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!
Minnie Teckman, I'm a fine artist that loves oil painting, drawing, portraiture, animals and urban sketching.