The Art Market at Holmfirth – putting your (he)art out for all to see.

Writing the last blog post has finally enabled me to catch up with more recent events that could only be written about after the last post (if that makes sense….) So much has changed since I am now concentrating more on my artwork and I have some very exciting plans in the works for the future. But a rather exciting thing has already happened.

Now I mentioned that I would not be applying for or exhibiting at any contemporary craft fairs for the foreseeable future and am instead focussing more on art shows and exhibitions (it pains me that there is such a distinction in this country, but unfortunately there is – craft and art are seen as two completely different things in the UK but that is a discussion for another post perhaps…..)

However there is one show that I have been lucky enough to have exhibited at for the 5th time just a couple of weeks ago and I think it is fairly unique in the fact that it champions both contemporary craft and fine art in equal measure, so therefor it is one that I have no hesitation in exhibiting at.

art market 2013

The Art Market in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire has just organised its 11th event and is going from strength to strength. Run by Victoria Robinson, Emily Stubbs and Brendan Hesmondhalgh and with the talents of PR and marketing expert Fiona Pattison of Happy 4pr (more on Fiona in the next post) they are dedicated to bringing together a diverse collection of artists and makers together for the viewing public – you can read more here.

art market 2013

I was rather more nervous setting up for the show as for the very first time (ever) I was exhibiting artwork only – no sculptures, no textile characters, no brooches… none of the quirky wee faces that usually draw people in, no smaller items that could be seen more as something to buy for a gift. Just a selection of larger framed paintings and smaller framed portraits, a few select prints and art cards – a very minimal display compared to previous times I have attended.

art market

It was a brilliant weekend. I felt very happy with my display in the end and I was satisfied that only having artwork made for a strong representation of my current work. Lots of people gave very positive and encouraging feedback and although lots of people commented on the fact that I did not have sculptures, not one person thought it was a negative thing. Out of the 7 small portraits I took, I sold 5 and had lots of interest in my larger pieces too. I had comments such as people thought that my painting had come a long way recently, that the emotion, storytelling and pathos were the strongest element of my work. One gentleman even said that he on viewing paintings he usually looked at and judged  technique first and subject matter second but that in my work the emotion draws you in and elicits a response but then the technique serves to back up the quality of the work – that might have been one of my favourite comments of the day!

Until….. a very elderly gentleman came up to me as I was packing up and told me that he had wanted to chat to me all day but that I had been so busy so he had waited till the end to see me. He wanted to tell me with great sincerity and emotion how much he loved my work, how much it moved him and how beautiful he thinks it. He almost had me in tears with his words and encouragement and he absolutely made my day.  Whenever I feel down about my work or have doubts, I will remember that lovely mans words – it makes it all worth it.

photo courtesy of the art market Uk

But that was not all. The icing on the cake was that I won the award for Outstanding Artist as judged and presented by local art legend Ashley Jackson. This is my second time winning the award – the last time I had a table full of sculptures and a rather emotional response. I have come such a long way since that show 2 years ago and whilst it is still nerve-wracking and completely out of my comfort zone standing there putting my work before the viewing public, I feel even more sure that I am a wee step closer to making the work that truly means the world to me. To receive an award for that, from such an esteemed artist makes it even better.

journal page

Well thank you for taking the time to read this novel of a blog post. I will just leave you with this handy hint for today – when exhibiting at an exhibition or an event – display an open sketchbook on your table or stand. I took my extra large painted moleskine sketchbook and it is no exaggeration to say that it received more attention than anything else on my stand. People took so much time looking through the pages and it was a greater opener to talking to people about my work. I had a few people asking if it was for sale (of course it wasn’t) but even more asking if I would do a printed book. Customers love gaining an insight into the artist behind the work. They love seeing the story, looking at works in progress and seeing all the work that goes into the end result of a finished painting.

Till next time.

x x x


Tempest, originally uploaded by gilfling.

With the coming of winter, Tempest embarks on her evening walks in earnest. Stormy skies and the silhouettes of petrified trees are a constant fascination as is the ghostly atmosphere that comes with the mist that meanders over the gently sloping fields. Tempest loves roaming the countryside that surrounds her stone built cottage, but always returns to a warm fire and flickering candle-light.

The third character in The Collection in Lincoln


Aspen, originally uploaded by gilfling.


Within the expansive woodlands, which surround Aspen’s little crumbling cottage, lie signs of a previously undiscovered history. Moss covered stones mark an almost hidden boundary between the overgrown garden and a circle of tree stumps with roots, which undulate over and underground as if to form a circle of knots. What may have been there before, no one knows but Aspen sometimes glances outside to see tiny gently dancing circles of light breaking through the twilight mist and imagines that she hears the chattering of a fairy gathering.

Character sculpture currently residing in The Collection, Lincolnshire

New characters

New characters, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Hello there! Well it seems it may take me a little while to get this new blog all updated with links and sidebar info etc but rather than waiting for that to happen I will just get on with posting in the meantime – so please bear with me!

I have been busy creating a few new characters which were sent off to their new destination and temporary home at The Collection in Lincoln. The Collection is a wonderful museum dedicated to telling the history of Lincolnshire from as early as the stone age and has excellent exhibits – well worth a visit!

My work is part of a temporary display in the show cabinets and as well as the above characters I also have 3 wee dwellings there. It really is wonderful to have the opportunity to have my work shown in a different context in addition to the other exhibitions and galleries where my work can be seen.

I really do have some very exciting opportunities coming up and I will be hard at work creating new pieces – so watch this space!

PS. I will show the characters individually with their stories over the next couple of days.