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"Art enables us to find ourselves
and lose ourselves at the same time."

- Thomas Merton

  • 28 Mar 2020 6:35 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    So here is a list of some interesting and innovative opportunities emerging and information you might find useful - gathered together for your delight and pleasure by our very own Mollie Barnes:


    The BBC have announced a new ‘Culture in Quarantine’ Programme for artists! Part of this is a fund for approximately 25 established UK based artists of any discipline to create brand new works in creative media!

    Check it out below:



    If you’re on Instagram you have probably seen the amazing Artist Support Pledge launched by Sussex artist Matthew Burrows. 

    The rules are simple:


    1. Post your image/s on your Instagram account

    2. If possible use the ARTIST SUPPORT PLEDGE image and text by reposting or using a screenshot.

    3. Give details of the work and price (£200 or less and local currency where appropriate)

    4. Ask for anyone interested to DM (message) you

    5. Add #artistsupportpledge

    6. Follow the #

    7. When you have sold £1000 worth of work fulfil the pledge and spend £200 on another artist/s

    8. If in doubt do it with generosity, that's all that matters

    Anyone, anywhere in the world is welcome to join this movement of creative generosity. You create out of a generous spirit, so post with generosity and contribute generously. Please repost this message and with friends across the globe.



    Use this time to get your social media going. We recommend: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. There’s loads of helpful information online on how to set these up if you’re not sure/ need a refresher. Instagram is a brilliant one to start with, though can take some time to get going. Here are our top tips:

    1. Photograph all your work. We know this can be boring, but now is the perfect time to dig out all of those older pieces, the frames behind the chest of draws and those new pieces on the easels. Photograph them and keep them on your phone - then it’s done.

    2. Get some posts ready. Don’t send them all out at once, but start to create a post on Instagram, then instead of clicking ‘Share’ in the top right corner, click ‘back’ until you get an option to ‘Save as Draft’. Do this for multiple posts so they are ready to go when you want them to. This is something you can do while catching up on the tele!

    3. Don’t over edit your photos. Clients and buyers want to know what they’re getting - they want to see YOUR work. Keep the little imperfections and make it true to life. :)

    4. Catchy but informative captions are key! Bring out your personality and let them sing.


    We know you need inspiration at this time. Lots of galleries have stepped up the challenge of having no visitors by launching online viewings. To start with, check out the Google Arts and Culture App and walk through the halls of all your favourite large gallery spaces. 


    Have a look for freelance creative jobs online for the duration of the lock down. Hastings Museum and Gallery are looking for freelance creatives to start creating resources for them. The information is on their Facebook pages. 

    Stay home and stay safe 

  • 26 Mar 2020 8:26 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    A very easy tool to help you manage stress and anxiety during these difficult times: APPLE

    ACKNOWLEDGE - Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.

    PAUSE - Don't react as you normally do.  Don't react at all.  Just pause, and breathe.

    PULL BACK - Tell yourself this is just the anxiety or depression talking, and this thought or feeling is only a thought or feeling.  

    Don't believe everything you think!  

    Thoughts are not statements of fact.

    LET GO - Let go of the thought or feeling. IT WILL PASS -  You don't have to react or respond to them.  You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or on a cloud.

    EXPLORE - Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well.  Notice your breathing, and the sensations of breathing.  Notice the ground beneath you.  

    Look around and NOTICE what you NOTICE - what you can see, what you can hear, what you can touch, what you can smell - right NOW.

    Then, SHIFT YOUR FOCUS OF ATTENTION to something else - on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else mindfully with your full attention.

    If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, struggling to focus or simply feel stuck, and would like some support, please email me at lesleysamms@gmail.com 

    Lesley Samms MSc ANLP

    Professional development, mentoring, coaching, NLP

  • 2 Mar 2020 5:58 PM | Kristina Alexander (Administrator)

    "Art is the imposing of a pattern on an experience
    and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."

    Alfred North Whitehead, 1861 - 1947

    Artist Fran White considers what she communicates when she creates her artwork; in her own words…

    “I think my art reflects the collective beliefs of my family and friends and the many people I have met and spent time with along the way, and more recently as I have transitioned from my career as a weaver and linen shop owner to full time painter."

    Considered in response to Alfred North Whiteheads words “The pattern I create with my art is a reflection of my memories and deep seated emotional responses to past collective experiences: events, people and places and our commonly held beliefs, values and ideas."

    In the Beginning

    As a child my family lived near Thetford in Norfolk. I was born into privilege, which seems to have engendered a deep innate sense of duty in me -  doing the right thing is a core value I still retain today. I was the 1st of 4 children and often felt protective over the others; a sensibility that became more profound after our parents divorced. 

    I attended a fairly progressive boarding school called Cranbourne Chase, housed at Wardour Castle, near Tisbury, Wiltshire. It had a female head mistress and a considerable art & music department. Despite this my creative gene seemed to go completely unnoticed during this time! 

    At least one of my school friends went on to art school, but, it never even entered my thinking to do anything similar. I don’t recall being actively discouraged from such a path, but looking back, I do remember being very keen to be considered able and accomplished in subjects such as english and maths, so maybe I was encouraged down an alternative path as a consequence of my own tendencies.

    Weaving the Thread

    My artistic journey really began in 1970, when I was 19 years old. I mixed with a lot of creatives at this point in my life (without realising I was actually one myself!). I had many friends who collected art, or who worked in &/or owned art galleries. I remember being especially drawn to the work of the Russian born artist Romain de Tirtoff, known by the pseudonym Erté, whom I first encountered at The Met in 1968 and I started collecting his work thereafter. 

    One particular friend taught me how to develop & print B/W photos in their darkroom and this set me down a specific path, working as a photographers assistant then a photographic stylist [collecting props for editorial & advertising photo shoots], that would prevail for much of my young adult life. 

    At this time I started ‘Linen Hire’, a business I ran from my London home, supplying fabric backdrops for hire. I also started distance learning with the Open College of the Arts, which ended with my attending The Surrey Institute of Art & Design SIAD in Farnham, as it was known back then - now it is The University of the Creative Arts - specialising in weaving with linen. I also started attending West Dean College around this time. 

    After graduating college, encouraged by Ann Sutton, I began commissioning woven linen fabrics from mills in Ireland, Scotland & Belgium, to sell to trade & retail.


    I began my transition into retirement in 2016, triggered by the lease renewal on my shop. I realised that if I renewed for another 3 years, I would be 67 when it expired and that what I actually wanted to do more than sell linen was paint!

    The trend set early in my career of spending much of my time mixing with creatives still prevails today, but the art forms this circle now encompass is very wide, including textiles, fine art, photography, gardening, pottery, basket weaving… the list is endless. And in recent years I have added many new friends as a consequence of the painting courses I have attended and my membership of various creative communities including PURE Arts Group and Instagram, which can feel like a very real community as we share thoughts and ideas. 

    My husband Angus and I live very close to Partridge Green where the Emily Ball at Seawhite courses are held. I’ve been attending these on & off since graduating college in 1998.

    Current Inspiration

    I realised that a lot of the models we were drawing in the ‘putting people into painting’ course were reading, which triggered the initial spark for the Women Reading series

    I am a keen reader myself, I have a lot of books in my study and am in a book club, so this subject really resonated with me and drew me in. It has however now become something of an obsession - I see people reading everywhere! 


    Surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you and never give up!

    Starting a new career can be difficult at any point in your life, but it is especially difficult when the career choice is something that calls for expansive emotional content. Being an artist can feel uncomfortable, overwhelming and highly emotional at times, but, I’ve learnt to push through this discomfort and keep moving forward - following my dream.

    Possibly the most important lesson for me however with regard to my personal career aspiration is you can’t do art wrong! You need to be brave and have courage to experiment and play. Often the best work comes when you least expect it, so don’t be scared, just keep going and trust the process.”

    website: whiteart.net • instagram: @franwhiteartist




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