Author Archives: ejolls

What’s up with #COSart2020

An update on what’s been on display so far for #cambridgeopenwindows

Preview weekend: New work on paper, canvas and board

Week 1: Painting and lino prints inspired by the local landscape

Week 2: Keeping it simple with one statement painting – big, beautiful and blue

blue gray circles grid_scaled 1500

Wear paint

I’d been working on something different for this year’s Cambridge Open Studios at Burwash Manor to show alongside my main work – paintings that you can take with you everywhere you go.

It’s one of the things I’m most gutted about not being able to get ‘out there’ in person this July as they’ve been a while in development and I’m really pleased with the results. These delicate but quite robust little necklaces are made with my signature material, emulsion paint, trapped inside glass globes.

The process of making them (researching and testing what would work well, controlling materials while embracing their nature and some chaos with it, repetition…) learning some new techniques, and loving the outcome has been hugely enjoyable.

I hope that I’ll still find ways to share them and that they prove popular enough for me to make more!

Cambridge Open Windows preview weekend!

I genuinely couldn’t wait for Cambridge Open Windows to start, so decided to kick off early with a preview weekend this weekend! Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot.

20200628_163709_scaled 1000

I hope it may have got a few people talking in Huntingdon in advance of the main event throughout July, but it also helped me work out how to most effectively show work in this format. Key points to note:

  • My contact details didn’t stand out, so they’ll be moving to the top windows!
  • Having work flush against the windows does work well where this is possible due to the nature of the work and if there’s no risk of condensation… this poses a logistical challenge for a number of the things I am hoping to show during the next month.

I’m setting myself the goal of having a completely new display each weekend in July; though I may repeat the preview weekend’s display for one of them as it includes newer work and lent itself well to being shown in this way.

Cambridge Open Windows 2020

While I was looking forward to returning to the Artists Marquee at Burwash Manor 2020 had other plans. Instead the lovely creative types that make up Cambridge Open Studios have come together to create Cambridge Open Windows instead.

During each weekend in July I and many COS (and non-COS!) artists and crafters will be putting up work to be glimpsed by passers by. You can find out more at https://www.camopenstudios.co.uk/open-windows

open windows virtual programme

Lockdown blues

With life turned upside down during the pandemic and lockdown, which for me includes little time to be focussing on art while our wonderful schools and nurseries are closed and my day job (which I’m delighted to be in a position to continue from home) wraps around childcare, it’s easy to feel blue. I’m trying to stay positive by taking stock of what I am able to achieve, however small, and planning what I really want to get stuck into when I get the chance.

This small piece – part painting, part sculpture/collage – was made just after lock-down was imposed. It started with an accident – the smashing of a favourite mug that reminded someone of holidays by the coast. I call it ‘breaking waves’, and hope that the coastal memories still come back to them even though it’s not much good for holding their coffee.

Emily Jolley_breaking waves_2020

UPDATE: This piece was featured in the June edition of Velvet magazine

Colour tests

Sometimes you just have to play. I’ve been testing colour combinations in preparation for a large scale commission which I’m really looking forward to working on. I love the mark making and energy in the resulting sketch.

Feb 2020 colour test

Minimalist and expressionist

When describing my practice I often say my work is in the modernist tradition and particularly influenced by abstract expressionism as well as artists that reference minimalism. Some of the approaches I’m experimenting with at the moment are allowing me to show these two influences in a playful, tactile way.

Farrow and ball ‘Pelt’ emulsion paint on torn paper

Sizes range from 25cm x 18cm to 36cm x 26cm

Testing time

I’m testing some new approaches. Smaller scales and working directly onto paper or fabrics without stretchers to encourage me to experiment more and not worry so much about ‘failures’.

I loved tearing some fantastic paper to size before starting to test a dripping technique I’ve been meaning to try for AGES that will provide a more continuous line. I’m really pleased with the results so far and look forward to doing much more of this.

20200124 testing

Studio reflections

Some challenges I’ve set myself for the new year include:

  • enjoying making the most of my (tiny!) studio space (it may be small but it’s mine)
  • seeking some tuition from my photographer friends to get better and more confident at photographing my work
  • being playful with my materials – this means not hoarding them (what am I saving them up for?!) and embracing the chance to make mistakes

One of my favourite paintings from 2019 was a result of an accident – a cracked paint tin leaving me with congealing paint – which forced me to experiment with the materials I had immediately to hand.

This pink and blue painting (congealed emulsion paint on found board) is so expressive both of its making and in showcasing its materials and their qualities… it is also VERY difficult to photograph now that it’s framed! It’s currently hanging on my studio wall to encourage, inspire and challenge me.

 

Testing new paint

I’m enjoying testing out some new colour-ways and textures having picked up a new colour from Providence paint at their shop at Burwash Manor. It was tricky to come away with just the one!