Wow, time is moving fast these days. I'm sitting pondering where has this year gone as I stare out into the garden at the Acer turning a beautiful orange-gold. Autumn is here and I've just had a relaxing break with friends in Sherwood Forest reconnecting with nature. I took many photos, hoping to use them as reference photos for some new tree paintings.
I've had a busy summer selling at art and craft fairs and exhibiting in annual art exhibitions. It is exciting to be involved but hard work and time consuming. The costs involved are in entering, framing, and travel with no knowledge of how well the work will sell when it is hanging alongside all the other work submitted.
I'm fortunate that I've had solo exhibitions this year as well, where I've been able to showcase my new work. I love to experiment with new materials and my wide range of subjects and styles means that I can sell to a wider audience. I think if I was to concentrate on one style or one type of media it would stifle my creativity. I enjoy playing with materials until I come up with some thing different and unique.
This year my new work has been using collage. I had been wanting to create seascapes of our beautiful coastline here in Cumbria for a while but wanted to do something unique. The annual Meanders exhibition in Cockermouth, where local artists display their art in shop windows during The Cockermouth Live festival this year had the theme, Our colourful heritage coast. I used acid free craft papers and handmade papers to make some collages for Riff Raff, a clothes shop in Cockermouth.
In August and September I produced a wall display of these collages in Florence Mine that depicted the coastline from Barrow up to Rockcliffe. Distinctive features like Piel Island, Black Combe, St Bees Head, Whitehaven Harbour and the view across to Isle of Man and the Scottish coast across the Solway Firth looked colourful and dramatic.
The above picture of The Isle of Man from St Bees sold as a special birthday present. The sales so far seem to indicate that I have created some desirable work. I've now started to experiment with mountain and lake views using the same technique. My first attempt was snapped up by my brother and never made the shops. The second attempt was a special commission for a memorial piece for a deceased loved one and warmly received. My first piece of the famous Wasdale view across Wastwater towards Great Gable was also snapped up before it hit the shelves in Denton House by the Café owner.
If there is joy in the work I think it shines through in the quality and I am enjoying working with bright colours and shapes. I have a mathematical background and a flair for colour and I think that shows in the work. There is authenticity in the landscape but an element of abstraction which I believe works. Have a look in my shop pages to see more examples of this style of collage or follow me on Instagram @natburnsy where I showcase new work.