Open Studios

Helen Glassford inhabits two parallel worlds: the public world of the Gallerist and Curator, and her private world as a Painter. As a Gallerist she seeks to uncover and bring into public view her own sense of some of the very best of Contemporary Scottish Art.

 Alongside this public face, there is an Artist fully immersed in the processes of her own creativity, stealing time in her studio, to make paintings that reveal her innermost meditations of what it is to be a woman interacting with her own experiences of being in the Landscape.

 Once a year, in the Open Studios Weekend, Helen welcomes visitors into the sanctum that is her home and studio. This is a much-anticipated annual event for her, as an opportunity to engage with her audience in the quiet surroundings of her living space. It is always wonderful to meet again with old friends and acquaintances, and also to make new relationships with new visitors. Transforming one’s house into an exhibition space creates a different environment; one in which new paintings might be encountered in a way that is different from the more formal atmosphere of the Gallery simply because it is more personal.  For the viewer, to be allowed to cross the threshold into an Artist’s residence and studio is to be permitted to see at first hand the place in which it all happens. There is evidence everywhere.  Stained easels, ranks of colour-encrusted brushes, palettes mounded with old paint, partly crushed tubes of pigment and linseed oil. Bookshelves crammed with reference works. On the walls, of course, is the output. There is something different about seeing paintings surrounding the Artist who made them, in the place where they are made. One is able to understand, perhaps with a small shock of comprehension, that the Art, the Artist, and the Studio are in fact all parts of the same thing.

Alan Greig

Over the Open Studio weekend Helen will welcome and talk to every visitor about her new work and concepts. It has become quite an event over the years attracting many art lovers and followers.   Buying a piece of artwork or simply enjoying new work is indeed very special; discussions and conversations and stories shared become part of the enjoyment of the wonderful experience.  It is an opportunity not only to meet Helen but to also meet the Paintings. Perhaps you will stay long enough to talk and share something memorable together. You will be most welcome.

Open Studios is part of North Fife Open Studios and is held on the first May Bank Holiday every year.  If you would like more details to this event please join Helen’s mailing List.

4th / 5th / 6th May 2019 10am-6pm

 

 

Gentle Night • Oil on Board

Research Trip

At the tail end of January I escaped to the North. I spent five wonderful days exploring the Assynt Peninsula, drawing and walking. A planned research trip can often come with expectations that potentially won’t be fulfilled, but I was not disappointed. The weather behaved. By that I mean it was wild, cold and snowy. The light changed every few minutes. Just perfect for my work. My winter visit also meant there were very few people around. I found the quiet and solitude needed for the natural world to sink in. Sketchbooks were filled and words were written all in preparation for new work when I returned home. Research trips are essential to progression. To put it simply they are inspiring. I am often happy enough with staying closer to home but a completely new place opens up new ideas. The mind can find new ways to make marks and can lead you away from your usual perhaps comfortable colour combinations and inspire to try new ones. Compositions can be explored. The rocks, the beaches and the hills felt fresh and exciting since I am used to seeing the eastern vast stretches of sky and sand. Mark making changes accordingly. It is necessary to take your time, a day would not be enough to soak the landscape in. I was reminded of Jon Scheuler’s work as the weather wraps itself around you and seeps into every pore. Being in the landscape is essential for me. I don’t wish to just observe but to experience the weather that nature decides to throw at me. Hail, snow, freezing winds and brilliant sunshine. I love it all.

My days took me to Alchiltibuie via the multiple stopping points and vistas. Achnahaird was wild and well worth the drenching I got whilst walking to the beach. Trips further North and through deeper snow revealed deserted roads and windswept beaches. The colours were magnificent set against the cool snow white shades; Slate Greys, peat bog browns and blacks with occasional glimpses of the hopeful translucent sea blues and greens. This was the true Scotland.

With a solo show to prepare for I was in full flow, translating ideas and experiences into marks, paintings and writings. Consumed and happy I immersed myself for five days in painting the landscape.

My forthcoming show ‘IMMERSE’ will be at Tatha Gallery in June.

Dates for your diary • Preview 21st June

Exhibition continues 22nd June - 24th August

New Work Available

My latest body of work is now online and available to purchase. Take a look on the Portfolio page 2018. I am happy to chat through any of the work and studio visits are always welcome if you can’t make up your mind. Many of the pieces will be shown in Tatha Gallery in the forthcoming Winter Exhibition ‘Even More Alchemy’ Preview 10th November 2-4pm and runs until 24th December

Inspiration

The Summer months have now made way for Autumn winds and chilly mornings and fresh new look at work and inspirations. Through July, August and early September I took opportunities, where I could, to venture further afield. With innocent anticipation I packed my tent, walking boots and midge repellant and set off to explore the West.

No matter what my ideas for future work are there is always a pull to Rannoch Moor, and I am never disappointed. It was so exciting to see the light and colour changing so rapidly and I found myself not knowing in which direction to look. Once I had wandered far enough and for long enough all my thoughts for work had changed. In fact, the expectations had dissipated completely. This is a lesson I learn every time I am researching and finding new painting material, but it’s a mistake I always seem to make. Set goals and ideas dissolve away with the passing shower and time and place become dominant. Nature quite elegantly reminds me that there is no set subject, no one way of seeing and certainly no same way of experiencing; nature has the incredible ability of resetting the internal compass. The heather and hills in late summer seemed to be enriched with an ever-changing filter which left me in awe of the magnificence unfolding in front of me to the extent that I found myself often questioning what I was seeing. Now I am home the mystery of the hidden and the subtlety but sureness of the visible seeps through my work once more. It is both captivating and inspiring and will feed my next series of paintings from the west.

 
Looking Towards Rannoch Moor from Glen Coe

Looking Towards Rannoch Moor from Glen Coe

 

Demonstration and Talk

On the 4th August I will be giving an informal demo and talk at Tatha gallery. To be perfectly honest the thought of showing people how I work fills me with a certain amount of trepidation since my painting process is usually a very private pursuit. The state I need to enter when painting is one of feeling removed and losing myself, so I can feel free enough to recreate the sensations of my subject yet simultaneously finding an almost hyper state of awareness.  The painting then flows and becomes about that very moment I find myself in, feeling energised by the complete absorption.

Painting in front of a room full of people will therefore present new challenges. But I hope that it will spark new conversations and ideas and perhaps add another dimension to the experience of making work. 

If you wish to attend the talk please contact Tatha Gallery 01382 690800. Spaces are limited. 

 

 

Helen Glassford • Studio Shot 

Helen Glassford • Studio Shot 

 

Affordable Art Fair Hampstead

 
Origami Landscape • Oil on Board • Helen Glassford

Origami Landscape • Oil on Board • Helen Glassford


 

I was thrilled at the fantastic response to my work at the Affordable Art Fair in May.  Some of my more abstract pieces were on show, such as Origami Landscape, Emerge and Edgelands. Choosing work for these events is always proves to be a challenge. The market continues to fluctuate and is affected by the political and economic climate, with the seasons, the weather even, so it is nearly impossible to second guess what clients might like. Having said this there are always people who want to immerse themselves in the Arts and enjoy and invest in something that will add to their lives. As artists, we rely on that surety that art, like music, stays with you. That it becomes part of your everyday life, catching glimpses, perhaps seeing something new each time you pass. What we choose to add to our lives is, therefore, an important decision.  I have painted now for 20 years and I can quite honestly say that and every sale is as delightful as the first. Thank you to all who visited and showed interest and passed comment. 

Welcome

New Artworks, New Ideas, New Website.

Over the past few years I have come to realise how important a good website is for an artist and I can honestly say that I am absolutely delighted with my new site. The journey of creating a site is very interesting and one that I would recommend every artist should go through. It helps you define and focus on your work and allows you to see it from a different perspective and therefore drives you to engage with every part of your practice from the studio through to public engagement.

It speaks of me and can perhaps be seen as another canvas or a window into my practice and research. My recent work will be on view for all to see and I have been able to include my important sketchbook work, quite often a private pursuit of many artists, but one that I feel is paramount to developing my practice. Instagram is a tool I find very useful, so I have provided easy links to my daily posts. There are so many ideas and new paintings waiting in the wings that I want to share and the addition of this eJournal allows me to do just that.

The idea is that this site functions as a journey: leading you through my background and artwork history, right up to the present day and my current exhibition and studio activities. Please enjoy navigating through the pages, share with your friends and remember to pop back for any updates and of course sign up to the emailing list if you don’t want to miss out on a new post.

Thanks goes out to David Cass for building this site, his wonderful aesthetics, expertise and patience!

Use the buttons below to explore further. Selected photography by Alistair Kerr | Website built by David Cass / CreateCreate.co