Sunday, 14 September 2014

Amy Winehouse bronze unveiled in Camden Market by actor chum Barbara Windsor

Amy Winehouse by Scott Eaton. Photo by the sculptor.
Amy is shown with her trademark beehive.
Photo by Hannah McKay for EPA. With thanks.
Amy Winehouse at last has a statue in her old stomping ground of Camden. An impressive full-sized bronze by sculptor Scott Eaton, it stands in Stables Market unveiled by Amy's actor chum & patron of the Amy Winehouse FoundationBarbara Windsor, on what would have been Amy's 31st birthday.

Commissioned by Amy's dad, Mitch Winehouse, the singer is presented in her trademark beehive, Star of David locket and high heels. The public will have the opportunity to interact with the statue by putting flowers in her hair, as seen at the unveiling.

For those many fans who liked to believe Amy had not died, this statue finally makes her death real; statues, after all, are not erected to the living. Now fans from around the world will have a focus for their adoration of the Back to Black singer who had simply one of the best jazz soul voices ever heard.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lifesize Amy Winehouse statue arrives Camden 14 September!

The now familiar Back to Black cover image
photographed by Mischa Richter 
As a HUGE Amy Winehouse fan I was delighted to hear that a statue of the singer is to be erected in Camden, her own patch of our fair capital.

Expected to arrive on what would have been Amy's 31st birthday on 14 September, the life sized bronze by sculptor Scott Eaton, will make Camden a must-visit location for music fans everywhere.

Interestingly, Scott Eaton's website says there are currently no public images of the statue's final design. Images produced to date were apparently for planning permission only and no-one knows the precise design or location of the finished bronze!  

Hard to believe it's already three years since Amy died on 23 July 2011 aged just 27. Her multi award winning album, Back to Black, with one of the best photos of Amy ever taken (by Mischa Richter) on the cover, remains my favourite album, like, for EVER!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Florentijn Hofman's Big Rubber Duck disappears in China floodwaters

Florentijn Hofman is the chap who specialises in massive, mainly animal sculptures. We've posted about his fun work in the past and admired the way it brings people together.
You may remember the post about his Rubber Duck Project. 
Having been a success around his native Netherlands & Western Europe, the huge yellow foul is turning up in harbours around the world as a part of major festivals and exhibitions.

Big Rubber Duck deflates in Hong Kong harbour, May 2013

In Hong Kong the Big Rubber Duck deflated, in Taiwan it exploded 'in unexplained circumstances' and now in China's Guizhou Province the popular bird, seen by some 4m people in one month, was swept away by floodwaters.

The Big Rubber Duck in Guizhou, China, before it was swept away by floodwaters, July 2014

Apparently the BRD was taken by the tsunami that caught the area unawares so that despite being tethered to an enormous, anchor-like, underwater stanchion weighing some 10 tonnes, the bird was swept out to sea and destroyed.
Poor Florentijn Hofman. Poor Big Rubber Duck. The project, which brings joy and delight to the populous wherever it appears, has not experienced the best of luck on its recent Asian travels.

BRD in Osaka harbour, Japan, in 2009
Whether the extreme conditions that appear to befall BRD can be attributed to climate change or very bad luck is probably only known by Hofman's insurers who are in all likelihood the only people not to have been disappointed by these occurrences.
We wish Hofman, Big Rubber Duck and the continuing Rubber Duck Project all the luck in the world and hope this event brings an end to its nautical misfortunes.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Shaun the Sheep to follow Aardman's Gromit on major art trail!!

Shaun the Sheep
Aardman is at it again! Some time ago I blogged about the Bristol 'Gromit' trail and now, having just been voted the nation's favourite children's TV character, it's Shaun the Sheep's turn to shine!

The Gromit trail around Bristol was tremendously successful, visited by 
some 1.2 million people!
Shaun first appeared in Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave, in 1995. Such was his character and popularity that in 2007 he was given his own TV series. Now he's to appear across Bristol and London in his own major public arts trail to again raise funds for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Shaun the Sheep as we're more used to seeing him, from Aardman

It's anticipated that up to 120 giant sculptures of Shaun will appear across the two cities, decorated by artists and celebrities. Yesterday Aardman creator, Nick Park, launched the project, which looks FANTASTIC!!! 
Another element of Aardman's 'Grand Appeal' for the Children's Hospital, the project is called Shaun in the City and will be taking place across the two locations in 2015, London in the spring and Bristol in the summer. 
Following the Gromit Unleashed trail, the sale of Gromit sculptures raised £2.3m for the Children's Hospital and even greater things are hoped for the sale of the Shaun the Sheep models after Shaun in the City
Look out for lots more news and great pics of Shaun's flock in colourful action in the months to come!

The first Shaun the Sheep sculptures for Shaun in the City, launched yesterday, 8 August.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

My Chelsea experience at Parallax Art Fair!

Parallax Art Fair at Chelsea Town Hall
Phew! The Parallax Art Fair last weekend was amazing! And exhausting! It poured on Friday evening, which made transporting watercolours treacherous, especially since parking was almost impossible - even the local NCP was packed.

Lizzy,still putting up paintings
at the private view!
Squeezing into a tiny Pay & Display spot around the corner, Max and I had only an hour to get everything into Chelsea Town Hall and to put up all the paintings in my designated exhibition area.

Two hours later we were still at it! I'd prepared a scaled drawing of the space but the paintings seemed to hang higher than expected. I wasn't the only artist who discovered this. With no time to re-hang, I believed my pictures couldn't be viewed at their best :(

Lizzy with cousin Graham Barker & art agent, Celia Purcell
With no time to make adjustments, Max and I dashed for the car. Thankfully the place we were staying was nearby. With less than an hour to get ready for the evening's private view I wondered if I could possibly make it in time. Somehow I did it, fishnets, high heels and all, and we cabbed it back to Chelsea Town Hall arriving just a few minutes late.

As my hair frizzed in the heat and humidity of the exhibition space, something I'd have to get used to over the next two days (take a portable fan if you're attending Chelsea Town Hall, people!), I wondered anew if exhibiting at Parallax was such a sensible idea. 

Sandra Blaz, interested in a future commission
Then the lovely London art agent Celia Purcell came walking towards me, wide smile on her face, and I relaxed. I'm always pleased to see her because she's particularly enthusiastic about my 'quirky style'. She loved my exhibited drawing of ‘Notre Dame’ and wants me to paint more for inclusion in her own exhibition nearer Christmas! Celia, I will, I will!

Saturday - before the rush!
Over the two days of the Art Fair many lovely guests from around the world visited my stand and YES! On Saturday I sold my painting, ‘Girl on a Motorcycle’. That made the event for me! The cute watercolour references the 1960s, Vespa scooters and Marianne Faithfull in 'Girl on a Motorcycle' and has long been one of my personal favourites.

Lizzy with Bruce Withington in his Chelsea garden, with 'Girl on a Motorcycle' - SOLD!

Bruce, who purchased the piece, had bought his son Ollie along to the Art Fair. It was Ollie who spotted the painting and wanted it for his bedroom wall. Ollie also happens to be the name of a character in ‘Made In Chelsea’ and I told Bruce how I adored the programme and would love to have my own Chelsea experience. Just like that Bruce invited Max & I to his Chelsea home for Pimm's & strawberries! What a great guy!

Loving my Chelsea experience and totally star-struck (Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys' fame lives a few doors down the road) Bruce took us on to the Phoenix Geronimo Inn, which also features in ‘Made in Chelsea’, where he treated us to cocktails. This fabulous chap gave me my own wonderful Chelsea experience, so thank you Bruce, you're an art lover, thoroughly lovely man and a star!

Parallax Art Fair underway and already there are lots of visitors

Plenty to see & much to talk about!

Artist Bozena Czyz with her work

A closer look
So much to take in across Chelsea Town Hall

Heading home
Silent contemplation. Will she, should she?

Monday, 21 July 2014

See you at Chelsea Town Hall for Parallax Art Fair, next weekend!!

Have been SO BUSY getting pictures ready for Parallax next weekend! The Art Fair in Chelsea Town Hall next Saturday & Sunday is a huge event and it's wonderful to be exhibiting in London again!

Parallax is a huge craft fair with work of a very high calibre and I was dead chuffed to be allowed to be a part of it this year. It means I'll meet lots of new artists and have my work seen by a big, new audience. Which will hopefully mean sales!!

See Lizzy & her work at Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, London on 26 & 27 July

As much fun as exhibiting is, for an artist showing work is about building visibility & reputation but primarily about selling. Only a few years ago I'd get so excited about having my work on display that I'd forget what I was there for and miss sales opportunities through sheer inexperience. No longer!

The business of displaying pictures at exhibition is a minefield one enters with caution! Where a picture is selected by a gallery it is hung where and how the gallery or show curator wants it seen. If it ends up tucked in a corner near the floor, well, that's life. Being accepted to have space at an art fair is quite different.

Chelsea Town Hall - Parallax Art Fair venue, London
Despite having to have one's work evaluated, an art fair is more about selling that a gallery or exhibition. One pays to take a space which one is then told how to fill. Sometimes the requirements are precise; all works will be fixed with mirror plates, or be no less than 10cms apart, for example. This keeps the overall appearance consistent, as in a gallery. And it pays to obey the rules since pictures look so much better when displayed well.

This time I'm taking Max along with his trusty drill & spirit level! As befits a one-time photographer, Max is great at detail. With Max in charge of hanging, pictures are positioned EXACTLY as planned! And credit where it's due, while I'm busy getting anxious, Max always makes a great job of the business end of exhibitions.

Inside Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, London
For Parallax I've bought a couple of little display units for the postcards commissioned by Visit Leicester, which I still feel are among my best work. Those too can now be displayed to best advantage. And at the suggestion of a friend among my bits and pieces I'm taking Tippex to cover mirror plate screw heads. Plus ready-mounted replacement pictures so that sales don't result in unemployed exhibition space. My attitude really has changed!

However, once the exhibition closes I shall still enjoy the nightlife London has to offer. I'm sure there will be photos of the weekend to share with you in due course..!

I do hope I'll see many of my readers at Chelsea Town Hall on 26 & 27 July - it's going to be an excellent event and I'm already excited! There will be LOTS to see and while I hope you make the most of the quality art & craft works on offer, please don't be a stranger; make yourself known and come have a chat. I'm looking forward to meeting you at Parallax next weekend!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

For all the times you'll share...Possibly the cutest pet video EVER. From Pets at Home :)

I'm a big softie when it comes to animals, especially the cuddly varieties, so I absolutely have to share this cute video with you! It's so sweet that I know many of you will LOVE it!! Courtesy of Pets at Home, it's made of of customer's own pet clips via #mypetmoments & it's WONDERFUL!!!
NB Called For all the times you'll Share, it was released only TODAY! Aah!!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Mellow Baku, a new British jazz sensation in the making!

Went to a great gig the other evening, at Leicester's Regent Jazz Club. Mellow Baku, a singer I'd never come across previously, was playing with the Rod Kelly Band and a magnificent set they produced too as evidenced by her first official video;

If you're at a loose end anytime I thoroughly recommend seeing this lady. Without doubt a new British jazz star in the making, Mellow by name & mellow by nature!
Mellow Baku & The Rod Kelly Band, L-R Rod Kelly (keyboards),
Paula Robinson (bass), Marcus Joseph (sax), Andrew Sime (drums)
Heartfelt jazz renditions from Mellow Baku

Smooth jazz vocals of Mellow Baku
Mellow Baku in performance
Mellow Baku, a new British jazz sensation in the making

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sue Townsend, Leicester Treasure, RIP

As a photographer I've snapped a good number of VIPs, particularly Leicester-based VIPs. Sue Townsend was one of my favourites. Over the years I took her picture many times.

Sue Townsend, centre front, with snooker pro,
Mark Selby, Joe Orton's sister, Marilyn, & Englebert
Leicester Walk of Fame, 2010. Pic by Liz Hewitt.
She was frank, funny and kind. She loved to laugh and to have a good time. She put everyone around her at ease and wasn't the least bit starry or special, although after the success of 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4', the best-selling book of the 1980s, let alone all her other books, plays and the rest, she had every right to be. She was one of the nicest of Leicester's home-grown personalities and it's sad to know I'll never snap her again.

Diabetes, blindness, arthritis, a kidney transplant and a stroke all took their toll and Sue died at her home in Leicester yesterday, 10 April, aged just 68. The past several times I saw her she was having mobility problems and in a wheelchair, but still upbeat, still funny and always ready with a joke.

Just as there was something of the everyman in Adrian Mole, there was something of everyones friend in Sue Townsend; one of Britain's funniest women and as well as Adrian Mole, the author of the hugely funny, 'The Queen and I'. With her socialist and republican leanings coupled with a strong sense of social justice, in 'The Queen and I' Sue told the story only she could have told, of the Royal Family being sent to live on a council estate. If you haven't read it, I urge you to do so :)

Sue Townsend, multi-award winning novelist, playwright, screenwriter, all-round funny lady, Leicester and national treasure, RIP.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Leicester City FC - Back in the Premier League!

I've had no option but to get to like football since the early days of taking photographs for the Leicester Mercury. Hours spent in the Filbert Street Stadium either results in total boredom or some degree of interest in the game.

So what cool news this weekend when everything fell just right and local heroes Leicester City FC found themselves back in the Premier League after a decade in the First Division. (Full story here.) CONGRATULATIONS THE FOXES & FOXES FANS!!

Leicester City Football Club - back in the Premier League after a decade!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Made in Chelsea!

C4's TV show logo for 'Made in Chelsea

I love C4's 'Made in Chelsea', the lives and loves of an elite Chelsea set (will Binky ever end her heartache and break up with the love rat Alex?)!
Set in real Chelsea locations and some of my own favourite London haunts, I'd adore to spend more time in the champagne bars, Bluebird or JuJu, discussing latest love entanglements with 
my girlfriends!

The Albert Bridge, linking Chelsea on the North shore & Battersea on the South
For me Chelsea and the King's Road are really all about celebrity and creativity; in the 1970s Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood Had their 'Sex' boutique and Vivienne remains there still with her eponymous own label.

Sex, Malcolm & Vivienne's King's Road shop
There's the delight of artisan chocolatier, Rococo ChocolatesVV Rouleaux for ribbons & trimmings that are out of this world and the very necessary (to me at least!) Green & Stone for the best artists's materials.

An infamous location

Another historic Chelsea street and home over the years to a long list of celebrities is Cheyne Walk. Sylvia Pankhurst lived at No 120; No 4 was for a time the home of George Eliot. In 1851 the painter JMW Turner died at No 119; Dante, Rosetti & Sir Paul Getty all resided here; and in 1968-69 Keith Richards & Anita Pallenberg lived at No 3 while Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful resided at No 48.
The Saatchi Gallery, London, by Clara Molden

Outside Mick & Marianne's house, No 48 Cheyne Walk

Walking tours are a great way to explore an area. Chelsea has several and 'Made in Chelsea' has its own Brit Movie Tour. Check it out!
Last year I used a great little book, 'Walking London: Thirty Original Walks In & Around London' by Andrew Duncanto navigate my way around the Chelsea area. It was a delightful walk which took in the Saatchi Gallery, Physic Garden, Albert Bridge, Chelsea Old Church and the Royal Hospital, home of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Lizzy on Cheyne Walk, the street of her dreams

King's Road has lots of interesting goings on for the art lover

Saturday, 15 February 2014

OPEN 25 Private View

OPEN 25 art exhibition & competition
Valentine's night and it's the Private View for OPEN 25 2014! My drawing of Notre Dame is included & stupidly I'm quite excited! Primarily though I'm here tonight to take photographs of the event for this blog, not so easy when everyone is slurping wine and there's a real danger of knocking glasses over & damaging artworks.

Everyone from Leicester's world of arts & culture appears to have turned out, including my photo chums from the Leicester Mercury & Leicester City Council. We chat & slurp.

My mum arrives - she's so proud! (I'm in tears at this point - too much slurping, methinks!) To have a drawing chosen for a major exhibition in my hometown is a significant achievement & I'm genuinely pleased for myself & my mum who's no mean artist herself.

I reflect that my Royal painting (A Right Royal Street Party!) wasn't selected; it would have looked fabulous in this huge museum space with all ages to enjoy it. But I've bored you before about how one never knows what a judging panel is looking for. 

Sacre Blue Baleine by Oliver Marc Thomas Leger, winner of the Attenborough Prize 2014
In the end the Attenborough Prize 2014 was awarded to Oliver Marc Thomas Leger for a drawing of a habitat-providing whale. Very detailed, it must have taken ages.

The exhibition runs at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester, until 27 April. There's some amazing work here. Pop along!

The Private View crowd remained for the 
announcement of prize winners
Leicester's New Walk Art Gallery was packed for the Private View

Artist Louise Ellerington (front, right) at the Private View

Lizzy beside her drawing of Notre Dame showing the space in Leicester's New Walk Art Gallery
Admiring Notre Dame. With permission
Lizzy's mum is so proud!