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Art inaction…nobody moves, nobody gets hurt! Joking…but only just.

Oh dear.

I’ve been looking forward to Art in Action all year and felt rather sad when the email arrived saying this would be the last ever A in A festival held, so made up my mind to get as much out of it as possible.

Guys! All of England did the same thing!

I chose to start on the first day, the Thursday, thinking that maybe there would be the less traffic than the rest of the weekend. But the whole festival was massively over subscribed with more than 7600 people showing up on Thursday…and being allowed in to the show grounds.

The end result was long queues outside the tents, and absolutely no way I could get into any of the practical classes, (there being about 30 spots per each of the 20 or so classes per day…which were sold out in the first few minutes, as people queued up at the crack of sparrows). I understand that Thursday was the least attended day.

So there we are.

I decided to only spend the one day, despite having bought a three day pass. I made my way thru the throng to say hello to my five friends exhibiting, found some new inspiration, and decided to preserve my memory of the wonderful years past rather than trying to wade my way thru two hour traffic jams to get in and masses of people.

But still, everywhere we go among artists, we learn something new, and I’m very happy I had the chance to be there and:

See my friend Nathan Ford paint.

a in a copy

These photos are stills from a movie I made (had high hopes of a vlog post) so a little less resolution that you’re used to, but I hope you get the idea.

It was amazing to see Nathan mix a selection of flesh tones on his palette and then, he dipped his pencil into the oils, checked the load of paint, and carefully deposited the tone into his portrait!
That’s something I would never have thought to do.


It’s like a little light bulb went on in my brain. Of course, a pencil will deliver a lovely, controlled line of paint.

I popped into the printing tent to visit my friend Sue Brown.

She did a demonstration for everyone on gum arabic transfers. I asked her where I went wrong in my collagraph try, and got the answers: Oil based inks rather than water soluble inks are needed, and, I need a printing press.

a in a

Like Sue said, trying to print collagraphs without a printing press is like trying to do machine embroidery without the sewing machine. Good to know.

Speaking of embroidery, I made a new friend.
Jane E. Hall.

I was so completely mesmerized by Jane’s life-sized butterflies embroidered onto silk with custom dyed silk threads.


How amazing is that?

I loved her work so very much. I liked chatting with her so very much. We said we’d stay in touch.

So then home.

But not without treasures. Sue’s helpful guides and Jane’s beautiful book.

004 copy copy

Guys this book is so gorgeous.

Jane describes her collections, her studio and her process.

006 copy copy

Look at her finished piece. I just love this one.

008 copy copy

Well, that’s all from Art in Action and that’s a wrap on a festival which has marked its 40th. So sad to see it go, but looking forward to new ventures and venues.

Onward and upward.

Comments: 2

  • July 21, 2016

    brilliant idea to use the pencil to get the perfect amount of color where you want it … and its not going to wobble like a super fine brush would ….

  • July 27, 2016

    Hey V .. That must have been super frustrating ..But lovely to meet Jane she us very clever! ?

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