At the start of August I spent the week serving on the Newday Creative team at Norfolk Showground. Newday is “a major Christian youth event that takes place every summer with 7000 thousand young people.” Many of you may not have been to or even heard of it before so I've created a little video blog showing my arrival during set up and the main venues once things got under way, to give you a bit of a feel for the event.
NEWDAY CREATIVE TEAM
My role at the event was Studio Manager and section team leader for ND Creative – an incredibly talented bunch of about 50 individuals all working towards delivering the event creatively. Through film (directors, producers, cinematographers, sound technicians & editors), social media, recording audio, photography, graphic design, written comms and PR. These guys work very long hours, with really tight schedules, delivering top quality work whether communicating deep truth in a fresh way or providing light entertainment. The team is made up of professionals working alongside those just getting started, an impressive family apprenticeship atmosphere of looking out for each other, a safe place to suggest ideas and give things a try, whilst working to deadlines and aiming for excellence.
Across 6 days our team created 27 films, 100 Instagram stories and social media posts, 6 editions of the Server News sheet, taken around 8 1/2 thousand photographs and uploaded 57 talks to the internet!
From mouth to movie
I have to admit one of the highlights of being part of this team is seeing the journey of an idea, that I hear from someone's mouth, then becoming a film shoot, editted and then onto a massive screen in the big top being viewed by 7000 – usually all within less than 48 hours! AND that's just the start, as it then gets posted on social media and is viewed by thousands more, for years to come.
This year my daughter Rosie got roped in to staring in one of these films (along with 2 of her youth group). I took some footage so I could show you guys a bit of what goes on behind the scenes.
The idea was based around our belief that when facing many things that give us good reason to be fearful, we have a God who is CONSTANT and near, TRUSTWORTHY and good, and don't need to be afraid.
The director wanted to project images onto faces but we soon discovered this would only work in the pitch black of after hours when everyone was supposed to be in their tents – hence us needing to work with people we knew! Here's a little movie of the process from notes on a page to Rosie (and her friends) seeing herself on the big screen!
And here is the finished video on Youtube
Snippets of this were also used in the week's round up movie or SUPERCUT as we call it (currently with 1,371 views in 1 week on YT alone), which actually gives you a much better overview of the event than my attempt above because it's done by my team, rather than by me!! :)
WELCOME and HELLO! to all those new to my mailing list who I've met through Cambridge Open Studios this month (and maybe a few other places too).
WHAT A SUMMER IT'S BEEN SO FAR!
What's been happening?
CAMBRIDGE OPEN STUDIOS
The biggest event of my year has been taking part in my first Cambridge Open Studio this July. Opening my home to share my work and workspace with the public. It was a lot of work but a really rewarding experience and a great way of starting to get known in the Cambridge art scene. I had 161 visitors, took a good number of sales and am adding 40+ people to my mailing list. Particularly exciting were all the potential projects I've been invited into or have made contact with.
Follow this link for my blog which has more details and videos of the event.
As part of the COS promotions I was interviewed on Cambridge 105 Radio! Although I was a little terrified and ended up writing myself a script to learn, incase I didn't know what to say, it really helped me to get used to talking about my work. This was great preparation for my COS weekend where visitors were interested to hear about what I did and why.
At school I was always told I was no good with words but I've been recently stepping out and moving on from this unhelpful label! Writing a blog and poetry has been part of this and my radio interview. This summer I've had the opportunity to try some speaking engagments (3 in fact!) talking on the topics of Creativity being in our DNA, and about how my faith relates to my art. I was also invited to write a guest blog for 'Science and Belief' about how my work is inspired by creation.
I've also been having fun learning to make videos and have launched my own YouTube Channel. Some of my movies are timelapse footage of my art process set to music, others are me explaining how and why I do what I do. They aren't amazing quality productions but people seem to like them. Inspiring people to be creative is really important to me therefore I try to be transparent and share what I'm learning, often recording my first time trying new things, hoping to encourage others to try new things too.
BIG LIVE ART
The biggest development in my art this year has been my 'part of the art' pieces. Starting in the spring as an experiment on a large sheet of paper, these pieces have evolved into huge performance art on canvas roll to music (BIG LIVE ART) that I create in public spaces and record for my YouTube channel. I have now made my first sale, stretching it onto a canvas frame (see below), am booked for a number of festivals (including discussions about Strawberry Fair next year) and have been invited to create artist in residence programmes around this idea. These public pieces served me well as promotional events for my Open studio and hanging 3 of them in my home made quite an impact to my exhibition!
I opened a new Etsy shop in June for my fine art which I am gradually filling with listings. The most exiciting recent sale was from a client who has just finished renovating his house and has chosen to fill this 'blank canvas' of a home with lots of my art work. This includes his kitchen splashback being made from a digital print of one of my pieces (see below).
What's coming up?
NEWDAY - this Saturday I head to Norfolk Showground setting up for the 7000 youth that will arriving on Monday for Newday Festival. I'm studio manager for the Creative team, section team leader for the film, photography, design and writing teams. I will also be taking my BIG LIVE ART onto the main concourse this year for the first time. There is so much talent and creativity within the team it's a real privilege to spend the week with them!
DAVID'S TENT - end of August I'm off to West Sussex to David's Tent a worship festival where I will be helping on the Arts Team and painting live in the big top
RIDLEY24 - start of September I've been invited to paint live at Ridley College micro festival in Cambridge
Believe it or not I've already started selling and taking orders for my crochet Christmas baubles. So with the kids off school and time away I'll more likely be seen with crochet hook in hand than paint brush this August!
Being an introvert who loves my work I'm already looking forward to September when I can get back to routine and start following up on contacts and opportunities that have arisen through my open studios event. One of the things I'm hoping to confirm is the plan to organise a Christmas Cambridge Open Studios event - watch this space!
Have a great summer!
In my last post (part one) I shared about my preparations for my very first Cambridge Open Studio weekend – well it's been and gone, so it's now time to tell you all about the event it's self... how it looked, how it went and whether I'll do it again!
How it looked
First we had to turn our home into a gallery space – this video makes it look a LOT easier than it was!
Tidying, cleaning, hanging, labelling…. and this was the result…
Many people were disappointed not to be able to come so I created a couple of videos
I was only able to do the 1st weekend and was concerned that all my effort would be in vein if no-one knew about my event, so I worked hard with advertising and it really paid off.
I actually felt it had been worth taking part in this years Cambridge Open Studios before the weekend even arrived due to all the exposure and contacts I made. I was on Cambridge 105 radio, in the Cambridge News and Cambridge Independent newspapers, in Cambridge Magazine (p129) & got to paint live at 2 COS promo events, not to mention social media!
I have also really enjoyed joining this community of artists, finding a new group of people who I can support and encourage in their artistic endeavours (even those who've been successfully doing this for decades need encouragement), it's been so easy and enjoyable to bless other artists.
How it went
As for my little weekend I had 161 visitors, took a good number of sales and have 40+ people to add to my mailing list. Particularly exciting were all the potential projects I've been invited to do or made contact with: from community arts, to ArtBNB, artist in residence and workshop opportunities, to performance art invitations.
I loved inviting people into my home, talking about my work and hearing their feedback. I was excited to see all my work together, it was evident that I've developed my own style and voice for myself. Everyone commented on the vibrancy of my colours and the repeated use of circles!
Here are some of the wonderful comments in my visitors book:
I've certainly learnt a few things
YES I will DEFINATELY do it again. I'm utterly exhausted but it was such a rewarding experience!
I'm already thinking about doing a Christmas one!
This will be my first year taking part in Cambridge Open Studios and I thought you'd like to share in the experience. In part one I'll talk you through what I've done to prepare (publicity, artwork and exhibition space) and then part two will be the event it's self (how it looks, how it goes and whether I'll do it again!).
I started filling my artist page on the COS website and making plans to maximise my investment in this adventure. I was limited to only doing 1 of the 4 weekends, as my 3 daughters all have birthdays spread across July but I decided that 1 is better than none and I'd just have to try and make the most of it.
My own advertising
Next to where I worked I had one of my completed pictures on display and also the video of the BIG LIVE ART I did in town the previous Saturday playing on my ipad.
I really enjoyed interacting with people as I painted. Dialogue ranged from sharing my simple techniques with children and encouraging them to have a try at home, to giving business advice on an interesting idea someone had, to discussions about potential for my art in community projects, to apparently solving someone's bathroom decorating dilemmas! As well as cool conversations I hope my efforts also result in increasing the number of visitors I get at my Cambridge Open Studios event - on Sat 1st & Sun 2nd July.
I painted 2 pictures over the 3 1/2 hours (adding finishing touches at home), these paintings are part of my Serendipity series (#3&4) and will be on sale in my exhibition in July. I took a timelapse video of my experience so I could share it with you. It's pretty fast moving so if you have any questions about my art process, just ask : )
Subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss my future art videos.
Psalm 19: 1-4 (The Passion Translation)
As an artist I’m excited by the extravagant dimensions and intimate details I see in nature, the colours, the patterns, the unique masterpieces and the repetition. I see a joyfulness in the very act of creating and I seek to reflect these things in my own work.Although my pictures aren’t figurative they are full of symbols and shapes taken straight from nature, helping me express God’s heart to people through my art.
I paint, hoping to express and bring something of heaven down to earth; as a reminder to those who know God and as an invitation to those who don’t. I have the privilege of painting live on a regular basis in various settings (from churches to on the streets of Cambridge). On each occasion I seek God beforehand, asking him for encouragements to share with people through my work, then I praise and pray while I’m painting. Let me share some pictures with you to explain further (all of these were painted live).
You, God, shield me on all sides, you ground my feet and you lift my head. Rested, tall and steady. Your blessing clothes your people, what a feast of favour and bliss you give us!
The Lord directs our steps, he delights in every detail of our lives. Though we stumble, we will never fall, for the Lord holds us by the hand.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
This painting is inspired by God’s incredible attention to detail within his beautiful and ordered creation. He knows the number of hairs on our head, he calls the stars by name, he saw us in our mother’s womb. The tiny spots of colour and splashes of light reflect the intricacies of his care, creativity and sovereignty. From dust particles that catch the sunlight and blossom petals that fall with the breeze, to the equations and calculations that hold the whole universe in perfect balance.
Though the cherry trees don’t blossom, the strawberries don’t ripen, the apples are worm eaten and the wheat fields stunted. Though the sheep pens are sheepless and cattle barns empty. YET STILL I will sing joyful praise to God, rejoicing in the God of my salvation. He is my strength.
Even in my disappointment I will praise you, Even in my hopeless places I will give thanks.
Lyrics from ‘Overcomer’ by Lucy Grimble
I am particularly drawn to the each end of the spectrum of God’s creation. I wrote earlier about the comfort I’ve found gazing at the sea and the stars, but my other favourite places are behind the macro lens of my camera, lying in the dirt observing raindrops caught in the hairs on a leaf, or poring through my husband’s medical text books at images taken through microscopes. So I’ll end with a poem that I wrote after sketching and meditating on the teeny tiny things that God has made.
Seeing beyond, beneath, behind
Drawing out detail
Calling out the gold
Paradigm of the lovely
Acknowledged and significant
The magnitude of the minutiae
No stone unturned
Extravagant play in obscurity
Intricacy shouts glory, shouts holy, shouts worthy
Intimacy singing songs of love
Passion to communicate
You entered the minuscule
Deepest needs met
Pardoned, made whole
Understood, with purpose
Accepted, adored, aghast
Held in your delight
Embraced in the detail.
I see painting as singing with colours, and wanted to paint a 'freedom song'. A visceral, rhythmic piece full of vibrancy and fun. A heart response to the music and engaging with what I am created to do!
A kind friend came along to support me, which I discovered was a real necessity. Not just about having some company and someone to video me, I found that creating a performance piece doesn't lend itself to dialoguing with people, and folks wanted to know what I was doing and why - leaflets for them to pick up and a video of a previous piece playing on my ipad were OK, but having someone to ask is always better.
I was able to chat with folks while setting up and packing down, and I took a couple of short breaks in the middle so I was available for some of the time. Once nearing the end of the piece I work less 'with' the music and the pace relaxes, I found I could create and converse then too.
People seemed to really enjoy watching me, really interested in seeing how I worked, many took leaflets so they could follow up on the piece on YouTube/social media and come to my Open Studio in July.
Here is the video
I actually really enjoyed myself and definatley plan to do it again soon!
Here's my vlog.
The King of Kings, the First and Last, the Creator of the Universe speaks to us, shares secrets and dreams with us - how incredibly amazing is that?!
For those to whom this is a new concept I would LOVE to talk to you about this further (please ask me if you'd like to know more!)
Hearing, listening, knowing
My Maker's voice.
Encountering your words, your thoughts
Is precious beyond definition
Feeds my being, sings to my soul!
THE ALMIGHTY making yourself known!
The mindbendingly EXTRA - ordinary
As normal, natural, familiar, constant.
Expressing your heart to ME, THROUGH me,
A mouthpiece to your news
Speaking gold dust
Communicating heaven's heart!
...Gratitude beyond words.
We had numerous wonderful conversations with people about all sorts of things, everyone was lovely and fascinated by what we were up to. And of course, being opposite King's College Chapel, Cambridge we got to speak with folks from all over the world.
Here is Chris's blog post about the day.
Kate Green - artist, crafter, enabler and worshipper
Cambridge Open Studios
No Good With Words?!
'Part Of The Art' Pieces
Timelapse Process Movies
Why Flourish & Fly?