Monthly Archives: August 2011

Constance Stubbs: retrospective art exhibition

The acclaimed East Anglian artist Constance Stubbs is having a major retrospective of her art at Blackthorpe Barn, Suffolk in August 2011. The exhibition comprises over one hundred and twenty mixed media paintings, drawings and etchings, tracing the career of one of the region’s most prolific and brilliant artists.

Youngest Grandson, c.2002, mixed media, ©Constance Stubbs

Constance Stubbs became an established artist following her move to Pakenham in Suffolk, which afforded her the opportunity to develop and further her diverse talents resulting in her one woman shows around East Anglia and in London. Constance Stubbs has been a key member of the Artworks group for many years and her paintings always delight the visitors to the Artworks exhibition with their abundance of colour and expressive use of mixed media.

Portrait of the artist Constance Stubbs in her studio

Constance Stubbs studied at Cheltenham School of Art and in 1946 gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where she worked under Professor Robin Darwin, and her tutors included Ruskin Spear, John Minton, Carel Weight and Rodrigo Moynihan. Sir Hugh Casson, President of the Royal Academy 1976-1984, once said that: ‘Constance Stubbs is probably the most exciting British painter today. Without doubt, she is amongst the foremost ranks of portraitists.’

Sir Hugh Casson, c.1989, ©Constance Stubbs

Constance Stubbs’ work has been exhibited widely, including the Royal Academy and the Hayward Gallery, to much praise & critical acclaim.

Nareesh, 2003, mixed media, ©Constance Stubbs

Constance Stubbs’ undoubted artistic reputation rests on her wonderful gift for drawing, etching and portraiture, combining technical virtuosity with originality of composition through her perceptive and compassionate portrayal of everyday life. Her innovative mixed media collage techniques, using acrylic or watercolour with gouache, chalk and pastel, builds up delicate layers of radiant and exotically coloured textures on canvas or board.

Skinny Dipping, mixed media, c.2000, ©Constance Stubbs

The Constance Stubbs retrospective exhibition is at Blackthorpe Barn, Suffolk for one week only, from 13 – 20 August 2011, open daily, admission free. If you can’t make it to this exhibition, you can see more of Constance Stubbs’ artwork at her official website:

Rescue from the sea bed (Wreck of Medusa series), c.1998, ©Constance Stubbs

Constance Stubbs, 13 – 20 August 2011, Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, Nr Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 9LZ.

Janette Place Mini Artworks Prize Draw 2011

The Janette Place Mini Artworks Prize Draw is a colourful display of thirty 6”x 6” original works of art created specially for the exhibition by Artworks artists.

Christine McKechnie’s mini artwork for 2011

The Mini Artworks wall is a visual feast for the eyes, on display throughout the duration of the Artworks exhibition. The Janette Place Mini Artworks Prize Draw is an established annual event at the Artworks exhibition and it provides funding for Artworks outreach work with schools, with a proportion of the draw proceeds going to charity.

Artworks chairperson Penny Bhadresa congratulating one winner

The Janette Place Mini Artworks Prize Draw is so-named in honour of the artist Janette Place, an enthusiastic member of Artworks, always full of good ideas, who initiated the first prize draw in 2004. Sadly, she died in 2005, so the Annual Mini Artworks Prize Draw is now a lasting tribute in recognition of her contribution to the success of Artworks.

All the Mini Artworks 2011

The Annual Artworks Prize Draw takes place on the last Saturday of the Artworks exhibition. This year it will be held on Saturday 1st October 2011 at 4pm. Every year Artworks chooses a different charity to benefit from our prize draw. In 2010, we supported the East Anglia’s Childrens’ Hospices’ Tree House Appeal.

Mike Ashley’s mini artwork for 2011

In 2011, we are supporting the Bradfield Green Oak Centre project of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. They are designing and building an innovative new education centre at Bradfield Woods. The building is being constructed from green oak harvested from Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s‘ nature reserves as part of their conservation management. Work is well underway – see some progress photos on the Bradfield Green Oak Centre’s blog.

Jazz Green’s mini artwork for 2011

The Janette Place Mini Artworks Prize Draw
Saturday 1st October 2011 at 4pm.

Draw tickets are just £2 each, on sale throughout the duration of the Artworks exhibition – just enquire at the reception desk. Buy one ticket (or more to be sure!) to be in with a winning chance of securing an original work of art to take home and treasure!

Ben Platt-Mills mini artwork for 2011

The Artworks 12th annual art exhibition runs from 10 September – 2 October 2011, open 10am – 5pm daily, at Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9JG. Admission is FREE. Read more about Artworks annual exhibition on the Artworks website.

Take five with… Lyn Aylward, figurative portrait paintings

Lyn Aylward’s paintings are concerned with the human figure, portraying people from different backgrounds, in both figurative, narrative works and more traditional portraiture. Her distinctive, realist paintings also explore human relationships, family ties and recollections of childhood.

Family (from on high) oil on canvas ©Lyn Aylward

Take five with… is an ongoing series of informal interviews with Artworks artists. Without further ado, let’s ‘take five‘ with the figurative painter Lyn Aylward, who is a new member of Artworks.

Which person most encouraged you to first become an artist?
My mother first encouraged me. She studied to be an art and history teacher at Southampton during the 1960s and had (and still has) a wonderful sketchbook that she worked in that is filled with portraits and figurative studies of her room mates and friends during her time there. I have always wanted to have a sketchbook that was half as good as hers and I definitely haven’t managed it yet!

Which living artist do you most admire and why?
Chuck Close, whose work is beautiful and for bringing the portrait back into fashion when it was no longer considered to be a modern art form.  He is an inspirational artist who comes up with gems such as ‘problem solving is way too overrated‘. ‘Problem creation is much more interesting‘ and painting is ‘coloured dirt smeared on a flat surface, usually stretched around some wooden sticks‘.

Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 2000-2001 ©Chuck Close

Whereabouts in the world is (or has been) the most inspiring location for you as an artist?
I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2009 and I have to say that when I walked into the room that housed the Chuck Close, Andy Warhol and Alex Katz works I found myself in heaven.  I was on holiday with my cousins and they had to sit and wait for me for at least quarter of an hour whilst I stood in front of the Chuck Close ‘Lucas’ painting alone.  There are many fantastic works of art in the museum and I really would like to go back and spend a lot longer there.  My cousins presented me with a printed bag after the trip which includes a photograph on the front of me standing in front of the ‘Lucas’ painting.  I obviously stood there for what seemed like ages to them but nowhere near long enough for me!

Lucas, oil on canvas, 1987 ©Chuck Close

What do you listen to while creating – music, a radio station, or do you work in silence?
I am a huge fan of all types of music so often have music playing when painting.  The type of music depends on what I am working on at the time.  I mostly listen either to a classical film soundtrack or classical music as it is the only way to stop me singing along to songs and losing my concentration!  Or it has to be something sung in a different language to keep me from joining in or an audio book – usually Agatha Christie.  The golden rule for me is to NEVER put anything on that can be danced to as that just leads to some very dodgy dance moves and some shaky painting!

Dance Teachers, oil on canvas, ©Lyn Aylward

How do you generate or develop ideas for your art?
I tend to scribble ideas on bits of paper and I do have an ‘ideas’ book that I paste into any scribbles, photos or pictures that I think might inspire me at some point.  I am inspired by other artists, photographers, film, books and often the people around me so ideas can spring from anywhere.

Clare and Katie Leaping, oil on canvas ©Lyn Aylward

Could you describe your art studio set-up.
One room, no running water, no heating and the scariest steep staircase but it has wonderful big windows so excellent light.  Brilliant in the summer but freezing in the winter!

What time in the day are you at your most creative?
Definitely during the morning and the worst time is during the evening. 

What is the purpose of drawing for you as an artist?
Drawing is incredibly important for me.  I always begin paintings with preparatory sketches.  I never go straight to the canvas.  Plus I think that even if my sketches are not brilliant, they have helped me to really look at my subject so that when I get to the stage of working on canvas I have already got a good feel for the subject/sitter.

Delusions, oil on canvas ©Lyn Aylward

Is there an art medium/technique you’d most like to try but haven’t yet?
I have never tried etching and I would love to try this as I like the idea of being able to have more freedom to draw than some of the other printing methods. I have only printed using lino, lithography and collagraph to date.

If you had to choose between using a pen or a pencil – which one and why?
I would always choose a pencil. The way that you can make different marks with a pencil is the reason why.  Plus you can start a sketch using very light marks so that you are able to correct any mistakes and I find that a pencil enables me to give more tone than ink. 

Do you have a personal motto?
I heard Antony Gormley say this in a TV documentary and I have stolen it for my own motto! It is on the back of an envelope and pinned to the wall in my studio. It is ‘what is worth doing, do it completely and tell it like it is‘.

Waste Man, 2006 ©Antony Gormley

Thank you very much Lyn, for ‘taking time out‘ for the Artworks blog – we appreciate the insight into your creative world! Read more about Lyn Aylward‘s work on the Artworks official website or view many more of her paintings on her own website:

In addition to being a new artist with Artworks in 2011, Lyn Aylward is also an active member of the Norfolk artists group Breckland Artists. She exhibits her work at a number of galleries throughout East Anglia and also accepts portrait commissions.

There will be another ‘take five‘ artist interview on the Artworks blog soon, so stay tuned…