It’s always a pleasure to attend show openings and this week I was super delighted to be invited to the launch of the new David Gilbert exhibition, ‘Crossing Open Ground’, on Friday evening. It’s a wonderful show, the Manx Museum exhibits having been curated by Yvonne Cresswell and the Sayle exhibits by Carola Rush and Christian Hardman. It’s been quite a labour of love getting the exhbition ready with the majority of the pieces having been shipped from Liverpool but it is beautifully put together and a tactile delight as well as a feast for the eyes. I took some photos but I think this video posted up by Manx National Heritage does it far better justice than my amateur snaps.


Nicola Dixon spent much time with the Gilberts while she was growing up and there is a photo of her aged 15 at work making art included in the show. She said in a recent post “The Gilberts were a large part of the magic of my childhood and I am sure there were many influences that I am aware of, and not. It has been quite a trip revisiting it in flashes.. in conversations, objects, voices, memories. This show is in 2 parts, at the Museum and the Sayle Gallery, and I have some new and old work that is close to me in a annex of the Sayle, alongside that of Simon Buttimore and Greg Joughin. We were all visitors to Bishops Demesne Farm in our young days where the Gilberts lived, along with several others who now play a part in Manx cultural life.”

Nicola is also featured in the Spring edition of LandLove Magazine. Such a busy lady. With so much going on she told me that the recent pieces she has painted for the David Gilbert exhibition have been an indulgence for her, setting aside the pressure of commissions for a short while to produce these very personal pieces for the exhibition. 


Alice Quayle has been getting herself in the news this week. Her illustration of Sophia Goulden and her famous suffragette daughter, Emmeline Pankhurst, was featured on BBC North West this week as the UK celebrated the centenary of giving some women the vote in 1918. As well as that, the Creative Network gave her work a big plug recently and the Arts Council is currently producing some great artist interviews – you can read all about Alice and her contribution to the Island’s Biosphere status with her quirky maps here


I am sure will have noticed that I’ve had a link to Beach Buddies at the top of the post the last couple of weeks. I’ve decided to support Beach Buddies this year as they are doing inspirational and incredibly important work in cleaning our beaches and raising awareness of the global issue of plastic waste. We all need to do our bit and encourage everyone to reduce their use of plastic and generally clean up our act. Gef the Mongoose published a great post this week titled ‘Plastic Surgery‘ with a range of ways in which we can all do our bit to contribute to cutting down on plastic waste.

Frauke Watson updated her page on the Directory this week with some photographs of work she has produced using beach waste, perhaps not most of us will do with the rubbish we pick up, but fascinating non the less.

The Flower Studio is also doing their bit on recycling.  I loved this post from them about how they are tackling the problem:

* recycle – we recycle ALL of our green waste back to compost as well as recycling card and paper waste locally 🌳

* re-use – we love to turn rubbish into something beautiful and items such as our Blooming Cantastic designs do just this! 🌺

* reduce – we searched high and low to find an alternative to the polypropylene sheets we use for aqua packs on our bouquets, but unfortunately, there isn’t a suitable (i.e. waterproof!) one. So we have redesigned our packaging to reduce the use of plastics by over two thirds and we would encourage customers to try and re-use the polypropylene before eventually recycling it. 🌍

* provenance – we care where every stem has come from that we use in The Flower Studio. Most of our greenery is grown just down the road from us and during the Summer months, we have a beautiful supply of locally grown flowers. But for the rest of our blooms, we carefully choose growers further afield that operate under labels such as MPS and FFP where we can be guaranteed that they are ethically and environmentally sound. 👍

* educate – this is where you lovely lot come in… Each design that we send out from The Flower Studio from now on will come with an advice slip (printed on recycled paper obvs!) to let you know which items can be recycled or re-used. And to give you a little incentive, there are certain things that we will swap with you for cold hard cash if you bring them back to us in excellent condition! 💷😎

Well done The Flower Studio! Let’s hope that inspires others to look at what they can do in their own businesses. The Flower Studio is also participating in the #sharetheloveheart project instigated by Yarny Grianne that I mentioned last week. Look out for gorgeous creations like these…

I also mentioned last week that Paul Parker was going to have a bit of change of direction and he posted up these fabulous pen and wash pictures this week. He said in his post “Pen and wash paintings are good, they make you draw, and it breaks things down into two parts. Drawing, then painting. It is a lot easier than pure watercolor. I use a stick or sharpen the handle of a small brush. It gives a line, not unlike charcoal of a graphite pencil, and when applied to a rough watercolor paper gives a lovely broken line.

You need a more tonal pallet to hold up against the black ink. Pen and wash are a little out of fashion these days, but in the right hands, it is an excellent starting point to learn watercolor. Or indeed to do paintings.”

Can paintings this good really be out of fashion? Surely not.

News Shorts

The new show at the Hodgson Loom Gallery opens on Saturday. Pop along from 2pm for drinks, nibbles, conviviality and photographic eye-candy.


Photographer Mark Boyd who is based at Grenaby Studios now has a page on the Directory. Check it out here.


Photo by Sam Maiden

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a supporter of the Queens Pier Restoration Trust and they have now launched their ‘Sponsor a Plank’ campaign. I think it’s a great idea and prices are very reasonable with prices starting from just £10 for ‘child planks’ and ‘souvenir planks’ and £40 for Bay 3 planks. Head on over to their website to purchase:


Kate Jerry posted up this video – I love the colours she’s using. A moment or two of calm. Enjoy!


What’s On


On now – 5 May – ‘Crossing Open Ground’ – David Gilbert: A Retrospective – at the Manx Museum and The Sayle Gallery

On now – Mannin Art Group Exhibition at Milntown Cafe

On now – Manx Miniatures at The Isle Gallery

14 February – Manx Radio 5.30pm-6pm Spotlight with Sarah Hendy

17 February – 17 March – Hodgson Loom Gallery – Isle of Man Photographic Society 80th Anniversary Exhibition

4 March – Exhibition on Screen, Leonardo at the Erin Arts Centre – 3pm – 4.30pm


Upcoming Workshops:


12 February – The Hobbit – Journey to Middle Earth – 9.30am-12.30pm – The Isle Gallery

12 February – Action Jackson (Jackson Pollock) for kids – 2.30pm-5pm – The Isle Gallery 

13 February – Monster Pots – Who can make the best worst pot – Age 5+ 10am-12.3pm – The Isle Gallery

15 February – Isle of Man Drawing Club Nude Life Drawing – 7pm-9pm at Noa Bakehouse

26 February – Absolute Beginners in Watercolour Painting – 7pm-9.30pm – The Isle Gallery

27 February – Absolute Beginners in Watercolour Painting – 10am-12.30pm – The Isle Gallery

27 & 28 February – Manx Mosaics by Ellie – Design and Create a Mosaic Heart – Workshop – from 6pm at St. Catherine’s Church Hall, Port Erin

1 March – Printmaking for Beginners and Improvers – 7pm-9.30pm – The Isle Gallery

2 March – Printmaking for Beginners and Improvers – 10am-12.30pm – The Isle Gallery

2 March – An Evening of Urban Screen Printing – 7pm-9.30pm – The Isle Gallery

3 March – Art for the Heart – Vizualise the Change you want to See – 10am-4pm – Ramsey

18 March – DIY Mothers Day Crafts – Mum & Me for adults – 1pm-4pm – The Isle Gallery


If you’ve got a workshop or class coming up that you would like me to share please just drop me an email: or get in touch via Facebook/Messenger.


Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. Click on the pictures to view in the lightbox.



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Have a great week!

Jane x

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Isle of Man Art News – 12 February 2018

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