One Great Easy Way To Bring Nature Into Your Work Life

Outdoor life

Creative thinking out of doors

Do you find yourself sitting in front of a screen for hours, hard to tear yourself away because of the endless trails of ‘research’ it can lead you on? Do you worry that that you spend too much time in meeting rooms and offices? Is the only opportunity you have for outdoor time at the weekend and even then there are too many jobs to get through you miss the chance?

Here’s a great idea which I guarantee will benefit your outlook, perspective and health. I experience this way as often as I can and it’s very rewarding.

Here’s an example from this week. A brainstorming session was required and idea generation was the purpose of a meeting with two other artists.

We decided to meet at Attingham Park National Trust instead of an office or studio space. The snowdrops were calling. Here we were, three practising artists with different but complementary practices who are involved at Boundary Way Project an allotment site in Wolverhampton which aims to bring arts and health to the community in a natural setting amongst other exciting activities.

As an experiment with meeting venues we met up in the lovely courtyard cafe at Attingham and obviously needed some analytical warm up discussions regarding the excellent quality of cake and coffee first. Then we got down to business.

It was very quiet at 10am and there was excellent easy to access wifi to help us to share links etc. Not many people around, even on a sunny day until 11.45 when the lunch crowd arrived but even then it’s such a huge group of rooms there’s plenty of room. We still had loads of space around us and there’s no background music thankfully.

The clincher

After the main body of the meeting we took a walk for half an hour together. THIS IS THE CLINCHER IN MY VIEW. This distinguishes the experience from meeting in a coffee shop.

During the walk many other ideas emerged and were discussed in a more creative way. I’m sure this is to do with fresh air, moving our bodies and feeling the spaciousness and freedom. Also visual stimulation (especially for artists, but I believe for all) can provoke new thoughts of course.

Thank you to Moya Lloyd and Anne Marie Lagram  for your huge creative input. We have many exciting plans.

We will definitely meet this way again – maybe at other National Trust properties where there are similar facilities and stimulation – not to mention great sticky ginger cake!

An opportunity for you to get outdoors with me

If you would like to experience an outdoor environment (with good indoor space if the weather is not so good) and try your hand at easy art making, please have a look at this event in June this year CLICK HERE and consider joining me at Boundary Way. No experience needed but you will go away refreshed, artified and with a beautiful book to take home.

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For other workshop opportunities with me in my lovely Victorian studio in Wolverhampton:

Please go to the Workshops page of this site

Wrekin Crows

The Crows, The Plot and The Wrekin 12″ x 12″ SOLD

 

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Two Art Galleries in Liverpool You Must Visit For Inspiration

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If you think Liverpool is a good place to shop you are right but it also has several wonderful art galleries and it would take a stay of a few days to visit everything on offer.

Two galleries are outstanding: Liverpool Tate and The Walker

Today I visited both. Five minutes walking distance from Liverpool Lime Street Station, the Walker Art Gallery has a labyrinth of rooms and many famous paintings. I was particularly struck by this Monet

‘Ice Breaking Up On The Seine Near Benecourt’ which was painted in the same chilly conditions as today in freezing January conditions. Monet, like most impressionists, painted outside and he complained of the bitter cold during the painting of this which may explain his longer and more hurried brush strokes than in most of his paintings.

What I really wanted to see was the work submitted for the John Moores Prize but it’s not quite on show at the moment but there is a good selection of paintings which have won since 1957. My absolute favourite was this by Peter Doig

He’s a favourite painter of mine. This piece is called ‘Blotter’ and is of the artists brother standing on a frozen lake in 1993. It’s a huge piece of work and features this brilliant lilac colour….this photo doesn’t do it justice at all.

There are also twenty or so Lubaina Himid pieces from her collection ‘Naming The Money’ of 2004 scattered through the gallery. She won the Turner prize last year (power to women over 50 for a change!). In Room 9 there is a selection of artworks curated by her. The installation ‘Naming The Money’ was gifted by Lubaina to National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum. It addresses how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money and flaunted their power in the 18th and 19th centuries by using enslaved African men and women. Groups of the figures are positioned around the gallery in positions determined by the artist.

The Walker Gallery are very relaxed about photography (as long as there’s no flash), unlike the Tate Liverpool. The staff are very helpful and want you to get the best from your visit. There’s a cafe and a children’s experiential room plus lots of talks and tours. Entry is free.

I also liked seeing the Lowry paintings in real life and several others, particularly Matisse. Also there’s a fabulous collection of outrageous Grayson Perry dresses – well worth a giggle.

On to the Tate Liverpool. I was there particularly to see John Piper’s work – a large and well documented exhibition with work ranging from his pre student years right through his life, including his War paintings (he was employed as a War Artist in the 1940s), stained glass, sketchbooks, publications and landscape. There were quite a few of his collages and some of Picasso’s who inspired him immensely. I love his lithographs in particular.

– I loved these… So good to see in real life. The mark making was inspirational. I love to make collage myself and I can definitely take ideas away from seeing such a great collection.

This exhibition is on until March 18th and costs £10 although is free with a Tate Friends card which I think I would consider buying.

The cafe is superb, big plate windows overlooking the Albert Dock and excellent food including vegetarian and gluten free breads. There’s a small but well stocked gift shop with very friendly and helpful staff and the whole place feels like a wonderful and inviting place to visit.

Here is The Albert Dock which you see from the cafe. A lovely place to wonder and almost deserted on a cold January day. The Liverpool Tate is about 13 minutes walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station.

All in all an inspiring and eye opening day in Liverpool – I’m definitely going to make it a regular place to visit.

Where will you go for inspiration?

Solstice, Nature and British Wildlife

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Preferring to celebrate Yule and the December Solstice with it’s lean towards nature, I have been painting small pieces with a message of peace. They look contemporary in these deep white, specially made box frames and are available as seasonal gifts. Please message me if you are interested – they are £90. Support artists and keep the economy local! 

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Another local artist over in Shropshire, Anne Marie Lagram has produced an Advent Calendar for counting down to the Solstice. In the doors are seasonal pictures and some information about traditions around Yule time. She also has a beautiful Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary available for 2018, full of traditional tales and lore. I am lucky enough to be featured on the April page by way of a painting – “Song Bird”. Here is the link to the website: https://www.talkingtreesbooks.co.uk/product-page/country-wisdom-folklore-diary-2018

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“Song Bird” by Clare Wassermann Acrylic Ink and paint

I am thoroughly into the British wildlife genre at the moment – such a rich array to work with and all leading up to a solo exhibition I have next Spring at the Museum of Cannock Chase Gallery

At the moment I am enjoying working on some oil paintings which I find very absorbing. Hopefully the movement and energy of the hare shines through. hare-on-easel-clare-wassermann

So whatever you are doing and celebrating this coming month, keep warm and make the most of spending some quality time with friends and family to restore you in preparation for the oncoming New Year.

Don’t forget that workshops in my studio in Central Wolverhampton can be found here – book some in advance and treat yourself to a creative break!

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A brief early 2018 overview…..Upcoming Workshops and Exhibitions

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Workshops for you to participate in at my studio in central Wolverhampton

Lots of lovely creative workshops planned for early next year. Please contact me to book – more details on the Workshops Page.

Sunday 4th February
11.15am – 1.15pm
Sketchbook / Art drop in club £5

Thursday 8th February
8pm – 9.15pm
Relaxing Soundbath with Liz Pritchard £8

Friday 16th February
10.30am – 4pm
Creative Sketchbook Day with Clare Wassermann
Tap into your creativity £35

Monday 26th February
10am – 3.30pm
Simple Stitch with Elise Stewart £25

Thursday 1st March
10.30am – 3.30pm
Art Jewellery with Linda Alton £35

Saturday 10th March
11am – 3pm
Hellebore Brooches – Needle Felting with Kanj Nicholas
£35

Thursday 8th March
10.30am – 3.30pm
Oil Painting with Wayne Attwood £25/£30

Thursday 15th March
7-9pm
Social Media for Creatives a workshop you shouldn’t miss by Tosca Lahiri

£10


Sunday 18th March
11.15-1.15pm
Sketchbook / Art drop in club £5

Thursday 22nd March
8pm – 9.15pm
Relaxing Soundbath with Liz Pritchard £8

Thursday 22nd March
10.30am – 4pm
Abstraction Day with Clare Wassermann
£35

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“Crow” Clare Wassermann Oil on paper

I do hope to see you at one or more of these lovely days.


Upcoming Exhibitions

I currently have some work up at The Lighthouse in an exhibition alongside other local artists so if you are off to the cinema please do have a look in the gallery downstairs.

In 2018 I have a solo exhibition at The Museum of Cannock Chase Gallery from April 28th – June 17th

It’s free to come and there is a lovely museum to take a look around plus a cafe and wonderful walks on the Heathlands on this part of Cannock Chase adjascent.


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“Forest Bathing” Clare Wassermann – acrylic on canvas

Personal Challenge Result

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Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a personal obligation to yourself to show up to a challenge every day. As a self employed artist who is selling internationally it’s easy to stay within the style your clients see as you. 
It is important though to continue to develop and exercise the creative muscle out of the normal zone. Hence today I have finished a personal challenge to paint a small landscape every day for thirty days. I set the challenge publicly so that I was accountable. Some days it was uncomfortable to show up to the easel. Some days I had to paint at 5am to get it done. But I did it. 

Today is the last day. I can truly say I have developed over the short time and experimented in ways I may not normally when working on commissions. 
….and funnily enough I have sold three of them completely unintentionally. I wouldn’t have guessed that would happen. 
Here’s to setting slightly uncomfortable goals!

“Stiper Stones, Shropshire- at dawn” 
11″x6.5″ acrylic paint, Quink ink, Noodler’s Ink, Indian Ink

Why You Need To Keep Coming Back My Website!

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Well January has melted into March somehow and this is my first post of the year – sorry it is so late. I thought I would put down some of my thoughts and plans for the year here anyway.

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Night shot after Day 1 of a whole weekend painting retreat in the studio

My most exciting news is the move into a bigger, lighter and airier studio than I was in before. It’s in the same building, but has a beautiful Northern light – the best for artists, with no direct sunlight but fabulous light for working in, with three large Victorian windows and white walls and ceiling. More windows into the gallery provide extra light and a beautiful wood floor makes for a gorgeous atmosphere. With this space I have plans!

I want to create a mini arts centre within an Arts Centre. A place for healthy arts practices and workshops as well as a place for me to paint and illustrate the books I am commissioned for this year.

The venue is Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton.

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Wayne Attwood RBSA teaching oils

If you look on the Workshops page of this site you will see more details  – keep checking because new and exciting things are being added all the time. We have a good on site cafe and are only 10 minutes walk from Wolverhampton railway station – right in the middle of the UK.

Here’s a quick summary of things happening soon:

March 2nd / April 6th / May 10th  Soundbath for Relaxation with Liz Pritchard 7-8.15

March 28th Find your Creative Mojo with Clare Wassermann – creative sketchbook addiction

Celebrate the Seasons – Creative Art and Stories with Ana Lines and Clare Wassermann
Spring – Sunday March 26th                           day worskshops
Summer – Sunday May 7th
Autumn – Sunday September 3rd
Winter – Sunday December 3rd

March 23rd Oil painting with Wayne Attwood – FULL

May 5th Mandala Yoga with Catherine Spruce 7-9pm

May 14th – Painting A Theory – Carl Jung – Art as Therapy with Hannah Boyd and Clare Wassermann 10.30 – 4

May 16th Sacred Art – Movement and painting with Clare Wassermann and Sarah Vernon

If there are any workshops you would like to see here please feel free to suggest them – let’s see if we can make them happen.

I am very pleased to be collaborating with story teller Ana Lines this year and also developing ideas with Anne Marie Lagram. – a live art event inspired by Medgel- the witch- resulting in a collaboration of challenging visual imagery, story telling and audience participation!

I am looking forward to sharing an exhibition with feltmaker and painter Kanj Nicholas and being part of an exhibition to commemorate 70 years since Partition in India and Pakistan in Wolverhampton in August organised by Komlaish Achall.

I have a few trips to Saudi Arabia this year (it’s complicated!) and I am looking forward to sketching and getting to know the country better – maybe some art to do with issues around that country will emerge.

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Peace Doves Saudi – hope

 

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Architecture and Palms

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Hopooe and the City

 

 

New things are emerging every week so keep checking back – especially on the Workshops page.

I am also on Instagram as Clare_Wassermann_Art
Facebook – Clare Wassermann Art and Stitch
Twitter – Clare Wassermann