New Year, New Studio, New Work, New Goals!!

I am thrilled to be back in the studio again after not having much time to paint in 2016, due to moving and renovating a house and doing lots of community based art projects.

At the end of last year I moved into a new studio, for more light and space, and it feels fantastic to be creating new work in a wonderful new environment.

I am determined to really try and push my painting practice this year and increase interest and sales of my work. As a self employed artist and creative practitioner I sometimes struggle to fit in dedicated studio days, so am going design a studio schedule and be disciplined about sticking to it, as I feel that my time is one of my most precious resources.

As well as dedicated studio days I am also going to get better at social media and marketing myself and my work. This is another thing I have sometimes struggled with, but feel its time to tackle it once and for all. Using this blog regularly to document my progress will help me keep focused and share my thought processes to those who are interested.

I hope you all have a wonderfully creative and inspired 2017!

Laura x

 

As well as this blog you can also keep updated with my work via the links below.

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lauramenziesart/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurajmenzies/

Website – http://www.lauramenzies.co.uk

Life’s a Beach

IMG_0269I was recently contacted by my friend Cathy asking if she could ask me some questions about my art practice for a new publication she is working on titled Life’s a Beach. Having had such a hectic few months it was great to sit back, take stock and think about my current inspirations.

 MEET LAURA MENZIES, LOCAL ARTIST AND FALMOUTH ENTHUSIAST

 “I moved to Falmouth in 2011 from Dorset. Shortly after relocating I completed an MA in Fine Art at Falmouth University. I love Falmouth, it has a great creative energy with many interesting venues which regularly showcase art, films and live bands. One of the best things about living in Falmouth is being surrounded by so many other creative people. I have many artist friends and it’s great to be able to share ideas, support one another and collaborate on projects and exhibitions.

Combined with this energy is Falmouth’s natural costal beauty, it’s such a special place. One of my favourite things to do is walk the coast path from Gyllyngvase beach to Maenporth. It’s so peaceful, but also vast and dramatic.

I am always inspired by my environment. Whether it is rural or urban, I am constantly inspired by the Cornish landscape. Inspiration can occur in the most unexpected places; beautiful rocks on a beach, an old peeling poster, a fishing boat washed up on the shore or even the view from an aeroplane. The colours, textures and shapes I observe on journeys regularly find their way into my paintings.

My paintings, drawings and prints operate as a personal register of marks that are formed from constructs of memory, emotion and indirect references to place. The guiding principles for my paintings is to provide a space that encourages the viewer to pause, ponder and reflect.

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It’s an average Saturday afternoon … where could we find you?

 I recently moved house and have spent the last few months renovating and decorating which has been a hugely exciting and rewarding experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sourcing local materials and paint colours and thinking about the kind of home I want to create. I am also lucky enough to have a beautiful garden, which I am slowly learning more about. It’s full of exotic plants and shrubs, which grow beautifully in Cornwall. We are so lucky to have some beautiful gardens in Cornwall that I love to visit and am always inspired by. I recently visited Tremenhere Sculpture Gardens for the first time and was struck at the beauty and magical quality of the place.

When I’m not at home or out exploring, I can often be found at my studio at Falmouth Wharves. The studio is a place where I can shut myself off from the outside world and completely immerse myself in my work.

FIND OUT MORE

www.lauramenzies.couk / menzies19@hotmail.co.uk

Residency Update

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Over the last few weeks of my residency at St Stephen’s Church in Brannel,  I have been working with some of the local community to engage them creatively in the history and heritage of the building. Brannel Secondary School visited the church for several workshops and created a series of drawings and prints inspired by their personal experiences of the space.  I also worked with a year 2 class from Foxhole Learning Academy who created their own print blocks and prints inspired by the colours and shapes they discovered.  Working with these local schools was a fantastic experience and was greatly rewarding.  It was wonderful to see young people being creative in the church and to watch their ideas grow over several sessions.

Over the last month I have also been continuing to develop my own work and have been taking photographs, creating small drawings and prints, and doing quite a bit of writing and reflection. Because of the relatively short time frame of my residency, I haven’t produced a final body of work as such, but have gathered lots of ideas, stimulus and inspiration I am going to use to create a series of large scale paintings that will be directly inspired by my experiences of this magnificent and powerful place.

From April 28th – 30th there will be a community exhibition at the church which will showcase some of the work that has been produced over the last 3 moths. I will be there all day on 28th and 30th and will be delivering a short talk about my residency at 2pm on April 30th. The exhibition will be open from 11-4pm daily and refreshments will be provided. It would be lovely to see some of you, so if you are around please do pop in for a chat and a cuppa!IMG_2624

Passages: A Community Art Exhibition

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My residency at St Stephen in Brannel church finishes at the end of next month and to celebrate all that has been achieved I am organising an art exhibition in the church from April 28th – 30th. The exhibition will feature work I have produced along with work that has been produced by the community groups I have worked alongside.

I will be there all day on April 28th and will be delivering a short talk about my residency on April 30th at 2pm. Will look forward to hopefully seeing some of you then.

Art Workshop in Church

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I am now over a month into my residency at Brannel Church and ideas are slowly starting to come together. Over the past 2 weeks I have been producing work in the church and have created a number of drawings and paintings in response to the strong spirit of place. The process has been very intuitive and the work I have produced so far aims to evoke the atmosphere of the church rather than a realistic visual likeness.

On March 19th I will be leading a drop in workshop at the church from 10-3pm which will be suitable for anyone aged 5 or over. During the workshop participants will be encouraged to explore the space and to create their own site responsive prints which will form part of a growing display. The workshop is free and all materials will be provided. If you would like to know more you can contact me on 07525246614,  by email at menzies19@hotmail.co.uk or just turn up on the day!

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Residency at St Stephen-in- Brannel Church

I am thrilled to say that over the next 3 months I am going to be the artist in residence at St Stephen -in- Brannel Church, a beautiful medieval building that dates back to 1261. The main aim of the residency is to engage the local community in the history and heritage of the building through a range of creative activities, which will culminate in an exhibition and open event in April.

Yesterday I spend the day in the church absorbing its spirit and getting a feel for the space. It was wonderful to spend the day in such a peaceful environment and to have the time to think about possibilities for this project. I took some photographs, did some drawings in my sketchbook and scribbled words that came to mind: Sacred space- spirituality- stillness- peace- connection- contemplation- pilgrimage- salvation- worship- sanctuary- centering- focus- epiphany- reflection- power- light- dark.

At the moment I am very open to where this journey might lead and am excited and intrigued to see how this residency will expand my practice in new and diverse ways.

 

 

Lovely Lanzarote!

A new year brings new adventures and after a wonderful Christmas back in Dorset, I was lucky enough to travel to Lanzarote for a few days of sunshine and relaxation.

Before arriving in Lanzarote I knew little about the island, but once there I was bawled over by its dramatic landscapes which have been created by several volcanic eruptions.  The colours of the landscape and its extravagant rock formations were incredibly beautiful and I found the island to have an incredibly peaceful feel which was just what I had hoped. It was fantastic to be able to get back in touch with nature and to have the time and space to think about what  I would like to achieve in my artistic practice in 2016.

During my time on the island I also discovered the work of César Manrique who was born in Lanzarote in 1919 and was an artist, activist and environmentalist. His artworks and centres of art and culture can be seen all over the island and most fuse the island’s amazing volcanic landscape with his own creative aesthetic. His guiding principle, above all else, was to work in harmony with nature and from a young age he was totally consumed by the unique beauty of Lanzarote and wanted to share this with others. Seeing Manrique’s vision and the positive influence he has had on the island and how much joy his diverse projects bring to so many people was most inspiring and was a brilliant way to start the year.