The mostly disused station building, (apart from a nice cafe and a part time ticket office), is almost derelict. The windows have been boarded up with chipboard and the peeling paint tells you how long they have been there. It was a sad state of a building and when travelling by rail, is the first impression arriving in Burnham on Crouch, Essex. Beyond the platform and out to the car park and Station Road, are thriving gardens, planted and developed by volunteers who have already made this a more beautiful place.
The 10th anniversary of the Burnham Art Trail and 125 years of the railway to the town, became a celebratory community art project and refurbishment of the station.
Young people age 6-18 were asked to put forward a design they would like to see on the boarded windows on the theme of Travel – past, present and future. Winning designs could be painted by the designer or if very young, the painting was done by a volunteer artist.
I painted this board from a design drawn by a six year old girl. The expressions on the faces were a delight and I was conscious not to change essential elements so it could remain as close as possible to her original idea.
If you would like to see more images of painted window boards visit http://www.burnhamarttrail.co.uk
Burnham Art Trail 2014 Venue no.32. The trail map can be seen at http://www.burnhamarttrail.co.uk
Jacaranda in Station Road, is my allocated venue for this years art trail. It is a beautiful florist shop created and run by Sam Adams who generously gave up window space for the art trail week 21st June – 29th June.
If you would like to see what has been happening and upcoming events please visit
Spring is here and the promise of a warm weekend this early in March makes it easy to forget how cold it will still be over the next couple of months. In past years there has been freezing blasts of weather just when the apple tree blossoms.
Ink painting Apple blossom no.2 is in my exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery, 2nd March – 31st March.
Online catalogue visit
My exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ was hung last weekend in Colchester Library’s gallery space Les Livres, and continues until 31st March. The paintings selected for display are part of a seven year focus of work recording seasonal changes. Most library visitors would probably not know my earlier work but as you would expect there are connections – clearly the subject matter as a narrative, use of colour, but also of equal importance, line, painted, drawn or printed.
A cabinet at the top of the library stairs gave me an opportunity to communicate a back story with a few words allocated to each postcard size image. Alongside these I included one sketchbook and an oil pastel sketch to demonstrate my visual research and potential for development.
Visit http://jennyhillartwork.tumblr.com for the exhibition catalogue.
PS Behind the railing on the stairway wall is a relief sculpture, Connor Barrett’s Crucifixion of Mankind. I will post a full image in another blog post.
It has been so wet this winter, the wind twisted poppy seed heads stayed whole. In previous years the freezing weather skeletonised the seed heads, leaving open basket structures. This month the soggy plants evolved into their own aerial sprouting seed pot.
The painting “Sprouting poppies’ is more subdued than my usual expressive use of colour. It could be a reflection of the weeks of rain, or the raw umber in the mix.
Almost there with preparations for my solo exhibition at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery. So far press release has been sent, paintings packed and information to email contacts.
To do – What to put in the cabinet. I thought it would be a good idea to use a glass top table cabinet to put in a couple of sketch books, information on sales. But know now that would leave a gap of communication as my press release stated this exhibition was part of a seven year project following the seasons. I realise there has to be some back story, using a few images of previously exhibited artwork with minimal text, to help make some connection with what has gone before and the current artwork. But how to make it look good and interesting is something I will be working on over the next couple of days.
A catalogue for Anticipation & Recognition can be seen at
My solo exhibition plans allocated February as time to select and frame artwork for Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery. When you have a solo exhibition, everything is down to you to organise, put in place and communicate. Help and advice from other people is invaluable, whether they agree to place posters, put information on web space they manage or as a good friend did, look over my press release and suggest improvements. The revised press release reminded me how you cannot only promote the artwork but must also give something about the person that made it or a least a bit more of the back story relevant to the exhibition. In marketing terms is this where you sell the sizzle not only the bacon?
I now also seriously believe the importance of getting an exhibition reviewed. Whether this is a critical review or a question and answer session the result can be part of the documentation about something that happened in a public event and not only recorded in someone’s curriculum vitae.
I intend to encourage other artists I meet with in Essex, to engage in the practice of reviewing and publishing as I think this will be mutually beneficial, raising the profile of the visual arts in Essex.
The image shows some of my low tech framing equipment, hand under pinner and clamp.
The frames are hardwood ash – more durable and resistant to dents and knocks which can happen when handled by other people.
What is your experience of art marketing?
I had passed this Agapanthus a number of times, noting the yellow and lime green stems and seed heads almost glowing on grey days. I resolved to draw it before the black seeds dropped or the stems pushed over, but it was the forecast of more heavy rain that made me get on with sketching. Drawing in a winter garden for the sake of not missing something sounds dedicated? Fortunately the plant is in a large pot, (a cropped copper water cylinder), just outside my studio window.
‘Agapanthus winter seed head’ will be exhibited at Colchester Library Gallery, Les Livres, March 2nd-31st.
Art exhibition ‘Creative Flow’ at Farleigh Hospice Gallery 7/1/14 – 27/2/14. Art work supplied by Activate artists.
The Hospice welcomes visitors to view artwork in the gallery during Lantern Suite opening hours, (Monday-Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm).
Activate is an independent voluntary group set up in 1999 to bring together and offer support to professional artists living in and around Chelmsford, Essex.
We have a pro-active membership whose work covers a broad spectrum of disciplines including Painters, Printmakers, Ceramicists, Sculptors, Textile Artists, Digital Artists and Community, Public and Environmental Artists, and always welcome new faces and new ideas.
Activate meets at the United Brethren Pub, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 OLF; 7pm -9pm on the second Monday or Wednesday of each month for discussion on personal and group projects as well as an opportunity to share skills and knowledge and to get involved with current activities.
More information about Activate Arts is available on http://www.activatechelmsford.org.uk
Information on visiting Farleigh Hospice can be found on their website http://www.farleighhospice.org