8 local artists featuring in the online Hampshire Open Studios
- Credit: Archant
This month, Open Studios shines a light on Hampshire’s thriving creative network as local artists unveil their latest work online.
It has taken Jennifer Thorpe a mere four years to evolve from hairdresser to award-winning artist, whose pastels are packed with energy.
“I used to be a proper nature bod and as I started looking at things closely again, I had a burning desire to get them down on paper. Since buying myself a set of pastels, I’ve never looked back.”
From her Hill Head home she is ideally situated to access her favourite subjects – dashing seascapes – each framed with non-reflective glass.
“I’ve tried to tone down humour but it always rises up again.” Well, that explains why Becky Maynard’s sculptures, crafted at her Upton home, are so popular because her quirky pieces are guaranteed to raise a smile.
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Yet that doesn’t detract from the skill of hand-building that has influenced Becky’s style from an early age. “I want the joy of making to come out in my work,” she laughs.
This ceramicist, who once shared studio space with Kate Malone, also appreciates public feedback so even if you can’t meet her in person, do get in touch.
In the coastal hamlet of Downton, the ceramics created in Jules Carpenter’s studio are as decorative as they are functional.
“I love that someone will use a piece crafted with my hands,” states the Occupational Health Nurse for whom the earthy tones of the New Forest inspire the decoration of her mugs, plates and egg cups.
Given that she “stumbled across pottery” while recovering from an operation, and a recognition that she still has “years and miles to go,” Jules’s skill and success suggest that, even in lockdown, her creativity is well on track.
Interpreting visual memory is a challenge that both stretches and satisfies Becks Porter.
“It’s quite tough getting images from your head down on paper but I log them into my memory. Just the other day I saw a beautiful garden, all pinks and luscious greens, which will inspire a painting. I don’t go after photographic detail. I want big splashes of colour and a feel for shapes.”
Although this Chandlers Ford acrylic artist, who also works at Southampton City Art Gallery, appreciates every season, it is summer when flowers “are at their most blousy”, which particularly resonates as visitors will see on their online HOS tour.
Travel may have been curtailed of late, but Jonathan Thompson’s landscape aquatint etchings enable us to share his journeys and experiences.
“My print making is a pilgrimage of some kind,” he states from his garden studio near Petersfield. “Limited edition prints, in the British Visionary tradition, are created using multi-plate sugar lift aquatinting, a technique which brings a more graphic image.”
Each print begins with an original watercolour, completed on location, before this artist and musician invests hours in the etching process, resulting in memorable images of memorable locations.
Oils are, for this Kings Worthy artist, a passion. “They are so exciting,” Emma enthuses. “You can layer the colour. Because the paint doesn’t dry quickly, you can play around with it.”
The process is one she finds, “absorbing, satisfying and a challenge,” and while her underlying ambition is to keep improving, she recognises the advantages of painting in situ.
“Light and sky change all the time so you’re trying to capture the atmosphere of a place. I love painting landscapes and seascapes, and Hampshire has all of that.”
“Botanical art gives me the most scope for colour.
I love the chemistry of it, the pigments.” Since settling in Southampton from her native France 26 years ago, Sandrine Maugy’s delicately evocative images have reflected her appreciation of colour and seasons.
Dedicated to using ethical and environmentally friendly products, her subjects range from homegrown roses in full bloom to fruit spotted in a supermarket and purchased for its blemishes, making this award-winning watercolourist as engaging as her artistic representations of familiar subjects.
Katy McIntyre Brown
For self-taught textile designer, Katy McIntyre Brown, nature, and its therapeutic benefits, are at the heart of her work; an interest first nurtured during childhood.
“Nature, water and trees have an impact on your feelings and your ability to enjoy life. I’ve always wanted to be able to provide nature’s tranquillity through art.”
The Lockley creative produces designs which can be translated onto fabrics, bringing the outside world into the home via cushions, murals and wallpaper. Her first Hampshire Open Studios isn’t quite what she expected, but she is still looking forward to (virtually) meeting visitors.
To find out more and discover more Hampshire artists, head to hampshireopenstudios.org.uk from August 22-31 to virtually follow the Open Studios trail