra, waiting for me to pick it up! The large canvasses and big new brushes are clamouring for attention, but commissions need to be finished first.  The exciting new paintings will have to wait.

Visit Audlem Mill

You can see my most recent work at Audlem Mill in an exhibition alongside Christine Rigden.  The Guild of Waterway Artists, of which I am a member has a history, of showing at Audlem Mill.   In the last year, the mill has hosted changing exhibitions showcasing two members of the guild each month.  I have work there for the rest of this month through to December, and again in May next year.

The canalside mill, situated as the name suggests in Audlem on the Shropshire canal, originally produced animal feed. It was restored in the 1970’s and  is now run as a gift shop by Peter and Chris Silvester.  More than just a gift shop it has a wealth of craft supplies and a gallery area displaying canal and waterways art.  It’s definitely worth a day out.  I can thoroughly recommend a leisurely wander beside the canal, a visit to the mill and finish off with lunch in the canalside pub!

Who are The Guild of Waterway Artists?

“The Guild is a group of like-minded artists, who have joined together to promote art about the waterways by exhibiting together and to offer each other mutual support and encouragement in their pursuit of excellence”.  I love being part of this lovely supportive group of fellow Artists .  I’ve been a member  (and am now membership secretary) of  the guild for quite a few years now and have exhibited with them in various galleries and canalside events during that time.  A new exciting exhibition will be taking place in Stoke Bruerne Museum next April.  Watch out for more details soon!  

Looking forwards…

I’ll still be travelling and trading as TheArtBoat next year, but plan to do a lot less miles in order to  create more painting time.  I’m looking out for new exhibition ideas for 2020 and beyond so if you have any exciting and unusual suggestions for spaces in which my canal paintings would work,  or that would even be suitable for Guild of Waterway Artists exhibitions,  please do contact me. All suggestions welcome, the more unusual the better!

Early Bird Price!

Booking for my 10 week “Amazing Acrylics” course is now open.  If you book before 15th December there’s a special Early Bird Price of 20% off the regular cost of the course.  A maximum of 5 students in each session.  Choose from a Wednesday morning or evening session. Ideal for those wanting to work in a small friendly group. The group size makes sure there will be plenty of support for all participants.

More information about booking a course here.

Want to know more about the guild of Waterway Artists?  Click here

Details on where to find Audlem mill here

 

I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with too much information.  I’ll keep the next one short…promise!

Until next time… Jan x

I Love Teaching…who’d have guessed?

After quite a gap (not going to say how many years!) I’ve rediscovered my passion for teaching.  I must admit I originally decided to start running workshops for quite practical reasons.  I needed to find a way of making my studio space financially viable.  I have a studio space ideal for small workshops, and it seem a shame not to use it.  What I didn’t foresee was how much I would really enjoy the teaching process.  Sharing with students the knowledge I have built up over the years is incredibly rewarding, and I think I will gain as much as my students from the workshops.  Seeing the excitement in student’s faces as they discover the magic of Acrylic paints is priceless.

The Joy of Teaching remembered

Many years ago when I lived in Chester I used to teach Leisure Art  classes through West Cheshire College.  When I moved, somehow the teaching got lost and over the years it’s been remembered as something that someone did in another life.  Doing my first workshop brought it all back.  I really had forgotten the joy of teaching. The difference between now and then though is the size of the classes.  Keeping my workshops to a maximum of five students means I can give everyone the attention they need.

Like Coming Home.

I have painted in Acrylics for more than 20 years, and I’m still just as in love with the medium as I was in those early days when I first found it.  For me it was like coming home…  I knew from the very first tentative paintings that this was my way forward.  It seems only natural, now I have actually started teaching again, that passing on this knowledge and enthusiasm for such a versatile paint is part of my future.   I would love to help make Acrylic painting part of your future too…

If you  or someone you know would love to learn to paint in Acrylics,  my workshops are ideal.  You can ask for or give them as a Christmas gift…

You can book the Saturday full day Introduction to Creative Acrylics workshops here  (Nov 16th has only 2 places left)

I have more workshops coming up in 2020, including a 10 week course on Acrylic painting, starting on Wednesday 8th January.  I am incredibly excited about this new workshop, it’s packed with exciting painting excercises, and moves between exploration and step by step painting. The main focus for “Amazing Acrylics”,  as in my other workshops,  will be on discovery through doing.  Groups are small and limited to a maximum of five.  The Workshop consists of a weekly 3 hour workshop.  You can choose between a morning or evening session.    There will be an earlybird rate for those that book early.  Contact me for more details

 

Settling in to Studio Life.

I have been back at my studio for nearly a month now and it has been absolutely hectic…in a good way!

The beginning of the month started with Roys’s Art Fair at The Truman Brewery.  A wonderful experience.   My first London Art Fair was a steep learning curve, but the great organisation and fellow exhibitiors made it very worthwhile.

Following on from Roy’s, I dropped paintings off at Barge Fiodra for the Artists Afloat exhibition.  Featuring work from established artists who find inspiration on the waterways of the UK, many who are members of the Guild of Waterway Artists.   On until the 27th October.

Introduction to Creative Acrylics Workshop

The first “Introduction to Creative Acrylics” workshop in my new space was a great success.  I loved the small group and being able to talk to everyone…I think this is the way to go  for the future.  Small, friendly groups, fit perfectly in the new “Teaching Room”

Looking forward to a tidy, bright and organised Art Boat

I’m still in the process of getting all my art making stuff from the boat the studio.  Over the past few years The Art Boat has got beyond managable with all my paints canvases and trading equipment.  The plan is to empty the boat completely of all art paraphernalia, reorganise and decorate, then start taking some of the art stuff back ready for festivals and markets next year.  I am quite excited…I have been planning to paint the inside of my boat for the last 9 years.  Other things need doing first, but I can now actually see that it will happen over the winter.  Watch this space…but not too closely!

The Prize Draw,

The prize draw that I ran to celebrate taking part in Roy’s has a winner.  The first print in a ltd. edition of 25 will be on it’s way to a new home in Norwich early next week.

I have not yet managed to get this print on my website, but if you are interested in purchasing one of these very special hand embellished ltd edition prints, Contact me for details

Coming up in November

New dates for Creative Acrylics Workshops… Book Here

During November and December you can find me at Audlem Mill with fellow Guild of Waterway Artists member Christine Rigden.

Bye for now…

Jan x

 

 

 

Keeping the Studio!

So much has been happening with The Art Boat this summer, that I’ve neglected to keep up with my blog. Isn’t that  always the way?  Just when I have oodles to write about, I don’t have time to write it.

One of the best bits of the this summer is the fact that after months of indecision about whether to keep the studio at Goyt Mill in Marple,  I have come to the conclusion that I would be silly not to.  As soon as the decision was made, it was like the fog was lifted from my brain and I have such plans!  Isn’t it funny how big decisions can effect absolutely everything you do and as soon as your road is clear everything becomes so much easier.

A knock on effect of keeping the studio is that I now have a place to run the workshops I have been thinking about.  I’ll be keeping these to small groups of 3-5 people.  The first one will be an introduction to creative acrylics  and will take place on Saturday 19th October.  All materials and free lunch provided.  Just get in touch through my contact form for more details and how to sign up (link at bottom)

Another exciting event is that I am taking part in a London Art Fair.  Roy’s Art Fair will be held at the Truman Bewery on Brick Lane.  A first for me and a big step.  I’ve met the organisers and some of the other artists  and I’m so looking forward to it.  I’ll add a link at the bottom for free ticket details.

I’ve been working on some new pieces to take to Roy’s Art Fair.  Canal Bridge Holes are an absolute fascination of mine and provide an endless source of inspiration.  The framing  provided by the structure of the bridge makes the scene viewed seem like another world. These are photos of the works in progress but  I’ll share the finished paintings soon!

Meanwhile, I’m still travelling, and have my last couple of canal festivals to do from the boat this year before heading back to the studio for more land-based things.  Just follow the “Events” link to find out where I will be next.

I promise not to leave it so long next time!

Jan x

Roy’s Art Fair-Tickets

The Art Boat – events

Contact The Art Boat

Pinting, painting, painting before TheArt Boat Tour

2019 – The Art Boat Tour – A Busy Year!

Interwoven exhibition.

This year has got off to a great start and I have already booked most dates for The Art Boat tour.  Time is flying and I can’t believe there is already less than a week left to visit The Old Parsonage in Didsbury to see the Vernon Mill Group Exhibition “Interwoven”.  A wonderful exhibition in a beautiful setting, by a diverse group of talented artists.  Well worth squeezing in a visit before it closes.

Jan Vallance "Winter" at Interwoven exhibition
Mum and I at The Old Parsonage Didsbury.

The Art Boat Tour 2019.

The winter is when I plan the rest of the year, and it’s looking good so far.  These are the events that are already scheduled for TheArtBoat.  A mixture of Floating Markets, Festivals and exhibitions.  I will also be dipping my toe in the unfamiliar world of Art Fairs.  But most exciting (for me!) is the open studio that I am planning for the three weekends before I set off on the Art Boat.  This will be the first time that I have opened my new studio to the public, and I’m quite nervous as it will be very different to my past experience, taking part in group open studios.

I have added links to some of the events and will insert more as they become available.  Please bookmark this post as I will come back and add events as I book them.  There are already a couple of Guild of Waterway Artists exhibitions in the pipeline.

The Itinerary

   Sun. 3rd Feb-Sun. 24th Feb.      “Interwoven” a VMA exhibition, The Old Parsonage Didsbury

   Fri. 22nd Mar-Sun. 24th Mar.     Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition,  Town Hall

  Sat. 30th Mar-Sun. 31st Mar.     Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

  Fri. 5th Apr-Sat.  27th Apr             Echoes,  Group exhibition in Champaign, Illinois. (selected dates)

  Sat. 6th Apr-Sun. 7th Apr.             Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

  Sat. 13th Apr-Sun. 14th Apr.       Open Studio, TheArtBoat, Unit 40  Goyt Mill

   Fri. 19th Apr-Mon. 22nd Apr.     Great Haywood, RCTA Easter Floating Market.

   Fri. 3rd May-Sun. 5th May.           Berkhamsted,    RCTA  May BH Floating Market

   Sat.18th May-Sun. 19thMay       Rickmansworth Canal Festival

  Sat. 25th May-Mon. 27th May.    Boxmoor,    RCTA  Spring  BH Floating Market

   Sat. 29th Jun-Sun. 30th Jun.         Braunston Canal Festival.  GoWA exhibition.

  Sat. 20th Jul-Sun. 21st Jul.              Cosgrove Canal Festival

  Saturday July 27th.                             Linslade Canal Festival,  One day only

  Sat. 3rd Aug-Sun. 4th Aug.              Fenny Stratford Canal Festival

  Sat. 10th Aug-Sun 11th Aug.         Blisworth Canal Festival.

  Sat. 24th Aug-Mon 26th  Aug.      Merry Hill,  RCTA  August BH Floating Market.

  Sat. 7th Sep-Sun. 8th Sep.               Birmingham,  RCTA Floating Market

  Sat. 14th Sep-Sun. 15th Sep.         Black Country Boating Festival

  Sat. 21st Sept-Sun 22nd Sep.       Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

  November/December                      Audlem Mill/Jan Vallance.  GoWA exhibition (Artists changing every 1-2 months).

The Art Boat Tour 2019, Winter Painting
“Winter” by Jan Vallance of The Art Boat

Hope to see you at one of these events during the year…there are plenty to choose from.   Don’t forget to bookmark and check back as I’ll be updating the information as I travel.

Bye for now…and hope to see  somewhere soon!

Jan

 

 

 

A moment of contemplation

Round up of 2018 and the Next Exhibition

There it is gone! 2018 raced by and we are already nearing the end of January 2019.  It’s a tough  job to choose from the many wonderful experiences but, the highlights of last year were, taking TheArtBoat into London, two new group exhibitions with the Guild of Waterways Artists and moving to a canalside studio in Marple.  Many more notable events, but those are just three of the ones that stood out for me.

I love London canals

Graffitti, London near Camden Town
Acrylic on Canvas Graffiti painting by Jan Vallance

The variety of canalscapes in and around London were unexpected.  Bridges dripping in graffiti,  bustling towpaths, colourful boats and the lovely calm and wide River Lea.  Needless to say I was inspired to produce several paintings based on London scenes, and am putting aside some studio time soon to do more.  Even the madness of searching for scarce mooring spots, and the racing cyclists, didn’t detract from the buzz of being in  this linear village.

The Guild of Waterway Artists

Two exhibitions with the Guild of Waterway Artists this year, were new ventures.  The first of these was at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, which ran from July until the beginning of November and was made possible by the tireless work of the Guild’s Penny Taylor Beardow.  This was followed shortly after by an exhibition in the Barge Fiodra Gallery curated by Bob Chase and daughter Anna.  The location for the duration of the exhibition was Little Venice  which couldn’t have been more perfect!   I was delighted to be able to exhibit my London paintings on Fiodra especially as the majority of them found new homes   

Posing outside Barge Fiodra with fellow GoWA artists Pete Tuffrey and Paul O’Leary

My new studio is Amazing!

…but you will have to wait to hear more as I have decided this exciting news deserves its own blog post!

2018 has been a hectic but successful year.   I’m now painting like one possessed in order to have enough paintings to set off on my 2019 Art Boat tour in April. I’ll be putting the schedule on my blog very soon. First on the agenda though is a group exhibition with the Vernon Mill Artists. Twenty plus artists will be showing work in the historic and picturesque Old Parsonage in Didsbury. Running from the 3rd to 24th February with the preview from 1pm-3pm on Sunday 3rd. I’m excited  to be part of this exhibition and am hoping that those who haven’t got too far to travel will be able to visit.

Vernon Mill Artists mixed group exhibition
“Interwoven” a group exhibition by Vernon Mill Artists at The Old Parsonage in Didsbury

Right!  Back to getting ready for the exhibition…
Bye for now, and see you in the next post

Jan x

Updates to TheArtBoat’s schedule!

Gosh!  What a busy first half of the season.   About half way through the TheArtboat’s travelling and trading period and I am already almost out of original paintings…which is why I have made the decision to stay down in London and The Lee and Stort for the rest of July, and then travel slowly up the Grand Union northward, popping up as I go. I desperately need to make painting time and I have therefore had to cancel Cosgrove Linslade and Blisworth. It was a hard decision to make as I shall miss doing these festivals and catching up with old friends. Hopefully I will make up for it by having lots of new paintings to show.   Two new dates I can definitely add to my calendar are;

6th-8th July….. Ware Festival

12th-22nd July….. Mile End festival

Both are new events for me so I am really looking forward to them.

One of the paintings that has been re-homed this year.  “Tranquil” a portrait of one of the distinctive locks on the Grand Union Canal near Watford.

What I have been up to so far this summer.

I loved being down on the Grand Union.  Setting up gallery on The Art Boat at Berkhamsted floating Market,  Rickmansworth festival and Boxmoor.  Berkhamsted in particular was a fantastic event for me with the people of the town embracing the market wholeheartedly and making us feel really welcome.  My stock of paintings was already low before I was (easily) persuaded by friends on The Hippie Boat to carry on my journey and pop into London.  It has been an experience.  A very different way of boating, but one that I am glad to have experienced.  I am now up on the Lee in Hertford enjoying this beautiful town and getting ready for The Ware Festival next weekend.  After that it is back to London and the Mile end festival.

New paintings…

Still waterside based but not on the canal this time.  Titled Quietude 1,2,3,4.  Each one is 8″ x 8″   Number 1 is already sold but hoping to get the other three on my website soon.

And lastly …I hope you enjoy the main photo taken in Berkhamsted.  A very rare occurrence  (the only time to date!),  of TheArtBoat moving with awning and shelves already set up.  It was a scary moment, and only made possible by the stillness of the day. Thank you Alan Price for the photo and Barry Sharland for the expert steering.

Until next time,

Jan x

Keeping up with TheArtBoat 2018

On my way…

Where has the winter gone?  I am really happy to see the unfurling leaves, hear the birds sing, and the last two days have been pure boating joy with the sun really making its presence known, but (only a little but)… just one more month of preparation time wouldn’t have gone amiss!  I’m all caught up now though, and another Spring and Summer season of travelling and trading is underway for TheArtBoat 2018.

The first floating market of the year at Market Haywood was a great start to the season,  and the lovely people who came to see and support the floating traders were not deterred by the rain and copious amounts of mud.  The Art Boat is presently on its way to the RCTA Floating Market at Berkhamsted, with a couple of stops for a “PopUp” art gallery on route.  This is the schedule so far, (Please note that any PopUps are dependant upon available space and weather).

          April, Saturday 21st-Sunday 22nd.   Stoke Bruerne, PopUp

         April, Saturday 28th-Sunday 29th.  The Globe, PopUp

        May, Saturday 5th-Monday 7th.  Berkhamsted, RCTA Floating Market

        May, Saturday 12th-Sunday13th.  Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, PopUp

       May, Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th.  Rickmansworth, Festival

       May, Saturday 26th-Monday 28th.   Boxmoor, Festival/Floating Market (Awaiting confirmation)

       June, Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th.  Braunston, Festival/Guild of Waterway Artists exhibition

       July, Saturday 21st-Sunday 22nd.  Cosgrove, Festival,

       July 27th-November 4th.  Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, Guild of Waterway Artists Exhibition

       July, Saturday 28th.  Linslade, Festival

       August, Saturday 18th-Sunday 19th.  Blisworth, Festival

       August, Saturday 25th-Sunday 26th.  Milton Keynes, RCTA Floating Market (Awaiting confirmation)

More events and Popups will be added as I go

Brand New Paintings

Although the Art Boat hasn’t travelled very far over the past couple of weeks, lots of business has been going on inside and I have two new paintings that are travelling with me.  They will be displayed for the first time at Stoke Bruerne this weekend.

 

Looking forward to catching up with you somewhere on the cut.

Until next time…Jan

Main photograph by Robert Clement-Evans
A Light Dusting

Blog about Blogs

What’s in a Name?

I am not the best blogger in the world.  My posts are too infrequent, and painting, not words are my forte.  But we live in a world that is becoming more and more focused on online presence.  We hold a great many of our conversations online. We do a great deal of our shopping online and as a travelling boater and artist, a lot of the communication I have with you, my friends, followers and customers (Hmm…sorry Shakespeare) is through my website or facebook.  In an effort to educate myself and improve the content of my blogging, I thought I would do a bit of research and see what other artists of a similar genre talked about.

What exactly do I do?

I paint pictures of canals and towpath life, so I ask my good friend Google to look for “Canal Art blogs”.  I think all the boaty readers will have a good idea what was going to come up.  I was side-tracked for a while looking at all the different styles of roses and castles.  I’m particularly interested at the moment because I’m booked on a course in February at Bollington Wharf to learn more about this fascinating craft.  I think there are still places available, so I’ll add a link at the bottom.

fisherman in red

Next I tried “Waterways Art blogs”.  Not a lot of individual art blogs are listed but The Guild of Waterway Artists was high up on the list which is great because I am a member!  A great bunch of talented people and really diverse range of waterways themed art. Guild of Waterway Artists

Still searching for those illusive and captivating blogs I tried “Waterscape Art blogs”, more luck this time but nothing really from painters of canal scenes.  It could just be that painters of canal type scenes are far too busy painting to blog. But the whole exercise got me thinking.  What sort of painter am I?  How would you describe what I do?  What’s in a name, and does it really matter to anyone but Google?  Answers on a postcard please…or comment below

Until next time…Jan x

Oh, and here’s the link I promised.  Held at Bollington Wharf over two days and run by Phil Speight.  I am so excited to be attending. Phil Speight Roses and Castles Weekend

TheArt Boat in 2017…What a Year

A year of Single-handing.

I’ll say it again…What a year!   This year has brought many challenges, the biggest of which was single handing Tonka for the majority of the 6 months of TheArtBoat tour.   I often single hand but not usually for so long a period and with so many time pressures.  Festivals and Markets won’t wait for you to get there and although my planning is getting better, I had originally planned the route with two crew in mind.  Unfortunately my partner had injuries that meant he couldn’t be with me for the travelling this year and this meant I was thrown in at the deep end.

But you know what?   It was fantastic!  I loved almost every minute of it, and although I was sorry that Barry couldn’t join me, the feeling of accomplishment was great.  I may even get used to tunnels in time!

Tunnel…the boat behind.

All Shelved up.

Thanks to Barry, The Art Boat has now got shelves along the whole of it’s length.  This means that all of the space under the awning can now be filled with paintings,  prints and cards.  I love it when Tonka is dressed up as The Art Boat.

The Art Boat Shelves

Almost famous!

This year The Art Boat managed to be featured in a couple of online articles.  One of these was on the  Canal and River Trust   site.

I was really surprised as, being the numpty I am I hadn’t realised I was actually being interviewed.  I thought I was being asked if I would like to be interviewed in the future.  I chatted away not feeling under any pressure,  oblivious to the fact it was a real interview!

I musn’t forget to mention Kev Maslin.  A  brilliant photographer and responsible for the photo at the beginning of this post.  You can see more of his wonderful  work  here.

Thank you to all my Customers!

So many paintings this year have left me to be rehomed.  I am feeling overwhelmed that I am finally able to say with conviction that this is my full time living.   I am an artist surviving by my brush    (I have been saying it for a while but not really believing it).   A wholehearted thank you to all my customers.  Whether you have bought a painting, print  or a fridge magnet you have all helped to get me to this place.

Sold 2017
Selection of sold paintings

 

The next few months will be  mostly about getting more painting done, ready for the beginning of TheArtBoat 2018  tour…Bring it on!

Until next time!   Thank you so much for your support … Jan x