Today’s friend is Abi Jackson. You can see her above, she’s the one with the polka dot apron. I have Abi to thank for my studio space in Burns St.
We met years ago in Northampton’s Fishmarket, a place sadly no longer exists. Abi had a small shop there selling hand made items, I seem to remember fabric brooches and other quirky Fabric creations. I recall looking at her colourful clothes , all those years ago, wishing I had the courage to be more ‘Abi’. I think I actually worshipped her from afar before she even knew my name!
Now Abi works from the top floor of Burns St, creating ,amongst so many other things, exquisite handmade clothing from recycled and vintage material. Her studio always a hive of activity and there’s always something interesting to do, see or chat about up there. If I’m ever having a moment of frustration in my studio, I nip upstairs and have a chat , a cuppa and a cake with Abi and feel much better for it!
Always inspiring and encouraging, Abi champions the arts and loves to see people doing well and promoting creativity , especially in our hometown of Northampton. She runs workshops and regular Stitch and Make evenings that are suitable for any skill level, even I’ve had a go with a sewing machine under her guidance.
Abi never fails to make me laugh on the darkest days, she really ‘gets’ the creative mind and the ups and downs of the business of art.
Do yourself a favour and check out her website. abijackson.com
Images taken from Abi Jackson’s website https://abijackson.com/copyright/
I’m writing this quite late today, it’s been one of those multi tasking , crazy days.
I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sally Ovenden. The odd thing about our friendship is that we haven’t yet met in person! Sally and I are members of the United Art Space , which is an online artist support network. With in the group the members all work through aspects of their art career with the support of their peers. It’s easier to check out the details on their website. I’ll pop the link at the end.
Sally and I , plus 4 other members, (who I’ll no doubt get to introduce you to in the future) get together weekly for a zoom meeting. We discuss our progress, thoughts and fears about our art practice. Everyone is really supportive and if the day starts out bad, by the end of the meeting the positivity and encouragement is flowing!
Sally is a Ceramicist and works from her garden studio in the New Forest. She’s really talented and not only creates homewares and beautiful usable objects but she also makes the most beautiful birds, which I absolutely adore. When Sally talks about her work, she speaks with such passion. Sally loves to get completely absorbed by whatever she is creating and has been telling the group stories of some of the birds she has been creating. One day I will treat myself to a bird or two. And when life returns to normal I’d love to get a chance to visit the Just So Studio.
You can see more of Sally’s gorgeous work on her website.
Finding friendship and support like this online is really exciting, as we all work differently and come from different backgrounds but really understand what it’s like to navigate through life as a creative, with all of its ups and downs.
To find out more about The United Artspace follow the link below.
Introducing my friend Kat Lendacka
I first met Kat when we were new Mums taking our girls to their swimming class. We lived near one another and I’d often see her walking her dog past my house. Firstly we had pets and children in common. When we met we had no idea about our creative sides but after coffee mornings with the kids at the toy library, we began sharing our creative sensibilities and discussing the frustrations of trying to be creative and parent at the same time.
I was in the middle of my art degree and I seem to remember Kat was illustrating a book in those early days of our friendship. It was just so wonderful to be able to talk to another creative that was trying to juggle art life with being a new mum. I was the only student in my class at uni to have a new baby, so my friendship with Kat became very important as we could understand one another.
I took this photo yesterday in Kat’s garden studio, this was after she had treated me to homemade apple and blackberry pie and good black coffee. If you ever visit Kat, home cooked food is usually involved!
Kat is a printmaker and produces gorgeous hand pulled linocuts, they can be found on cards, prints for framing and jewellery. All original and handmade. She’s super talented and I’ve loved seeing her progress through the years, turning her print work into her own business. It’s been really exciting to see her success.
You can see her website here, you won’t leave without buying something I warn you!
Every August I join the online art community for #drawingaugust. All you have to do is draw anything during August and share it on twitter/instagram. You don’t even need to be an artist. I try to post one drawing a day. It’s a really good motivator for me and it can lead to happy accidents, as I often just draw on anything , with anything! For this drawing I used a dip pen, a water brush and a stick of bamboo. My cat ,Ted, was initially sat very still but ,in true cat style, as soon as I started drawing he moved. So this drawing was born from that frustration of having a moving target. I’ll post about drawing August on my blog and post my daily draw on twitter @teckmanart
Meet my friend Anne Blankson-Hemans.
I first ‘met’ Anne when I saw her on the BBC programme The Big Painting Challenge. I thought this woman lives in Northampton and is a brilliant artist. I must meet her. I was struck by her vibrant use of colour and lovely brushwork.
After that I really don’t remember how we eventually came to meet for the first time but we both got to know one another more when we took part in the Urban Sketchers Group.
Anne is passionate about her art and lives and breathes it. She has exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London and has a string of successful accolades which you can read about on her website, I’ll pop the link at the bottom.
Anne is one of those humble people that is full of kindness and encouragement. From our first meetings at the Urban Sketchers, Anne and I then began to meet up regularly to draw Northampton, sometimes finding a pub to discuss art over lunch, working alongside one another. We were hoping to exhibit together this year but that thing called Covid 19 sent us in different directions but one day I’m sure that will happen.
Having a friend like in Anne really brightened my isolated artist’s life! To share time together in this way really helped with motivation, encouragement and overcoming the fears that one can have when working in a public space. Anne is also a much more established artist than myself and I’ve learnt a lot from her work ethic. I guess you could say I look up to her like a big art sister!
There’s really too much to say about Anne, I think you should really go and take a look at what she does for yourself.
So it’s my ‘Friends Friday’ blog post. As an artist I do spend many hours working alone but I’ve been looking at the artists who I share time with, just to prove that no woman is an Island! 5 years ago Jean Edwards and I chatted about Urban Sketching and our love of drawing from life, then Northampton Urban Sketchers was born. Although I was quite involved at the beginning, the group is definitely run by Jean, as her enthusiasm and dedication for the subject has seen her organise meet ups at least weekly , from Spring to Autumn, for the last 5 years. We’ve met in allotments, near factories, by railways, on bridges, next to busy roads, so many places over the years, to draw from life and document our town of Northampton. The group is free to join and has a Facebook page and a blog, which Jean updates weekly. I’ll include the links at the bottom of this post. Jean is also an avid printmaker and drawer, she has her own drawing a day blog and has drawn for over 5000 consecutive days! I find Jean’s dedication to art practice inspiring, she’s always learning new things and loves to share her knowledge. Here’s a photo of Jean and I in action today,you’d never believe this field of daisies is hidden behind and industrial estate!
See the Urban Sketchers Northampton Facebook group if you’d like to come and join in some time.
I have studio in an old factory building in Burns St Northampton. Within the building there are many different creatives, dressmakers, designers, painters , potters and an upholsterer. Today I’m going to introduce you to my friend Angela Stanbridge. Angela and I met years ago (too many years ago) as mature student at The University of Northampton. We shared a space there and now we are in studios opposite one another in Burns St.
I found this old sketch I made of Burns St.
Here is Angela in her studio.
This was a fantastic commission that went off to America.
Angela’s specialism is painting flowers , in particular tulips. (I know this isn’t a tulip!)
We often wander over to The Good Loaf which is close by for a coffee and a catch up! Sadly the Good Loaf has been closed due to COVID , so we are missing our chats.
Angela is also the chair of Network Arts, a Northants based art group that offer workshops and exhibition opportunities, for a couple of years I was also on the committee, which I found really rewarding and I met many lovely people. I definitely recommend volunteering for them.
Here in this image is my friend Cathy Burnett. We met through a mutual friend sometime ago and hit it off straight away. Both of us have a passion for drawing. Cathy is an incredibly talented artist and is very giving with her time and enriches my life with her enthusiasm. Lockdown has mostly been a blessing for artists , many of us work in isolation anyway, so in someways not much changed, well, for me anyway! But recently I have been thinking about how important our relationships with other artists are for our growth and well being.
Cathy invited me to her beautiful garden to draw, we sat in comfortable silence drawing, with the occasion break for a chat and a cup of tea. I cannot tell you how lovely it is to share time in this way, Cathy isn’t the only artist I work alongside. Over the next few weeks I will blog about the artists that enrich my life.
Here I am buried amongst the greenery.
A few of my sketches that morning. I was certainly more productive after a change of scenery and some peppermint tea and hoola hoops!
Well I made it. This painting was done by combining the requested of my Facebook followers. They wanted a snow scene, a cat in snow, tulips and daffodils. The scale isn’t right at all but as it was my 3rd painting today, I’ll be kind to myself! I used references from Creative Commons.
I’ll be blogging about my 30 day challenge in the next few days and I’m planning on exhibiting them sometime in March. I’ll post details on here but please email me if you’d like details of the exhibition to be emailed to you.
Thanks so much for your support. It’s really nice when people see my work and respond to it.
Now where is that glass of wine?!
Minnie Teckman, I'm a fine artist that loves oil painting, drawing, portraiture, animals and urban sketching.