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Shetland

Somebody recently said  "Is your website up to date?"  I shamefacedly answered her....'Well not really!!'   I looked at my blog and the last entry was 2013...shame on me!! I can't believe where the time goes but we are always busy with exhibitions, preparing for exhibitions and generally keeping up with our work.
We have just returned from a residency in Shetland.  This proved to be so useful and a real chance to think, get a little more clear about what I am doing and where I am going.  Hopefully I will find time to write in the blog but Facebook takes time and I suspect it is more useful than websites now. I am not sure how many people read the blog anyway.
I have created some new works whilst in Shetland and really enjoyed responding to such a wild place. These will be uploaded once they are completed.  We are now busy getting ready for 'The Fabulous Czainski's House of Jars' at Staithes Festival in September....this will be the first show that we will also curate.

All my good intentions of keeping up with my blog have gone out of the window!!  We are in the throes of selling our house and cannot concentrate on anything.  Most of my time seems to be spent packing the extraordinary number of books that we have collected and treasure, I can't get rid of any!  I am also trying to keep on top of the garden so that the new owners can take it over in peak condition.  BUT I still have to get on with my work as I have a show at the moment in Dandelion and Burdock, Sowerby Bridge and am trying to get the invites out to the Private View.  I am also showing at Chicchis in the East End of London in June, in Amsterdam in July, in Notting Hill in September and also in Staithes at the festival in September.  No shortage of work but plenty shortage of energy!!  Inspiration is a bit short at the moment, there doesn't seem to be much space left in my head after thinking about removals, packing, gardening, new home and garden, and how to go about it all!! Onwards and upwards.........

Oley

Having a great time in Pennsylvania .  Such lovely people, looking after us so well.  So enjoying our time in the ceramics workshop. Lovely to be back on track and creating. Lots to do and see whilst we are here on our artists residency.  Busy tomorrow helping to put up the show ready for the opening on Friday.  Hoping to get to see some art whilst we are here.  Been invited to a local Uke Sunday, dinner and ukulele jamming at an artist's house....sounds fun!  We are so lucky.


iPad

I am writing this on my new iPad, they are meant to be easy.....perhaps I just don't have the right kind of brain! It is taking me some time to understand how it all works. I am getting there though.  Relieved to have completed my 3 short videos, they are just very simple as I tend to work with found moments and found sound.  

Videos

The last few days have been spent video editing...grrrr,  it can become extremely frustrating.  Anyway I have completed 3 videos, all ready to go.  They are going to be in an exhibition in Philadelphia, USA.  I am really looking forward to this. I haven't done much in the line of painting and drawing recently because the studio is in flux!!  We are trying to clear out the studio at home, transfer all our materials etc to Sowerby Bridge and turn the old studio into more of a room space.  We have knocked  a doorway through from the house..it is wonderful.

I can't believe how long it is since I wrote in this blog.  2012 was a very big year for me..hugely busy with exhibitions falling on top of each other.  I am glad to say that it is all behind me now and I had a wonderful year.  The Shetland residency being one of the major highlights for me.  New Orleans followed fast on the tail of Shetland.  That was a wonderful experience, we were treated like royalty.
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Home and wet!!!

Home now, settling back in although really missing Shetland!!  The weather doesn't help.  Working in the studio on some samples and getting down to work for an exhibition in October, 'Dare To Wear', this will be an unmissable show at St Pancras Crypt Gallery, curated by the brilliant Sue Kreitzman.  I am very excited about the show and enjoying preparing for it.  Just wait to see what I have done to the Barbies, and Ken!  There will be a great variety of weird and wonderful work if 'Flashier and Trashier' our last big show with Sue Kreitzman is anything to go by.  Keep watching this space for updates.  The opening night is very likely to be spectacular.

Shetland

The most beautiful place in the world, magical, atmospheric, full of history, friendly...so much to say about it. We have been on an Artist's Residency here at The Booth and enjoyed it more than we could have imagined.  We have both been very productive, walked, read, met artists and others and worked very hard.  It has been great to have our studio open to guests whilst we have been here.  It has meant that we have met some lovely people. The weather at first was cold, blizzards, wind, rain but wonderful with all four seasons happening within 1 hour or even 5 minutes!!  Then Spring sprung!! The flowers are all coming out on mass.  It will become even more beautiful and sadly we have to go home.

The coastline is amazing and so various which gently sloping coast in some areas and majestic cliffs in others.  It is very dangerous with unpredictable gusty winds which could blow you off a cliff in a jiffy!!


Painting and drawing 'en plein air' has been a real treat and I have enjoyed developing my painting skills.  I didn't expect to find myself making more icons but the polystyrene I found on the shore was perfect as a base as was some pieces of driftwood.

Mother of God.
     Christ PantocratorMother of God, acrylic on drift polystyrene.




























Christ Pantocrator, acrylic on drift wood

Collaborative painting

Collaborative painting by Paul Czainski and Jeff Roland....12th April, a very successful event.  Artists didcussions on Sat April 14th..Circus Terminal..Tabernacle , Notting Hill, 2nd floor...."art School or Self Taught..The impact of labelts on 21st century artists...speakers, Andrew Stahl, (Slade) Melissa Westbrook, (Neo-Outsiders) and Jeff Roland (artist), chaired by Sam Clift(artist and curator.  4pm to 6pm .

Circus Terminal Notting Hill

I really must get my act together and try to stay on top of this blog.  We have been too busy making art to have time to publicise ourselves.  Things must change.! Last night we performed 'Love Bag' at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London as part of the opening events of the Circus Terminal exhibition and World Tour!!!  It was a great night and we were delighted to get big applause and lots of positive comments.  Paul has dreadful back pains at the moment so he did tremendously well getting through it. We both have work in the exhibition which is beginning the World Tour in June in Barcelona, then going on to France, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, America, New Zealand and others.  It is all very exciting and we are hoping to go along to some of the venues with our various performances.


I have just finished an exhibition with Cendrine Rovini, a French artist.  This took place at Duckett and Jeffreys and was a collaborative exhibition.  We sent work across the channel and worked on each others pieces.  It was a wonderful experience and opportunity and I loved working with the delightful Cendrine.


Paul and I have a 2 person show, on at the moment in The Wendy Levy Gallery in Didsbury, Manchester, 'Double Vision' this will be on throughout April and May. We are delighted to be exhibiting here and hope that lots of people will go along to see our new works.  It is a really interesting show (although I say it myself).

We are now coming into a quieter time when we can prepare for future shows and commissions and begin to consolidate our work a little.  We are both looking forward to exploring new ideas and avenues and having some time to update our websites!!

Busy as usual

Where does the time go.  Installing an exhibition on Sunday so very busy doing last bits and bobs!

Back Home BRRRR

Been back home for 3 weeks now.  Sort of getting used to the cold...although I would love to be back in the wonderful heat and amongst the gracious Thai people.

Been a glut of babies recently!! Two of Paul's nieces have produced daughters and one of my sons has had baby Thomas, we are waiting for the next baby, my son Joel's  daughter, to arrive.  Needless to say we have been very busy.

We have established our routine in the studio and are enjoying 'going out to work' on a daily basis.  It has made such a difference to us both, giving us space and time to get down to work.  We both have a busy schedule for the next year...producing work for exhibitions and Paul has a number of commissions as well.

I had a delightful evening at The Eccentric Club, last week.  This is the second time I have been invited to attend their Conviviality Meetings and it was a treat to be around such interesting people.




Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Here we are in Chiang Mai..been exhibiting in 'What To Dip' an international exhibition at CMU Art Centre/ Museum..been very successful, met lots of interesting people...the exhibition looks great and has received a lot of positive attention. Paul and I did a live performance at the opening, our first ever!! Was a great experience and was well received.  So glad we made the decision to come.  It has been a wonderful stay, we have been spending a lot of time painting, have enjoyed the company of the other artists and learnt a lot about Thailand. We will miss the warmth, balmy evenings, smiling faces of the Thai people, SPICY soups and general positivity here.  We will miss the gentle monks, the peaceful Temples, beautiful gardens and delicious smells of the flowers.

holiday

Just returned from 2 weeks in Staithes...lovely...slept for the first week then a bit of drawing and painting.  Great group of friends there and lots of fun.  Countdown to Thailand..very busy in the studio and in my head!!! So much for holidays! Got lots of work to do now for various exhibitions but feeling very positive.  Can't wait to get stuck in to my new set of icons. The house here in Luddenden is up for sale.  We have decided to concentrate on our art and go for somewhere with less garden.  We both need to have time to spend in the studio now.  So if you know of anyone who wants to buy a beautiful house with show garden then let us know. We are heading for a simpler life.

Home again after a week away, HOLIDAY!!!  Derbyshire, Cumbria and Staithes...just enjoying our wonderful British countryside and friends.  I even managed a swim (in the sea)!!! BRRRRR.  It was delicious but it did take me a little while to get in.  The North East coast is always a bit chilly. Feeling a bit deprived though as I haven't managed to paint or draw for a while..it takes it's toll!!

Today I had a look around Hebden Bridge Open Studios, we aren't in it this year as we have just moved our studio to Sowerby Bridge. It was a pleasure to have a look around for once..some good work out there. Plenty to see and cake and drinks etc.

Next week will be FULL ON gardening as we have Open Garden next Sunday, July 10th, and it is a MESS!! Oh dear.

Come along if you can..see the poster below for details.Open Garden 2011

Summer time

Summer time is clearly on the way.  Been in Staithes researching materials for my work for Thailand.  Great opportunity arose..was invited to join a 'Painting Walk' with Sean and Patricia Baxter of 'Real Staithes'. Had a wonderful time collecting various pigments from the cliffs, learning about the shoreline, fossils  and history of the iron works and finally making our own pastels and paints.   Brilliant!! All this was interrupted by the most wonderful lobster and crab lunch at Sean and Patricia's hut at Port Mulgrave...WHAT A TREAT!!!

For more information visit their website http://realstaithes.com
Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art

SUNSHINE!!!!

Wonderful weather. Busy as usual.  Been trying to do a bit of gardening now that the other two shows are up and running. Battling with Celendine..it's a thug!!!

Just got ourselves a wonderful new studio. In the process of moving from 59 Steps in Hebden Bridge to Asquith Bottom Mill in Sowerby Bridge.  Couldn't believe our luck when we saw the studio..brilliant space.  Simon, my son, is building us a storage space/office in our new studio. About to start making for the exhibition in Thailand.  All very exciting but must get on with the work..going to work bigger so the new space has come just in time.

I can't believe it!!  So long since I updated my blog.  Family illness has kept us pre-occupied but at long last things have settled down and we are all on the up again.. I have been soooo busy making work for a number of exhibitions.  Two are about to 'go on the road' as they say..St Pancras is previewed on April 7th at St Pancras Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, 4 St Pancras Way, London, NW1OPE, enquiries pbherbert@gmail.com

Then the Staithes Spring show in aid of RNLI is previewed on Friday 8th April, at Staithes Gallery...a mad dash from London to Staithes on Friday is necessary!! Both of these shows look very exciting. 

We finished installing 'Angels, Dreams, Ghosts and Fragments on Sunday and shrouded the works with cloths ready for the great unveiling on Thursday.

Now we are having a well deserved break enjoying a bit of mudlarking on the Thames...I collected 3 large bags of bones today and various other treasures which are destined for new works.


Also visited the Saatchi Gallery, really enjoyed the latest stuff there, British Art Now, found ourselves transfixed by the wonderful paintings by Jonathon Wateridge.


Finished the day with a visit to one of  our favourite eating places, Mona Lisa Cafe near World's End.  Tomorrow we are off to more exhibitions...lots of food needed to refuel us.

Home

Well, Flashier and Trashier is over now.  We had an amazing final weekend with literally HUNDREDS of people passing through.  It was a great show and a real privilege to be part of.  I met so many great people from the public as well as the other exhibiting artists.   All those questions about 'what now?'  There's lots now with exhibitions coming up in April and May 2011 and March 2012 as well as another in 2012.  I am getting work ready to go into the Water Street Gallery Christmas exhibition and need to get on with new work for next year.  Busy, busy.  Just about to launch our new venture, our rental cottage in Staithes!!  All very exciting and a great place to stay, it is called Bellebeck and is available to rent immediately.  I will add a section to my website to give more information about it as soon as we have completed on the purchase.

Crypt Sitting

In between Crypt sitting I have been having a feast in London this week.  Monday visited The London Museum, useful for bone and artefact identification. Found the debtor's cell very moving with its carvings and names..... The cubards empty
                To our sorrow
                 but hope it will be full tomorrow

Just a little ditty carved into the wood! Very relevant to many in today's climate! at least we won't all be locked up in a cell until we pay our debts!

Then had a good long look at the Poetry and Dream section at Tate Modern, watched a film and was thoroughly entranced by the work of Joseph Beuys as usual.  It doesn't matter how many times I gaze at The stag in Lightning, I still find it entrancing. Joseph Beuys works magic for me yet I can't explain it. I also love Marina Abakanovicz probably for similar reasons.
It is always good to be able to walk back to the flat from the Tate.  Tuesday in the crypt, a good day and then Wednesday was my 'day of strangeness'.  I spent some time in the Hunterian Museum, looking at jars and jars of specimens!!  Sometimes made my skin crawl but interesting.  I keep intending to settle down to some drawing in a space like this but always coward out, then into John Soanes  Museum, a wonderful treat.  This time all the floors were open so I got to see everything, including the 'Monks Cell'.  John Soane was a fascinating man with a fascinating house, worth seeing.  Then....The Last Tuesday Society, a modern take on a Cabinet of Curiosities in Bethnal Green.  Very strange, interesting and creepy, some of the erotic stuff became a bit tedious!So, what a day, head full of allsorts.

Today I have been to Lisson Gallery to see the Marina Abramovitch exhibition. Great! Eye opening for me.  It became very clear what motivated her  extreme performance work. She had a very strange family life...

Saw 'Vanitas' on Portland Place and finally came home via the Tate Boat....an adventure all round.

Saturated now!!!!

London

Doing some serious gallery stuff this week.  Rose came to stay and we took baby James to the Saatchi Gallery, he was very impressed by some of the work and less interested in others!  11 weeks is a good age to begin art appreciation! We also saw the Turner prize exhibition, my money is on Dexter Dalwood! Brilliant work, found the others interesting for other reasons but loved Dexter.  The sound installation was also rather lovely and warranted a good long stay. sadly we didn't have the time.

Had a treat...went to the opera...my first ever opera!  Bit late but never mind.  My friend who took me was rather worried that it wasn't a good choice for an opera virgin... it was... I LOVED it.  It was Janacek's, The Makropulos Case, wonderful stuff.  I was a bit nonplussed at first but then it really began to warm up and I got into the story.  Fascinating stuff and wonderful powerful voices.  A real treat.

Been to The Museum of London today, researching things that I have found by the Thames, that was a useful excursion.  In the Tate at the moment, saw Gaugin last week and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Lots of interesting pieces that I haven't seen before, ceramics, carvings and woodcuts, well worth a visit.  It's a bit like the Van Gogh in that it is extremely enlightening to see so much variety of work in one place, with historical information.


Flashier and trashier

Spending my time in St Pancras Crypt, London at the moment invigilating 'Flashier and Trashier' with Sue Kreitzman and various other great people.  Having a wonderful time with many dead Victorians, lovely people and incredible art works. This exhibition is a MUST SEE exhibition, we hope it will be life changing for some!

The Crypt experience is certainly addictive, in no way spooky just wonderfully friendly. See the 'Flashier and Trashier' Facebook page for more info and lots of photos.

nearly there

Finally completed the last piece of work for 'Flashier and Trashier' just got to get it framed then it will be winging its way to London at the end of the week with 12 other pieces.  The show, curated by Sue Kreitzman promises to be an amazing spectacle, if 'WOW' was anything to go by.  Paul and I saw the 'WOW' exhibition a couple of years ago and were 'blown away' by it.  The Crypt is a fascinating space and  particularly good for my work.  Most of my pieces will be icons and so they should sit comfortably in a crypt.  I love the work of the other artists in the show, mad, wonderful and beautiful stuff.  It is a privilege to show with them.


Last week we had a brilliant evening having a guided tour of the David Nash exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  This was courtesy of Welcome to Yorkshire again, a Patron's event.  We both felt really privileged as it was such a treat, delicious canapes and drinks to start and Nash's work is sublime, wonderful stuff.  We could have brought lots home.  The backdrop of the sky and landscape at the park was perfect for his huge charred pieces.  We must go again because there is so much to take in.  Some of his early unseen work is fascinating and the way that he makes family histories of his work is really interesting, these show the links between  sculptures made at different times. Very enlightening.

september

I love September, everything smells different and even the sounds are different.  The air is soft and there is a lovely sense of peace.  Summer has been SO busy, lots of precious family time, new baby grandson, James, and time by the sea.  I even managed to get a swim and do some painting and drawing.
Now its back to work, back to the studio, full steam ahead for 'Flashier and Trashier' in October and on with new work.   Wendy Levy has offered us a 2 person show in 2012 in Didsbury, Manchester, which is very exciting, and with the show next year in October in London, it looks like I am going to be busy for some time.  Brilliant. 


On a more sombre note... my youngest son Simon had a nasty accident this Summer, he sustained serious injuries to his foot but it could have been much worse... this was as a result of 'tombstoning'!  How many times have I told him!!!!!  He will be on crutches for at least a year!!  Take heed!  That has been very stressful for us all and Simon has a lot of adjusting to do, poor lad.

sunshine

Seems like the rain has stopped!  Enjoying the sun on my face. Been busy, nothing new!  Lots of family stuff, grandchildren's birthdays, making cakes and mini butties for them and watching clowns.  All lovely but very tiring in the end, especially as two of our treasures came to stay, which was delightful.  Children have so much energy!!!

Birthday Cake
Now working in the studio again on some new pieces for the show in October at The Crypt Gallery  http://www.cryptgallery.org.uk/ 

The information is available on The Crypt website now.

Really looking forward to this especially the opening night when Sue is planning to have performance etc.

Managed to get rid of the felt at last and have taken the marquee down.  It is waiting in our Hebden studio to be turned into something amazing. I hope!!

Watched some great films, Jean Vigo's collection, seminal stuff, worth seeing. Sadly he died very young.



More champagne

Just returned from a great day in Leeds which ended with afternoon tea and a bottle of pink champagne  (champagne, compliments of Welcome to Yorkshire,) in Harvey Nicks.  Saw 'The Railway Children' in London on Wednesday night (also compliments of Welcome to Yorkshire) which was great fun and quite spectacular especially when the real steam train appeared.  Brilliant!  Even though I know the story I was still moved to tears along with loads of others!

We feel very spoiled at the moment as we were treated to pre show champagne and nibbles on the stand and  at the interval, champagne and ice cream in the VIP lounge.  I like being a Yorkshire Patron!  Not only is it lovely enjoying the champagne etc but we are meeting some interesting people and making very good contacts.  I must say that I thoroughly approve of the push by the 'Welcome to Yorkshire' team to up the profile of Yorkshire.

More news on the Staithes front!  We are now in the Staithes guide apparently.Paul and Chris Czainski, Shared Icons  The seagull featured below, which is on the outside of our house, is now an official tourist attraction in Staithes!!  Take another look now because Paul has almost finished another painting on the outside of the cottage, a coble with fisherman.

We love it when people mistake it for either a real or stuffed bird!

James Thomas

A memorable day.  Rose gave birth to James Thomas and it all went swimmingly well, thank goodness.  We both feel exhausted too. I can't believe how a daughter giving birth can be so tiring for parents and step parents!!  He is beautiful.

Sadly the felt is still mouldering under the marquee!  Now I am sure it is infested by all the mini frogs that have appeared.  We have to barricade the studio because they insist on joining us and end up dried up by the morning!

MUST get on with it....although I am SO busy.

Working hard on 'That's The way to Do It'  more to be revealed later.

The roses are fading now, they have been unbelievably stunning this year and such a joy.  The garden is benefitting from the warmth and the rain and it is full of delicious scents, intoxicating. 



Open Garden 2010

Open Studios

Just emerging from a horrible tummy bug in time to open the 59 Steps studio at the weekend. That's Friday, Sat and Sun although I am visiting other studios on Friday morning. I am premiering my film in Hebden!

 Really looking forward to catching up with a few people and settling down to a bit of work in the studio.

Got a VERY big piece of felt on the go!!  Hope it will work as I had to leave it half way through owing to poorly tummy!  It's clogging up the front of the house at the moment underneath a marquee.

Paul is opening the studio at Oatsroyd so visit him too.

Open Gardens

PHEW!!!

Busy,busy,busy, weekend was a great success with lots of visitors to the garden.  Halifax Chamber Choir did us proud.  It was wonderful to hear the singing in the garden.  Everybody really enjoyed it.  The garden looked lovely but we are in a state of exhaustion after a week of intensive gardening from morn til night!  Must have done us good in the long run although we both feel like we have jet lag!! Now we must sleep.


Can't sleep for too long though because I have to prepare for a show at the beginning of October and I will need time to make work!


Got the show on the road

Got the show on the road at last.  Had a very successful preview evening, lots of fun and sales!! 
Chris Czainski, Preview, Staithes Gallery
Great to see friends and feel so supported.  The weather has been a bit cool here but still managed to get a few walks in.  Got very wet today but sat in a shed in Port Mulgrave and painted a little watercolour.  Shed shelter, courtesy of Sean and Patricia, who generously gave me the key to their shed so I could paint in the dry.

Open Garden on 12th and 13th July, going to be very busy next week in the garden!! Lots of work to be done as we have neglected it somewhat!  Been very busy!!  But will have The Halifax Chamber Choir singing in the garden on Sunday! Gorgeous.  Both of us have work in The Green Art Show at Arts Mill in Hebden Bridge.


More details on news page.


Staithes gallery
Plenty of visitors to the gallery with people from far and wide as well as locals!

Lost and found

Lost my blog but hopefully have got it back.  Brilliant weather today. OUT into the garden.......

Exhibition

Getting on with work for the show in May.  Just finished two more pieces and working on a third.  Still lots more to do but getting there.  Enjoying the intensity of our studio work.  Spring! Spring! Spring! At last there are seedlings.  GOT to get into the greenhouse to sow seeds. 

Easter was great, lots of family time.  Had a French Film afternoon on Paul's birthday. ' Les Diaboliques' and 'Ch'Ti', with spicy popcorn (highly recommended recipe from the lovely Nigella Lawson!!), hot dogs and lollies. 

Visited one of our favourite museums  recently, Pannett Park Museum in Whitby with the famous 'Hand of Glory'.  Always a delight.

Spring

Well! Spring is here at last but only temporarily! Apparently it is going to be wintery again next week.  At least I have done a bit of work in the fern garden and I will do some more today.  The Hellebores needed to be released from the grips of the dead leaves. Soon they will be glorious! The snowdrops are finishing now, they have been wonderful, drifts of them in the fern garden and the wood. I love to look closely at their beautiful little faces.  They are amazing. The tiny narcissus are out in the wood and they are bulking up. The pheasants often eat their heads but so far so good, not too much damage.  I was lucky to get out to see the very early Iris at the edge of the wood pushing their way through the grass.  The look so special, secretly nestling in the grass. It is a joy to find them before the pheasants! So much to look forward to, swathes of colour and scent, fresh fruit and veg and that heady, sexy, scent of roses filling the garden. Hopefully they will be out for the Open Garden weekend, June 12th and 13th.

Everything is late and the soil is still too cold for anything new. We have to be patient. It is strange how we know instinctively when to begin in earnest in the garden. 

Very busy working on Elvis, planning Michael Jackson, drawing jean's wet suit and thinking about drypoints. I have still got to finish my mermaids and cockatiel!  They are waiting for attention. All will be revealed later.


Visited Margaret Sheilds opening at Artco Gallery in Leeds.  Her work is great, so inspiring, lovely painterly paintings, full of vitality and mood.  Worth a visit. Look at her website. http://www.margaretshieldsartist.co.uk/

Vincent Van Gogh

Last week we were in London.  Paul was working on an elephant for 'The Elephant Parade', 200 elephants situated around London and to be sold in Sothebeys to raise money for the endangered Asian elephant. I spent my time in galleries. What a luxury!  A whole day in The National Gallery where I saw a Nancy and Ed Kienholz installation for the first time. Brilliant!  How have I missed knowing about these two!!


National Gallery




















Saw the Van Gogh at the Royal Academy.  A must see! A wonderful exhibition but heaving with people!!! All listening to audio guides whilst standing in front of the pictures!!!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!  I think they should ban those things!  Anyway I came away exhausted (after queueing for over an hour) from dodging people and trying to get some close up views of the exquisite drawings etc.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  I felt like I understood Van Gogh so much better after seeing this.  It really gives an insight into the man rather than the legend.


Also spent a good amount of time in Tate modern where I saw the Arshile Gorky exhibition, interesting but it probably suffered from anti climax after Van Gogh the previous day.


Arrived home in a state of exhaustion and over stimulation to look after precious little Bella for the weekend.  What a brilliant way to come down to earth.  Now busy in the studio trying to get some work together for our exhibition in May. 

Marilyn finished

Finished Marilyn and had her framed.  See her on my Framed galleries page.  Been doing a lot of resin work, experimenting with fillers and finishes.  Still not found the finish I want for a particular piece.
Have started to plan a new installation ....'A Sacred Place', this may take some time but I cant wait to get going on it.

The Ice Queen is back from Cupola in Sheffield.  I am glad to have her back.  Hope to make her alter ego soon!!

Enjoying our Salsa classes very much great for fun and fitness. Back to French classes next week.  There's so much to learn, life is certainly far too short to fit it all in.

Tried to finish 'Wolf Solent' gave up on it again. Really enjoy some aspects of it, the depth and the recognition of so many levels in a person but can't tolerate the attitude to the women in it!! 

Some more bun tin brooches

Been working on some more jewellery, bun tin brooches and also a gilded panel as part of my 'icons' series.


Chris Czainski, jewellery
Just about finished 'Marilyn' now need to get her framed and still working on another piece using found objects.  Managing to keep up the pace and luckily still have lots of ideas to work on. 
Needed to get back into 'The Artist's Way' the other day as I was beginning to flounder. So glad to have found this technique, certainly worthwhile for any artist.  A good way of challenging ones own insecurities, which most of us seem to have. 

Also doing a bit of work for Nicky Haslam at the moment, always enjoyable.

Happy New Year

It is SO cold.  We have just returned from Staithes after our New year celebrations with friends.  It SNOWED and we were snowed in. The shops ran out of bread, milk and fuel but it was great fun.  It is amazing to watch the snow blowing in from the sea. The harbour looked  Norwegian.

Staithes in the snow


We managed to leave before the roads were closed and arrived home to find that we were on the verge of more snow storms.  Now we are snowbound at home. It is wonderful, very beautiful and we are lucky that we don't HAVE to go out.

I have recently been sent my copy of 'Y' Magazine, Welcome to Yorkshire, The Yorkshire Tourist Board's 2010 magazine. They sent it to me because I am featured in it.  The editor saw my work and asked if they could include me in an article about Yorkshire Artists.  I was very pleased!

Staithes Lobster Pots


Staithes in snow

The Museum of Everything

As usual had a very busy time recently.  Had a trip to London for the opening of Paul's show at WHpatterson.  He is in the group Christmas show.  It was a great evening especially as he had already sold 4 paintings.  Couldn't get in to our favourite Y Ming on Greek street in Soho so at their recommendation went to Mr Kong instead, was very good.

The highlight of the visit was our trip to Primrose Hill to see The Museum of Everything,    http://www.museumofeverything.com .  I was in  heaven, it is the only place like this in the country.  The English have never really got to grips with 'Outsider Art' like the French and Americans but at last there is some hope of a bit more exposure. The property itself and the works in it are on loan so it may only be open until Christmas, they say they may be able to stay open until the end of January, it is all depending on the level of interest.

I found it mind blowing and hugely stimulating, it has far more works in it than I expected and the overall experience is delightful.  Donations for cups of tea in china cups and biscuits too!!  I found myself sitting in  a barn-like room on a bench with spyglasses (so that the very high pieces can be viewed at close range) surrounded by amazing works of art.  It kind of replicated my first visit to the Musee D'Art Naive in Paris when I first saw Outsider Art in a gallery. I find the integrity of it heart wrenching and so encouraging. It is often full of symbolism and secrets!  It is curated by James Brett.

Chalk Farm tube, check opening times on their website.

02079575325

This is a MUST!!

intrepid!

Climbed a very high wall today to escape the floods!!  Tried to go to our French class this morning but a Tsunami was heading down the ginnel!  It was too late to retrace our steps, (so at my suggestion!!!) we scaled a 7 foot wall, crossed a flooded field and then over a 6 foot wall.  We were a bit disheveled by the time we arrived but there were chocolate biscuits to sustain us.

Having a little break from jewellery making,  busy with some more drypoints.

Delivered jewellery to The Design Shop at Dean Clough, Halifax ready for Christmas.  Paul calls it 'Jewellery with attitude and extra bling". 

Came back from Harrogate with lots of goodies ready to add to my wearable art collection.
Here are some examples....

Cluster Brooch


Chris Czainski wearable art.




















Beetle Brooch

Chris Czainski wearable art

Still busy

Been madly busy in studio trying to get work ready for Christmas Shows.  Delivered "Ice Queen' to Cupola Gallery, Sheffield,will miss her, delivered jewellery, lino cut and icon to Dean Clough, Halifax, today and going to deliver 3 pieces to Arts Mill, Hebden Bridge on Saturday.  All in all a very satisfying time.

Off to the Knit and Stitch show in Harrogate tomorrow which is always a treat.  A treasure trove of stuff, ideas and inspiration, can't wait. It sounds quite boring but it isn't at all, there's always lots to see, interesting new textile works and lots of stands to visit. 

Bonfire Night

Was in London on the actual bonfire night but had a bonfire here on Saturday for friends and family.  Gave everybody a lovely treat by making them spend the evening in my shed!!  Shivering not allowed! Did make them all pie and peas and treacle toffee (I have got to say the treacle toffee was amazing!!) Gwen brought Parkin, Yummee and Rose and James treated us to their own special recipe of Mulled Cider.  Needed whilst we shivered in the shed.  We felt a bit like the Secret Seven in our den.  Sad really that I still make dens at my age!

More adventures today as Paul and I attended our first French Conversation class in Midgley.  Have forgotten everything I thought I knew but ended up laughing so much it hurt!  This is going to be fun.  Au Revoir, a bientot.

Nicky Haslam's book launch

Just returned from London feeling refreshed in every part!  Went down for the launch of Nicky Haslam's memoirs, 'Redeeming Features'.  What a lovely event!  It was held in a beautiful rooftop restaurant off Regent Street with fantastic views over London. We were shepherded up to the 5th floor, then along a glamorous mirror/glass lined corridor, (very Alice in Wonderland) and into a  striking  bar/restaurant decorated with pink, orange and red roses.  Champagne flowed and the cocktails were raspberry pink and orange, of course, to fit in with the colour scheme.   Nicky looked beguiling in his white trousers and shoes with a trademark flounce at his neck.  He was as adorable as ever.  Lots of interesting people there but true to course I didn't recognise them, except for Gail, Helen Worth,  in Corrie.  We caught up with old friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We were invited to the after party at Mahikis in Mayfair, and boogied with Nicky til the early hours.

Earlier in the day we went to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Royal Academy, well worth a visit if only to see the chaos he is causing in the pristine spaces!!  I loved the wax train and was disturbed by the piles of poo, (concrete extrusions but they looked like piles of s...t to me).


Home now and thoroughly revived and inspired and ready to go...

Graining and marbling Olympics

Been to Blackburn for the graining and marbling olympics today.  Been a really eye opening day for me.  Was interesting to watch the demonstrations and see how different the work of the French practitioners is from the British ones.  Saw lots of very competent work and was particularly impressed by some winning panels by a Scottish marbler and grainer.  Very beautiful and fascinating.  Well worth the visit just to see these.

Done some drawing this week and finally have managed to get hold of a compound that I hope is going to be useful with my resin.  So now I can get on with it.


Planning to get along to an interesting drypoint workshop next week.

epoxy resin

Continuing the search for the perfect resin mix..... The mix I have already got is working ok but the filler is too grainy for my purposes. I need a finer filler and then see if I can get the right consistency.  If anybody out there reads this and has any helpful info I would be very grateful.  I am becoming a bit of an epoxy resin nerd at the moment and I need rescuing!! I am still resisting joining Facebook but I expect I would get more interaction on there.  Facebook seems to be very intrusive to me or it could be that I am bit of a Luddite when it comes down to it, in some ways. Sadly I don't get many responses to my blog or comments on my guest book. So if you have anything to say I would love to hear from you.

post workshop

Had a wonderful day at Andrew Logan's workshop in Berriew, Wales.  Met some lovely like-minded people, in a glorious environment, and spent the whole day 'playing', such fun but also only the beginning as we had a very inspirational time.  The museum is fascinating, containing work from the very beginning of Andrew's career up til recently.
Can't wait to finish my piece at home.  It will appear here as soon as it is finished.
Now enjoying a peaceful evening in the hotel researching epoxy resin!!! Well, why not!

Andrew Logan workshop

Well here I am in Wales, Berriew, and tomorrow I am going to a workshop with Andrew Logan.  I can't wait.  The workshop will be in his museum of sculpture and I have raided  my jewellery box so I will have something to work with. Hopefully I will have something to show for my efforts after this weekend. Have a look at Andrew's sculptures and jewellery.
www.andrewlogan.com

I have been working on a stitched piece for some time now, adding layers, varnish, sand etc, at long last it is beginning to emerge.  I have really struggled over this one as I have kept feeling unsatisfied with it.  I have learnt a lot about persevering with a piece and going with my gut feelings until it begins to emerge.  I did have a disaster when I put it on my easel, it was the final heavy rusty chain that did it! The whole thing collapsed.  Anyway Paul managed to glue it all back together for me.


I had a great birthday last week.  We went into Manchester for a chilled day, looking at exhibitions, eating and going to the cinema.  We have found our favourite restaurant in Manchester. Red Chilli on Portland Street, yummy tofu!!!  Well worth trying, we think it is the best Chinese food we have eaten in Manchester, nearly as good as Y Ming in London, on Greek Street, (we really miss it.)

Summers End

Just back from Staithes again.  The weather on Saturday was the best we have ever had there, a wonderful warm, still day.  Went to Rob Shaw's opening at Staithes Gallery, a great show, lots of colour and many aspects of Staithes.  Had a good time networking and meeting other artists.  So important to share ideas and thoughts.

Spent some time on the shore drawing and 'mapping', really keen to ex
plore drawing.
Got to get on with my work ready for our show in May next year.  Planning to get to the studio today at 59 Steps to begin some drawings.

You win some you lose some

Had a disappointing theatre experience last night at the Lowry, 'They only Come at Night... Ressurection' Slung Low theatre company.  A promenade type piece of theatre which just didn't do it for us! It was the first night. It lacked coherence and conviction and depended strongly on creating an atmosphere which never happened.  We were meant to be scared but I was just irritated!.  Their previous piece sold out in London so we had high hopes. Never mind, you win some you lose some.

To top it all I had left my chutney in a low oven to cook and it had turned to a rather disgusting treacly mess when I got home. You win some you lose some!

back to work SOON

I cant believe what a great summer we have had.  We spent our annual holiday at the cottage in Staithes this year and had wonderful sunny weather, time with friends and many hours staring at the sea with cup of tea in hand!  Read 'The Summer Book' Tove Jansonn, twice whist away, a wonderful book about the relationship between an elderly rebel and her grandaughter, delightfully sensitive and beautifully observed.  Reading 'The Portable Beat Reader' at the moment, a good read and a useful introduction to the beat movement in one volume. Certainly worth reading if you are a fan of the Beat poets like me. Exciting news.  paul and I have been given at joint show at Staithes Gallery next year.  The opening night is May 28th, so put the date in your diary.  We are planning an exciting show.

Lots of frogs in our garden just now, poor old Boris, the ancient goldfish died, I think he ate most of the froglets in the past.

Gooseberry jam

Bringing in the crops!  Fantastic crop of blueberries now in the freezer, made red gooseberry jam tonight which is surprisingly lovely.  Had an explosion in the cellar!!  Elderflower champagne everywhere, at least its worked, very active to say the least. Only one bottle went, I think the rest of the bottles are probably strong enough.  Trouble is it takes about ten minutes to open the bottles, letting the fizz out a few bubbles at a time. delicious though, will definitely be making it again next year. Picked bilberries from the moors at the beginning of the week and made bilberry pie, wonderful and it gives you a gorgeous black tongue and blue teeth, very goth!!  Blackcurrant picking tomorrow.  All very domestic and great fun. Once the crops are in I will get back to some drawing, printmaking and realise my new ideas for 'icons'.
We are still trying to get organised after Rose and James wedding, Paul finally got the marquee down and now I am trying to tidy the shed and studio.

Excited about settling in to 59 Steps still trying to get bits and bobs over there but looking forward to using the space after the harvest has finished.


Done more work on the steps at Staithes, made shell mosaics on the fronts, very seasidey.

Too long and too busy

Been too busy lately!! At long last there is a lull.  I am determined to have some holiday time, rest and relaxation.  I think I will get serious in September!  Anyway there is far too much fruit to pick and prepare. Already made Chilli jelly and lots of Elderflower Champagne and cordial.  Had a lovely explosion of Elderflower Champagne, lost a third but the fizz was very satisfying.
 Rose and James got married at the beginning of July, a wonderful event at home and the local church, with masses of love and support from friends and family, so lovely and heart warming.  This is what weddings should be like, home and family.  We used flowers from the garden for everything, they were beautiful and just right, thank goodness the rain went away on the day!  Rose made an extraordinary cake, very professional and lots of mini cakes as table gifts. She and James worked very hard along with many of their lovely friendswedding cake






















Amazing!  I am a proud mum.

Had Open Gardens, which was a happy event with lots of help from friends and relatives, we raised £500 for Overgate Hospice. Also had Open Studios which we always enjoy.  Have also joined a local studio group in Hebden Bridge, 59 Steps, we are both keen to stay in touch with other artists and not become isolated.  Should enjoy the space there.

Had an extraordinary, if not a bit scary, evening with Marina Abramovich.  Amazing evening with performance artists,wearing a lab coat as we were part of the experiment, staring into strangers eyes and walking in slow motion with 80 others, and SCREAMING.  An amazing time wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Saw Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson in Manchester, got to say I was somewhat disappointed.  Expected more of a creative combination of talents. Never mind.  No one will ever live up to Leonard Cohen!!

 

Anthony and the Johnsons

Just had a brilliant few days in Edinburgh.  The main reason for the visit was to go to an Anthony and the Johnsons concert and we weren't disappointed. They were great and Anthony was as charming as ever.  We walked miles and absorbed as much of Edinburgh as was humanly possible in 3 days.  What a treat!  What a lovely city!  I think we both saw more of it this time than we ever had.  Went to a homely Italian restaurant called Vittorias, not far from the Playhouse, old fashioned and friendly.  It has been there for 40 years in the same family, had a lovely meal, real! We found some really good shops, especially the art shop which was amazingly well stocked.  They are installing a tram system which is causing mayhem but never mind, it just means that it is more difficult to get around at the moment.  Well worth a visit.

Been busy in the garden preparing for a visit by a coach load of Belgians, it looks gorgeous and we enjoyed meeting our visitors who were all lovely and very appreciative.  Today the hen laid an egg in our flowerbed, in front of Paul, he was amazed.  We shared it for lunch!  The egg, not the hen!  Delicious.

Weekend off

Great to have a weekend off with family, a good old fashioned walk to a church garden party turned out to be really lovely and the rain spared us!

Struggled with the crowds and brollies in Haworth on Sunday but went home to a beef roast dinner. All in all very nice!

Back to work tomorrow in the studio and garden, weather permitting!

Glasgow

Glasgow Art Fair last week, excellent fair, lots of variety and we thought better quality stuff than AAF.  Superb food in The Bothy in the West End and breakfast at the Willow Tea Rooms of Rennie Mackintosh fame.  Glasgow surprised us both, we will definitely be going back to explore a bit more, there are some good galleries and great buildings.  Saw Glasgow Art School for the first time, a fascinating building, a fantastic example of Arts and Crafts architecture.  Both feeling spaced out at the moment because we have been incredibly busy in the studio.  The garden is looking good and the rain today was really needed.  The greenhouse is full of freshly sprouted seedlings and tidy at last.  It is so good to be at home to be able to look after them this year.

We had an amazing experience with a jackdaw
who sadly  died in our chimney after being trapped for some time.  All our rescue attempts failed.  When we took his body outside to draw and then bury, a whole host of about 50 jackdaws came to see and circled above us.  It made me realise how momentous it was that this small jackdaw had died!  I don't know whether the others knew he was dead or they were trying to protect him.  But the others clearly knew something was going on.  There is so much that we do not understand about our world.  Perhaps someone has an explanation for us?

spring has sprung!

Back from Staithes after a few lovely sunny days. Lifeboat Show began on Friday evening, it all looks very good.  Back to the grindstone now and into the garden.  Still haven't sown those seeds and the greenhouse needs a really good clean.  The weeds are shooting up as well.  We are looking forward to Rose and James' wedding in July and need to make sure we have enough flowers for them. 

Beachcombing. Brrrrr

Beachcombing at Fleetwood is a bad idea on a cold and windy day.  We froze today! Great for shells and my type of rubbish though.  Strange to see what looked like charred bits of the poor old pier that went up in flames.  I love Fleetwood but Paul likens it to Dungeness without the shingle and the huts.  Thats the charm of Fleetwood, its sheer bleakness and out on a limb strangeness.

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air.  Great. Sunshine and warmth on one's face.  How lovely. Still working hard on my Icons for the Staithes show.  The joinery aspect of it can get the better of me at  times!! BUT I am learning fast and am getting quite good at sawing.  Those artists who can employ technicians don't know how lucky they are!

Finally got a name for my installation....'Liquid History'

Saw a brilliant exhibition at Tate Liverpool, not to be missed by anyone interested in painting, Glenn Brown.

So inspiring and intelligent.

At the same time we saw a William Blake exhibition, he was just a genius, such drawing and sensitivity!!

Painting budgies at the moment for a change!

Soon the garden will be demanding attention.


Here is a detail of my shell mosaic on the side of the steps at the cottage in Staithes, soon to be finished, weather permitting.  shell mosaic

Snow

The snow is amazing! We were on the Yorkshire coast in Staithes on Sunday and Monday when the snow was at its worst. It was extraordinary watching the snow come in from the sea .The wind was howling, it was arctic! We holed up in the cottage  and hardly ventured out but I did manage to  do some more work on my mosaic, it is nearly finished and then I will start on the step fronts. I have continued to work on my new project whilst in Staithes and although I had a short crisis of direction I am back on track thanks to Paul's encouragement!  We really experienced that sense of being cut off during the blizzard, (something we really love about Staithes),  because we had no idea what was going on elsewhere.  Our mobiles don't work and the only radio we can get is a crackly radio 5 live.  All wonderful for getting away from the rat race. Back at home the garden is like a wonderland,white and snowy quiet.  Photos to come soon.

Been asked to contribute to Spring show to raise money for lifeboats at Staithes Gallery so started to work on some new pieces. It is lovely to work on something different and fresh.  The idea was stuck in my head and wouldn't realise itself but when I unblocked the channels by removing a few constraints ie trying to put things in frames, it just popped out. Have  got to finish my floorpiece which still hasn't a name! But haven't finished the VAT calculations!! Better get on with that tomorrow.

Been having some wonderful short walks in the snow, enjoying the light in the sky and the silhouettes of the trees.  I was hoping for a real winter this year! Perfect times for consolidating ideas and thinking through my next pieces.


Reading 'Wolf Solent' by John Cowper Powys........such a joy!

Trying too hard

Take my word for it.... don't ever try to do a dancing weekender after having flu!!

It was a mistake, I was exhausted after the first evening and then I tried to do 3 classes followed by a party!

Unsuprisingly I was in a state of total exhaustion, so was Paul. Never again, the car paid the price when Paul backed into a very hard rubbish bin on a petrol station forecourt.

Needless to say we are in recovery and wont do it again.

I am reading what promises to be a very interesting book by John Cowper Powys, 'Wolf Solent', it is very strange with some fascinating aspects.  It is very difficult to describe and I have only just started it but Wolf appears to be living in an ultra conscious state, with an extraordinary awareness.  More later.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


The Teapot


The teapot continues to delight, it is well established and I can see that it is going to resist removal when we try to reclaim our table and benches.

We saw a wonderful film/documentary this holiday, a must, 'Grey Gardens'.  A brilliant, moving documentary about a reclusive mother and daughter in Long Island, America.  Really worth seeing. We are hooked and planning a Sunday afternoon showing at home to introduce it to our friends. ( With popcorn etc!!)

The 'shed' is moving on and ready for decoration as soon as I get time.  This is going to be my project for the Open Garden this year.  I am planning to make it beautiful!!grass sculpture

Holidays!

Had a great Christmas and New Year, lots of precious family time at Christmas with children, their babies and loads of both our families, good food, champagne and mince pies.  Then a wonderful New Year by the sea, seeing friends, more partying and LOADS of sleeping.  I did nearly get frost bite in my fingers by doing my mosaic on our steps in Staithes but did manage to get more stuff done in the house including working on the walls in the kitchen with fossils and shells.
wall decoration

David Tibet's Exhibition

Went to the preview of David Tibet's exhibition at Isis Gallery, London, http://www.isisgallery.org.

David's pastels are lovely, dense, bright colours and magical images. Definitely worth a visit.  The preview was great fun with lots of interesting people who were also a visual feast. The gallery was packed.

Then the following day I joined Paul in Wales for a salsa weekend!  It's quite a trip from London to Rhyl on the train, but the weekend was well worth the effort, although we are both still recovering from the series of all night partying!!


Shed

Had a very busy time cleaning out our garden store to use it as a workshop and studio.  Need to move some of my debris out of our joint studio to make a better printing and painting space.  Keen to begin to make bigger pieces so this should help. About to start a floor piece.


Saw a great exhibition at
Novas Contemporary Urban Centre

73-81 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 0NQ
Nearest tube station: Borough (430 yards)
Tel: 020 7357 6469
Web: www.novasscarman.org/contemporary-urban-centres
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

Admission Free

WOW Wild Old Women

A mixed show featuring great Outsider Women artists, definitely worth a visit!!

Had a seriously Arty weekend seeing, Rothko, Francis Bacon, Turner Prize exhibition, Saatchi Gallery and Miro etc!!!  All worth seeing but left me with lots to think about, especially the Saatchi Gallery which I found a bit disappointing.


Best of all I went to see Leonard Cohen at the O2 with a friend.  What an amazing man!!! We were in Heaven and thoroughly appreciated all 7 encores!!  He is a genius and so lovely.





Skinningrove Outsider Art

Saw an amazing garden in Skinningrove.  This looks like a permanent installation. I don't know if it is already known as an Outsider Environment, I just happened to come across it. This is only a tiny part of it. It is certainly great to see it.outsider art

Rest

Just returned from a wonderful break by the sea.  Staithes was cold and blustery but as lovely as ever. I did intend to get on with some studio work but actually spent most of the time sleeping!!

Staithes has a very soporific effect on me. I did manage to rouse myself long enough to work some seams of ammonites into the kitchen walls and also make a mini shell grotto in the kitchen.  Great fun.

Read Laura Knight's autobiography 'Oil Paint and Grease Paint' whilst there and it has some of the best descriptions of old Staithes that I have read. Very atmospheric.

Visited Middlesborough Museum of Art and saw an Eric Bainbridge exhibition.  First time I had come across him and I liked his fluffy sculptures.
Also went to the Dorman Museum which is a must.  I cant wait to get back there and have another look at the bird's eggs ( a very old collection!) They are so beautiful with such extraordinary marks on them. Very inspiring.


One of the highlights of the holiday, as usual, was our trip to Skinningrove to see the annual bonfire. What a treat! An amazing local effort, bunting, lanterns, brass band and the almost ritual burning of a giant sculpture of a horse pulling two iron ore skips. I was transfixed and transported!


skinninggrove bonfire

Ted Hughes Exhibition

Set up our stall at Ted Hughes exhibition yesterday. Paul and I are exhibiting together which is always fun.
Lovely to meet up with artist friends who are also showing and eat bacon butties together. You can have the best Victoria sponge you have ever tasted with a cup of tea at the exhibition in Mytholmroyd.


Went to a great poetry reading last night, Anthony Thwaite and Ian Duhig , both interesting and erudite poets.


My outside shed/studio is coming on well. Soon to get tarpaulin sides.  I can't wait to 'decorate' it.


Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art, Port Mulgrave, Real Staithes, outsider art

Nicky Haslams Party of the century at Parkstead House


Still not made it down to earth after being guests at Nicky Haslam's magical party.  Never thought that Paul and  I would be among16 people dancing on the same revolving dance floor with Keanu Reeves, Paris Hilton, Sharon Osborne, Tracy Emin, Trinny Woodward at the end of the evening.  We weren't shy. Was it the Champagne????  Showed off a few of our Latin moves!

You must google Nicky Haslam's Party/Telegraph for a great video showing some of the beautifully decorated venue, designed by Nicky of course.


Been a very heady week for us after a mention in November's 'The World of Interiors', (Nicky Haslam's Swish Chalet).  Check out page 168 where we get a very generous accolade by Nicky. "......Paul and Chris Czainski-who are, according to Haslam, 'the greatest decorative painters in the world.."WOW!!

Nicky Haslam's party

Special day today, preparing for Nicky Haslam's party of the year tonight.  Google Nicky Haslam birthday to read the telegraph article about it. Its going to be a splendid do!!!  As spectacular as one might expect from Nicky.

Had a lovely birthday week, friends, family and champagne!

Saw 'Waves' at the Lowry this week and would definitely recommend it. A fascinating theatrical experience, quite spellbinding.


Working on stuff for The Ted Hughes Festival in Mytholmroyd in October, Remains of Elmet, Art Exhibition.

Home again!

Home again.  It is very quiet here after the buzz of London, I am finding that I have loads of excess energy.  London is so draining. Back to the garden...5 barrow loads of weeds, piled precariously high and wheeled to the top of the garden used up some of that energy!!!! Jumping up and down on top of the compost heap to compress it a bit used more! The grass teapot has turned into a giant shaggy dog but Elvis is happy.


Back in to the studio tomorrow and hoping that inspiration will follow.

Bank Holiday

Just had a very relaxing weekend in Staithes with family.  Caught up with friends and cracked a few bottles of champagne as Paul sold 4 paintings over the weekend!  You can see my painting of Boulby Mine in the window of Staithes Gallery and my lino cut, Helter Skelter inside.

Did very little except chill but did have a great trip on the Pirate Ship in Whitby with the family, accompanied by seafaring songs!  Lovely.

Back to work now.

Had a very busy week trying to meet a deadline!   Been marbling a library and spent loads of time up a ladder and crawling around on the floor.  Just made it by 7pm on Friday evening  then straight off to Y Ming for carafes (plural!!) of Sauvignon Blanc and the BEST  Chinese food in London.


Catching up on studio work this weekend and my grass teapot needs a trim!


Sold one  of my small pieces last week.  Exploring some new techniques.


Couldn't get tickets for Anthony and the Johnsons at the Barbican!!!!  Very sad.  Has anybody got any?


BUT have got tickets for Leonard Cohen!

Stibbington services

Can't believe how quickly time has gone!  Open studios at the beginning of July were very enjoyable.  Met lots of lovely people and got a commission which was a real bonus.  Really enjoying work, painting beautiful chinoiserie panels  at the moment.  Backwards and forwards from London and really enjoying the buzz of the city.  Cy Twombly exhibition at Tate Modern is a must if you  have any leanings towards him at all.  It is  a great eye opener ,  showing the extent and variety of his work.  Very stimulating and inspiring.  If  you travel to London by car then go down the A1  and stop off  at the services at Stibbington. (near Peterborough).  A transport cafe, Edward Hopper style, with real food  and unbelievably cheap!  Refreshment for the body and  soul.

Phew! What a weekend!

Just  recovering after the marathon of preparation  and the Open Garden event itself.   We had a brilliant weekend with 378+  people coming through the garden.  Lots of positive comments. Well it is  paradise!
The weather wasn't too bad.

My giant  grass teapot and table and seat covers worked well.  The seeds germinated in plenty of time and we managed to manhandle the whole thing onto the table. That was a worrying moment!

We gave our  house guests the trask of creating a  man out of chicken wire and natural  materials and they did us proud!  And Paul made a beautiful grass spiral, http://www.czainski.com/so  all in all with the various  suprises round the garden there was lots to delight.


garden sculpture
Back in the studio now  and spending time with my bones etc!

Keeping the teapot and table cut with scissors (!!!!)is a very contemplative task so I am getting plenty of thinking time as this warm weather is really making the grass grow!!!














garden sculpture


Tackling giant weeds in the garden!  Don't know where they have come from!
They seem to know that the open garden is imminent and want to make a show.
Not getting enough time in the studio, but have been busy tending my latest garden sculpture, which will remain a secret until the open day. Photos later, I do hope it works.

Back to the weeds!

High Winds!

It has been SO windy here, Very worrying because of plant damage and the garden will be open to the public in 3 weeks!!  AAAAAGH.

Anyway  I will be out there staking today, so that should help.

Very excited about my new shelter.  Paul tried to suprise me but it was a bit obvious as Steve the builder kept disappearing into the wood with barrowloads of cement!!  Now I have a great shelter for doing my dirty work!  I.E . mosaics, stone carving and other messy stuff.


Will have a whale of a time turning in to a little  outsider environment.
Began my first grass sculpture for the open day.  Hope it works!!  Should be fun anyway.

Been working on a big lino cut, some problems with registration at first but will get there in the end, looking interesting.


Been a bit of a delay in our next job but the good news is we will have more time to get the garden ready.

Body Worlds

Been to see the exhibition 'Body Worlds' in Manchester at the Science museum.
Not at all what I expected, actually very informative and anatomical rather  than 'artistic'. That's my opinion anyway.   Definitely useful to study anatomy for life drawing.  Would like to go back to do a bit of sketching.  There were lots of medical students and nurses there.

It is very different seeing the human body like this rather than in an anatomy book

Eye opening for smokers and drinkers!!

End of exhibition

Well the exhibition is dismantled.

I really enjoyed  the time spent chatting with  the visitors to my show.  Had some great chats, made some contacts, met some lovely people,  including  an interesting gentleman
 who made exquisite tiny origami pieces.  He has made a string of 1000 tiny, tiny cranes!!!  AND intends to make 6000 more because  that is the distance to Hiroshima. At 73  that is an amazing achievement.  The crane is an international symbol of peace.  He based this task on a story he heard about a child who had leukemia as a result of exposure to radiation at Hiroshima.  she set about making 1000 origami cranes believing that she would be healed when she completed them. Sadly she died after 600 (i think), but since then the crane has been a symbol of peace.  He made his in honour of her. I hope I got that story right!!

Wouldn't have missed the last few days for anything!

Thanks everybody including the lovely women who were manning the festival box office and keeping me company.



 

Busy Week!!

Had a really busy week!

Not enough time in the studio or garden sadly, but we will be ship shape for the Midgley Open Gardens weekend.

Will be in the Festival Shop, Hebden Bridge,  tomorrow and all weekend, so come and see my show before it closes on Sunday evening

Emergence preview

Really enjoyed the preview on Friday. Had a great turnout and felt well supported.

Party atmosphere  continued until I got the hoover out!

Well I had been  working hard all week!!

Thanks everyone for your support.

If you haven't  seen the exhibition yet get down to the Festival Office  and see our work,  Helene's beautiful paintings work well with my work.  We are open on Friday  18th  April , Sat 19th and Sun 20th from 11am until 5pm.

After the opening

Enjoyed the opening although found it all nerve wracking!

Good to see mine and Paul's work exhibited together,  (a bit  of a bone fest!)
Was interesting to hear people's positive comments and to see them spending time with the sculptures.
Didn't manage to get out much at Staithes  owing to the ARCTIC weather!!


Very busy preparing for the next exhibition in Hebden Bridge.

On line at last


Manged it in time for the exhibition in Staithes.


Been very busy  putting the finishing touches to work for Staithes but managed to get in some beach-combing on the Thames.

I think I am doing a very good job of clearing debris from the Thames!

We have seen some excellent exhibitions lately--- Niki De Saint Phalle at Liverpool Tate is well worth seeing and fascinating in her use of found objects.

On until 5th May 2008

www.tate.org.uk/liverpool/

One of the most enjoyable exhibitions I have seen for a long time  is the Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia at Tate Modern.

It really helped me to put them all in to context.  It is very comprehensive. Give yourself plenty of time.

http:/www.tate.org.uk/modern/


Another place not to miss if you are interested in Outsider Art is The Rectory Garden Centre in Ashton-in -Makerfield run by Kevin Duffy, a charming and lovely man.  We had a visit there recently with a group of friends and he welcomed us with open arms offering us toast and tea!  It is  a visionary environment that he has been building for  31 years, with the added value of plants for sale.

http:/www.kevinduffy.info/

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