Well the lockdown is lifting and we are not sure what the future holds. Many people in shops and pub gardens enjoying themselves but I am wary. Not anxious, but more practising being in the field of the unknown and working on being OK with that.
Fortunately I have a happy hermit mentality for the most part and making art, writing in notebooks and growing plants and veg keep me fairly isolated. What I am looking forward to is a few visitors to the studio and chats in person about art and meaningful stuff. Meaningless babble welcome sometimes. 3D people would be a bonus. In moderation. Introverts unite (well, the unite bit can be tricky!).
So I have enjoyed working on the PhD – very in the head with that but I also need to get out in the air, move my body, practice yoga and sitting in total silence as a contrast. I am working on the balance.
Pieces like this run daily at the moment alongside written thoughts.
I am working on some larger oil paintings and small pieces for a solo exhibition in July in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Some are inspired by new myths created for changed times for we are sorely in need of new narrative.
The exhibition is part of the ‘Word In Edgeways’ storytelling festival which covers July in the town. The paintings can be viewed at The Guildhall, Much Wenlock. More details when I know them.
I am still running Wolf Town Art Club online once a month on a Sunday lunchtime – if you fancy a bit of art fun do join us for the cheaper than chips price of £5.80.
Next session is Sunday April 18th 11am-1pm – no experience necessary – the theme is birds this time – read all about it and book here:
Something else I love to do – the practice is my total foundation. I am qualified and overjoyed to share. Please find sessions on the Boundary Way Project events pages and also Gatis Community Centre’s Eventbrite listings. These sessions are competitively priced or free.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery has re-opened
If you are visiting and would like to visit the studio please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07976 350062 to see if I am in and covered in paint!
Meditation is the perfect balance between alertness and relaxation. It doesn’t matter if you practice in a chair or sitting cross-legged on the floor; it’s all about quieting the mind and stilling the body. It is about finding a still point from which you can look at the world in a different way and discover a fresh new perspective on your life. I am teaching a session to introduce people to meditation on Sunday March 15th. It will involve gentle relaxation and movements all designed to still the mind and to give you the chance to take some of these skills away with you. If you are interested it will be at my studio at 10:30. We will be finished by lunchtime and the link is HERE Please book in advance if you’d like a place.
Creativity Boosting Workshop
A workshop to help you open up your creative soul and find a voice with paint in sketchbooks and on paper. This would be ideal if you have never painted before or you have plenty of art experience but suffer creative block and don’t know where to start. It’s also a great way to learn to get into the zone – almost like meditation – and out of the chatter in your head!
A relaxed and introspective day to fire up your creative mojo. This is on Wednesday May 13th from 10.30 – 4pm. Investment £37 – tickets and lots more information HERE
There are other workshops including oil painting here on this site.
Please do come back and look again as I do update regularly – there will be another Travel Journals Workshop posted soon.
Since the beginning of the year I have been working in almost monochrome – it seems to suit the time and simplifies for value and composition.
Some of this work will probably emerge in future paintings I have no doubt.
I have also gone back, after quite a break to working in stitch which I have been enjoying since the weather is so dire and I can happily mix using the sewing machine and hand stitch.
As if I’m not already a busy person, I have embarked on a PhD where my focus is the field of “art and meditation”. It’s a massive challenge, undertaken part time, with all my other work and commitments but I’m giving it my best shot and stepping into another world. So far I like all the academic help available at Wolverhampton University and I have two great supervisors in Professor Ross Prior and Dr. Louise Fenton. I look forward to working with them and others over the next few years! #PhD
Well here it is – the blog post that is there because I haven’t yet written all my Christmas cards – who else uses displacement activities?
I’m keeping it brief but just to say it has been a busy year. The first part was taken up with the Japan Exhibition in Ironbridge which then ran from August to November and was really successful.
In between I have had a lot of illustration projects, some commissions and some lovely workshop teaching as well as pursuing development of my own painting techniques and ideas.
Apart from this I have very much enjoyed completing a two year meditation teacher training course which has in itself furthered a meditation practice which I have had for over thirty years.
So, on to 2020… In relation to the above, I am teaching a morning workshop on January 8th called “A Practical Introduction to Effective Meditation” which will be a lovely taster session to some ongoing sessions throughout the year. Several techniques for meditation will be used plus some easy movement and deep relaxation. These will be held in my beautiful studio in Wolverhampton. Details and booking here: on Eventbrite
Looking ahead to 2020 I am pleased to announce that I am undertaking a PhD starting at the beginning of the year and work is already hotting up for that. I am really excited to be joining a research environment in an art context to develop ideas related to art and meditation.
Other workshops so far planned are my popular “Clare Wassermann’s Journaling and Travel Sketchbook Workshop” – back by request on February 1st – information here and it’s again in Wolverhampton at Newhampton Arts Centre.
Ongoing will be Wayne Attwood’s oil painting workshops every 8 weeks or so according to his availability. He’s a busy man as he is now President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and his painting career is burgeoning. Our next session is on January 23rd and you can find out ore here – beginners and experienced folk all welcome – he’s a great teacher.
It runs from now until February 16th and has three sections – one for work by very highly regarded alumni, which has been gathered from around the country and national collections, one is a collection of work loaned by the Courtauld Gallery in London (Courtauld was an avid collector of fine art and of course had a rayon factory here in Wolverhampton before taking it further as an internationally strong textile industry).
The third room is this year’s entry for the exhibition which is carefully selected and beautifully curated by the Art Gallery. I am very honoured to have two large pieces in this especially as it is my first time of entering. Here is novelist and Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera with my work when he was guest of honour to open the exhibition last Saturday. Do pop in. Our Art Gallery is one of the finest in the country and is internationally known for it’s collection of Pop Art.
So here’s to a very Happy Christmas to all of you and to more art and developments in 2020. Thank you to all who have supported and believed in me – you know who you are and it is very much appreciated.
Notoriously bad at keeping up this blog….must try harder (usual end of term report)!
Anyway here is a bit of news about my solo exhibition at Café 86’d in Ironbridge. It opens on August 7th and as I am away then we are holding a meet the artist evening on September 6th so do come if you can.
The café is my fave place to eat in the area…fresh and healthy food. All home cooked and mostly local ingredients. Well worth a visit any day. All the work is available to purchase and depicts peaceful memories of temples and still places in Japan on my travels. I hope the feeling of calm is transmitted through these works which are multilayered, stitched and drawn or painted.
Here are just a few examples:
If you miss this I am open as part of Wolverhampton Open Studios on the weekend of October 12/13 2019 at my studio at Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton UK
there are all sorts of opportunities to MAKE ART at the studio
Thursday 15th AugustWomen’s Wellness Circle: 7 – 8.30pm not art but a lovely way of staying healthy of mind £5 – let me know if you are coming – pay on the night.
Friday 16th August – Nature Inspired Sketchbooks (SOLD OUT)
Sunday 16th August– 2.30 – 5pm – Self Care Sunday – Yoga and Intention Setting – let me know if you want to book via Marie who runs this lovely session. £20
Sunday 8th September– Sketchbook and Art Club 11.30 – 1.30 please let me know if you are coming. £5 Bring your own work as usual.
Thursday 19th September 10.30 – 3.30 Oil Painting with Wayne Attwood – President RBSA – details and booking here £34 Beginners or experienced painters welcome.
Sunday 22nd September – Sketchbook and Art Club 11.30 – 1.30 please let me know if you are coming. £5. Bring your own work as usual.
Saturday 28th September– Travel Journal and Sketchbooks Workshop with Clare 10.30 – 4 £35 details and bookingshere
Thursday 10th October– 10.30 – 3.30 Oil Painting with Wayne Attwood – President RBSA – details and bookinghere. £34 Beginners or experienced painters welcome.
Saturday and Sunday 12th & 13th October – Clare Wassermann Open Studios – Studio Sale. Paintings, Textiles, etc. plus Jeweller Mojo and The Maker sharing my studio – lots of other artists exhibiting at the NAC this weekend – and all round Wolverhampton. Xmas gift ideas?!
Saturday November 9th– Travel Journal and Sketchbooks Workshop with Clare 10.30 – 4pm £35 details and bookings here.
Sunday November 10th– Sketchbook and Art Club 11.30 – 1.30 please let me know if you are coming. £5. Bring your own work as usual.
Looking forward to invitingHelen Hallowsto come and run a workshop early next year – look her up!
This is a small charity in Wolverhampton providing housing and a route into a better life and work for women in the city who have suffered trauma and homelessness.
Lotus Sanctuary is a community interest company with the pure and simple intention of housing and empowering vulnerable women suffering a range of complex issues; from rough sleepers to domestic violence victims, sexually exploited women and those seeking to get free from drug and alcohol addictions.
I have really enjoyed starting fortnightly art sessions for residents recently and am pleased to be continuing in this rewarding work. Some of their pieces will feature in an exhibition called ‘Recovery’ at The Lighthouse in September. More info another time, but this is how art can heal. You can donate to them here
Plans are afoot in Studio 103 for lots of new workshops both hosted and delivered by me. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see here other than what I have put in so far. I can do my best to accommodate requests and it’s good to know what art folks would like to participate in next year. I don’t know if you don’t tell me!!
There’s art jewellery making, felting, lino printing, poetry, journaling with me and more ….
I am currently starting a series of new large oil paintings influenced by Hundertwasser depicting Gaia as the Goddess of the Earth. Working as an artist last year at Boundary Way Allotment Project has been hugely influential. Thank you to the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund from the artists- we are hoping to receive more funding to continue this wonderful work in the community next year.
The piece I am currently working on is Gaia under the Wrekin spreading her rays through the allotment site. The Wrekin is a large hill surrounded by flat land and is very much a landmark all around the area. You can see it from our site and the sun setting behind it is a wonderful thing.
The site is wonderful and has a camera obscura, a community garden, sensory garden, a wildlife pond and an orchard. It also has a large polytunnel where we have held art workshops. There are several open days a year and the public are welcome. Here is the link. It’ a beautiful website.
I have the new 2018 Christmas cards available in my studio – please come and visit if you are local. Profits go to Compton Hospice (Compton Care) in Wolverhampton where my father was looked after wonderfully over Christmas just before his death last year.
The cards are £4 for six cards with envelopes A6 size.
There is another design to choose from too.
Saatchi Gallery Visit
Yesterday I happened to be in London so I took myself off to Sloane Square for a snoop around the gallery – I haven’t been for ages. I was waylaid for ages though in the beautiful Taschen Bookshop next door. A whole shop of the most beautifully printed art books – it was a must.
Anyway eventually I made it into the gallery and it was certainly enjoyable even if some of the art was a little difficult to look at.
A major exhibition there currently is BLACK MIRROR: ART AS SOCIAL SATIRE featuring the work of 26 contemporary artists, open until 13th January 2019.
Black Mirror explores art’s role in social satire, and how
political uncertainty has influenced art of recent years.
Using media such as collage, caricatures, photography and
installation, the exhibition shows how satire can provide both light relief as
well as unsettling commentary on the tumultuous, divisive climate of modern-day
Black Mirror features some of the world’s most exciting
contemporary artists making work about the world we live in, exposing anxieties
our modern obsessions create. Artists featured include Turner prize nominee
Richard Billingham, whose photography series of his parents Ray’s A Laugh
pioneered “squalid realism” as he confronted the art world with the reality of
poverty; Polish artist Aleksandra Mir who parodies newspapers by crudely
drawing them with childlike tools – bringing new meaning to “fake news”; and
Chilean sculptor Alejandra Prieto, who transforms rejected lumps of coal into a
beautiful, desirable object of opulence, confronting class disparity and the
commodification of luxury over function.
At a time of collective unease, Black Mirror emphasises the
importance of art and satire in dissecting power structures, questioning
societal norms, and visualising political unrest, providing light relief to
The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of
bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible by providing an
innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last five
years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted ten out of the top 15 most visited
exhibitions in London, according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international
museum attendance, and also has more followers on social media than any other
museum in the world. Entry to all the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibitions is free.
“Blackberry Hare” above celebrates the Autumn Equinox – greetings cards available at Open Studios
I’m not very good at keeping up with my blog so I think it’s about time I filled you in with what’s happening with exhibitions and workshops as the Autumn progresses and we look to the bright colours of art to cheer us through the Winter.
I had a wonderful start to the year preparing for a solo exhibition which was really successful in terms of footfall, scores of lovely comments in the visitors book and sales. It took a huge amount of dedication and hard work to fill the space with thirty-two paintings for an exhibition spanning nearly two months but it certainly paid off. Thank you so much to The Museum of Cannock Chase and all who attended to support me. Thank you too to everyone who cheered me on along the way!
So now to the future: Wolverhampton Open Studios are nearly upon us
This weekend sees many artists fling open the doors of their workspaces and homes to display their work and for you to see behind the scenes. This has been organised by Wolverhampton Society of Artists and there is a beautiful website here for information www.wolverhamptonopenstudios.co.uk
I will be open along with several artists exhibiting at Newhampton Arts Centre from 10am-3pm both days that weekend. Come and see my lovely Victorian room and see what’s in the studio sale. I also have my lovely friend and jeweller Sarah-Jane Whittaker with me with some of her beautiful work. We will probably be giggling and possibly eating cake.
“Breathe” 50 x 40 inches Clare Wassermann copyright 2018
Wolverhampton is currently having a surge ahead with art. There have been some fabulous exhibitions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery recently. Smaller venues are also showing art. The Lighthouse really need our support to stay open and there is an exhibition called “Transformation” on at the moment, so please think about attending – much of the proceeds of sales are going to the venue to help it to stay open. The exhibition runs until October 30th. I have three pieces in this exhibition.
At Boundary Way Allotments there will be a lovely exhibition in the polytunnel on October 13th as part of the Open Studios and I have some textile work here along with some books made on a workshop I ran as part of the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund project that I have been part of. Do go and have a look – it is quite an extraordinary site with lots of things going on for the public throughout the year. More details in the Open Studios website and on the wonderful Boundary Way website.
“Autumn Hare” Clare Wassermann – oil on canvas Copyright 2018
Plenty of lovely workshops happening in my studio into the new year both hosted by myself and other visiting artists – it’s always good to make art together. Here are the dates so far – but do keep checking back as I update often.
“Garden” handmade book Clare Wassermann Copyright 2018
Otherwise I am still out and about sketching in nature when I can, preparing for more exhibitions and hanging offers (more exciting news on that another time), painting and learning and enjoying a Yoga and Meditation two year teacher training course. I’m always looking to develop and learn – that is for me the joy of life.
You can follow some of my travels this year in my sketchbook blog here.
I hope you feel the same about whatever you are doing. Do come and have a cup of tea with me some time or better still see us over at Open Studios.
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.
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.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.
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.
For other workshop opportunities with me in my lovely Victorian studio in Wolverhampton:
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.
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.
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
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 byKomlaish 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.
Peace Doves Saudi – hope
Architecture and Palms
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
If you don’t know me already this is a little about me and the year that has nearly finished. It’s been a whirlwind, very busy but very happy-making!!
Clare Wassermann lives and works in Wolverhampton. Originally gaining an honours degree in Music with Education, then teaching and playing saxophone and clarinet in London and Nottingham, she re-qualified as a Registered Homeopath and returned to Wolverhampton in 2001. For fourteen years she happily combined teaching and homeopathy but then her artwork suddenly began to take off.
“I have always enjoyed painting, drawing and stitching since childhood, encouraged by my father who was a long-standing member of Wolverhampton Society of Artists, but suddenly my work really began to sell in 2014”
She had started to paint larger paintings which were very vibrant and uplifting and buyers were inspired by their optimistic and health giving properties. “I love the idea of layer upon layer in paint, memories and experience. Some paintings have ten or even twenty layers built up and most are in response to my meditation and yoga practice. All are a pure celebration of my external and internal landscape. Juxtaposition of edges and colour combinations excite me.
I use recurring symbols, meaningful to me and sometimes words in my layers, building up and letting go of images as I work.
Sometimes I work in fabric and stitch for even more texture.
I use my intuition, as far as possible, to take me on the journey towards a final balance point. This art practice becomes a metaphor for life”.
In January 2016, after a successful exhibition, she took the plunge and rented a studio at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton and since then things have moved apace.
An American Author, Kathy Walsh, admired her work on Instagram and asked her if she would illustrate her next children’s book. “I looked at her previous books on Amazon and saw that she was writing with an aim to promote peace and mindfulness for children”, Clare commented, “so I decided to accept this opportunity and embrace a new genre for me”.
Another unexpected development has been teaching art workshops in the studio space. I work with small groups to open up creative ideas and build confidence in expression in paint and mixed media. Artists who are experiencing block and adults who feel that they would like to paint creatively but lack confidence have all enjoyed these unusual and enjoyable days.