Thank you Elsdon!

This is my last post on the Elsdon art project blog, so it’s an opportunity to say thank you to everyone who joined in with the photography and the painting. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and I’m really proud of our picture.

I’ve just finished writing a brief report documenting the whole process of the project. I shall hand it in to the Village Hall Committee. It will be there for anyone to read if they’re interested. I hope that the next community artist will find it useful.

The postcards are on sale in the entrance to the hall, and Marion is asking, at her next meeting, for them to be available in the Church . I’ve also written to the Otterburn Mill making the same request. Ian White has kindly agreed to collect in the money and to replace the cards as they sell.

Sarah and I are taking part in the Network Artists Open Studio event in the summer. Our barn will be open for the last three weekends in June, so do come along to see our art work if you’re interested. In the mean time I’ll be keeping an illustrated diary of  the progress of my work in a new blog at townfootstudio.wordpress.com

We had to work very quickly after the village painting exhibition, to change the layout of the hall so that there was a distinctive area for each of the five artists.

The Open Evening on December 13th had a Christmas theme with a lovely tree, kindly donated by Alison and Richard Simmance. Shirley made 80 delicious mince pies and Carolle made the mulled wine. These were all enjoyed by about 35 visitors while christmas music played in the background. (By the way, any  music in the hall is now covered by a license  – thank you Sheila!)

The display boards were useful both as dividers and also for the display of the light weight work.

Sarah’s work was displayed on one of the large tables as her pieces are fairly small and three dimensional.

Keith and Shirley hung their large work on the walls, using the picture rails which Peter Simpson and his son put up for us. ( These will be useful for future exhibitions in the hall.)

Tessa travelled north to take part in the exhibition, and helped to look after the gallery on the Friday. The rest of the time was shared by Carolle, Sarah, Keith and Shirley. Quite a few of our friends and people from Otterburn as well as Elsdon came along to see the work. The art group from Longhorsley, some of whom had taken part in art courses at Carolle’s studio, came and also had lunch at the Coach House.

We all felt that the hall was very successful as an exhibition space. The experience made us think more about the lighting, and the need for spotlights on the village painting and also around each wall so that they can be directed onto pieces in future exhibitions.

Another suggestion, from Keith, is for three sizeable free standing display boards that can take heavier pieces.

It is so good that this exhibition of art by local artists should have grown out of the village  art project. We are hoping to repeat our connection with Network Artists and put on another exhibition in June.

Thank you everyone

Thank you so much for coming to the Open Evening, it was such an enjoyable event.

Thank you to the Bird and the Coach House for providing us with generous amounts of tasty treats to eat with our glasses of wine kindly donated by Tessa and Paul Priestman. Thank you for the background music courtesy of Brenda Heslop and Laura Hewison.

I’ll be putting up more photos in the village hall as soon as I’ve printed them out.

It was a great idea to have a raffle and also the “guess the weight of the sheep” which continued for a week or so in the pub. Many  thanks to Robert Arthur for that one.

If anyone sees our photo in the Courant, please keep a copy and  display it in the hall.

Don’t forget to come along to the Village Hall for the open evening, from 6 – 8 pm. Drinks courtesy of Tessa and Paul and food provided by the Bird in Bush and the Coach House. The painting is now installed and we will be selling a postcard and booklets about the painting, the profits from which will go to Village Hall funds. I would like to thank the Northumberland National Park for additional funding which has helped with the expenses of the open evening and costs of producing the booklet.


The exhibition will begin with an Open Evening on Thursday December 3rd from 6.00pm in the village hall. Everyone is invited to come and look at the paintings and photographs and to have a glass of wine or juice and some nibbles. Tessa and Paul have very kindly provided us with red and white wine. If anyone would like to help by bringing some crisps, nuts or other snacks it would be much appreciated.

All the paintings are complete now and are arranged in their final composition. Peter Simpson is about to make a start on the frame and Sarah has helped me to design a postcard with the complete image on the front which I have just emailed to a printer.

I thought you might like to see a couple of the pictures that were last to be finished. Here’s the sheepdog, and there’s also one (at last!) of the village pub.IMG_6554

A press release and a copy of the painting has been sent to several newspapers and magazines to publicise our painting and the exhibition. The painting and displays of  photogaphs etc. will continue to be on show on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 4th – 6th during the day from 10.00am – 4.00pm. Please tell all your friends.

Most of the pictures are complete, five need to be finished, (mainly Sarah’s !) and we are concentrating on those this week and next.

Peter Simpson, who has already helped the village hall by working on some of the renovation projects, has offered to join the canvasses together and to build a frame around them so that they can be safely fixed to the wall in the main part of the hall.

When that has happened, Sarah and I will photograph the painting and start designing the catalogue  and leaflets.

Alison Simmance has been working very hard on the text that will accompany the images . She has written some very descriptive and evocative passages about the subject of each painting.

Lists of all the people who she has spoken to and who have helped her in her research will be included as well as those who have been involved in the photography and the painting of course.

I have started to print out some of the beautiful photographs that  people sent me for the project so that we can have a photography exhibition showing at the same time as our painting exhibition.

Watch this space for the next up-date !

The final deadline


Most of the thirty five paintings are complete now.

The deadline is the end of this month. That gives us two more weeks to finish the rest.

The painting sessions this week are in the hall on Wednesday 19th and Sunday 23rd from 10.30am until 1.30 (I’ll try very hard not to be late!)


Anyone who can’t make either of those two sessions and would prefer to work in the evening in my studio, can arrange that with a phone call.(520548)

Thank you to everyone who continued to paint this week both in the hall and at home, and to Allison who is also working hard researching and writing up the information that will accompany the photos of the paintings in the booklet.

If anyone has information about the village that  Allison might like to include in her written notes, please let her know as soon as possible.

When all the text is complete, Sarah and I will work on the layout of the booklet and pamphlet.

The paintings themselves will be fixed together and framed with wood. We hope for all this to be in place sometime in September ready for our community art and photography exhibition.

IMG_5173There were fourteen of us painting in the village hall last Sunday and the picture is steadily growing in size as a result.

Tessa sent this photo of Sarah, Allison and Shirley from last Wednesday’s session. It was arranged for that day to coincide with her planned visit to Elsdon, and she has taken her two pictures back to London with her to finish. (Thank you in advance Tessa!)


On Sunday Katie’s parents came with two of the grandchildren, Toby and Jemima who both painted pictures of their own to join the group of paintings started by Emma Cowie.

We still have some blank canvasses if there are any other children out there who would like to join in and contribute a painting to the children’s group of pictures about Elsdon. Just come to one of our painting sessions soon.

The next ones are this Sunday August 9th from 10.00am until about 1.00pm and then next Thursday August 13th same time.

Halfway Through

IMG_2624Many thanks again to the group of faithful painters who came to the session in the hall on Sunday morning, some bringing their ‘homework’ of tracings with them.We are about halfway through the project now. We are aiming at thirty five canvasses in total, seven across and five deep. Nearly all the images are underway. I just need to do three more on photoshop to complete the number we need.


This painting was done by  Emma Cowie while her Mum, Claire started hers. I think we will have an exhibition of children’s responses to the Elsdon art work running alongside the main piece, so please bring your little ones along when you can to contribute a canvas of their own.


IMG_2629All the paintings, equipment and tables are still in place in the hall so that we can paint there again for a couple of hours tomorrow, Monday July 27th at 7.00pm. This is instead of my barn studio and saved me having to move all the paints etc.


The next painting sessions will be on Sunday 2nd August from 10.00 am  until 1.00 pm, and then on Wednesday 5th August at the same time. Both  will be in the village hall. See you all then.


We made a last minute change to the venue for this painting session to allow the village hall floor time to dry properly (before we spill paint on it!). There was not much room to spare, but six of us fitted in quite happily. Another evening session has been arranged for next Monday, July 20th. I think we’ll continue to work in small groups in my barn some evenings as well as in the village hall on the specified dates. This way we may be able to complete the work by the end of the summer. Everyone is welcome. Hopefully there will be room.

The next painting session in the village hall is next Tuesday morning, July 21st from 10.00 am. Please come if you can.