Friday, 16 August 2013

{ Perthshire Open Studios } Gill Hunt, Wildgrass Studio, venue 99

It's now only twenty two days until Perthshire Open Studios kicks off.  Artists and crafts people across Perthshire are beginning, just beginning, to get a slight case of, to quote King Julian from the film Madagascar (Yes I have watched it far more times than is necessary, or indeed probably healthy!) "the heebie-d jeebies"!
Nombre trois (French and I'm now going to have to use a translator to get any further with this idea!) in the Perthshire Open Studios, Green Route-ers series is..............Gill Hunt, Wild grass Studio, venue 99!

I love the beauty and delicacy of her Faerie Ballet work and how her work has caused me to look at nature in a very different way.  Rather than being captivated only by the huge landscapes in front of me I often find myself being swallowed up in the petals and leaves at my feet.

- Please give a brief bio of your business.  What is your background? How did you begin as an artist? 

Dave Hunt and I run our business of Wildgrass together. We both have a background of working in Broadcast TV on the artistic technical side. So we have both spent many years working with images. Both Dave and I have are creative and photography has given us a way to express our creativity. Dave started a number of years before me and watching his journey gave me the courage to start my own. I have always been terrified of the technical side of cameras and have run away from them because of this - but Dave changed all that and taught me what I needed to know to get started. I have the 'eye' for which I am very grateful - I believe this is something you are born with, and unlike learning techniques, the 'eye' can't be taught. 

We got into printing because it gives you far more control over presentation than allowing a company to do the printing for you and the same with framing. Getting our work framed was expensive with long waiting times and often we were unhappy with the work. So we invested in some good printers and also in the necessary framing equipment and a good quality mount cutter.  Gradually we found ourselves doing printing and framing for other people and thus our business at Wildgrass Studio developed. Dave also does tailor-made photographic courses and I do the odd Facebook one to one courses - I am a FB lover :)

- Have you taken part in Perthshire Open Studios before?

We went along to the first ever meeting of POS. This was a meeting to discuss if POS was feasible and who wanted to be on the pioneering committee. Dave volunteered.  The rest is history - POS was born and had a very successful first year. I joined in year two and have been doing all the admin for POS ever since. I did the first two years on a voluntary basis and was also on an advertising sub-committee in year two. However as the job of admin developed it became very time consuming and it was decided that a post of Admin would be created along with a small salary  . . . I was offered the post - but had to stand down from the committee. I miss being on the committee - but love the admin job which has evolved even more and this year I found myself heavily involved with up-loading artists details to the web amongst other things :)

I am most looking to meeting people and seeing their reactions and listening to their feedback about my work and indeed Dave's work.

 - What artwork will you be displaying over the week? 

I launched my Faerie Ballet during Fortingall Art where it was very successful - I will be featuring this in POS and also introducing my Disturbia work. My Faerie Ballet is now on my website - but I am undecided as when I want to put my Disturbia work on my website. I have completely re-vamped my website and removed a lot of my older work as I have moved on and am developing new work. I will also be featuring my Aluminium prints of my Faerie Ballet :)


- Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?

Eeeeek tricky one. My process is experimenting and taking many photographs and I have over the years developed my own style. My Faerie Ballet started four years ago and has been developed over the last four years. I saw something in a shoot four years ago and then spent the next three years developing it - because it is flora based I have to wait each year for the right conditions. Disturbia made its appearance two years ago and has been developed alongside my Faerie Ballet. The conditions this year did not allow for any additional shooting for Disturbia.
I don't keep notebooks as such - I keep it all in my head - but I am getting to the point where there is so much going on I do need to write it all down.

- What or who are you most inspired by?

I am most inspired by nature. I also find listening to music really energises and works for me. I have recently discovered Mumford and Sons and find their music emotionally electrifying and I use these feelings to develop my images. So where ever I am - Mumford and Sons are with me . . . :) they will never know - but thank you guys :) 

Here are all of Gills contact details, I hope that you get the chance to go and see her work.

Gillian Hunt ARPS this is our rental cottage and we are also looking to offer artist retreat breaks. this is my own website. is our printing and framing business. We are also planning on printing and selling other artists work alongside our own.

All images Copyright Gillian Hunt 2013

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A midweek weekend!

We had a bit of a break from our usual routine this week.  We spent Wednesday at my mum and dads farm helping with the sheep clipping. Now, when I say helping it should probably be "helping"!

Me and the boys spent most of the day in the garden playing, interspersed with bursts of cooking and washing up! I did manage to tear them away from their toys for long enough to go over and see the clipping in progress.  I used to love clipping time as a child, the noise, the bustle, the smell! Mostly it was the numbers of extra people needed to chase sheep here, open and shut gates there and the fact that we got to eat lunch and tea with everyone else in the shed!

Watching someone clip a sheep is kind of mesmerising, a bit like staring at the flames in a fire.  It's the rhythm, the white noise the machines makes, the long smooth strokes the clippers use right down the length of the sheep, the repetition and the joy and delight of the sheep when it's let go, minus it's fleece.  They rush off out of the shed, skipping, jumping and bleating like lambs, it still makes me smile!

On Thursday we headed to Pittenweem for the fantastic Pittenweem Arts Festival.  It's an absolutely brilliant settling for a Festival, with 87 venues opening their doors to the thousands of visitors who flood the town during the week long event. Their invited artists this year are all huge favourites of mine and if you're not familiar with their work go and have a peek,  Alasdair Gray, Bridgid Collins, Jonny Hannah and Keith Brockie.

We met up with some friend of ours (Mr & Mrs K of An Ordinary Life) and we had a thoroughly lovely day! We hung out on the beach.  Building castles from stones and drift wood.  Wandered along the street to slurp some ice cream.

And I managed to nip away and wander in and out of studios, workshop and houses marvelling at the talent and work on display and soaking up the atmosphere, it was bliss!

My highlights this year were catching up with Louise Scott and Philip Raskin.  I met both of them at Scone Game Fair and absolutely love their work.

I was going to add a list of all of my favourite artists and then realised I was listing just about everyone who took part! So instead I'll direct you to the Festival website which has links to all the artists personal websites!

We rounded off the day with two tired boys and fish and chips on Anstruther harbour!

Monday, 5 August 2013

{ Perthshire Open Studios } Heather Eliza Walker, venue 100

ONLY 33 days until the front doors to studios, sheds and workshops across Perthshire are flung open to welcome visitors to Perthshire Open Studios! Are you getting excited yet?!

Número dos (Spanish you know!) in the Perthshire Open Studios, Green Route-erers interviews is
Heather Eliza Walker, venue 100.

I was completely captivated by Heathers beautiful drawings as soon as I saw them in this years brochure and I'm sure you will be to!

-Please give a brief bio of your business. What is your background? How did you begin as an artist?
I began drawing as a very small child in Dunfermline, and it never occurred to me to do anything else (not the best financial decision!) I took as much art as I could at school, and went on to art school to study drawing and painting at Grays in Aberdeen as an undergraduate and then completed my postgraduate at Chelsea School of Art and Design in London. After graduating, I was lucky enough to have my work exhibited widely, and to have the opportunity to work in several creative environments which broadened my horizons and allowed me to meet some wonderful artists. After my stint in London I returned to Scotland, and am now based near Killin at Wester Lix.

-Have you taken part in Perthshire Open Studios before?

I have taken part in every POS since the first, even though I had not long moved in and didn't have very much to show! I had loved taking part in open studios with friends when I lived in London, and as very excited when I heard about POS when I first got back here.
It is such a motivating force when artists and makers take it upon themselves to throw their doors open and invite everybody in. It's just great to tidy up the studio, paint the walls and get all your work out on display and talk to visitors.  Because I work on paper almost exclusively, it tends to lie hidden away in drawers all year, and lots of it would probably never see the light of day if it wasn't for open studios - so it's also a good time to review the body of work in quiet moments, take notes, and look at where you're going with the work.


-Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?

I doodle, but with rules. A long time ago I realised that I have a magpie sensibility to mark-making and materials, which is a disadvantage to achieving consistency. It's one reason I am not painting at the moment; I made the decision a few years ago to limit my materials and strip it down to the bare minimum, preferably pen or pencil and paper. I doodle randomly at first, allowing my natural curiosity free reign - but then the challenge is to finish the piece, to resolve it into an image. That's harder than it sounds, even with a very small drawing. I believe this process helps to sharpen individuality, as only I can solve my own problems I have set up on the paper in my own way.

What artwork will you be displaying over the week?

I will be showing as many of my doodles as I have completed by the time POS begins, as well as larger drawings, and a series of drawings of imaginary microscope slides (as featured on the POS website).

-What or who are you most inspired by?

How much time have you got? I get excited about something every time I blink! - but here a few of the constants which crop up, not in any particular order:

Victorian glass models of sea life and Victorian microscopy slide collections; early engravings;organisms under the microscope; scanning electron microscopy; medieval manuscripts - the Voynich, Robert Fludd, alchemists' documents; textiles - Anatolian carpets, Ghanaian wraps, Japanese kimono design; Japanese woodcuts; moss, lichen, flowering ferns; moths and craneflies; leaf structure and phyllotaxis; old tin toys and automita; the Bayeux tapestry; the night sky; stringed instruments and pianos; diagrams; the weather; rocks and streams - I did say I was a magpie.

Here are all of Heathers's contact details, I hope some of you get the chance to pop in and see her work!

Heathers website is  and there are links from there to other media; but if you would prefer to go straight to her blog where she writes a little about her doodles and drawings, it's

All images and designs Copyright Heather Eliza Walker 2013

Thursday, 1 August 2013

{ Perthshire Open Studios } Katy Galbraith, The Bothy in the Garden, venue 89

Perthshire Open Studios is beginning to loom, somewhere, just out of sight, almost on the horizon!  This year I'm venue 93 on the Green Route, which follows the A85 west from Perth all the way to Tyndrum and includes 21 fantastic venues.  I'm really looking forward to taking part again this year and I've put together a whole series of interviews with fellow Green Route-erers!
There are some fantastic, wonderful and just all round lovely people who open up their studios and workshops over the course of the 10 days and the ONLY drawback to taking part is that I can't get round and see everyone else's work and have a chat with them all!
Kicking off the series is the lovely Katy Galbraith, The Bothy in the Garden, venue 89.
Please give a brief bio of your business.  What is your background? How did you begin as an artist? 

I wish I had gone to art college after school, but followed a different path instead – following poorly judged (imo) parental advice.  Having dabbled in various medium as a hobby over the years, I discovered mosaic about 12 years ago, and was hooked.

I was taught by a friend, Jan Kilpatrick of Wild Tiles, who used to live in the area. My first project was a table top for the garden – as my husband and I at first couldn’t decide on what table to have, but agreed on mosaic – nothing like being ambitious! When Jan moved away from the area, we started to run mosaic classes using my B&B as the venue… so over the years, I have been able to tap into her expertise, and sometimes she in to mine.

I took the plunge a about five years ago and started selling and being more pro-active in promoting myself. I have done a lot of soul searching over the last few years, and have realised that for me, being deemed ‘an artist’ is very important, and that I want to be represented in quality galleries or ‘craft’ outlets.

Have you taken part in Perthshire Open Studios before? 

This will be my fourth year.  The first two years I did it on my own.  9 days is a long stretch to always be in attendance, especially as I have other commitments with the B&B!  So last year, I invited some friends to join me.  Our work complements each other, and by sharing my workshop space, it brings in a different mix of visitors.

What are you most looking forward to about the event?

I do enjoy seeing people appreciate the mosaics around my garden, but the downside is that i have to get my (large) garden in order first!

What artwork will you be displaying over the week? 

I have a variety of mirrors and smaller mosaics on display, made from my usual mix of recycled materials. I will also have the mosaic which i was working on last year (Moulin Rouge).  This piece was created for a mosaic exhibition hosted by the British Association of Modern Mosaics in London.
I will also have a large, and complicated, mosaic entitled 'Scapes", which was the winning piece in an exhibition last year.

I also have some photo books of past projects.  My latest book  includes photographs of a bathroom mosaic which came as a result of visit during Perthshire Open Studios 2011. (photo to follow).

During this year's POS, in anticipation of me having my own exhibition in April 2014, I will be working on some sculptural pieces, which will be suitable for the outdoors.

Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?

 As mentioned above, i am a passionate recycler, and love the use of mixed materials in creating a mosaic, and feel that it is an important part of my work to illustrate the reuse of materials.  It is often the receipt of a broken plate or cup that stimulates a new thought process and resulting mosaic; the colour or the texture of the item have a part to play.

In terms of subjects, I love flowers and gardens, so many of my pieces are floral representations… though occasionally other ideas do pop into my head at times. I do have scrapbooks and mosaic books, but have recently started storing images on Pinterest ( categorised by plants, birds, hearts etc). I don't really use sketchbooks, as i am not so good at drawing.  Mosaic is more about blocks of colour and rhythm of the pieces, more akin to appliqué than painting.

What or who are you most inspired by?

Klimt and Tiffany, again it is more to do with the blocks of colour & rhythms.

For writing and outlook on life, Barbara Kingsolver – novelist and essayist. She writes about various social issues, and has a strong environmental commitment. Her work has been consistantly good, and inspires a change in our own lives. The message that you get is that you can live a good and fulfilled life, be considerate to your neighbours, have sound social and environmental ethics and still achieve what you want out of life.

And for music, Natasha Atlas! i can shimmy around my workshop any day.

Here are all of Katy's contact details, I hope some of you get the chance to pop in and see her work!

Katy Galbraith
01764 655721



All images and designs Copyright Katy Galbraith 2013.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...