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The Art Boat in April…The first few weeks

Making Plans for The Art Tour.

Getting ready to leave on the Art Boat  seemed to take for ever, so I can’t believe that we are already 4 weeks into the Art Tour.  This is the art boat’s first year of having to work out it’s own itinerary .  Last year we were totally spoilt by being part of the artists on the canal tour organised by Magda and Berth on Wanderlust.  Although it has taken a while to work out a do-able tour (Some of the festivals I wanted to do would have involved The Art Boat growing wings in order to get there in time!) it has been fun trying to decide where to go.  Some festivals I would have liked to attend were booked up before we got chance, and others just fell into our laps.  Now is the best bit…actually doing it.

So Far

So Far I have managed to experience a lovely family funday at Buxworth,  a solo pop-up, and two pop ups with other traders, the first time with a Pirate  (…Aaar)  and a HomeBrew Boat (…aar..hic!…aaar), and the second time with The Oat Cake Boat and  Flavours afloat  (yummmmm).  I have managed to put my brand new shelter up and take it  down on my own. (easy peasy),  and had the heavens kindly provide the usual  variety of April weather in order to help test the shelter. And,  I am pleased to say Barry, it is holding up magnificently.  On land I have had work  hanging in Audlem Mill as part of the Guild of Waterways Artists exhibition.

The Draw

The draw to mark my new website and online shop took place on 1st of April. I was really pleased with the amount of people that subscribed to The Art Boat blog and entered. Tony Binns was the winner, and chose a hand finished print of View through a Bridge as his prize. You can see the video of the draw HERE.  I have just sent out emails with  the discount coupons to those that subscribed in March , so  if that’s you,  keep an eye on your inbox.

View through Bridge

And Coming up…

For the next few weeks you will find the Art boat at:

April 23-24 Great Haywood

April 29th -May 2nd  Alvecote Floating Market

May 7th-8th  Stoke Bruerne

May 14th-15th  Apsley

May 21st-22nd  Rickmansworth Canal Fastival

Later in the year I will be at:  Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival in June….REALLY looking forward to that one, and you will be able to see me alongside other artists in The Guild of waterways Artists tent at Braunston, (also in June)


I am hoping to see quite a few of you soon.  We are covering quite a few miles this year, so it figures that at some point we won’t be too far away.  You have no excuse, come and say hello!

Until next time…Jan x


Floating Market - The Art Boat

Keeping up with The Art Boat

The Art Boat Floating Market Itinerary

An exciting schedule planned this year for The Art Boats Floating Gallery/Shop.  Quite a few festivals and RCTA Markets included as well as two exhibitions with the Guild Of Waterways Artists.  Audlem mill Easter exhibition (which you still have time to visit as it is on until the 9th April) and I will also be joining the rest of the Guild in the tent at Braunston in June. Pop-ups will be added to the schedule as I go along.  I have added the ones for April.

I have already had a fabulous start to the tour with Buxworth Gala.  Despite the weather a great weekend was had,  proving that us Northerners won’t be put off by a bit of rain…though come to think of it there were a few Southerners there too!

                   Sunday 13th March – Saturday 9th April   Guild of Waterways Artists Easter Exhibition, Audlem Mill

                   Saturday March 26 – Sunday  March 27     Buxworth Community Gala.

                   Saturday April 2nd – Sunday April 3rd   POP-UP  Bollington Aquaduct

                   Saturday 9th April – Sunday 10th April   POP-UP  Higher Poynton

                   Saturday 16th April – Sunday 17th April   POP-UP  Westport Lake, Trent and Mersey

                   Saturday 23rd April – Sunday 24th April   POP-UP  Great Haywood, Trent and Mersey

                   Friday  29th April – Monday 2nd May   Alvecote Floating Market.

                   Saturday  7th May-Sunday 8th May  POP-UP Stoke Bruerne

                   Saturday 14th May – Sunday 15th May  POP-UP Apsley

                  Saturday 21st May – Sunday 22nd May    Rickmansworth Canal  Festival.

                   Friday 10th June – Sunday 12th June    RCTA Floating Market, Gt Haywood.

                    Friday 17th June – Sunday 19th June   Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival

                   Saturday 25th June – Sunday 26th June   The Guild of Waterways Artists Summer Exhibition at Braunston Canal Festival

                    Friday 1st July – Sunday 3rd July     Chester RCTA Floating Market, City rd moorings

                    Saturday 13th August – Sunday 14th August     Blisworth Canal Festival

                    Friday 26th August – Monday 29th August   Merry Hill  Floating RCTA Market

                    Friday 2nd September – Sunday 4th September   Stourport  Floating RCTA Market

                    Saturday 17th September – Sunday 18th September   Tipton Canal Festival

                  Friday  23rd September – Sunday 25th September   Birmingham RCTA Floating Market


Don’t forget I will be updating this blogpost as I go along to add extra events and Pop-ups So keep checking in.  You can also look out for Monthly schedules on my Facebook Page

About Jan vallance

The Art Boat Artist …Jan Vallance.

It is complete chaos here on The Art Boat.  I am getting ready for the long summer, painting, making a new workspace.  keeping up with woodblock orders and finishing my website,  I can’t believe it is now only a week until the first gala at Buxworth basin.  I have been working on an “about” page, for the Website, and thought it might be a good idea to blog it for some feedback.  Please have a read and then let me know what you think so far?  I don’t want it to be too long, but hope I have included enough information without boring the socks off people!

Display, The Art Boat
Jan vallance art work on display

All about The Artist Jan Vallance.  In her own words…

I have been painting and selling my art since 2005. In the winter I work from a studio in Vernon Mill, an old mill in Stockport housing the studios of over 50 artists. The studio gets bitterly cold, so I often work from a makeshift studio in my mum’s loft. But the Spring and Summer is my favourite time. This is when I work from home.  Home is a narrowboat, and from late March to the beginning of October it becomes The Art Boat, my home, studio and floating gallery. I travel the canal system, popping up at floating markets, festivals, and sometimes just on my own.
Limited space means that smaller paintings are more practical to work on and this is where my miniature pieces are ideal. This year’s series are all waterways based and are painted under the loose title “Mini Mondays”. My work isn’t limited to miniatures though, I paint larger pieces too.

Inspiration and Method

I am inspired by my surroundings, and like to work on projects that explore different aspects of a subject. I live and work on the canals and they are the primary influence on my current paintings.
I work with layers. The paint and it’s application is all important. I apply paint quickly, filling the canvas and then start exploring…. printing, scraping, doodling. The image comes later. Sometimes I work with the subject, other times against it. I love paint – exploring it’s possibilities.

Previous exhibitions and events:

Last year (2015),  I took part in the Artists on the Canals tour,  organised by the inimitable Magda and Berth on Wanderlust .  Three “Art Boats” travelling together and popping up along the canals. Exhibitions at the Queens park Arts centre in Aylesbury, The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead and The Cha Cafe in Cassiobury park, were also part of the tour.

Open Exhibitions:

Stockport, Derbyshire and Macclesfield.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

Vernon Mill Artists at Stockport Art Gallery.

Portico Library, Manchester .

“Love across the ocean”  Chicago


Marple Library,

Stockport Art Gallery.

Jan Vallance studied art at Chester University. You can find her at TheArtBoat.co.uk

Print Competition

Win A Hand Finished Print

It’s that time again!  Another chance to win one of my Hand finished Prints.  I marked the end of the Artists on The Canals tour last year with a prize draw for one of my Hand finished Prints and the response was excellent.  This time I am marking the beginning of The Art Boat tour 2016.   The last competition was run from my facebook page, but this time I want to show off my brand new website and blog,  so the prize draw will be run from here.

What is a Hand finished Print?

The prints are all taken from images of  Jan Vallance original paintings.

NOT JUST A PRINT.   Printed on real cotton canvas, the canvas print has gold and other highlights added by hand using artist quality acrylic paints. It is then finished with varnish to protect.  Each print measures 7½ ” x 7½ ” and is supplied in a 12″ mount.  This prize draw is for one print only

How do I enter the prize draw?

It is very easy to be in with a chance to win:

  1.    Subscribe to my blog during March and you will automatically be entered.   Don’t forget to….
  2.    Comment on this post, and include the number of which print you would like.  The available  prints  are all shown on the accompanying picture at the top of this post and are numbered 1 to 6

How and When  will the winner be announced?

The competition will close at midnight on March 31st, and the winner will be announced on Friday April 1st.  I am hoping to be able to video the draw again as that was very popular last time.

There will only be one winner,  but everyone who subscribes in March  will be sent a code for 15% off ANYTHING in the shop.   You can find out more about my prints in The Art Boat Shop

Aceo Mini Monday Collage

ACEOs, Mini Mondays, and why I am addicted…


Mini Monday 7 swan

Once apon a time, a long time ago, when my children were knee high to (ok…they were probably a bit bigger than that),  I needed a way to earn a bit of extra money from home.  I was browsing ebay to see if it was a possible avenue for some of my smaller paintings, and I kept seeing the word ACEO pop up.  I hadn’t a clue, but I researched and discovered that ACEO’s are playing card sized works of art that were being sold and traded all over ebay.   Mostly in the US at that time.

So what exactly is an ACEO?

ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals.  They are tiny works of art, measuring only 2.5 x 3.5 inches.  They can be displayed in an album or framed individually or in groups.   ACEOs are very collectible.   They provide a wonderfully low-cost and affordable way to purchase an original piece of work direct from the artist.  ACEOs are an offshoot of ATCs (Art Trading Cards).  This wikipedia article  will tell you lots more about both sorts of cards

aceo original, boat entering tunnel

And they are Addictive?

Absolutely!  I can guarantee once you start painting them you will find lots of reasons to make more.

I use them to:  make family gifts,  swap with other artists,  paint in series, and try out ideas.  You can experiment without wasting vast amounts of materials. There is only one rule …they must measure 2½ x 3½ inches.  The rest is up to you and your imagination…

So where does Mini Monday fit in?

A couple of years ago I started a daily painting series.  I painted a sheep painting a day for a year.  I loved the project and I found the discipline that was needed to complete one every day was really good for me and has stayed with me since that time.  I started the Mini Monday series, because I wanted to do something similar that would fit in with the Waterways paintings I am doing at the moment.  So once a week (usually on a Monday!), I paint a miniature waterways painting. Today I completed Mini Monday 7 (the swan painting at the top of this post).   So keep a look out for my Mini Monday …Tiny Tuesday…Wee Wednesday… Paintings.  I will be adding them to the Miniature Paintings Gallery each week.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget you can have immediate notifications of blog updates if you subscribe to email updates.

Oh,  and if you want to know any more about my Mini Monday paintings, or are wondering how to get started making your own aceos, Just leave me a comment.


The Art Boat in the snow

Hello and Welcome to The Art Boat


The very first Blog post from The Art Boat…

Don’t let the sleepy exterior fool you.  There is so much to do to get Tonka  ready for the Spring and Summer months of travelling as The Art Boat.  All has been extremely busy on Tonka over the winter.   As well as preparing for the journey,  there are paintings to be signed, varnished and got ready for my first exhibition with The Guild of Waterways Artists  at Audlem in a weeks time….aargh. Where has the winter gone?   I suspect a lot of it has been spent getting my brand new Website, shop and blog  (Ta…dah!) built.  I have certainly not seen as much of my studio as I would have liked over the past couple of months, and I am hoping to see a lot more of my paintbrushes in the coming weeks.

I will keep this first post short.  I just wanted to say a quick hello to everyone. Don’t forget to subscribe, it’s free, and you can cancel at any time … Coming up in the next few posts are details of The Art Boat’s itinerary and information on how to enter my March competition to win a handfinished print.