#loveart at Chalk Gallery

The fifteen artists who are members of Chalk Gallery work in a variety of different disciplines but we are strongly united in one thing; we love to make and create. We are not a corporate gallery. We are not working to meet simple market demands or trends. We work because we love it. Everything you see on exhibition in Chalk Gallery has been made with joy, tenderness and passion. And it shows.

Let us take a look at the work of printmaker Lucy Cooper for example who shares this gorgeous photo of her silkscreen loaded with thick, vibrant ink. She fully admits she has a passion for colour.

She loves mixing paints and trying out different colour combinations to use in her prints. Loading the ink onto the silkscreen and pulling each new layer of a screenprint never fails to excite her. This passion for colour is clear when you see the glowing tones of her prints on display in the gallery.

The process of making an artwork is often the most enjoyable part for the artist. Landscape painter Andrew Milne says "I love the potential of starting a new, not necessarily blank, canvas with the first few large marks. It's like setting out on a good day’s hike in the country!" His words capture that sense of adventure, creative freedom and exhilaration which is also so much present in the beautiful landscapes he paints. It is as if he generously invites us to join him on the journey.

Process is important too to Lyndsey Smith, who explains "I love to drop layers of watercolours onto paper and watch paint dry". With this playful technique she captures the light and effervescent effects of being outdoors, with shifting colours and liquid hues. The experience of being in the landscape is vital to her, "I love to sit and look and see and feel and hear and smell and sketch outside". Without this involvement her paintings would not allow us to see and feel the landscape as it shines down from the gallery walls.

Sensory experience while making work is also important to printmaker Melissa Birch who says "I love the sound of bird song when sketching in the garden". Melissa's work repeatedly features garden plants, local flora and wildlife as she lovingly explores her passion for the natural world and celebrates it in colourful linoprints.

For others the contemplative space of the studio is something they enjoy when making art. Joan Wilkes explains that she "Loves the time of quiet reflection in the studio - just looking and making decisions surrounded by art pieces in process, objects and materials covering the wall and surfaces. The quiet reflecting spaces in between helping the next action unfold." We can sense this in her still life studies which emanate warmth, calm and a quiet focus and is very tender to witness.

Meanwhile it is the imaginary as well as the real world which absorb artist Nichola Campbell who says she "loves combining imagination and

observation to create atmospheric paintings." Something of an escape from the everyday, her paintings invite us to explore a more mysterious realm of light, atmosphere and fleeting sensory experience. As transcendent as the emotion of love itself perhaps.

As well as these examples there is much more to see in our gallery, with a selection of work by all fifteen members. We hope you will make time to visit Chalk Gallery this month and share the love with our artists and their heart-felt works.

Open Thursday - Sunday, 11-4pm. #loveart continues until the 27th February.

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