Chosen!

Yay! Further to my previous post, I just received this email – the results of the second round of judging for the National Open Art Exhibition.

Congratulations!

We are delighted to inform you that your your submission “The Way” has been selected for the 20th National Open Art Exhibition!

The 20th National Open Art Exhibition is held in the heart of The City of London at Mercers’ Hall. The Mercers’ Company is the Premier Livery Company of the City of London. The Exhibition will take place from the 27 October – 4 November with Free Admission.

Happily these dates coincide with my trip to the mainland so i’ve accepted the invitation for the private viewing on the 29th October – it will only be my third time in London in 30 years!

Succesful exhibition!

Well! What a month May was. I’ve now returned home, exhausted after a really busy month. I headed up to the Isle of Lewis on the 28th of April, neither Jane (Blue Pig Studio) nor I were totally ready for the exhibition at The Farmhouse, Callanish Visitor Centre, so the midnight oil was burnt on the 28th and 29th. Thankfully everything was done, ready and in situ for the preview evening on Saturday 30th April. Our Spanish-themed evening went really well and over thirty people came.

Considering that the theme of our joint exhibition “Walk this Way” was about our experiences walking the Camino de Santiago it was very well received. Over the month we had a lot of people through the door who had either walked the Camino or were thinking of walking – it was nice that our exhibition acted as a catalyst and a number of people have now finally made their decision to walk.

Jane ran regular workshops and I ran an “Improve Your Photography” workshop, a gelli plate printing workshop and every Friday afternoon during May I ran a drop-in crochet group – I taught 5 people how to crochet at the very first afternoon – yay!

My camino postcards were very popular – The Way in particular – so much so that I had to get more printed part way through the exhibition!

My journal from the first time that I walked the camino in 2013 evoked many emotions in people from laughter to tears – I ran the same gauntlet of emotions whilst putting it together. The general consensus seemed to be that I should find a way of publishing it so I may look into that. I enjoyed being able to share my experiences with people.

I’d like to thank Jane and her husband Peter so much for looking after me for the month – gonna miss you guys xx

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio
The window into the exhibition
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio
Inside the exhibition space
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio
Jane putting the finishing touches to the exhibition
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio
Mmmmm! Tapas!

Created for the preview evening party by super cook and caterer Sharon Borton! You can tell how good it tasted by how little was left over!

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio camino de santiago
Spanish wine, Magdalenas, Povorones and Turron!

I brought it all back with me from my February/March trip to Spain 🙂

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio camino de santiago
The scallop shell – symbol of the Camino de Santiago

We had many people come in who had seen the sign and exclaimed “I knew it must be about the Camino!

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist callanish exhibition Jane Harlington Blue Pig Studio camino de santiago
Follow the yellow arrow!

Now I’m back, and my studio at home is open from today (1st June until late September) – I’m still not fully set up but should be by opening time tomorrow. Then there is the small matter of finishing sorting out the 3000 photos I took in Spain! I’m happy to say that I’m still being Creative Every Day – if it’s not art it’s photography or crochet 🙂

Exhibition: Walk This Way

Come to visit our joint exhibition (Blue Pig Studio and Hebridean Imaging). For the whole of May we will be at The Farmhouse, next to Callanish Visitor Centre, Isle of Lewis. The exhibition provides some insights into our Camino de Santiago experiences including sketchbooks, journals and found objects. We will also be having a variety of art, photography and crochet/knitting workshops and drop ins – I’ll post details as soon as I can. Will be delighted to see you!

Liberate Your Art Swap 2016

I heard about this swap via another artist’s blog and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. As i’d just placed an order for postcards for my forthcoming exhibition I decided to join.

I had to send 5 postcards to America to Kat Sloma of Kat Eyes Studio and then on the allotted day she sorted all the postcards and sent them whinging back around the world. I sent extra postcards as well so that the swap helpers wouldn’t miss out on all the fun 🙂 Very many thanks must go to Kat and all the helpers for their work in this years swap – the 6th year!

So far I have heard from Jacinta in Ireland to say that she received my Hebridean Crofthouse postcard and seemed to be very pleased with it 🙂

I only returned from my travels to Spain last night and can’t pick up my mail until tomorrow – i’m really looking forward to seeing what i’ve received as part of the swap – i’ll update tomorrow – feeling excited! (For update on the cards I received see my post here)

Kat has a website and a Facebook page

Here are the postcards that I sent out (the set of four Camino ones were available in my online shop but have now sold out):-

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Camino postcard no. 1 “Old Window”
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Camino postcard no. 2 “Olive Tree”
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Camino postcard no. 3 “The Way”
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Camino postcard no. 4 “Sign”
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist
One of the traditional houses we have here in the Outer Hebrides

click here to see the other people participating in the Liberate Your Art 2016 swap!

Taking stock

During 2014 I signed up for an art degree, a distance learning course with the Open College of the Arts but that has currently gone by the wayside as 2015 has been a bad year for me. Late last year my best very dear friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I have spent many weeks with him during 2015, supporting and looking after him until his death on the 8th December. Advice received from another friend is “to try to focus on positives, whilst also being sad.” With this in mind, and remembering how art helped so much after I lost my son in 2003, I am working every day, making art.

Not everything was bad or sad about 2015, I was able to return briefly to the Camino de Santiago in September and walk for three weeks with my friends Jane and Peter, I had a week in Gibraltar with another girl friend and I have been able to visit with my lovely daughters and my parents.

So, I’ve had a sense all year of life being on hold and not too much art has been done, although what I created during the summer – mostly little mixed media works, made into cards and bookmarks – sold very well both here in the studio and at the local craft centre. 2016 is almost upon us and I will be kind and gentle to myself, not too much stress, and allow myself to paint and draw what I want, when I want. I will experiment, have fun and do something creative every day – whether that be painting, drawing, working in my sketchbook, photography or crocheting. With that in mind i’ve signed up for Leah Piken Kolidas’s Creative Every Day Challenge

Journey Book

I’m having a joint exhibition with a friend next May, our theme is “Walk this Way” about our experiences walking the Camino de Santiago. I’m writing up my diary from when I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2013. Each of the 44 pages represents one day of the 500 mile walk and includes a variety of writing, photographs, sketches that I did at the time, things I collected along “the way.” Central to each day is my “colours of the Camino” gelli print, done with my 8 inch circular gelli plate.

My “Journey Book” will be available at the exhibition for people to look through. I will also be incorporating “gelli elements” into the art for the exhibition too. It’s no good, there’s no hope, I’ve been a hopeless gelli addict for 12 months now.

Separate pages of my book so far…

Exhibition planned for 2016

Having recently returned from the Camino de Santiago, The Farmhouse at the Callanish Stones Visitor Centre, Isle of Lewis is booked for the whole of May and a joint exhibition will take place with Jane Harlington of the Blue Pig Studio. The exhibition will be focused on the theme of undertaking a journey – let’s face it we have many journeys during our lives. There will also be a variety of workshops taking place throughout the duration of the exhibition where you can come along and try out new techniques. So watch this space!

I’m currently working on a few pieces, one of which is my “journey book” from my first Camino in 2013 and will cover the 44 days of my travels, on foot, during that time. The journey book will be available for viewing during the exhibition. I’m also developing some photographic prints, artwork and cards based on my walks in 2013 and 2015.

Here is just one of the items i’ve been working on – a lino cut multi-media piece called “Lauburu” The lauburu is the symbol of the Basque country and is seen frequently throughout the the first part of the 500 mile walk.

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography uist outer hebrides western isles lauburu

Music time!

My first lie in since I can remember – weeks!! Around midday after Facetime with DD#1 I wandered into and all around the old town. a long line of pilgrims queuing up for their compostelas.

Had coffee in the sun and continued my wandering and exploration of the shops. Found that the market is close to where my apartment will be, also had coffee at the nearest bar to the apartment.

A siesta in the afternoon then back off out to find something to eat. Randomly chose a bar in a square behind the cathedral. Excellent salad (ensalada Quintana) and was entertained by music students who were being filmed. I love this city!!

Still alternating between being bunged up and snotty, throat marginally better. spoke to dad, he’s 83 today 🙂

Cirueña to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Walk: Cirueña -> Santo Domingo de la Calzada 4 miles (a “rest” day)

A gorgeous sunrise over the distant mountains and a hugs and kisses goodbye from the owner of the albergue made for a good start to what was going to be an easy rest day.

The morning air was slightly chill and I was glad of my fleece. The fields were, once again, full of singing Corn Buntings – how lovely to hear them, they are getting so scarce at home. The colours and textures of the landscape were just beautiful.

Arrived not long after 10am in Santo Domingo and had coffee and tapas for breakfast. It was still too early to check in anywhere so P and J went for a mooch around.

I had booked a room at the hotel – El Corregidor and once I was checked in had a lovely bath and a rest then headed out again for more tapas. P and J were staying in the albergue opposite which is run by Cistercian nuns – I stayed there last time and didn’t much fancy it again.

Wandered around the lovely shops in the town – I have to say I love this town and plan on staying here for a night next year on my long drive down from the UK to southern Spain.

Had a meal together then back to my hotel for an early night.

Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Walking to Santo Domingo, the “way” stretching out in front of us.
Hebridean Imaging Yvonne Benting art photography western isles outer hebrides uist camino de santiago
Enjoying coffee in the street, Santo Domingo de la Calzada