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A cultural weekend with the family

What started out as a family visit turned into a weekend of art and culture with some of the people we most admire in the art world. Our first stop was at Katie's Mothers for lunch and we happened to interrupt one of her painting sessions. Katie is definitely a chip off the old block as you can see from her Mother's drawings below. She is an amazing illustrator and a big fan of plant life, both traits that can be attributed to her daughter. We spent some time admiring some watercolours and outline sketches, all drawn from samples of the real thing.

Lunch was amazing too.

After lunch we prepared for a long trip down to Portishead to see Katie's Uncle Alfie. To the art world he is known as Alfred Stockham and we were really excited to see his latest exhibition and book launch at the RWA in Bristol. They are exhibiting a selection of his work and launching his book celebrating 70 years as an artist. Alfred is 86 years old and still works passionately. We were treated to a peek behind the scenes at his exhibition as well as getting one of the first copies of his new book.

Alfred Stockham’s paintings are pure poetry. A master of colour, his oil paints glow like gold, the colours responding to one another in dynamic relationships. Reducing his abstract or figurative forms to merest suggestion, blocks of many-layered colour, his simple yet perfect compositions sing with a kind of narrative tension. [Anna Powell, Sladers Yard Gallery]

Alfred Stockham’s work has been purchased by notable public collections including Bradford City Museum, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, Greater London Council, Inde Coope, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and York City Art Gallery. Citing influences on his work he acknowledges that 150 years of modern painting has played a significant part in his development as an artist.

Before all that we were treated to an amazing dinner with the artist Janet Haigh. 20 years ago Katie did her work experience with Janet and she was a huge inspiration. Every time she visits she leaves recharged with new ideas.

Janet Haigh has been described as one of Europe’s foremost embroiderers combining simple hand worked embroidery with cross-craft techniques. More modestly, on her blog, she says, “I am a freelance designer-maker, applied artist, crafts-woman, whatever you want to call me – I stitch stuff by hand. Fabric, metal, porcelain and paper”.

A refreshing and inspirational weekend before heading back to our Cheshire studio to carry on creating - finishing the Christmas collection which will be exhibiting in retailers up and down the UK from late 2019, we hope :)

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