What Fun we had at Art In Action 2011, Waterperry, Oxford

Well, my much anticipated and eagerly awaited frist trip to Art In Action with the Art Academy has finally been and gone, and oh what a great time we had.

I was blown away by the sheer scale of it and the huge range of artists, artisans and skilled craftspeople who were there.  All at the top of their game and eager to spread the word to the public not only to delight and impress but to educate and inspire – with many live demonstrations and ‘try it for yourself’ classes….

Again it was camping for a few days (like at Blenheim per my earlier post) and I was joined half way through by my wife Jo and our two young boys.  What fun they had – as well as practical classes there was also a story telling tent and music and loads of other stuff.  What impressed me though was how happy they were to just hang out and take it all in, perhaps doing the odd sketch here and there or chatting to an artist or members of the public.

The Art Academy put on a sculpture demonstration with a number of us doing sculptures – some were working with a life model and looking at various figurative poses whilst others were doing a portrait bust.  To begin with, for the first day, I was working on a couple of personal projects whilst waiting for some inspiration….In the end, because I was so taken by the strong profile of the model for the portrait head, I went with that.  He was a young chap called Philip with striking features and amazing hair that would be a sculptural challenge.  www.artacademy.org.uk

I was very nervous when it came to my stint for teaching (held in another area where the public are given the chance to sign up for courses which are heavily in demand)  as I had never done it before.  It was however really enjoyable – everyone seemed to be blown away by the results (a head portrait).  For my part I was impressed with everyone and what they achieved in a short space of time, with one or two students in particular really shining.  After a nervous start I soon settled into my stride, letting my passion for sculpting take over.  Seeing the looks on the students faces as they produced their portraits and the comments and excitement at the end, took me straight back to my own feelings, not so long ago when I first started in this amazing art.

The atmosphere was great and I was truly inspired by some of the other artists there.  It’s always good to speak to fellow sculptors to share ideas and learn new techniques and materials and so on.

I was really chuffed to receive a commission to do a dog portrait, this new client having previously seen my Top Dog sculpture.  It’s planned to be a surprise present so I can’t go into any more details (yet)….

Even more exciting, myself and Jessica Wilson were chosen by Lady Joanna White to take our portraits of her step son Philip to completion (we both need to complete out pieces) – she couldn’t decide between us yet, but wants one of them in bronze (!)

Still fairly tired from it all but feeling pretty revved up and inspired and brimming with ideas for future works – just watch this space!

 

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