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Biggar Little Artists' Exhibition

Biggar Little Artists' Exhibition took place during October, it replaced the usual Artists Open Studios.

The Exhibition ran over the weekend and featured a collection of 21 local Artists. There was a wide variety of high quality work on sale and the Artists were there in person to showcase their work at Loanindale, Carwood Road, Biggar. ML12 6LX.

This was some of the Collection of Artist's work that was on show during the Exhibition.

Liz Bertram-Gossan

I live and work in an amazing isolated place with rolling hills, wildlife and nature near Biggar. In my free time I tour around other beautiful places in Scotland so I have loads of opportunities to observe the changing shapes, colours and textures throughout the seasons, which inspires my work.

I make individual ceramic pots which are fired to stoneware temperatures which means they can live inside and outside. I also create individual ceramic art pieces, some combined with beautiful hard wood backgrounds.

I became interested in Ceramics by chance when I was 14, simply because a locum art teacher knew how to work the school kiln. I completely love the process of working with the soft plastic, gritty clay through the various stages of drying, firing and glazing to create interesting, pleasing shapes. I use different types of clay and building techniques depending on the piece I am creating. I fire all my work twice or three times, everything is bisque fired and then most pieces are fired to stoneware temperatures so the piece is vitrified, non-absorbent and durable.

Working with clay is essential for me. It allows space for me to be creative and experiment but also to problem solve the many practical aspects of making ceramics. The anticipation of opening the kiln is always exciting and complete joy when a piece is a success.

Edward Bowen

A retired schoolteacher who now resides in Biggar. Early training was at the famous Birmingham School for Jewellery and Silversmithing after which he spent several years producing ecclesiastical artefacts.

After gaining a first class degree he taught in a comprehensive school, a Sixth Form College, a Young Offenders Prison and finally a Teacher Training College.

He developed a skill in ceramics specialising in Japanese Raku and exhibited in many galleries throughout the Midlands.

More recently the emphasis has been on 2D artwork using watercolour, acrylics and ink (Wash-off). His inspiration comes from the Scottish countryside and emotive animal images.

Christine Brown - Etched Glass & Ceramics

Christines’ art is inspired by everyday scenes, anywhere you need to peel a layer off to see what is going on behind....the world is full of layers, of textures and colour. After a lifetime of working in economic development she escaped to Glasgow School of Art to study Stained Glass and painting. Feeling frustrated with the containment of colours in the stained glass led lines she developed her skills in etching glass and optical crystal working in 3d art.

She is now bringing her glass and painting skills together and is now exploring working with porcelain and ceramics, where she can use colour again and explore the translucence and light/shade of this amazing material.

Allan Burnett

My names is Allan Burnett. I’m based in Carstairs, just outside Lanark. I work for the NHS and paint in my spare time. I paint using watercolour as I love its transparency and fluidity. More recently I’ve been experimenting with mixed media to give me vibrancy and looseness.

I’m inspired by the works of WJM Turner, John Singer Sargent and Lucian Freud. A very eclectic group! I tend to focus on buildings and landscapes but will capture anything that catches my eye. I start by taking lots of photos, a plein air painting (or two), then back to my studio to combine it all together.

Art is a means of escape, my day job can be stressful and taking timeout to paint is an excellent way to unwind. I’m keen to increase my portfolio and continue to develop my skills. Who knows what the future brings.

Virginia Colley

I work from my home in Coulter, and sometimes at a friend’s studio in Thankerton.

My work is quite varied at the moment - traditional figurative drawings and paintings, mostly portraits, together with pictures using Hama beads and origami. Currently I am seeing how far I can take these materials and if I can use them to express deep and complex themes.

A lot of my portraits are commissioned, but given the choice I paint or draw my close friends and family. My two daughters are a constant source of inspiration.

I graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1987. I have shown paintings and drawings in the Barbican, London, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the Paisley Art Institute, and the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.

Anj Jamieson

My name is Anj and I’m predominantly an animal and pet portrait artist, working in acrylics to capture their colourful characters. I’m previously from Carnwath, although now based in East Whitburn. I’m lucky to reside in a small area surrounded by farmland and bordered by The Woodland Trust’s land, meaning I share my home with lots of wildlife and farm animals, which inspire my work.

Recently I started exploring landscapes after a bout of bad health which put paid to my weekly hikes up the Pentland Hills, and my many trips there have undoubtedly inspired my expressive new work. Some of these verge on the abstract and it’s been nice to ditch the inhibitions and really paint from the heart.

Colour has been a mainstay in my art over the years and even though the majority of my paintings are done on quite a limited palette, there is always a flash of turquoise, purple or pink here or there!

I create my paintings in the hope that they raise a little smile, a simple pleasure, as well as brightening up the rooms in which they hang.

Karen Kelly

Karen Kelly is a rag rug artist living in Lanark. She became hooked on hooking fabrics 15 years ago and it has been almost a daily practice in her life ever since.

Hunting for textile treasure in charity shops is pure pleasure in its own right for Karen. Sometimes it’s a quest for specific fabric types for particular pictures – perhaps a knit that reminds her of the shimmer of quartz or the iridescence of a dragonfly’s wings. Sometimes it’s a search for a fabric that ignites a spark and inspires a new design.

Karen loves reusing discarded materials and giving them new life and new purpose, this particularly important amidst our otherwise too disposable culture.

Making use of fabrics that carry special memories creates a whole other layer to her work . Using a child’s clothes to create a piece of art that becomes a keepsake of a treasured childhood or creating comfort for the bereaved by incorporating fabrics worn by loved ones into a fitting textile tribute.

Lastly Karen finds the rhythmic nature of hooking fabrics to be grounding and quite meditative, so the process of making this art is as enriching as the final creation.

Veronica Liddell

Veronica ran art classes from her studio in New Lanark for 14 years and now, with 7 other local artists opens to the public at weekends, selling original paintings, prints, cards and quality crafts.

She attended life drawing classes, while studying languages at Edinburgh University, and a local group with Biggar artist John Bell for 13 years.

She works in oil, acrylic and pastel and her main subjects are people/animal portraits and landscapes.

During lockdown she has painted many dog commissions. People really value the comfort of their pets in difficult times.

Ellen McCann

Ellen McCann Artist Image 1

Ellen McCann Artist Image 2

“I studied sculpture and ceramics from Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen and taught art for many years in the Scottish Borders. I am a professional member of SSA, VAS and PAI and I exhibit regularly at national and local level and have worked on several commissions. My studio has a rural outlook and is situated in Elsrickle where the landscape and garden has provided me with inspiration for my work.

My current focus is based on observations of the various stages of the life cycle of plants and how landscape is shaped by the elements. Natural growth and decay are core inspirations with points of change fleeting and fragile. One particular interest is the interaction of forms and one way I explore this theme is through combining different materials in my work. At present I am combining metal and ceramics - two contrasting materials which has presented interesting challenges in creating a coherent sculptural piece. My ceramic sculptures are modelled in stoneware clay, carved and glazed with cobalt oxide and fired to 1300o and are able to be displayed outside or inside.”

Evelyn McEwan

In 2004 Evelyn decided she wanted to learn to paint with watercolour, so joined a painting class run by local artist Mhairi Callan where an absolute passion for art began. Following this up with a short pastel course with John Stoa in Dundee to learn the basic techniques for the medium and then a couple of trips to the Norfolk Painting School with Martin Kinnear on how to use oils and achieve luminosity.

Having retired after 44 years in NHS Lanarkshire Clinical Laboratories she now enjoys having more time dedicated to painting and helping support and promote local artists exhibiting at the Tolbooth in Lanark and the Jam and Ham Festival in Carluke.

Evelyn is a member of Corra Linn Artists in New Lanark, Sharon Bradley’s Biggar Botanical Artists Group and the Clyde Valley Arts Group. Today she paints in all mediums depending on subject and timescales and is happy to do commission work, specialising in wedding bouquets.

Susan McMillan

Susan McMillan trained in Contemporary Art Practice in the City of Glasgow. She currently works in her studio in Crossford where she continues to produce new work as well as deliver workshops relating to her practice.

Whilst Susan’s work is varied, she mostly draws on the surrounding countryside as her inspiration. Her loose approach to painting works well with the diverse range of media she uses in her Contemporary landscapes. Susan likes to capture the atmosphere of a place rather than to represent it fully. Expressive marks, colour and mood are really what makes Susan excited to paint.

While Susan has had several solo exhibitions; she also enjoys working in collaboration with her contemporaries exhibiting in local areas. Susan’s current work is inspired by her recent travels, and she is looking forward to exhibiting her work with Biggar Arts Festival.

Lynn Morley

I work in stained glass from our home in Roberton. I have been making glass art pieces for over 7 years, previously from Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway where I was a member of an Arts and Makers Group selling across the local area.

My designs are simple with strong lines and a contemporary feel, to show the beauty of the medium. Inspiration comes from the richness of the glass, with texture playing an important part. Light coming through translucent or opalescent glass gives the artwork a different feel or ambience dependent on its location. I enjoy using agate slices and also working on landscapes. I work with copper foil to give a lighter finish for smaller pieces but also make glass mosaics, inspired by birds. Larger, free standing work is framed in upcycled wooden firescreens.

The many aspects of making a piece from the original drawing and design, the selection of the glass to the technical work of cutting, grinding, copper foiling and soldering all require different thought processes and skills which provide a variety of enjoyable learning experiences and challenges.

Vivien Newton

I’m Viv, I run Earthware Pottery, based in the beautiful borders town of Biggar.

I’ve been making pottery for over 35 years, throwing on the potters wheel and hand building, experimenting with different clays, shapes, textures and colours. I produce functional table ware, 1 off pieces of pottery and floral inspired ceramic flower bouquets.

My inspiration comes from nature, particularly from the west coast of Scotland, the wild Machair flowers, the landscape and especially the beaches and sea.

All my pottery is made with love and care and I hope it brings enjoyment to the people using and looking at it.

Claire Orange

Working from her studios in the North of England and South Lanarkshire, Claire Orange is a maker of non-functional ceramic art using limestone ‘pavement’ and fossil inclusions as inspiration for her latest work.

Preferring to hand-build in her perhaps unorthodox method of clay building, she adds an element of experimentation and unpredictability into her work; the surface of the piece often determined by the combination and interaction of materials used, and the consequent effects resulting from the firing process—much of the material used is gathered locally and incorporated into the clay, creating unique pieces which are sometimes ground and polished or sand-blasted to complete.

Claire recently worked alongside fashion designers of Burberry to create ceramic and wire wearable art for their campaign inspired by the life and work of Henry Moore, spending time with the designers developing a wearable ceramic ‘cape’ for their collection: The Cape Reimagined.

Having retired from lecturing in ceramics, Claire sees her use of clays as a personal development and an exploration into the use of materials she loves to hopefully produce something which is intriguing and blends with its original inspiration.

Moira Pedreschi

I’m Moira Pedreschi, ‘made by moira’.

I design and make one off pieces of sterling silver jewellery in my studio at my home in the lovely wee village of Roberton.

My passion for silver jewellery began while at Art College where I developed a love for the work of Danish jewellery designers Hans Hansen, Henning Koppel and George Jensen.

The concept behind my one off pieces has evolved through a series of observations and drawings of shape and texture in nature and the environment. These form the basis for my designs and starting point for my pieces.

My pieces are produced using traditional methods and new techniques to create surface texture and manipulate the silver.

Some pieces are embellished with gold, acrylic shapes and semi precious stones and beads. To retain a hand crafted, natural effect which is an integral part of my designs my pieces are sympathetically finished off.

I love shape and texture and I’m constantly looking for inspiration, taking photographs or making sketches. I find working at my bench very therapeutic and often get lost in the development of a piece loosing all concept of time. I have a sense of satisfaction when the piece is finished, especially when I see it being worn.

Carole Shoel

I'm a glass artist living within beautiful countryside between Carnwath and Auchengray. Working with glass is an absolute joy - a spontaneous, unpredictable, creative rollercoaster that is both exhilarating and addictive.

My glass art reflects a deep emotional connection to our beautiful universe and the feeling of being alive in this and every moment. As a result, the finished pieces tend to be joyful with plenty of character!

The journey from raw materials, through kiln fusing and forming to completion can take days, but once the kiln is finally cool and open, the transformation that has taken place is well worth waiting for.

I love to create layers of vibrant colour combined in fluid harmony to express freedom and spontaneity, which is underpinned by subtle composition or nuanced lines. I make a wide range of products using several design techniques, from glass powder painting to detailed mosaics.

Work includes art glass panels, jewellery, wall art, freestanding waves and curves, vessels, tiles and tealight holders. Commissions are welcome.

Liz Steele - Drakelaw Pottery

I'm Liz Steele and have a pottery tucked away in a garage in our garden just outside Crawfordjohn. I have a small showroom area in my workshop and also sell my work through shops, galleries and craft fairs. I graduated with a BA Hons Ceramics back in the 80s and have always been interested in making pots to use. I was a full-time potter for 30 years, but as I now have a proper paid job, just pot for pleasure.

I make a range of functional and decorative stoneware which is fired to 1260 degrees centigrade, making it non-porous and suitable for use in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. Stoneware also lends itself to being quite robust so suitable for everyday use.

I'm inspired by pots made throughout history, particularly those with practical use. I find pleasure in adapting examples to suit my way of working. One of the very pleasing aspects of pottery is to start with a lump of brown clay and to end up with a finished piece that can be used.

It's one of the few craft making processes where you've no idea how the piece will look until you open the kiln at the end of the glaze firing. Sometimes the pieces bring joy and other times disappointment due to the quality of the glaze on the finished piece.

My pottery workshop has nearly always been a place for escape; to shut myself away with my radio and bags of clay. To have at the end of a session, boards of pots that I hope will be a pleasure for people to use.

Isobel Struthers

I have lived and worked in Biggar all my life and feel privileged to stay in such a beautiful area and have never felt the need to move. I have always enjoyed both hand and machine sewing, creating my own designs and using mixed media to express them.

I have been selling my embroidery and beadwork at craft fairs for more than twenty years but am now concentrating more on my painting and needle felting which lets me enjoy my love of colour. My subject matter is wide and can come from anywhere but my main influence is colour.

I enjoy creating and hope to continue doing so for as long as I can as it gives me so much pleasure.

Jennifer Turner

Having graduated in art and design from Liverpool Polytechnic in the far distant past, I moved to Paris for a time and worked in design studios learning many tricks of the trade.

For more than 30 years I have worked as a freelance textile designer, hand painting artwork for interior fabrics, wallpapers and bed linen with clients around the world, though predominantly in the USA.

I also did a little teaching as visiting tutor in design at Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and the Royal College of Art.

In recent years, I lived in France again and studied printmaking at the renowned Atelier du Safranier in Antibes.

My “Crow Stories” series are traditional dry point and aquatint etchings, whilst my “Rocks, Geology, Erosion” series mixes more experimental techniques of carborundum and collagraphy, sometimes layering or intercutting several pieces into a final composition.

Patricia West - Textile Artist

Patricia West owes her love of sewing and all things textiles to her Grandmother. Before completing a Textile Masters at Manchester Metropolitan University Patricia had learnt to sew at a young age, and was introduced to free motion machine embroidery while studying GCSE Textiles.

It is this freedom to draw with a sewing machine needle, a bit like a pencil, that forms the basis of Patricia’s current work. There is no pre-programming involved, it’s Patricia moving the fabric under the moving needle that creates the stitches. Patricia uses a combination of bold colour and texture choices to show off the narrative in her work. Story telling features prominently in Patricia’s work and she loves to tell the life stories of her clients and enjoys celebrating those special moments and places in a person’s life. She actively takes commissions throughout the year. Patricia creates original work from her own life experiences and more recently has started to explore the sculptural possibilities of the technique by making vessels using water soluable fabric. Patricia is based in Lanark and runs workshops throughout Clydesdale to introduce everyone to the joy and freedom of free motion machine embroidery. She has a variety of embroidery, cards and prints available to purchase.

Stephanie Whatley

My name is Stephanie Whatley, originally from Bavaria I trained in a subject related to psychology and therapy. I fell in love with stained glass in Hokitika/ New Zealand where I took my first classes. Leaded glass especially peaked my curiosity. The rich history in this medium in so many countries and also the modern approaches to this technique have been keeping me focused intently since then.

In 2008 my husband and I returned to Scotland and in 2012 I started my company ‘Biggar Glass Works'.

Living in Biggar/ Scotland with its rich rural countryside keeps me inspired. My subjects are often based on the natural world of flora and fauna.

An interest in problem-solving is the golden thread weaving through my work, where I aim to create a solution to a question or request. This allows me to enjoy commission work and rather than the feeling of deviating from my own work, commission work usually IS the subject of my work.

In 2019/20 I completed my HNC in Art Glass at the city of Glasgow College further enriching my glass work.

Techniques I use are leaded glass, glass fusing and copper foil.