Painting with Words

25th February 2015
With a heading like "Painting with Words" me being a painter of light and my photography always evoking either a piece of music, poetry or story to me, how could I resist an invitation to exhibit at The Willow Galleries forthcoming 'Open Art Exhibition'?

Exhibition Title: Painting with Words
Exhibition Dates: Saturday 7th March to Saturday 11th April
Summary: An open exhibition celebrating the influence and inspiration of literature and language on the visual arts. This special exhibition is running alongside the Oswestry Lit Fest, a celebration of the written, spoken and sung word. We encourage Artists to explore this interesting and inspiring topic in a broad range of styles, materials and interpretations.

Key words for inspiration: Literature, language, storytelling, prose, poetry, song lyrics, spoken word, myths, legends and local history.
Calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, typesetting, print, bookbinding, paper and print.

The Willow Gallery is a community interest, not-for-profit gallery,Willow Gallery, 56 Willow Street, Oswestry, SY11 1AD Tel: 01691 657575. They are a lovely bunch of people whom I have had the pleasure of working with for a couple of years now, they are extremely keen to help and support local artists. Also they have an amazing cafe on the premises serving light snacks, coffee, tea, and of course cake! One can never forget cake. Especially as being diabetic it is a rare treat for me! If I do treat myself it has to be worth it and of the best quality so as not to waste my treat.

I hastily rang them up and asked if I could include Briar Ridge Books 'The Journey' series and 'Shirelands' within this exhibition and they were delighted to say yes. So with that in place I had to choose what other images to put forward and get them sorted fast. I decided to have a browser of images and then mount and frame four specific pieces for the actual hanging exhibition. Due to health I took a year of last year. I have not produced any work for sale apart from online orders and all I had in stock well it has pretty much sold. I made a conscious decision my work would only be sold in a few galleries of my choice, the odd exhibition, by word of mouth or by ordering online here. I simply have not the energy to continue doing the large country fairs and craft markets I have been doing. Health has to come first and I have been ignoring the fact that after each weekend selling at a fair I was laid up for days sometimes weeks after. It had to stop. I am not a commercial artist. My work is never mass produced. I carefully select an image I think would be something folk like and then choose how it is printed, framed and displayed. Once that piece has been sold I will not frame it again unless specifically asked to and I will never frame it the same way either. Anyone who has bought my work has a one off. I don't bulk print. I use either photographic darkroom printers and metallic sheen light-papers with the best professional photographic labs or a Fine Art Giclee process with a recently discovered printer of great professionalism and I mean perfectionist when it comes to quality. He uses papers I have tried and tested myself and his calibration and attention to detail are second to none. Paul Grundy of UKVPro is a specialised ‘Fine Art Trade Guild’ printer ensuring the ultimate in fine art, giclee pigment printing. Using Museum grade, archival quality papers, printing onto either ‘Photo Rag Baryta a luxury cotton paper with traditional baryta board, Gloss Fine Textured Art Paper’ or ‘Hahnemuhle William Turner, Textured Fine Art Paper’ using genuine ‘Epson Ultrachrome HDR Pigment Inks’, guaranteed to last well over 100yrs when using correct lighting conditions with UV protection glass. I selected the work and then had to make a choice photographic or Giclee.

Paul Grundy of UKVPro won out (Link to his site on my links page) after a couple of conversations the work was drop boxed to Paul. Under a week and a MILD HEART ATTACK! After the courier left all the images in the well packaged and luckily well wrapped cardboard box (Clearly marked photographic material) on my front doorstep in the pouring rain I was in possession of a collection of images that frankly left me nearly in tears. It is one thing to see your work on screen. It is totally another feeling to see it A3 size on some of the best fine art papers in existence with colours and texture bringing them to life. If I hadn't of already chosen the four to be framed I would have had a very difficult decision ahead of me.

I had already sourced and ordered sleeves for the browser images and now I just had to get the framed ones sorted. My framer of choice is so busy I decided to not burden her with a rush job and try somewhere else. That idea did not last long when costings came in for bespoke framing with my glass of choice. I know I choose expensive glass but it makes the framed art look like no glass is there the images simply come to life. This makes hanging it very easy as no reflections will be picked up and that is very handy when dealing with larger image sizes. I also know how much this costs! I was not going to pay the price being quoted for one sheet of glass(capable of four images being glazed) for each of the four images supplied! I have to make some money myself. When one framed image is being quoted with glass alone (frame, mount, labour, VAT etc going on as well) costing more than a sheet of the glass I knew I was not going to be able to keep costs low enough that people could afford my art but I could actually walk away with some money back. After all like the rest of society I do have bills of my own to pay. I don't make a great deal of profit as I do choose high quality products to showcase my art. I think if you're going to do something then do it right and do it to the best of your abilities. After all I want it to look its best. Anything I decide to frame has to be of a high enough quality I would be happy to hang it on my own walls. Only then will I be happy to allow it to go on sale, to hopefully be chosen to hang on someone else's walls. So I had to ask my trusted Barbara's Picture framing to help me out and she is at this moment saving my life once again. Her supplier coming up trumps on musuem grade mount card and special whitewater UltraVue 1% Reflection glass supplied post haste. So here I sit typing this to let you the public know that this year a very small selection of my 'Paintings of Light' will be available to buy. My choices this year were tough to make as I have been busy working on my forthcoming 'Elemental Tangents' project. "The Crystal Lake, Part Three of The Journey" for Briar Ridge Books and of course finding images for "The Haunted Vale and The Mountains of Eternity, Parts 4&5". Add in hospital, Dr's Specialists, Chiropractors, a photo-shoot or two for authors I work for designing book covers and yes we are already in March and I don't remember blinking for that long. Plus I have images going through my brain like a movie on fast forward. I hope I have selected ones that have wow factor. Will bring your imagination to life. Keep you thinking, bring out your inner child and that you fall in love with and want to take home with you.

If you are in the Oswestry area I do thoroughly recommend checking out The Willow Gallery and having a peruse of this wonderful "Painting with Words Exhibition", Chill out in the Cafe, browse the local Artisan Craft shop. It is a beautiful space with friendly people and you never know you may actually get to meet the artists themselves. I am hoping to be available some days during the exhibition for talks, meet and greets, etc. I will def be there on Saturday 7th March for a couple of hours if you would like to come along and have a chat it would be lovely to see you.

May the light of the landscape shine on your dreams


Photo comment By Paul Grundy: Great post Tracey... and thanks for kind words. It is my absolute pleasure to work with someone who is also committed to the very best in quality and service.
Photo comment By David Ash: Tracey, what stunning images, your words just bring them to another level. This country has so very much to offer if you just open your heart and eyes to it all. I bet the printed images were stunning, You I think are like me great to see on screen but another level to see them printed to the very best that can be achieved. Good luck with the exhibition.
Photo comment By Jane Jazz: Such an interesting post Tracey, and really beautiful images. I learned a lot from this, and agree with all David's comments above. Hope to be able to visit The Willow Galleries Exhibition :o)

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