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Tuesday 7th July 2020   06:44 PM

Paintings off to Byard Art

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I have been invited to exhibit at the Summer Show with Byard Art. This is one of my paintings I have taken along and it's called 'Sleepy Panda'. I made the paintings for this show during the lockdown. It gave me a focus and because of all that time on my hands I made three very detailed paintings.

This painting started as a Tree of Life theme but suddenly the 'Ascent of Man' appeared in it and I added all kinds of animals. It was a wonderful painting to research as the sun shone so hot outside. I love the detail and I hope people never tire of looking at it and finding more and more.

When life gets a little more normal I shall make some limited edition prints.

Here is a link to my artist page on the Byard Art website:

https://byardart.co.uk/artists/maureen-mace/

Friday 3rd July 2020   11:27 PM

Sketching with my students

Friday mornings and Zoom
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My Friday class asked if they could carry on with their lessons when lockdown started. Seemed like a great idea so we chose to do the sessions via Zoom. We meet virtually at 10am and have a chat after sharing what we will draw beforehand on WhatsApp. It is really good to see them and to keep up the social contact. After about 20 minutes we leave Zoom and get on with our drawings. I find this a very intense time working on my own with a deadline looming for 12pm, although of course it doesn't matter if the drawings are finished then as they can be worked on after our second Zoom meeting of the day which starts at 12pm.

Before 12pm we show our work on Whatsapp even if we have not finished and then have our final meeting of the day. At that meeting we discuss the theme for the following week.

i post my students' work on https://www.facebook.com/cambridgeartclass/ and I post my work on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/maureenmaceart/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maureen.mace.5

Themes for the drawings shown are; 'something red' and 'something beginning with S'.

Monday 8th June 2020   10:23 AM

Cambridge Open Windows

Open every weekend during July
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The coronavirus pandemic has not been kind to artists. Exhibitions have been closed or only open online. Most people want to see a painting in person before paying a lot of money for it and that is not possible at this time.

When Cambridge Open Studios was cancelled it was with great sadness. But several members were determined to find a way of showing their work and Cambridge Open Windows was born.

About 200 artists have got together all over Cambridgeshire to show their art in their windows. Not all windows are suitable and mine are quite a long way from the road and behind a high hedge. So I am considering having a table on my drive selling cards and some prints too - if it doesn't rain.

There is a Cambridge map of all the artists taking part which i will share later. In the meantime here is the poster and one of my paintings advertising the event in the wonderful Velvet Magazine.

Thursday 21st May 2020   10:45 AM

Drawing what I see

Cambridge Fruit Co
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For one of my Zoom art sessions with my students I set the theme of 'Kitchen'. I always give out the theme 2 days before the session so they have time to consider what medium to use and what to paint or draw. 30 minutes before the session started my fruit and veg box was delivered by Cambridge Fruit Co.

I love these people. When the lockdown started, owner Neil was worried his business would go bust as he delivered fruit to corporates in Cambridge, mainly at the Science Park. He went on Twitter for help before he made his staff redundant. Within a few hours someone suggested he delivered fruit and veg to peoples' homes. Neil asked his followers if anyone would buy and how much they spent on fruit and veg a week and a short time later someone had made a quick website for him. I saw all this happening on Twitter and ordered a 'couples' box which was delivered next day. WOW!!!! That's a man that can make things happen.

Since then I have ordered a 'family' box every week because we make all our food from scratch as my husband is a coeliac and dairy intolerant - yes I know!

But I have diverted...

I was going to do a sketch of the whole of my kitchen for my lesson but the box was too good not to draw.

After I had finished my drawing I posted it on Twitter attaching Neil's twitter name and it was met with a lot of enthusiasm. Shortly afterwards I heard from a lady involved with the Red Hen Project which is a company trying to feed the disadvantaged in the local area during the lockdown and doing all sorts of good work during normal times. Neil has set up a way for people to donate a fruit and veg box to Red Hen as well as Addenbrookes and Papworth Hospitals. The lady, Sarah, ordered two prints including one for Neil. I rang my printer and we worked out a way to get my drawing to him and for me to receive the prints with all the required social distancing. I love how unexpected things just happen.

Here are links to Neil's 'Cambridge Fruit Company', the 'Red Hen Project' and my wonderful printers 'Little Pink Cloud'. Please look them up and support them.

https://www.cambridgefruitcompany.com/

https://www.redhenproject.org/

https://littlepinkcloud.com/

Thursday 14th May 2020   04:54 PM

20 x 20 exhibition at Byard Art

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Galleries have to be pretty inventive to get the works of their artists out there during the coronavirus pandemic. Byard Art usually has a stream of potential customers passing by as it is situated on one the most famous streets in Cambridge, King's Parade. However with most people now at home they had to find another way.

They have produced an online catalogue with pages that turn at the press of a button. There is a little bit about the artists and a selection of their work. The 20 x 20 exhibition starts today. I love the thoughts behind the title. 20 x 20 refers to the size of all the paintings in inches, 50 x 50cms, reflecting the year. I was delighted to be invited to take part. I have never painted square pictures, I have also never had to paint so quickly as I am a slow kind of painter because the ideas take time to settle. Imagination. Fortunately I am fairly happy with my new Golden Open acrylics although they are a little bit too transparent for my work but a couple of layers usually does it and they dry slower than other makes.

There are 12 artists exhibiting, 3 from Cambridge and all part of their regular team. I am thrilled to be in this company.

Here is a link to the catalogue, artists are in alphabetical order.

https://issuu.com/byardart/docs/20_x_20_catalogue

As usual Byard Art has an array of 3D work, some really exciting pieces not seen anywhere else. These can be seen on their website or in their gallery window.

Monday 6th April 2020   11:54 AM

Cambridge Art Classes

via WhatsApp
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My intention was to stop the art sessions on WhatsApp until after Easter and to concentrate on my own painting but I found that, due to coronavirus, I wanted to keep in touch with my students.

With this in mind I asked my Thursday group if they wanted to continue. They did. So I told them I would do three free sessions and after that I would be asking for donations. So we carried on. I contacted one of my ex students who had moved to Bristol and she said she would like to take part too. Since then I have added 2 more students but I shall stop there as the group would become too big, although I will start another group shortly.

Last week's theme was kitchen. It is amazing what kind of ideas that brings up and you can see some of the finished work on my Cambridge Art Classes Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/cambridgeartclass/

Thursday 26th March 2020   05:08 PM

Coronavius and my art classes

Teaching via WhatsApp
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My art classes hadn't finished before the coronavirus led to a lock down with no socialising. My students had already paid so I had to find a way around the problem. It was Kirsty, one of my students, who first suggested using WhatsApp, I thought it would be a much better idea than a video as the classes were 2 and a half hours long and I doubt anyone wanted to watch me or hear me for that length of time!

I suggested the plan to my group who were all delighted the last two sessions could go ahead and thankfully all were on WhatsApp.

I decided to pick a theme, add samples of paintings and sketches relating to the theme and send this information two days before the session would normally take place. It gave everyone time to think.

The first theme was 'sketch what you see through your window'. I sent pictures by Matisse, Hockney, Dufy, Reg Cartright and a couple of lesser known artists. My group kept in touch with how the social isolation was affecting them and when the session would normally start I posted the view of my window and my initial rough sketch.

My students certainly rose to the challenge and they posted some amazing sketches and we all got to see a little bit of each others' houses/gardens and also to chat about other things. It was a huge success.

The second challenge was 'Interiors'. Again I sent pictures and again there were some beautiful pieces of work and some really lovely chats between us all. My two sketches are at the top of this blog. I had one person drawing from the inside of their greenhouse with lots of small seedlings coming up and another drawing the space where she likes to read a book which looked so peaceful. It was lovely to know that they had been thinking of what to draw in the two days between receiving the theme and making the drawing.

They were very interested to hear about my daughter who started her training an an ambulance medic last summer. It just so happened that she had two trauma events the night before where the air ambulance was called and all medical procedures have to be done in full protective kit. I believe it helped them understand what the NHS staff are really facing. My daughter said she was really hot and tired after giving CPR in a plastic suit but loving the way businesses and individuals are sending food, hand creams and other stuff to the front line services that they can't use because they have had to close their businesses.

I will stop the classes now until after Easter and get down to some serious painting for exhibitions which I trust will happen in the Autumn but I am certainly looking forward to doing the classes through WhatsApp again.

Wednesday 18th March 2020   12:40 PM

Coronavirus

...and the artist
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Coronavirus wasn't something I planned for.

Originally it seemed far away on the other side of the world but it has gradually been creeping nearer. Our government seemed to think we would not be affected like the rest of the world, that obviously is not the case. We all feel for those paramedics, doctors and nurses in the front line - indeed my daughter works for the ambulance service dealing with the ill and infirm - but it affects us all.

So how are the artists' faring?

Last week my first shared exhibition of the year, Cambridge Drawing Society Annual Show, was cancelled. Quite rightly as many of the contributors are older and they volunteer to man the show, deal with customers, take the money and they should not be put in situations where they might catch the virus.

At the weekend the Tithe Barn Art Exhibition was cancelled. That was a great shame as the Friends of the Tithe Barn had worked tirelessly to raise money to restore the barn which was erected around 500 years ago - it's older than America! The barn is very close to my heart as I would be showing a lot of my drawings and paintings from old manuscripts. The exhibition along with a farmers' market would have been the first events they had staged, unfortunately Covid-19, too small to see put a stop ti that.

Yesterday Cambridge Open Studios cancelled for this July. Cambridge was the first to think up open studios and they have not missed a year since setting up in 1974. I love meeting people interested in art who have taken time to come and see me. I talk about my work and hear what people think and hence my work progresses.

That is all my regular outlets cancelled but one, Byard Art, who are still there on King's Parade. But as more people become ill or self isolate, independent shops find it more and more difficult. I love this gallery and they are trying their hardest to show our work online so people can view artworks from their own homes. They are now offering complimentary delivery for all local orders, and delivery to London for anything over £300.

So artists have been hit pretty badly by the current situation but I have to stay positive as I have more time to paint and I can see more time can be spent aiming for the perfect painting.

Please continue to support artists' while the coronavirus continues.

Monday 24th February 2020   09:32 PM

Sketching the Market

Cambridge Urban Sketchers
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What is it about sketchers?

On Sunday 23 February the Cambridge Urban Sketchers met up outside Paperchase to make drawings of the Market area. It was a big turnout of perhaps 30 people and yet the wind was blowing and it was very cold.

I didn't have to walk far until I found my spot. I unfolded my stool and plonked it down outside the Cambridge University Bookshop, because that was opposite where I had left my bike. Call me weird but I love my bike and I love drawing it against the railings and posters, well anywhere. This time I was able to draw a bit of St Mary's Church window too and the street sign.

It was half term week but not particularly busy, a few people stopped to take a photo and say 'great picture' and then I was suddenly aware of the colour red. Floating past were the Extinction Rebellion red robed ladies with their white faces. I am never too sure whether they are scary or beautiful but they are certainly arresting. Suddenly the drums began and XR were there after a week of protests in Cambridge which closed a road and included digging up the front lawn of Trinity College.

I completed my sketch and cold from sitting in the wind I moved closer to the market. A cup of Earl Gray from one of the stalls and I joined another sketcher on a bench and made my second sketch. I am still reeling from the fake panda and polar bear rugs slung over the metalwork that forms the basis of a stall. At least I think they were fake.

So after two hours in the cold with a wind that kept blowing my sketchbook pages around and got through my coat I made a detour into the Grand Arcade to warm up until meet-up time where we share our sketchbooks. And then it was the bike home. I swear the wind was against me on the way in and again on the way home but I was happy, battered and at last warm.

Friday 3rd January 2020   09:46 AM

30 day sketchbook challenge

A sketch a day during January
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Every year I try to do two or three sketchbook challenges. In the past I have taken part in 'Inktober', 'Urban Sketch a day' in May and the '30 day challenge' in January.

One of the things I love about the January sketchbook challenge is the prompts. They arrive at 6.30 every morning in my inbox so I can see them over breakfast. Last year I ended up matching some of the prompts to tongue twisters and sayings so to make it more difficult; I am aiming to do the same for every sketch I do this year for the challenge. It takes a bit of head scratching and internet browsing which I do in any spare moment during the day. I then make the sketch around 6pm before we eat (takes about 20 mins to do the sketch if I am organised in my thoughts) and then after eating the paint had dried and I add it to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. My sketches are not particularly finished, after all they are quick sketches designed to just show an idea.

A few of my students are also doing it this year as well as some friends. The group taking part gets bigger every year and over 3,000 took part last year including complete beginners and professionals so there is a wonderful mix and a great sense of community.

If you would like to take part or find out more https://www.facebook.com/groups/149677712423067/

I will post my sketches every day on my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/maureenmaceart/

Maureen

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Painter living in Cambridge. Mixes fantasy and realism and loves medieval art.

Blog Archive

* 2020
* July
* Paintings off to Byard Art
* Sketching with my students
* June
* Cambridge Open Windows
* May
* Drawing what I see
* 20 x 20 exhibition at Byard Art
* April
* Cambridge Art Classes
* March
* Coronavius and my art classes
* Coronavirus
* February
* Sketching the Market
* January
* 30 day sketchbook challenge
* 2019
* Winter Open Studio
* Christmas Cracker Exhibition
* Birmingham Open Studios
* Cake Tree
* Space pictures
* Getting ready for Cambridge Open Studios
* Sketching in the garden
* Sketching with Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Drawing during 'The Silence of Time' exhibition
* Along your Street exhibition
* Packing the paintings
* Basoka dreams / Dreams in the forest
* Cows at Trinity
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Cambridge Drawing Society
* Urban Sketchers in Eddington
* Messing around with watercolours
* Pyjamas
* Commissioned Painting
* Commissioned painting
* Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Three paintings on the go
* Part 3 of my 30 day sketch challenge
* Another ten photos for the 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge 2019
* Sketch a day challenge
* January in Byard Art
* New Year, New resolution
* 2018
* It's almost Christmas
* Look what's in the window!
* Christmas Cracker exhibition
* Winter Open Studios
* Winter Open Studio
* Urban Sketching
* Christmas Cracker
* Talk/Demonstration at Ely Art Society
* Friday morning Art Classes
* Sketching with my students
* Exhibiting at Addenbrookes
* Painting on a wet day
* Cambridge Antiques Centre
* A customer hangs her painting
* Two more mini paintings
* Drawing at the Museum of Classical Archaeology
* Urban Sketchers
* Painting some mini pictures for an upcoming exhibition
* Ely Art Society demonstration
* Painting Kings and Cows
* Painting Kings and Cows
* Painting Kings and Cows
* World elephant day
* Visiting Addenbookes
* In the basement at Byard Art
* Thank you to everyone who came to visit my Open Studio
* Drawing at the Botanic Gardens
* Open Studios have started
* July means Cambridge Open Studios
* Sold at Byard Art
* Edible drawings!
* First Sketch to completed painting
* Zoology Museum visit
* Paintings in the window
* Paintings at Byard Art
* My studio and garden
* Urban Sketchers at Novi
* May Drawing challenge
* Byard Art
* Sketching at the Parker Library
* Drawing at Queens College
* 2017
* New painting
* Winter Open Studio
* Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition
* Cambridge Busker
* Cambridge Urban Sketchers
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Cambridge Art Book
* Haddenham Gallery
* Drawing at the Parker Library
* Teaching Art
* Observational Drawing
* 2016
* Winter Open Studios
* Winter Open Studio
* Lost Crusaders
* Drawing at the Parker Library
* Cambridge Open Studio
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Curiosity Gallery, St Ives, Cambridgeshire
* Running with Brushes
* Cat on a Mat
* Winter Open Studio
* Cambridge Drawing Society
* Mixed Media Workshop
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Pop up shop
* Cambridge Drawing Society at Addenbrookes
* Busy Painting
* Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition
* Samovar Tea House and Gallery
* 2015
* Pop Up Market Place
* Etsy Handmade Fair
* 2014
* Cambridge Christmas cards available
* Cambridge Open Studios
* Strawberry Fair
* Cambridge Open Studios 2014
* Clavering Easter Art Show
* Cows, Bowers and Towers
* 2013
* My Shop on Etsy
* Prints
* Potentials
* Cambridge Art Classes
* Silvanite Woods
* Tree of Knowledge
* Cambridge Open Studios 2013
* New exhibition at Williams Art
* Art on The Hill
* Cow Prints at St Ives
* 2012
* Christmas Gift and Craft Fair
* Art Classes in Cambridge
* Cambridge Open Studios 2012
* 2010
* Moos & Blues
 

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