Friday, 14 February 2014
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Sunday, 15 December 2013
In some ways I can't believe it's been more than two months since I last posted in here! Then I think about what I've been up to and realise why!
I signed up to exhibit at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow way back in April and as soon as POS was out of the way it was full steam ahead with the preparations! As well as cutting, printing, proofing and approving like a banshee, I spent a bit of time designing the layout of my stand. I had a 1m deep and 2m wide stand so it was quite a tight squeeze to fit all my work in.
I hate to think how long I spent on Pinterest looking at shop fittings, trade show booths and craft fair displays! Once I'd got a few ideas fixed and being an Architect by trade, I dug out my scale rule and made a model of my stand and all the fittings and pictures that I wanted to fit in. And here's the finished stand in all its glory!
I met some long time designer/crafter hero's of mine. The lovely Kat Goldin, the fantabulous crochet designer and blogger of Slugs on the Refrigerator. The super talented Susan MacGill of Susan McGill Designs. The fabby Victoria who IS Hipster Spinster. The lovely Emily Notman whose work is just breathtakingly beautiful and delicate and last, but by no means least, Flossie Teacake who in the strictest sense I didn't ACTUALLY meet. Every time I popped past her stand to say hello she was busy chatting with people! The fantastic Molly Ginnelly was visiting the fair and stopped for a chat, I kept thinking I knew her from somewhere but couldn't place her face, until about 2 hours later!
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
I can't believe it's almost two weeks since Perthshire Open Studios finished for another year! I shut my front door at 5.01pm on Sunday evening, did a little jig of happiness and delight and then promptly poured myself a MAHOOSIVE (and well earned) glass of wine!
Last year (my first Open Studios) all I wanted was for one person to turn up, even if they didn't buy anything! This year I was worried again. What if last year was a fluke and no one turns up? Or people turn up and find it a huge disappointment? Or........
But, yet again my greatest expectations were well and truly shattered! 166 incredible, lovely people came and visited me and bought themselves (or some very special, lucky loved ones) some of my work.
I really enjoy chatting with all my visitors about, paper cutting, Open Studios, The Green Route, library evaluation forms (don't ask!) and a hundred other topics! There were a few times (especially on both Saturdays) when I had 4 or 5 people in my studio and my visitors were kind and patient enough to wait to have a chat with me.
My tote bags disappeared (I kid you not!) in the first two days.
My Christmas decorations also flew out the door. I take my hat off to all you super organised peeps who have started thinking about Christmas! (Mind you, I've kept the few decorations that I have left hanging in the window.......they look so jolly! But don't tell anyone!)
So a huge thank you to all you brilliant visitors, with out you it would just have been me..........on my own..........in my studio!
Friday, 20 September 2013
Sunday, 8 September 2013
Next up in the Perthshire Open Studios, Green Route-erers series is Annette Forsyth, venue 89, The bothy in the garden.
Annette's photographs are all so varied and stunning, an extra incentive (as if you needed it!) to visit venue 89!
My photography business has essentially grown out of a love of nature. Born in Germany, I became interested in photography when I was at university, studying Biology and Geography to become a teacher. I bought my first film SLR and taught myself the basics of photography.
The field-trips really inspired me and filled me with the urge to capture the beautiful moments around me. In those days I took mainly slides and probably bored my friends rigid with long slide shows. I took a year out of uni to work as an assistant teacher in Scotland, where I became infatuated both with the Scottish landscape and my husband. Back in Germany I finished my studies and started work as a teacher. During that time photography was an important hobby for me. When our two kids arrived, many of my interests took a back seat for a few years. I stopped working as a teacher and we built up a walking business, which is still our main business. In 2000 we moved to Scotland. When my kids were a bit older my love of photography was rekindled and at the start of 2011 it had got to the point that I decided to take the plunge and become a nature photographer.
Thankfully I got a lot of encouragement from friends and family. Things have developed very quickly and I now sell my images in several shops and I have been to a good number of craft fairs. Several of my images have appeared in magazines, including a couple of front covers in the Scottish Mountaineer. All this is very exciting and I am very much looking forward to growing my fledgling business.
Last year was just the right time for me to go for the Open Studios. I teamed up with my friends Katy Galbraith, Anna Olson and Christine Forsyth and exhibited in the Bothy in the Garden. Doing it together with friends was a lot less daunting and worked very well in terms of footfall, manning the space, filling it with work, providing a bit of variety and just generally proved to be a lot of fun. I loved meeting all the people who came to visit last year and getting their feedback about my work. It was a big effort, but it was great to see it all come together and to have so much of my work on display.
Needless to say we have teamed up again this year.
Another aspect of the Open Studios I really enjoy is meeting and connecting with so many other artists. I find it utterly inspiring to see so many people following their passion.
I will have my images for sale as hand-made greeting cards and mounted prints in various sizes. There will also be some framed prints for sale. In terms of new work and subject matter I had an incredibly cold and windy, but very productive trip to Assynt in March and I will be exhibiting some of those images. Another good trip took me to Harris in May. It was still cold there and spring was biding its time, but fortunately there was some good light. Apart from that I have a lot of new macro and close-up work. Well and then there are also a lot of Puffin and seabird images from previous trips to Lunga.
-Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?
My macro work is probably my most planned. I have a big garden and avidly watch what is coming into bloom.
When the light is right I am out there taking images, rather than weeding as I most definitely should. I take most of my macro work over spring and summer, whereas for the rest of the year my landscape work has the upper hand.
My landscape images are a bit of a mixture. Sometimes I go out with specific images and locations in mind, sometimes the light prompts me out and sometimes, especially when climbing new Munros I take my camera and tripod not knowing what to expect, just seizing the moment.
-What or who are you most inspired by?
Looking at the work of other unknown and famous photographers has also been a great inspiration and gives me a lot to aspire to.
In an ideal world there would be a blog, but I am not quite there yet
A huge thank you to Annette for her patience, she sent her interview to me THREE weeks ago and I've only now, finally, managed to get it on here!
Friday, 16 August 2013
- Please give a brief bio of your business. What is your background? How did you begin as an artist?
Dave Hunt and I run our business of Wildgrass together. We both have a background of working in Broadcast TV on the artistic technical side. So we have both spent many years working with images. Both Dave and I have are creative and photography has given us a way to express our creativity. Dave started a number of years before me and watching his journey gave me the courage to start my own. I have always been terrified of the technical side of cameras and have run away from them because of this - but Dave changed all that and taught me what I needed to know to get started. I have the 'eye' for which I am very grateful - I believe this is something you are born with, and unlike learning techniques, the 'eye' can't be taught.
We got into printing because it gives you far more control over presentation than allowing a company to do the printing for you and the same with framing. Getting our work framed was expensive with long waiting times and often we were unhappy with the work. So we invested in some good printers and also in the necessary framing equipment and a good quality mount cutter. Gradually we found ourselves doing printing and framing for other people and thus our business at Wildgrass Studio developed. Dave also does tailor-made photographic courses and I do the odd Facebook one to one courses - I am a FB lover :)
- Have you taken part in Perthshire Open Studios before?
We went along to the first ever meeting of POS. This was a meeting to discuss if POS was feasible and who wanted to be on the pioneering committee. Dave volunteered. The rest is history - POS was born and had a very successful first year. I joined in year two and have been doing all the admin for POS ever since. I did the first two years on a voluntary basis and was also on an advertising sub-committee in year two. However as the job of admin developed it became very time consuming and it was decided that a post of Admin would be created along with a small salary . . . I was offered the post - but had to stand down from the committee. I miss being on the committee - but love the admin job which has evolved even more and this year I found myself heavily involved with up-loading artists details to the web amongst other things :)
I am most looking to meeting people and seeing their reactions and listening to their feedback about my work and indeed Dave's work.
- What artwork will you be displaying over the week?
I launched my Faerie Ballet during Fortingall Art where it was very successful - I will be featuring this in POS and also introducing my Disturbia work. My Faerie Ballet is now on my website - but I am undecided as when I want to put my Disturbia work on my website. I have completely re-vamped my website and removed a lot of my older work as I have moved on and am developing new work. I will also be featuring my Aluminium prints of my Faerie Ballet :)
- Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?
Eeeeek tricky one. My process is experimenting and taking many photographs and I have over the years developed my own style. My Faerie Ballet started four years ago and has been developed over the last four years. I saw something in a shoot four years ago and then spent the next three years developing it - because it is flora based I have to wait each year for the right conditions. Disturbia made its appearance two years ago and has been developed alongside my Faerie Ballet. The conditions this year did not allow for any additional shooting for Disturbia.
I don't keep notebooks as such - I keep it all in my head - but I am getting to the point where there is so much going on I do need to write it all down.
- What or who are you most inspired by?
I am most inspired by nature. I also find listening to music really energises and works for me. I have recently discovered Mumford and Sons and find their music emotionally electrifying and I use these feelings to develop my images. So where ever I am - Mumford and Sons are with me . . . :) they will never know - but thank you guys :)
Here are all of Gills contact details, I hope that you get the chance to go and see her work.
Gillian Hunt ARPS www.westerlix.com this is our rental cottage and we are also looking to offer artist retreat breaks.
www.photographybygillianhunt.com this is my own website.
www.wildgrass.co.uk is our printing and framing business. We are also planning on printing and selling other artists work alongside our own.
All images Copyright Gillian Hunt 2013