Thursday, December 30, 2010

Decisions decisions...

Things have been a little quiet recently as 2010 draws to an end. However, I am contemplating a change at the moment - but I am a little unsure whether this change is a good or bad decision... I guess I'll have to contemplate a little more... and if it comes to fruition all will be revealed here... hmmm what to do?

In the meantime, I have just received notification of my first Payback royalties from DACS. I am mentioning it here just in case any artists reading are unaware of this service. I was encouraged by a very good artist friend to register. If your work has appeared in books, magazines (with ISBN numbers) or on television and you haven't investigated or registered with DACS click here to find out more!

Wishing you a happy new year. Natalie :) x

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quay Arts Open 2010...

A piece of my work has been selected for the Quay Arts Open 2010.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 4th December to Saturday 5th February at
The Michael West Gallery, Quay Arts, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight PO30 5BD

Unfortunately, I am unable to make the preview. However, if you would like to attend it is being held on Saturday 4th December, 6pm-8pm - all welcome.

"The Quay Arts biennial contemporary open art exhibition features selected work by up-and-coming and fully establishes artists from across the UK."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

6by4 success...

This last weekend saw Art Space Portsmouth host its 6by4 Secret Postcard Exhibition. The event was a great success as we welcomed record numbers through the door. There were nearly 800 artworks for sale. Many beautiful works flew off the walls. As I was involved with the project I needed to wait for the event to finish before choosing a card for myself. I chose a beautiful drawing entitled 'Child of the Atom' by David Blandy which I will picture soon.

Thank you so much to all the generous artists and creatives for donating their fantastic artworks. I was so amazed at the response to this project. I would also like to thank all the volunteers at Art Space who worked so hard to make the event so successful.

The cards can be viewed on Flickr here.

My entry is pictured below ... I was very pleased that it sold.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


At last I have found the time today to make my postcard for the 6by4 Secret Postcard Exhibition and fundraising sale at Art Space Portsmouth (where I have my studio).

Obviously I cannot post it here otherwise my entry wouldn't be a secret!

If you would still like to make postcard for this event, you have until tomorrow to do so. Please click here for further details.

The exhibition and selling event will take place as follows:

Secret Postcard Exhibition and Sale
Preview: Friday 12th November, 6pm - 9pm
Sale of artwork commences at 7pm on a first come first served basis

Exhibition and sale continues:
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November, 12noon - 5pm
at GASP, Art Space Portsmouth, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 4PA

This is a one-off opportunity to buy an original art work for just £20 - the perfect Christmas gift!

To help celebrate our 30th Anniversary Art Space is hosting an exhibition full of delicious surprises. We've asked artists, designers, musicians, TV personalities and assorted creative types to make and donate an original postcard-sized art work in their medium of choice. The artists' identity will remain secret until the point of purchase.

Emerging talent will be shown alongside established artists and media superstars giving art lovers and collectors the chance to purchase a hidden gem at the very reasonable flat rate of £20.

Contributers so far include Martin Parr, Wayne Hemingway, Sir Paul Smith and Richard Wilson. We've had entries from all over the world including the Ukraine, France, USA and the British Virgin Islands. Many submissions come from artists with international reputations, some of whom have played a significant role in the history of Art Space Portsmouth and Aspex Gallery.

All proceeds from the sale of postcards will help support future Art Space projects and initiatives.

Art Space Portsmouth is a charitable organisation providing much needed support for artists in the region. 28 of our 45 members rent a studio space in a converted chapel and the group makes a significant cultural contribution to the city and beyond through exhibitions, workshops and public projects.

For further information please visit:
Preview postcards on Flickr at:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting plastered and other activities...

It's been a while since I've made a blog entry. It's the time of year when not only am I undertaking my usual duties at Art Space Portsmouth - but the time when I administrate our International Residency. This has kept me very busy...

Not only were we pleased to welcome Josefina Posch from Sweden at the beginning of September  - we were also extremely pleased to welcome back Frauke Materlik our 2009 artist-in-residence.

Photograph copyright Frauke Materlik
Frauke had travelled back to exhibit a new body of work, "Ferne Nähe - The Distant Near" in three venues across Portsmouth: Aspex, Vernon Gate at Gunwharf Quays and Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Frauke had driven across Europe with her exhibition packed in the back of her car. She is a very determined person and an inspiration to me. With only one minor hiccup (the Cherry Picker being delivered the the wrong address) the show went on, delivered on time, with great success accompanied by a beautiful catalogue. Frauke's exhibition continues until 24th October. You can see further images of Frauke's exhibition on her residency blog here

Josefina's casting day
Photograph copyright K. Dowlatshahi
Josefina, the 2010 recipient, has already thrown herself straight into her ambitious project. This has included a plastering day at Portsmouth University last week. Both members of the public and students were asked to volunteer to have their body parts cast for two life-sized sculptures. Josefina will be producing two sculptures one male and one female that represents a cross-section of the average Portsmouth inhabitant. There was also a great double-page spread in The News last week, the online version of article can be read here.

There was a real buzz to the casting day - with the media students filming and broadcasting the event live around the University... and an interview with BBC Radio Solent (which can be heard here until Friday at 3:19:30). You can see more images from the casting day on Josefina's residency blog here. Also, I must add, I had the pleasure of getting plastered yesterday!! 

Me getting plastered! Photo copyright J Posch

So... although I'm very busy at the moment ... rest assured I will be back in my own studio soon - especially as I still need to make my 6by4 postcards for our Art Space Portsmouth Secret Postcard Exhibition. If you would like to participate - please take look here, extended deadline 5th November 2010.

BBC Radio Solent interview
Photograph copyright K Dowlatshahi

Casting day broadcast live by media students around the University of Portsmouth Campus
Photograph copyright Katayoun Dowlatshahi

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some good news...

Today I had some very good news. I received an email this morning telling me I had been selected as a finalist for this juried contemporary painting prize: This made me very happy :)

Time flies...

It was exactly three years' ago that I moved to Derby to start the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award. This residency was such an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I have such wonderful memories ... it gave me time to work on my artwork full-time, as well as challenging myself as a person by moving to a new city without knowing a soul. Although I had done this several times before by going to art college and University - there wasn't the 'all in the same boat' network - and this made it even more liberating. As part of this residency I also had chance work with students in the Fine Art department at the University of Derby, where Shed 5 became my studio for the following 10-months.

This was my second residency experience - the first being a 6-week visit to Latvia in 2006. I do realise how fortunate I was to be awarded both of these opportunities and will always be truly grateful. The work I made in Latvia most certainly informed my project proposal for my Derby application. It is a cliche to say 'how time flies' - but it is true - 'it only feels like yesterday' to add another!!

Tomorrow I will be welcoming our second international artist-in-residence, Josefina Posch from Sweden, to Art Space Portsmouth. So having been on both sides of the fence - I can really appreciate the value of these opportunities and the value of exchange. It is not my intention to be sentimental about it but I just felt the need to record this in some way ... so why not here?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Work in progress at ARC...

Work in Progress
at ARC space, Aspex Gallery.

Click here:

Secret postcard exhibition...

Art Space Portsmouth is hosting a secret postcard event '6by4' in November to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The deadline for entries is Monday 11th October 2010.

Open to all artists - this is a fundraising exhibition & sale of original, anonymous postcard-sized artworks. All proceeds will help support future Art Space projects and initiatives.

This is a great opportunity for young and emerging talent to be shown alongside mid-career and established artists. Additionally, it is a great chance for art lovers and collectors to purchase a hidden gem!

If you would like to find out more please click here.

A big thank you to Roberta Collins at Plastic Mammoth for generously designing the posters and flyers for us.

Art Space Portsmouth: celebrating 30 years of artists' studio provision 1980-2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A blank canvas (or two)...

Now, I know I said you may not see these canvases for a while. However, I couldn't resist... they now have three coats of primer and are beautifully white and ready to go. Although this may not look visually enthralling (or very exciting) - to me it is very VERY exciting. However, the preparation is the easy bit. This is the calm before the storm - before the roller-coater of 'ups and downs' on the struggle to turn this into something presentable. Only time will tell. (This is a diptych - hence the reference to the singular and plural).

Loves me loves me not...

From the archive:

Loves me loves me not...
Oil and acrylic on canvas

This is the first painting installation I made way back in 1996, it is interesting to see how long ago I began to work in series like this, and is something I have returned to many times since. This piece consisted of 33 individual canvases. Again, these images have been scanned from slide film which is not ideal - hence the slight grain. I'm still processing my images, both new and old, for the website, which is slightly delayed. However, slowly but surely, it is evolving.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


From the archive:

Fabric, coat hanger & pins

'Beautiful Angel - I can only imagine you.'

I have spent the day in the studio priming canvases and photographing paintings. It's a long job - but needs to be done. At least it is all digital now. Angel was originally photographed on slide film. This has been scanned but the results could be better. Thank goodness it is not standard to use slides anymore.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Like a moth to a flame...

From the archive:

Inside Out
Bulb, feathers & wire

No moths were harmed during the making of this piece. Although a few light bulbs were expended.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Learning the hard way...

It's been a week of mixed fortunes. Let it be a warning to those that do not regularly back-up their computer's hard drives. I leaned the hard way this week when my hard-disk failed and sadly I hadn't backed-up my data. Apart from a few essential files on my memory stick, I lost a year-and-a-half's work!! We all take risks in life - but this one is NOT advisable. On a brighter note, my computer's been fixed and is bigger, brighter, better (hopefully) and I have set about re-photographing my missing artworks again - ready for the website (which is now a little bit delayed). However, I can laugh about it now - many worse things happen in life - just a little bit foolish of me :-)

Also, my new stretchers are nearly ready - just need priming ... they are quite large ... this painting may take some time...

The scale of this piece is ambitious for me... and starting is always difficult but exciting too (see Luc Tuyman's quote on starting in previous post).

As Picasso said. "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it".

If the painting is successful you will see it posted here someday - if you never set eyes on these canvases again... well I'll just leave you guessing why!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Studio experiments...

Today I've been working on these very small experiments (Gesso panels 10cm x 10cm) and giving myself the opportunity to have a play with materials. Been wanting to try this out for a little while - I'm pleased with the results ... I think!

In progress:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Walking alone...

I've been busy photographing some of my back catalogue ready for the website. It's very time consuming, but I'm getting there.

Walking alone I was overwhelmed by a sense of not belonging
Oil on canvas
88cm x 116cm

Going home
Oil on canvas
142cm x 81cm

Friday, July 23, 2010

Work in progress

'Work in progress' on show at ARC, aspex till end of August.

Dinosaurs are coming to Southsea:
Sunday 1st August - Grand Opening of Heather & Ivan Morison's LUNA PARK on Southsea Common & AN UNREACHABLE COUNTRY. A LONG WAY TO GO at aspex.

Preview: Sunday 1 August on Southsea Common 1-3pm, followed by drinks at aspex 3-5pm

Portsmouth and Southsea’s skyline will be transformed this summer by the spectacular addition of Luna Park, Heather & Ivan Morison’s recreation of the accidental dinosaur Ultrasauros. Created in the style of American roadside super-sculptures and standing at 16 metres tall on Southsea Common, Luna Park will be visible from miles around.

Work in progress, oil on linen - 25cm x 20cm x 4.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

A quick update:

It's been a long time coming but my new website is currently underway, so I'll soon be busy entering the content. It's been frustrating that I haven't been able to update my website for such a long, long time, but soon to be rectified.

I'm also waiting for my new stretchers to arrive - so very excited. So waiting, waiting, waiting...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

You need to wake up if you want to dream...

You need to wake up if you want to dream.
Paulo Coelho

For a second - Oil on canvas - 2005

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Natalie on starting....

When I start to paint, it is real agony ... well said Luc Tuymans. I've been doing this a long time and it never ever gets any easier.

This painting is an experimental piece as the precursor to a more ambitious painting - early days!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Luc Tuymans on starting...

When I start to paint, it is real agony. I get nervous. The day before, I am already working up to it. Then I get to the studio and, once the image starts to emerge and come together, pleasure kicks in. And then you can see things that no other person can see.

Luc Tuymans

Image © Luc Tuymans - Rabbit

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Public Catalogue Foundation

I have just received my copy of the 'Derbyshire' Catalogue produced by The Public Catalogue Foundation. This is a series of books that catalogue 'oil painting in public ownership' county-by-county. Both my paintings owned by Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award collection feature in this book alongside the other recipients of the Award.

'The Public Catalogue Foundation was set up to photograph and record all oil, acrylic and tempera paintings in publicly owned collections in the UK. This includes works in museums (both on display and in store) as well as paintings in council buildings, universities, hospitals, police stations and fire stations. It is estimated that there are some 200,000 such paintings in the UK. However, at any one time some 80% of these are hidden from public view, being either in storerooms or public buildings in official use.

The aim of The Foundation is to improve public access to these paintings by producing a series of affordable colour catalogues on a county-by-county basis.'

I'm pleased to be included besides a few more pennies for my DACS royalties!

Fellow artists if you don't know about the DACS payback scheme please click here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When surprising things happen...

Between the lines (swimming pool)

I am fascinated and surprised about how things happen sometimes. Last week I was contacted by the journalist and writer Fran Abrams. Fran had seen a text written about my work on the Vegas gallery website written by Ken Pratt for the Sugar and Spice exhibition in 2007 (read the text here). The text was predominantly about a series of work called 'Little girls in pretty boxes', and touched on another series called 'Between the lines'.

Fran is writing a book on the history of childhood in the 20th Century (due for publication next year by Atlantic Books), and after reading this text and seeing my work she asked if she could come and interview me. So she did. Fran asked me about my own childhood including what opportunities there were for children in the 70's and 80's: intrigued as to whether my artwork was partly sparked by thoughts and activities from my childhood, or whether the work was an attempt to capture the essence of an era which has passed.

It was a really pleasurable afternoon and will wait and see if anything I said makes it into the final edit!

Between the lines (ponies)

Between the lines

Little girls in pretty boxes

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.”


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drawing and projection

Nowhere places (The Clearing)

Compressed charcoal on paper - 100cm x 100cm

Pencil on paper - 20cm x 20cm

Recently I have been concentrating on drawing and sketching to inform a new body of work. Whilst also carrying out small experiments with painting and drawing materials.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Out of Bounds

Graphite on paper

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010)

"Once I was beset by anxiety but I pushed the fear away by studying the sky, determining when the moon would come out and where the sun would appear in the morning."

"Art is a guarantee of sanity. That is the most important thing I have said."
Louise Bourgeois

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A glimpse of this place...


Studio shadows...


Faded icons...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Art Space Portsmouth's 30th Anniversary Open Studios Weekend

Art Space Portsmouth, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, Hants. PO5 4PA

Saturday 22nd May, midday - 5pm
Sunday 23rd May, midday - 3pm
Art Auction: Sunday 23rd May, 3pm - 4.30pm

Close to Portsmouth City Centre, on the edge of Southsea, is Art Space Portsmouth. For thirty years artists, art-lovers and friends have told other artists, art-lovers and friends about one of the oldest studio groups in the UK.

Established in 1980, by Fine Art staff and graduates of the then Portsmouth Polytechnic, Art Space has provided affordable studio space in Portsmouth for generations. Today, over 30 artists occupy studios in the former Chapel on Brougham Road, and a membership of over 50 contributes to a year-round programme of projects, exhibitions and events.

On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of May 2010, Art Space Portsmouth will once again open its studios to the public. Visitors to the annual Open Studios Weekend will be able to view new work from painting to performance, and come face-to-face with the artists involved.

Click here for map.


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