Kathy Clare - Ceramics
Stephen Baxter - Painter; Watercolours
Irish born Kathy Clare, now living in the village of Amberley finding the perfect place and time in her life to fulfil her artistic dreams leading the way in recently completing a BA and MA in Fine Art.
Kathy’s practice is through ceramics, as she really enjoys the complexity in the timely controlled process of making through slip casting in porcelain. This method of making allows her to achieve translucency and delicacy, lending itself to the perfect form for atmospheric lighting in home-décor furnishings.
Inspired by the beautiful landscapes around her she uses the porcelain translucent lighting as a canvas for her designs using ceramic paints, lustres and photographic ceramic transfers.
Katherine Bryan-Merrett - Portrait Artist
Katherine Bryan-Merrett is a self taught portrait artist based in Amberley.
Specialising in soft pastels but also working in a range of mediums, her work is a celebration of colour and connection. She explores her work with as much enthusiasm for the texture, tone and pigment that makes up the skin as she does her need to connect the viewer to the subject.
Sophie Learmont - Starling Pots
With a background in architecture and design, artisan maker Sophie, of starlingpots, has taken her love of texture and form to smaller scale with her ceramics. From her base in Gloucestershire, she designs and lovingly hand crafts unique pieces in small numbers, drawing on inspiration from the natural world for decorative themes and colour palettes.
Sophie’s lovingly created collections include embellished trinket dishes, inlaid side plates, single stem vases and garland serving platters. She uses Staffordshire stoneware clay and a careful choice of glazes to create depth, tactility and surface interest. Her choices also ensure these seemingly delicate items of tableware are all actually very practical: Sophie’s ceramics are food safe and dish washer safe, and ready to be enjoyed every day.
I am a watercolour artist based in the Cotswolds in the UK, where I live with my wife and two young children. Birds are the main focus of my work at the moment but I’m inspired by nature of all kinds and happiest in quiet isolated spaces where I can stop, turn off the noise of every day life, and absorb the beauty and intricacy of nature.
Other than GCSE and A-level art classes at school, I am a self taught artist. My work doesn’t always intend to communicate a point; it’s just a quiet contemplation and personal expression of things that bring me happiness, using a process I love. My hope is that a sense of peace and pleasure carries through into the finished work and viewer.
I strive to create vibrant, contemporary watercolour paintings aiming to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of birds, to capture their individual character and simply to share my love of birds. I take a playfully experimental approach, juxtaposing detailed facial features with loose, free-flowing techniques for the body.
I delight in the spontaneous and unpredictable nature of watercolour; the way the colours mingle on the paper and the forms, textures and patterns that can be created from adding extra water, salt and granulation mediums to the drying paint.
Drawn to nature, birds have fascinated me since childhood. I don’t know if there’s anywhere I’d rather be than sitting quietly in a woodland watching and listening to birds – when life gets stressful it helps me feel grounded.
I love the way, sometimes when birds see you, there’s a moment of awareness and connection - their eyes become really still, just for a split second, then they’re gone. I wanted to capture that stillness in the eyes and a sense of motion everywhere else.
I often choose less well known birds as my subjects - showing what an amazing range of wildlife there could possibly be just outside your back door. I find it really saddening that some of them are becoming such a rare sight.
Last year (2020), I entered the Explorers Against Extinction endangered species “Sketch for Survival” competition and my watercolour painting of a Secretary Bird was selected as one of the works to be shown at the OXO Tower Wharf Gallery in London and then auctioned off to contribute towards conservation projects. Despite the global Covid pandemic and the fact that the exhibition needed to be moved on-line, the auction raised nearly £60,000.