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Inside/Outside group exhibition at The Eye Leicester

You may have noticed that I have been rather quiet here on my blog! Well, it is for good reason – I have been working away on a gallery project with friend and fellow artist Moira Robinson! It was a voluntary project and we were lucky enough to be loaned an amazing space for 6 months by the local Adult Education College. Soon we had 48 artists have faith in us and came on board, and we were assisted by 4 hardworking group coordinators who helped us in ways too innumerable to mention….. I won’t ramble on here, as there is far too much to say in one blog post – we had 5 stunning shows: one group one to start the project featuring all 48 artists, then 4 themed shows featuring 12 of the 48 artists, the exhibitions to be based on various themes which were chosen by the artists – Strong/Fragile, Light/Dark, Urban/Rural and finally Inside/Outside. To read more about this amazing project, please visit our blog – there is a plethora of wonderful material over there.

My show was the last in the series and I exhibited alongside 11 extremely talented artists from a range of disciplines, from Millinery to Felt-making to Ceramics. It was a really diverse show, with something to suit everyone’s taste and inclinations. To read more about the curation of the show, and see more of the other artists, we have written a blogpost about it over on The Eye Leicester. Here are a few sneaky peeks for you to see…….

Jane Sunbeam - Inside/Outside Panorama

Jane Sunbeam Panorama

Chris Allsopp Panorama

I chose the group with the theme Inside/Outside as I wanted to explore nests and burrows as a starting point. But, as time progressed, the work became far more embroiled in storytelling and personal narratives. Each piece involved a link to the inner world of our daydreams or inner lives, some from our childhood and others are secret dreams that we drift of to as adults.

Over the next few weeks I will add more posts about the processes and thoughts involved in the creation of these pieces, but for now, here are some pictures from the show itself – a reminder of all the happy memories, and a peek of the show for all those who missed it…….

 

Sadly the show is now over – it passed so quickly as I was so busy with the publicity and showing visitors around the show! Five weeks seemed like a long time when we were planning it, but with the Launch to organise, and Meet the Artist events and daily publicity on social media I barely blinked as it whooshed past. I feel twinges of sadness now that the whole project is over, but shall look back with great fondness on this project and all the wonderful things that have happened during that time.

I loved seeing each and every show, seeing how they each one took on it’s own voice, presenting a very different show each time it changed. It was a full on project, and there is no way it would have worked without everyone involved working so hard. I have found it a truly inspiring experience – and have learnt so much and been inspired by so many talented artists. It was very humbling that so many Leicester and Leicestershire artists wanted to take part. And now I have many of these artists as friends, confidants and mentors – which was a truly wonderful bonus to the project. Especially, as for me, I wanted this project to be more than the artwork on the wall – I wanted it to enrich the artistic community in Leicester.

If you wish to contact me regarding purchasing a piece of work, future exhibition opportunities or a personal commission please email me: thesunbeams @ btinternet.com

Thankyou.

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Meet Pepe – #WorldBookDay

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Pepe’s Amazing Tale – I hope one day a child with be reading this book on World Book Day

Happy #WorldBookDay to you all from myself and Pepe! Some fellow illustrators have felt like they have had a “world book week” so I am not too late…..(I am good at being late, you may notice a pattern here, but I am getting better at being less late! It all takes practice).

I’ve seen so many lovely bookish things this week – visiting the library where I used to do the craft activities at the toddler times, seeing old faces, and the now grown children dressed up as their favourite characters from books. For me, books can transport us to magical places, give us much needed knowledge and information, educate us, and inspire our dreams and aspirations. They do not require batteries or chargers, and can be gifted to a stranger we meet or a dear friend – to be returned or to be passed on and on around the world, gathering marks of its journey – folded pages and tears, rips and drink stains.  I have had fascinating discussions about how a book involves a commitment – if its only one of a few taken on holiday, we take the time to read through the more challenging pages, rather than skipping through the list of 50 books on our ereader to find an easier or lighter read. For me, there is something magical about the form of the book – that yellowing of the pages, and the mustiness that comes with age, or where it resides in an old bookshop filled to the rafters with lost books awating new homes.

Long live the book, and once again, have a great World Book time! Wherever and whenever it may be……..

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London Ma Show

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Here are a couple of pictures from the show…Sadly Gertie did not get to hold the pens for the comments book (there were a lot of lovely children who wanted to meet her, but she felt it was safer to sit and watch from above!). More pictures to follow, along with insides from the books. Its odd that this time last week it was all up and had a day of visitors, and now it’s over. But, it was worth it, with lots of great feedback and possibilities. But for now I am having a much needed rest…….

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Gertrude gets ready for the show

Well, I have done it – my journey of the Master’s is almost over, my work is back and its lovely being reunited with it all after such a long time. I have passed, and am now looking forward to the final show and the future.

I’ve been busy selecting work, and mounting some on foamboard (Thankfully I found a company that prints onto the foamboard for you, as that was one job I was not looking forward to…….), and the rest are framed up ready to be shipped off to the show in their gleaming white frames (sadly I was too busy to photograph the framing session).

My business cards have arrived too…. but that’s in another post.

The reason for my posting today is that I have a little friend who is desperate to say Hello…. Everyone, please meet Gertrude (She was named two years ago, so please forgive the connection with Hurricane Gertrude). We are working on a book together called Gertrude and The Moon and she will be appearing at the show. However, she does get a tiny bit bored, so we agreed on a job  for her to do – it is to look after the pencil for the comments book.

Jane Sunbeam textiles (1)
Gertrude

But a bit like the adorable Phoebe in Friends, (when she was allocated the task of looking after ice) Gertrude thoroughly went to town and decided that one pencil was not enough (and she needed to wear her crown!)…….so over to her.

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Look, I can hold a pencil, and more than one. I really can….
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Look, I can hold a pen too…

 

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Perhaps not. I’ll stick to one or two pencils.     Please come and visit me at the show!
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Cover Art and Owls

It been a busy week since my last post, as I have been manically working on pieces for hand in, but also I was brave and put work into the competition for the front page of our Ma graduation catalogue for the London show (I submitted 2 in the end). They were not selected, but the image chosen is beautiful (more on that nearer the time).

So, for this week’s post I thought I would take you through the hundreds of choices I made to get to the final covers.

1a
It started with this little Owl, (made using Daniel Smith Watercolours).
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Some of his details were picked out using machine embroidery.
1b
I thought he was a little lonely, so added in some parents.
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And a background
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then played with many different layouts
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and added leaves
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then played some more digitally, adding in more leaves and moving the moon
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and adding shadows for more depth
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But it felt too much, so the moon was removed…..
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…..and the leaves. But I didn’t like them all looking so directly out of the image…..
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And so for more narrative, I asked the parents to go to sleep. They said they would happily do so, as it was rather bright for them.
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And then, for my second image, it worked a bit easier – I chose cats! You know by now I love cats. And for the colours I used the “pipette” to choose the colours from the two cats. Oddly I prefer this to the owls, yet it took a tenth of the time.

So there you go….. 2 finished designs, one with more choices than others. The next piece to be created was for my page inside but more on that in the next posts……..

Hello world!

This is my very first post, and thankyou for finding me! Please bear with me whilst I begin this exciting journey on this blog.

My work has always been narrative, as I have always yearned to tell stories with my images, even with my larger paintings and prints. Now, I am lucky enough to be a student at Cambridge School of Art, studying a Masters in Children’s Illustration, which has been a dream of mine for many years now.  My aim is to  use this blogging process as time to take my recent  works out to the world, as it feels a rather scary thing to do.

And so to begin….I am presently revisiting and reviving work from my Diploma Project back in 2014 as I was so engrossed in the storytelling, and the form of lines vs colour and texture, they developed in a linear form. I was often taught that it is often good to leave an image, or set of images aside – to let them breathe and give one’s self creative distance. After a year, I am aching to revisit these images, and to bring them to life with all the knowledge I have, and skills I have learned over the past year or so.

This is a double page spread from Carina and Ava ~  a tale about a friendship between a girl and a bird, and their adventures together (real or imagined). Here, they are curled up together in bed planning their adventures but also having fun, making art and playing games.


Double page experimental spread of Carina and Ava
Carina and Ava planning their adventures, playing games and making artworks together
Single page spread of Carina and Ava in bed making plans, but with other activities above
Single page spread of Carina and Ava in bed making plans, but with other activities above
Single page spread from Carina and Ave
I decided to make this a single spread on its own without the activities, as they cluttered the image too much